if only all shows were as aware of how their own characters come off and addressed it like this

Voltron Season 4

A continuation of this! Because I can’t get these ideas out of my head, but I haven’t actually gotten around to writing any of it yet. 

I wrote my version for season 3, so now I’ma just keep eventually going through all 6 seasons, lol. Which means we’re getting into my personal headcanon territory as well as original ideas, so read at your own risk (people who have read Serendipitous Fate know what we’re in for here).

SO ANYWAY! The team is all back together following season 3 and so we’ve got to change our direction a bit. The characters that got the most focus in season 3 were Hunk, Lance, and Keith, with a bit of Allura and Pidge on the side. So season four is going to revolve more generally around Shiro, Allura, and Pidge, with the other three doing things more subtlety in the background. What does this do? Well, mostly it allows for a way to address the issues between Keith and Lance without making them center stage. Hunk—following his development in season 3 and his want to keep the team together—will act as a kind of middle man as these two get their shit together in the background of the main narrative, as I think Hunk has mainly been only in Lance’s corner previously.  

So, the season will open up following the battle with the Galra. Everyone is finally back together and with the stress of the situation no longer weighing on them, the actions they took last season will begin to trickle in. There will be implications that everyone is basically caught up on what everyone else was doing, so we don’t have to view that summary. Keith and Lance will, at some point early on, address the rift they created at the beginning of season 3 with apologies and the decision to try and listen/understand one another better. It will be kind of a sweet moment, but then be interrupted by Hunk or Pidge and it won’t last. Why? Because Keith and Lance, though they be trying, will still struggle to get along and so we can’t have the moment be too heavy. Lance is aware of his insecurities and that he projects those onto Keith, and Keith is aware that his tendency to go off on his own and make solo decisions tends to grate on the others. They both struggle to control these things however, and so still argue, but are making clear attempts to get along better. Hunk, now feeling more comfortable in his position as the rock and the one bringing others together, is less dependent on Lance for validation and making efforts to get to know Keith as well, which results in him making a good middle man between the two when they fight and a good voice of reason in pointing out the mistakes both are making. This is kind of their status quo throughout the whole season and we see in the background as they make slow steps toward better relations with one another, like gradual building blocks. This also makes a better opening for Keith to connect with them, as Hunk taking a more active role opens doors to Keith that weren’t there previously. It’s also important to note that, as a result of season 3, Keith is now also making better efforts to connect with the other paladins just generally.

So that’s the background story. Up front we have Shiro, Allura, and Pidge. Shiro has been trapped in the astral plane, basically, and as a result, was both kind of helpless as well as able to better recall all of what happened when he was captured. Not in the strictest sense, but more like the effects of the astral plane (which we will learn more about later) have made things more accessible to him. Which means Shiro is going to be suffering more heavily from PTSD with more frequent flashbacks to his time as a prisoner. Which is important because it will not only help us gleam more of his character, but of the Galra as a whole. As well as their technology and the effects if has.

During this beginning time, we’re also going to be getting hints of Allura learning more about her magical abilities and what that means/the connotations that come along with having the ability to use magic (there’s a lot of negative stigma). This was something that was kind of ignored in season 3 because, well, Allura was ignoring it, but because of some battle or rescue, it comes to the forefront and Allura has to confess that she has these abilities and that she basically doesn’t know how to use/manage them.

The driving plot point for the beginning of the season, however, will be Pidge and her father. Her father (his name is Sam I think?) explains that after Matt was injured by Shiro, he was sent to the same work camp and they were reunited. Gradually, rumors of Voltron came in and out with prisoners and Matt was able to, as a result of Shiro’s sacrifice for him, inspire a revolt within the work camp. They managed to escape and basically started a kind of underground resistance movement of their own, where they flew around to prison camps and started freeing others, mostly in attempts to find Shiro on Matt’s end.

Sam and Matt got separated at some point, however, and that was when Keith found Sam and brought him back to the Castle of Lions. The team, probably in episode 1, decides that locating and forming an alliance with this resistance movement, which Sam explains has become quite organized, is a good move to make. So they set their sights on that, which Pidge is grateful for because of her brother, obv. It’s in the following character building/filler eps that we get the Shiro flashbacks and the Allura magic issues, probably while they’re answering distress calls and learning more about the resistance.

Lotor is also causing problems. He’s abandoned his battle, which basically makes him a traitor, and so he can’t return to the Galra. Yet, for how much he hates his father and the Galra, he still wants to be a part of them (it’s his home, after all) and so we get a little bit of Zuko behavior in which Lotor basically harasses team Voltron every once in a while. This is also what leads to Allura’s magic outbreak, as Lotor is also a magic user and it’s him that somehow inspires her own magic (likely during battle) to show itself. In this way, Allura and Lotor become very clear foils for one another (more so than the obvious already makes them). Basically Lotor figures that if he can capture Voltron, he can regain his standing in the Galra empire and the luxuries that come with it.

So all these stories are kind of working together, unlike in my season 3 where everyone’s arc was very clearly divided (symbolism!). So we’re into episode 3 or 4 when they manage to come across some of this organized resistance that Sam spoke of. Matt’s not with them, but they raise some issues of their own in how they’re dealing with the situation. Maybe they’re trying to recuse some prisoners and are a little dramatic about how the sacrifice of a few to save many is worth it and Shiro and Allura have to kind of step in and be like, no, that’s not how this needs to work. Maybe Rolo and Nyma are there and it’s through them, because they’re more willing to listen to team Voltron, that they get through to the resistance that they need to correct how they’re doing things if they want to do things “right.” They end up saving everyone, of course, but both Pidge and Sam are uncomfortable with how the resistance seems to be functioning. Especially since Matt was supposed to be in charge (maybe there’s a nice Shiro comforting Pidge moment).

So we let that plot point lie for a little while and turn our focus back to Shiro. A lot of what inspired Matt to start the resistance was Shiro’s actions, and so The Champion has kind of become a beacon of hope/inspiration/hero to the resistance, thus making Shiro feel guilty for the relative mess it’s kind of become as a result of what is interpreted as his brutal actions. He also feels guilty over the fact that team Voltron fell apart while he was gone, so he’s just generally down on himself. He’s had more and more of his memories as The Champion coming back and he’s more and more displeased with what he’s finding out he did. Turns out he was actually pretty brutal in some respects, even if it was just to survive, and so some of what the resistance thinks of him is justified. Basically this episode will lead to Shiro being more introspective about what happened—as painful as that may be—which leads to considerations about his arm and its mysteries.

The Galra technology is something that takes the life force of other living things and turns it into fuel (sounds like FF7), so it’s logical to assume that Shiro’s arm, to a certain extent, is infused with this life force to function. As it turns out, it’s his arm that acts as the key to the astral plane and is what allows him to access it (what Hagger meant when she said he could have been the most powerful weapon she’d ever made). He probably finds this out during some kind of tense situation in which he disappears by accident and then reappears again.

Which leads to Allura and Coran explaining what, exactly, the astral plane is (probably in a following episode). Turns out it’s kind of like another dimension where quintessence shifts in and out with the death and creation of planets/life/etc. It’s also where magic is said to come from, as those who use magic have a link to the astral plane (which is kind of why it’s frowned upon). However, magic users can’t access the astral plane directly as Shiro can, which is why he’s so vital. It’s one thing for one’s “essence”—as Shiro and Zarkon had done in the past—to shift between realms, and quite another to be able to physically go there, as Shiro can do.

Allura determines that Shiro’s ability must have been a rare breakthrough for Haggar and is why he’s considered so dangerous. Someone with direct access to the astral plane could, logically, have unimaginable power. Good thing Shiro doesn’t want unimaginable power, unlike certain villains who are probably recovered following season 2’s finale.

In this way, however, Allura and Shiro’s stories begin to overlap a bit, though that fact won’t become totally clear till later seasons. Lotor comes back into the picture, probably, and ends up taking on Allura one on one or something. We learn some about their past together—how they probably grew up together or something and how Lotor turned evil alongside his father. He likely taunts Allura for her weakness, as they’re battling using magic and she’s at a clear disadvantage due to lack of training. And while I’m all for Allura being able to take care of herself, I do want Shiro to step in here and redirect Lotor’s power to the astral plane with his arm. Which likely shocks Lotor and sends him fleeing, again (until next time, hu hu hu, team rocket style).

Maybe we’ll get a heart to heart between Shiro and Allura at the end, where Allura expresses her sorrow at her abilities as well as her weakness in using them properly, and Shiro tells her something about how it’s not the power itself that is evil, but what she chooses to do with it, just as he’s turned his curse of an arm into something useful, or how Keith uses being Galra to their advantage. Which helps her put a more positive spin on her situation and shows that, as a result of using his arm for good, Shiro is dealing with his own issues.  

Next episode (we’re probably into the later side of the season by this point), we’re back on focus with Pidge and Sam. But the Blade of Marmora is back as well and they’re pissed because the resistance isn’t tactful at all and they think they’re making things worse all around. Which puts some tension on Voltron as they do have alliances with both factions. It quickly begins to escalate, as Sam—despite having grievances with how the resistance is functioning—is willing to defend it, and so there’s some arguing to be had between him and Kolivan. The Castle of Lions is already headed to the resistance’s home base (it moves all the time, which is why Sam didn’t know where it was), and so they calm Kolivan a bit by promising to talk to the resistance leader about what’s happening. They think the leader is Matt.

Well, they’re wrong. When they get to the resistance’s base, they aren’t greeted warmly. They’re actually attacked and asked to leave. When hailed to speak with the group on the ship, it’s made clear by some alien dude (who’s apparently in charge) that they’re just fine without Voltron and could care less about the alliance made previously with the other chunk of resistance members. They’re convinced they can deal with Zarkon on their own. Sam makes it quite clear that a lot of members of the resistance don’t agree with this stance and that leadership appears to have been taken over by a group of extremists set on destroying as much of the Galra as possible without much consideration for how many lives they actually save. He probably knows the leader alian dude due to previous problems caused within the resistance or something.

So, obviously, this is not good. The resistance doesn’t want anything to do with Voltron and so it’s become dangerous to approach. But the base will be moving soon and Pidge doesn’t want to lose it, not so long as there’s a chance that her brother is aboard. Thus, we get Pidge sneaking out in order to then sneak aboard the base and search for her brother. She gets caught, however, by Keith, who quickly learns of her plan. It’s at this point that he makes it clear he’s going with her, so we get some Keith and Pidge bonding time. He probably explains that he understands why she has to do what she is—he did the same for Shiro in season 3—but that he learned from experience that going off alone isn’t the best option. Pidge agrees and they set out together in the green lion (because invisibility). They probably also share in some discourse about why Keith isn’t angry she’s more focused on her family than the big picture, and Keith admits that maybe they’re not as different as he initially claimed. Shiro is like a brother to him, like Matt is Pidge’s brother, and so he’s more sympathetic to her situation now that he’s basically done the same thing she’s aiming to do. He just doesn’t want her to make the same mistakes he did. It’s all very touching, blah, blah.

Anyway, they sneak into the base, there’s some tip-toeing around, and they eventually find Matt. He’s not exactly a prisoner, but he certainly doesn’t have the freedom he did when he was leading the resistance. He was basically booted from being leader because the extremists said he wasn’t acting decisively enough, as “The Champion” would have done. And while Matt admits that he wants to find Shiro, he’s not quite in line with what the new leadership has in mind for getting rid of the Galra and finding Shiro, who they basically want to be their leader once they find him. Pidge explains that Shiro is with them—that he’s a paladin of Voltron with her—and that he wouldn’t agree with what the resistance was doing either (which Matt obviously knows). Keith soon interrupts the reunion, explaining that if they’re going to get Matt aboard the Castle of Lions, they’d better leave soon.

