in the end and decades after

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'Outlander' Season 3: 10 burning questions we have about Claire and Jamie's reunion
We're already freaking out.
By Laura Prudom

1. How long will we have to wait for Claire and Jamie’s reunion?

Season 2 ended with Claire, now around 50 years old, deciding to go back through the Standing Stones to try and reunite with Jamie after 20 years apart — but we know that Season 3 will feature flashbacks to catch us up with what the duo got up to during those two decades without each other.

Does that mean we might have to wait several episodes before we see Claire travel back in time to seek out Jamie, or will the Season 3 premiere send her back pretty quickly, and fill in the blanks by jumping between time periods, as the Season 2 premiere and finale did? We know it’ll be worth the wait whenever it happens, but here’s hoping the writers aren’t too cruel when it comes to delaying our gratification.

3. How steamy will Season 3 be?

Season 2 featured plenty of political scheming, palace intrigue and bloody battles, but some fans noted that there were far fewer sex scenes than there were in Season 1 — which makes sense, considering that Jamie was dealing with the trauma of being raped and tortured, while Claire was struggling with her growing sense of isolation from her husband as he tried to recover. (Not to mention the devastating loss of their baby.)

But after 20 years separated from their true love, we’ve got to believe that Claire and Jamie have a lot of lost time to make up for in Season 3. They might have to get to know each other all over again, but all those years of longing will probably add up to some spectacular reunion sex, right?

the rest of the Mashable 10 burning questions about Claire and Jamie’s reunion is here

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Eva Green, Gemma Arterton to Star in Virginia Woolf Love Story

Eva Green and Gemma Arterton will star in drama Vita & Virginia, based on the true story of the love affair and friendship between literary icon Virginia Woolf and author Vita Sackville-West.

The film will be directed by British helmer Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) from a script by Eileen Atkins based on her own play of the same name, which debuted in 1992.

Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and then met socialite and author Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson, in 1922. They began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a decade, as shown in their various letters and diary entries. After their affair ended, they remained friends until Woolf’s death in 1941. Green will play Woolf while Arterton will play Sackville-West.

The Murder In My Backyard

by reddit user Pippinacious

I’ll be posting new, different stories on my personal blog, please be sure to follow @sixpenceeeblog

There was no love at first sight, no stomach fluttering feeling of “This is the one!”, just the realization that this was the best my budget could get me. My realtor, already frustrated with how many times I’d said no to other places, watched anxiously over my shoulder as I signed the papers, as if she was afraid I’d back out at the last minute, and just like that, I was the less-than-proud owner of a decades old house and all the issues that came with it.

Still, I told myself as I was handed the keys, it was better than continuing to live with my all too recent ex-husband.

Keep reading

What’s in Store for 2017 at NASA?

With 2016 behind us, we take the time to not only reflect on what we’ve accomplished, but also take a look to what’s ahead for the next year.

Here are a few things to look forward to in 2017… 

New Telescope in Town

This year marked big progress on our James Webb Space Telescope and there are still a number of large milestones before the telescope is launched in 2018. Once launched, JWST will be the premier observatory of the next decade. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own solar system.

In 2017, the telescope will be shipped to our Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where end-to-end optical testing in a simulated cryo-temperature and vacuum space environment will occur.

Epic Final Year at Saturn

After more than 12 years studying Saturn, its rings and moons, our Cassini spacecraft is in its final year of its epic voyage. The conclusion of the historic scientific odyssey is planned for September 2017, but not before the spacecraft completes a daring two-part endgame.

Cassini’s final phase – called the Grand Finale – begins in earnest in April 2017. During this time, Cassini will make the closest-ever observations of Saturn, mapping the planet’s magnetic and gravity fields with exquisite precision and returning ultra-close views of the atmosphere.

Delivering Supplies to Space

Our ambitious commercial space program has enabled a successful partnership with two American companies to resupply the International Space Station. 

The companies are successfully resupplying the space station, and more missions to deliver scientific investigations and cargo are planned for 2017.  

Launching Two Earth Missions

New Earth science missions got underway in 2016 to enable studies that will unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere to its core. In 2017, we will launch two Earth-observing instruments to the International Space Station as part of our ongoing use of the orbiting space laboratory to study our changing planet.

