if i do something productive in my life the world might explode

Alright kids buckle up this is gonna be a long one

Viktor owns a dacha that he inherited from his family that’s way out in the middle of Butt Fuck, Russia on the shore of a lake the name of which Yuuri cannot pronounce. 

Yuuri finds out about the dacha because the key to the place is an actual skeleton key and Yuuri asked about it while holding Viktor’s keys for him one day.

“Oh, that’s just the dacha,” Viktor took the key and spun it around in his fingers, contemplative. “I haven’t been there in years, not since the deed was put in my name. Maybe I’ll take you there someday.”

Keep reading

Lonely - Wonwoo angst

Originally posted by the8ght

For my oldest friend, and her only kpop bias <3

TRIGGER WARNING - SUICIDE
_____________________

“Hyung-”

“Fuck off Vernon. I don’t want to see her. She almost fucking killed me!”

“Wonwoo, can’t you just-”

“Look at me! Look at what she did to me!” Wonwoo screamed.

You stifled your sobs, pressing your fist to your mouth so no noise would escape.

It had been an accident. Of course it had. You were in your car, heading towards the Pledis building near lunchtime, when suddenly Wonwoo had said something that had rubbed you the wrong way, and had started a heated argument. For a while, you relationship had been strained and it took only a matter of time until the two of you exploded; you just wished it hadn’t been then. You hated not looking at him whilst the both of you were speaking, but you kept your eyes firmly on the road in front of you, not willing to risk your lives simply through a spat.

But you still made a mistake. You were parked at a red light in a junction, and you turned to face him, eyes burning into each others. You just sat, staring, and you were so enveloped in each other that you didn’t see the truck flying out of control towards your car until it was too late.

A loud smashing noise, tyres screeching and voices yelling.

A sharp, splitting pain across the front of your face.

Blackness.

Now there you were, sitting in a hospital room connected to Wonwoo’s, listening to him swear he hated you because you were behind the wheel when the truck came flying into your stationary car.

Now there you were, completely blind. The doctors didn’t know when your vision would come back to you, if it ever would again, and all you could do was sit there, listening to everything around you.

Maybe you deserved to be blind, for what you did to Wonwoo. You might not have been able to see what you did to his face, but he certainly could, and judging by his manner and the hesitation his band members used when talking to him, it wasn’t pretty.

You jumped about five feet into the air when you felt a hand on yours, ripping your limb away from the side of the bed you had felt the touch come from.

“Shit, sorry- Y/N! It’s just me!” the voice hissed and you immediately calmed, hands blindly searching for those of your closest friend. His hands clasped around yours quickly, bringing them up to his mouth and placing a series of quick, gentle kisses on your knuckles. “You scared the shit out of me, you know that, right?”

“It’s not like I wasn’t startled too.”

Woozi laughed, letting go of your hand and you heard him pull the chair up next to you.

“How-” you started, voice suddenly incredibly dry. Clearing your throat, you started again. “How is he?”
He sighed heavily, and your heart sunk.

“I’ll be honest, he’s not good. There’s a lot of scarring on his face and body, but nothing major. We don’t think it’ll be permanent either, you know, with all the products that fade scars and stuff.”

You nodded, slightly eased by what he said at the end. Still, you couldn’t stop the crushing, suffocating guilt that weighed down on your shoulders.

You had physically marred your boyfriend - ex-boyfriend - in a freak accident that had also stolen your vision and thus, your self confidence amongst everything else.

“Right,” you coughed. “And me? What’s happening with my face?”

Woozi said nothing, only leaning forward to press a tiny little kiss to your forehead.

“Nothing at all. You’re absolutely beautiful.”


Woozi was such a liar. When he had left, promising to visit again tomorrow, you had immediately asked the first nurse that walked through the door who had come to change the dressings around your head.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” you asked tentatively and she slowed down her work so she could concentrate on both you and her job.

“Of course you can.”

“What’s my face like? What’s the scarring like?”

She sucked in a breath, staying quiet as she removed the last of the bandages.

“It’s…”

You held your breath, waiting for the answer that would shatter your world.

“… Not brilliant, I’ll be honest with you. They’re not as bad as it could be, but they’ll definitely scar.”

“Okay. And my sight?”

“We don’t know yet.”

She wrapped a clean bandage firmly around your head, knotting it tightly at the side so it wouldn’t cause discomfort whilst you tried to sleep, and then she left you. Alone.

You were sure that if you hadn’t been emotionally and mentally drained then you would have sat up all night, pondering the idea of being blind for the rest of your life and the thought that you would never have Wonwoo again.

You were out before your head hit the pillow.

The next morning, the pain you hadn’t realised you were in had settled into a dull throb with a burning itch, but you were becoming used to the everlasting darkness already. You could feel around your face when the nurses and doctors weren’t in your room, fingertips lingering longer than they should have on the several scars and gashes that weren’t bad enough to be stitched or bandaged up.
The nurse was right, they weren’t as bad as they could have been. You figured that you were lucky, until you remembered that your eyes had taken the worst hit.

You didn’t like being blind.

Woozi gently spooned some soup into your mouth, careful not to spill any of the boiling hot liquid down your front as he had done so previously. You swallowed, moving slightly away from him as you felt the spoon nearing your mouth again.

“Woozi…” you started, and you heard him shuffle in his seat, placing the bowl and cutlery on the tray that the nurse had served it on.

“Yeah?” he asked, voice sounding slightly scratchy before he cleared it, taking your hand in his.

Before your accident, skinship between the two of you had been relatively limited, but now he wasn’t shying away from taking your hand into his, kissing your knuckles or your forehead, plumping your pillows or pestering doctors and nurses about your condition when he thought you weren’t able to hear.

Your accident had scared Woozi more than he was letting on, and you couldn’t help but feel even more guilty for causing him so much grief and for being such a burden to him. You just had to say something.

“I’m sorry.”

The burning in your eyes intensified, and it took you all of thirty seconds before you realised you were tearing up under these bandages and it wasn’t just some side effect of your accident.

He cleared his throat again, and when he spoke, his voice was broken and full of a raw emotion that you had never heard before.

“Me too Y/N.”

“I mean it. I’m sorry for being in that car. I’m sorry for being there at that exact moment. I’m sorry for getting in that accident and I’m sorry for almost dying,” you were sobbing this time, the sounds leaving your lips like the untuned notes of a broken instrument. “I’m sorry for almost taking away two of your best friends.”

His lips were pressed against your hand again, soft, lingering, and even though no words were said, you understood everything.

*

It took you two weeks and the earth shattering news that your eyesight would never come back until you were let out of the hospital. With Woozi firmly by your side, your hand pulled into the crook of his elbow, and your right hand wrapped tightly around the white cane you were newly trained to use, you walked into the sunlight and almost basked in the heat you had missed.

You hadn’t asked many questions about Wonwoo, just the important ones. You knew that his belligerent attitude had faded somewhat, and he had been let out of hospital a week before you. When you had asked Woozi if he had asked after you, his silence said enough.

You didn’t mind that though, but you just thought that the two of you had been through enough together for him to at least care about your condition. Evidently not.

When Woozi unlocked the door, guiding you through the doorframe of you apartment, you inhaled deeply, the familiar smell of your home calming your nerves and making you internally rejoice; shortly, you would be reunited with your bed and you would be able to sleep off the previous two weeks of restless nights with a tear-soaked pillow.

You left the cane next to the door, knowing your apartment well enough that you didn’t need the inanimate object or Woozi for you to get to your kitchen without fault and pour yourself a glass of water.

“It’s like you’re not even blind.” the boy said, coming up behind you and getting his own.

“I wish. I’m going to be completely unsuspecting when my foot goes flying towards a doorframe or a table.”

“I hope I’m not around when that happens.”

It was a comfortable silence for a few moments, the both of you completely content in just each others company with no words.

You had missed the ticking of the your clock on your kitchen wall, and the faraway hum of traffic on the main road a short distance from your apartment. You had missed the quiet muffled noise of the bass from the music of your neighbor’s teenager, and the frequent frantic barking of dogs in your neighbourhood. Never before had home sounded so beautiful to you.

“You should to go to practise.” you mumbled, placing your glass lightly in the washing up bowl.

“I should.” he agreed, though he made no movement to leave.

“Are you going to?”

“I don’t want to.”

“Why?” you questioned, surprised. The Woozi you knew loved being in that practise room, working with Seungcheol, Mingyu and Wonwoo on the latest song. He loved staying in the studio for days on end, without food and sleep, working on the next hit song and writing lyrics with the rest of his unit. He loved spending time with his members, and he wouldn’t give it up for the world.

“You need me more.”

Perhaps you had forgotten that you were his world.

*

It was another three weeks until you saw him. He knocked on your door once, twice, three times before you made it to the door, swinging it open.

A questionable decision, on your part; you couldn’t see who it was and whether they were friend or foe. The stranger brushed past you into your home and you whirled, the expression adorning your face one of utmost outrage.

“What the-”

That was when you smelt him.

During all of your years with Wonwoo, the countless hours you spent wrapped up in his arms, you had memorised him. You knew all of the angles of his face and body, you knew the emotion behind all of his expressions, you knew all his deepest thoughts and heaviest secrets, you knew what he was going to say before he said it, you knew his scent and his touch and his presence.

There was no way you were mistaken.

“Wonwoo?” you whispered, wishing for the millionth time that the darkness coating your most important sense would dissipate for even just a moment so you could look up at him for the last time. So you could look up into his eyes, see the burning hatred and know, finally, that the two of you were over forever.

“Y/N.” he said, voice as hard and as cold as ice.

You nearly flinched, and you would have, had you not been expecting his unfriendliness.

You exhaled slowly, turning away and shutting the door behind you. You brushed past him, almost feeling the anger radiating from him, heading towards the kitchen. You didn’t have to tell him for him to follow you.

You momentarily thanked your lucky stars that you had thought to put on sunglasses when you woke up this morning, in case Vernon had decided to visit you again; though he hadn’t said it, and you couldn’t see it yourself, you knew the appearance of your eyes was ghastly enough to make him uncomfortable. You didn’t want Wonwoo to feel that around you ever, as standoffish and angry he was.

“Would you like something to drink?” you asked, expecting him to reject you and start screaming disgusting, vindictive words at you. He surprised you.

“Mm. Just water.”

You hated this. You hated this unfamiliar, formal feeling that Wonwoo was giving you. Why the hell were you offering a drink to someone who lived here for three years, as if you were a host to some uncomfortable meeting? Why the hell were you so afraid of what the person you were in love with was going to say?

You reached for the handle of the cupboard where the glasses were, missing it the first time and scrambling around for it before you found it, pulling the cupboard open and gently inching your hand into the cupboard so you didn’t knock any glasses out of the cupboard.

Something told you that Wonwoo wouldn’t be sticking around to help you clean up.

Finally, after some struggling which was left unaided, you held the glass of water out in front of you somewhere into the kitchen, waiting for him to take it. When he did, he was careful not to touch you, as if you had some contagious disease and he didn’t want to risk catching it. He didn’t thank you either, and the both of you stood there in a silence so impenetrable it was as if a physical force was holding your mouth together.

“I’m here on behalf of Han Seongsu.”

You weren’t expecting that.

Maybe it was a sign of how far your relationship had fallen, for his reason to be here to be on his boss’s orders. Did he really despise you that much? Did he really think so little of you now, because of an accident that was completely out of your control?

“Why?” you questioned, wondering what you had done that was worth the CEO’s attention.

“He’s concerned about your involvement with one of the members of Seventeen. Said member’s work ethic has dropped considerably since an incident over a month back involving yourself.”

You couldn’t believe what you were hearing.

“Han Seongsu would like to let you know that measures will be taken to limit your involvement with this member-”

“Woozi.”

“Excuse me?”

“Say his damn name if you’re going to talk about him like this.”

There was a brief silence, and you knew that he was staring at you with the intensity only Wonwoo could convey with a mere gaze.

“Fine,” he said, teeth noticeably gritted. “Measures will be taken to limit your involvement with Woozi because he’s noticeably distracted and has taken to abandoning his practises to come and visit you.”

“And what measures will these be?”

“Woozi’s workload will be increased.”

What?!” you screeched.

You couldn’t fucking believe this. Not only was Vernon already working triple what he should be, without pay, they were planning on making him work more just so he would stop seeing you? You had never been so disgusted in your entire life.

“And you’re okay with this?” you demanded of Wonwoo.

A split second hesitation. It was barely anything, but it was enough for you to know that Wonwoo hated the idea of making his best friend work even harder than he already did.

“I see. Well you go back to your precious Han Seongsu,” you spat his name like he was dirt. “To come and tell me himself and stop pussyfooting around me with you. And you can tell him exactly what I think of him and his stupid ideas too.”