Matt objects, however. He can’t leave because all his work and research is aboard the resistance base. He explains that he’s working on a project that will make it possible to intercept satellite waves all over the universe and broadcast messages, giving him a way to communicate with potential allies as well as warn ignorant planets (like Earth) about the threat of the Galra. He’s also planned to use it to find Shiro. And seeing as this is a pretty important project, Keith and Pidge ultimately end up leaving without him, much to Pidge’s distress. She’s afraid that if her brother stays, he’ll eventually be put in danger by the extremists. And so she and Keith sneak into a control room where she downloads all the resistance intel before they escape back onto the Green lion.

Shiro is not pleased once he finds out what they’ve done, but the intel does prove valuable. Not only does it further illuminate just how much the extremists worship Shiro (much to his discomfort), but it also reveals a plan within which the resistance plans to rally their forces and take their base directly to Zarkon in a move that is both deadly and direct, just as “The Champion would do.” Clearly, team Voltron knows this is a suicide mission—the resistance has no idea what they’re up against and aren’t nearly big enough to take on Zarkon alone. Many lives that could otherwise be useful will be lost to a leader that is too disillusioned by power to know what he’s doing.

Which means it’s time to Voltron to step in, which the Blade of Marmora is more than happy about. Upon Voltron approaching the resistance base, however, they’re attacked (as expected). They have the aid of the Blade of Marmora, however, who agreed to sneak into the base and capture the leader while Voltron provided a distraction. Naturally, however, things don’t go as planned and Voltron, the Castle of Lions, and the Blade of Marmora end up in an all-out firefight with the Resistance.

And things only go from bad to worse when, lo and behold, Lotor shows up too. There’s a reason he knew where they were, I just haven’t thought about it yet. Anyway, he shows up and sets his sights on getting to Allura, who he views as Voltron’s biggest weakness—put her in danger and Voltron comes running. It’s important to note that he and his magic have been bothering the team for the past two seasons, so he’s a pretty dangerous/annoying threat.

So everyone’s focus is scattered, things look shitty, Lotor is being a dick. Maybe this is a three episode finale or something, or maybe only two. Either way, this ep ends with everything in disarray, Lotor probably aboard the Castle of Lions, and at the very last minute, a giant Galra force shows up (probably Lotor gave them a clue or something). Things only go from bad to worse.

Final episode. Voltron has been separated. Keith is with Pidge aboard the resistance’s ship looking for Matt. Lance and Hunk are on the battlefield. And because it’s the season finale and everyone deserves their moment, we get to really see why Hunk and Lance work so well together. Lance uses what he learned in season three to inspire the resistance—maybe against their leader’s orders—to side with Voltron and the Blade of Marmora against the Galra (who are attacking by now), while Hunk—being an awesome lieutenant—keeps it all together and organized. They’re the ones that kind of deal with the battle.

Shiro has gone back to the Castle of Lions upon learning from Coran that Lotor is aboard. We’ve seen by now that Lotor and Allura are facing off again, but know that Allura can’t really compete. Shiro knows this as well and also knows he’s the only one that can stop Lotor. Which is why he’s going back. There might be a bit of time where he notes that Lance is doing well at being in charge while he’s gone, or maybe it was at Lance’s encouragement that he go back to help Allura in the first place. But it’s a very small piece of development.

Meanwhile, Pidge and Keith are still aboard the resistance’s ship. They meet up with the Blade members who were there and make a plan. Basically Pidge goes alone to find Matt while Keith goes with the other Blade members to find the leader. Pidge finds Matt, but he still refuses to leave, even at the threat of the ship being potentially destroyed. Which infuriates Pidge and they get into an argument in which Matt accuses her of not seeing the big picture. The argument escalates, Pidge makes it clear to Matt just how much she does understand/how much she’s grown. He’s surprised and we get a more blatant reference to all the development Pidge has had. Matt agrees to go with her, despite how unfortunate it is that he has to leave his research, and they make an epic escape in which Pidge does some awesome, smart, impressive things.

Keith, meanwhile, is fighting through the ship with the few blade members to the leader. They get there, but it proves challenging. The leader alien is no one to take lightly and Keith eventually ends up in a desperate situation (after a sick display of his combat prowess, of course). Which when, out of nowhere, a kind of wormhole/portal opens up and out comes the Galra Keith saved inside the weblum in season 2. It’s also the same teacher type that Lance met during season 3, but only the viewers know this, not the characters. The mentor didn’t come with Lance to save the Castle of Lions in season 3, because reasons, and so no one but Lance knows them, which is why this miscommunication works.

They basically come in and disarm (kill? Or is that too much?) the leader, saving Keith. There’s an important moment where Keith loudly questions the person, wanting to know who they are, but they’re still masked and refuse to answer. Instead, they both get distracted with what’s going on outside the ship’s windshield. Namely, with Lance, Hunk, and the Castle of Lions.

Hunk and Lance are still out fighting, leading the charge against the Galra, but something happens and both Hunk and Lance know that the castle—which is too busy with Lotor to be focused on the battle—is in danger. So they head in to protect it.

Aboard the Castle of Lions, Shiro has reached Allura and Lotor, probably in the control room. Coran has probably been injured/disabled. Sam too maybe. Allura and Lotor are struggling against one another’s magic. There’s lighting, it’s intense. Shiro tries to step in the same way he had before, but Lotor is ready for him this time and manages to keep him at bay/blast him back/injure him before he can intercept the magic and divert it to the astral plane.

Allura is on her own and, while she’s doing a good job of staying on her feet and fighting back, it’s clearly inevitable that she’ll go down. There’s probably some words shared between her and Lotor that make her look like a boss going down, as she should. Shiro, meanwhile, is struggling to crawl back toward the fray. He can’t really get to Lotor, but he gets to Allura. Just as she’s about to go down, he touches her—maybe he gets to his feet and manages to place his robot arm on her shoulder or arm.

Which is when things get interesting. Together—with Allura’s power and Shiro’s ability to access the astral plane—they become a sort of unstoppable force of power. There’s a very impressive display of Allura’s power, maybe some glowiness, and Lotor basically doesn’t stand a chance against her with Shiro’s support. In fact, Lotor tries to escape, but Allura’s power overwhelms him and keeps him prisoner. All the magic is sucked right out of him and he ends up passing out right there in the castle.

Both Shiro and Allura are weakened by the exchange as well, but they don’t have time to be thinking about it, as things outside the castle have gotten worse. Maybe the castle jolts to the side or something and they look out to see that the yellow lion has just pushed them out of the way of a tractor beam (after all, the black lion was seen going into the Castle of Lions, so why not take the whole thing?). Lance is trying to distract the main ship, while the Blade of Marmora and the resistance beat back the Galra forces.

Keith is still watching from the resistance ship, as the timeline makes it so it’s only been moments since the leader was disarmed.

Pidge and Matt are in the green lion, headed in to help, but they’re too far away to do much.

Lance, in his efforts to distract the main ship, gets caught in the tractor beam intended for the Castle of Lions. Hunk, who’s the closest lion, tries to get to him, but he’s too slow. In Lance’s attempts to protect the Castle of Lions, he’s kidnapped by the Galra, who know they’re losing. Basically, the commander has settled for one lion and manages to escape as soon as Lance is on board.

We’re left floating in the silence of space, all the members of Voltron shocked and horrified to realize what’s happened. Especially Shiro, who gets the last scene. He knows what’s in store for those captured by the Galra, after all, and his fear and horror is the last thing seen before credits role.  

Originally posted by littlemisspaladin

(I submitted instead of made a series of asks cause it would have been like 12 parts)

I made a potential observation on ninja interpersonal culture while thinking about a message you got on Sound!Naruto and I don’t know if I’m disgusted or entertained?

My thoughts started out from the line “Oro kidnaps Naruto when he defects (maybe tie in some MinaOro/MinaKushiOro for reasoning or just because he wants a jinchuuriki)” because the idea really appeals to me. All the discussion on MinaOro got me pumped, trope wise I’m into age gaps and OT3’s and inexperienced older men and inexperienced older men being dragged by the ear into OT3’s and powerful women absolutely wearing the pants over their powerful men and whether Kushina and Oro’s sexuality are compatible with one another or not I care little either way, they are just so fun to stick in a room together. And what really tickles me in child rearing OT3’s is when the obviously non genetic parent is ALL OVER parenting that child.

So I was sitting there wallowing in my fantasies and was just like “Oh gosh how cute would that be, It’d be like Reverse redux, Daddy Oro steals away his child, all smiles and on the run and M(P)aternal love, while the whole of Konoha is positive that that boy is in for a world of creepy pain and testing cause no one knew about Naruto’s parents, and the ones that did might not have known about Oro?” and about that same time I came across a post where there was some disappointment shown that Jiraiya didn’t seem to remember Kushina’s name, despite being close to Minato, and the anime’s treatment of women. I agree, but I did have this passing thought, that it still at least made sense in context of the show, since giving the name Uzumaki to Naruto seemed to have sheltered him from a vast majority of the village when it comes to knowing his roots, and with the wonky timeline, it can be argued that how far Minato and Kushina’s relationship before Jiraiya leaves is debatable, and despite being Naruto’s godfather, he may have never actually realized that Minato’s relationship with Kushina came that far, that it was just Minato’s kid and wife who was in a village far away and it could or could not have been Kushina. 

And that, the fact that Jiraiya didn’t know Kushina’s name, mixed with that really annoying to me fact that the majority of the village didn’t know the new Hokage had a wife and kid or the details of them at least, and just, a million little details of ridiculous amounts of lacking knowledge all hit me at once. The identities of working Anbu are supposed to be unknown to everyone but the Hokage when there’s a small pool of potential candidates with specific and powerful abilities comes to mind? Most people ignore that in fic and just roll. Danzo getting away with so much, even if Hiruzen himself was at least somewhat aware, is almost unbelievable, as is the fact that Naruto’s generation has been going to classes to teach the basic’s of ninjitsu, but they still need a lot of exposition to learn about the world around them in things that probably should have been covered at this point. A lot of pedigrees of a LOT of main characters is full of suspicious holes that none of the characters are to thrilled to try and fill, and the daily lives of friends and colleges are often mysteries until the series itself deems it funny for another character to explore. And every time I think of this junk, I think why and usually draw a blank, but not this time.

And you know, everyone makes out Konoha and the other villages to be a (kinda goofy) den of snoopy ninja and one-upmanship and everyone is always observing and learning things about everyone else and…. funny thought…stick with me here…what if it’s not? What if everyone else genuinely has no clue whats happening with everyone else, or even how far that everyone else extends? It kinda makes sense. Like, children, massive amounts of children go missing and receives no comment until they are found. Political plots are conceived and hatched and come to tragic ends for a lack of information on several accounts. People wander into town and are never questioned on their source. Nobody seems to check in on Naruto, or Sasuke, or Obito, or Kakashi, or Orochimaru, or any other Konoha orphans who’s backstory we know. 

What if, when it comes to your own village, you just don’t go poking your nose in?

Like we see some of what most people frame the village as in fandom in really early Naruto and some latter filler episodes, but with some exceptions (such as Kakashi and Gai’s antics) it’s mostly Naruto’s generation who does all the shenanigans and poking around. And Konaha, heck the village system in general, and I tend to forget this, is actually fairly new. It’s what? About 6 generations young? That’s ridiculous! And a majority of that time is spent in war. Think about that, and it really makes sense. The previous generation finishes off a war young, and is only just now, within the last decade, still in mourning and still fighting, starting to show some rowdiness, and this applies back to the village’s conception. In all, Naruto’s gen is probably the first to embrace their superhuman abilities as something to play with whole heartily. 

