A follow-up to this piece, laying the groundwork for an experiment I’ve had in mind for quite a while. Though this piece starts off as a strictly DM post-canon jaunt, it will eventually veer off into AU territory, so I’m tagging it as such now.
Let us begin.
No matter how
old he got, Mokuba Kaiba’s favorite method of greeting his brother, especially
after an extended absence, was to leap into his arms. The very fact that Seto
was still able to catchhim, even at
15, was a testament to the elder Kaiba’s impeccable training and outright
terrifying upper body strength.
Thus was Yugi
greeted that morning — as he stumbled into the kitchen and searched desperately
for a source of caffeine — to the image of his heart’s dearest walking
completely naturally, as though nothing at all were amiss, with a deadpan
expression on his face and a grinning, giggling teenage boy riding on his
was still dressed for the stage, with his heavy boots and an infinitude of
belts and chains dangling from every angle on his long leather coat, made the
sight all the more surreal. It made it look like Seto was wearing a sort of
half-cape and the single-most elaborate set of pauldrons ever constructed.
“Hidey-ho, boys,” he said with a little wave.
I step out of my studio. The girl is still there. Having been coddled all her life, she is strong. This does not make sense, but I guess whatever. “Take me on as your apprentice,” she implores.
“What are three words that describe you?” I ask, proving I am kinder than you initially thought, and/or desperate to continue working.
“Comical, romantic, and gritty,” responds the girl. I look at her furiously.
I walk down the street into town. The silver maples sway in the breeze, and I curse them for their slow growth rate. Such plants only absorb 3% - 6% percent of the suns energy, leaving the rest to beat down on my face like a laser. I sigh. I know there will be more lasers, t(b-h).
The market is but a short train ride away. I do not emotionally connect to the announcer, however, and miss my stop. I have to switch to a bus. THIS announcer whispers to me, sultry, “Northbound.” I died of pleasure right there at the sound of the voice’s impeccable voice acting training, but I will not include this line, as it is inappropriate here, only loosely related to the rest of the paragraph. The announcer breaks into a rap.
I get off the bus in the market place. I approach a vender, and ask for my usual $115 worth of meat and vegetables.
“No,” says the vender. “For we have had our approved organic seal revoked from our dairy products.”
“No,” I retort. “That sentence should go AFTER sentence 24.”
“Okay,” he says. “No, for we have had our approved organic seal revoked from our dairy products.”
“Damn…” I murmur. “Well, do you have any Gulf Toadfish in?”
“No, sorry,” the vender shakes his head. “No fish. Their population has been going down, do to excessive cockblocking by the bottle-nosed dolphins.”
“DAMN!” I (com)pound a fist against the table at an annual rate.
“Sorry,” the vender shrugged. “May I interest you in some artisanal sea sponges? They are the alive dominators and, why, I’d go so far as to say they are the organism in charge!”
My ears perk up. “Artisinal, you say?” I lean over to examine the experimental tray. I frown. “Did you…roll and boil these yourself?”
The vender is quiet a moment. “Welllllll….no. But they are heavenly over a bed of soybeans and 151 bushels of corn!”
“DDDDDAAAAMMMNNNN!!!!!” I scream up at the heavens, where I know the Stick Man hears me.
I run off into the; near-by, road. I plunge my hands 69 feet, nay, a mile, nay TEN MILES into my pockets. Why. Why me.
I sigh. Perhaps it is my ancestor’s fault…perhaps they used too many resources for me to be economically successful. I hear a boat whistle far in the distance. I close my eyes. In the end…I know I have no one to blame but myself.
Likewise, I think Catelyn would be quite happy with him, which is of course just as important. She’d have started out on the right foot with him, and Jaime would respond to that. Jaime has the outward qualities that attracted a teenage Catelyn to Brandon Stark. Cat’s affection for Brandon was in part because they were engaged and she was optimistic about their life together, but he was also physically skilled, handsome, hot-headed, and charming. Jaime is totally that type. But, unbeknownst to everyone but eagle-eyed Aunt Genna, Jaime also has some of the inner personality traits that allowed her to build that really solid bond with Ned. (So much great mirroring in that generation of characters, even if it doesn’t come out while they’re all alive at the same time.)
