i will think of a title for this story someday in the future ;;;

the inquisitor and da4

Before delving into things, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not trying to rag on the Trespasser DLC in any way. In fact, I really enjoyed it. I also know that there was a quote floating around here from someone with Bioware who apparently stated that the Inquisitor won’t be playable in the next game (I can’t find the source or the exact quote right now), but I just wanted to give my two cents anyway.

How did the Trespasser DLC ensure that the Inquisitor would no longer be the playable protagonist? If anything, it only gave me the impression that the Inquisitor would be playing a major role in the next game. Wasn’t Trespasser being advertised as the ‘end’ of the Inquisition? I’m not saying they should have killed the Inquisitor off, but that would at least have been a definite ending to the Inquisitor’s story and would have effectively barred them off as the main character in Dragon Age 4. 

Having the Inquisitor return would make sense because, in a way, they are partially responsible for Solas:

Inquisitor: This war proved that we can’t go back to the way things were. I’ll try to help this world move forward.

Solas: You would risk everything you have in the hope that the future is better? What if it isn’t? What if you wake up to find that the future you shaped is worse than what was?

Inquisitor: I’ll take a breath, see where things went wrong, and then try again.

Solas: Just like that?

Inquisitor: If we don’t keep trying, we’ll never get it right.

Solas: You’re right. Thank you. You have not been what I expected, Inquisitor. You have… impressed me. You have offered hope that if one keeps trying, even if the consequences are grave, that someday, things will be better.

While Solas was already planning to destroy the world by allowing Corypheus to find his orb, his plans were foiled when Corypheus didn’t actually die. Thus, he was forced to find another way to regain his power. The Inquisitor inspired Solas to keep trying to rectify his mistakes. So yes, the consequences of doing so will be grave, but he must persist to make up for creating the Veil, no matter what. That being said, the Inquisitor cannot directly be blamed for what Solas is planning, but they should feel at least feel that it is their duty to stop him and once again save the world.

Sure, Leliana and the Inquisitor both agree that it would be best to find people that Solas doesn’t know since he is familiar with all of their faces and tactics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Inquisitor will be staying on the sidelines while someone new goes after him. When speaking to Solas at the end of the DLC, the Inquisitor makes it sound like they will personally find a way to stop Solas from destroying the world:

Inquisitor: You don’t have to destroy the world. I’ll prove it to you.

Solas: I welcome the chance to be wrong once again, my friend.


Inquisitor: If I live, I’m coming to stop you.

Solas: I know.

To me, Solas’ response to the first option even sounds like a direct invitation for the Inquisitor to try. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense narratively to have the Inquisitor confront Solas at the end of the next game? I think it would be likely that Solas would respond more positively to the Inquisitor than to someone he doesn’t really know. If you manage to get Solas’ approval high enough, he even tells you that he has great respect for the Inquisitor, so obviously, if anyone could persuade him, it’d be them. 

Solas even likens himself to the Inquisitor:

Solas: I was Solas first. “Fen’Harel” came later… An insult I took as a badge of pride. The Dread Wolf inspired hope in my friends and fear in my enemies… Not unlike “Inquisitor,” I suppose.

Solas: You also know the burden of a title that all but replaces your name.

Wouldn’t it be more fitting, then, for them to be the one actively working to find and confront Solas once and for all? Not to mention that having the Inquisitor be the one to face Solas in DA4 would also offer more closure to those who romanced him.

All Bioware really did was have the Inquisitor lose the forearm that the Anchor was attached to. Don’t tell me they expect us to believe that losing an arm means they can no longer go after Solas. Dragon Age is a series that has magic, dragons, elves… need I go on? My point is, implying that it’s not realistic for the Inquisitor to be returning as the playable protagonist in DA4 merely because of what happened to their arm is ridiculous. They can’t think of a way to give the Inquisitor some sort of prosthetic that will help them fight? Dagna exists! If anyone can invent something that can help the Inquisitor, it would be Dagna. Cullen even says that Dagna “crafts the impossible every day,” so… there you go. 

I know some think that DA4 will give you the choice to have either the new protagonist or the Inquisitor confront Solas, but that seems unlikely. Having the Inquisitor decide for your character or having the protagonist tell the Inquisitor what to do won’t be very gratifying. If anything, I can see Bioware coming up with a scenario in which the protagonist and the Inquisitor both confront Solas, which will result in the protagonist having to battle Solas with assistance from the Inquisitor. That would be a very cheap and cliché ending, if I’m being honest. I know that Bioware isn’t really one for originality, and their writing tends to contradict itself quite a bit, but I want to give them the benefit of doubt.

I’m also aware that the tradition for the Dragon Age series is that each game will have a new protagonist, but honestly if Bioware wanted that to happen, they shouldn’t have ended Trespasser the way they did. It was too open-ended to keep the Inquisitor from returning as the main protagonist. I hope that I don’t give the impression that I’m just really attached to the Inquisitor (the Warden is my favorite hero, personally). All I’m saying is that it would make for a much interesting and compelling story if the Inquisitor were to continue as the main character in the next game. 

spectralspices  asked:

So. Secret Empire. I read it and it's just a sickening mess. Everything happening is just in service of making the Big Event Happen (like civil war 2, bluh) and the only reason I'm really excited for this is so that we can just purge nazi-cap from our collective consciousness once this is over. I don't even have a question! I'm just venting about this shitty event! Fuck nick spencer, that guy is a moron with no respect for where cap CAME from. "Oh he was a nazi the whole time" eat SHIT SPENCER

poorsimon said:Do you think there is a slight possibility that we’ll get a fantastic four book in 2017 to celebrate jack kirbys centenary? Marvel is a hot mess right now with that boring fascist captain America and every series that I was enjoying is either ending in the next couple of months or crossover events are ruining them, looks like marvel is in the same place dc was during the new 52 era

Anonymous said:Thoughts on Dark Matter/Generations/Secret Empire? Specifically for secret Empire, Cap is on of my favorite heroes and I feel like this fundamentally breaks him in a really shitty way. Not to say we won’t get good stories with him in the future, but it’s sort of like Dr. Light where every time he shows up you can’t help but think of identity crisis.

There’s been a bit of a theme to my asks the last couple days.

So yeah. Spoilers ahead, obviously: in the midst of an all-out assault on the nation and world, just as it seemed everyone would make it through like always to see another day, America was betrayed by its systems and subverted from within, culminating in an overt fascist seizing of the White House. Don’t worry though, this week Marvel’s saying it isn’t political.

The cake-topper being that as it turns out via flashback, Nazi Cap (and in response to the inevitable um, actually’s: Hydra’s seminal story under Steranko showed their leader as a character created by Stan and Jack as a Nazi, pretty much all explicit Hydra-isn’t-Nazis material are retcons by Spencer for this arc, “Hail Hydra” is an obvious analogue for another fascist chant, the ‘real Hydra’ inner circle includes Nazis and Neo-Nazis, and this Cap’s vision for America includes white children hunting black children in the street. He’s a fuckin’ Nazi) isn’t a construct of the cosmic cube, but in fact the real Steve Rogers: the Axis won World War II, but the Allies used a cosmic cube to create a fake history where Rogers was on their side and they won the war - gotta ask why they didn’t deal with the Holocaust too - with the real guy now reactivated and fulfilling his true mission. Obviously, this not only delegitimizes every story of a character created by a pair of Jewish-Americans specifically to punch Hitler right in the fucking face, but does it by stating that in the natural course of things, the Master Race of course overtakes the Earth with their sheer superiority, with the very concept of the people they would annihilate having a chance at hope or justice or freedom being a lie currently in the process of getting torn down.

This is a little bit touchy.

There’s obvious franchising reasons for this: Chris Evans has made clear he isn’t sticking around for long if at all after Avengers 4, while as of that movie Anthony Mackie will still have at least 3 films in his contract, so it’s in their interests to set Sam Wilson up in the comics as Captain America to match. Problem is, they started the process before a movie about Steve Rogers, so they had to bring him back, and now have to figure out a way to get him out of the picture for a longer period than simply old age or death. And if you want to get him out of the running for the title of One True Captain America, not only making him a Nazi, and retroactively always a Nazi at that, but classifying literally every non-Nazi Captain America story essentially in-universe fanfic? That’ll get him off the board for awhile. It’s ruinously terrible, but also quick and easy, same as it was quick and easy to move Captain Marvel and once upon a time Iron Man into the spotlight in time for their movies by making them fascists. You’ll have to ask Marvel why fascism is their go-to shocking character twist, though.

I think the source point of the issues here stems from something simple I mentioned recently: I don’t think either of the Big Two necessarily believe there’s going to be a comic book industry in 20 years, or even necessarily 10, so there’s no real reason to attempt anything other than drawing as much blood from the stone as they possibly can. Clearly the creators are trying their best, middle-management I’m sure have long-term plans, and I doubt the powers-that-be want it to fail. But sales have been dropping for years, and neither of them have demonstrated any plan of substance whatsoever to reverse that trend. They both had their moments of attempting to right the ship, and both fell through – the original Marvel NOW! and its immediate follow-ups were major successes, but half their biggest writers left in the wake of Secret Wars and so they reverted to type with endless editorial interference and bullshit crossovers, while DC’s attempt at innovation with DCYou was scattershot at best, clearly born less of a philosophy of “let’s let our best talents try bold new things!” nearly so much as “let’s do weird new things that might grab headlines”. 

Viewed in that light, many of their recent decisions start to make sense; after the New 52 trying to draw in 90s fanboys and maybe a couple teenagers fell through, DC’s explicitly banking on rolling back the clock and appealing to the core fanbase with Rebirth while simultaneously betting everything on the shock value of incorporating Watchmen, while Marvel has fallen back on its regular event-and-relaunch tactics, and if the “Make Mine Marvel” rumors are true, they’ll soon be returning to a predominately white and male cast of headliners with a handful of exceptions (hence why escape hatches were built into almost all of their recent successor characters – Mjolner was prophesied to return to the Odinson before the first issue of Jane Foster’s book, Tony Stark is only in stasis, the Ultimate Universe may or may not be waiting out there for Miles and his cast to return, etc.) They don’t think there’s a new audience to be won, or at minimum they clearly haven’t given any thought to the kind of formatting, publication, narrative or marketing breakthroughs that might let them reach that wider audience (probably part of why they’re so petrified of staying in retailers’ good graces – digital of the way of the future, but they don’t believe they’re going to see that future, therefore they’re sticking to appealing to the base while they can), and so naturally they’re going to the tried-and-true methods of drawing cash out of the existing audience until it all falls apart, by which time everyone currently at the top will have new jobs or be retired.