So before now there’s probably very little active play snooping that happens outside of the sort of practice play you get in little genin teams, so snooping from curiosity or joy is out. There’s still a palpable tension between the Uchiha and Hyuuga, so there’s probably a sort of active discouragement to snoop, a show of trust to try and assuage tensions and prevent war. On the same note, ninja at the heart of it are a mercenary culture. They do terrible things for the right price, and that sort of lifestyle asks that questions of motivation are better left unasked. Your average ninja might just assume that if something seems suspicious, then either the higher ups already know about it, and you risk ruining whatever measures are being taken to change or work against the suspicious thing, or you snoop and potentially find something you shouldn’t and don’t make it out alive. 

And take a lot of the big gaping common sense plot holes and fill it in with that mentality and it works. Danzo got away with so much because Hiruzen assumed suspicious activity would be reported, and anyone outside of Danzo’s network who saw suspicious activity assumed that the activity was known and being addressed. Both Itachi and Oro didn’t question Danzo’s orders, despite knowing they were wrong, because in their shoes they couldn’t know how far the “Danzo knew that Hiruzen knew that Danzo knew that Hiruzen knew…” train went and had to trust the Hokage. No one ever comes to help Naruto or any of the other tragic backstory orphans, because anyone who would care, their own issues aside, might assume that no matter how bad it looks, someone else has got it. No one attacked Konoha after the Kyuubi attack because Hiruzen did everything in his power to squash every single rumor about it both within and without his village, people didn’t talk, meaning most didn’t know it happened until Konoha had rallied it’s defenses. If anything, the planned Uchiha coup just proves how dangerous rumors can be in a ninja village, and how they might try and prevent people from poking their noses into everything. And that trickles down into the every day lives of a whole group of war torn and grieving people who have isolated themselves, living in a world that discourages attempts at breaking that isolation. The restaurant owners and shopkeeps don’t run the rumor mill, Konoha doesn’t have a rumor mill, and if you hint otherwise it could be dangerous for you and your store.

So here’s some food for thought that just came to my mind. What if Mikoto didn’t know who Naruto’s father was? Like, knowing that her eventual conception and birth would weaken the seal, Kushina is not allowed to tell anyone who doesn’t come across the information about her marriage just in case, and Mikoto doesn’t question it, because that’s how it works in the village. Terrifying. 

(Also taking that into account, you could probably insert any crack ship into canon and not change it at all cause fudge if anyone knew what was happening outside their little spheres back then, it’s all news to them. Any number of illegitimate children and secret family and marriages and torrid love affairs could come to light and it would be all news to them.) 

I found this amusing and at least it tries to patch over some gaping plot holes, but whether you go with everyone being idiots and nothing makes sense, or this barely cohesive mess, and of course there are always exceptions…

Tl;dr, Naruto world ninja ARE BAD AT THEIR JOBS.

Th1rteen R3asons Why: Prepare to Be Obsessed.

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

I thought for this recap/review  I would stick to the theme with 13 reasons of my own.

13 reasons why I LOVED  (or Not Loved) THIS SHOW (and BOOK)

The Loved List

1. The Cast - Katherine Langford (Hannah) is amazing (some Aussie pride over here!) and I feel she does total justice to the lead character, she made it completely believable and relatable.  I also loved seeing Ross Butler (Zach) in another role, as I already love him as Reggie in The CWs Riverdale! Only wish we could’ve seen more of him. It’s always an honour to have Kate Walsh (Hannah’s mom) grace the screen, I’ve been a fan since Private Practice. I felt that all the cast were perfectly chosen and brought their characters stories to life in a magical way. I couldn’t imagine any of the roles with another actor. They were amazing and a great fresh young cast who I am sure will soon be taking Hollywood by storm! 

2. The Narrative Format - I absolutely LOVE Jay Asher’s narrative concept for this story. The tapes, the voice, the whole idea and concept just adds to the whole kind of ‘thrilling’ feeling which perfectly suits the haunting story of Hannah Baker. I think it’s an extremely unique narrative and it works so well with this particular theme and topic by adding so much more depth and emotion to the story. I don’t reckon that such an important and serious theme could’ve been addressed half as well or as appropriately with any other narrative. It worked perfectly together.

3. The Storylines - The storylines are all fabulous. The book and main storyline about the suicide of Hannah Baker and what lead her to her decision is something I think is extremely important to tell in today’s society with teen depression and cases of teen suicide scarily on the rise and being one  of the leading causes for teen death. It’s haunting, it’s honest, it’s raw, and most importantly it’s so damn real.  Also the individual story for each ‘character’ / ‘tape’ / ‘episode’ are so incredible. Each character has their own unique storyline of how they fitted into Hannah’s life and became a part of her final decision. Most of the stories were exceptionally well suited to their respective character , but some of them left me sad as I really expected more from those characters (especially Zach & Justin but more on them later). Having said that though, it was all fitting to the main story, and wouldn’t have been the same otherwise.

4. The Characters - All of the characters were relatable and wonderfully portrayed. One of my favourite characters was Zach -  mainly because he is played by Ross Butler, but I honestly think he was one of the nicer guys and I really feel like Hannah could’ve come to a different outcome if she’d given him more of chance instead of just brushing him off - but I do also understand she had her reasons for reacting the way she did. I really enjoyed watching each character’s story unfold through out this series as they each had an extremely unique and definite personality, and story. Justin was a character I also enjoyed as I could really feel his pain, and I think he was not a bad guy, but his life lead him to make a couple of bad decisions himself. Everyone has their own demons that they’re battling against and I think that this show perfectly portrays this how all of us are dealing with our own personal issues which cause things to work out the way they do. (I love how the show focuses on each of the characters and also explores the aftermath of how listening to the tapes affected each of their lives (whereas the book only really concentrates on Clays thoughts as he is listening to the tapes and doesn’t really give us much background into the other characters, the show really gives us insight into each of their personal lives and their relationships with one another).

5. The Interweaving -  I also loved seeing in the show how each of the characters were connected to one another and how their relationships are affected by the demise of Hannah. Of course all of them have played some part in her final decision and it’s heartbreaking for them to realise the consequences of what they had done, even though for most of them it was unintentional. They now also become connected by all their secrets as the 13 of them are now fully aware of the secrets of each other and they have to work together to try and keep Hannah’s accusations and their guilt from going ‘public’ which they’re all afraid the ‘stand up, good guy’ , Clay might do - as even Hannah admits - ‘one of these things is not like the others’ and Clay in a sense doesn’t really belong on the list - but I guess Hannah feels she owes him a kind of explanation.

6. The Acting -  The acting is mostly brilliant in this show. I have to give special recognition to the actor Justin Prentice in this segment as I think he did a phenomenal job. Justin Prentice played the character of ‘Bryce Walker’ who is basically the ‘villain’ of the season, he is pig headed and absolutely disgusting , typical jock type guy with less than ZERO respect for women (and his friends) who thinks his money can buy him out of any problem and get him whatever he wantes. He honestly had me HATING him at the end of this show, and I had developed kind of a personal vendetta against him wishing he’d been the one who was dead in Hannah’s stead. Only a few days later I was watching an interview (13 reasons why: beyond the reasons - special available on Netflix under trailers and more) and I realised - ‘Crap. Like he’s (Prentice) a hot, genuinely cool guy. Bryce is just a character.’ He explained how hard it was to bring this character to life. It was a real challenge as it would’ve I’m sure hit a few nerves and touched on a LOT of raw emotions, and sensitive issues. So major props to him for creating such a believable character!

7. Tony & His Mustang -  Tony, played by Christian Navarro, is like half the reason to love this show. Man, Tony is just so effortlessly suave and sexy (but sorry ladies - he’s gay!) and he just happens to continuously appear at the right place and at the right time. I love his kind of mysterious, guardian angel aura that portrays on the show as he follows Clay around and supports him as he tries to get through listening to the tapes. Not that he needs another reason to be sexier but he drives and adores his vintage, red MUSTANG! Dayum! (I’m not sure if I loved Tony or the ‘Mustang’ more to be honest haha) …. He was a major part of the shows success and It wouldn’t have been half as incredible without him in it. 

8.The Messages-  I think that all in all the message that this show tells is one of EXTREME importance : It needs to be heard. It raises awareness of a very important issue which should not be hushed out and kept silent. It’s a shout out to a number of groups too. To Depressed Teens : SILENCE IS NOT STRENGTH!!! PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. OPEN UP TO SOMEONE. If you’re thinking sad, depressive and suicidal thoughts, don’t keep them bottled up inside your mind, speak about them, say them out loud, admit your feelings don’t hide them away from those around you. People can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on inside your head. Some one will always be willing to listen. You just have to speak to the right person. To Teenagers (Humans) in general : DON’T BE AN A**HOLE. You never know how what you do may affect some one and slowly be chipping away at their identity. Be kind. Show Respect! and LISTEN. Read between the lines, be there for people, and provide a ‘safe space’ and an opportunity for them to reach out. Don’t ignore subtle hints! Take EVERYTHING seriously, let them know they are loved. Let them know you CARE! To Adults , Parents and Councellors. Be PRESENT. Be AVAILABLE. Don’t undermine their feelings. If something is troubling them - it’s troubling them for a valid reason - don’t make them feel silly, or like they are over reacting. If they are upset they HAVE THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO FEEL THE WAY THEY DO. Help them overcome it, help them deal with it and remember: the worst thing you can tell someone who is hurting is to ‘MOVE ON’. Their emotions are ALWAYS justified - don’t disrespect their feelings by minimising them. To EVERYONE - whatever we say or do can affect someone else in ways we could never know or imagine. Pay attention to how you treat others! 

The Not so Loved List

8.  The Sexist Themes - I really was affected by the sexism portrayed especially as it’s not just a show and / or story - this is happening IN REAL LIFE. Boys today (and I’m sorry for generalising here, I admit I know it’s not all of you, I know there are still stand-up, genuine gentlemen somewhere out there, they just happen to be the exception rather than the rule these days) have such a little, if any respect for the female body. In this show particularly, it’s as if the girls are viewed as a trophy or a plaything and nothing more - they are not treated as respected, independent, strong individuals - but rather they (girls) are expected to just be taken advantage of allow the boys to ‘take’ their own pleasure from them ( I say this because of two separate rape incidents within this story where the girls did NOT give consent and yet the boys went ahead anyway taking advantage of the vulnerability). Girls are viewed a prize or possession something which can be owned and just because they ‘have the hottest ass’ or the ‘best lips’ now every guy has the ‘right’ (sarcasm here) to just grab the ass, or make out with her whenever he feels like it. It’s absolute rubbish. Any guy who thinks like this is madly flawed in his reasoning - under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should a girl EVER BE TOUCHED UNLESS SHE HAS GRANTED HIS PERMISSION TO DO SO. (And the same goes for guys! Girls shouldn’t throw themselves over them unless the attraction and desire is MUTUALLY acknowledged). It’s a two way thing and BOTH PARTIES involved should have an EQUAL say! Mutual respect is important in any relationship. It doesn’t take much longer to take the time to say, ‘this is what we’re about to do? Is that okay with you?’ make them feel secure and supported.