And as much as I wouldn’t want to inflict the Lannisters as in-laws on anyone, let alone a character I like, I think Catelyn is the kind of person who would be most equipped to handle life at Casterly Rock. She is impeccably trained at her social duties, and has that touch for reading power dynamics and knowing how to handle people, when to charm them and when to duck and cover. Unfortunately, she’d probably fall in line with the Tyrion scapegoating - I mean, she got in on the Tyrion scapegoating when it wasn’t a way to stay off of Tywin’s bad worse side, and her habitual behavior toward Jon didn’t do her any favors with anyone - but Jaime at least can afford to be straight with her if he tells her to knock it off, so it’d at least be possible to address.
Also Jaime tends not to throw his own kids out of windows! So that’s just better for everyone.
Rose Tyler was pinned down. Back literally against a wall, with nowhere to turn. The room was a loud, smoky haze of black lights and glowing neon. She feared attack from the left flank and from above, and she knew she was a sitting duck where she was, so she backed up, weapon in hand, wondering how on parallel earth she’d managed to get herself into such a mess. She’d never hear the end of it if she didn’t prevail. She had a reputation to uphold. Because when Rose Tyler played laser tag, she was in it to win it.
Rose was the undisputed laser tag champion of the family. She owed it to her impeccable timing and Torchwood training. The Doctor rarely tagged her. Tony couldn’t always keep up. He complained that she never let him tag her. She said he had to run faster.
Today she had to admit, the Doctor had brought his A game to the free for all in the “war room.” He’d tagged get a couple of times. But Tony hadn’t gotten her yet, and she intended to keep it that way. She’d be more than happy to let him tag her.
He just had to catch her first.
She backed up slowly and was startled when she collided with a tall, immovable object wearing a blue pinstriped suit and converse. The laser tag vest looked ridiculous with the ensemble but no less weird than the skirt and blouse she wore with hers. (The decision to go to the laser tag arcade had been a last minute one.)
“Hello,” the Doctor said, eyebrow raised, smirking deliciously. She stood between him and the back wall, and she realized he had her trapped. She expected him to tag her right there, at point blank range.
Instead, he took her hand and pulled away from the wall, pulled her closer, and she quite unexpectedly found herself being snogged throughly in the hazy dark black lit room.
And also quite unexpectedly, as he snogged her so deeply and so well, she felt the buzz of a laser hit to her vest. She startled, and pulled away from the kiss to see her sweet, angelic little brother, in between her and the exit, laughing his head off, pointing his laser rifle at her.
“Oh, yeah!” Tony crowed happily.
And then he did the most vile, despicable thing.
He high-fived the Doctor.
And then he hollered “Thanks!”
Rose didn’t know which one to tag first. Her conniving brother? Her duplicitous husband? These thoughts were going through her mind as they ran off cackling like loons while she chased after them. They were fast, and gone two separate directions, before the five seconds of lockdown on her blaster expired.
She was still glaring at both of them as they left Laser Blast Arcade to get fish and chips.
“Seriously, you snogged me as a distraction. You snogged me for the sole purpose of deception.”
“Deception wasn’t the sole purpose,” the Doctor said. “I quite enjoyed snogging you because…you’re Rose Tyler. And you enjoyed the snog. I could tell.”
“I did no such thing.”
“Your tongue says one thing now, but believe me it was communicating something quite different then.” She noticed that he still had that damned smirk on his face. “The way I see it, Tony finally got to tag you, I got to snog you, and you got a very satisfactory, in-the-heat-of-battle snog. Which I know you enjoy. We’ve done that enough times in the heat of actual battle, so I know I’m right. There are only winners in this situation, my love.”
She made a little scoffing sound. He looked so smug. Her brother looked pretty smug as well.
“Besides, you still got the most hits. See?” He produced their score card, with her listed (with the code name of ‘Nebula’) first, the Doctor (code name ‘Storm’) listed sixth, and Tony (code name 'Maverick’) listed second to last. He leaned in and whispered, “You’re brilliant at it , but you take it a wee bit too seriously. I mean, he’s six.”
She looked down at her little brother her beamed and said, “I got you good, Rosie.”
Rose rolled her eyes and grinned. “I will concede that I could possibly be competitive.” The Doctor snorted laughter. “But you still owe me chips for tricking me.”