So that Marvel in particular has been overly contemptuous of progressive elements of their fanbase isn’t shocking. I doubt their leadership of middle-aged guys have any particular sympathy for their viewpoint, and if they don’t see them as a potential pathway to saving the industry either, then it’s not a surprise they clearly see them as a gaggle of mercurial, industry-ignorant whiners, to be discarded once the half-hearted measures at winning them over aren’t enough. And if they’ve decided they don’t give a shit about progressive ideals in the slightest beyond what’s necessary to avoid mainstream attention on their fuck-ups, and they don’t seem to be trying to bring about a workable model for the industry – especially given that they’re at this point unquestionably the secondary caretakers of these characters compared to TV and movies, so these franchises can go on without them – and they’re convinced shock value stunts and events are the only way to draw in dollars while they can, then yeah. Sure. Why wouldn’t they make Captain America a Nazi? To think that’s a bad idea would require meaningfully giving a shit about their own product, or at least thinking that anyone else will in a few years.

As for the Fantastic Four, that’s probably still in Fox’s hands, but I really do hope Al Ewing gets a crack at them someday.


This is long but it is something I probably would have wanted to hear when I was an undiagnosed spoonie. 

I’ve been reading “This is How: Help for the Self” by Augusten Burroughs to help me make sense of my life with lupus. It’s one of those self-help books for people who don’t like self-help books. And he is essentially a magician because it feels like magic when he puts into words everything I’m feeling. But then I read his chapter titled “How to be Sick” and it broke my heart, because that chapter is written for people who get diagnosed with an illness. It reminds me of all of those years before my lupus diagnosis when I knew for sure there was something really bad happening inside of me but no one could tell me what it was. I felt like I couldn’t mourn the way you get to mourn when you’re diagnosed with something. I felt like I couldn’t turn to people for support the same way others could. Which non-profit charity should I seek help from when I don’t know which disease it is? I would often find myself at a bookstore staring at the health/self-help section blankly, wondering if someday there would be a place for me on the shelf, aching to be able to pick up a book that was written for me. I lingered in some somber, paralyzing purgatory. And I stayed there for years, tossed around by doctors, misdiagnoses, questioning glances and awkward shrugs. Should something that agonizing be omitted from self-help books? There simply needs to be more support for the undiagnosed. They deserve to see their story on a shelf. 

Augusten Burroughs writes “the day of your diagnosis will seem like the end of your life and the beginning of your death. Now, instead of a future when you contemplate what’s next, you will see only a large gray CAT scan machine blocking your view of the terrifying unknown behind it. The first thing you understand is that when something is new the novelty or newness itself carries weight. This makes the message weigh more. Bad news is even worse when you are first told of it. The diagnosis will never be as terrifying as it is the first day it is given to you.”

But that advice isn’t universal, because for some people that day never comes. Or at least it feels like that day will never come. They know they are sick. They know their bodies and they know something isn’t right anymore. For years they feel a certain way and they interpret that way to be what normal is, and then one day they wake up and all of a sudden that normal is gone, replaced with a deep ache they don’t recognize. Or slowly, over the course of a few months or years, that feeling that they know as normal will become distant, and that deep ache will creep in so gradually that they won’t notice at first. They’ll think it’s a virus, food poisoning or something simple like a pinched nerve that will un-pinch itself soon enough. But the normal doesn’t ever come back. And even though they know something inside of them has veered off track, doctors dismiss them. If they don’t see proof right away they are waved out of clinics and told to go home.

For those people, they never get to experience the dread of the diagnosis. And that’s probably the worst thing of all, if you think about it. Because at least when the diagnosis happens, as harrowing and violent a shift it causes inside of you, you’re given the time and the resources to comprehend that disaster and you’re given the proper encouragement to heal. Someone will cover you in a blanket, offer you some hot tea and tell you that someday it will be okay, at least now you know what it is, the worst has already happened, you can figure out how to go on.

It’s really tragic that there are so many people out there just wishing for that. Being sick without a diagnosis is like driving a car and seeing a transport truck coming right for you. You grip the wheel in anticipation of the horrific crash, but it never comes. You just get stuck in this loop of fear and impending disaster. You keep staring at the headlights and want for it to be over so you can either die or learn to walk again or something, anything, to move forward. You can’t attempt to recover from the crash until the crash happens. It’s that simple. The thing needs to shatter before you can pick up the broken pieces.

And then to just pile more bricks onto your heavy, aching shoulders, people start telling you that you’re making it all up. It’s in your head. You deliberately veered into oncoming traffic. You must have wanted to live like this. It’s nothing. It’s always nothing. A want for attention is all.

I think it comes down to a lack of empathy. Not enough people stop to imagine that person as their sister, mother, uncle, or friend. So let’s do that. Imagine you know this person really well. Or better yet, imagine that you are the sick one. You wake up every morning jolted by the pain and the frustration. You try with all of your might to remember what it was like before, to just spring out of bed and run downstairs to put on the coffee pot, to go for a jog before breakfast, to button up your shirt and head out to work. You forget what it’s like to not look in the mirror and feel like a failure or a stranger or a burden on your family. But instead of going for a jog, grabbing a quick shower and heading to the office, you fumble with your jeans button and painfully pull on some socks and go back to the doctor to wait for two hours just to be told your blood work came back fine, maybe you are depressed. Maybe the crushing back pain is just stress. Maybe you can’t turn your head to the side without blacking out because you don’t want to be able to turn your head to the side without blacking out. And you sit there and take the abuse and you get up and do it all over again. You do it all over again because you know the difference. You know that you used to be able to turn your head to kiss your boyfriend at the movies. You know the only backaches you ever felt were after long games of soccer with friends. You know you are happy, more or less, at least as happy as someone can be when they are this sick and nobody believes them. You know you spend most of your time trying to hide all of the pain, sickness and hurt, so how can it be a bid for attention? And if you were depressed and stressed that would be okay. You know mental illness has physical manifestations and that is just as real and painful. But that’s not what this is. You know your body.

“Once you’re in it, it’s okay,” Burroughs says of a diagnosis.

But these people never really get in it, do they? That’s a pleasure they never really get to have. And that’s heartbreaking, if you ask me. To feel like I am privileged to have been diagnosed with lupus is absurd, but it’s how I feel. I’m one of the lucky ones, I always think, when I read comments on my blog written by people who just want answers. I just wish they could find a doctor who will listen to them and see them as a person with hopes and dreams.

I guess what I’m really getting at is this: I understand. If you are that person I am writing about, know that I believe you. Don’t second-guess your instincts. Don’t listen to the people who tell you “but you don’t look sick.” I know you are sick. I know you don’t want to be sick. I understand that what you are going through is really hard, and it’s amazing really that you haven’t given up or fallen into a million pieces. And even if you did I wouldn’t blame you, because this is a battle that you shouldn’t have to fight. You should only have to fight against your disease. You shouldn’t have to spend all of your energy battling disbelieving doctors. You shouldn’t have to scream for help. You are important. You deserve answers and I really hope that you get them someday. But even if you remain undiagnosed, you are still one of the sick ones. You are as much a part of this community as someone with a diagnosis. And if the day comes when you are diagnosed it will not feel like the beginning of your death; it will feel like the beginning of a hopeful new chapter.

You are strong. You are loved. You belong here.

BTS: NOW 3 Interview ~ J-Hope

Where do you want to go right now?
I want to visit all the places in the world. I have been to all continents but Africa, so I would like to visit Africa one day.  

What are you looking forward to the most right now?
I’m looking forward to the future. I am curious about where I will be and what I will be doing. 

What are your five greatest interests right now?
Making music, choreography, styling, action figures, and interior design. 

What was Chicago like?
I wanted to visit Chicago since I was a child. It was a great opportunity to actually go there. As I expected, there were so many things to see, and the food was delicious. I especially liked the pizza. If I ever go back, i will definitely eat that pizza again. 

What did you like during your stay in Chicago?
It was very “America,” and I liked it. I was happy eating good food while shooting. I think my face is so much fuller now… :)

You had a total of six concepts in the photo book. Which concept or story did you think suited you the most?
Personally, I liked the concept behind WHALIEN. I like funky and rockstar-like style, and I had so much fun during the shoot. The makeup was also something I have never tried before, so I was excited and had a wonderful time. 

Do you think you are a grown-up now?
I am not a grown-up yet. I think I will feel like one after experiencing the bitterness of life. Right now, everything is still fun for me. I actually don’t want to be a grown-up right now. I don’t want to be mature either. I wish I could remain a kid at heart forever. 

What was it like when you finally turned 20?
I didn’t think much about it. I think I was like, ‘Oh, I am an adult now? Hmm..okay then.’ I was actually a little terrified that instead of my parents, I will be responsible.

What did you want to do the most when you become an adult?
I wanted to be an ordinary college student! I think we all have certain dreams and fantasies about college life. I wanted to take up a part-time job, drink and laugh with my friends, and just be normal.

You in your imagination as a little boy 10 years ago vs. You right now - Are you the same person?
Quite similar. I always thought I would be a singer. As a child, I liked dancing and enjoyed being on a stage. I knew I would be a good singer like I am right now! Hahahahahaha!

You released the cover song ‘Adult Child’ three years ago. Can you empathize with the lyrics?
‘Adult Child’ is a good title. When people turn 20, they usually go like, ‘Yeah! I am an adult now!’ but I wasn’t like that. I thought, ‘How can a 20 year old be an adult? He’s just an ordinary college student… .’ In some ways, I am truly a realist, but at the same time, I was just an ordinary 20 year old guy.

Is there something you have not tried but want to do someday?
I want to make a music video with a song I wrote and danced to/choreographed. It really is a big dream for me. But then, I will have to learn and study so many things. But I really will make one someday!!

What other people tell you the most these days.
You look pretty these days- Hahaahahaha (shy)

What you need to hear right now.
J-HOPE! Just go slowly and take one step at a time! No need to hurry. You are doing well already!

For those who support you…
You are the reason I am standing where I am right now. Your love and support will make me a better person in the future too.  Let’s go! I love you. ♥

Your goal in 2016.
To be J-HOPE, who is loved by more fans. 
To be J-HOPE, who is recognized by more people. 
To be J-HOPE, who always thinks about the team. 
To be J-HOPE, who is always full of spirits. 

Your definition of ‘dream.’
A dream is known only to the person who has it! If you try to have a dream that other people gave you… it will turn to a nightmare. If you have enough passion for your dream, it will become a reality. And!! There is no end to a dream. Once you achieve it, you will have another dream, and you will want to have a larger and greater dream. Let’s all be cool and great!