9.  The Teenage Stupidity -  I was horrified once again by the realisation that this is how teenagers actually treat eachother. More than just in the book or series this is REAL LIFE. It’s so sad to think about how stupid, and naive and unintentional actions can have such harsh, and permanent consequences. I am so glad I am no longer in high school right now - if I had to see these things going on around me I’d be crushed. When did our generation become so cruel? so uncaring? This is not the kind of future we want to raise our kids into .. is it? Let’s get some respect and healthy relationships back into fashion. Let’s raise our girls to be strong, confident, loving and trusting and our boys to be protective, caring, kind and respectful. We are the future and it starts with us! Let’s not just ignore overlook the seriousness of these issues. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD, have a little chat with the (WO)MAN in the MIRROR!

10. The Selfishness - There are more than one areas where I felt selfishness could’ve been avoided and Hannah’s story could’ve had a different outcome. First instance is with the other characters - each of them performed selfish actions (Alex selfishly wrote the list to make himself feel better and get his revenge on Jess, Ryan selfishly published Hannah’s private poem, Bryce, Marcus and Tyler all used Hannah to selfishly satisfy themselves in their own ways). Second instance is Hannah herself - she was extremely selfish in her final decision. Suicide is a selfish choice, and a selfish action. I know it may sound cruel and harsh - but it’s true. When you decide to take your own life, it’s something you want to do to end your pain because you feel that you can’t go on with life anymore. But do you stop to think about those who are left behind? After you’re gone - they’re the ones who will be left struggling with the aftermath, with a hole in their hearts and an emptiness in their life because of what you CHOSE to do. It’s always a choice. Another interesting point brought out in the special is that suicide of a friend / classmate can affect people so much that it often drives another person to suicide. (As happened in this show when Alex also shoots himself in the end). It’s heartbreaking for those left behind, and do you really want to make your loved ones suffer a pain worse than what you yourself has been going through? Especially if you haven’t really given them the chance to help you overcome what ever it is you are facing.

11. The Lack of Support -  I was especially disappointed in Hannah’s parents, Mr. Porter and Hannah’s “Peer Communications” class and teacher. All of these groups had a chance to support / help Hannah. She tried to talk to her parents, but because they were so worried about the business all the time, she felt like she would only be burdening them unnecessarily, she thought she was strong enough to do it without them, and they were too distracted to notice that she was going through some really rough things. They didn’t make themselves available and Hannah didn’t feel like she could talk to them.  Hannah made a reach out to her ‘Peer Communications’ class in the anonymous discussion bag with a note about suicidal thoughts but the class laughed it off, and thought it was some one looking for attention, the teacher didn’t realise it was actually a cry for help (but in all fairness Hannah refused to come forward - so what was she expected to do?). Hannah however did come forward and try to reach out to Mr. Porter, the school councellor, after she was raped by Bryce and what did he tell her ‘If she didn’t want to report it, or confront him, Bryce would be leaving the school in a few months and her best option was to ‘move on’.’ What an absolute disgrace!! It’s no wonder he became the 13th Reason why! She said in so many words that she just ‘Wanted life to stop’ but he didn’t take her seriously enough and that same day she went home and did what she felt was the only thing she could. 

12. Clay - I found myself getting annoyed with Clay ALOT through out the series (he was a little less irritating in the book) … He felt like a weak, pointless character other than being the one to deliver the contents of the tapes to us. I felt like he didn’t have much depth, or wasn’t all to interesting to watch. He was trying to fight the tapes instead of just listening to them and getting the full story for Hannah. Luckily Tony (the hero of the story) was there to set him straight at every turn. I do like the fact that Clay stood up to Mr. Porter at the end as he so wisely said ‘It’s got to change. The way we treat each other.’ I did also respect that he was probably the only guy spotlighted in the series that didn’t try to take advantage of Hannah.

13. Hannah’s Choice(s) - This may seem a little unfair and I know Hannah had her reasons for her final choice, and I understand why she felt like she had to do what she did, I do, but I also think that there were a few instances where she could’ve made a different choice and all in all this could’ve lead to a very different outcome for her. In a sense I feel that she set herself up for failure. She made choices which allowed her to justify her decision.  One mistake I think Hannah made was not giving Zach a chance, I might be wrong here, and maybe he would’ve used her like all the other guys, but he seemed genuinely concerned for her after Marcus’ stunt! She made him look like a fool in front of everyone and then expected him to stand up for her when she ‘tried’ to call out for help? Maybe if she’d just given him a chance and opened up to him when they were in good standing he might have been able to hear her cry for help and respond accordingly. Another missed opportunity was that with Clay - when they were making out at the party she asked him to stop she felt the hurt from all the accusations against her reputation up until that point. He listened, he respected her , he stopped. He was confused, he asked her what was going on, she could’ve broken down and opened up to him then, but what did she do? She pushed him away. She chased him out. If she’d opened up to him, if they’d begun a relationship, she could’ve regained her self-respect and she wouldn’t probably have found herself in a shady situation with Bryce. Bring me to her third mistake NOT REPORTING BRYCE, yes she blamed Mr Porter for telling her ‘move on’ but she did not want to report it or confront Bryce- she didn’t want to see him again. She could’ve and should’ve reported him. She had witnessed Bryce previously rape a barely conscious Jessica (and Justin had seen too)  and if she’d paired up with them they could’ve taken him down and found peace. But Jessica didn’t even know, Justin covered for Bryce and Hannah never told Jessica the truth or confronted either of them until the tapes. If she’d spoken sooner, the outcome could’ve been a different one.


Anyways an AMAZING story completely haunting, gripping and thought provoking! Definitely recommended!!! Even the points on my NOT SO LOVED LIST made the story what it is - and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing - as if Hannah’s story were any different it wouldn’t leave such an important lesson for every single one of us!

Favorite Things-chapter 1

(Max- The Resident)

Favorite Things Masterlist

Summary- Max has a new tenant. Can he win over his new resident without her discovering his secret?

Author’s Note- We’re gonna go ahead and pretend that Juliet doesn’t exist, which is pretty much my head cannon anyways. I love Max. I don’t care if I shouldn’t. Lol. This will eventually be a multi chapter story. Probably not very long and will get eventually really smutty and explicit. I’ve had this idea running through my brain for a long time…this prompt finally gave me the push to start. Lol. Prompt is Red Velvet from Jeffrey Dean Morgan Rarechar Content Event. This chapter is just creepy stalker fluffiness.

Word Count- 1688

Tag List- Let me know if you want on or off! @flames-bring-a-ton-of-ash @ladylorelitany @melodicdolls @ninjacuddlepile @neganscatleesi @thatwriterizzy @jeffreydeanmorganrarechar

Tag List is only people who specifically requested to be tagged in everything I write or people who said anyone can tag them in anything. Lol. If you are on my Sunny Days tag list and want to be on my “everything tag list” just let me know!



Originally posted by jeffrey-daddy-morgan

Max had first seen her in a coffee shop down the way. She sat next to the window with her laptop and latte. She looked so serene as she watched people walk by with her brown eyes. Every few minutes she would smile to herself and her fingers would tap furiously against her keyboard. Occasionally, she’d pause and twirl a curl of her caramel locks or nibble on her plump rosy lip. She never looked at him. Why would she?

He came back the next day and every day after that. She was always there. She quickly became the highlight of his day. He watched her for 2 weeks. She was always happy and polite to those around her. He wondered who she was and what she did. He wanted to get closer. Smell her perfume. Brush up against her skin.

He didn’t work up the courage to speak with her until he saw her frowning at her screen one day. He walked by and saw that she was scrolling through a real estate site. Maybe this was fate. She was supposed to come into his life for a reason. To give his life reason.

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A Letter to the Sherlock Fandom

You may think that this is a lot of text and too long to read but I implore you to try so that you can better understand these points of view.

I apologise if this isn’t as eloquent or measured as I intended it to be but I am honestly so angry at the Sherlock fandom right now. Not all, obviously, many are conducting themselves amazingly no matter their opinion on the episode. However, there are a large (and loud) number who are not and not only are these people making the rest of us look bad and acting as if they speak for the fandom as a whole, I fear that they are doing (and may have already succeeded in doing) irreparable damage to what could have been a great community.

There are several points I wish to address in this post so I will try to dissect each one individually to the best of the ability.

Harassment

No matter what you thought of the episode it is NOT okay, or even productive, to harass members of the cast or crew in any way (whether it be through social media, through official complaints (which can actually have further effects on their professional lives also which are definitely not yours to mess with) etc.). It started with Amanda back when season 3 was announced and that was just downright cruel and now it seems the lesson has not been learnt. They have worked hard on this show and even if it did not turn out as you personally expected it or wanted it to you cannot hate them for having a different view of where things should go than you. I have seen many people on Tumblr saying things along the line of ‘it our show anyway we can do what we want and it can be what we want it to be’. No. It is their show, we merely enjoy it - they created it and they have final say on what happens. I for one would not wish to see a world where the fans get to decide what happens as that would only ever cause further divide in communities and result in one section of a fandom having superiority over the others which is already happening in the Sherlock fandom with some Johnlockers/TJLCers.This harassment also extends to the harassment of other member of the fandom - labelling someone as homophobic because they don’t ship a same-sex ship is not only detrimental to the LGBT+ cause it puts up further barriers for the normalisation of non-traditional relationships.

On a similar topic, complaining to the BBC because you didn’t like the episode is not only petty but also counterproductive - these people are not asking for change in doing so they are calling for an end to the show and a witch-hunt in which those who created it are to be mocked in a public sphere. I have seen many people proudly posting images of their complaints and encouraging others to do the same and even petitions to a similar effect and it saddens me that people have become so arrogant in believing that the show is theirs and they were owed more that they would stoop to such levels. You were not owed anything. You didn’t like it, deal with it, move on.

Queerbaiting

I cannot express how much I dislike this term. Sometimes, yes, the teasing of fans with a potentially queer couple is done in an interpretably malicious way. With Sherlock, this is not the case. The cast and crew have said from the start that Johnlock (the main ship brought up in such discussions) was not going to happen. If you missed that and were not aware - fine; but if you knew this and then continued to be upset that it wasn’t happening - that is on you.  It is not queerbaiting if there was never any potential for the relationship in the first place - especially when neither character has been canonically stated to be queer.

Fetishisation of Gay Relationships and the Anti-Straight Trend in the Progressive Community

Wow, that was a long title. I have seen many of the aforementioned complaints to the BBC, petitions and Tumblr posts claiming that by not making a ship such as Johnlock canon they have let down a large portion of the community who are LGBT+ and have not given them the representation they deserve. Whilst representation is good and everyone does deserve to be able to see someone like them on television, as I said before, we have known from the stat that this was not going to happen with these characters. If you didn’t understand that clear message - again, it is on you, not the creators who have always been honest about the future of such a ship. You can be upset that they did not become canon in the same way that you would for any other ship but you cannot claim that you have been robbed of representation, misled in any way or owed better because you were never promised it in the first place.

As for the title of this section, I have seen a common trend in fandom communities towards making canonically straight characters gay, which whilst harmless if not taken to the extreme (as I feel some members of the Johnlock community have) actually highlights a double standard and serious problem that must be addressed. If one were to take a canonically gay character, strip them of their identity and make them straight they would be called homophobic in an instant. However, when it is the other way around, no one complains. Heterosexual is an identity too and to keep classifying it as separate from the others, in a class of its own, is only going to slow down progress and make it harder for true unity to occur. By stating that two characters, one of whom has categorically stated that they are not gay (and of course only one would be enough) have to be gay because of they way they interact (via your personal interpretation - often though tinted lenses) you are not only arguing that two men cannot be simply very good friends without harbouring romantic feelings for each other, you are also denying John of his own self-proclaimed identity.

The Bad Side of TJLC

(The previous paragraph is also relevant to this section and thus again I must state that whilst shipping two characters is fine, outright ignoring their identity and labelling them yourself is not.)