“Y/N-”

“Get out of my apartment, Wonwoo. You’ve taken everything from me now, I have nothing else for you.”

*

“Y/N…” Woozi whispered down the receiver. “Have you heard?”

“Yeah.” you murmured, eyes burning with tears again at his voice. He sounded panicked, upset, stressed, conflicted.

There was nothing you could do about it.

“How?”

“Wonwoo paid me a visit.”

Silence.

“I’m going to fucking kill him.”

“Woozi no-!”

He had hung up.

The next morning, news of yours and Wonwoo’s accident had spread all over the magazines and newspapers and online tabloids. Whilst they didn’t know your name, they knew of your existence and your role in the accident. They all blamed you too, according to Minghao after you had coerced it out of him, who was settled comfortably on your sofa one day.

He was a welcome distraction from Woozi’s sudden constant absence, and he was ever such a sweetheart. When you asked him to tell you the truth, he did begrudgingly.

You just wished the truth wasn’t so terrible.

“Actually, I don’t know how they found out, Wonwoo’s scars have basically all disappeared. They weren’t that deep, and with a bit of makeup on top you can’t see them at all.”

“Han Seongsu must have told the press.” you muttered angrily, passing Minghao a cup of tea he asked for, seating yourself on the sofa next to him.

“Han Seongsu? My boss?” he asked, blowing gently on the hot liquid before slurping it.

“Yeah. He sent Wonwoo to my apartment to get me to stay away from Vernon, and he said that ‘measures would be taken’ to get Woozi to stop coming here.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yep.”

“This is the plot of a drama, isn’t it? Are you being serious?” Minghao asked, and you could feel his stare on your face.

You sighed.

“I really, honestly wish this was all just a horrible nightmare and I’ll wake up in Wonwoo’s arms, with my sight back and everything. I’d do anything.”

Minghao was quiet, thinking about what you’ve just said.

“Y/N, you’re okay, right?”

It was such a simple question, one that people ask millions of times a day. All over the world, in thousands of different tongues, people ask how others are, either in passing, or sitting there together. The answer was one of two things; yes, or no. You were either okay, or you weren’t. As simple as.

Were you okay?

You didn’t even know anymore.

The nights were the worst. Woozi had always left by about six in the evening, and Minghao and Hoshi couldn’t stay any longer than that now that the two of them were keeping you company. Whilst you were in the hospital you didn’t seem to understand how much having no sight was going to affect you.

You couldn’t do anything. You couldn’t read, or write, or paint, or just sit in the window and watch the people walking by in the streets below you. You couldn’t leave the apartment on your own and you couldn’t do your makeup, you didn’t know what clothes you were putting on, you could barely use your phone. You couldn’t do anything.

Perhaps that’s why you felt yourself fading away, piece by piece. You stopped getting dressed. You stopped answering the door to Minghao and Hoshi, and eventually, they stopped knocking. You stopped answering your phone and you stopped eating. You didn’t get out of bed and you didn’t shower.

You just stopped existing.

With you being unable to see, or do much of anything, it was too easy to think too much about things you shouldn’t be thinking about.

You thought of Woozi, and how much of a burden you had become on him. Not only did he go out of his way to visit you every single day, or stay over after your accident, but now he had to do so much extra work because the two of you were friends. You were a shitty excuse of a person and Vernon must have been so much more content without having to visit you everyday and have to look at you, rendered completely helpless by your disability. Hell, you wouldn’t want to see that.

Your mind was clouded with thoughts of Wonwoo too and how much you had done to him. Yes, your car was stationary, and yes, you had no control over where the truck was going to hit, but you had been behind the wheel. You had been the one to drive him to that exact location and you had been the one to insist on driving him to work that morning. It was entirely your fault, and you were reminded of your mistake everyday when you opened your eyes but you were still faced with the impenetrable blackness.
Without him right there by your side constantly, you had to adjust to living without him, and it was hard. You missed falling asleep in his arms and you missed your cute coffee dates every week. You missed going to the dorm or practise room to surprise him with a visit and food. You missed looking around at all the pictures of the two of you on the walls and propped on every surface and smiling at all the happy memories.

You missed being his. You missed it so much, and it was even harder to recall the awkward, forced way he spoke to you the other day.

He didn’t miss you at all. He wasn’t thinking about you at all. He didn’t care about you anymore, and he certainly didn’t love you.

Whilst you were completely helpless, unable to see at all and completely useless in everything you did, there was still one thing you could control. There was still one thing you could do.

*

Tears were streaming down his face, chin tucked between his knees as he stared at the picture of the two of you. The corners of the picture were frayed, the signs of age completely obvious. He kept the invaluable picture in his wallet at all times, so he knew a piece of you was with him at all times.

It was hard. It was so, so hard. He didn’t want to go on much longer without you, and he wanted to run to your house and scoop you into his arms and cry and apologise and-

He didn’t know what to do. He was angry, hurt, confused. Out of everything, he was confused the most. The words he spoke to you were sharp, like knives slicing through him as well as you, but he couldn’t stop them.

You had scarred him. You had threatened his life and almost taken that away from him. He would have left everything behind; his family, his best friends, his life, his fans. All of it, gone.

But he hadn’t been thinking of you. He didn’t consider that you were in that car with him and you almost died too. He didn’t think that perhaps you were suffering too, with having your sight ripped away from you. He didn’t stop in his path to hurt you like you had hurt him in order to think about what he could be doing to you, and what had happened to you too.

His scars had faded. For public appearances, he would just put makeup on them, and it was like they weren’t there. He had received counselling, and the nightmares of the accident had basically gone. He was still walking, and talking, and singing, and rapping, and dancing. Nothing about him or his life had changed.

Apart from you.

You were gone, and it was the emptiest he had ever been. He was still so deeply in love with you that when he lay down, and thought of you, and your smile, and your hair, and your eyes, and the way you walked and talked, he almost thought that you were right there with him. He could still remember everything about you so vividly as if your very essence had been carved into the walls of his brain.

But you weren’t there. And it was his fault.

“Hyung?”

Wonwoo immediately shoved the picture of you under his pillow and wiped his face, trying his best to remove any evidence of tears from his closest friend.

“Uh, hey Gyu, um, I was just-”

“Crying over Y/N? I know, hyung.” Mingyu said, coming closer to Wonwoo and sitting at the foot of his bed nervously, beginning to fiddle with his fingers.

“What do you want?” Wonwoo asked, falling backwards on his bed to lie down and stare at the ceiling.

“I’m just wondering…”

Silence.

“Wondering what, Mingyu?”

“When are you going to see Y/N, hyung? You miss her. I bet she misses you too.”

“I can’t, Gyu.”

“Why?”

He thought back to the way he had spoken to you, the way he had treated you and the cold way he had addressed you. He remembered watching you struggle to make him a glass of water, he remembered just standing there and not going to your aid. He remembered the way your hands had flown to your face to make sure your sunglasses were on, as if you didn’t want him seeing what lay under them. He remembered your facial expression when you realised who it was at the door, and your defensive stance when you had told him to refer to Woozi using his name.

He had lied. He wasn’t there to relay any kind of message to you from his boss. He just wanted to see you.

“She doesn’t miss me,” he replied somberly. “She doesn’t love me anymore.”

Expecting the younger boy to give up and leave the room, Wonwoo was surprised when Mingyu hit him on the leg.

“Don’t be dumb, hyung!”

“What? You hit your hyung and call him dumb?”

“Stop being stupid then. I knew Y/N just as long as you did. She was one of my closest friends and if I know anything about Y/N, it’s that she loved you completely and utterly. Even after all this time, and the accident, she’d still love you.”

“How do you know?” Wonwoo asked, sounding like a small child.

“Do you still love her?”

Wonwoo nodded immediately, not even having to think about it.

“Then I know she still loves you too.”

*

You were panicking. This was a bad idea. Why had you done this? You didn’t even know. You didn’t know anything. Fuzziness was coating all of your senses and you were stumbling around, leaving the bathroom where the pills lay spilt all over the tiles, and making it into your bedroom to where you left your mobile phone phone.

You couldn’t see. God fucking dammit, you couldn’t see.

Your tongue was heavy in your mouth, your fingers turning numb from the tips onwards. You grappled with your mobile phone, fingers tapping random numbers, the automated voice saying out the numbers you typed to try and unlock your phone. What was being said? You didn’t understand.

You don’t know how you got into your phone, but you did, and you made your way with sheer memory to try and find your contacts. You would call Woozi, explain what was happening, and he would either call you and ambulance or come get you.

Wait, why weren’t you calling yourself an ambulance?

Too late. Your fingers scrolled down, hovered over the number for your phone to read out the name. Was that a ‘W’ noise you heard? You heard a ‘W’. And the ‘oo’ noise. That was good enough for you, and you pressed down, calling the phone.

He picked up in two rings, and you felt your body getting heavier and sluggish. You were barely conscious as you heard him call your name once, twice, and a third time.

“Y/N? Why are you calling me?”
“W… Wo…” you managed.

“Y/N? Y/N!” he shouted, sounding frantic. You groaned, the guttural noise being broken by a sudden sob erupting from your mouth. “Y/N, where are you?”

“H… H-h-h-h-” Why couldn’t you control your mouth? Why was it shaking like that?

“You’re at home? Y/N, are you at home?”

“Y-y-ye-y-”

“Okay baby. Stay right there, okay? Don’t move, don’t move at all, I’m on my way. I promise, I’m coming to get you,” you heard a lot of rustling noises, as Woozi was moving around swiftly. “Gyu, come on! We have to go, now!” You could hear his hurried breath in your ear as he ran down some stairs as fast as he could. You could hear almost everything.

You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t feel anything. You couldn’t taste anything, you couldn’t smell anything.

It was almost like your entire body was shutting down, and you were robbed of every sense apart from hearing.

You would have thought you’d be used to your senses abandoning you, but evidently not.

“W-w-w-w-w-”

“I know, baby, I know. I’m coming, don’t worry, I’ll be right there, I promise,” he cried. “Just keep talking to me, please? Don’t close your eyes. I’m getting in the car right now, alright? I’ll be five minutes tops.”
“Hu-H-Hurr-ry…”
“I will, I will. Mingyu, jesus fuck, step on it!”
“Hyung, I-”
“Just do it!” Woozi screeched, the most animalistic voice you had ever heard from him.

“Wo-Wo-Wo-”

Why the fuck wasn’t your mouth working? Why wasn’t anything working?

“Y/N!” he screamed desperately, hearing your voice get weaker and weaker as time went by. “Y/N!”

Tears were streaming down his face, clutching the phone so hard to his face that the shape of his phone left marks in his skin. His entire body was shaking with the worst combination of fear and adrenaline, but he was completely helpless, watching the streets of Seoul go whizzing by.

He didn’t know how he knew what you had done, but he did. As soon as he saw that it was you who was calling him, he knew that something was horribly wrong; you wouldn’t have called him otherwise. The entire day he had felt unsettled and now, he knew why - because you were in trouble.

“Y/N…” he whispered, getting nothing in reply but a faint moan. “Y/N? Y/N? Are you there? Y/N! Don’t close your eyes, please!”

“W-w-w-wo-wo-woo-”

“Y/N, I love you,” he said hurriedly, panicking. “I love you so damn much. I’m so sorry for not being there with you, but I’m coming now, okay? I’m coming to get you and everything will be okay. It’ll stop hurting, I promise.”

Wait… Was this Wonwoo?

More tears leaked out of your eyes with the knowledge that this was not your best friend you had called in your panic, but your past lover. The past lover that had ignored you for so long, leaving you completely lonely in the dark that had become your world. The past lover that you have loved and missed so hard that it resulted in your death.

“Y/N,” he murmured, suddenly sounding far away.
You panicked, opening your mouth to try and call out to him, but all that came out of your mouth was a low whiny noise.

“Y/N?”

Again, his voice sounded fuzzy. It felt rather like you were drowning; he sounded distant and faraway and the more you struggled to hear him, the more your lungs filled up with water. Your vision was dimming, the random shapes and blurs disappearing into nothing. His voice was a gentle hum in the background, the seemingly urgent and panicked tones sounding like a light song washing over you, lulling you to sleep…

*

Wonwoo hadn’t known what to do. His entire body was simultaneously on fire and completely numb to everything around him. He couldn’t even focus on anything other than your face, pale and unconscious, lying there in your previously shared bedroom. You were so still that he thought he had been too late, but Mingyu was quick to check; you were alive, but barely breathing.

Everything that happened after that went on in an almost dream-like state. Everything was a little fuzzy around the edges when he tried to recall that moment, so he guessed that he had gone into shock. All he knew, all he was completely certain of, was that he hadn’t let go of your hand once, not even as you were wheeled into the back of the ambulance.

He was still holding on as you all sped to the hospital, and all he could do was watch the paramedics struggle to stabilize you. All he could do was stare at your face, hoping, praying, wishing that your eyelids would flutter open like they did whenever you awoke from sleeping in his arms.