After the interview…What are you going to do now?
It is 4:44 in the morning. Why did I look at the watch now? I will go to bed now… Hope night-

Rap Monster / Jin / Suga / Jimin / V / Jungkook

So You Wanna Be a Meathead

dedicated to anyone who is just starting out, or who wants to start out

The day comes, and you’re all like, fuck yeah, I’m gonna start working out.  And it takes awhile, it always kinda does at first, you’re just kinda pissin along, you do a ton of cardio and maybe play with some of the machines.  Like testing the waters, you know?  That’s how it starts.  You don’t even know it yet, but there you are, on the elliptical, or the treadmill or whatever, and you come up for air sorta.  You kinda shake your head from side to side and refocus on the digital numbers in front of you.  One is counting down, one is counting up.  You’re halfway to halfway there, and you’re so out of breath, and you keep going, pumping, pushing, and there’s no real reason to stop going, so you just keep going. 

The months pass like that.  Sure, from time to time, you get a little frustrated.  You ask yourself, why do I keep going to the gym?  But there’s no answer.  There isn’t even really a question.  It’s like shouting into the wind.  Your voice gets ripped away from you.  It might be a little tiny hiccup of doubt, but there’s a louder, gusting roar going on inside of you.  Something is building.  You start getting a little, oh, what’s the word, obsessed.  Old habits are shedding like dead skin.  It isn’t huge, not like those fantasy stories you read.  It’s a little bit at a time.  Little flickers of thought that lick their way into your head without your even really stopping to notice them.  It’s like seeing something move out of the corner of your eye as you whiz by on a freeway.  Was it real?  Was it really there?  There’s no way to go back and check to see if it was, because you’re hurtling forward, you’re moving so fast, there’s no way you can slam on the brakes.  You actually end up hitting the gas.  You lunge forward. 

You’re watching a game on TV.  Could be streaming it, could be at a bar, could be on your TV, whatever.  It’s gonna happen - sports is everywhere, you can’t really escape it.  It trends on Facebook.  You click the hashtag, the link, idly scroll through.  You don’t realize that you have been doing this for some time now, that you seem to continually expose yourself to sports.  You see logos of teams more often than you used to - are more people wearing sports swag, or are you just noticing it now? - but it doesn’t matter, it’s just sort of there, out of the corner of your eye.  You wouldn’t say that it’s an obsession, not really.  Not yet.  Well, maybe a little. 

And then there’s the whole world of the Internet spread out in front of you, a buffet of information.  You can choose what goes on your plate.  You look at your bookmarks and you’re genuinely surprised how many of them have the word Bodybuilding or Muscle or Nutrition in the titles.  You don’t remember bookmarking those, saving those links on Facebook.  There’s your watch list, on eBay, and you seem to be constantly getting notifications on your

- bling -

phone, because another tank-top or sleeveless t-shirt or basketball shorts is ending, and you just gotta cop that shit, you can see yourself wearing it, wearing it to the gym again in the not-too-distant future, and you honestly don’t know what to say when you get a package in the mail like, every day or some shit, and your roommate is like, yo, what the heck are all these packages you’re getting lately?  There’s no way to make up a story, and man, lying about it, coming up with something, just seems so hard, your brain is really fried from the last workout, and you just shrug and say “Gym clothes, bro” and oh my god you just flexed your arm in front of him.  It’s like time stands still, like everything is frozen, even you, and then you drop your arm and laugh a little, and he laughs too, and everything swells into a kaleidoscope of colors in front of your eyes, something like a spiral has been laid over everything you see.  “Gotta show off my gains, right?”  And it’s half-a-joke, half not-a-joke, and he shrugs too, and laughs easily, says something about how you’re a real meathead, and it’s half-a-joke, half not-a-joke.  And he’s telling you about this book he’s reading, and how he knows you’re gonna be super into it, because it’s meta-post something and

- bling -

Your phone is going off in your pocket, and you ignore it at first, you’re really trying to pay attention to your roommate, and you find yourself kinda nodding, and saying “yeah” a lot, but not really like, connecting, you know, to what he’s saying.  And your phone just keeps going off, and you’re going crazy with distraction, until finally he can tell you’re not paying attention and goes into his room and you dig out your phone and scramble to see what it is.

It’s a chat dialog.  Someone with a ridiculous name, actually, not even a name, a number.  Like they’re on a team or something, and a part of you is kind of intrigued.

And there’s a game on the TV, and you’re watching it, and you’re lifting a 15-pounder handweight while staring at the screen.  It’s not like you know why, but it kinda makes sense to be doing that.  There’s a mirror nearby too, and you keep looking at yourself, watching the muscle grow and move and shift underneath your skin.  And before you know it, you’re back at the gym.  And then you’re home again, mixing up your first protein shake that you got the protein from that supp center, that one that sells the tanks you see everyone at the gym wearing all the time.  You might get one of those one day, you think to yourself.  You should, it’s like repping, and you wanna rep your supp center, you want people to know where you get your supps.  Right?  Of course. 

When you think about it, it’s really kinda weird, it doesn’t make sense.  The day came, you said you were gonna start lifting, working out, going to the gym.  You told everyone.  You posted about it on Facebook.  You don’t remember that you did that, but you did, and you got all these likes, and people are all like, good for you, and how exciting, and keep it up.  Soon enough, that turns into wow, you look good and have you been working out and you’re flexing for people you know - at first, privately, secretly, just to show your friends your work - but then, more and more, in public.  You stretch your arms over your head when you’re tired, showing off your triceps.  Showing off your biceps.  You find excuses to stretch out where people can see.  You wear shorts even when it’s cold.  You want people to see your legs, your calves, your quads.  The day came, and you did it, you started doing it, you never looked back.  You can’t hit the brakes, you’re going too fast.  And sometimes you think about it, you think, why did I make this choice, why did my life change so radically and

- bling -

You look at your phone, and it could be anything.  Someone commenting on your most recent profile pic on Facebook, your friend #37 just chatting about his leg day at the gym, showing you pics of his quads, the teardrop and the outer sweep starting to really show through, it could be another item of gear ending on eBay that you just have to have.  What were you thinking about?  Something.  It’s hard to recall.  Must not have been that important.  What is important?  Well, it’s getting late in the evening.  Gotta get that protein.  Gotta get to bed.  Gotta rest up for the gym tomorrow.  Leg day, and you wanna be able to show #37 just how hard you worked because you want your own number someday, don’t you?  Sure you do.  It’ll come to you.  One of these days, you’ll just remember that you have a number in mind for yourself. 

And then the day comes - you look at the last selfie you took, the dumb one, the one of you with the blank eyes and the big fuckin muscles and well, yeah, you’re shirtless, you’re almost always shirtless at home now, and you’re pretending like you’re surprised, surprised that you got so big, surprised that all the hard work you did is paying off, surprised that you can’t remember your life before, and just for a second, something out of the corner of your eye flickers, and you almost turn your head to look at it, but then you press down on the gas, you leap forward, you lunge ahead, you pick up the weights, you grunt, you sweat, you grow.  And what, you ask yourself, is more satisfying than that?

The answer comes loudly, in a rush, like a crowd standing on its feet to cheer:  nothing.  Nothing is more satisfying than that.  And you answer yourself, you grunt to yourself, under your breath:

Fuck yeah.
The Pirate Chef, ch.1  (1/8)

CS AU: When all her planned work for the upcoming special in the show she produces falls apart, Emma Swan is forced to work with the networks rising star. And she doesn’t think anything good will come out of it. 

It’s finally here! This has been a crazy ride, I tell you. It was meant to be a one-shot for @kat2609 on the ocassion on her birthday in late september and here we are now, 37k words later. I’ve been working on this one for months and I am incredibly excited of the outcome. 

Shotouts to @fairytalesandtimetravel for the amazing art cover (seriously look at it! please take a moment to appreciate the wonderful background she built for this and let her know!) and both @sambethe and @nowforruin that have been sounding boards, betas, translators when I ran out of words in my meager english lexicons and cheerleaders to no end. Thank you so much for the support.

ETA that this is also dedicated to @amagicalship and @brooke-to-broch (it would be nice to remember my mind someday!)

I really hope you like it this fic as much as I’ve loved seeing it through. If you want to be tagged in future chapters, let me know!

Ao3    FF.net

The Pirate Chef

It shouldn’t have come as a shock to Emma. They might be two renowned cooking stars, but both Granny and Auntie Em were first - and foremost - strong, passionate and fiercely protective of their families. That was why their on screen rivalry had been such a success throughout the years. Their cooking shows were #1 in their own countries, and they used them as platforms to issue challenges to one another from across the ocean. All of which culminated in a final showdown: their awaited annual trip in which the self-styled “Two Old Ladies” would tour one of the countries and attempt to out-cook one another.

It was set to be in England this year, where Auntie Em had taken up residence over a decade ago, leaving her native Kansas and embracing British cuisine. It all had been planned in advance: routines crafted, locations decided and a thorough schedule set up. Emma had worked on it for months - it was one of her responsibilities as the executive producer of the show and a member of Granny’s crew who would take part in the trip. It hadn’t been easy, as her counterpart from Em’s team - an erratic redhead named Zelena - had made her task quite difficult by withholding information.

That should have been Emma’s first red flag right there, but since she was aware of Zelena’s aloof behavior, she didn’t think much of it. None of them did.

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Title: Don’t You Wonder
Pairing: Dan x Phil
Rating: T
Word count: 1,888
Summary: On the rooftop of their flat at midnight, Dan contemplates the reasons why he hasn’t found his significant other. When Phil comes to join in, he’ll discover that maybe his meant to be has been by his side all along. Phan fluff.

This plot bunny hasn’t left my mind for the last few days, so I decided to write it. It’s been a while since I last did some Phan fluff (I’m an angst/humor writer at heart). This started out as an idea that I had to write as a “fiction exercise” for my creative writing college class (best decision I ever made), and when @beforethebraces left me that heartwarming birthday post a couple days ago, I knew that this story had to be written. And if you guys want, I could write a part 2. 😉

Sitting cross-legged dozens of feet high off the concrete ground, Dan tilts his head to gaze up at the obscure sky. The night sky is enveloped by a murky blanket of gleaming stars and a crescent moon illuminating the night. A sudden cool breeze whips across his face, causing him to shiver slightly. It’s a quarter past midnight and he’s at the rooftop of his and Phil’s flat. His black headphones are perched on his straightened mocha curls, Panic at the Disco’s Victorious playing from his iPhone.

He should be editing his next Internet Support Group video or browsing through Tumblr like a normal 20-something-year-old introvert who’s lucky to make his living from making YouTube videos about his complicated, messy life. But it’s these nights when he sits down, in relative silence, outside of his room, reflecting on his existence. It’s not exactly an existential crisis, though there have been a few times when these moments would nearly lead his brain down that path and into the familiar dark vortex.