The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III) will give us a new way to monitor Earth’s protective ozone layer and document its ongoing recovery. The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) will measure both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning over much of the planet, data that will help improve our understanding of lightning’s connections to weather and related phenomena.

Commercial Crew

Our Commercial Crew Program is working with American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

In 2017, astronauts will train for commercial flights and launch pad 39A will be completed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Work is wrapping up on a new structure built specifically for the needs of astronauts climbing into Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner as it stands atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. In 2017, the 200-foot-tall Crew Access Tower and Crew Access Arm will see installation and testing of emergency evacuation systems. 

SpaceX has also overhauled the historic Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy and built new support structures for the company’s line of Falcon rockets. The Crew Access Arm, currently under construction, will be connected in mid-2017 to provide a bridge from the fixed service structure to the Crew Dragon spacecraft so astronauts can board before launch

Orion Progress

Our Orion spacecraft is being built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

In 2017, computers in the Orion crew module for the spacecraft’s first mission with our Space Launch System rocket will be turned on for the first time to verify the spacecraft can route power and send commands. While the Orion outfitting and assembly process for the first mission of the spacecraft atop the SLS rocket continues in 2017, construction will also begin on the vehicle for the first Orion flight with astronauts that will fly as early as 2021.

Cutting Edge Technology

Our Space Technology office is dedicated to pushing the technological envelope, taking on challenges not only to further space agency missions near Earth, but also to sustain future deep space exploration activities. 

In 2016, the office focused on and made significant progress in advancing technologies and capabilities that will continue into 2017. 

Advances in Aeronautics

Our rich aeronautical research heritage added to its history of technical innovation in 2016 with advancements that will help make airplanes use less fuel, release fewer emissions and fly more quietly…and that includes working to return supersonic flight to the commercial marketplace.

We took steps in 2016 to resume designing, building and flying several experimental aircraft, or X-planes, as a means to demonstrate key green technologies and help accelerate their use by industry. In 2017, this research will continue to grow and develop.

Thanks for joining us in 2016, we look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming year. 

Happy New Year!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Regular Show Before and After
  • Regular Show Season one: Aww, this seems like a cute funny series.
  • Seven seasons later that was full of character development, story arcs, and amazing episodes that ended with a bang and death of a great character: GOD DAMN IT! Why do every show I love this decade have to end up ending beautifully and making me cry!?!?!?!?!

For decades, there have been few photographic images of Harriet Tubman depicting how the abolitionist and Civil War spy looked in her lifetime.

Now there’s one more.

New York City auction house Swann Galleries has announced that it will auction a newly discovered photo of Tubman March 30.

Kate Clifford Larson, author of the biography “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero,” estimated that Tubman was between 43 and 46 years old when the photo was taken, placing it shortly after the end of the Civil War. At the time, Tubman was living in Auburn, where she had purchased land in 1859 from then-Sen. William H. Seward — land that will soon become the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.

Larson said that in her 20 years of researching Tubman, she’s been sent dozens of photos of black women by people claiming to have discovered a new image of the soon-to-be face of the $20. But not one has actually depicted Tubman.

“The reports we had are of people being shot in the street trying to flee and shot in their homes,” said U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville. “There could be many more [than 82 dead in east Aleppo].”

“They have gone from siege to slaughter,”  British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said. “Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later - Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica and now Aleppo,“ said U.S. ambassador Samantha Power.

[…] The rout of rebels from their ever-shrinking territory in Aleppo sparked a mass flight of terrified civilians and insurgents in bitter weather, a crisis the United Nations said was a "complete meltdown of humanity”. 

Reuters: Battle of Aleppo ends after years of bloodshed with rebel withdrawal

as long as we’re all talking about captain underpants

in one of the books, i think it was “wrath of the wicked wedgie woman” but i could be wrong, captain underpants is in a situation where ms. anthrope, first name edith, needs rescuing. however he’s got his cape stuck on something and he can’t save her unless he takes his cape off. the chapter ends immediately after this is made clear to the readers and the title of the next chapter is, i shit you not, “You Can’t Have Your Cape and Edith, Too”

like i rarely see a pun so bad that it actually makes me reevaluate my life but this one sure as hell did. it’s been like a decade since i read that book and i haven’t stopped thinking about that pun since. like the amount of setup that pun required… iirc her first name was canonically established as being edith way before that book and i imagine dav pilkey gave her that name with the pun in mind and literally waited several books in order to make it and that just. that’s incredible

I know some people are a little upset at what could be seen as flirting in this episode, but I personally LOVE it.