On paper, TJLC (The JohnLock Conspiracy) is not too harmful, you can speculate as much as you want. Where it becomes harmful is where people delve into the realm of delusion. There are many TJLCers who wholeheartedly believe that Johnlock is already canon or has to be canon and it is these people who appear to harbour the strongest negative beliefs about the recent episode and who are doing the most damage to this community.

I have seen countless posts recently along the lines of the following: 'clearly we know more than Moftiss’, 'how could they not see it was so obvious’, etc. Such arrogance as to your own beliefs is extremely harmful to the wider community. You do not know more than the creators of the show, the show is as they intended it to be - anything that you find within the show (with your TJLC-tinted glasses) that supports your predetermined theory is simply you putting two and two together and making five. It was not intended and therefore not symbolic of your beliefs and so your interpretation is no more than that - an interpretation not fact.

Believe it or not, for those of us not in the TJLC community, JohnLock was not obvious - for someone like me, when I first heard of this ship and TJLC I was incredibly surprised because I saw no romantic connection whatsoever - just two friends; and that was all that they were intended by the creators to be. If you were aware of the cast and crews comment of the subject and still deluded yourself into believing that TJLC was true - that was on you. No one else is to blame for your beliefs not lining up with the facts of the show.

Your ship does not rule this fandom and you do not speak for the whole fandom so those of you saying they didn’t give the fandom what they wanted - you are wrong. They didn’t give you what you wanted. You don’t speak for me and you don’t speak for the countless others like me who actually enjoyed the episode and/or are not in any way JohnLock shippers.

Sherlock Holmes and the Delusion of the Fake Episode

For those of you who still believe in some way that the episode was a fake one, that a  new episode will come out and say that it was all a dream etc. Again, you are deluding yourself and this is not healthy and will only lead to disappointment. It is what it is. Failure to accept reality for what it is and move on from there, living in a constant state of denial is a serious problem.

I have so much more to say and honestly not the words to say it without going off onto too much of a tangent right now. I may add continuations (in fact I most likely will once I can formulate sentences again) to this if I think of anything.

I know that one post on Tumblr isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference and the fractures in this community may never heal but I honestly could not hold this in any longer.

You are welcome to ask questions or for clarification on any point made or any point you wish me to address.

YOI headcanons and my absurdly long canon-divergent fic

Putting this here because this fic is getting so massive and I’ve shoved so many headcanons into it that I need to keep track of everything before I forget it, will be uploading the damn thing tonight:

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Is Tweek a Homosexual? An Analysis on Tweek’s Sexuality

After spending months discussing these topic in either fragments or in private chats, I decided to make one huge post that makes it clear where I stand on whether or not Tweek is gay and why I feel that way. If it seems as if I’m putting way to much effort into this one post, that’s because this is a subject that, as I mentioned already, I find myself returning to repeatedly so I want to get everything out there in one go. 

The short answer: Yes, Tweek is probably gay.

Bebe’s  Boobs Destroy Society

Surprise. It actually wasn’t Tweek x Craig that kicked this topic off. The episode that many people reference when explaining why they firmly believe Tweek is gay actually aired 14 years ago! Tweek’s sexuality came into question among observant viewers after the season 6 episode “Bebe’s Boobs Destroy Society” aired. I’ve made a post joking about Tweek’s noticeable disinterest in Bebe throughout that episode. (Shameless plug to a past post)

Besides the two scenes mentioned in that post, there are two more that stand out.

  • When Cartman showers Bebe in praise in the above scene, Stan and Kyle agree to what he is saying and that Bebe should be invited into the group. Tweek, on the other hand, says nothing. 
  • Despite being there to invite Bebe to throw rocks at vehicles, Tweek does not show up later on to do so. 

The amount of inconsistency he shows in his behavior towards Bebe that NO OTHER BOY SHOWS (ESPECIALLY with how he had a delayed reaction at one point) in this episode strongly implies he was playing into a herd mentality. I can look over one scene as an animation error. But FOUR different scenes?

Also, if his disinterest had been any more blatant, it is unlikely he would have gotten by without being questioned by the other boys, putting the writers into a position where they might have felt obligated to address the issue in an upcoming episode since Tweek was a main character at the time. This is just some speculation on my part, but maybe they did intend to return to the subject had Tweek remained in the spotlight for longer than he did?

More on Tweek and his Lack of Interest in Girls

Bebe and her boobs aside, Tweek doesn’t seem to care much for girls in general. As of season 20, Tweek is the only boy never confirmed to have had a girlfriend or romantic interactions with at least one girl in general. The only time Tweek expresses “interest” in a girl was when Clyde showed him a photoshopped picture of Lisa in “The Hobbit”. But, similar to the situation he was in with Bebe, if Tweek had responded in any other way than he did after Clyde directly addressed him (obviously fishing for compliments), his sexuality would have been called into question by the other students since Lisa’s photo was edited to be the perfect example of conventional attractiveness. Lisa herself would have most likely made damn sure to out him as gay if he had not feigned interest considering how narcissistic and defensive the picture had made her. And she was RIGHT THERE when Clyde showed Tweek the picture. Him not acting impressed with the subject of the photo actually being there in person would have came across as insulting to both Clyde and Lisa.

Most closeted homosexuals would have done the same as Tweek to avoid potential problems. Here’s something else to consider about this scene. Tweek does not actually directly call Lisa attractive. He just calls Clyde lucky. While the others directly comment on Lisa’s appearance. Jimmy even goes as far as saying he’d have sex with her. 

Speaking of not calling girls attractive, later on in that same episode, the boys go through the edited pictures of their female classmates.

While the other boys each have something to say about which girl they think is the hottest, Tweek, just like he did in the diner when Cartman, Kyle and Stan were praising Bebe, stands there saying absolutely nothing. Again, no male character besides Tweek has shown so little attraction to girls throughout the series. 


Tweek and Boys

Okay. So there is plenty suggesting Tweek doesn’t like girls. But that doesn’t automatically mean he cares for boys much either. Asexuality is a thing. 

While I could reference him commenting on Mr. Mackey’s ass (Sexual Harassment Panda) and being one of the people up front to see what is obviously Randy dancing around in a dress  (”#HappyHolograms”), let’s skip the side stuff and dive straight into the episode that gave us the first official gay relationship among the kids: “Tweek x Craig”. 

First off, Tweek doesn’t deny the specific accusation of being gay nearly as much as Craig. In fact, we never see him denying the accusations at all until Craig jumps in on the accusations as well (”But we’re not (gay)! At least I’M not!”). 

I believe these two scenes best sum of Tweek’s sexuality crisis. In the first scene, he doesn’t bother denying being gay until prompted to by Craig. Until that point, he had an expression of uncertainty. As if he was in deep thought. The most likely reason? Upon his sexuality finally being directly questioned by others (through attempts to hook him up with the boy considered the most attractive by the girls no less!), he’s either:

  • Connecting the dots and realizing he actually IS gay
  • Already well aware that he is gay and trying to decide on which coarse of action he should take now that he’s being forced out of the closet

Considering the emotional maturity combined with the low self-esteem Tweek showed in this episode, I think the second option is the most likely one. He was most likely a closeted homosexual. 

The second picture further shows Tweek is not really opposed to being with someone of the same sex by having two male dolls set up in a kissing position set off to the side. 

Before I move on to the later half of the episode, I would like to point out that Cupid Me skipped over Tweek. Assuming he’s Cartman’s imagination, this means Cartman might have already kinda picked up Tweek’s not straight. If Cupid Me isn’t just part of his imagination…do I really need to say what the implications of the homosexual personification of love not feeling that Tweek needs an arrow are?

I find the dialogue of this scene to be pretty telling. Tweek most likely tapped into his real emotions to pull this scene off so well. Those emotions being his frustration with Craig ASSUMING he knows what Tweek wants and making the decision to try and ruin any potential romantic development. Craig handled this situation REALLY badly to say the least and came off as insensitive to what Tweek may have wanted by putting his own feelings first and assuming Tweek shared those feelings. He didn’t realize how inconsiderate he was being. Tweek, being a nervous wreck with low self esteem, couldn’t find the nerve to directly object to what he was doing and repressed his own feelings. He bubbled up those feelings only for them to come pouring out in this scene as REALLY good acting which, along with Craig’s earlier support, gave him a huge boost in self esteem. 

Later on, with a new found confidence, Tweek was able to be honest about his feelings and tell Craig how much he and his support meant to him. Only to be rejected, something that clearly hurt him. 

Eventually Craig changes his mind and they get together. And while there is a lot of subjective in the analysis for this episode. This look of complete admiration could not be described as anything else.

Tweek, objectively speaking, has shown, by far, the least interest in girls of the male students. Not Cartman. DEFINITELY not Butters. TWEEK. The ONLY character he has pursued is MALE

Tweek is most likely the source of homosexual representation among the students.

Let’s talk about Yang and Sun as characters

So, I ain’t touching that shipping discourse with a ten foot pole because it is pointless and dramatic and y’all need to calm your tits, but I do think we need to discuss the differences between Yang and Sun as characters and how they relate to Blake, because I feel like there is some fundamental misunderstandings here that are vastly contributing to the problem.

First and foremost, neither Sun nor Yang should ever be labeled as abusive because they are not. Adam Taurus is abusive. Adam drove Blake to some very dark and scary places in her life because of his abusive behavior. He was obsessed with her in and unhealthy and possessive way and did not care about her well-being. Yang and Sun are both good people who would never hurt Blake on purpose and even when they do incorrect things in regards to how they treat her it always come from a place of concern for her.

Secondly, one of the big arguments I’m hearing lately in regards to the way they each interact with Blake is that if the characters positions were reversed then people would be having the opposite reactions. Like people saying that if Yang had followed Blake everyone would be praising it as romantic and if Sun had been the one to convince Blake to come out to the dance everyone would be calling him pushy or bad. Except here’s the thing that’s wrong with that line of discussion. It operates under the idea that Yang and Sun are the same kind of character personality wise. And they are not. At all.

See, Sun’s character is the kind of person that people think Yang’s character is, and Yang’s character is something else all together.

Sun is loud and friendly and a little clueless. He takes an interest in people and genuinely cares about them, but he looks at everything through his own world view without necessarily taking other people’s feelings into consideration and as a result he can come off as sort of obnoxious. He’s a big stupid sweetheart. Does he want to help? Absolutely. Does he know how best to do that? Absolutely not. This is what makes him a good foil for Blake, in that he absolutely doesn’t get her at all and it results in hilarious misunderstandings that are totally harmless but still drive her a little crazy. Certain people are taking that cluelessness as malicious in some way, and that’s how we’re getting this weird misconception that he is “abusive.” People think he is willfully ignoring Blake’s wishes, when what is actually happening here is that he legitimately doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get that Blake might want to go on this personal mission home by herself because his life’s motto is that “You should always get friends involved.” He just sees his friend putting herself in a sad and scary situation alone and wants to support her. He doesn’t understand why she might not want his support because it clashes so much with his personal world-view. He always has Blake’s best interest at heart, but sometimes he goes about helping her in a way that just kind of irritates her.