He’s a deep thinker. He thinks the way most men wouldn’t. He thinks about things that doesn’t worry most people. Tonight, he’s thinking about the fact that he hasn’t been in a proper relationship since his bittersweet breakup with his girlfriend all those years ago. It’s a thought that kept coming back to him over the last several months while he and Phil were on their international tour. At his age, a normal person should be in a relationship, maybe even married and/or expecting their first child. Yet here he is, single as the Haru pillow on his bed, no girlfriend since his uni years. He hasn’t even been on a date since he met Phil.


Dan pauses the music on his phone and yanks off his headphones. He turns his head to find Phil standing several feet behind him.

“Knew I’d find you here.” Phil walks closer to Dan and sits down next to him, mirroring the brunette’s sitting position.


“In your ‘going deep’ mode again?”

“You know me too well.”

Phil smiles. “So what are you thinking about?”

Dan uncrosses his legs, laying his palms flat on the roof’s dirty brick floor. He angles his body slightly to face Phil. “Love.”

Phil raises an eyebrow. Curiosity surfaces in his ocean blue eyes. “Oh?”

Dan takes a deep breath, then unleashes the thoughts that have been swirling in his head for the last half hour. “Phil, I’m not 18 anymore. I’m 25. I should be hopelessly in love by now, or at least going on dates. Look at our friends. They’re either married, in relationships, or at least exploring the single fish in the sea. When I look at their love life, I sometimes wish that my love life is just like theirs. I want to kiss and hold hands and buy flowers and all that other romantic shit that couples do. I want to have a girlfriend so I can tell her ‘I love you’ every day and shower her with cheap but meaningful gifts to show her how much I love her. I put YouTube over my love life as a priority, and now that my life isn’t a total flop, I have the time and effort for a relationship. But my luck is shit as always and now that I actually want to find love, I can’t find it. I’m worried God thinks I’ve sinned too much and he’s punishing me by making me a lonely washed-up hermit. You’re doing well without a love life, but I’m not. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. When you find your future wife, which I know is gonna happen someday, you’re gonna move out and I’ll be by myself in our flat. I’ll be forever known as the twat that might as well move to Asia to be a monk for the rest of his life.”

Phil listens to Dan’s words with his face contorted in a thoughtful expression. He remains passive throughout Dan’s entire rant, looking as if he wants to interrupt him but biting his tongue so he wouldn’t do so. Once Dan is finished speaking, Phil is quiet for a few seconds before he responds.

“You aren’t alone, Dan,” he whispers. “I’m here.”

“I know you are. But that’s not enough.”

Phil’s expression reveals a hint of sadness. The emotion makes Dan want to slap himself for worrying Phil again with his complaints about how the world influences his life. Sometimes, he wonders how Phil could put with him. Phil deserves a better man to be his best friend. Instead, it’s him, a failure with a measly high school diploma who has nothing to fall back on if his YouTube career ever becomes a train wreck.

“You have your fans. They love you.”

“Not the kind of love that I want.” As much as he loves his fans, being adored by thousands of his dedicated fans can’t fill the void in his heart that longs to find his better half.

Another gust of wind blows across Dan’s face, causing goosebumps to rise on Dan’s bare arms and another shiver to zip through his entire body.

“Are you cold? Hold on, I’ll go back inside and fetch you a jumper.” Phil moves to stand, but by impulse, Dan’s right hand reaches up to grip on Phil’s forearm.

“You don’t need to,” Dan assures Phil.

In the darkness, Dan swears that Phil’s cheeks flushes with a light shade of pink.

“Are you sure? It is a bit chilly.” Phil’s attention drops to Dan’s hand still attached to his arm. Dan follows the direction of Phil’s stare and immediately pulls his hand away as if he was pinched by a crab (which happened to him once, a memory that he tries his best to suppress).

“I’m fine.”

Still flustered, Phil nods and sits back down next to Dan.

“I should be asking you that question,” Dan says, puzzled by Phil’s strange state. It must be the wind, right? It’s the only logical explanation that his mind can come up with.

“I… ummm…” Phil’s fingers fidget on the hem of his blue with white polka-dot t-shirt.

“You should’ve stayed inside,” Dan tells him. “I could’ve told you about my problems in the morning.”

“No, it’s not that.” Phil ceases playing with his fingers. “Do you really think I’m okay with not having a love life?”

“You act like it is.” When girls flirt with Phil in the streets or at public events, he never flirts with them back. Phil told Dan on several occasions that he doesn’t need a relationship to complete his life; he’s content to have his best friends and the support of his fans. And Dan believed Phil’s words, knowing that Phil’s actions supports his reasoning.

“Don’t you wonder why if what I said was a lie?”

Dan looks at Phil in confusion. “Is it a lie?”


Phil’s one-worded answer takes Dan aback. All this time, he believed that he was the only one between the two of them that disliked the single life. Why didn’t Phil say anything? Minutes ago, he was concerned about the things that he vented to Phil. This unexpected revelation changes things, because he feels a little at ease to have his best friend experiencing his dilemma too.

“Dan.” Dan’s breath hitches when he feels Phil’s hand rest atop his. His body goes rigid at the physical contact. His instinct is to pull away, but his mind won’t let him. Deep inside his head, Phil’s warm touch is comforting, as if his best friend’s hand is naturally supposed to be there.

“I don’t have a love life because of you,” he says softly.

“Why not?”

“Because you’re the one that I want to be with.”

He’s not… he’s kidding, isn’t he? He’s not serious.

“I’m in love with you.” Phil’s other hand hesitantly raises to cup the side of Dan’s face, his thumb stroking Dan’s cheek. “I’ve loved you from the moment we met in Manchester seven years ago. You came into my life with a purpose. If I didn’t meet you, I would’ve been a different person. You tell me that it’s me that made your life better, but I think it’s the other way around. You gave me a best friend. You gave me a reason to believe in soulmates, because I believe that you’re mine.”

Dan is speechless. What should he say? He can’t say the three words back. He loves Phil, though he doesn’t know if he’s in love with Phil. He does care about Phil, so much that he would let a zombie bite him over Phil if the zombie apocalypse ever happened. They have diehard shippers of Phan, and he has moments when he thinks about the what-if. What if Phan is real? What if he took a chance to fall for Phil? What if the line between imagination and reality disappeared, where dreams became reality?

“You came into my life with a purpose.”

What if this was the purpose? What if the one that he’s meant to be with is the one sitting next to him, confessing feelings that Dan was never aware that Phil had?

The first 18 years of his life was hell until Phil came into the picture. Once Phil became his best friend, an ethereal glow shined over his depressing heart.

He used to be sad, but now he’s so fucking happy.

“Say something, Dan. You’re scaring me.”

Dan blinks. He peers down at their touching hands.

Maybe this is what love is.

Love is a boy with an innocent smile that cheers him up when he has a bad day.

Love is taking care of each other when the other is sick or injured themselves from a silly accident.

Love is having mutual flaws that adds on to the perfection of their non-perfect lives.

Love is creating a joint Sims avatar that they see as their pretend son.

Love is selfless, warm, compassionate, all-consuming.

Love has no boundaries.

Love is Phil.

“I think I might love you too,” Dan murmurs. “To be honest, I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I do know that I really like what you said. And maybe one day, I can fall in love one hundred percent with you too.”

Phil’s nervous expression disappears, replaced with a wide grin that makes a grin appear on Dan’s face too.

“That’s all I need to hear.”

Closing his eyes, Dan curls his fingers with Phil’s and leans closer to Phil’s palm. His stomach churns in gentle waves when Phil’s lips ghosts over his mouth. With a smile, Dan purses his lips and touches his lips to Phil’s.

When they kiss, a light switch sets off in Dan’s brain. This is the love that he questioned if he’d ever have. This is the love he didn’t know could ever exist for him until tonight. This is the love he knows is here to stay, a love that he won’t have to have doubts about.

And later that night, when they sleep side-by-side with their arms wrapped around each other on Phil’s bed, Dan no longer has to wonder about what when and where his true love is.

Love was right there by his side all this time.

Without darkness, there can be no light; a Castle fanfic.

8x22 PostEp for Crossfire. 

She slides back into the world in fits and starts; the sensation of a bright light, the murmur of voices. Sometimes they’re calling to her, the whisper of her name, pleading and solemn, other times it’s merely background noise, disjointed and impossible to decipher amid the fog that she knows is the result of painkillers.

Kate doesn’t count how many times she rises to the surface from sleep, dreams that she knows are dark and terrifying from the tightness in her chest and the short, gasping breaths she takes. The pain is there, too, muted but insistent where it radiates from her shoulder and abdomen, and while it hurts, while she will surely be in for months of recovery and therapy, this pain is nothing to those moments after the bullet to the chest.

When she’s not focused on the pain, she thinks of Rick, her mind skittering through whatever prayer or wish she can manage for his safety, his life before she’s pulled back in the depths.

“Kate, can you hear me?”

For the first time in what she thinks might be days, she’s lifted from her dreams without the haze of drugs. Her eyes open slowly, taking in the white walls of a hospital room, the space dotted with a burst of color from flowers, cards, and some other assortment of get well gifts.

At her back, Kate can feel the warmth of sunshine, the light filtering in through the curtains that she wonders are drawn as much for privacy as to keep away the glare of afternoon sun. To her side is her husband, face pale and shadows under his eyes, broad shoulders draped with a hospital gown and the lumpy edge of a bandage showing under the fabric covering his right shoulder.

“Hi, beautiful,” Castle whispers it, bending his head down to press his lips to the back of her hand. He’s holding it tightly within his, looking for all the world like he wants to crawl up onto the bed with her and never let go.

It’s a sentiment she shares, because if not for the throb of pain in her side and the stiffness in her left shoulder, Kate would certainly be hopping out of the bed and curled up against the broad comforting warmth that is Rick Castle.

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kuuxkat  asked:

So everyone under the sun is either obsessed with 1)Third Year Angst, 2) Idol Serious Business 3) Aqours Finally Getting it. But what about Chika? I mean - this isn't the first time she had frozen up after things had gone wrong. Yes - she tried her best to get her act together as a leader, but she should be aware that it isn't enough. I mean - even You was waiting patiently for her to just let it out. She isn't really quite leader material yet. How do you see her developing?

The short answer: Chika definitely has leadership qualities. Her issue is that she’s trying to force herself to grow too quickly; ironically, this is exactly what’s hindering her development. In order to become the leader of a school idol group, Chika needs to learn how to trust her friends. Once Chika learns this, she’ll have a much better grasp of the group dynamics and can properly advance as the leader of Aqours.

As for the long answer: we’ll need to analyze not just one, but two former leaders in order to do this. Say hello to our old pal, the read-more cut.