“All’s fair in love and war,” the Doctor proclaimed with a grin, holding the door open for Tony and Rose.
Rose nodded, laughing and taking Tony’s hand and the Doctor’s hand, content to walk in between two of the most important men in her universe.
I think every dog owner has run into “that” dog owner at least once in their life. You know who I’m talking about. Their hair is perfect, their outfit is on point, they are in perfect shape, and they’ve been blessed with their heart dog, who is impeccably trained.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much you grow as a dog owner, because you will always run into someone who is further along, more experienced, and better equipped.
Honestly, the more you grow as a dog owner, the easier it is to ignore the people ahead of you. The people who are hard to ignore are the people who jog by you with their dog by their side in perfect sync, and smirk at you as you struggle to keep your dog from chasing theirs.
It’s embarrassing. You can’t help it. It’s hard to shake it off, even though you know you are doing everything right and that your dog just isn’t there yet. People like that are so detrimental toward your relationship with your dog, because they make you feel like dog training is a race, and that they’re winning.
For the average pet owner, dog training is not a race. You are not competing, and you are not losing. Dog training should always be a journey you take with your dog, where you both gain knowledge and experience as you grow closer together.
Let people compete. Let them run their race. There is nothing wrong with taking the scenic route.
*small voice* do you mean to write the 101 dalmatians AU? It sounds lovely, I need more!
My hand slipped. It’s just the meet-cute, I don’t know how it happened but here it is. (I changed the dogs to be Alana and Margot because reasons). (x)
Alana is an exceedingly clever dalmatian.
She has always been, but since Will adopted her she has only grown more clever, between the tricks he teaches her and the lessons she teaches herself to keep a leg up (so to speak) on her six brothers and sisters.
Will takes very good care of her and her adopted siblings, and really she thinks she could want for nothing, but on days like today she wonders if maybe there’s something he wants for.
He’s taken her to the park, and she lies next to him as he sits, elbows hooked over knees, on a clean patch of grass overlooking the pond. He thinks she doesn’t see the loneliness in his eyes, but she does. It isn’t there always, but it’s there in flashes, just before he turns off the lights and curls into bed at night. It’s there when he stares across his empty kitchen table over his plate of trout that he feeds her flakes of. It’s there now, as she watches him try to read his book even though he hasn’t turned a page in nearly half an hour.
He’s staring out over the bank, the stripes of sunshine in the water reflecting in his eyes, and he’s thinking of something… someone perhaps.
Alana rests her chin on Will’s thigh and huffs out a little snort of a sigh. Absent-mindedly he pats her head, rubbing the soft flap of her ear as she thumps her tail in lazy contentment.
“Good girl,” he murmurs. The pages of his book remain unturned.
A silvery jingle distracts Alana and she cocks her head, shifting out from under Will’s hand to look at the bench behind them.
Sitting at the feet of a very well-dressed man is the most beautiful dalmatian she has ever seen.
She is poised, regal even, with crystal blue eyes and an elegant red collar specifically tailored just for her that brings out the contrast of her brilliant spots. Alana doesn’t think about the simple black cord that Will has looped around her neck, she’s so impeccably trained that her leash is mostly for show, but all of a sudden she feels a little shy.
The dalmatian catches eyes with her and dips her head in greeting. Her owner looks up, first at Alana, then at Will. His eyebrows raise and he rests his gaze on Will’s unsuspecting profile, lingering longer than she’s ever seen anyone look at her master.
She looks back at Will in excitement and barks softly, tugging at her leash as she stands. Will looks down in surprise. She never tugs at her leash. He follows the source of her little commotion and locks eyes with the man at the bench.
The man does not look away. Will flushes from head to toe. He does not look away either.
Alana tugs again and moves towards them, barking a little louder. Will tries to shush her and pulls back. The red-collared dalmatian stands, a little confused by the encroachment, and moves in front of her owner in protection. She barks once, clear and with authority, and Alana immediately sits.
“Margot,” her owner admonishes gently. His lips quirk and he raises a brow. She sits once again, grumbling her discontent. Will marvels at the man’s quiet authority. He practically radiates with it, power crackling off of him and reaching out in jagged bolts towards him.
Will has never wanted to be electrocuted more in his life.