Yang is a whole other story. Yang is loud and friendly too, but the key difference here is that she is keenly aware of other people’s feelings and behaves accordingly. She recognizes that Blake has limits when it comes to personal interactions and the like, and so she handles her more gently than she might with someone else. She still pushes her outside her comfort zone with things like bear hugs because she’s trying to help her grow, but she does it in little ways rather than pushing her all out at once because she sees that wouldn’t help. She wants to help Blake, but she wants to do it at Blake’s preferred pace. Which is good, and it allows the two of them to grow close gradually. But it’s also means that she can be a bit too cautious sometimes. Yang’s careful observation of other’s behavior does come from her desire to help people, but it also comes from her own fear of rejection. She waits and observes and reacts accordingly because she’s scared that if she pushes too hard people will leave her. Blake recognizes and appreciates that Yang gives her space and let’s her handle things at her own pace, but she doesn’t realize the other reason why she does it. She doesn’t realize that by running away she is hurting Yang, because she’s so wrapped up in her own fears that she can’t recognize Yang’s. And Yang does the same, viewing Blake’s running as a form of rejection due to her own issues, rather than recognizing it as part of Blake’s issues.They are both caring, considerate people who have deeply rooted emotional issues that they need to work through, and that’s why they play off of each other so well. They respect each other’s problems, but are so wrapped up in their own problems that they can’t always help each other.

So now, with all this in mind, let’s go back to the original hypotheticals I addressed there. We’ll go chronologically and start with the Burning the Candle scenes.

The idea here is that if Sun had tried to convince Blake to come out to the dance in the way Yang had, people would view his actions as pushy and inappropriate, instead of sweet and heartfelt as they were with Yang. The problem with that idea is that Sun wouldn’t have tried to help her the way Yang did. He didn’t understand why Blake was upset and thus he couldn’t have talked her through her issues the way Yang did. And if he somehow did understand, he wouldn’t have dealt with it the same way. He wouldn’t have shared a personal experience and tried to use that to help her understand how she was hurting herself. He would have told her that there was no point in worrying about stuff she can’t change and just joked around with her in an attempt to make her feel better. And as a result, it likely wouldn’t have worked.

Then there’s this idea that if Yang had followed Blake onto the boat against her wishes people would think it was sweet and romantic, instead of clueless and mildly irritating as it was with Sun. But again, the problem with this idea is that Yang wouldn’t do that. If Yang had seen Blake leave and had the opportunity to follow her, she wouldn’t have. And it wouldn’t be because she respects Blake’s choice, or because she wanted to give her space to deal with her own issues. She wouldn’t have followed because she would have viewed it as a rejection. Why is Blake leaving? Did I do something wrong? Why would she leave me without saying anything? I must have messed up, because why else would she be running? She wouldn’t have realized that Blake was running because she was scared, because she would have internalized the abandonment immediately and viewed herself as not good enough to be around Blake anymore.

Bottom line: The idea that the fandom would react differently if the roles were reversed is a fallacy, because the roles between Yang and Sun can’t be reversed in any situation. They are fundamentally different characters, and the idea that they would do the same things in the same situations is just nonsense. They serve different purposes in Blake’s life, different purposes in the story. You can’t just flip the script without changing the entire story.

It seems like half the issues from the two sides of this fandom hate seem to stem from the idea that these two characters are interchangeable in some way and that the only difference between them is their gender, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are completely different people who serve completely different roles in Blake’s story. They are both there to help her grow, but in different ways. To think any differently is honestly disrespectful to all three of them and to the work that has been put into them as characters.

Stop treating Sun like a bad character, stop treating Yang like a bad character, and (to quote a completely different fairy tale) stop treating Blake like she’s a prize to be won in all of this.

let’s talk tendou satori

so, it is my lovely son’s birthday today (May 20th), and I wanted to take the opportunity, with season 3 approaching, to talk about why i seriously fucking love tendou, and why everyone else should too. so here we go, my top ten reasons, in no particular order, as to why i am in love with tendou satori.

spoilers for the manga under the cut, and many, many manga screencaps. i have over 100 of tendou. what can i say, i’m obsessed with this lovable redhead.

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How Zuko’s Arc and Mai’s character would have been better without Maiko

So I previously wrote about how I believe that Mai was originally intended as a sort of anti-love interest, if you will. A character who serves as a symbol of the cold and impersonal lifestyle of the Fire Nation life that Zuko didn’t want.  A girl who wants a relationship with him of physical affection, but no emotional connection. So today I’m gonna speculate on how the story may have played out if this idea was actually followed through with. What if Mai and Zuko had not jumped into a relationship? How would the story have been affected? The characters? I believe it would be a lot better for BOTH Zuko and Mai and I’m going to explain why by going through each episode that involves Mai and Zuko.

The Awakening

Let’s start with the premiere. Honestly, this episode does a pretty fine job itself of establishing the anti-love interest idea. If you don’t factor in the comic Going Home Again, I would have guessed that this was the first interaction they had since they were kids. Zuko does not seem to know Mai or have any particular interest in her. She is attracted to him physically and wants to make that known in her forward way by kissing him, but she doesn’t seem to be interested in any type of emotional intimacy. Zuko’s role is more passive. His feelings are being ignored, but he’s simply going with it, unable to stand up for himself. Very similar to his dynamic with his sister, and his father. 

Mai comes across as a person who just isn’t very emotional or introspective. She is Azula’s best friend, after all. She was the only character who never seemed afraid to act casually around Azula. Honestly, it made her an interesting character and I wouldn’t change it. Her wanting a casual relationship, which we know Zuko would not want, would have made a very interesting dynamic. It’s too bad her character was retconned. I thought Mai was a cool antagonist in Book 2. She was cool, logical, detached, and humorously sarcastic and deadpan. In Book 3, she was rewritten as a gloomy, mopey, whiner and lost all her charm and wit. And after this episode, she developed “Asami syndrome.” Her entire identity as a character became “girlfriend” with little identity of her own. I feel like it was a waste of potential and a disservice to Mai’s character.

The Headband

I’ll be perfectly honest, the first time I saw this episode, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Just one episode before, they really didn’t seem to be on the same page. What is this mushy-gushy stuff? It seemed to come out of nowhere. Zuko had been shut down emotionally pretty bluntly. He isn’t the type to open up casually and is extremely sensitive to rejection, so the fact that he’s acting all sappy with the girl who rejected him was very implausible. Mai, too, was behaving very bizarrely. She never came across so…mushy. Heck, she didn’t even seem to want a serious relationship that required emotional investment. It was SO cringeworthy and embarrassing to watch. It also pegs her as a female character who seems to only care about life when it involves a boyfriend. Not very healthy or positive. And, honestly, kind of sexist.

And to be perfectly honest, the very idea that Zuko, a socially inept teen with PTSD who, we can only assume, has only been on a single date in his life, would jump into a serious relationship with a girl who he cannot have a serious conversation with and he barely knows, is ludicrous. Add in the fact that he is in one of the darkest periods of his life, and has a tendency to push others away when he is stressed. He isn’t the type to want physical affection without trust or emotional connection. In no way, would he be in any position to be in a relationship, let alone one that the story should be portraying as positive. I don’t know what the writers were thinking (*coughBrykecough*). Simply beyond plausibility and so out of character. Also, the fact that she was trying to capture him up until The Crossroads of Destiny is an issue that is never addressed. This relationship from its inception only exists by having both the characters act massively in contradiction to all of their characterization throughout Book 2 and has some very problematic messages. Gee, I can’t imagine why the fan base has not taken a liking to this ship. It’s a real mystery. Fangirls must be crazy. That’s the only explanation.

The Beach

This episode doesn’t take much reworking to make Mai the anti-love interest. Their relationship already seems to be one based off of mutual negativity and her ordering him around and being difficult to please. The two do not seem to have ever had any conversation about Zuko’s life or why he is so miserable. And never is any attempt made to remedy that. And all that is fine. Zuko’s misery and loneliness is very important during his time in the Fire Nation. But the story needs to recognize that and not let shipping get in the way.

I always thought this episode had a great premise that had a lot of unexplored potential that instead got wasted on the shipping nonsense. It gave us the opportunity to see the Fire teens in a “normal” setting and produced some good laughs. But one interesting concept only got lightly touched on in favor of Book 2 Makorra-style melodrama between Mai and Zuko. I think it was fascinating to see how Zuko would act in a situation where he’s around typical, upper class, privileged teens. Zuko is in no way normal, despite his high status. He cannot relate in any way to these pampered, shallow, superficial kids after living as a child soldier and then a peasant fugitive. He has practically no self-esteem and the distinct awareness that without them knowing his royal status, he’s basically an awkward loser with a conspicuous facial disfigurement. 

Imagine if the fight scene with Ruon-Jian, instead of being about jealousy of Mai (eyeroll), had played out far more personally. The other kids see him as a weird, probably creepy, gloomy, loner sitting by himself, unable and unwilling to socialize. No one recognizes him. He hears them gossiping and tries to ignore them. Ruon-Jian then makes a comment about his scar or something like that. Zuko overhears, and then snaps and throws him across the room, promptly getting him thrown out of the party. This would have been far more poignant for Zuko’s character than the relationship nonsense in my opinion. It would really hit home just how much he feels like an outcast, like he almost always does.

The scene when Zuko enters the Beach house and burns the picture is great. It also doesn’t involve Mai in any way, yet at the end of the episode, they are smooching again and the viewer is apparently supposed to find this sweet. Nope. I’d get rid of that. Zuko’s inner journey in this episode should be a solo affair. “Zuko Alone” is the entire theme of his character for the first half of Book 3.

His explosion at the campfire is the perfect illustration of just how much they don’t understand him, and how he is alone in the Fire Nation. He is simply unable to talk about any of his problems with them, and shuts himself down and reacts defensively to their badgering with anger.

Nightmares and Daydreams

What’s always been amusing to me and many others is that even when the show is trying to portray Maiko as cute, it is so unintentionally bad that it’s almost hilarious (well, it would be if it wasn’t screwing up Zuko’s arc so badly, that is). It doesn’t take much effort to rewrite this episode with Mai as the anti-love interest, trying to hang out with Zuko and have mindless fun with him being disengaged. 

Her ways of “bonding” with him include indulging in the very palace excesses that make him uncomfortable, due to the humility he gained in the Earth Kingdom. Ordering lots of fruit tarts, bossing servants around, and abusing the palanquin carriers. And if that wasn’t enough, her way of “cheering him up” is nonchalantly reminding him of his greatest humiliation, and essentially telling him that dwelling on it is “dumb” and getting in the way of way of more important things. Like kissing. Geez. I would have also included Ty Lee in this episode, because I don’t think it’s fair that Mai hogged all the screen time, and Zuko barely had any interaction with Ty Lee at all. She deserved to get some development, too. Not just Mai.

But, in this episode, he seems to be still in this mode of trying to fight his depression with palace life, by going overboard trying to pleasing others. The cheering women, the palanquin servant, the war meeting, and Mai. He’s trying to be “the perfect prince”. These do not reflect his own wants, they are attempts to do what he thinks others want of him, because he feels empty inside and has spent his whole life trying not to feel like a disappointment. His time in the war meeting was a pivotal moment that Mai had no understanding of, and that’s how it should be. Zuko needs to do this alone.

The Invasion

Honestly, in a better version of the story, this letter writing scene would have been completely unnecessary. Mai and Zuko would not have been in a relationship, just casual acquaintances who Mai may have flirted with, but in all, representing the lifestyle he does not feel compatible with. This cutting of ties would have been far more dramatic without the shipping. Wham, bam, done. Zuko is ready to pursue his destiny and no longer is willing to sacrifice his heart’s calling to please anyone else. Not his father, his country, no one. Mai is completely irrelevant in the next episode, The Eclipse, one of the most important episodes for Zuko in the entire show. That says a lot.

The Boiling Rock Part 1

Sokka: “It must have been hard to leave everything behind.”

Zuko: “Not that hard.”

Sokka: “Are you sure? You didn’t have anyone you cared about?”