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VARIETY | ‘Outlander’ Season 3 Preview: Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan Tease What’s Ahead for Claire and Jamie
By Laura Prudom

Season 2 of “Outlander” began with a disoriented Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) returning through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun, alone and pregnant, to reluctantly reunite with her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies) in 1948. In the premiere, we saw Claire and Frank negotiating how they might raise a child together, with their relationship irrevocably strained by the events of Claire’s absence and the man she fell in love with during that time away.

Sunday’s finale, titled “Dragonfly in Amber,” showed us the harrowing moments leading up to that reunion, as Claire’s second husband, Jamie (Sam Heughan) convinced her to return to her own time in order to protect her and their unborn child, since he believed that he was destined to die with his men at the Battle of Culloden.

That seemed like the end of Claire and Jamie’s story (although fans of Diana Gabaldon’s novels already knew that there’s plenty more of this tale to be told, with eight books currently published and more to come — not to mention the fact that the show was already renewed for season 3 and season 4), until Claire discovered that Jamie survived both Culloden and the execution of Jacobite soldiers that followed the battle, meaning that there was a chance they could still reunite if she went back through the stones — albeit after 20 years apart.

Given the number of books in Gabaldon’s series (and the fact that viewers would probably riot if Sam Heughan suddenly disappeared from the show), it’s not much of a spoiler to say that Claire and Jamie will someday find each other again. “There’s a lot of challenges to season 3 — there’s a period of time where Jamie and Claire are apart; he thinks that he’s lost her, or at least that she’s alive and well but in the future, so what is he living for? What sort of man is he now?” Heughan observes. “She will eventually return, but they’re both older, so what is Jamie, who is the man he’s become” in the time since they last saw each other?

Those questions — “who is Jamie without Claire, why is he still surviving, what has he got to live for when he’s lost the woman that he loves” — will be central to the character in season 3, according to Heughan.

And therein lies both the tragedy and romance at the heart of the “Outlander” series, which, despite its genre-bending sensibilities, incisively explores the sometimes harsh realities of a lasting relationship, with all the triumphs, complications, joys and heartbreaks that go along with it. When they find their way back together after decades spent separated, Claire and Jamie will have to relearn what it means to be a couple, something that Balfe admits she’s eagerly anticipating in season 3.

“I think what’s going to be most exciting is the reunion between Claire and Jamie and them discovering each other again and falling in love all over again,” she tells Variety. “I think both of them have probably held each other up on a pedestal for 20 years, so in many ways, they’re going to have to destroy that image first before they can fall in love with the person right in front of them, and that’s going to be really interesting. I love the complexity of that, because you can’t be in love with a ghost, and Claire is in many ways in love with Jamie’s ghost, as Jamie is in love with her ghost, and that’s not the people they are when they see each other again.”

The season 2 finale may have jumped ahead in time to introduce us to Claire and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna, on the cusp of adulthood, but we still have 20 years of lost time to revisit, and the show isn’t likely to skip over all of it, especially since those life experiences will inevitably have shaped who Claire and Jamie are now that they’re middle-aged.

“What I’m so excited about as well next season is we’ll see, hopefully, some of her progression as a mother,” Balfe says. “So even though we’ve jumped forward in episode 13 [to see Claire] at 50, hopefully we’ll see some of that journey between late 20s and 50.”

While the actors had yet to read scripts for season 3 when they spoke to Variety before the finale aired, Gabaldon’s “Voyager” gives us some hints as to what we might see in the new season, including a final showdown between Jamie and Menzies’ Black Jack Randall, who was destined to die on Culloden Moor.

“If you’ve read the books you will know that Randall will appear again,” Heughan teases. “I know that Diana has written the scene of how they ended up [back together], so hopefully – and who knows, I haven’t read the script yet, but hopefully, we’ll get to see Jamie and Randall in the Battle of Culloden.”

We’re also likely to see Frank again, to give viewers a sense of the realities of his relationship with Claire. We know from some of Brianna’s comments in the finale that her parents’ marriage wasn’t particularly idyllic in its later years, and Menzies confirms that the tentative plan is for season 3 to explore the couple’s dynamic following the move to Boston, including “the disintegration of their marriage out there… it’s slightly ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ in Boston, which hopefully will be really exciting stuff to dig into.”

Balfe agrees, “The relationship between Claire and Frank is so rich and complex, I’m really looking forward to that.”

After the political intrigue of this season, Heughan says season 3 “feels like a very new chapter,” with trips to tropical climates that are far removed from the chill of Scotland. “There’s a lot of travel involved, and I think that’s the joy of the show — it’s never the same thing, it’s constantly moving, so next season should be quite an adventure.”

Ons Light Novel 1(Vampire Michaela’s Story) Chapter 1

Title: Yuu and Mika

Disclaimer: This is a fan-made translation from Japanese raws! Please go easy and enlighten us on any mistakes or deviations from the original light novel. All credit goes to the original author and illustrators. - Hyaka and Kuro Shion

Note: One half of this chapter has already been translated at http://amethystcria.tumblr.com/post/135475350034/the-story-of-vampire-michaela-vol-1-chapter-1 Please support the relevant translator as well!


In the city of the vampires, we are livestock again today.

Every day, we only have our blood sucked.

Watching the machine for drawing blood prick his neck, Hyakuya Michaela grimaced.

The needle entered, and with a little pain, it began to draw blood with a ‘gyaru gyaru’ sound.

“Ku…… Hah.”

He could feel the source of life being extracted from within him. His head was dizzy, and his body felt weak. Resisting this weakness, Michaela spoke to his family member next to him who, as usual, had to be forced to donate blood.

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title: Hints #3; Catnaps
fandom: miraculous ladybug
pairing: adrinette/ladynoir

words: 2k
summary: A quiet moment and a sleeping Adrien in the last place Ladybug expects him to be leads to a quiet contemplation and an unexpected conversation
notes: I feel like I’ve been so focused on how I WANT them to feel I’d become kinda disrespectful to how they ARE feeling, so I thought I’d make a fic that focuses more on Adrien’s feelings for Ladybug and her thoughts on him vs Chat Noir than … yeah.

Ladybug isn’t prepared for the sight that meets her when she arrives at her usual meeting place with Chat Noir.
He’s dubbed the tree their tree not so much because there’s any special story behind it but because in the early days of their partnership she’d usually find him here, catnapping, when he was ditching patrol.
“It’s no fun when I’m not assured there’ll be a fight,” she can almost hear him complain. “And catnaps have been my favourite activity since I was a child.”

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BTS NOW 3 Interview : J-Hope

Where do you want to go right now?

I want to visit all places in the world. I have been to all continents but Africa, so I would like to visit Africa one day. 

What are you looking forward to the most right now?

I’m always looking forward to the future. I am curious about where I will be and what I will be doing.

What are your five greatest interests right now?

Making music, choreography, styling, action figures and interior design.

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Fairytale Michael AU


“Michael. I order you to get up on that horse now.” You told him. He still looked hesitant. “But your highness, it’s a royal horse. I’m to use the serving horses.” He said timidly. Your face went soft. “Mike, it’s Y/N.” You told him. “And I’m not letting you ride on the one of the donkeys my step-mother thinks is appropriate for…” “The lower class, the servants, the work.” He listed, trying to fill in the blank for you. “You are nothing of the sort. You’re my best friend Michael, not my servant. Now get your bloody arse on the saddle of that horse.” You told him, climbing up onto your own horse. He rolled his eyes at you before getting up on the horse as you got up on yours.
“Let’s go.” You said giggling, and the horse began running off and into the fields behind the castle. You and Michael both raced each other, leaping over bushes and fences until you both reached an isolated corner by the swamp. Chatting for hours, playing about until whilst the sun started setting you asked “What’s your favourite memory of us two?” He thought for a moment before replying “Remember when we both got in a food fight in the kitchen and cook went mad!” He laughed. You started laughing as well and then said “Mine was when we danced together the night I went down to the kitchen and everyone down there was dancing about and laughing.”
“That was the night we first had a proper conversation.” He smiled. “I know.” You said, walking slightly backwards and not even realising as you tripped over a rock that was there and fell backwards into the murky water of the swamp. “Omigodness. Y/N! Are you okay?” He asked frantically. “Yeah.” You said, wiping the water away from your eyes. “Can you help me up please?” You asked him. He nodded straight away and grabbed your hand before you yanked him down with you. Laughing at him, he returned up to the surface with a shocked expression. “What th-” he was cut off by you splashing him in the face with even more swampy water. He then began splashing you, both attacking each other with the drops of water before bells from the palace started ringing in the distance. Both you and Michael both looked at each other with a sense of dread, quickly helping each other out of the lake and onto the horses.
Both of you riding into the castle’s opening, you saw your father standing on the steps, your step-mother standing in the middle waiting with a scowl on her face and behind her were two unfamiliar faces. One being a middle aged woman and another being a boy around your age.
“Where have you been?! Lady Samantha and her son have been waiting for your arrival!” Your step-mother yelled at you. A sudden realisation hit you. “I thought we were meeting them tomorrow.” You said. “No you stupid ignorant girl.” You and Michael climbed off of your horses as someone came and took them away. “And here you are, standing in front of us in commoners clothes with dirt and mud all over you, soaking wet from your shoes to your hair.” She yelled. She then turned to Michael. “And why were you riding a royal horse?” She said, adding to her fury. “I—-I—” he stuttered. “I made him.” You interrupted him. “I ordered him to. He was hesitant. I made him because I didn’t want him falling behind when I wanted to gallop fast and I didn’t wish for him to be uncomfortable.” You told her sternly. She glared at you before saying through gritted teeth “I can’t believe the kingdom is going to fall to an imbecile like you.”. “What? Someone who cares about her subjects?” You asked. “No. A stupid little, arrogant, dumb-” “I hope you’re not referring to my daughter.” Your father cut her off, coming over to stand by you both. Immediately, your step-mother shut up. “Y/N, go get washed and changed into some clean clothes. Michael, please escort her to her chambers before doing so yourself. Then we can attempt to introduce you to our guests again.” The King told you both, giving you a particular smirk and a wink. You smiled sweetly at him and you and Michael walked up the steps and into the palace.
“Are you ready to go?” Michael asked you. “Am I ready to go meet Lord Snobby who just wants the title as King and money and won’t value me as a person?” You asked him with a sarcastic smile. You were currently in the hallway, sitting on a red velvet bench and admiring the portraits on the other side. Michael came and sat down beside me. “She looks like you.” He told you, staring at the portrait you were looking at, the one directly in front of you. You scoffed at him. “I can only hope to be as beautiful as her someday.” You told him, admiring the beautiful woman in front of you. “Well your her daughter. And if I may be allowed to say so your highness, I think you are more beautiful than her.” Michael told you. “My dad says I’ve got her personality. Headstrong, caring, kind, hardworking, with a little bit of mischief mixed in.” You told him. “Well, if she’s anything like you, I would’ve adored her.” Michael said. “I would’ve too.” You whispered to him.
“It’s just sad I never had a conversation with her. I’m just upset because of what happened.” You told him. “It was not your fault your mother died whilst giving birth to your brother."Michael told you softly. "He would’ve been King if he weren’t of born stillborn.” You said, twiddling with your fingers. “And I’m sure he would’ve made a fine King too. And he would understand how I don’t want to be married off, and allow me to stay in his court forever.” You made up. “That sounds like a great plan.” Michael told you. “A plan that can never come true.” You told him.
“But you don’t have to particularly marry. I mean, most queens have done better without a King beside them.” Michael attempted to point out.
“Yes, but it would make my father happy. And I would do anything for his happiness.” You told him. You were close with your father ever since you can remember, and that wasn’t going to change now.
“Even put up with your stepmother.” Michael said. “I just don’t understand. It seems like she has it out for you.” He said. “She does. She wants Fiona to be Queen. I mean, I love Fiona, she’s like my actual sister, her mother just has plans for me to be pushed out of the way. She’s never liked me. Ever since I shouted at her because she attempted to get me to call her mother once and I shouted at her that she’ll never be my proper mother and that she should stop trying to replace her.” You opened to him. “Because she thought that you meant that she’d never be the true Queen.” He told you. “She never has been and never will be. And once I’m Queen, her and my father will be taken to a house in the countryside, where I will travel up and see my father the days she goes to the market so I never have to see her again.” I told him.