In years to come, he would reflect on those exact moments more often than he should. They would keep him up at night, with the warmth of the body next to him keeping his emotions at bay before he could burst into tears.

Even if he was mostly over what had happened, sometimes, he would be hit by a tidal wave of agony and grief as if he had found you on your bedroom floor after a suicide attempt only a few minutes prior. He hated the way the image of you lying there seemed to be burnt into the back of his eyelids and he hated the way that he couldn’t seem to move on from you at all.

“Jagiya?” a voice that did not belong to you murmured sleepily, reaching up to kiss his neck gently. “Why aren’t you sleeping?”

“I’m just thinking. Go to sleep.”

“Mm…” she moaned, already drifting off again.

His head lolled backwards onto his pillow, staring at the blackness that seemed to have taken over his life since you.

Is this all that you saw? Is that what life was like for you, after the accident that stole your vision? Is it what it was like for you, after he had walked away and slowly dragged your best friend away too?

He had basically stripped you of everything, leaving you completely abandoned, and he couldn’t even repay you by getting there in time to save your life.

Indeed, he would think about those moments in years to come, and he regretted every single moment since that didn’t have you in them.

“LAFF 2017 Women Directors Interview: Meet Jennifer Morrison — ‘Sun Dogs’”

Jennifer Morrison is an actress, producer, and director. Her acting credits include “Once Upon a Time,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “House.” She’s the founder of Apartment 3C Productions. Her short film, “Warning Labels,” premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. “Sun Dogs” is her feature directorial debut.

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anonymous asked:

I think you're too reductive in your defence of Iverson. You treat his lecture as an isolated incident. However it's pretty heavily implied, if not outright stated, that Lance getting shit for being Great Pilot Keith's replacement was something he had to deal with on the regular at the Garrison. Lance is sensitive, but he's not the type of person to develop a complex off of literally one incident. And as a pattern of behaviour, what Iverson did was totally uncalled for. (1/2)

(2/2) Do I think Iverson was a demon out to ruin precious baby Lance’s life? No. He probably wasn’t thinking at all, except that he was frustrated over losing his prodigies Shiro and Keith. But that doesn’t make attacking someone like that productive. The Garrison is a school, not a boot camp, and a competent teacher would know his students’ limits better than that.

And I would argue that you’re being quite reductive here, on many grounds: assuming that Lance’s insecurity, for example, is something he specifically developed from Iverson and nothing else in his life.

Lance comes from a big, loving, seemingly highly supportive family but especially if he’s a middle child it’s quite possible that Lance has felt outshined. That he needs to prove himself somehow. That love is sometimes something he has to reach for or try to get attention because his adoring parents who mean so much to him also have a lot of other kids making bids on their attention.

Spoken personally, as someone who sees a lot of myself in Lance, especially that sense of insecurity, that’s a strange weed that can sprout up even in wonderful family environments that you wouldn’t think would create something like that. Lance might’ve been a really talented and praised person as a child but now, older, feels like he’s lost that somewhere along the way. He might be quite intelligent but has been held back by things- we don’t know how and when he developed the ability to speak English and while he has impressive fluency now, he might not always have. 

He might have something like dyslexia or ADHD or, hell, both. With or without those factors, we know that he does slip words (“That’s one thousand plus ten” when he meant to say times, and s2e5 seemingly missing the word “hypothesis”) and tends to react defensively when called on it. If Lance has had any kind of academic struggles, especially if it’s something that might be considered obvious or easy- you have a perfect recipe for a thread of defensiveness and insecurity. Which he shows. 

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Red vs. Blue starters (Volume 4)
  • What happened to your body, ___?
  • I know my name! You can ask me, if you forget.
  • Hey, is it hot in here? Who wants to help me out of this heavy armor? This breastplate is so itchy.
  • You must have me confused with someone who’s brave.
  • No, don’t duck, that makes you harder to hit.
  • I only eat foods that begin with vowels.
  • I can’t have you not paying attention. You have to be alert! Constant vigilance! Composed, attentive!
  • I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t see a damn thing.
  • You know what? I work better alone.
  • I need you to step up to the plate. You’re my number 2 man now.
  • I’m gonna go over to the chow hall and secure some Oreos. I got a diet to keep up.
  • I wonder, if I killed a ghost, would it come back as a ghost of a ghost?
  • Oh man, I can’t believe this. My life was going exactly as planned. How did it all go so wrong?
  • Shut up, you ruined my life.
  • I think I might need a tetanus shot.
  • Whoa, man, what is that stench? Is a skunk juggling dead hamsters in here?
  • You’re not gonna be able to figure out alien language by experimentation, give it up.
  • I don’t understand. Are- are- are you hungry? Are you cold? Do you need a blanket? ___, do you want some hot dogs in a blanket?
  • Look, no offense, but I don’t believe in you. You’re just a product of my imagination.
  • Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dig a hole to live in. 
  • My logical data analysis sector indicates that would be highly unlikely. And my bullshit meter agrees.
  • Now hold still. For science.
  • ___, stop screening my calls!
  • This job is the best! I can’t believe you quit!
  • You’re not exactly the most diplomatic of individuals.
  • I feel that I’m gonna regret this, but I feel even more that I just don’t care, and that watching this whole thing unravel might be kinda interesting. Go for it.
  • I know you’re ridin’ high on your new promotion right now, but don’t think you can order me around.
  • We don’t wanna hurt them, I just wanna make them totally jealous for kicking me out.
  • Son of a Ben ‘n’ Jerry, who’s gonna help me eat all this ice cream we found?
  • Sorry to fuck up your quest, dude, but I’m not goin’. 
  • You better hope that I don’t die, 'cause if I do, you’re the one taking care of my kids.
  • I don’t know, I think you’re just telling me what I wanna hear.
  • But you’re a slothful idiot! Treason takes effort! I never expected this from you!
  • What if I have to kill stuff, dude? I’m a lover, not a fighter.
  • I feel obligated to say something encouraging.
  • Come on, hustle up! If you gotta use the bathroom, do it now 'cause I’m not pullin’ over.
  • You don’t make a very good hostage taker. My last prisoner experience was much cooler.
  • I think yelling should be reserved for only the most critical of situations. Like when someone drinks milk out of the carton!
  • You have a hole? Whoa, now that’s cool!
  • Earth does not suck, Earth rules. We invented the telephone.
  • If you don’t like the plants idea, how do ya feel about a fountain in the armory? That place is so gloomy.
  • Dear God, the madness is spreading! It’s only a matter of time before it takes me!
  • So far this quest is a fuckin’ breeze. I’ve already killed a dead monster. What’s next, we gonna open an unlocked door? Rescue a princess from herself?
  • This is some greeting. I come to help you guys and you ambush me.
  • Wait, is this some really weird form of torture?
  • I lost one of my mittens. We have to go back.
  • And that’s how I rescued you and saved the day. The end. Any questions?
  • As you know, I’ve never liked you. Not even a little bit.
  • I have a first place ribbon in doing nothing. It’s the same ribbon as last place. It’s purple.
  • This conversation’s stupid, and I’m hungry. Where’s the food?
  • God damn, man, I would love to live in your world for about ten minutes.
  • You fool! Can’t you see I’m busy with an evil plot?
  • I’m not speaking with you until we punish your insubordination and treason.
  • Okay, this is officially more boring than any of the other times I’ve been to court.
  • Oh my God, that cake is huge! It’s big enough to fit a person in it!
  • I’m just using your body to fulfill my evil plans. When we’re done, I’m going to throw your rotting carcass in to a swamp and let the beasts feed on your entrails.
  • I took four years of high school Spanish. That’s the best way to learn any language.
  • I ate a pencil.
  • Here are your orders: eliminate the enemy. Good luck. Also, try to do better and please win.
  • A sniper rifle is a coward’s weapon. When you kill yer enemy, you wanna look in his eyes so he knows you’re the one who beat him to death!
  • Uh maybe we should, um, have the doctor explain, uh, just how babies are made, y’know, uh, in case someone in the group, uh, may not exactly know how that… happens.
  • I don’t want to live in a world without exploding!
  • See, these tools can be confusing sometimes. That’s why doctors have to go to school for so long. Not that I’m actually a doctor, mind you.
  • You’re not pregnant.
  • Would this be a bad time to mention that my stomach just started hurting really bad?
  • How can you think of soup at a time like this? 
  • We think that it’s your turn to surrender.
Reconstructed (Bucky Barnes x Reader)

Originally posted by gambitch

Prompt: I know you did an AU soulmate of Bucky and it was amazing so so so amazing! What if it wasn’t a mark- what if it was dreams? And reader didn’t have any because Bucky only woke up recently and the dreams she had terrified her, but she couldn’t give up on him?

A/N: So, this is an alternative soul mate AU, in which you and your partner share a ‘dream-space’, so you can use the dreams to connect yourself to your soul-mate. Thank you to the anon who requested this!

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archiveofourown.org
Stronger Together - Superpowered Alex

Could you write a fic where Alex gets powers (temporarily or permanently, either works)?


Chapter Text

“Agent Danvers,” J’onn radioed in through the comms. “Have you finished your sweep of the building?”

“One floor left. Nothing yet,” Alex responded as she motioned for Alpha team to head up the stairs to the top floor. With every floor she grew increasingly frustrated. Sure, they’d found plenty of weapons, but that wasn’t enough to justify the level of security that had been in place. There had to have been a reason for Cadmus’ increasingly desperate attempts to defend this building with stockpiles of alien technology, lead-lined walls, and Kryptonite emitters. And the DEO had been monitoring the whole building during the siege, making sure no one left with whatever was being stored inside.

As they stormed the top floor, guns out in case anything had been left behind as a final defense mechanism, Alex’s eyes landed on a shabby wooden crate in the back corner of the room, as though whoever had left it had intended for it to look as unremarkable as possible. Moving forward quickly, Alex threw off the lid of the crate, stepping back in case it was an explosive. But nothing happened. She inched forward again, two of her agents flanking her on either side.

“It’s a…watch?” Agent Hu declared, the confusion evident in his voice.

Stepping forward, Alex reached out to pick up the watch to bring it back to the DEO for closer examination. But as soon as she touched it, the watch seemed to mold to her skin, settling around her wrist tightly—far too tightly for her to pry it off. She let Agent Hu try, but he too found himself tugging uselessly at a metal band that felt strong enough to be otherworldly. Trying not to let her concern show, Alex called over her comms to J’onn, letting him know what had happened and that she’d be back to the DEO as soon as she could.

“Well, Agent Danvers, the watch hasn’t done anything harmful physically, at least,” Dr. Jacobson informed her, looking over at J’onn as he nodded in response. “We’ll continue to monitor you, but…” she paused, trying to find a diplomatic way to phrase her sentiments, “I assume you will not want to stay here until we do?” Alex was notorious around the med bay for her self-diagnoses and refusals to accept treatment if it meant she was stuck out of the field for longer than she deemed necessary.

Alex shook her head vehemently. “Absolutely not.”

“I don’t want you going out on any missions until we know what this watch does. Do I make myself clear, Agent Danvers?” J’onn said, looking sternly at Alex.

“Yes,” Alex sighed. “Now I’m going down to my lab to see if I can’t get it off or at least figure out what it does.”

“Take Schott with you.”

“Fine.”

“What happens if you press the button?” Winn asked, gesturing at the button on the side of the watch.

Alex glared at Winn. “And if it blows up? I’m just going to stand here and die because you wanted to know what the button does?”

Winn had the decency to look away sheepishly. “Perhaps, um, have you tried x-raying it?”

“Kara looked inside of it. As far as she could tell, there was nothing that should explode…”

Before Alex could agree to something that might very well kill her, Kara flitted through the door and interjected: “But Kara doesn’t know the full breadth of alien technology available. Which is why I went to the Fortress first.” She stood there beaming at them until Alex finally asked what she found. “It appears to be similar to technology that was manufactured by the Dokris race. They can time travel,” she added, seeing the looks of confusion on both Alex’s and Winn’s faces.

“Oh my god,” Winn exhaled. “Can Alex time travel now?”

“Wait…can I?” Alex asked. As much as she understood that there would probably be terrible consequences for changing history, she couldn’t help herself from thinking about the possibilities… Of course, that led very quickly to the what ifs—what if she hadn’t killed Astra, what if she had recognized that something was off about her father when they got him back, what if she hadn’t gone flying with Kara when they were young, hadn’t let them be spotted by the real Hank Henshaw, hadn’t forced her father to sacrifice his life to the DEO to protect Kara. She shook herself out of it, forcing herself not to dwell on such possibilities.