Zuko: “Oh, yeah, I forgot…I had a girfriend!  Whoops. Yeah, I’m really gonna miss her gloominess lolol”

Just…no. Take this scene out. At least the Mai part. It was so forced and silly.

The Boiling Rock Part 2

Here’s where things get interesting. If Mai was the anti-love interest I’m describing how would this episode play out? Well, assuming their relationship was as casual as I would have made it, Zuko’s defection would put her in the same position she was in during Book 2. As an enemy who is ordered to capture him alongside Ty Lee. This would finally address the fact that she started off the series trying to capture him. Her uncle is the warden, and her confrontation in the cell would play out with less relationship melodrama, but ultimately the same. In fact, I’d prefer if the scene had both Mai and Ty Lee in it. Mai and Ty Lee think he’s a traitor and Zuko tries to tell them that his nation is in jeopardy and he’s doing what he believes is right. They realize they don’t really know Zuko that well, and things are a lot more complicated than they seem with him. He locks them in the cell and escapes, and then we get to the scene in the cable car.

Zuko and company are about to have the lines cut and be plunged into the boiling water. Mai knows that this guy she thought was a nice cute kid is not gonna be her boyfriend. He’s leaving with the Avatar’s friends and isn’t coming back. He’s following his heart and has a purpose. And now she’s faced with a decision. She can do nothing and allow the guards to cut the line and watch him die a gruesome death. Or she can act and do something that would advance her character. Make a selfless moral decision. Not out of “love” or any expectation of having a boyfriend. But because she wants to do the right thing.

The situation with Tom Tom was borderline, but this would be a situation where someone she knows will absolutely die in a pretty horrible fashion. She is potentially about to watch a group of kids, and her uncle be boiled alive. Personally, I don’t think Mai is evil, she’s just lived life without ever being challenged morally. This would be a true test of her character. I think this scenario works, and is far less cheesy, too. Deep down, she and Ty Lee just aren’t as ruthless as Azula, and they get a true redemption scene.

I think if things played out this way, it would have made Mai way more respectable and badass, instead of a character who only has morals when it involves a boyfriend, which is pretty sexist to her character. It also wouldn’t have made Zuko look like a huge jerk, leaving his girlfriend behind like that. She still was technically an enemy at that point, and she just saved the warden, so it would be far more understandable that Zuko may not have really understood the danger she’d be in from Azula. The scene with Azula wouldn’t have had to change much. Her questioning why Mai would do it would make more sense, obviously if they weren’t really in a relationship. And the rest of the episode can stay the same.

Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang

Yeah, just go ahead and get rid of this scene. Please. Mai and Zuko really don’t need to end up together, especially with her threatening him. It’s really not cute. A relationship’s happily ever after ending with the woman threatening the man not to dump her. How romantic. It’s so insulting to them both. It makes Mai look pathetic and completely crazy. The stereotypical irrational girlfriend trope we see over and over in The Legend of Korra. Shocking. And Zuko is an abuse survivor. Why in God’s name should he end the show being threatened by his “loved” one? It’s just so messed up.

 A scene with him thanking her for what she did at the Boiling Rock, and them ending on good terms would be preferable.

On Characterization and Character Development in Relationships (featuring Jumin Han)

In which I rant about the Mystic Messenger fandom a little, writing, and some of my experience as the mun of @cr-international-official.

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{Pompeii Chapter 5}

Kankuro was a riot, and a part of Sakura believed he was only so chummy and outgoing because it made Gaara all the more uncomfortable. Kankuro acted as if it was a real treat to do anything with Gaara, making the younger brother bluster and blush.

“I’m going to take this upstairs first,” Gaara ground out, glaring at his brother. He paused when he caught Sakura watching him and then ducked his head. “D-do you want to show me where you want it?”

Sakura nodded, taking the stairs two at a time until she was on the landing outside her room. The door had been left empty for the brothers to move in and out of easily. Sakura slipped in first and waved Gaara in behind her. There was a space under the windows she wanted the mattress set. A folded set of sheets sat off to the side, ready to be applied.

“It’ll be nice right under the windows,” Sakura commented, feeling a little nostalgic for when she used to have a similar arrangement in her childhood home.

Gaara surveyed the room, nodding at the cleaned off floor. “You have a lot of room here.” His eyes settled on the succulent she had put under the nearby window and Sakura watched his eyes soften. “You kept it.”

Now it was Sakura’s turn to flush. “Yeah. I…I know it’s super cheesy, but while I like plants and flowers I feel like the desert breeds are the only plants that can survive me. I remember for high school graduation I got so many flowers and even the potted ones. I tried to take care of them but they all died.” She glanced back at the succulent on the window sill. “A friend gave me a small barrel cactus in a pot apologizing for being so prickly all year long. I took care of that guy for my entire college life. It’s a nice feeling, when something stays with you for so long.”

“They are strong,” Gaara agreed.

Behind them the sun was setting and filtered gold started to streak in through the windows to the west. It made his face and hair just glow.

Sakura blinked, “Will you and your brother be okay carrying the mattress up?”

Gaara snorted, shaking his head and making his hair sway. “Kankuro is unnecessary.”

Seconds later a snake of sand slithered mid air, followed by a coil around the mattress. Kankuro was lying on the mattress with a saucy smirk, letting Gaara carry him and the merchandise to the designated spot. He winked at Sakura as Gaara set the mattress down.  Gaara’s sand smacked Kankuro as it left the mattress like hands leaving a child.

“A little showy, don’t you think?” the older brother asked, adjusting the black cat hood he wore as part of his outfit. In addition to a set of all black he also came with an impressive design of face paint traced across his face. At least Sakura guessed it was face paint.  

“Are you truly necessary?” Gaara asked in a droll tone, eyes half lidded.

“Yeah, cause I’m the one in charge, duh.” Kankuro hopped up and slid up alongside Sakura. “Speaking of which, my boss wanted me to ask you about the invoice. Someone already tried paying for it and we wanted to ask-“

“Don’t accept his money!” Sakura’s reaction was knee jerk at best. Both brothers blinked owlishly at her. “Ugh, no, it’s just someone trying to be welcoming. I don’t want to do anything that could be construed as taking a bribe so please don’t deposit their check or whatever they used. I have the payment already made out for you to take back.”

Kankuro smiled, causing Gaara to flinch. “Ah, no worries there. Temari is a force all on her own. She’ll turn down their payment if you tell her to. But is that okay with you? It might piss the party off.”

Sakura felt her shoulders and rolled them back, adopting the look she took on when addressing business. “That may be unfortunate, but I stand by my decision.”  

Kankuro laughed. “Oh man, the old lady is going to love you. Ah, I better get out of here before I get in too deep. Gaara looks ready to murder me.”

Sakura turned and looked back over her shoulder at Gaara, but his face only flushed a brighter shade of red under her scrutiny. He looked more embarrassed than anything. Kankuro was a tease.  

“Come on little brother, you can’t sleep here. Let’s leave Sakura to her rest, it’s getting late enough.”

Outside the sky was caught between the ghost of gold and budding night. In a little while the first stars would probably twinkle into view.  It got dark so fast, like the sky was a drain and all the gold had fallen through to a place Sakura couldn’t see.

Sakura wrote the check and a note to Temari, thanking her for being so understanding, before seeing the boys off at the front. By the time they were out the door there was silver in the sky. Gaara turned to wave her goodbye and the moonlight caught in his pretty green eyes. Sakura nearly froze at the way he looked back at her. It was an image she didn’t believe she could ever forget.

“I hope you sleep well tonight,” she said, not knowing if he heard her.

Gaara’s lip quivered before pulling upwards. “You too.”

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You may or may not have noticed that there’s been a lack of content on my blog in the past couple weeks…well, there’s a big reason for that. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the current state of my life and the direction I want to be heading towards—something over which I’ve been at war with myself for a long while now—and although I don’t envision myself detaching entirely from the Tumblr community, I think the time’s come where I need to move on from Supernatural.

My decision has nothing to do with the show, the actors, or the fandom in of itself. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid negativity/hate for the most part, and I’ve met some pretty darn amazing people because of Supernatural, fans and actors alike. I’ll always hold those experiences close to my heart. My reason for leaving has more to do with the fact that I’ve allowed the show to have a much stronger hold on my life than what’s healthy, and I haven’t really been living because of it.

Point blank, I’m fed up with being someone who does little more than exist on this planet.

I’m an introvert. I don’t make friends easily. And when I do have relationships, they run deep. I am someone who feels emotions wholly; compassion, understanding, and sensitivity to others are among my stronger personality traits. Packaged with a predisposition to depression and anxiety, I’ve never been able to deal with change and/or loss of a relationship very well. I won’t go into the details, but after experiencing hurt, rejection and betrayal on multiple occasions, I shut down and cut myself off from others completely, and I did it by escaping to the fictional realm—because at least then, I had a sense of control. It gave me the benefit of experiencing emotions vicariously through fictional relationships but without the pain of real ones.

For a while, I was comfortable and complacent in that place. The outside world no longer mattered. But over the years, remaining in that place made me cold and callous, and whoever I used to be, whatever dreams I had for the future, were suppressed and buried. My own growth had stagnated in my emotional stasis, and I eventually realized that my life was atrophying, slipping right through my fingers. The more unfortunate matter is that I had also become stubborn, refusing to move forward and out of that place because, quite frankly, it terrified me. I knew that the moment I opened my eyes and tried to step outside of the fantasy bubble I’d created for myself, I’d be staring into this black, gaping abyss with no idea how I was ever going to pull myself out of it, especially since I didn’t know who to trust.

I’m sure there are fans who’ve dealt with similar situations far better than I, but when you look beyond the surface, it doesn’t take much to see that the SPN fandom is a largely unhappy place. There’s a lot of good that’s come out of it, too—there’s no denying that, either—and that J2M have been running campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues and setting up a crisis network to respond to those kind of needs still completely blows my mind. But there’s a correlation here that no one seems to be willing and/or informed of the situation enough to broach: perhaps there are so many depressed people within the fandom (and fandom culture in general) because we’re looking to the medium, the characters and the actors as a way to escape an undesirable reality, and in turn, by essentially substituting the real world with an imaginary one, the depression is never truly addressed, thus propelling the downward spiral.

Granted, escapism is only a coping mechanism, not the root of the problem. I would also be remiss not to acknowledge that there are healthy forms of escapism. Sometimes we simply need a little reprieve from our daily lives, whether that be watching a movie, playing a game, reading a book, or partaking in any kind of hobby for a short while. But that’s not the type of escapism I’m talking about here; I’m talking about the type that evolves into prolonged evasion, the type that limits or prevents us from functioning in our normal lives because it’s more or less a form of addiction. And at the core of it, I think one of the main reasons why a good chunk of this fandom is so unhappy—why I’ve been so unhappy—is because some of us are looking to fulfill a deeper need that the instant gratification of fantasy cannot and will not ever come close to satisfying. You can go as far as meeting the actors and having conversations with them, but at the end of the day, they can’t give us what we’re looking for. Not really. And we likely already recognize that to some extent, but when it comes to what we feel in our hearts, because they’ve made such an impact on our lives, often there’s a longing to communicate that to them because we want to be able to return even a tiny fraction of how much they’ve touched us. Because we want to be validated. Because we want to matter. These are perfectly natural feelings to have. It’s part of what makes us human. But if you’re looking for these kind of answers in a place where your soul isn’t being fed, where parts of your life are wasting away or being destroyed instead of flourishing, then clearly it’s not the answer.

I get it. Tumblr is one of the biggest (and most effective) conduits of escapism. No one wants to think about the cold, hard truth because we come here to find a haven in temporary comforts, and the fact that we often presume people in real life would brush off our interests as a weird obsession only pushes us further into isolation. But you know what? I hate that no one talks about it. I hate that we live in the fear that we’ll be shamed for it if we do, labeled as “crazy” or “pathetic.” Because at best, outsiders don’t understand. At worst, they’re cruel. Either way, we end up stuck in that vicious cycle all over again, burying deeper and deeper until we’ve insulated ourselves from everything and everyone.

Until we feel safe.

Maybe we’re running from someone or something else. Or maybe more to the point, we’re running from ourselves. Maybe we despise our lives so much that our only escape is to rely on the happiness of two fictional characters. Because even if it’s fake, even if it’s nothing more than a distraction, it’s better than having to stare down into that void, that utter brokenness inside ourselves. You know those posts about being invested in a fictional couple’s love life more than your own? Honestly, the idea makes me want to break down in tears now because it’s so. True.

I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

In hindsight, that my Jensen and Misha op at Minncon turned out to be a bust was actually a blessing in disguise. At the time, I was inexplicably upset about it, and I tried to blame it on hormones and shrug it off. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn’t upset because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted; I was upset because that deeper need to connect with people and forge meaningful relationships was not being met. I was upset that I had poured so much of my thoughts and time and effort into something that I knew would never be able to reciprocate. And so I was forced to make a painful choice: continue down the same path and deny the fact that I was absolutely miserable, or muster up the courage to break free of the prison I’d created for myself and drastically change my life.

I finally picked the one that’s long been overdue.

I still think the SPN cast is full of some of the nicest people in the world, and I will eternally be grateful for Misha. Truthfully, he’s been an integral part of the catalyst that brought me to this conclusion in the first place—the example that he’s set for reaching out to others and finding ways to meet their needs woke me up, nearly literally. It reignited a passion I had for helping people on emotional levels that had been buried for years, and although I initially fought against it because I was scared of putting myself out there again, I couldn’t ignore that voice forever. I can’t really explain it other than when you know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do, you just know it (hint: it’s usually the most difficult thing to do). I knew that I wasn’t meant to be living life the way that I was; I knew that I needed to open my eyes and step outside of myself; I knew that I was meant to make a difference; I knew I was meant for more.

I’ve started by getting involved in volunteer opportunities or ways I can give to my community, but on what I hope will eventually be a much larger scale, I have a vision for the future. It’s something that will take years to build, I’m certain, but Misha’s also taught me to dream big, and I know the idea won’t let go of me until it comes to fruition. Somehow, I want to create a network that would bridge the gap for those who want to find a way out of their isolation and escapist tendencies, those who want to do more with their life than simply exist, and then provide them with the tools and motivation to work through their issues and fill the needs that would open doors for establishing and cultivating real relationships and discovering their own true passions so that they can bloom into the person that they were created to be. There are resources and support groups for people who suffer from mental illness and/or struggle with addiction, but there really isn’t anything that specifically focuses on problems related to the detrimental effects of how disconnected from society people have become. And I want people to feel like they can be more open about these kinds of struggles so that maybe there wouldn’t have to be this huge negative stigma surrounding escapism. So that maybe it wouldn’t give people an excuse to sweep it all under the rug and continue to fight a losing battle of ignoring the problem; that people would realize that escapism is a much more serious issue than it gets credit for, especially with the advance of technology and social networking sites allowing it to become much more prevalent. That it isn’t weird or pathetic at all because at the heart of it, we’re all the same. Sooner or later, we all end up dealing with an emptiness that we try to fill up. We just have different ways of doing it.

So, even though I’m bringing this post and my involvement in the SPN fandom to an end, this is really where my story is just beginning. I may eventually delete this blog and my AO3 fics, but for the time being, I’ll leave them up. I won’t be responding to any further asks/messages on this particular blog; however, if you wish to remain in contact with me, I’ll be more than happy to continue corresponding with people on my personal blog @tinfoilunicorn, which I plan on using more often again; just kindly note that I don’t really want to talk about anything SPN-related if it’s pure fangirling (if it’s important to bring up for purposes of discussing personal issues/experiences, that’s totally fine).

If I don’t talk to you, I wish you all the very best, but as my dream about Misha earlier this year oddly seemed to predict, it’s time to move forward with my life. Honestly, now that I’ve finally gotten unstuck, I don’t remember the last time I had this much joy and hope for what’s to come.

Fake You And Fake Me

Title: Fake You And Fake Me

Word Count: 2016

Characters: Dean x Reader

Request:  can you do the french mistake but fake y/n is there and is like engaged to jensen so she’s constantly hugging and kissing dean and giving him nicknames like ‘sweetie’ and all that which dean loves because he’s like in love with y/n and when he gets back to their universe he gets the courage to finally ask her out. I love you’re writing by the way !!!

A/N: I loved the idea but never thouht that it would be so hard to actually write it. Sorry that it’s not that long but writers block hit me in the middle of it. Hope you enjoy it anyway!


Your name: submit What is this?

————–

“Oh please not again”, Dean groaned after he’d looked around and noticed the cameras, stuntmen and the director. Sam was standing next to him, right on the little red line that marked the place where he had to stand for the next scene that was about to be filmed. He still looked a little bit baffled. Only one minute ago they had been standing next to Y/N and were hunting down a few vampires. 

Now they were standing on the set of a tv show. Again.

“Is this, is this the same universe Balthazar sent us in once?”, Sam asked his brother quietly so that no one else could overhear their conversation.

“I think so”, Dean nodded and slightly pointed with his head to the black chairs a few meters behind the cameras who had their names and the name of the “actors” written on it. “I’m like one hundred percent sure that you are this Padaleski guy again.”

“Lecki”, Sam corrected him instantly. “It was Padalecki.”

“Anyway”, Dean shrugged. “How do we come home this time?”
Just in the moment Sam was about to give Dean an answer, Y/N came running to the set. She took deep breaths when she stopped right infront of them.

“Sorry guys! My mom called and I couldn’t get rid of her. Won’t happen again.” She turned around to Dean and gave him her most beautiful and sweet smile. Dean wasn’t able to do anything. He just stared at her in shock. Last time he’d been in this universe with Sam she hadn’t been there and he only met fake Ruby and fake Cas. 

“Jensen? Is everything okay with you sweetheart?”, Y/N asked and walked straight into his direction. Gently she pressed a kiss on his cheek and he winced at the sudden touch of her lips. She touched him like it was the most normal thing in the world and - he was just so confused. 

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A First Time for Everything

Here it is. One of my long awaited Stevidot fanfictions. (There’s some Garnidot bonding in here too). This was a request fic for @professorclue who wanted a Stevidot first kiss fic. I wasn’t able to make this into an accidental kiss like you wanted, but I hope you like it anyways! Thank you again for being so patient. Enjoy everyone~!

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The ultimate unpopular opinion on 2x01, I believe

Since the episode came out, I’ve seen all sorts of differing opinions regarding  the malec scenes and I’m just here, like “mine must truly be the most unpopular opinion”, because all I’ve seen so far are either extremes, some that suggest that Magnus has to take Alec’s shit no matter what, if he truly cares, or some that paint Alec as the Antichrist because of his behavior while Magnus is the most perfect being in the universe. And then there are the more moderate opinions that, at the end of the day, still pit the characters against each other to an extent imho, like those that condemn Magnus’ pettiness even though it lasted 0.2 seconds total and was justified (see below why) or those who would have wanted to see Magnus give Alec the cold shoulder some more on the balcony scene.

None of those are opinions I agree with.

So, since everybody and their grandmother has blasted their opinion in the tags (I know I should avoid it in order to preserve my health, but sometimes I just like to surf it in order to enjoy my babies and see people fangirl about them as well), I’ll do so as well, so here comes.

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Malec: Wherever You Are, NC-17

So this was for this post, and also because I love potato-vagina, oquinn53, may10baby, and all you other malec lovers out there and I honestly just wanted you to know I was still alive and capable of producing something of substance. Hope everyone who commented on that post gets to see it and I hope it satisfies?  

So here, have 5k+ of flirty-angsty-smutty randomness. Also semi-clothed sex is such a weakness for me.

Warnings: Teacher/student, age difference (19 and 26), I’m not sure what else but if you read it and want me to add something here, just let me know :)

Alec walked into his History professor’s office on a Friday afternoon, a little meek and trying not to make much noise. The man had waved him in, despite the fact that he was on the phone. Alec took a seat across from him and busied himself with reading the small print on the many diplomas and degrees up on the man’s wall, as well as the titles on his bookshelf.

“Yes, I’m aware. Yes, I’ll have it to you first thing Monday morning. Fine. Look, I’ve got a student in my office right now. Yes, we’ll talk later.” Alec heard the phone drop into its cradle a second later, his professor not offering any word of parting before hanging up. “Sorry about that. Thank you for coming, Alexander,” the man addressed him in his deep voice, and Alec tried not to get shivers. He’d always thought Dr. Bane was attractive, and his voice was sexy to boot. Alec loved listening to it so much that the man could probably read him a Chinese take-out menu and Alec would think he just heard an hour of Vivaldi. It was  intoxicating.

So intoxicating, in fact, that Alec usually let the sound of the voice overpower the actual words coming out of his professor’s mouth. Which was why he was now sitting in said professor’s office, about to beg for extra credit because he was failing.

It was the other man’s fault, really.

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Anatomy of a Fever Dream - A timeline of Sherlock’s drug use in TAB and how it affects his mind palace

First let me preface this with some wonderful thoughts from @vanetti

“i find it personally insulting that people would rather come up with needlessly convoluted reasons why sherlock cannot have possibly been on THE DRUGS *clutches pearls* than to just realize that addiction is real and ugly and complicated and as of TAB, a central part of the plot of the entire show.” 

Also, “occam’s razor”. 

I am fully in agreement with these thoughts - yes, this episode is so full of mindfuckery it’s hard to know exactly what’s real, what’s true, BUT I think it’s meant to be pretty un-ambiguous that Sherlock is on some amount of drugs here. Additionally, he was also clearly shown to be on drugs in the beginning of HLV, which was only the last episode (I know, it feels so long ago). It takes some real mental gymnastics to write off his drug use altogether in TAB, and frankly I think it diminishes the conversation we could have about his character. Not to hate on anyone else’s meta, of course, but I felt that needed to be addressed.   

So, on to my own theories. I think Sherlock had already taken some drugs (opioids) before he boarded the plane, and took more during the flight. He originally took the drugs to deal with the pain of leaving John, but once he got the call from Mycroft, he took some different drugs (cocaine) to get his mind working so he could think about Moriarty. He never intended to commit suicide, though he was pretty reckless, and he nearly OD’d when he passed out the second time on the plane. Both of the in-the-plane real-world scenes were real. 

Now to spell this all out in detail. 

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Hello fandom!!

I’m sure you’ve all heard the news by now about Lily- who was a Latina teen on the show in Breaking Glass- being whitewashed into a white adult in the next episode. This is really unacceptable, and even more so on a show with a long record of very white casting and racist treatment of the POC it does cast. This is a show about fairytales, about hope and happy endings and true love, and yet all those things seem to be reserved for white people on the show. (It’s notable that even of all the Disney princesses introduced on the show, only the two WOC- Mulan and Rapunzel- were brought in without their love interests.)

And we as a fandom can’t change things, but what we can do is speak up to the people who do have that power. Even if it just means annoying Adam Horowitz enough that he thinks twice about allowing another character to be whitewashed or having another WOC killed to make space for a white lady. And I know we all fight over ships or characters and we have our own issues with each other, but this is something that we can unite to address and maybe make a difference in future writing.

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