“Once your Queen, you have the power to do anything. You need to remember that it will be your kingdom. Not hers. Not your husbands. Yours. You’ll run it, you’ll protect it, you’ll defend it. Everyone adores you so I doubt there’ll be wars anytime soon and then you’ll have little you’s running around which will inherit the country you built on peace and determination. And they will carry on that legacy throughout the ages.” He told his own story to you.

“Why can’t the future be like we plan?” You asked him.
“Because everything is unpredictable.” Michael smiled at you.

You turned to face him with a smile. “If only royals could be like you Michael.” I told him. I rested my ear on his shoulder. “Can you be the secret heir to a lost Kingdom or something?” I asked. He laughed and took your hand. “Believe me I wish I could be.” He told you. You turned to face him to find him staring at you the way you dreamed someone would. Faces just inches apart, spontaneously, you made the decision to join your lips with his. And then he began to kiss back.


It’s a life story, baby, just say yes.

Genre-hopper Taylor Swift made the risky jump from country-pop artist to no-country-strings-attached pop star in 2014. But one important thing that’s remained the same since her innocent self-titled debut 10 years ago is what she does best—eerily relatable lyrics.

“If there are any moments of great joy or great pain in your life in which you have turned to any of my songs I consider that to be the highest compliment,” the 26-year-old megastar said during a tour stop last year.

Taylor Swift released her first album ten years ago today. To celebrate, Genius pored over every song in her decade-old catalog to assemble T. Swift’s life story in her own words, everything from her humble Pennsylvania upbringing on Taylor Swift and Fearless to the catchy middle-finger anthems on Red and 1989. So Swifties, let’s stroll down memory lane together.


I grew up in a pretty house—I had space to run. I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger. Daddy’s smart. God smiles on my little brother. Inside and out, he’s better than I am.

There is a video I found from back when I was three. It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships and The Seven Dwarfs. My momma set up a paint set in the kitchen and she’s talking to me. She’s the prettiest lady in the whole wide world.

I’m 13 now and don’t know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys. And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away. And we talk and window shop ‘til I’ve forgotten all their names. I don’t know who I’m going to talk to now at school. I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know.

“I don’t know who I’m going to talk to now at school. I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know.”

At 14 there’s just so much you can’t do. You can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots. Sit in class next to a redhead named Abigail—soon enough you’re best friends. Laughing at the other girls who think they’re so cool. We’ll be outta here as soon as we can. We’re young and reckless. It’ll leave you breathless, or with a nasty scar.

We cry tears of mascara in the bathroom. Honey, life is just a classroom. But I keep cruising. Can’t stop, won’t stop moving. It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright. Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission, but I’m ready to fly. Keep your eyes open. Someday, I’ll be living in a big old city.

This was the very first page, not where the storyline ends.


We were both young when I first saw you. I close my eyes and the flashback starts. Nice to meet you, where you been? I could show you incredible things: Magic, madness, heaven, sin. ‘Cause all I know is we said “hello” and your eyes look like coming home. All I know is a simple name, everything has changed. All I know is you held the door. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours.

Flash forward, and we’re taking on the world together. Very first date. He’s got a car. You come and pick me up, no headlights. Long drive. Could end in burning flames or paradise. I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car. He’s got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel, the other on my heart. I look around, turn the radio down. He says, “Baby is something wrong?” I say, “Nothing, I was just thinking how we don’t have a song.” When you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think my favorite song. The one we danced to all night long. You lift my feet off the ground. You spin me around. You make me crazier, crazier. Feels like I’m falling and I am lost in your eyes.

Two headlights shine through the sleepless night. I will get you alone. I will follow you, follow you home. Up in your room and our slates are clean. Just twin fire signs, four blue eyes. You taught me about your past thinking your future was me. You pull me in and I’m a little more brave. It’s the first kiss. It’s flawless. Really something. It’s fearless.

Morning, his place, burnt toast, Sunday. You keep his shirt, he keeps his word. For once you let go of your fears and your ghosts. One step, not much but it said enough. You kiss on sidewalks, you fight, and you talk. One night he wakes, strange look on his face. Pauses, then says, “You’re my best friend.” And you knew what it was, he is in love. When you’re 15 and somebody tells you they love you, you’re going to believe them.

“You pull me in and I’m a little more brave. It’s the first kiss. It’s flawless. Really something. It’s fearless.”

Love’s a fragile little flame. It could burn out, it could burn out. Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves. They’ll judge it like they know about me and you, and the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do. The jury’s out, but my choice is you.

I like the way your hair falls in your face. I love each freckle on your face. You got the keys to me. Today was a fairytale. You were the prince. I used to be a damsel in distress. So baby drive slow ‘til we run out of road in this one-horse town. I wanna stay right here in this passenger’s seat. You put your eyes on me. Before you I only dated self-indulgent takers who took all of their problems out on me. But you carry my groceries and now I’m always laughing, and I love you because you have given me no choice.

He said, “Let’s get out of this town, drive out of this city, away from the crowds.” So it goes, he can’t keep his wild eyes on the road. The stakes are high, the water’s rough. But this love is ours. Come on, come on, little taste of heaven. You touch me once and it’s really something. You find I’m even better than you imagined I would be. I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home. I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew I was enchanted to meet you.

You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter. You are the best thing that’s ever been mine. You took the time to memorize me, my fears, my hopes, and dreams. I would like to hang out with you for my whole life. Because I love your handshake, meeting my father. He respects my space and never makes me wait and he calls exactly when he says he will. He’s close to my mother, talks business with my father. He’s charming and endearing, and I’m comfortable. I love you forever. But there’s so much time to figure out the rest of my life.


Music starts playing like the end of a sad movie. There in the bathroom I try not to fall apart, and the sinking feeling starts as I say hopelessly, “He said he’d be here.” What do you say when tears are streaming down your face in front of everyone you know? And what do you do when the one who means the most to you is the one who didn’t show? You should’ve been here. I would’ve been so happy.

Stupid girl, I shoulda known, I shoulda known. That I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairytale. I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet, lead her up the stairwell. This ain’t Hollywood, this is a small town. I was a dreamer before you went and let me down. Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to come around. Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with. The girl in the dress cried the whole way home. You never did give a damn thing, honey, but I cried, cried for you. And I know you wouldn’t have told nobody if I died, died for you. The more I think about it now, the less I know. All I know is that you drove us off the road.

We were built to fall apart, then fall back together. C’mon, c’mon don’t leave me like this. I thought I had you figured out. Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone. I still remember the look on your face, lit through the darkness at 1:58. The words that you whispered for just us to know. You told me you loved me, so why did you go away? Away.

This love is good, this love is bad. This love is alive back from the dead. These hands had to let it go free. And this love came back to me. Are we out of the woods yet? Come back, come back, come back to me like you would, you would if this was a movie. Stay, stay, stay. I’ve been loving you for quite some time, time, time. You think that it’s funny when I’m mad, mad, mad.

I lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules every day. Wonderin’ which version of you I might get on the phone, tonight. Kiss me, try to fix it, could you just try to listen? Hang up, give up, and for the life of us we can’t get back. How strange that I don’t know you at all. Stumbled through the long goodbye. I wish you would come back. Wish I never hung up the phone like I did. I wish you knew that I’ll never forget you as long as I live. I hear the sound of my own voice asking you to stay, and all we are is skin and bone trained to get along, forever going with the flow but you’re friction.

Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street, faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly. He’s complicated, he’s irrational. I never dreamed of this. Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? 20 stitches in a hospital room. When you started crying, baby, I did too. I wish I was strong enough to lift not one but both of us. You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me. You have knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like I’m nothing.

He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar. The only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart. He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do. Losing him was blue like I’d never known. Missing him was dark grey, all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met, but loving him was red. And you’re doing your best to avoid me. I’m starting to think one day I’ll tell the story of us, of how I was losing my mind when I saw you here, but you held your pride like you should have held me.

“20 stitches in a hospital room. When you started crying, baby, I did too.”

Six months gone and I’m still reaching, even though I know you’re not there, I was playing back a thousand memories, baby. May these memories break our fall. The drought was the very worst, when the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst. It was months and months of back-and-forth, you’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore. I reached for you but you were gone. Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart? Time won’t fly; it’s like I’m paralyzed by it. I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it. After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own. Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone, but you keep my old scarf from that very first week ‘cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me.

Ten months sober, I must admit: Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it. Ten months older, I won’t give in. Now that I’m clean, I’m never gonna risk it. The drought was the very worst, when the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst.

You always knew how to push my buttons. You give me everything and nothing. This mad, mad love makes you come running to stand back where you stood. You smile that beautiful smile and all the girls in the front row scream your name. But you’re so confused ‘cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used, and all the young things line up to take your place. He said the way my blue eyes shined put those Georgia stars to shame that night. I said, “That’s a lie.” Just a boy in a Chevy truck that had a tendency of gettin’ stuck on backroads at night. My mind forgets to remind me you’re a bad idea. I’m no one special, just another wide-eyed girl who’s desperately in love with you.

Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer. Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong. Losing him was blue like I’d never known. Missing him was dark grey, all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. But loving him was red. Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes.