“I doubt it,” Kara answered. “They were time travelers as…who they were, if that makes sense. It wasn’t like they had some sort of device that did it for them. They just…did. This is similar to their technology, but I can’t tell exactly how. It would be best if I take you to the Fortress,” she concluded, looking up at Alex. “Then Kelex will be able to analyze the watch, even though you can’t take it off.”

“Okay,” Alex shrugged.

In a flurry of movement and a gust of wind, Kara was gone and back with a warm winter coat and gloves in tow. “Ready?”

Alex nodded and felt herself being scooped up in Kara’s arms as the floor, then the DEO disappeared beneath them as they rose higher and higher into the sky.

“So…you can stop time?” Kara asked, her eyes wide.

“Apparently.” Part of Alex was relieved that she wouldn’t have the temptation to turn back time, to try to adjust the parts of her life she wasn’t exactly proud of. But she was still wary of whatever this new power was—whatever it might mean for her.

“Should we test it?” Kara asked, looking more excited than Alex felt.

Never one to admit to her nerves, Alex nodded. Holding her breath, she hit the button, then looked up and around her. For a moment, nothing seemed different. Kara was still staring at her; Kelex was hunched over the computer; and that was…about it. But when Alex moved, Kara’s eyes didn’t follow. When she peered outside, she saw snowflakes frozen in their descent. She tried calling out to Kara, but got no response. Thinking of how productive she might be, she grinned, only to pause in a momentary panic. What if the button didn’t reverse it? What if she was now doomed to live out the rest of her life alone, trapped in a frozen world that waited for her to what? Waited for her to die?

When she hit the button, though, Kara snapped back to life. “Did it work?”

“Yeah!” Alex exclaimed, letting herself feel truly excited for the first time. “And you…you don’t feel any different, right?”

“No,” Kara answered, levitating and testing her powers a bit to make sure. “Seems perfectly fine to me.”

“Awesome.”

“Maggie!” Alex called out, striding through the front door.

“In the kitchen!” Maggie called back.

“You’ll never believe what happened.”

“Well, with a lead like that, it better be good,” Maggie chuckled, wiping her hands off on the towel and turning to greet Alex with a kiss. “Ooh, where’d you get that watch? Very lesbian chic. I’m into it.”

Laughing, Alex kissed Maggie again. “That’s actually the story! Well, no, sorry, the watch isn’t the whole story. At least, not the way you’re thinking about it.” She shook her head, trying not to ramble. “So long story short: there was a raid on a Cadmus facility. This watch is what they were protecting. When I went to take it back to the DEO, it latched onto me. No physical harm. Kara took me to the Fortress. I press this button here, and I freeze time.”

“What?”

“I freeze time!” Maggie looked slightly incredulous, so Alex kept going. “It’s from this race of time travelers. I guess sometimes they needed a way to freeze things with everyone being able to jump in and out of the future and the past. I don’t know. Point is: I can freeze time! Think about how much work I can get done!”

“Only you would think of that first, Danvers.” Alex blushed, but Maggie just laughed. Because this was exactly the woman she fell in love with.

“Want to see?” Alex asked, looking more than a little excited.

“Sure,” Maggie shrugged.

With a nod, Alex reached down and hit the button. “See!” she exclaimed to no one in particular. Only, Maggie wasn’t frozen.

“Um, I don’t think it works that well, babe.”

“No! I swear, it worked this morning!” Alex spluttered, looking around, turning her wrist to look at the watch from every direction. She was too busy to notice Maggie’s jaw dropping, to see the way she took in her surroundings—the water on the stove frozen mid-boil, the bird floating motionlessly outside their window, the oven timer stopped at 13:28 until their food would be ready.

“Alex…”

“I swear,” Alex whined.

“Alex,” Maggie repeated more insistently, tugging on Alex’s sleeve. “It does work.”

At that, Alex finally looked up, surveying their apartment and the view from their window, which now essentially overlooked a hyperrealistic still life. “But you…you’re not frozen.” Maggie didn’t have an answer for that.

Alex tried to think about what was different. It couldn’t have been the fact that they were in the same room; after all, she had been with Kara the first time in the Fortress. But then it hit her: Maggie had been touching her.

“Can I test something?” Alex asked, always a scientist, always needing to confirm, to test, to retest.

“Um, okay,” Maggie nodded.

Stepping away from Maggie, Alex unfroze them, glad to find that everything went right back to the way it was, even if she and Maggie weren’t clinging to one another. Staying a distance away, Alex clicked the button once more, watching as Maggie remained frozen in place while she walked around the apartment. When she clicked back, Maggie’s jaw dropped, finding Alex all the way across the room.

Intent on testing it just one more time, Alex came back and took Maggie’s hand in hers. “Together?”

“Together,” Maggie confirmed. And then time froze for them. And, like any good couple, they seized the occasion to fuck with no worries about wasting time, no worries about emergency phone calls from the DEO or NCPD, no concerns about neighbors complaining about volume or Kara complaining about mental images she’d never be able to rid herself of, even though she was the one who flung herself through the balcony windows without calling first.

For a while, that was all they really used it for. The doctors at the DEO kept an eye on Alex’s vitals (and Maggie’s, once Alex accidentally let slip that she had let another person escape time with her). She was beyond relieved when the doctors found that they weren’t aging more rapidly or experiencing any side effects that would have made their timeless sexcapades too dangerous to continue. Of course, she didn’t say what they were using the watch to do, though Lena and Lucy had insinuated heavily enough at the bar that they knew damn well what they would do if they got their hands on such a watch. For once, Alex was glad that all the DEO tech in the world still hadn’t been able to pry the watch from her wrist.

It wasn’t until she was out in the field with Kara going up against a particularly nasty alien that she thought to use her watch as her own superpower of sorts. Grabbing hold of Kara’s wrist before the alien could reach her, Alex jammed her finger against the button, watching as the world froze once more, save for her and Kara.

“Alex,” Kara breathed out. “That’s amazing!”

Alex preened and nodded, glad to have found yet another way to help her sister, to ensure her safety out in the field.

When they got back from the mission, Winn was practically glowing with excitement, having heard the chatter from the other DEO agents about the way Supergirl and Agent Danvers seemed to move faster than time itself, how they went from nearly losing to toppling the alien in mere nanoseconds.

“What do you want, Schott?” Alex asked, narrowing her eyes in suspicion.

“Well…with your new superpowers and all, I think it’s probably only fair that you get a name…and a suit.”

Kara snickered. “I take it you have some suggestions?”

Winn nodded enthusiastically. “I swear they’re good!”

Pacing forward menacingly, Alex pointed a finger at Winn’s chest. “Now, this is not a yes. But I need you to know: if you so much as try to put me in a miniskirt, I will demonstrate the six new, but equally painful ways I have of making you change your mind using only my wristwatch and my index finger.”

“Yep, okay, got it!” Winn squeaked.

Not So Familiar III

Not So Familiar III
[Witch!Familiar!Rapmon AU]

☾ Not So Familiar I    Not So Familiar II

Walking through the door you dropped your bag in a huff and Namjoon was by your side instantly. Taking your hand into his as he dragged you to your bed. “C’mere…”

“Namjoon please I don’t have the energy for your games I just want-”

“Rest…” he pulled you into his arms, letting your head rest on his shoulder. “Just tell me about your day like before…”

Namjoon did have certain perks, after a long day at work and school you still had that very thing that brought you back to your center. All you needed was to cuddle with your cat and the weight of the world would be taken off your shoulders. There was just something about having someone to come home to, someone that loved you. 

And now that he was human, you were happy to see that none of that changed.

He had a tendency of being right all the time, and as annoying as you found it, it was sort of refreshing. Even as a cat, he was the one that could get you to slow down. When the world seemed too crazy Namjoon was always your center.

You two spent hours relaxing in your bed; Watching tv, napping, even reading. Namjoon was going through a spell book, just absently flipping through the pages, skimming every few spells. You found yourself getting so curious watching him read, you somehow ended up taking his book from him. Not that he minded much.

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anonymous asked:

Have you ever talked about how weretiger!arin and the other were-creatures in your au were initially infected? Cuz they wouldn't have been born a were-creature, right? It seems like it would be a big moment in their lives

I had actually thought about this exact thing shortly after this au took off! Whether they were cursed to transform against their will or maybe they had this affliction transferred to them early in their lives I wasnt sure. But the idea of them having to face society and readjust to their previous way of life with this added burden of being so unnatural and different piqued my interest!

(This is actually longer than I expected it to be so im gonna put a readmore okay?)

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BATHTUB BACTA PART 2: ELECTIC BOOGALOO

Ok, so my original Bathtub Bacta Post has been getting a TON of really great feedback, and I’ve had Yet More Ideas, so I figure it’s time for a second post to answer some questions and clarify points!

1. BACTA AS LUBE

The conclusion reached in the original discussion of this topic is that in order to be “smeared on” as is described in multiple canon works, Bacta is probably about the same consistency as neosporin or vasaline, which is about the texture you want for, uh… the rough stuff.  Bacta is also great for treating micro-tears, which is also probably a good thing when you and your eight-armed partner decide to get freaky in the back of the freighter on the way to Concord Dawn or smth.

As with all forms of personal enjoyment, everyone has their own preferences, and probably more than a few people are going to be turned of by the medical/pineapple scent, or having to wait for the stuff to thaw out before use.

2. LOL WHAT IS CANON?

So, if you’re into star wars at all, you might have noticed the series have a few issues regarding canon, namely, there’s like, six canons, they all conflict, and basically most people have learned to pick out the parts they like best and chill.

TO THAT END, I’m drawing my use and statistical theories from the media i have most readily available and enjoy the most, namely the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, the movies, and the Edge Of The Empire tabletop RPG system, which if you like star wars and rolling dice, you should all play right now.

No, really, go to your local nerd store and get the thing, you will thank me.

I KNOW, I KNOW, some of Y’all love the old EU and Legends and whatever, and You do You.  But EU does not regularly supply me with obscure economic data that my weird gremlin brain desires, so all of this is based on the newer canon(s), which are pretty explicit about bacta being short for Bacteria, and its administration and costs, if you’re willing to read between the lines a bit.

(If you wanna make you own post about bacta based on legends I’ll definitely give it a read!)

3. COSTS AND ADMINISTRATION

In EotE, the creators are nice enough to provide us with costs for everything your party might need, and an interesting cost discrepancy comes up:

“Basic” Medkit, which does not contain bacta: 50 cr

“Proper” Medkit, which does: 100 cr

Refills on bacta for proper Medkit: 20 cr.

Bacta Tank, which does not need refills if you don’t use it too much: 2000 cr

HENCE

Bacta itself is pretty cheap, but the devices to administer it are expensive.  It also comes up in EotE that Bacta is transported Frozen (as half a sentence in the middle of an extensive paragraph about world-building, but it was important to keep the Players from doing something particularly VILE, so remember GMs- ALWAYS read all of your source material!), which leads me to believe that the extra 30 cr in the “proper” medkit are an administration device that thaws the stuff out

TANKS on the other hand, are like the vats bacta is grown in, and contain live cultures, so they don’t need to be re-filled.  It was a hell of a thing for the rebellion to accquire, but ultimately more cost-effective than trying to re-supply constantly.

Also, if you just sort of convert credits into USD, bacta is only slightly more expensive by the ounce than really good lube is.

4. to the half-dozen people int the tags freaking out that: YOU CAN’T JUST GROW A MEDICALLY IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR TUB!!!!

Guys, growing bacteria cultures is literally the easiest thing ever.  Just don’t do the dishes for a week.  No, really, growing bacteria for human consumption is a thing humans have been doing since probably three weeks after intentionally farming crops was discovered.

I have a red-wine-vinegar culture in an extra-large mason jar in my pantry right now.  His name is Steve, and I gave him a bottle of two-buck-chuck three months ago and give him a skimming every week or so.   Mom has a sourdough culture in the fridge back home.

This is easier than houseplants, and WAY easier than trying to brew your own booze, which has got fermentation, extraction AND the potential to explode on you, but people all over the world have been doing that with a remarkable level of safety since forever.

Like, it requires some know-how and probably a sterile container, but i promise IT’S NOT HARD AND REALLY FUN.

5. MIXING SPICE INTO BACTA

So, if Bacta is a microbial agent suspended in extra-thick Saline with vitamins, why not put other stuff in?  Especially if you were already in the Spice Trade, why not make a value-added product.  It’s not popularly discussed, but pretty much all banned drugs in the US have medicinal properties- IN REALLY SMALL DOSES. So while adding a lot of product to your bacta is probably a waste/going to kill someone, adding small amounts might get you something medically valuable.

To the one person in the tags concerned about “Pineapple Express” being a treatment of PTSD- yes, PTSD is a complicated disorder than needs probably both meds and therapy.  The name was a joke about my cousin’s favorite marijuana strain for treating his, and how it’s a pun about the smell.  Psychoactive compounds in Bacta would probably be very symptom-specific (anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, sedative, etc), and would not be a substitute for the therapy that like 90% of the galaxy needs.  But! It would be helpful perhaps, in treating people who have received traumatic injuries, to prevent them developing the disorder.