I love it because Carol is my absolute favorite character, and after listening to sexists and ageists bash on her looks and character for half a goddamn decade, she is being shown to be DESIRABLE AS FUCK.

Sure, I am a Caryler and I want Caryl to be the end goal, but I have to appreciate that the writers aren’t just pushing her to the side to be paired off with the only man who sees her as the gorgeous, capable woman that she is. They’re not treating her as someone who can only be loved and appreciated by a single person, the only person who can see all of the good in her.

No.

Instead, Carol gets THREE amazing potential love interests.

Tobin - who sees her as a nurturing mother with an abundance of love for everyone around her.

Ezekiel - who sees a sly survivor who can slide into whatever role is necessary to protect herself and others.

Daryl - who sees all of the above, and has grown with per as a person.

Carol just captivates everyone she meets, and that warms my petty little heart.

9

Russia’s decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union

In 1991, Boris Yeltsin stood atop a tank in front of the parliament building in Moscow and called on the people to resist the communist hardliners in the August coup.

Several months later, at the end of the year, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, leaving Yeltsin as the president of Russia.

Fast forward to December 31, 1999: Yeltsin grabbed the world by surprise once again when he resigned during a live televised address.

In between those shock events, Russia went through an enormous economic, social, and political transition as the state tried to adjust to the global economy following the dissolution of the USSR. During that tumultuous decade, Russia was also involved in two Chechen Wars and was slammed by a financial crisis in 1998.

See more here. 

Is it just me or does Kakashi seem so much happier after the war? 

He makes so many more jokes and acts like a complete goofball/dork. Like I didn’t know he could be even more lovable than he already was, but he seems so much more personable. It’s like he’s not afraid to become close to people anymore. 

He looks like he finally has peace of mind now, probably because he was able to have some closure in his life. After being able to see his best friend who he thought to be dead for almost two decades, he’s probably able to stop blaming himself for what happened to Obito. Even though Obito’s path still ended up being self-destructing at the end, the two were able to finally reconnect and Kakashi was able to understand that no one blamed him for Obito’s death or Rin’s.

He also finally got to actually say goodbye to his sensei, who was abruptly killed. Kakashi acts tough as nails, but I bet that bothered him for a long time. Minato was almost like family to him, after all. 

So yeah, despite the stress placed on him as hokage, I think Kakashi seems so much brighter as a person. I’m glad everyone else loves him too and gives him the respect he deserves. 

Berlin: Eva Green, Gemma Arterton to Star in Virginia Woolf Love Story (Exclusive)

Eva Green and Gemma Arterton will star in drama Vita & Virginia, based on the true story of the love affair and friendship between literary icon Virginia Woolf and author Vita Sackville-West.

The film will be directed by British helmer Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) from a script by Eileen Atkins based on her own play of the same name, which debuted in 1992.

Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and then met socialite and author Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson, in 1922. They began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a decade, as shown in their various letters and diary entries. After their affair ended, they remained friends until Woolf’s death in 1941. Green will play Woolf while Arterton will play Sackville-West.

Katie Holly of Blinder Films (Love & Friendship) and Evangelo Kioussis of Mirror Productions are producing the project while Simon Baxter will executive produce for Mirror alongside Green and Arterton. Protagonist is introducing the project to buyers at EFM in Berlin.

Green was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and White Bird in a Blizzard with Shailene Woodley. She’ll soon be seen in Euphoria with Alicia Vikander and Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story. She is repped by UTA and Tavistock Wood Management in the U.K.

Arterton’s recently films include Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest with Sam Claflin, and she has The Escape with Dominic Cooper coming up. She’s also attached to Julie Delpy’s My Zoe. She’s repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group in the U.K. and Stone, Genow.