I remember when we broke up, the first time, saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” ‘cause like we hadn’t seen each other in a month. When you said you needed space. What? Then you come around again and say, ‘Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change; trust me.’ Remember how that lasted for a day? I say, ‘I hate you,’ we break up, you call me, ‘I love you.’ Heartbreakers gonna break and the fakers gonna fake.

I heard you moved on, from whispers on the street. A new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be. I just want to make sure you understand perfectly you’re the kind of man who makes me sad. While she waits up, you chase down the newest thing and take for granted what you have. I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me, so go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy. Could’ve loved you all my life if you hadn’t left me waiting in the cold. And you’ve got your share of secrets, and I’m tired of being last to know. So take a look what you’ve done. Was she worth this? Remember when we couldn’t take the heat? I walked out and said I’m setting you free. ‘Cause the last time you saw me is still burned in the back of your mind. You gave me roses and I left them there to die.

We made quite a mess, babe. It’s probably better off this way. And I confess, baby, in my dreams you’re touching my face and asking me if I’d want to try again with you. And I almost do. Hung my head as I lost the war, and the sky turned black like a perfect storm. Rain came pouring down when I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe, and by morning, gone was any trace of you, and I think I am finally clean.


Boys only want love if it’s torture. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. I go on too many dates, but I can’t make them stay. At least that’s what people say. To the fella over there with the hella good hair. Won’t you come on over, baby. I can make the bad guys good for a weekend. Saw you there and thought, “Oh my God, look at that face. You look like my next mistake.” Love’s a game, want to play?

So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames. You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain. Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane. ‘Cause you know I love the players and you love the game. You look like bad news, I gotta have you.

So tall and handsome as hell. He’s so bad, but he does it so well. I can see the end as it begins. He’s long gone, when he’s next to me, and I realize the blame is on me. He was long gone when he met me, and I realize the joke is on me. Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest? Made you run and hide like a scared little boy. This is the last time I’m asking you why. You break my heart in the blink of an eye. Maybe we got lost in translation. Maybe I asked for too much. But maybe this thing was a masterpiece. ‘Till you tore it all up. Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well.

It’s 2 am, in your car. Windows down, you pass my street, the memories start. You say it’s in the past. You drive straight ahead. You’re thinking that I hate you now. And the saddest fear comes creeping in: That you never loved me, or her, or anyone, or anything. And you call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest.

“So tall and handsome as hell. He’s so bad, but he does it so well. I can see the end as it begins.”

People like you always want back the love they gave away, and people like me wanna believe you when you say you’ve changed. People like you always want back the love they pushed aside, but people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye.

You are an expert at sorry and keeping the lines blurry. Never impressed by me acing your tests. All the girls that you run dry have tired lifeless eyes. ‘Cause you burned them out. But I took your matches before fire could catch me. So don’t look now. I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town. As far as I’m concerned you’re just another picture to burn.

You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me, but we are never ever getting back together. Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did. Ha, time for a little revenge. I’m just sitting here planning my revenge. There’s nothing stopping me from going out with all of your best friends. There is nothing I do better than revenge, HA!

State the obvious, I didn’t get my perfect fantasy. You don’t know about me, but I bet you wanted to. Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re 22. Heartbreak is the national anthem. We sing it proudly. We’re too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet. Baby we’re the new romantics. I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well. This is a big world, that was a small town, there in my rear view mirror disappearing now.


For the first time, what’s past is past. Left a small town and never looked back. Fearless.

Welcome to New York. It’s a new soundtrack. I can dance to this beat. Forevermore. The lights are so bright, but they never blind me. When we first dropped our bags on apartment floors, took our broken hearts, put them in a drawer. Here I am in my new apartment. It’s so much colder that I thought it would be. So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on.

“When we first dropped our bags on apartment floors, took our broken hearts, put them in a drawer.”

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters. Spinning like a girl in a brand new dress. We had this big wide city all to ourselves. I’m walking fast through the traffic lights. Busy streets and busy lives, and all we know is touch and go. We are alone with our changing minds. We fall in love till it hurts or bleeds, or fades in time. We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down. This revolution, the time will come for us to finally win, and we’ll sing hallelujah, we’ll sing hallelujah.

I was reminiscing just the other day, while having coffee all alone and Lord, it took me away, back to a first-glance feeling on New York time, back when you fit in my poems like a perfect rhyme. Every one of us has messed up, too. Lives change like the weather. I hope you remember, today is never too late to be brand new.


‘Cause, baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me, and every day is like a battle. Ain’t it funny, rumors fly. Everybody’s waiting for you to breakdown. Everybody’s watching to see the fallout. The rumors are terrible and cruel but, honey, most of them are true.

Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago, I knew you were trouble when you walked in. And I know it’s long gone, and there was nothing else I could do. And I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to. Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. You say sorry just for show. You live like that, you live with ghosts.

“You say sorry just for show. Life is a tough crowd. 32, and still growing up now”

It’s okay, life is a tough crowd. 32, and still growing up now. Why you gotta be so mean? But you know you got a mean streak that makes me run for cover when you’re around. And here’s to you and your temper. Yes, I remember what you said, and I know that you see what you’re doing to me. Tell me why you switching sides. And your wildfire lies and your humiliation. You don’t have to call anymore. I won’t pick up the phone. This is the last straw. Don’t wanna hurt anymore.

I’ve been giving out chances every time and all you do is let me down. It’s taken me this long but I’ve figured you out, and you’re thinking we’ll be fine again but not this time around. And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now.


People throw rocks at things that shine. The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off. Long live all the mountains we moved. I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you. One day, we will be remembered. Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, red lips and rosy cheeks. The End.

Try Again to Get it Right, Part 4

True to form, Vox Machina plan for half an hour and fail to decide on anything.   No Briarwoods yetMinor Percy/Vex. Post Episode 63.

Read earlier parts: 1, 2, 3

Father slammed a fist down on the arm of his chair loudly enough to quiet the room “Humor aside, may I remind you that it is our lives you are teasing one another over.”

“Pardon me, Father.” New-Percival looked instantly contrite, even as Mother said “- Fredrick-” admonishingly.

The loudly dressed Gnome waved a dismissive hand “It’s our process. You could be in no better hands than those of Vox Machina. As our leader – “ The rest of the group rolled their eyes and the male half of the elven twins reached up to tweak his ear.

 “Hey Shorty, I’m not sure our planning process is going to inspire confidence.”

 “We make great plans.”

“And then all hell breaks loose.” His sister said. “We should just do what we did last time.”

The redhead turned to her – Vesper really needed to learn their names. “Last time where we incited a rebellion, or last time when you almost died?”

“You started a rebellion in Whitestone?” Father was definitely verging on apoplectic.

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anonymous asked:

Sorry if someone already asked this, but how did Rose help Cullen with his lyrium addiction? Was it like a slow step by step process? I'm not a fan of those stories where someone's addiction is cured after they meet that special someone. You know?

I am not a fan of those narratives, either. In fact, having some familial experience with this subject, I find them downright harmful. It’s actually one of those DAI-fill-in-the-blanks I really want to fic someday, because I think it’s deserving of some careful attention.

But until then, let’s have a little story, yeah?


Now that she knows what to look for, Rose is troubled to have been so blind for so long. She speaks a quiet word to Josephine, who immediately concocts vital business that will keep the Inquisitor in Skyhold for at least a fortnight. Perhaps a month. When Josephine announces this at the next Council meeting, Cullen hardly acknowledges it, even though such vital business usually requires numerous state dinners and more meetings than usual, and has always elicited at least a scowl before. When Rose asks if he has business to bring up, he raises his eyes and the strain in them takes her aback.

“Not at present,” he says, the roughness of his accent stronger. He glances over her shoulder toward the door, so swiftly she thinks him unaware of it.

“All right,” she says with forced cheer. “Same time tomorrow, then.”

Cullen doesn’t grimace, doesn’t complain, doesn’t acknowledge the unnecessary waste of time. He offers her the brisk nod that serves as a salute, and leaves without looking back.

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Q&A YouTuber Connor - Jonnor Fanfic

The Boyfriend Tag

The Smoothie Challenge

Connor and Jude were comfortably laying in Connor’s bed, binge-watching a show on Netflix, snuggled up, and getting tired as they finished up another episode. 

Connor checked his phone for the time, seeing it was pretty late. Jude yawned as Connor asked, “are you staying here tonight?" 

"What time is it?" 

"Almost two,” Connor stated. 

“Yeah I’ll stay." 

Then Connor realized he still had to film a video for his channel. "Shoot!” Connor exclaimed, making Jude flinch. “Sorry.. I forgot to make a video. I was supposed to do a Q&A earlier." 

"Can’t you do it tomorrow? It’s late.”

“We can just do a quick one. Please?” He begged. Because he knew Jude would cave. 

“Fine, but if I fall asleep, it’s your fault,” Jude warned, but a smile broke through. 

Connor closed Netflix and decided to just record from his laptop. He pulled up Twitter, and then minimized it to open the camera screen. He whispered a count down from three, and hit record. 

“Hey, what’s up guys, it’s Connor,” he said, lacking the usual enthusiasm from his regular videos. “And Jude.”

Jude smiled and waved, despite being tired. “Hey." 

"So, excuse the lighting, and the quality, it’s currently two in the morning and I figured a Q&A wouldn’t need the high quality set up. Also, as I said, it’s two in the morning, so we’ll see how this goes. It could get interesting. I asked you guys yesterday to ask us questions using the hashtag #AskJonnor on Twitter and Instagram, so we’re just going to be answering a few of your guy’s questions." 

"And sorry in advance for any of my answers,” Jude said. 

“Why?” Connor asked as he returned to the Twitter page. 

“You always say I’m mean when I’m tired." 

"Oh yeah. Well I’m sure they’re used to your sass by now, babe. Oh, and I’m not gonna edit this, because I’m too lazy, so bare with us.” He scrolled through the hashtag, finding something to start with. 

“This could’ve been a live stream then,” Jude said. 

Connor shrugged. “Okay here’s one. What’s your favorite memory together?”

“Can I just say all of them?" 

"Yeah but pick something specific.”

“What’s yours?” Jude asked, laying back down on Connor. 

“Getting lost in LA when we first moved here. We kind of ended up just touring the city all day, and we had a really good time,” Connor answered. 

“That’s your favorite?” Jude looked up at him as best he could while still laying down. 


“I like that." 

Connor smiled to himself as he continued scrolling through Twitter. He passed Jude his phone, "here, you can check the hashtag on my Instagram.”

Jude took it, typed in the four digit passcode and opened Instagram. “There’s some pretty weird stuff on here,” he mused. 

“Oh, you should see some of these questions…” Connor laughed. 

“Show me.” Jude sat up slightly, and Connor pointed out a few. 