It DOES have an issue of any mutant strains of bacta could cause serious issues, like cancer or unwanted limbs, so there’s probably development of a bacta-killing counteragent in case of decontamination.  It’s the rebellion’s MOST secret project, both because they don’t want the empire releasing THAT on the galaxy, and because you start talking about drug-resistance and the military/diplomatic type’s eyes begin to glaze over.

6. BACTA AND THE LACK OF ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE IN STAR WARS

So… anyone who knows anything about birth, probably saw episode three and went THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THAT FUCKING WORKS.  We can talk about how Lucas maybe doesn’t know how uteri work, but if we take everyone’s spectacular incompetence there as a deliberate world-building choice… it kinda fits.

See, Earth, right now, has the GFFA’s ass kicked, in terms of potential available medical care.  We have all manner of surgery that seems to be absent- like facial reconstructions and c-sections.  

The Blue Shadow Virus was a serious concern in TCW, despite the fact that they knew what the virus was (the talk of a major outbreak starts BEFORE they know it;s been modified)  Do they not have vaccinations in SW?  

In Shatterpoint, Mace Windu ruminates on how a breakdown of sanitation on Harun-Kal has resulted in the outbreak of many diseases like dysentery and pneumonia, which people die from, despite having access to a hospital.  

There’s also some debate to the average expected lifespan in SW: wookiepedia and other sources cite 120-150 as being average for humans, but the low age of consent (15 in the civilized parts), lack of secondary educational institutions and relative youth of most of the protagonists suggests that life in the GFFA is rather short. Besides a handful of force-users, there are no humanoid characters in SW over the age of 60. (and I’m 90% sure the force is pulling some life-extending BS with it’s favorite toys, but that’s another post)

MY THEORY:  because bacta (and previously, Kolto) ARE so effective at treating traumatic injury, it’s kind of sapped a lot of the demand for medical advancement in SW.  Lots of modern surgical technique was developed in response to wartime injuries, which led later on to studies like orthopedics and oncology and the like.  In a universe where people live “long enough” if they make it off the battlefield in less than three pieces, medical science lags behind due to lack of demand and opportunities to experiment.

ADDITIONALLY, as was brought up in the tags, the Jedi have been progressively losing their ability to heal using the force.  Partly, i think from Bacta serving as such an effective crutch that Healing is gradually removed from the syllabus and replaced with more lightsabers/murderology, partly from the creep of the Dark Side, and partly from people with the know-how getting killed off.

So yeah, magical healing juice? Not so great for civilization.

7. FUN PROHIBITION STUFF

Ok, first of all, I’m so glad so many of you think “Uncle Jesse’s Extra-Viscosity Varmint Grease” Is funny because I thought of it at 4AM while on cold medicine and laughed way too much.  Varmint Grease comes from eastern Ohio, heartland of the northern redneck, and is used when you gotta squeeze under the porch or behind the water heater because the goddang skunk is back.  (It also makes an appearance in Futurama and I promise whoever wrote that joke is from Ohio)

Think of all the objects that get misappropriated to smuggle Bacta: Kids lunch boxes, fuel carries, imperial plumbing, some jackass carves compartments out in the doors of their speeders, which works great until they leave it out in the sun and the stuff sort of melts everywhere, doing exciting things to the upholstery.

Smugglers would also have to disguise the scent from customs officials with all manner of interesting things.  Like mint, which gives you an exciting sort of tingle if you’re one of those deviants that uses it as lube, or possibly vanilla.  Do not disguise scents with vanilla, it’s more potent than you think.

“Why does this ship smell like a bakery?”  Asks some dumbfounded official to the smugglers, who then produce the cookies they had to learn how to bake to explain why their ship smells like the Pillsbury doughboy’s asshole.

Their Pineapple-vanilla clusters turn out to be a great side business tho.

Carol Fanfiction 3

Finally back! Thank you all for your encouragement, you’re all too nice.This one is slightly less ‘realistic’ than the other two I’ve written, but I just thought it was a fun idea to explore.

Therese takes photos of Carol.

Every now and then Therese would walk into a room, or glance up from a book and catch these moments that she knew she needed to keep forever. Moments that made her whole body smile, while also instantaneously filling her with an awe that she could only compare to that very first day in Frankenberg’s. Moments when Carol wasn’t just Carol, but also a work of art.
Too often these moments were broken before Therese could even think about looking for her camera. Carol would cease whatever it was she was doing and her face would fill with such incredible warmth, soft easy smile appearing, grey eyes reflecting light, and she would ask about Therese’s day, or if she wanted a drink, or sometimes she would just pat the space on the couch beside her. These moments contained the magic of domesticity. Therese wouldn’t change them for the world.
Yet, sometimes, if she was completely involved in her own thought process, Carol wouldn’t even appear to realize Therese was in any sort of proximity. These were the moments that left Therese breathless and almost panicking in the quiet search for her camera.

This was one such moment.

Therese slipped from the bathroom, hair still damp and only half dressed in her pants and bra. She’d left Carol in bed, only half awake, muttering something about the indecency of any sort of consciousness before nine AM on a Sunday morning. Therese had laughed when a lazy hand had thumped down on the space where she’d been a second ago, before she’d slipped out of bed. And a delicious warmth had filled her when red tipped fingers had contracted on empty sheets, Carol’s hazy attempt at discerning if Therese was still next to her without having to actually open her eyes. Therese had knelt on the bed and pressed a kiss just next to Carol’s mouth.
Eyes remaining shut a low reply, ‘I don’t kiss this early.’ A sleep induced pause, quieter next time, 'And frankly I don’t trust people who do.’
Smiling Therese had disappeared into the bathroom, deciding not to call Carol out on the fact that both of her statements had been lies.

Now Therese stood just inside their bedroom eyes fixed on Carol. The curtains over the window were open haphazardly, one drawn halfway, the other only a quarter, a product of Carol’s distracted attempt at closing them the night before. Light filtered in in shades, falling in stripes over the bed. Soft morning sun over Carol’s face, dark shadows over her neck and the tops of her shoulders and collarbones, highlighting her angularity, and then golden warmth again, seemingly caressing Carol’s bare chest and transforming the sheet bunched at Carol’s waist into the purest white. Carol stared out the window, the smoke from her cigarette giving the whole image a grainy quality, as though maybe it wasn’t real after all? A cloudy dream?

Therese was jolted to life by the sight of her camera atop a pile of photographs on her beside table. She moved slowly, the moment had the beautiful fragility of a cobweb.
Therese knew that some part of Carol would be aware of her movement, she always was, but she thanked God that Carol remained as she was, her thoughts enough to distract from Therese’s actions.

Therese held her camera to her eye now, spent a few hurried seconds fiddling and fumbling over her focus and light settings, and did she need to take a step to the left? Something about Carol’s eyes…there. SNAP. Jesus Christ click again, click again because she’ll look….there!  
Slightly alarmed Carol’s gaze had whipped round to face Therese, blonde hair falling in front of her face, eyes searching, cigarette held out to the left, suspended in mid-air.

As Therese lowered the camera she registered Carol’s look of mild surprise and interest, 'I’m naked you know.’
Therese’s cheeks turned scarlet, and she bent her head pretending to study something on her camera while trying to sound nonchalant, 'Oh, I know. All the good photographers are doing it these days. Nude subjects and all that I mean- not ah..’
Carol’s voice was full of laughter at Therese’s discomfort, 'I’m sure.’
Cheeks still hot Therese muttered something about breakfast and camera still in hand she stepped quickly from the room, a tendril of excitement uncurling in her stomach at the thought of developing the images, watching Carol appear out of nothing before her.

**

The frosty chill in the air bit almost viciously at Therese’s nose and ears but she laughed all the same, stealing sidelong glances at Carol as she told a story, almost addicted to the way that the cold made Carol’s cheeks that much pinker, and the wind blew her hair persistently across her face.

’-and so he looks at me with these eyes and asked for my telephone number! I told him he could have it but Terry might not like it if he called, and darling he turned the most magnificent shade of red I’ve ever seen. Almost made up for me having to call you Terry, ugh how I detest-’

Therese’s step faltered a little as Carol reached the door to their building, 'So you got rid of a man, by telling him about me?’
Carol, fumbling in her bag for her key, looked up, eyes piercing, 'Well you know he thought you were my husband by the name but-’ she smiled with half of her mouth, light creases forming in her cheeks, 'yes I suppose I did.’
A small firework exploded in Therese’s chest. The kind that appeared to rain stars.
Carol pushed open the door and threw a glance over her shoulder, eyes appearing from a mass of blonde hair, 'Well? Are you coming upstairs or not?’

**

Therese allowed her fingers to contract slightly on the small of Carol’s back as she helped her take her coat off, enjoying the way Carol stood still a second longer than necessary as though to prolong the touch.
Both coats over one arm Therese made her way to the cupboard, murmuring a quiet agreement to Carol’s offer of a drink.  

'Well I fixed up that tap good and proper.’ Therese whipped around,  and Carol jumped slightly, a hand coming to rest on her chest.
A short, middle-aged man in dirty white overalls emerged from the hallway leading to the bedrooms and guest bathroom. Even from across the room Therese could smell the sharp stench of too much tobacco.

'Yeah one of the uh pipes was-’ he stopped, frowning at the obvious surprise of the women. An almost stunned silence filled the room.

Suddenly, Carol exhaled, shoulders relaxing, 'You’re the plumber.’ He nodded. Carol looked in Therese’s direction, businesslike, 'I clean forgot I’d booked someone to fix the bath tap in the guest room, Rindy wanted to float those paper boats in there the other day and I couldn’t get the darned thing to even turn on.’

Therese watched the plumber’s focus hone in on Carol as she spoke, cheeks reddening as she noticed that his attention wasn’t on her mouth, like most, or even her eyes, but rather her chest.

'Problem solved then?’ To anyone else Carol’s voice would sound cordial. To Therese it sounded impatient.

The man nodded slowly, eyes remaining fixed.

'I’ll write your cheque.’ Carol, still standing in the middle of the room between Therese and the plumber, bent over to lean on the coffee table as she wrote and Therese watched as the man’s eyes dragged from Carol’s front to the curved profile of her behind.

Therese had a violent feeling that she might do something unacceptable, but after a deep breath she traversed the room in short, clipped steps, coming to stand between the plumber and Carol, blocking his line of sight. She lowered her head slightly to intercept his gaze, 'What was wrong with the tap?’ Her voice was terse, unwelcoming and Carol looked up sharply, straightening.

Unfazed the man mumbled something about disuse, dragging a meaty hand through thinning hair. His brown eyes lit hungrily when Carol silently extended the cheque and Therese couldn’t help but notice the yellow fingernails as he stepped level with her to take the paper. As soon he had stuffed the cheque in his pocket Therese stepped closer, almost uncomfortably close, and extended a hand in the direction of the door, 'Thank you very much.’ Her voice was tepid. Carol nodded in terse agreement and the plumber turned following Therese to the door with heavy steps. Before he stepped across the threshold he turned to appraise Carol, hand hitching the top of his jeans exaggeratedly, 'If anything else needs some uh- attention around here just let me know.’

A slight choking sound escaped Therese’s throat and she let the door swing shut, all she could do not to slam it.
Carol snorted, 'No I don’t believe I will.’ She raised an eyebrow at the fierce look on Therese’s face and smiled slightly, 'Looks like I’ve already got someone to take care of things that need attention.’
'How can you stand it?’
Carol’s voice was soft, 'What?’
'Men!’ Therese gestured with her hands, 'Practically undressing you with their eyes like that.’
Carol nodded understanding, crisply, 'I barely even notice it anymore.’ Eyes flashing now, 'After all, looking is the closest they’re going to get.’
Therese shook her head, insides bubbling with fury, 'I won’t stand it.’
Carol laughed gently, 'My little spitfire.’
Therese’s mouth softened at Carol’s tone but she held the older woman’s gaze for longer than necessary, shoulders more rigid than usual, reinforcement of her protest.  

A few moments passed before Carol pushed her hair back on one side and moved toward the hallway, 'I’d better make sure he actually did his job.’

Therese watched Carol cross the living room and disappear down the hallway, movements languid, confident, as they always were, especially when they were home. She smiled softly in spite of herself, home. Always the thrill, a slight shock in the depths of her stomach when she thought of the apartment they shared together. Theirs. Slowly, she felt her shoulders relax, anger beginning to dissipate.    

'Chrrrrr-ist.’ Carol’s sharp tone reverberated from down the hallway. She only ever emphasized her R’s when she was mad or when she was trying to make Therese laugh.
Therese’s forehead wrinkled in a frown as she started to make her way across the room in short, clipped steps.