I just wanted to take a minute to share this. On the left was at my college graduation party, in October of 2011. The right is today, 5 years and 1 month later. Half of a decade has passed since I was that person on the left and it’s almost impossible to believe. Five years, wow…in that time I have changed so many things in my life. I ended a relationship/engagement that made me ultimately miserable. I cut out drinking and partying more often than not. I also got LASIK surgery and ditched the glasses, too. I spent time with myself being single & figuring out what made Autumn, well, Autumn. I learned to love myself and make myself happy, and then I met Shawn. He’s the only human I ever want to spend my life with. You’ve got to love yourself before anyone else but that makes it all the sweeter. I’ve learned just how to fuel my body & feed it healthily while still enjoying life and food in general. Additionally, I have fallen in love with fitness; CrossFit to be more specific. And I was finally able to free myself from the loose, excess skin that comes with major weight loss. I have spent this last half of a decade making a better version of myself. And I can promise that I will only improve from here.😌

10

       In an amazing chain of events, the story of these WWII fighters continues to be written. The Goodyear F2G Super Corsair was an upgraded version of the famed F4U, optimized for fighting Japanese aircraft at low level. Before the aircraft could go operational, the war ended, and only 10 were built. Of these prototype airframes, only two still exist today.

     Race 57, shown in her striking red paint job, was the fifth prototype to roll off the assembly line as serial number 88458. After the war, she was purchased by Navy Captain Cook Cleland, who won the 1947 and 1949 Thompson Trophy race with this aircraft. She would become the last propeller driven aircraft to ever win the Thompson Trophy. 

     The dawn of the jet age caused these aircraft to be mothballed. Race 57 lay dormant for many decades until Bob Odegaard would return her to flight in 1999. I took these photos of Race 57 on August 26, 2007, at the Alpine Airpark Airshow in Wyoming. Earlier that day, I watched in awe as Odegaard flew low level aerobatics in this beautiful bird. I was 17 years old. 

      Nearly ten years after seeing my first Super Corsair, I was privileged to visit the Museum of Flight Restoration Center in Everett, Washington, where I photographed the first F-2G prototype as they breathed new life into the plane. Serial number 88454 proudly wears her original Naval Air Test Center livery (as shown in the final five photos in this set).

     As I experienced this later encounter with a Super Corsair, I did so with a heavy heart. Bob Odegaard, who thrilled me as a teenager with his aerobatics, was no longer with us. Odegaard owned a second Super Corsair called Race 74. He exhibited the aircraft all over the country until on September 7, 2012, he tragically lost his life while practicing for an air show in his home state of North Dakota.

      Odegaard’s legacy lives on, forever entangled with the story of the Super Corsair. Race 57 has recently changed hands once again in an effort to keep her flying. Wars begin and end. Races are won. Lives are lost. As one chapter closes, another begins.

Keep Me Where The Light Is - A Moriel Fic

For @acotarshipweek moriel smut week day 1 prompt: ‘I’m sorry’. I am Late. I am very late. I want to do a couple of other prompts for this week and they will probably be…very late. I am garbage. We know this. Thank you my dearest, @pterodactylichexameter for betaing this for me!!

Title: Keep Me Where The Light Is

Summary: Prompt: ‘I’m sorry’ established relationship, set a few decades after the projected end of ACOWAR. Azriel returns late from a particularly harrowing mission. Mor finds him alone and in pieces in the training room and helps him heal. Lots of angst. Lots of sin. That’s really all you need to know. Azriel’s POV. Obviously NSFW. 

Teaser:  Mor leads him through the quiet, dark house, the door closing behind them as silently as it had opened. It might have felt like bars slamming shut on a prison cell, or the stone wall of a crypt sealing himself inside his own tomb but it doesn’t. With Mor’s hand slipping gently into his the dark house feels like an escape and he has left his demons at the door. They are not allowed in this place that she has warded with her light and her peace. She is the only thing with the power to bring him to his knees that is permitted to touch him here.  

Link: AO3

Azriel stalks into the training halls beneath the House of Wind a second, haunting soul tethered to the broken, battered one that resides within his body. The one that once was his and his alone. Now it belongs to all those who have stolen pieces from it over the decades, the ones he has killed or tortured or blackmailed or threatened for the sake of his court. His body has become a cemetery for all those he has claimed, having their revenge each day for what he did to them. It is a graveyard of monsters; his ghosts were demons long before he shattered their minds and buried them with the remnants of his soul.

That knowledge doesn’t ease the burden that threatens to finally break him at last.