“Here’s a normal one: Please tell us the story of your first kiss, love you guys!” He read. “Well thanks, we love you too. Um, okay well then there’s kind of two stories. Jude, you tell the tent one." 

"Okay, so in seventh grade, our class went camping, and at the time, our friendship was kind of awkward and distanced because of his dad-”

Connor interrupted, “I have a whole video about my relationship with my parents. Basically, he tried to prevent us from being friends by banning sleep overs because he thought Jude was gay." 

"Right. And to be fair, it was true, but I was still… Like figuring that out I guess. So anyway, on this camping trip, his dad told Connor that we weren’t allowed to share a tent, but guess what? Us being the rebellious children we were, decided to share a tent anyway. My mom was the vice principal and she was on the trip with us as one of the chaperones. So after bed check, we pretty much just stayed up talking, and Connor brought up a time where we played spin the bottle with two girls from our class. When it was Connor’s turn, it landed on me, and we almost kissed, but my sister walked in and practically terrified us. So anyway, he was talking about how he was curious about, if we actually did kiss, and then I don’t even know how it happened, but he kissed me. It was literally less than a second, but we were pretty freaked out and agreed to keep it a secret." 

"And then Jude told his moms like five minutes later,” Connor added. 

“Okay, it was a few days later, and only because I thought your dad… You know…” Jude defended. 

“I know, I know, I’m just kidding. So the second story was like, our first real kiss I guess. And by that, I mean kiss that wasn’t a terrified one second peck.”

Jude snorted. “Oh, the four second ‘Jude shut up,’ kiss?" 

"Yes, that one.” Connor looked back at the camera to explain, “Jude was mad at me for sending mixed signals and basically, mid speech, I kissed him to both, shut him up, and kind of prove that I did have real feelings for him." 

Jude opened his mouth to object, but quickly rethought his words. "Yeah which was kinda more confusing because the next day… Daria…”

“Okay let’s not rehash our relationship from when we were thirteen,” Connor laughed. 

“Sorry, yeah just feel free to shut me up. I don’t want you to get hate comments,” Jude said. 

“Oh yeah, all the 'oh my gosh, Connor’s a terrible boyfriend,’ comments. Those sound great,” Connor said sarcastically. 

“Guys, we were thirteen, just remember that. Connor’s the best boyfriend, I promise." 

"Jude’s better,” Connor fake-whispered. 

Jude hitched the blankets up higher and got more comfortable. “Okay, next question. And we’ll try to keep the answers short." 

Connor scrolled through more strange questions, and unrelated things. "Did you find anything on Instagram?" 

"Not really. A lot of random fan things." 

"Have either of you ever dated girls?” Connor read. “Um, before dating Jude, I dated a girl for a few weeks. It didn’t even really count though." 

"And I never have,” Jude answered. 

“Here’s a random one… Do you trust each other to cut each other’s hair?" 

"Um… No? I don’t trust anyone who’s not a certified hair dresser,” Jude said quickly. 

“Yeah, I don’t even trust myself with scissors,” Connor admitted. 

“For good reason. I found one on Instagram. @OfficialConnorStevens you and Jude have a really good relationship, so I was wondering if you guys ever had an actual break up before? Love you!” Jude read. 

“Thank you, I love you more! Um, yeah, again, we started dating at the age of thirteen, so of course there were small things back then. But anything serious? Yes.. I actually have a video from about a year ago where I told you guys that Jude and I broke up. I left it vague, and didn’t go into detail about the situation, but that lasted about a month. I think the video was titled 'my breakup,’ but of course, we’re still together, and everything is perfectly fine." 

"And no, we’re not going to go into detail now either. Can I answer this next one?” Jude asked. 

“Go for it,” Connor smiled. 

“Do you guys have any funny inside jokes? If so, tell us. Okay, we have a really old one.” Jude cleared his throat dramatically and Connor prepared for what Jude would say. “I’m not gay, but my boyfriend is!" 

Connor burst out laughing, just glad that it wasn’t something totally embarrassing. "Oh wow. Okay, before Jude was out, he kinda had a denial phase, not wanting to label himself, so I bought a shirt that said 'I’m not gay, but my boyfriend is,’ as a joke. He hated it, but now it’s just kind of an inside joke.”

“We have a lot more too, but I can’t think right now, and I’m sure most aren’t appropriate anyway,” Jude added. 

“And I’m not editing this. Also, can you sit up for a sec?" 

Jude sat up and Connor moved his arm, which had long since gone numb. The pins and needles feeling soon replaced the numbness as it regained feeling. "Okay, I’m going to look at the comments on our last video together for the next question.” He rested his arm and Jude curled up to him again. 

“How many more questions are we doing? I’m tired." 

Connor opened YouTube in another tab and scrolled to their last video, then looked at the comments. "A few more. Don’t fall asleep.”

“No promises." 

"Top comment with three hundred likes, is, Jude should get a channel!”

“Guys, we basically share this channel,” Jude said. 

“Well yeah, I mean you’re in like, ninety five percent of my videos, so there wouldn’t be much point in us both having one,” Connor continued. 

“Yeah. And I’m not nearly as dedicated or patient, so my channel would be pretty dead. But I do appreciate your guy’s support and I love you guys too." 

"There aren’t many questions on YouTube so let’s go back to Twitter.” Connor closed YouTube and found more on Twitter. “Connor, why’d you start YouTube? I’ve talked about this many times on my channel, but basically it started in high school as an outlet. I had an unsteady home life, and my relationship with my parents wasn’t the greatest, so YouTube was an escape, and it just sorta stuck." 

Jude grabbed Connor’s phone again to check Instagram. "Can I open DM’s?”


“Okay, this one is, what are your future plans? Do you want kids, pets, etcetera?" 

"I don’t think we’ve planned that far ahead, to be honest, but currently we’re both in college, um, kids? I think someday maybe.” Connor looked at Jude for his answer. 

“Yeah someday. And we’ve talked about getting a dog,” Jude said. 

“This one on Twitter says: have either of you ever considered proposing?” Connor asked. 

“I think we’re kinda young to think about proposing, but it’s definitely something for the future,” Jude answered. 

“This next question is funny, it’s: Hi, I’m not trying to be rude, but are you gay? No offence.” Connor blinked slowly a few times, trying not to laugh, but they both burst into laughter. “Um, hey, you must be new to my channel.”

“I’m not gay, but my boyfriend is,” Jude blurted, laughing. “But yeah, we are, to answer your question." 

"Duh. Okay next one, also from Twitter, You and Jude seem to always be together, but you sometimes talk about 'Jude’s house.’ Do you guys live together?”

“No,” Jude said simply. 

“Well… We might as well. Okay, so we both live in different apartment buildings, but they’re a five minute walk away. Jude doesn’t like his apartment, and he’s practically always here,” Connor explained further. 

“My apartment is fine, honestly, but I usually just end up staying here.”

“Sometimes vice-versa though. Just depends. Like tonight, Jude’s staying here because we binge-watched a show on Netflix and now it’s late.”

“Speaking of late, are we done?” Jude asked. 

“Almost, almost. And, you guys will be the first to know, that we are looking to get a place together. So next question: Do we have nicknames for each other?” Connor asked. 

“I call you Con, but so does everyone. You call me Judicorn, but that was a nickname my sister came up with when I was twelve. It just stuck.” Jude finished his sentence through a yawn, getting even more tired. 

“And the last question we’ll answer is, What’s your weirdest fan experience, and do either of you ever get recognized in public? Uh, weirdest fan experience… I don’t really think I’ve had any weird fan experiences,” Connor admitted, trying to recall anything specific. 

“You had someone follow you from the mall, didn’t you?” Jude asked. 

“Oh! Yeah, someone followed me home and asked for a picture. That was probably the weirdest. But yes, we do sometimes get recognized. Jude finds it really weird.”

“Cause we’re not famous. Also, I get shy about it though,” Jude said. 

“So guys, next week, Jude and I are going back home to San Diego, to spend time with family, so I’ll be vlogging that, and we’ll try to film some challenges or tags. Leave suggestions in the comments! We’re tired, so I think it’s time to sleep. Sorry if this video was boring, it was kind of last minute, but I love you guys, and I’ll see you all next week. Goodnight!” They both waved, and Connor turned the camera off. 

6x13 – The Promise

“I had to lose it all before I saw the light. And do you know why?”

Today is windy, and sunny, and I sat on my front porch for the better part of two hours just watching the bright green grass and green trees and the patterns of sunlight and shadows chasing over the hills. It’s so peaceful, that view. Whatever is wrong with my day, I can sit there for ten minutes or twenty or two hours and it all melts away. I’ve lived here six years, spent I don’t know how many countless hours on that porch, and I’m not tired of it yet. 

What does any of this have to do with what she’s supposed to be writing about, the finale of Justified? you ask. Hang with me. I’m being as abstruse as Boyd in one of his sermons, but like Boyd, I’m going to bring it home.

If you’ve read anything I’ve written these past few years, you already have a good idea where I’m going with this. Justified has never not been about that place for me— the front porches, the green trees, home. Over the years, even at its most violent, hilarious, acrimonious, fun, the show has been about that place of peace for me. These people who have chased after peace like it was something they could capture with a pack of dogs and a shotgun; these people who have found peace— often fleeting— in themselves or each other. You could be forgiven for thinking that wasn’t the point of this show. Maybe often it wasn’t, but I rarely saw anything else. Not since the day Raylan Givens walked up through that churchyard as Boyd Crowder flung open his arms, or since Raylan took a right turn at the fork that led straight to Ava’s, past that old barn that said Jesus Saves.

It became a lot more than that over the years. It became about family, and fathers and sons, and crime and love in this wild, troubled, sacred place of Kentucky. It became about Ava as much as Raylan and Boyd, and about the Wynn Duffys and Tim Guttersons and Loretta McCreadys we met along the way. Boil everything else in the pot away, though, and it’s right back down to the grin on Boyd’s face when he does know the guy who drives a Town Car, the clap on the back Raylan gives him as they meet. They weren’t what you’d call buddies, but you work a deep mine with a man, you look out for each other. That was all there was to it, and there was so much more to it than that.

So I thought The Promise was going to do a lot of things with its final hour. I knew there would be some sense of closure, and I knew there would be enough file drawers left open to make Elmore Leonard proud. I figured we’d come full circle to many of the things we first saw in Fire In The Hole. But there was one thing I just never thought to expect, and it was the best thing they gave us, the one thing I didn’t even know I needed the most. And it wasn’t just Boyd alive and preaching at the end of the show the way he has been since the start. It was seeing that grin back on Boyd’s face, and Raylan’s, sitting across from each other. No anger, no vengeance. No guns in sight.

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