Therese.

Therese’s brows furrowed further as she made her way to the guest bathroom, slight tingle of nervous anticipation running through her. Wait. Guest bathroom? Guest bathroom. Shit. Therese’s nervous anticipation turned to full blown apprehension.

Carol was perfectly still in the middle of the tiled floor. Back to Therese not even her head moved as she stood, appraising the wall opposite her. Finally, 'You didn’t tell me you were developing any photos in here.’

Therese’s stomach sank slightly at the neutral tone. Her own was hopeful, 'I wanted it to be a surprise.’

Carol extended a hand, long fingers detaching one of the almost identical black and white images from the clothes line.
Therese had developed and hung the images to dry that morning.

Therese watched as Carol’s head dipped to study the photograph she held in her hands. Therese didn’t need to look at the line to see which one Carol held, they were all the same. Carol, gazing out the window, cigarette suspended mid-air, hair mussed from sleep, white sheet around her waist, topless.  
To Therese it was the epitome of perfection. She felt bile creeping up her throat at the realization that this image was the reason the plumber had been unable to wrest his gaze from Carol’s chest. Shakily she took a few tottering steps, perching on the edge of the bath, head between her hands, trying to fight off the acid rising in her throat.

The silence stretched out longer. To Therese it seemed indefinite.
Finally, 'Well,’ a snort, 'I suppose we’ve found the reason behind the ogling from earlier.’

Therese lifted a tortured face, shocked to find Carol’s grey eyes full of laughter, red lips twisted in an amused smile. She protested, 'I had no idea he was even coming, I mean I didn’t know you’d booked otherwise I never would’ve-’

Carol feigned mock outrage, 'You mean to say it’s my fault the plumber has seen me exposed?’ She gestured to her chest as she spoke. Therese nearly passed out.
She shook her head, pained, 'No I-’

Carol laughed, deep and throaty. She stepped across the bathroom and bent slightly, taking both of Therese’s wrists in her hands, 'Darling, darling, the photo is beautiful.’

Therese’s expression moved from pained to anguished. Carol waited a moment, calculating and then lowered herself gently to the tiled floor, kneeling, eyes now level with Therese’s, 'What’re you thinking?’

Nothing, until Therese nearly choked, 'That photo- it’s, how I see you and he-’ the urge to be sick and an overwhelming anger bubbled within Therese all at once. She averted her eyes from Carol’s face, almost glaring at the row of photos hanging over the sink.

A gentle finger brushed Therese’s cheekbone, 'Shhhh,’ Carol whispered softly, almost reverently, and then she pressed her lips hard against Therese’s, one hand holding her chin, the other gripping one of Therese’s wrists tightly. When she finally pulled back her voice was slightly husky, 'The plumber doesn’t get to do that now does he?’
Therese forced her eyes to stay closed. Forced her lungs to breathe in time with the soft huff of Carol’s exhale against her cheek.
Eventually she shook her head. Softly, 'No,’ and she opened her eyes, immediately finding Carol’s grey ones, and she lurched forwards at once, mouth hungry, yet hesitant.
One of Therese’s favorite things was the way that Carol sometimes kissed in lieu of speaking. This time Carol’s kiss was confident, overpowering Therese’s hesitation in a confirmation. I’m still yours.  

They remained on the bathroom floor for a long time after they’d finished kissing, Carol leaning against Therese’s knee, looking up at the photographs Therese had taken of her, Therese looking down, studying Carol’s face from her position on the edge of the bath.

Out of nowhere, and without looking at Therese Carol spoke, 'There is one problem though.’
Therese squeezed Carol’s arm in response.
'I still don’t know whether this fellow did a good enough job on the bath in between all his perving.’
Therese nearly choked. Carol threw a glance over her shoulder at her, 'Care to join me in testing it out?’
Therese couldn’t nod fast enough.  

Below, a sort of social-media-era, two-person panel discussion between our art critic Jerry Saltz and the artist Matthew Weinstein — on the nature of pop fame, art stars, and what could possibly be drawing so many celebrities into Jeffrey Deitch’s orbit these days.

Jerry Saltz: Matthew, I know you as an artist who also used to write criticism. I looked at your Facebook page the other day and got stopped in my tracks by an amazing couple of paragraphs of something like Critical Cultural Theory. You seemed to be writing that an inversion has taken place in the flow of fame. Whereas we in the art world used to go to other sectors in order to have fame or coolness rub off on us — to the worlds of fashion, music, movies, wherever — now the stars of those worlds are coming to the art world for some sort of stamp of cool approval. And I think you were saying that we tend to get pretty snooty about anyone from these other worlds who comes near us, be it Lady Gaga, James Franco, or Jay Z. Do I understand you right?

Matthew Weinstein: As someone who feels optimistic about the blurring of the virtual and what we used to optimistically call “the real,” I enjoy a collapsed category. So I have no affection for any high/low binary nonsense. And I noticed a certain now-familiar reactionary art-world circling of wagons in response to the fact that certain celebrities of intergalactic fame now feel the need to sing and dance for us. I’m not talking about Patti Smith or other beloved art/rock homegrown talents, or performers collecting as quietly as they can without dealers shrieking that they just sold something to Steve Martin. But yes, the ones you mentioned.

JS: And what do you make of those people and their new interest in us?

MW: For me, the art world — my beloved home since Columbia University made me realize I was not an art historian — always had the congeniality of a hornet’s nest and the glamour of a teacher’s lounge, so I was surprised to see famous people who could be anywhere crossing the moat. And not just cross it, but really seem to have fun inside the castle. And then entertain the castle. Then the art-world grumbling started. The same tired notions of the art world being invaded by celebrity, and the transforming of the art world into the entertainment world … blah blah blah, I can’t even finish the sentence without falling asleep. But had nobody heard of the strange calculus in which the fame of a celebrity fades as the celebrity approaches the gravitational sphere of the art world?

JS: That’s your theory, right? You call it “Gaga’s Law.”

MW: Okay, it’s a crackpot theory. But don’t crackpot theories, art, and religion all have in common the fact that they might not matter?

It used to be that an artist hitting a mid-career skid and needing to feed his (it was all his, so I use that pronoun confidently) addiction for attention would start hurling himself at the actor or celebrity of the moment to get a few secondhand butterfly kisses of fame. But now I worry about the celebrities. Really. I can’t sleep. We seem to get them when they flatline. I like Miley Cyrus. I liked the “Wrecking Ball” video. She really cried, for Christ’s sake. But I worry about her. It used to be that celebrity art took the form of the Gustave Moreau-esque face-paintings of Phyllis Diller and John Wayne Gacy’s sad clowns. Chuckled at, but not laughed at. Why a celebrity would open him- or herself up to the damning ridicule of the art world by tossing their bleeding hobby into that shark tank, I have no idea. What is wrong with being loved all the time?

JS: Are they being masochistic?

MW: I am convinced that the art world is capable of denting fame. Lady Gaga’s worst press has been around Artpop. Articles popped up about how Artpop lost money. It’s called Artpop. Does my theory need any more data to support it than this? (I liked Artpop.) The art world is the new cultural succubus. The phenomenon in which a celebrity’s fame becomes increasingly hobbled as s­he is drawn closer to the art world establishes the fact that there is no longer any pop culture. It is all art culture. This idea destabilizes the accepted and tired idea that Pop Art served to dissolve the art/life invisible divide. Actually, Pop Art annexed popular culture for art; thus increasing the territory for art and depriving popular culture of being perceived as anything but entertainment or decoration. The fact that huge celebrities are drawn to art-world attention proves the victory of art culture over popular culture. Celebrities cannot grasp onto art content without first offering themselves up as sacrifices to the art world. Pop Art possessed the seeds of the more conservative notions of culture and class that have grown into the world domination of “high culture” by claiming popular culture for art.

JS: Okay. Got it. And love it. I can see that money and coverage make it seem like the art world is the winner and the “place to be.” But hasn’t the world of pop fame exploded much more rapidly? How can our tiny tribe of misfits have conquered Hollywood, the fashion world, and the record industry at once? People at the top of the pop-royalty pyramid (Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Jay Z and Beyoncé, etc.) — what’s that about? Is there something other than the concentration of wealth that’s attracting these people? If so, what? And what do you think art means to these people? To Lady Gaga, to Beyoncé, to Kanye West? And if you’re right that “the art world takes the fame out of famous people,” what does that mean? And mighn’t Kanye actually be an artist?

MW: When Madonna said she was an artist, I thought, Fine, you’re an artist. I don’t really care about the definition of artist because as an artist, I know from the inside that it can be a pretty shabby thing, even when it looks good from the outside, and the category of art doesn’t, in my mind, elevate a cultural product. And yes, of course, the gravitational tug of the art world is the “throw like a girl” version of real fame. I’m speaking more crackpot/conceptually about the fact that the nebulous construction art has gobbled up culture to the point that massive celebrities need to identify with it. So it isn’t the art world so much as the idea of art; art as this magic that levitates culture into a higher place, which the art world is selling. Art is to culture as “French” was to salad dressings (I have a theory about how salad dressings can define presidencies as well). It doesn’t hurt that so much money is swirling around the art world, but I don’t think Lady Gaga started singing to make money; so I can’t imagine she is impressed, interested in, or needs the art world’s newly inherited zillions. I think her performing made her a wildly rich and famous celebrity. And if she wants to call herself an artist (does she?), fine by me. I just have that Groucho Marx as channeled through Woody Allen thing about not wanting to be in a club that wants me, so I don’t know why they’d want our free drink tickets.

JS: Do you think of today’s collision of pop and art as also conservative? What are its conservative values? As recently as the Pictures Generation, you’ve described the great humility of artists with regard to pop culture. When and how and why did that disappear? And is the death of that humility a good thing? And finally, who is more humble, the artist or the pop star? Lady Gaga or Jeff Koons?

MW: First, in terms of ego, I think mine is as big as Lady Gaga’s, so I can’t even imagine that of Koons. My idea of the Pictures Generation (they hate it when you call them that) was about that humility; not personal humility, but a need to drag their image files into their own hamster nests and decide that they had decoded popular culture, which isn’t really humility, it’s grandiosity that looked like humility in the face of neo-expressionism. Warhol had that same brand of humility but even more extreme; he was on his knees before celebrity, beauty, and the grotesque like a good Catholic. I don’t think the art world is any more conservative today than it ever was. I think it has a confidence that it used to fake, so it’s a little less human. Art has never been more arty. Much of this abstract painting looks so much like art, it’s as if the message is, “We don’t need you anymore, pop culture, we are art; we are going to go all Greenberg on you.” Of course there is no more pop culture. Everyone is now an artist. Just not everyone is a good artist.

4

Almost unrecognisable from her role as the dowdy housekeeper in Downton Abbey, Phyllis Logan is starring in an exotic new medical drama. She talks to Judith Woods about seizing the day and those Downton movie rumours…


‘Obviously I never had a career to speak of before Downton Abbey,’ says Phyllis Logan drily, raising an eyebrow for further effect. ‘I sometimes wonder how on earth did I fill my time?’ It’s not true, of course, but we all know what she means: sometimes a jobbing actress is swept away by a juggernaut of a role that takes her a very long way from where she used to be.

The Downton effect has had an impact on the career of every member of its award-winning ensemble cast. Lily James has starred in the BBC’s War & Peace and the movie Cinderella, Michelle Dockery landed a role as a criminal in the gritty US show Good Behavior, Joanne Froggatt played a serial killer in the ITV series Dark Angel – and now Phyllis is set to star in a new ITV drama series, The Good Karma Hospital.

But it’s her years in service to the Crawley family that have made her a poster girl for ladies of a certain age who refuse to accept that life holds no more adventure. When her doughty but warm-hearted character Mrs Hughes finally found love with the pompous but kindly butler Mr Carson, it struck a blow for midlife love. In those days ‘Mrs’ was an honorific title bestowed on senior female staff, regardless of whether they had ever wed, so Mrs Hughes’s comical angst about whether he would be expecting ‘a full marriage’ struck a chord with any woman over 40 who has ever fretted about going to bed with a new partner.
‘Mrs Hughes was aerated about the sex thing because she probably hadn’t had much experience, but that turned out to be the least of her bloomin’ worries,’ acknowledges Phyllis. ‘God preserve us all from nitpicking middle-aged men who can’t abide change.’

In the phenomenally successful series, which ran for six seasons, Mr Carson (played by Jim Carter) turned out to be irrevocably stuck in his ways – the routines of the big house where he had been serving for many years. Ironically, it was his new wife’s performance in the couple’s kitchen (as opposed to the bedroom) that proved his greatest source of disappointment.

Eventually, with affectionate pragmatism, the pair decided he should eat his meals at the Downton kitchen, cooked by Mrs Patmore, as before. ‘It’s a very identifiable scenario,’ says Phyllis, 61. ‘When a more mature couple makes a life together, each brings certain expectations and baggage and of course there’s always need for compromise, which some men in particular find difficult.

Phyllis, once best known for playing posh totty Lady Jane Felsham in the 1980s and 90s series Lovejoy, was a late starter herself when it came to settling down. She met her husband, Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally, in the 1993 miniseries Love and Reason when she was in her late 30s, but they didn’t get round to tying the knot until she was 55. ‘I had always sworn I would never have an actor in the house because they are so much trouble and so vain, but you can’t legislate for Cupid’s bow,’ she says.

When she got together with Kevin, theirs was not a series of careful compromises but a classic coup de foudre. ‘I never thought real love – the sort where your blood tingles and your world explodes with joy – would happen to me at my time of life. I believed I had missed out. But I’m ever so glad it happened.’ A couple of years later, aged 40, she had their son David. He is now 20 and studying music and music production at university in Leeds.

Once upon a time, reaching six decades was a milestone to be dreaded rather than celebrated, but, in well-cut jeans and a flattering floaty top, her burnished hair hanging loose, Phyllis provides incontrovertible proof that though life may not begin at 60, it sure as heck continues at a rip-roaring pace – as long as you have the right attitude towards the rollercoaster.

‘We packed David off to university not so long ago and as we drove back to our house in West London we were listening to the Elaine Paige show on Radio 2,’ recalls Phyllis. ‘She played Peggy Lee singing “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” and as soon as I heard the line “and when the kids grow up and leave us” I burst into absolute floods of tears and spent the rest of the journey splashing about in the passenger seat. But since then I’ve thought a lot about empty nest syndrome and how once your chick flies the coop it gives women the freedom to stretch their own wings once more, too.’

And as fate would have it, Phyllis’s new role in The Good Karma Hospital has allowed her to do just that and will doubtless prove a source of inspiration to a great many female viewers in a similar position. Set in India, the series features another estimable actress, Amanda Redman, 59, who plays an eccentric expat running a ramshackle cottage hospital, which is short on resources and long on compassion.


‘It’s a cross between Holby City and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but with dark secrets, so it should be right up everybody’s street,’ says Phyllis. ‘I play Maggie Smart, who has come to India for her daughter’s wedding and becomes unwell, so ends up in hospital and falls deeply in love. Not with a man – she already has a husband – but rather with the community, the culture and the way of life. She’s a fascinating character who has such humour and joie de vivre and it was great to play a woman finding herself and connecting with a wider spirituality.’

Phyllis spent months filming the six-part series on location in Sri Lanka. She, too, found herself smitten with the place and the people and at one point Kevin flew over from the US where he is in the cast of the US television series Turn: Washington’s Spies and they managed a 12-day break together. ‘We stayed in a hotel on the beach and it was bliss. The majority of the population are Buddhists and seemed so calm, open and thankful for whatever life gave them; I think we could all learn from them.’

All the same, Phyllis isn’t entirely convinced she believes in karma as a concept. ‘It would be nice to think that if you are a decent human being then eventually things will turn out right,’ she says. ‘But fate can intervene and pull the rug out from under you without warning and there might be nothing you can do.’
It is something she and Kevin can speak of from personal experience. Phyllis’s mother died from a dementia-related illness aged 90, but it was the agonisingly slow decline of Kevin’s mother over many years that proved more devastating. ‘Kev’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her early 60s and from then on his father became her carer and it was so hard for him. She reached the point where she didn’t recognise her own son and was agitated and upset because she had no idea where she was or who she was; that was heartbreaking to witness.’

Phyllis is an ambassador for Dementia UK and does what she can to support the charity’s work. ‘It’s such a cruel disease. I am aware there’s a genetic component so I do brain-training on my phone every day. Will that help stave it off? I have no idea; I think of Iris Murdoch – such a clever woman who dealt with words and complex memories all her life, and yet all those things that made her so creative and unique were taken while she was still alive. Ultimately, all you can do is cross your fingers and make the most of every day.’

Phyllis is certainly doing that. Last year was a veritable Air Miles bonanza; as well as her sojourn in Sri Lanka she went to Sydney for a Downton DVD launch, Los Angeles where the ensemble cast of Downton won yet another Screen Actors Guild Award, and then to New York to receive the prestigious Great Scot Award from the US branch of the National Trust for Scotland (previous recipients include comedian Billy Connolly and actor Alan Cumming). She wore a dress bought in John Lewis embellished for the occasion with a tartan sash and matching ribbon.

‘I’m not interested in fashion,’ Phyllis confides. ‘It’s just not on my radar. Whenever I’m doing a contemporary role, the wardrobe mistress will usually say, “Let’s go to Selfridges and get a personal shopper.” Most women would probably love it, but my face falls because I absolutely hate trying on clothes. One of the things I loved about Downton was the fact I had two outfits and maybe a coat if I got to go into the village; the girls in the Crawley family kept having to go for fittings every time there was a big dinner, which would have driven me mad.’
Logan loves…

Reading Alan Bennett’s Keeping On Keeping On. I love him; my husband Kev played him in the stage version of The Lady in the Van.

Listening to The Today programme on Radio 4 and Classic FM.

Watching I do enjoy a good nature documentary. Planet Earth II was spectacularly good.

Guilty pleasure A whole bag of Kettle Chips with a crisp glass of Picpoul de Pinet.

Beauty product Boots No7 moisturiser; it’s not fancy but it does the job.

Desert island luxury A karaoke machine, stage, lights and all the songs from the 70s. I’ll make a row of coconuts for an audience and there’ll be no stopping me.

The ongoing international popularity of Downton means Phyllis and various other cast members are still asked to appear at events to meet the fans and launch DVDs. She’s often asked about her wigs and whether she kept one; she had three identical hairpieces all of which she affectionately dubbed Elsie.
‘People ask me if I was tempted to take a wig or that big bunch of keys I carried, but that would be theft, because these things aren’t my property,’ says Phyllis emphatically. ‘Besides, if there’s a Downton movie, which I hope will happen, all the props and costumes will be needed.’

Ah yes, the Downton film; rumours still swirl but so far there’s been no confirmation. According to Phyllis it may yet happen if – and it’s a huge if – the cast members can ever be gathered in one place long enough. ‘It’s like herding cats!’ she laughs. ‘We’re all so busy and in different countries, but it would be such fun to get together again. The camaraderie on set was extraordinary.’
Phyllis was in every episode of the family saga. Her husband even appeared in a handful of episodes as Horace Bryant, the stern father of an army major who fraternised with housemaid Ethel (Amy Nuttall), getting her pregnant before he died in action. Horace persuaded her to hand over his grandchild to him, which was brutal but necessary as she had been sacked from Downton in disgrace and had taken to prostitution in order to survive.

‘I was quite miffed that the producer had offered Kev a job without even consulting me,’ laughs Phyllis. ‘I wouldn’t dream of queering his pitch – although I do think I’d be great as Johnny Depp’s mother in a Pirates of the Caribbean film [in which Kevin plays Joshamee Gibbs]. And every lad needs a cuddle from his mother now, doesn’t he?’ Her eyes glitter with the sort of mischief Mrs Hughes would most certainly not approve of, but now Phyllis has emerged from the shadow of her fictional alter ego, she is keen to push boundaries.


Last summer she resolved to challenge herself by taking on a theatre role in a dazzling touring production of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, alongside Samuel West. ‘The prospect of going back on stage was a bit frightening, but that is exactly why I embraced it,’ she says. ‘I can be a bit of a scaredy-cat so I have to push myself and I was so very glad I did. It took me right back to my early days as an actress: booking my own digs, sitting on the seafront on my day off eating fish and chips. I also got to see fascinating places such as Canterbury, Cambridge and Brighton.’

Seeing the world – be it near or far – is something she gently urges all women to do once the kids have left. ‘Travel does broaden the mind and fill the senses,’ she says. ‘It gives you a new perspective and there are so many beautiful regions in Britain that I can think of no better way to spend time than exploring them because you’re a long time dead – so carpe diem, ladies!’
The Good Karma Hospital will be on ITV next month. Phyllis is an ambassador for Dementia UK and is supporting its campaign timeforacuppa.org

Styling: Natalie Read. Hair: Alex Price at Frank Agency. Make-up: Lucy Gibson at Frank Agency using Clinique. Table and vase, both Habitat


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-4128572/Interview-Downton-star-Phyllis-Logan.html#ixzz4WSbvI2CF
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An Observant Kind of Man (A kylux fanfic)

You may have heard about April fools bodyswap - here it is, as promised, my first attempt at fanfiction! (My thanks to @hux-you-up​ and @sutoribenda​ for being wonderful human beings and helping me out!!!).

An Observant Kind of Man

General Brendol Hux Jr. had always considered himself to be an observant man, on the very sensible basis that not much escaped his notice. He had perfect control over  exactly what was going on in his ship at any given time, and he took pride in knowing everything that could be useful about everyone around him.

It is understandable, then, that he was not well equipped to deal with it when a big, obvious fact about his own life flew right over his head.

Hux had never intended to get involved with Kylo Ren. When he first learned that the Knight would be stationed on the Finalizer, he was expecting to maintain a cordial - perhaps even friendly - professional relationship with him. It was, after all, important to keep good relations with one’s colleagues, especially when said colleagues happened to be the apprentice of the Supreme Leader of your cause.

Of course, Hux’s well-intended plans for a friendly relationship flew out of an airlock soon enough. Two days into their new co-commandership of the Finalizer, Hux had witnessed a temper tantrum worthy of a rebellious teenager, all because Ren had failed to master some obscure technique in the time he’d set for himself.  He’d left behind a destroyed training room - and a disbelieving, disgusted Hux.

“Lord Ren! What in the name of the Empire do you think you’re doing? Desist at once!”

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8 Facts I Learned by Animating TED-Ed Lessons

At TED-Ed, we have the joy of working with all different animators from across the globe, and we thought it’d be fun to hear from one of our most prolific artists! Andrew Foerster (@rewfoe on Tumblr) has directed and animated 16 TED-Ed Lessons and is currently in production on his 17th! He’s a pretty busy dude, but we managed to ask him a few questions about his life as an animator, and also for his favorite facts he’s learned by animating TED-Ed Lessons. See his interview with us below.

1. Stars are made by many different elements acquiring neutrons until they essentially explode! 

From the TED-Ed Lesson Where does gold come from? - David Lunney


2. Gold was formed deep into our planet when it was first developing from space dust grouping together.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Where does gold come from? - David Lunney


3. The Hagia Sofia is a hodgepodge of many different religions and beliefs all represented in one amazing building that’s been completely destroyed and built up again over time.

From the TED-Ed Lesson It’s a church. It’s a mosque. It’s Hagia Sophia. - Kelly Wall


4. There is a massive Super Volcano that could potentially end all human life in Yellowstone park (though it won’t likely explode for a few thousand years).

From the TED-Ed Lesson The colossal consequences of supervolcanoes - Alex Gendler


5. Brain parasites are terrifying! Really not a fan of the Gordian Worm. I researched videos on all of these when animating the lesson and they’re all super scary in so many ways… If you feel like being made super uncomfortable, look up Gordian Worm Cricket on YouTube… don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also fun fact: the video game The Last of Us was based on the idea of the Cordyceps mushroom infecting humans, creating a unique and horrifying zombie experience! 

From the TED-Ed Lesson How brain parasites change their host’s behavior - Jaap de Roode


6. One of the elements that gives people bad breath is called Cadaverine….. that’s one heck of a name.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What causes bad breath? - Mel Rosenberg


7. Gondolas are incredibly difficult to make and there aren’t many people who make them anymore! Very interesting process of warping the boards with water and fire, then varnishing them.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Corruption, wealth and beauty: The history of the Venetian gondola - Laura Morelli


8. Water currents are caused by salt in the water rising, and lowering based on the temperature of the water molecules.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Making waves: The power of concentration gradients - Sasha Wright


Andrew drawing on windows.

Who or what inspired you to become an animator?
My mama! She was an animator for most of my childhood, and later went more into the production side of things. I’ve always loved animation and have been doing 3d, stop motion, and 2d animation since I was a kid. As I entered high school I moved away from animation and began to focus more on illustration. I attended OCADU for illustration, and in my last year I took Hector Herrera’s Animated Illustration class. (He’s also done many TED-Ed lessons!) After Effects really resonated with me and after school began looking for more animation and motion graphics jobs. I found I really enjoyed the process and just kept rolling with it! in 2013 I began to assist Hector in the classroom to teach After Effects. Nothing lets you learn something faster than teaching it!

What do you love most about what you do?
I love the diversity of the projects I get to work on! One month might be a lesson about brain parasites, the next it might be an animation for a charity, or a personal project about a fight scene in the middle of the desert! There’s a lot of freedom in the work I do which helps me continue to develop and always look forward to coming into work.