Six hundred years. There are scars he’s carried upon his heart, his mind for six hundred years that have refused to fade as stubbornly as the marks upon his hands. Every day he wakes with the reminder of what his brothers did to him, the reminder of that fire, their cruelty, that terror written upon his skin. And upon his soul is the reminder of what he has done, his own cruelty, his own sins, inked in blood and screams and just as inescapable. Too much. He has crossed some line, some line he didn’t think existed. But this is too much. This is finally too much.

It had taken hours to break the deserter, hours to understand the reasons behind his betrayal, why he had slaughtered four of his brothers, what he had hoped to gain, what secrets he had hoped to sell to their enemies. Those secrets died with him. Azriel was the last person ever to hear them and all those others who were involved have since been taken care of. His people are safe, his family is safe but he…he….

The screams still bother him. They shouldn’t, surely, after all this time. But they do. They still cut through him like that first day. He still remembers the soldier, his first. Rhys’s father had stood outside the room and looked down at him, his eyes the same violet as his brother’s but…Cold, dark, utterly devoid of Rhys’s compassion. He had told Azriel the man was an enemy, was working to destroy everything they knew, everything they had built. He had told him to discover what the male knew then to…take care of him. Azriel had done as commanded.

He still does as commanded. He knows that if he ever felt the strain becoming too much, if he went to his brother and told him that he couldn’t do this anymore, that six hundred years of death and nightmares filled with agony were too much that Rhys would let him step down immediately. He could shake off the role of spymaster, live somewhere quietly, peacefully, with Mor without the need for these grisly interruptions in the life they loved so much. He also knows that it would leave the court undefended, that no-one can do what he can. And he would never wish them to, would never wish this upon anyone.

For all that they haunt him now he knows that if a day ever comes when the screams inside him go silent, when they no longer haunt his every step…that will be the day he becomes a monster in full and more of a danger to this court than he could ever be a guardian.

But he still wishes it would stop now, wishes he could stop reliving the last few hours, wishes he could find a moment of peace, just for a second, just a second, please, please.  

The training hall is dark and quiet at this hour, no-one else is out of their beds feeling the need to hit something, to work off the terrible, raging, consuming frustration that seems as though it’s about to burst free of the restraining cage of his bones. He is the only one awake now…And his ghosts.

He steps to one of the corners of the hall where several braced pads have been set up, soft wood covered by layers and layers of thick fabric, making them solid but safe to hit. Along the wall behind them, set out in neat rows like soldiers, like the neatly printed orders that find their way to his desk and tear another chunk of him, are variously sized gloves meant to be worn in the ring or when training alone with the targets. He ignores them.

His hands are still covered in dried blood from his last mission and he doesn’t bother to try and cleanse them, to rid himself of that reminder of what he has done, what he is. Monster the darkness whispers to him. He shivers at the accusation but can’t bring himself to feel betrayed by it. When they had come to him in his childhood and promised him power, promised him salvation, the shadows that sing to him had not promised him comfort or sweet words. They had only promised truth. That was all they had ever given to him in the six hundred years they had served him.

Settling into the stance that’s as familiar to him now as breathing, Az sets his eyes upon the pad before him. His punches start off rhythmic and controlled, careful taps gauging distance, then stronger flurries of blows taught in the training camps and drills. But those aren’t enough, aren’t enough to quiet the roaring in his head, aren’t enough to douse the fire boiling his blood, aren’t enough to silence the screams rattling through his bones.

He increases his pace, his attacks becoming less practiced, less rhythmic, more wild and untamed as he feels himself slipping. Control, through all these years control has been his sword, his shield, his armour, his anchor. Keeping himself in check had always meant keeping himself alive. But sometimes, in the dark, in the quiet, the monsters slip out to reclaim their own.

His arms swing in wide arcs, wasting time, wasting power, all the things he was specifically taught not to do. His hands strike harder and harder and the sudden blaze of pain that sparks up his arms is a welcome feeling. It grounds him and for a moment it helps. It’s a release, an expression of the things that he must keep inside, that he must not let escape, that he must bind tight to himself lest they poison anyone else. The pulse of relief is only ever temporary.

His vision blurs and the room around him dissolves, reforming into another that is dark and cramped and smells strongly of blood and despair. He is crouched on the floor, his expression cool, composed even as he crumbles into ruins on the inside, as the man screams before him. His fist makes contact with the pad at a blinding speed and strength again and again and again and the harsh, unyielding rhythm is the only thing that’s stopping him from sinking to his knees and letting the darkness within overwhelm him at last.

The skin between his knuckles splits and blood seeps from the cracks in his self. He ignores it, even as it pulses in thin scarlet ribbons over his palms and the backs of his hands, thick and hot and wet, clenched between his fingers. But he’s too focused on the screaming in his head, in banishing it, in chasing the past that tugs at him, tries to slip its arms around him and draw him back towards it, like a scorned lover. But he won’t let it, can’t let it, if he gives into that now there will be no saving him, no finding him, no dragging him from that abyss, not for anything.

The one corner of his mind that can think past his pain and his fear dimly registers the sound of distant footsteps, frantic, running, running towards him.

“Azriel!”  

The scream rips through the thick veil that’s shrouding him from his surroundings, pierced only by the soft pulses of pain that come from the continued striking of his fists against the pads. His name. Her voice. His name in her mouth. The running footsteps, hers too he realises vaguely, get closer, faster, louder, thundering like a heartbeat against the smooth stone floors of the training hall.

“Azriel! Azriel stop, please stop, Az-“ He shudders, her voice growing more distant, her words blending with the words of his captor as he had begged for an end.

“Azriel, Az look at me, look at me, listen to me.” She doesn’t touch him but her voice strikes a chord in him like a physical blow all the same as he registers the deep throb of fear and agony that runs through it. He raises his head, looks over at her, his vision still slightly bleary, as though he’s seeing her through a thick, choking fog. “Stop,” she whispers, orders, pleads. “Stop, Az.”

This time, for her, he obeys the words.

Trembling he lets his hands drop. They’re stiff and sore from the damage done to them and the fresh blood that’s starting to dry over the old. Mor’s eyes are fixed on them where they hang limp and useless at his sides, wide and horrified at what he’s done. Reaching down she tries to gently take hold of one of them but the moment her skin brushes against his he jerks violently away from her.

Centuries worth of disgust and doubt well up in him and overwhelm him. Though they’ve been together for over fifty years now and though he loves her and knows and accepts that she loves him- in that moment, the sight of her soft, smooth, unmarred hand brushing against his burned, twisted, bloody one is unbearable to him.

The brief flash of hurt that flares in her warm brown eyes twists in his gut a moment later and she pulls backs, pain flooding her beautiful face. All she wants, he knows, is to be able to reach out to him, to help him, and his rejection stings with the weight of five hundred years of distance and denial.

His remaining strength crumbles at the sight of what he’s done to her and the words come to his lips in a hoarse, breathless rasp, “I’m sorry.” Her eyes flick back up to his but he drops his gaze almost the moment they connect, unable to bring himself to look at her. His chest is still heaving from his recent exertion, his blood still drips quietly onto the stone floor at their feet, his vision still swims and blurs but he breathes again, “I’m sorry.”

Mor opens her mouth to answer but it turns into a cry of alarm as he sways on the spot a moment before his knees buckle. Faster than he can see she darts forwards, her arms sliding around his chest, and catches him. Sinking to the ground with him she lowers him down with heartbreaking tenderness, gentling his fall.

Her fingers stroke lightly through his hair as she steadies him but he can’t stop saying those words over and over and over apologising for a multitude of sins. He’s sorry for getting into this state in the first place but more so for letting her see him like this. He’s sorry for what he’s done, what he’s become, what he’s had to do to stop their court from drowning. But he’s also sorry for the things that he didn’t do, the things that he didn’t stop, the people that he didn’t save with his brand of death. And he’s sorry for her. Sorry for ever thinking that he could be with her, that they could make this work, that it could ever last- a dreamer and a nightmare in love.

As though she can hear these thoughts Mor pushes back his hair and cups his face between her hands, lifting it up to hers. “Look at me,” she whispers when he closes his eyes, averting his gaze, “Look at me, Azriel.” He can’t deny her anything, not her, and he makes himself meet those usually soft, tender brown eyes which he now finds blazing with fierce intensity. “You have nothing to be sorry for,” she whispers to him, pressing her lips to his forehead and then touching her brow to his, her thumbs gently stroking his cheeks, “Nothing.”  