How are TED-Ed lessons different from other work you do?
With the TED-Ed lessons I get to explore all kinds of topics from so many streams, and build a (usually crazy) story around each lesson. I love that the team is so supportive of all the crazy ideas that I put into the videos, and they allow for so much artistic freedom. I really appreciate this, so much!
The TED-Ed lessons are also usually very character focused, which is my favorite kind of stuff to do. A lot of other jobs tend to be more on the side of motion graphics (moving type, iPhones with icons etc.) 

What’s a topic or a lesson you would absolutely love to animate?
I’d love to work on something about a post-apocalyptic world like Walking Dead, and how long humans would really survive in the wilderness. (What kind of bugs would bite you? What kind of sicknesses would we get? How quickly would we die off? How quickly would we run out of food and resources from the world before? What alternative food resources would we turn to? How long would we truly last?)

Where can we see your other work? What makes it/these pieces meaningful to you?
I’ve got lots of work up on my website. One piece I’m currently working on is called Girl Wolf; it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people are nearly extinct, where one girl roams the earth searching for meaning and purpose after the death of her entire family. The film explores the disappearance of this character’s humanity as she transitions from living with purpose to living for the sake of surviving. You can check out development of that project here.

Another fun piece I did in the summer and fall of 2014 is called Vonandalous Alchneminan: The Space Station of the Seven Stars and I created it over the course of 100 days, adding one compartment of the space station, and one component of the story each day. It was a lot of fun to make; you can check out the whole story here.

What’s one piece of advice that you would give someone just starting out in animation?
Make friends out of your mentors. Never stop learning. Do your research, find out what’s trending, and who’s the best in your field. Always make time for your own projects and personal development. 

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us, Andrew, and we can’t see what you make next!

The Video

Disclaimer: The long part where you speak, 50% of it is not mine, it was a inspiration by a book.

Character: Newt

A/N: Finally got my lazy bum to write something! I’m so sorry for not writing but I’ve been lazy, busy and just tired. BuT I WRote SoMETHiNg SO FORGIVE ME :^[

ALSO if i know you personality. stop. no. dont read this. stop. i will murder you 6ever. rip @ me

Newt spent a lot of time at his job. About the time he got home, he would be drained out of energy to do anything but just sleep. Months, maybe even years, nothing was able to re-energize the man, he was to drawn to rest than anything else in the world.

After another day at work, he stumbled in his apartment. Walking in as if he was drunk. He threw his things on the floor, and crashed onto the couch. Before he let the world of dreams and sleep claim him, he decided to do something productive and check his laptop for any emails or notifications. He pushed himself up onto the desk and pulled out his laptop. Newt lifted up the top, and did the usual process and nothing extraordinary was displayed. As soon as he was about to close the screen down, his attention was caught at a peculiar file at the screen. It remained nameless. He hopelessly clicked on it to release a file filled with videos, pictures and old written work.

Newt clenched his jaw tightly as he realized who’s file this belonged too. Your file. His heart began to sank into his chest as he saw old photos and everything that once belonged to you. He could feel the blood in his veins running faster, his head sweating and his heart pounding. Would he dare to click on something? He would.

It’s been almost two years since he has seen you. He hasn’t talked to you ever since.

Mindlessly, clicking on a random icon, a video popped up. Newt didn’t stop the video, he started to watch..



“Hi Newt!” Your voice waved.

Newt’s ears picked up at the mere sound of your voice. His face filled with confusion. Was this video for him?

“One thing is first, I would like to say Happy three year anniversary! I love you!” You practically screamed into the camera. Eyes sparkling, smile wide and you looked so full of life. “This video is obviously going to be about how much I adore you, and you might zone out, so just buggin listen!”

You started to straight your poseter and fix your hair. Nervously, you fiddled with your fingers as you tried to narrow your eyes directly at the camera.

You opened your mouth to speak but instantly shutting it. It wasn’t hard to identify that you were nervous. After moments of the video showing you trying not to freak out, you finally got your act together.

“Newt. It’s been many years since I met you and three years today that I fell in love with you…” You said, smiling at the lens.

 "Those years where we defeated The Flare, W.I.C.K.E.D and escaped The Glade, we were always by each others side. None of us knew the life ahead of us. None of us, knew that we would fall for each other. Newt, you were always there for me, and always cheered me up and I thank you for that. There is no words to express what I’m feeling towards you. You are my best friend, my one true love, my one and only.

I love you more and more everyday. Loving you is making my life worth living. Being without you, is like a being without the sun, without food or without a family. You give me strength when I can’t carry on anymore. Newt, you are a wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. You make me feel beautiful and every moment we spend together is worth living.

I love you, Newt. From your adoring wife, [Y/N]. I’m so glad I married you.“

Within seconds the video was finished.


Newt sat quietly, and awkwardly for a moment as he stared at the screen. He moved his hand and glided his hand over the screen. Without noticing, the tears started to form in the brim of his eyes and fall down onto the keyboard. His lip shook violently, and he couldn’t stop himself from shaking.

He rested his head against the hard wooden surface of the desk. It’s been two years, since he heard your voice, since he talked to anyone, since he was himself again. It’s been two years since you died.

Feelings that were hidden, compressed, forgotten about all exploded. He muffled the loud cry of his sobs and he tried to get his grip back into reality. But he was far from reality, he was in another world. A world where he was remembered of all his lost painful memories, which he tried to forget. As he sat there, releasing his pain, looked up at the screen again and smiled.

"I love you too.”

Needs editing probably, but im too lazy.

10

Sneak attack. December 7th, 1941. A date which will live in infamy. (I See Major Foreshadowing Part 1)

So, the Pearl Harbor lesson starts here. It obviously - in this episode - is meant to apply to the Lucas/Missy “sneak attack” on Riley and Cie. But there is so much subtext here, my brain kinda went on overload; same goes for the closure of the lesson, in the detention scene, which will be the Foreshadowing Part 2 bit. Same goes for blocking and overall mise-en-scene. Warning: I completely lost control on this one; read at your own risk.

LUCAS &  MISSY // RILEY & MAYA

First, as Cory starts, we get Lucas and Missy flirting in the background, with poor (already confused) Riley’s mind completely scrambled. Maya takes her by the hand a bit here and tries to spare her the chaos (unsuccessfully), but pay attention to the blocking there [Gifs 1-2]. As we’ve touched upon (here: X; @yeoldeshipper, @teddywestsidelove2), the costuming choices (and the blocking in the 2nd hallway scene), guide us to make a certain link between Maya and Missy. Here, she’s literally slotted directly behind Maya - this is ultra specific framing - while she’s flirting with Lucas, and Maya is trying to comfort Riley about it. Just look at that visual: you could transpose Maya in a parallel fashion directly in her spot. What can we take away from this? I can’t say for sure, but let me take a shot at it: I will ultimately make a case that as the events of this episode unfold, Maya truly starts harboring some feelings for Lucas. At this point, though, she has a mild interest (Pilot - “you’re really cute”, Boy “it kills me that I can’t get to you”), but she’s swiftly and effectively swept that aside in light of Riley’s mega puppy crush. If we keep in mind how Lucas/Maya evolve though, it’s interesting to keep this visual handy: Maya subconsciously, despite herself, flirting with Lucas, while wanting to shield and protect Riley against everything. She becomes torn in two. Now think about what she says to Missy: “I loathe you”. Hmm. Knowing what we know of Maya, it isn’t by any means a stretch to assume that she hates the part of her that’s attracted to and delves deeper into things with Lucas. She spends all of S1, and the better part of S2 (although she really starts to crumble, I think, after SOL), suppressing all those feelings (and dealing with it by teasing the hell out of him).

Here, have some more of that segment (screw that 10 gif limit):

(+++ GIFS and analysis under the cut)

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How Melissa Got Her Groove Back.

When I was 24, I walked into an interview for my first corporate job. I had a sprinkling of various marketing related part-time jobs on my resume from my college years, but I actual knew very little about marketing. 

They asked me if I knew what the company did, and my response was, “I know Red Hat has something to do with Open Source.”  I cringe now, thinking back to my lack of preparation for the interview. But somehow - in spite of myself- I was able to convey to them just how hungry I was for a chance. 

I was hired under the umbrella of marketing to do a very unglamorous job. I managed a database of software applications that were compatible with our product. I spent my days reviewing software partner requests to be added to the database and digging through massive, product matrices from large technology companies. It was about as boring and mind numbing as it sounds, but I was so excited to be working in the corporate world that I didn’t care. 

Slowly, I was given one off opportunities to learn “real” marketing. I started creating marketing documents for our software partners. I wrote and distributed a newsletter. I started planning small events. 

The role grew and so did I. I got promoted and received raises. Over the years my role changed from managing an online database to managing strategic relationships with some of our largest partners and then eventually I landed in a field marketing position where I supported our sales organization and got to be involved with all kinds of events and creative marketing campaigns. I fell in love with marketing and I knew it would forever be a part of my life in the working world. 

But something happened when I moved to San Francisco. I became the sole remote member of an east coast based marketing team. I was 3 hours behind and had to work twice as hard to be heard, to be seen, to feel like a contributor. It was at this same time that some major life events were also happening - I’d just gotten married, was exploring an intoxicating new city and then learned I was pregnant. There were distractions everywhere, and being so far away made it hard to feel connected.

I enjoyed the work I was doing, but my confidence started to lack. Sometimes, being so far away and constantly feeling disconnected to the hub of the rest of my team, I felt invisible. I remember laying in bed many nights convinced that I was going to be fired. It was the heaviest feeling to know my family was depending on me to succeed and that I was certain I was failing them. I doubted that I was capable enough to be impactful. I began to think that perhaps everyone I’d worked with up until that point had overestimated me. 

We moved back to Raleigh after Everly was born and I felt re-energized as I was given the opportunity to manage our field marketing efforts in the North East and Canada. I loved working with the sales organization and once again felt that passion for marketing. But things were changing- over the course of the next year, the entire marketing leadership in my department changed.

I felt like I was treading water as our goals and objectives shifted and refocused under a new structure. Nearly half of my immediate team was let go in an unanticipated layoff. There was so much work to do and not enough hands to do it. I also had new managers that I hadn’t yet built up enough rapport with to ask the hard questions and express my true concerns. All my old doubts on my abilities crept in again… I hesitated to contribute in meetings. I questioned if the work I was doing was significant and meaningful. I wanted to live and breath marketing the way I once had but saw no clear path to getting there again. 

So I took a leap. I interviewed for a new role at a new organization. I landed the job. I left the comfort of what I knew and walked into a role that I knew was more visible and carried high expectations and would require me to do things outside the scope of my job experience.  It was a chance at a clean slate. Early on, those old whispering thoughts crept in as I tried to soak up all of the new information being shared with me. 

I was trained on 7 different systems in the first month. I jumped head first into the middle of marketing a large executive event and worked to get up to speed on supporting a customer retention organization. In the beginning, I was on information overload. I remember feeling like my new team believed in me more than I believed in myself. 

I had been there two weeks when I was surprised to see that a bullet point on a big meeting agenda had my name next to it. I felt unprepared but quickly jotted down a couple things I felt might be relevant and tried to quiet the beating of my heart in my ears as I waited for my chance to speak among a large group of new colleagues. 

That evening, there was a call on my voicemail from my new manager. I sat on the floor outside Everly’s room at bedtime and pressed play. “Several people stopped me to say how impressed they were with your knowledge in the meeting today. Keep it up.”

I sat there thinking about how long it had been since I had heard words like that from a manager and I just felt so flooded with the desire to make it happen more often. Week after week, my confidence grew. I found myself leading projects, heading discussions in meetings, speaking up often. Late last year, I was even given the opportunity to drive the marketing on a major new corporate project. 

My passion for marketing exploded. That voice that had allowed me to undervalue myself for so long was silenced. 

This past year has give me a new voice, a renewed love, and a stronger point of view. Never again will I allow myself to believe that I’m not capable of being a leader and a change maker. Never again will I shrink.

The move from Red Hat to SAS represented a clean slate - a chance to grow and start over, but this next move represents so much more. Now, I know I’m capable of making impact. Instead of starting from zero, I’m excited to push forward with my current momentum. I am hungry to make gains, to drive business, to take on projects that scare the hell out of me. 

I don’t lay in bed at night, paralyzed by the fear of losing my job anymore. Instead, I swim in a thousand thoughts of how much potential lies ahead. 

And it feels amazing. 

Love,

M

Named - A Zankie fic, part 4 (smut warning!)

Zankie HOH week time! Complete with some smut. I never write smut, so I would really appreciate feedback for this chapter if you have anything to say - constructive criticism would be lovely, or even just that you think it’s good enough that I should do more of it, anything just so I can keep feeling comfortable writing this would be great. Thanks loves! Hope you enjoy.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

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