Unable to help himself he lowers his head again, shaking. What he’s done- But she picks up that dropped thread of thought as well, “You’re a good person,” she breathes and he snorts in derision before he can control the impulse. Anger flashes through her and with it a lashing of her power crackling through the air around them, “You are,” she growls.

Her voice softens but still radiates with that unmistakable power as she says those words, the ones that bind her to the magic that thrums in her veins, “I am the Morrigan,” she murmurs, “You know I speak the truth.”

He raises his head and opens his eyes to watch her as she repeats the words, “You’re a good person, Azriel. You do what you have to, for your court. You do too much,” A crease appears between her brows, this isn’t the first time she’s said something like this, expressed her unease at the things he has to do, at the cost of keeping them safe.  “But you don’t take any pleasure in it, you never have. We all have to do things, become things we would rather not…” She trails off and he knows that she of all people understands that, she who spends more time in the Court of Nightmares pretending to be something she’s not, pretending to be something darker, something worse, than any of them.

Taking a breath she goes on, “It doesn’t change who you are.” Then, softer, “It doesn’t change how I feel, what I want…What I chose.”

He meets her eyes again at that, searching them for he doesn’t know what, yet he finds it. “I fell in love with you, Az,” she murmurs softly, “With all of you.” He swallows tightly, watching her, barely daring to breathe, to move. “I always knew,” she continues quietly, “I knew what you were, I knew what you did for this court, I knew how you would come home to me sometimes-“ Despite her attempts at reassuring calm and certainty her voice trembles and cracks a little as she looks at him, the state he’s in. But it’s perfectly steady once more when she resumes. “I chose that,” she says, firm, certain, “I chose you. I love you.” She leans forwards and brushes her lips with aching tenderness against his, “I always will.”

Reaching down she lifts his hands up and examines them, wincing at the mess of bruised, bloodied flesh he’s made of his knuckles. Absently taking what she needs from a pocket realm she produces water and cloths and proceeds to clean enough of the blood to see through to the injuries below. Light blazes from her palm and he tries not to fidget as her magic heals him, his bones resetting themselves and sealing together, muscle and skin knitting seamlessly together again. She can’t do anything about the extensive burn scars that mottle his hands but when he flexes them it’s almost impossible to tell the damage he had done to himself. The only evidence of the abuse remaining is a faint pale flush to the new skin.

“Thank you,” he murmurs, his voice low and quiet, not quite looking at her as he speaks, not wanting to see the pain or the disappointment on her face at what he had done to himself.

He realises a moment later, as he turns his hands over, examining them, that she’s cleansed all of the blood from his skin, not merely his own.

Azriel lets his arms slide slowly around her, holding her close, breathing in her scent, grounding himself in her instead of the pads behind them. Mor shuffles into his lap and slides her arms around him as well, easing her fingers deeply into his hair, pulling him close.

“Are you ready to talk about it?” she murmurs quietly. She never asks him if he wants to talk about it, knows from decades’ worth of experience not to ask if he wants, or needs, almost anything because the answer would always be ‘no’.

He shakes his head slightly, his face still buried in her neck. He still only wants to escape from himself, from the torrent of memories and pain and terror that still rakes at him. He isn’t ready to face it yet. She nods, gently kissing the crown of his head, not pushing him or trying to coax words from him that he doesn’t have. Even though she’s never insisted upon this in all the years that he’s known her, a faint rush of gratitude for her understanding still spills through him in response.

Mor’s fingers stroke softly through his hair and she shifts slightly in his lap, hips pressing against his. “What do you want, Az?” she asks him quietly and he knows that she’s perfectly aware what he wants, what kind of escape he seeks now, the need that’s blazing through his blood like a poison to which she is the only cure.

You he wants to whisper, wants to growl the word, the need, into her ear and feel her shiver against him in answer. He wants to drag her hair back and kiss her neck, place a necklace of pale red marks around her throat and with each one whisper you onto her skin, press it there like a tattoo, let it fill her up until she’s drowning in it. But he holds himself back. He knows that after their time apart she likely wants this too, would be more than happy to oblige him but…The way that he wants her, the extent to which he wants to lose himself in her tonight…He’s not sure if he can ask that of her, not sure if he can even give voice to it and permit her to hear it.

As with so many things left unspoken between them however, this isn’t something that she needs to hear him say to know. Her fingers gently grip his hair, the action somehow intimate, erotic, with the way she rocks against him once more. “Let me take you home,” she whispers softly. “Let me help you, Az,” she breathes quietly. “It’s all right,” she murmurs as he opens his mouth to say something, to protest, to quiet her, to agree with her, he doesn’t know.  

“It’s all right.” Her voice is soft and warm and so soothing he wants to sink into it, wants to sink into her and forget that the rest of the world exists, forget that he is a monster with a bruised and bloodied soul. He wants to let her heal that as she had his hands.

“Let me take you home,” she says again, softly, words tinged with desperation.

“Yes,” is all he murmurs in response.

Darkness envelopes them as Mor holds him close and then her power wraps around them, pulling them through the fragile fabric of the world around them, winnowing them back to the small cottage they share nestled in the mountains just outside Velaris. It’s a lonely, quiet place, isolated but beautiful and peaceful. Relief flares through him like a heartbeat along with a rush of gratitude that she chose this spot instead of their townhouse. Even though it resides on the outskirts of the city it would still feel too restrictive, too caging and overwhelming for him now. And she knows that, knows him.  

Azriel stands, quiet, breathing in the chill night air, willing it to settle in his bones and quiet the roaring fire burning through his blood. Mor’s fingers slip softly around his wrist and the touch rouses him, causes him to open his eyes again. Her eyes on his she presses her other hand against the door of the cottage. It responds to her touch, swinging in on silent hinges to admit them. Only them. This is their place, near sacred for how strictly they adhere to that rule.

Mor leads him through the quiet, dark house, the door closing behind them as silently as it had opened. It might have felt like bars slamming shut on a prison cell, or the stone wall of a crypt sealing himself inside his own tomb but it doesn’t. With Mor’s hand slipping gently into his the dark house feels like an escape and he has left his demons at the door. They are not allowed in this place that she has warded with her light and her peace. She is the only thing with the power to bring him to his knees that is permitted to touch him here.  

She doesn’t pause or falter as they pass through the kitchen and living room into the small bedroom at the back of the house. Only once they’re safely ensconced within it, the door closed, making the scene feel even more private and intimate despite the fact that they’re already the only living beings for miles around, does she turn to face him. With a faint flicker of thought she kindles a few candles behind them and the room fills with a warm but soft glow, her eyes never leaving his even as the light no doubt throws the shadows in his eyes into greater relief.

Smooth and supple as warm honey she steps forwards until there’s nothing but a faint breath of air between their bodies. She holds herself just a little away from him however, her lips slightly parted, her hands trembling with the desire, the need to touch him, but she restrains herself, allowing him the choice, the affirming action, of closing the distance between them. He does, unable to stand being this close to her but not touching her, not letting her touch him. Moving in until their bodies press against each other and he can feel the sigh of relief ripple through her body as she lets herself melt against him, Azriel gathers her against him, wrapping his arms around her and drawing her in close.  

Keep reading

Mchanzo Week Day 5: Young Love

McCree and another Blackwatch agent go undercover to investigate the Shimada Clan. While undercover, they had to get close to their marks, but Jesse ended up falling for his target. When the mission goes south after one of the clan elders realize their real employers, Jesse runs to find the man he had fallen for. 

Jesse begs Hanzo to leave the clan, to join Overwatch, because he knows that he can do so much more and be so much more than just the clan’s puppet.

Jesse leaves alone that night.

The Archer and the Oddity meet during the Overwatch recall, nearly a decade after it disbanded.

Both pretend not to know the other, for their own sake. 

But that doesn’t stop their stolen glances and lingering touches during training. Or Genji’s prying in both of their business because brother you totally fucked the cowboy, how dare you not tell me

we all die in the end and no one truly knows what comes after this life, so I want you all to know that I’m happy I got to meet you and cross your paths, even if it’s just online. Of all the years, decades, centuries to have been born, it was now, with you.

bellamybuh-lake  asked:

do you ever wonder if damon told bonnie that he saved emily's family and had kept the bennett line safe up until 2009 when his deal with emily ended? do you ever wonder if he knew bonnie before he returned to mystic falls, if he ever checked in on shelia and bonnie to make sure they were safe? do you think he ever looks at her and gets happy that he made that promise 150 years ago? damon has been saving bennetts for decades but this is the first one he actually loves. it just makes me smile

me, after reading this ask: