installment-two

anonymous asked:

what are normal things that happen in field archaeology? and what does an archaeologist look like

Ok, normal things that happen in the field, according to my experience and to my friends’ (we haven’t had the chance to go to field school together yet, but hopefully this is the year!):

-it’s too sunny to see the stratigraphy

-it’s too cloudy to see the stratigraphy

-is this a sherd or a rock?

-”Wear the Indiana Jones hat proudly”, says the Professor

-”Clean this structure!”, says Professor; «but it’s just a bunch of roots…», thinks student; Professor stomping around excavation area; Professor is beauty and grace and eventually trips on and destroys said structure; Professor and student look at each other; “I always knew it wasn’t important,” says Professor

-you no longer fill your lungs with air, but with dust and dirt

-you no longer cry tears, but mud

-”Look, I’m digging white dirt!” exclaims rookie student; “You destroyed a bone,” says veteran student

-headquarters in the middle of nowhere, nights dark and chilly, forest all around… it is time for creepy stories

-wildlife appears

-night stroll interrupted upon seeing a pair of big round eyes shining in the dark; “IT’S A LION!!!”; night stroll becomes marathon for survival

-black spot on the wall; black spot moves; black spot is a spider; bring a bucket and a pickaxe and the big shovel and maybe we should call the Professor to help us

-call the Professor

-”Can you pass me the thing?”; “Can you hold me the thing while I measure the thing for the thing?”; “Did you see my thing?”; “Look at the thing I found!”; “Where’s the bucket for special things?”

-building new hills and valleys and mountains with all the dirt covering the Main Objective: you are the Destroyer and Creator of Worlds

-The Good Professor: “Kids, time for the mid-morning snack!” and “Kids, hide everything, it’s lunch time!”

-The Bad Professor: “You are doing it wrong.” and “Stop contaminating my archaeological site with biscuit crumbs, who told you to eat anyway???”

-”If the boars come, drop everything and climb to the trees.”

-who needs sunscreen when you have ochre?

-”Take your feet off my square!”

-metalhead girl finds first piece of bronze of that year’s campaign: let the metal-puns begin!

-Professor brings portable chair; Professor installs portable chair between two glorious oaks; Professor picks a square for himself, sits on dirt and works

-sharing the back of the jeep with material, samples, colleagues and Professor’s portable chair

-you know you’re going on an archaeological mission when the jeep is old and uncomfortable 

-old and uncomfortable jeeps are the best

-overloaded jeep going up and down the mountain, brakes might not work; “We trust you with our lives, (name of the doctorate student driving the jeep). No pressure.”

-look at all these sherds!

-turns out you broke a once perfectly intact jar/dish/whatever, we’ll only know what’s this crap once we glue it back together

-”IT’S A STELE!!” yells rookie student, pointing a piece of broken marble

-”I found a pretty shell in that shell midden!”

-digging Roman ruins wearing no hard hat = YOLO

-asking the metalhead girl the secret behind walking around with safety boots when it’s 35ºC

-disconnected from the world

-waking up at 6 a.m. to the Indiana Jones theme; chicken and pork for breakfast; pick up Professor at 7 a.m.; work starts at 8 a.m.; everybody is joyful and happy and it is a beautiful day

-”A friend just called from (some other Professor’s excavation site); do you guys want to hear the gossip???”

-gossip is a sexual scandal, everybody laughs and is very happy to be in the opposite side of the country

-field drawing

-field stick-men drawing

-Professor fell asleep on his square

-”Do we have insurance?” asks rookie student; “What the fuck is that?” asks veteran student

And finally…

An archaeologist looks like the hate child of a Special Ops and a partisan. 

Washed Away

Nessian, 2.9k, Rated T

A/N: This is based on the moment in ACOWAR when Nesta admits that she can’t take baths anymore because of Hybern. I wanted Cassian to help her out with her fear.

                                                         -o-0-o-

Nesta stared at the tub filled with an ankle deep of water. Her breath came out shaky, causing small waves to form over the surface. A towel wrapped around her skin, and the fabric irritatingly rubbed against her body. She knew there was no possibility of submerging herself in the water, two buckets were already filled beside it, but she wanted to try dipping her foot in. Just for a bit. Feyre had already contracted someone to install a shower, but it wasn’t going to be finished for another two weeks. Thus, Nesta continued her routine of using buckets.

Inside, Nesta knew she must look ridiculous, for she was staring at a seemingly empty bathtub. There was nothing in that water that would hurt her, not something that shallow at least. She would lift her leg and dip a toe, nothing more. That would be enough. All of her muscles seemed locked in place as her mind urged her leg to twitch towards the water. She could barely breathe the longer she stared, her thoughts circling around the image of Elain being shoved in those waters, not knowing whether her sister or a corpse would escape. Those moments when Nesta could hear her own heart thundering in her chest, even without Fae hearing. Then, Nesta’s thoughts raced to her own drowning. The tight grip of the Hybern soldiers’s hands on her body. The rage coursing through her as she pointed her finger. The flooding of her lungs—

“By the Cauldron! I am so sorry!”

Nesta whipped around faster than one could winnow to see Cassian standing in the doorway.

“What. The hell. Cassian.”

He was already retreating out the door, covering his eyes with his forearm. “I’m sorry Nesta. I thought—‘

“Did no one ever teach you to knock when there’s a closed door?”

“I’m sorry—“

“Closed, Cassian, the door was closed.” Her breathing came out incredibly ragged, and she practically shrieked, “Get out!”

She turned with every ounce of dignity she had left.

“What are those?”

Her voice came out very clipped. “What do you mean, what are those?”

His silence stretched on between them, daring her to turn around. She only allowed her head to graze over her shoulder before she saw he was not looking anywhere near her. Instead, his gaze locked on the buckets on the floor, and his eyes showed where his thoughts were going.

“Cassian. I said get out,” she snarled at him as she turned to face him fully.

“Nesta, are those—“

“They’re nothing,” she breathed, losing all courage from before, “Just leave.”

His head nodded at the order, still not looking at her as he left, lost in his own mind. When he closed the door, she walked over to check the lock and rested her back against the wall. Cassian’s interruption dragged more fight out of her than she thought it would, and she couldn’t motivate herself to even approach the tub let alone dip her toes. Her fight mellowed the longer she stood there, and she slid to the floor.

Too damn weak. She felt so inadequate that she couldn’t even stand. Everything seemed unnecessary beyond her inability to clean herself. Last time she washed was yesterday. She hadn’t done anything strenuous today, so she could wait. She could wait until tomorrow when she would have to wrestle with herself all over again to enter the bathroom and fill the buckets. When she drenched herself in their water, she would always hold her breath and move as quickly as possible. Her record was six bucketfuls, she didn’t think she could handle anything beyond that.

The water was surely cold by now, and as she stood to empty it, her legs shook. Plunging her hand into the tub for the drain, her eyes closed and she felt two silent tears slowly run down her face. The gurgling of the water was the only noise for a while until she heaved the buckets up to drain in the bath as well. Her towel somehow stayed snug against her body the whole time, and she hid the pails under the sink before leaving the room. Where she saw a hulking bat sitting across the hallway from her.

His lips moved as if to speak, but Nesta shot him a glare and practically ran to her room. She heard him follow her, but she just moved faster before slamming her door in his face.

As quickly as she could, she disrobed and dressed herself as he sighed on the other side.

“Nesta—“ he paused, as if wondering if she was going to let him continue—“I’m sorry about earlier. I was debriefing Rhys downstairs and was walking backwards into the door. I didn’t see it was closed. My apologies.”

She could hear him turning to walk away, but for whatever cauldron-damned reason, she opened her door.

“You weren’t there.”

His back strained at her words and his wings hitched slightly.

“Nesta, you know that ever since Hy—“

“Not there. I know there’s nothing you could have done. I don’t think you do, but that’s for another time.”

He was facing her now, and his jaw worked as if he were going to say something. She held up her hand. “Let me finish. You weren’t at the meeting with Graysen.” She took a deep breath, somehow this private admission a million times harder than the one that she made so long ago. “Your eyes were on those buckets, and your thoughts seemed to be working faster than your mind could handle. So I, ah, guess you should hear it from me before you draw your own conclusions. Taking a bath is pretty difficult after —“ she gestured pathetically with her arms—“everything. Feyre’s getting a, what do you call it? A shower installed. It’ll be another two weeks, so I use buckets instead of a bath. I wanted to see if I could dip my feet today, or at least my toes,” she sighed, “turns out I’m a little too pathetic for even that.”

She didn’t realize that she never once looked at him the whole time, but when she did, his face was completely stricken with devastation. Her fingers scratched behind her ear, and she attempted to walk past him.

“Nesta.” His hand was on her arm and his gaze was intense. “Nothing about your situation is pathetic. We share at lot of sexual jokes, but I’m serious when I say I have a shower at my house that you can use in the mean time. If you need to. Want to.”

She’d never admit how grateful she was at his offer, but the look in his eyes showed that maybe he could feel her relief. “Thanks. I’ll think about it.”

Their gazes locked for a moment longer, before she turned to leave and his hand left her arm.


At Ritas that evening, the whole inner circle enjoyed a night out including Elain and Nesta. All together, they shared a few drinks though Nesta drank less than everyone and sat completely erect on a barstool. Their group swayed along to whatever tempo they pleased while Nesta stared amazed that even Amren joined in their revelry. Looking at them all, she knew she could join them, in fact, they’d already encouraged her multiple times. Cassian never directly asked her once, but his eyes skirted over to hers almost too often. As if now that she told him her fear, she would shatter if left to her own devices.

Nesta slowly nursed her water at his excessiveness until the prick behind her shoved into her the bar.

“Excuse—“ Nesta started as she turned around.

Her voice was drowned out by the fighting males behind her. And the full mug of ale that completely drenched her outfit. There was no time to become angry at her sodden state. The fighting pair continued as though nothing happened, and Nesta just stared at herself mouth agape.

“Hey, Hey, Hey, HEY.”

Nesta looked up at that.

Cassian stood with his arms erect, breaking up the fight. His words were hushed between the two swaying drunks. Whatever he said calmed them, and his main tactic seemed to be forcing them to break eye contact by repeatedly claiming “look at me”. Nesta heard him say it so much that she didn’t realize he was saying it to her until she looked up.

His eyes were inches from her face and stared at her with concern. “There you are.” He gave her a small smile. “Are you okay?”

“Of course I’m okay. I wasn’t in that fight,” she hummed, “Can you get out of my face?”

He moved as if he just now realized their proximity and skirted his gaze down her dress. With his raised eyebrows, she couldn’t help but look too. “Nesta, I’d always thought I’d see you wet, but these were not quite the circumstances I was imagining.”

Nesta’s jaw dropped for a second time that evening. “Is there a real reason you came over here? Or did you just want to make some poorly timed innuendos and have to disrupt that fight to do it?”

“If you must know—” he leaned in close again—“your damp state seemed like you were going to need to wash.”

Nesta froze. She had not thought about that part of her evening yet.

“And I thought maybe you’d…want to come to my place.” The last words came so fast that she almost thought she misheard him. Almost. Which was why her response felt like too much.

“Fine. But you’re not allowed any more innuendos.”

He put his hands up in defense but wore a grin of satisfaction before leading the way out.

Not a word was spoken between them as they winded through the streets of Velaris. Nesta’s anxiety grew the longer they walked. From an outsider perspective, their situation would look promiscuous as he took her home, but there was nothing sexual about their silence. They weaved their way through town, down alleys, and Nesta could’ve sworn they‘d cross the Sidra twice. The peace shared between them seemed so delicate that Nesta had no desire to break it, especially since Cassian was offering so much to let her use his shower. A slight breeze passed, and Nesta’s dress, clinging to her body now that it was soaked, caused her to shiver.

She could feel Cassian look at her out of the corner of his eye and almost snapped. Tear him apart for taking them in a seemingly pointless journey through Velaris when there had to be a better route. Her mouth opened slightly to voice—

“Here we are,” Cassian gestured to a single brick townhouse, identical to all the others on the street. To Nesta’s surprise, every window had a lush garden growing in boxes underneath them. Cassian walked up the stairs, and Nesta stared at his back without really seeing it.

“Do all Illyrians in this city live in townhouses?” Nesta inquired.

Cassian jangled his keys, and Nesta began to ascend the stairs after him. “At least we’re not compensating for anything—” he turned to wink at her—“But considering there’s only three of us, yes we all do.”

Nesta scoffed at that and stepped aside as Cassian opened the door. As though he forgot she was there, he stumbled into his home without any bravado, not even turning on a light, and lightly made his away upstairs.

“Nesta, there’s definitely no water out there. If you would like to enjoy the particulars of indoor plumbing, you’ll need to follow me to the bedroom,” he called as he turned towards her.

“We agreed on no innuendos.”

“And there has yet to be one. The only bathroom with a shower here is upstairs—“ he turned back around—“So my offer still stands, but you’ll need to enter the room where I sleep.”

Nesta padded up after him.


His bathroom was huge. Everything in it was built to accommodate wings, making it all three times larger than necessary. What she assumed was his shower had three spigots each with two handles underneath. Cassian left her there unceremoniously, and she’d already stripped herself bare. Though she claimed she would be fine, there were too many levers and the water shot down in a pounding waves so hard that Nesta immediately turned it off, scared of its power. She cracked the door open.

“Cassian,” she practically whispered as if he’d be right inside his bedroom. No response.

“Cassian.” Much louder.

Footsteps sounded from downstairs, and she waited for his approach. She felt like an uncivilized idiot who couldn’t even learn how to use a freaking shower.

Someone tapped lightly on the door. “Can I come in, Nesta?” he sounded incredibly tired on the other side. She let him in.

“I don’t know how to work the shower,” she stated, “I mean I don’t know how to make the water more tolerable.”

He just stared at her. “Is the rain okay?”

“What?”

“You’ve been out in the rain since the cauldron. Is the rain okay?”

She thought back to memories of such gloomy weather and nodded. With those directions, he turned some dials on the faucets and spun the handles so water came out.

“That should feel like a light storm. If all three are too much, just use the one in the middle. The knobs underneath control the water temperature.”

A wave of exhaustion passed through her so strong that she had nothing to remind him that she knew how to turn it on. She left it at, “Thank you.”

As he left, he called, “When you’re done, just come get me to bring you home. I’ll be downstairs.”

She nodded before he turned and walked away. The bathroom that once seemed huge, now appeared tiny. Nothing in that room mattered except for the dripping water. Nesta stared at it a little, astonished that Cassian had been so generous throughout this whole situation. After so many years in that hovel, she was trained not to waste water, no matter how much she wished she could just stare at it and be clean. The towel dropped to the floor as she caught a waft of her beer-ladder self. Tentatively, she raised her arm and let the water cascade down. She could stop herself whenever she felt, but she chose to step over the tiny ledge on the floor anyway.

The sensation of all that water hitting her at once was too much. The warmth of it enveloping her to a point of choking that she blindly grasped for the faucet on her right, shutting the flow off immediately. On her other side, she fumbled more, but still managed to find it rather quickly. Above her, water came at a calming, leisurely rate. She closed her eyes. It’s just rain. It’s just rain. It’s just rain.

Her breathing slowed, slightly.

She could do this.

She’d already stood there for longer than those buckets could ever drench her. That thought though, forced herself to exit the stream. Her toes remained wet. She couldn’t help but think of only a few hours ago when she’d restrained from even putting her foot in the water. A sharp laugh escaped her.

Lathering herself in soap and washing multiple times, Nesta could only stand in the water for maybe a minute at a time before believing the shower a rainstorm washed away. All in all, she stayed there for maybe seven minutes. A short wash for anyone else, but the longest Nesta had had in months. Though they’d won the war, this felt like  Nesta’s largest victory. Cassian’s towel felt like velvet as she wrapped herself in it, wondering if she just thought that way because of the significance of her evening.

Outside, folded neatly on the bed, were a small stack of clothes meant for her. She quietly wandered downstairs to find Cassian. As she passed through his living room, she thought maybe he was in the kitchen only to find it empty. Rather, after some insistent searching, she found him curled on the couch, his wings forming a cocoon in place of blanket, making it appear as though he never meant to fall asleep.

His face seemed peaceful, more so than she had maybe ever seen it. After everything he had done for her tonight, he deserved some rest. She found a blanket and draped him in it before realizing that with his hulking form, there was really no place for her to sleep down here. Scrambling back up the stairs was her only option. First, she opened the door across the hall from his room, hoping to find a guest suite, but it was an office filled with maps and strategies. Which meant her only option was his bed. It felt like a personal intrusion, but the more exhausted part of her mind reminded her she’d already used his shower, so why not surrender to the comforts of his sheets.

Immediately, his scent invaded her nose the tighter she tucked herself in, but she found it intoxicating. A depressant stronger than any alcohol consumed that evening. She pulled the sheets tightly, almost feeling like Cassian was there with her. After almost no time at all, she fell asleep, her dreams filled with not a single drop of water.

In the morning, Cassian woke her up by poking her shoulder. They’d shared a small smile before he walked her home, and again neither of them said anything until they reached Rhys’s home where Nesta thanked him. Then, kissed him on the cheek, an action that surprised them both.

No matter how much shock there was though, Cassian welcomed her to his home for showers every day before Feyre got one installed. And thankfully never commented when she occasionally stopped in after it was.

A Hundred Lesser Faces: (Four)

Notes from Mod Bonnie

  • This story stems from the premise: what if Voyager!Claire had gone first to Lallybroch instead of directly to the print shop in Edinburgh?

[Jenny] 

“Jen, love?”

I started and jumped from the pillow in the dark, my whole body seizing and splintering wi’ panic—

But it was only Ian, of course, half-asleep at my back. He pulled me closer against him and kissed my shoulder.  “Yr—tossin’ and turnin’ about like—S’matter?”

“Nothin’…Nothin’, only somethin’ I ate,” I whispered, tryin’ to catch my breath.

“Get—ye somethin’?” 

“Nay, lad, I’ll—I’ll do,” I panted, my blood racing and pounding. “Go b—back to sleep, mo ghriadh.” I pulled back the quilts and made to sit up. “I’ll—go take a turn— settle meself.” Nearly midnight, it must be. 

Ian groped clumsily for me and caught my hand. “Lov’ye…”

Tears prickled in my eyes, sharp and hot against the air of the night. God, the tenderness of him—the sweetness and care and love this good man lavished upon me, always

“D’ye think me a good person, Ian?” I whispered into the dark between us. 

Mm?”

My throat felt sore, the words as raw and frail and desperate as my pathetic heart. “Am I truly good? Or have I only been good at pretendin’ to be…while I’m no more than the verra worst kind of filth?”

The question rang out into the silence; unanswered. He’d have reassured me, had he actually heard, had the soft, familiar whiffle of his snorin’ not already resumed. It was as well not to be coddled wi’ comforting lies. I kent the truth well enough. 

Oh, but how I ached to wake him, to tell him at least of Claire and the evil that I’d done; to let him hold me tight and safe while I wept into his chest; let the comfort of him surround me, soothe me, as he convinced me wi’ gentle kisses and soft words that all would be well, that he’d carry the burden wi’ me—that I wouldna be alone, ever.  

Alone like Jamie. 

Alone like Claire.

This was my penance: this coldness—this regret—this utter, writhing, blistering shame. I’d taken away any chance for their happiness, so for the rest of my life, I had to bear it; to atone, myself, however I might. Emptiness, carried alone: a fitting punishment for my crime. 

I kissed Ian’s brow, slipped out of bed, found my shawl, and made my way down the stairs toward the study. I reeled a bit on the treads, my head achin’ and spinnin’, and small bloody wonder, for I’d drunk heavily all the evenin’. 

At first, it were only that I was preparin’ myself for the task at hand, hopin’ the drink would brace me, give me courage for when I found the right moment to face Jamie. Every time I looked at him, though, the gentle hunger in his eyes that lit over bein’ wi’ family; the smile on his face as he played with the wee bairns, as he joyed in the balm of home—of love—God, my coward’s heart had bucked and fled, at every opportunity. 

And by the time I might have finally confronted things, the drink had taken hold, bringing my fears to bear, and I’d staggered up to my bed long before anyone else, and dreamt of screams of pain—and sorrow—and—

Now, I was surprised and relieved to find as I reached the bottom of the stairs that I was hardened, a wall of conviction slowly rising up around me, protectin’ me. Jamie need not know; Jamie must not be told. It was too late, after all; Claire was too far gone. I’d done wrong, to my everlasting shame. I’d committed a terrible, cruel evil against them both. But what good would it do to torture him wi’ that knowledge, now? When he had no chance of findin’ her? None. T’would be only agony to him, that wisp of hope, now vanished by my hand. 

No. He couldna ever be told. It was the kindest thing I could do, now, to keep the secret from hurting him further. 

All that remained was for me to find a way to live wi’ myself—drink and distraction; and there was always a good decanter of whisky in the study along wi’ the books. I pushed through the study door and was no more than two steps in before I collided wi’ something solid and—

JESUS!”

“WHAT IN—?”

My candle was somersaulting through the air and onto the good rug, and just as suddenly, quick fingers snatched it up again before it could catch.

“I’m so sorry, Jen,” Jamie was sayin’, settin’ the candlestick on the table next to one of his own before turnin’ back to grin at me, all sheepish in only his shirt. “I couldna sleep and came down for a dram and was looking at the books just there by the door, and—” He stopped and blinked, surveying me in alarm. “Lass, you’re white as a sheet and shaking like— Are ye hurt, dove?”

“No, its—I’m fine—” I shrank back from his touch, from the heartbreaking sweetness of the endearment.

Tell him.

Only—agony to him, now. 

It’s far pa—past—(breathe)—too late—damn me to hell for it. 

I turned hastily for the door. “I didna mean to intrude upon your quiet, Jamie, I’ll just—”

“No-no-no, dinna be daft,” Jamie laughed, eagerly, stepping swiftly around me to block the door. “Stay! Sit wi’ me a time—have a drink.”

“No, really, I should—”

“Jen, we barely got to speak all this evening,” he said, and there was more than a touch of hurt in that soft voice, those soft eyes. “Please? Stay wi’ me?”

Brother, if ye only kent what I was, you’d cast me out into the cold this moment, and have me walk until the very sea swallowed me up. 

And I’d deserve it. 


[Jamie]

“Come on, wee fool,” Jamie said, gently, but in truth, he was begging. He wanted her to stay. He needed her to stay, to help drive this terrible sadness away, tonight. 

At last, she relented, and let him close the door. He held out his arms to her, and after a very long moment, she came to him. “It’s very glad I am to see ye, lass,” he whispered into her hair, trying not to let his voice crack with just how glad he was of it. 

“Aye—well—” 

Lord, why did she sound so tentative around him, tonight? She had been cool toward him all the evening, busying herself with the meal and with clearing it, and with taking another whisky, offering him one, but then bustling onward to the next task and retiring early before they could exchange more than a dozen words. 

“Tell me true.” He gently took her by the shoulders and held her far enough away to look her in the eye, beseeching. “Have I done something to wrong ye, lass?” 

She gaped at him, going even paler than before. “Wrong me?” 

“I dinna think I’m mistaken in noticing you’re no’ pleased to see me, this visit. So I’ll ask again….Have I done something that’s wronged ye?” Even moments ago, she had seemed barely to touch him as he embraced her. “I’ll do anythin’ I can to make it right, I swear it.” 

“Never.” To his astonishment, her face fell, and she made a little sound almost like a sob as she at last hugged him tight, a real embrace. “You would never do anything to wrong me, Jamie.” 

He held her close, the sense of home finally settling around him. His blood—his sister. 

“I’m sorry, Jamie,” she said, muffled into his chest, “I am glad to see ye. I’m just—no’ quite myself, tonight.” 

“Is something amiss wi’ ye then, dove? Are ye feeling ill?” 

“No, I’ll do.” He could have sworn she shuddered, but she pulled back and put her hands on her hips to study at him with brows drawn, as she always did, the dear, wee busybody. “Lord above, you’re too thin, ye great toad.”

“Are great toads typically thin?” he laughed, placing a kiss on the top of her head and moving to settle onto the plump cushions of the settee.

“Aye, and your voice all scratchit like one, to boot,” she laughed with something like her usual fire, curling her legs under her on the armchair facing him. “But truly, do ye get yourself fed at all, in Edinburgh?”

“Aye,” he said, passing her a whisky glass, “not grand fare, mind,” he winked, or tried to, “but dinna fash: I make it a special point of policy to eat every day.”

“Well, that’s good. Do it more, aye? You’re—” She shook her head, looking actually pained as she took him in again. “You’re….wasting away, Jamie.” 

He waved a hand in dismissal. “That’s why I must visit my sister, whose excellent cooks will always get me fattened up again.” 

“I must thank ye again for seeing my wee Ian safely home to me.”

“’Course, Jen,” he murmured, “happy to do it. The lad continues to be quite the handful, I see.” 

“God,” she groaned, “I’ve not the faintest idea what’s to be done about the wee eejit. S’like tryin’ to trap a breeze upon a mountaintop. I’m sure he’ll ask to be allowed to go back wi’ ye wi’ our blessing this time, but—” 

“I’d no’ mind it, owermuch” He tried to sound casual, not as desperately eager as he felt. “In fact, I verra nearly let him talk me into letting him stay, this time.”

“Wheedles something fierce, does wee Ian,” Jenny agreed ruefully. “I suppose ‘tis good for his hope of catchin’ a wife one day. A boy that’s so plain best ken how to wield charm to his good uses, at least,” she said with a grimace and a deep draught from her glass.

“Aye, that’s so,” Jamie laughed. “He can argue the black off a boot. Though, it was less to do wi’ him than me,” he added quietly, a moment later. 

“How’s that?”

“I’d have been happy for the company.” He shrugged, trying for nonchalance, but it was a shrug of unease. “It’s quite lonely, there in the shop.” His emptiness rang into the very corners of the room in the saying of it. 

Jenny heard it too, and put on a cheery, winning manner as she scoffed, “Nonsense, you’ve got Fergus, aye?”

“Fergus is a great help, true, and an even greater comfort to me,” he agreed. The boy—Christ, he was fifteen years or more past being a *boy,* but Fergus would always be so, to Jamie—was his pride and his right hand. 

“But, of course, ye may not ken how often Fergus is gone from Edinburgh seeing to—other business. Scarce half the days of the month, do I see him, in fact.” He shrugged. “And of course, I’m alone in my rooms, after the shop closes. Wi’ only myself for company, the conversation tends to be a trifle repetitive.” 

He meant it as a wee jest to lighten the mood. It didn’t work, for either of them. There was a fair-sized lump in his throat. Jenny’s hands were tight around her glass, her eyes down. He knew he shouldn’t speak so, so wretchedly self-pitying, but damn him, he needed to have someone hear him and understand.

“Sometimes, I go an entire week or more wi’out anyone—not a soul— speaking to me as if they knew me. And it can be longer, even, wi’out anyone saying my real name to me….In Edinburgh, ken, I’m Alexander Malcolm.” 

She gave a weak smile, whispering, “Sawney.” 

“Aye. And folk smile and bow and say, ‘Good Day, Mr. Malcolm.’….‘Shall we see ye on Saturday, Sawney?’….’When are ye thinking of taking a wife, Mr. Malcolm?’” 

The empty glass shot from Jenny’s hands and spun ‘round on the carpet. Neither of them moved to pick it up, and Jamie found he couldn’t stop talking. 

He swallowed. “Before the cave—prison—England——”

Lord, that he might be safe. 

“—I didna truly ken how much it meant to me to be….known. MyselfAnd after everything that’s happened these twenty years, I now find most days as though—” He shook his head. “—as though I’ll just fall away and vanish into naught, from lack of it. I havena….” He dropped his eyes, too ashamed to look her in the eye as he spoke the darkest desolation of his heart, “I can hardly even name the broken pieces of me, any longer…..let alone hope to put them back together.” 

Jenny blinked hard as though holding back tears. Lord, no, there were tears in her eyes, to his shame. He wasn’t saying these things for pity. It was simply the truth of his heart, and it was a true gift to be given the grace to say it aloud, rather than having it tear him apart in the quiet of his mind, day after day. And yet it pained him to grieve Jenny so, to give her any more reason to fear and fret for him. 

He started to say so, but she suddenly blurted, “Maybe—” She was pale, and Jamie could swear she was trembling. “Maybe ‘tis time to—to come back to Balriggan.”

“No,” he said at once with half a laugh, standing and walking over to one of the bookcases.

“Jamie…”

“No, I said.”

“I ken things wi’ Laoghaire—”

“There’s no’ moving me on this,” he said, more sharply. He had no desire for her to dream up another scheme for rehabilitating his personal happiness. “I’ll continue to do right by them, of course, see them taken care of but…No. I’ll no’ try to find comfort, there, again.”

“Jamie, mo chridhe, please just listen—” She was right on the verge of weeping, from the sound at his back. “I ken she’s not—that she’s… what she is…but I dinna want—” There came the sound of Jenny throwing up her hands in desperation, “—Ye shouldna spend the rest of your days alone, Jamie, wi’—wi’ no JOY! The thought of—”

“There is no joy to be had at Balriggan, sister. Not that kind.” 

“If—” 

He turned to her and gently grasped her shoulders. “You’ve known me all my life, Jen,” he said softly down into her face, contorted as it was with shockingly-vehement feeling. “I’ve been wrong about many things; been hasty and reckless and a fool, when my emotions got ahead of my better judgment, or before I kent proper facts—” He cupped her cheek, his voice hoarse. “—but trust me to ken my own heart, at least: to be alone, to be empty, is better than—than that; to lose what pieces of me still remain to—anger…bitterness….”

She stared up into his face, lips pursed, eyes red and glistening, voice trembling uncontrollably. “But can ye no’—?”

He released her and kissed her cheek, putting all his self into being strong and brave-faced once more, as was his duty. “Dinna fash yourself about me. I’m sorry I let myself carry on down such a maudlin road, this night.” 

Jamie smiled, as warm and broad a smile as he could, as he walked past her back to the settee, meaning to sit. “But it means a great deal to me how much ye do trouble yourself for my sake, truly. I ken ye always mean the best for me, Jenny, and I’m—”

The sob burst out of Jenny like a cannon blast in the night and Jamie whirled, reaching for an absent dirk. “Jen, WH—”

Her face was a broken thing behind her hands. “I’m so—sss—so SORRY, brother.”

“Sorry?” Jamie felt as though he’d been hit by a charging horse. That wasn’t pity in her ‘sorry’: it was true apology. “Whatever for??”

“For the fool that I am,” she sobbed, the tears flowing over her fingers. “After all ye’ve been through—your own sister ought—OUGHT to—Christ, Jamie, I’m so—ashamed.”

“Jenny, dove, mo chridhe,” he whispered as he reached for her, “what on earth  are are ye going on ab—?”

“Wait here—” she managed to choke, already staggering for the door. Her eyes were wild and she put out a staying hand as she went. “Dinna move, just—Just—wait!!”

Too stunned to do otherwise, Jamie stood unmoving on the study rug, mind racing, absolutely at a loss to guess what had come over her. 

When at last she came back through the door, she was white as death, a paper, or envelope, perhaps, clasped against her breast. 

“Jenny, you’re frightening me. Tell me at once what’s happened.” 

“I’ve done—” Her chest seemed to cave in around the envelope, wracked with her sobs. “I’ve done a terrible wrong against ye, brother.” 

“Nonsense,” he vowed, moving toward her to sort things out. “Whatever’s the—”

Don’t,” she hissed, halting him with a frantic shake of the the head, her teeth gritted. “Just—stop.”

He raised both his hands to her in desperate plea.“I dinna understand, Jenny.” 

She closed the distance between them with halting steps and forced the envelope into his hands, holding her own tight around them. He couldn’t take his eyes off her face, for it was an expression he’d never seen there—absolute anguish and absolute shame. 

His eyes dropped to his hands. Aye, a thick envelope, the face bare and unmarked. 

He turned it over and saw the single word there written:

J a m i e

He might have been screaming—he might have been crying—he might have fallen into a dark pit, with the earth closed in over him.

He was on the ground, his leg aching from where he’d fallen against something. The envelope stared up at him from the floor and he stared back. 

those five letters 

written in Claire’s hand

a thin interlace pattern pressed into the blood-red seal.

Jenny was sobbing. “She was here— Claire was here, Jamie—”

“Claire’s gone—” he was screaming or whimpering, “Claire—is—GONE—”

“She came back.”

“—GONE—”

“No, she came for ye—CAME here

Nothing made sense

“—And I did such grievous wrong by ye in the things I said to her.”

There was no damned SENSE in the words that she—

C l a i r e

Jenny kneeling before him. 

Claire—

Jenny, grabbing his hand, hard. “She said it would give ye peace, what’s inside.” 

CAME for’—?

Jenny, pressing the packet against his chest wi’ his own hand, holding it there, tight. 

CLAIRE? 

Jenny’s face, mere inches from his, breaking apart with weeping—all but mute from the violence of her pain. “I'm—so—sorry, Jamie.” 

A kiss on his cheek, and then she was gone.

Watching like one paralyzed as the envelope fluttered once more to the ground onto its face. 

J a m i e

…his real name. 

He lunged, but he couldn’t even lift the envelope. His fingers felt like claws—lacking thumbs—lacking everything except brute force. He managed to rip off the seal and force open the pages, but he could only press it flat onto the floor with both his hands, hunched over it like a starving beast over its kill. 

And though he’d feared it some nightmare, his soul burst like the lungs of a drowning man as he read—as he believed— the words beneath him:  

“My own Jamie,” 


2

EAST ASIAN MYTHOLOGY MEME:

[3/8] JAPANESE GODS AND GODDESSES | AMATERASU

Amaterasu [天照], Amaterasu-ōmikami or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. 

In Japanese mythology, Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. It was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings to create ancient Japan. She became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon and ruler of the night. Originally, Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi. This killing upset Amaterasu, causing her to label Tsukuyomi an evil god and to split away from him; separating night from day.

There is also a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. When he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object of the other’s and from it birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo’s sword while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, she decided that she had won the challenge. The two were content for a time, but her brother became restless and went on a rampage, destroying Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurling a flayed pony at her loom, and killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, who was in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato (“heavenly rock cave”), thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time. The world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark. The gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place until the goddess of dawn, Ame-no-Uzume, was able to trick her into reappearance.

“I popped Captain America’s cherry !” - Steve Rogers x Reader (NSFW)

Steve Rogers is (was) a 90 years old virgin, someone had to “pop his cherry” one day you know. Just so happened it was you. Slightly NSFW. Well, actually, totally NSFW. Let’s just say it. First times and stuffs

(My masterlist blog here : https://ella-ravenwood-archives.tumblr.com)

______________________________________________________________________

Being Tony Stark’s little sister wasn’t always easy. You couldn’t count the number of times you had to go pick him up somewhere because he was too drunk to come home on his own. Or the times you were waking up to go to school only to be met with a naked woman walking casually around…and getting suddenly flustered when she realized that Tony’s little sister was living with him. Or the times he just embarrassed you in general. Or when paparazzis just chased you everywhere just because you were his sister. Or just all of the Iron Man thing. You were in danger all the time, just because you were his sister…

Tony was twenty when your parents died, you were just a four year old at the time, and didn’t understand what was happening…Most of your childhood had been a bit chaotic. But you ended up fine, with all of his flaws, your brother still took good care of you. The perks of being rich really, an army of nannies were there when he wasn’t. 

Yes, being Tony Stark’s sister wasn’t always easy. But it definitely had its good sides. Your life was NEVER boring, and you always met interesting people. 

Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, was one of those people. You guys “clicked” right away. You loved his gentlemanly way, and he loved the fact that you were always very careful not to make him uncomfortable by talking about something he didn’t know. You were very aware that he wasn’t from your era, and that sometimes, he struggled. You also were the only one to acknowledge the fact that he might have PTSD from WWII. And unlike most men, he really wasn’t interested in your money and fame that came with the package of being a Stark. He liked you just the way you were, and vice versa. Unlike your brother you never mocked him when he was confused about something from the modern world. You loved hearing about when he was in the forties, and you felt that talking about it made him feel better. After all, everything and everyone he knew was long gone, that had to take a toll on your mind…It became a habit for the two of you to meet every day for lunch and just talk about anything. 

Keep reading

Rabbit Hole

Dean starts being honest with Sam when Sam is asleep and it turns into a habit.

“You remember,” Dean begins conversationally, adjusting his grip on the steering wheel, “when we were young and dad was the one driving? I was never any good at sleeping in the car but as soon as we hit the road, you’d drop off right away against my shoulder in the backseat.

I remember that one winter — you must have been eight or nine… The heating didn’t work and we wrapped ourselves into that god-awful excuse of a blanket. It was so scratchy and stiff and literally did nothing to keep us warm, and you still managed to sleep like a dead person.”

He pauses, glancing over at his brother’s sleeping form. Curled into himself, his breath fogging up the window where he’s got the side of his face pressed against it, he makes the occasional sleep noise and barely even stirs when the car hits a pothole on the uneven road.

Dean can’t stop the smile that’s tugging at his mouth from growing wider so he doesn’t try, giving in to it instead.

It’s too easy to lull himself into a false sense of security. Even if the world is studiously headed for damnation, in these quiet moments, nighttime on the road, nothing to keep Dean company but the engine and his brother’s breathing, it’s easy to have hope. Hope that everything is going to work out after all in the end.

Dean doesn’t believe in fairy tale endings.

Keep reading

Kampos -- Part Two

Second installment of A Thing I’m Writing For @reioka. Gettin into the story guys. Sorry for the cliffhanger (not) also, don’t know when I’m going to be able to update next, because I just started my first job and it’s long hours and takes a lot out of me. I’ll try though!!! 

Part One


It quickly became clear that Steve and Bucky hadn’t really thought this out well. With Pepper tutting in the background they fretted, worrying over the hows and wheres of exactly what they were going to do with Tony. Hill wasn’t happy; Tony didn’t like her, and was very much cowering behind Bucky’s sheepish legs.

“Which idiot broke the tank?” Steve elbowed Bucky, who scowled.

“He’s better out here.” Hill pinched the bridge of her nose.

“He’s an ocean animal. For all you knew he couldn’t breathe air!” Bucky grumbled but had the tact to look properly apologetic and chastised. “How are you planning on moving him? Where are you planning to put him? You do realize seahorses aren’t freshwater animals, right?”

“You could let me go?” Tony tried weakly, his tail curling reflexively.

A gasped “My God” cut off whatever reply he would’ve gotten as a new human entered the room. This one had swirly, driftwood colored hair and bubbles floating in front of his eyes. “When I heard Zola ranting to those soldiers I thought he had finally gone crazy.” The human was staring and Tony didn’t really like that, although he thought he could take the human if it came down to it. The plates of his tail clicked as he curled and uncurled it, reminding himself to use his nose and not his gills. “Look at him. Amazing! And he’s intelligent.”

“He talks,” Pepper said proudly, as if she were the one who taught him human speech.

“I talk,” he echoed weakly, tired of being spoken about like he wasn’t there, curling his tail around Steve’s leg when he stepped too close. Steve grimaced but didn’t move away, smiling shyly down at Tony to encourage the closeness. The driftwood-haired human lit up, rushing forward and kneeling next to Tony, holding out his hand. This was one of those strange human habits that Tony didn’t know how to react to – they all stuck their hands in his face, like they expected him to do something with it. He stared at it, puzzled, before leaning up and nuzzling his cheek against it in affection and greeting, as he would with Natasha or Clint. The humans all got a very strange look on their faces, like they had eaten a jellyfish and it was floating around in their tummies. The driftwood-haired human withdrew his hand, his face blooming.

“I’m Bruce Banner. I’m going to help get you situated and then we’ll figure out what to do, okay?”

“You won’t send me home.” It was more weakness than words, and more statement than question. He was ignored, Steve and Bucky glancing at each other uncomfortably.

“I have a tank” Bruce Banner was saying to Hill, rubbing his bubbles on his shirt, somehow without popping them.

“You mean the one you created that slime monster in?” Hill deadpanned.  

“Maybe,” Bruce answered. “We just need to fill it with water and treat it.”

“How much is this treatment going to cost?”

“A lot.”


The tank was large, so large that Tony could’ve let salt escape after being stuck in the prison for so long, but it was still not as nice as the ocean would’ve been. It took Bruce Banner a long time to get it filled. Steve and Bucky, with a very real worry about Tony drying out, took to pouring buckets of water over him. It was fresh water, but it was kind, and Tony wouldn’t die from it like a real seahorse would (at least not immediately), so it was fine.

Most of these SHIELD humans were kind to him. Actually, most of the SHIELD humans avoided or ignored him, which was very nice. Bucky, Steve, Pepper, and Bruce Banner were nice though – he wasn’t yet sure about Hill. Especially because he thought a hill was a mound of something which humans liked to climb, and human Hill was certainly not that.

The water in the tank was perfect, and he gasped in surprise as Bucky and Steve lowered him in. It felt good rushing past his gills, and he actually did leak salt, looking at the humans through the glass (and this glass didn’t distort his vision! How amazing humans were!). He beamed at Bruce Banner, who bloomed and rubbed the back of his neck, tilting his hair down.

“I did some research,” Tony heard him say faintly through the glass and water, and smiled brighter, turning to explore his new (hopefully temporary) home.

His dorsal fin beating, he uncurled out his tail, relishing in the feeling of being able to stretch out and the absence of the heavy weight that came over his body in the air with the humans. He stretched his tail, curling it around one of the fake plants someone had kindly anchored to the bottom of the tank for him underneath the sand, finally feeling safe, and popped his head above the water so he could speak with the humans.

“Thank you Bruce Banner!” he chirped.


The humans wanted to look at him.

He didn’t really want the humans to look at him, because last time humans had ‘looked at’ him it had hurt a lot and they hadn’t done much looking, more prodding. So he told them that his gills hurt and he wanted to be in the water for a few days, surprised when they agreed. They were also as appalled (read: disgusted) as he was that the other humans had fed him dead food instead of live, and graciously provided him with live food to catch and enjoy.

And after they were so kind to him, he had to let them look at him, didn’t he?

Bruce Banner was the one doing the looking. He was surprisingly gentle, explaining everything he did. Bucky and Steve stood by with him, and Tony felt safer, even though he liked Bruce Banner a lot, especially when Bruce Banner brought out the needle because he wanted to take a liquid called blood out of Tony’s body. They all promised that it wouldn’t hurt him and he could live without a little bit of it, because Bruce Banner wouldn’t take it all, so he agreed, but he forced Bucky to hold his hand while the sharp metal went into his arm. Steve stood at his tail, letting him curl around his arm in anxiety, and Tony was grateful for that as well, because it made him feel more safe. When he had his tail around something, the currents couldn’t blow him away, so it was always safer.

It didn’t hurt, and Bruce Banner really did take only a little (Tony had seen more body liquid – blood – in some fish he had eaten), and Tony decided he really liked these humans. His herd was gone anyway (don’t think about it, don’t think about it), so he might as well stay here.

It was awkward when Bruce Banner wanted to see his pouch. There wasn’t much to see, and only his mate was supposed to touch there, but the humans were still being nice to him and he still had his tail wrapped around Steve’s arm even though Steve was making a face now (Bucky kept telling him to breathe) so he let Bruce Banner look, ‘palpitating’ (he guessed it meant gently pressing, from what was happening) his belly where his plates met his skin, and then lower where his pouch was. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable – he couldn’t really feel it – but he didn’t really know what Bruce Banner was looking for either. It was the same pouch as any other seahorse, nothing really special about it, but Bruce Banner was fascinated with it.

Later Bucky was going to let him try something called chocolate when Bruce Banner walked up, looking perplexed.

“Tony, you know you’re producing pregnancy hormones, right?”

^ Deckard and Owen Shaw in Fate of the Furious

JASON STATHAM SAYS PAPA SHAW IS COMING TO THE FAST & FURIOUS FRANCHISE

Deckard is a family guy himself, and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his younger brother Owen — and his mum, played by the scene-stealing Helen Mirren in Fate of the Furious. But now that we’ve met Mama Shaw, is there a chance we’ll meet Papa Shaw in the final two installments of the Fast franchise? MTV News caught up with Statham at the world premiere of The Fate of the Furious on April 8, and the British actor confirmed that, yes, Mr. Shaw is coming.

While the actor declined to share any further details, this does confirm that the Shaw family will at least play some kind of role in the final two movies. - (x)

A Hundred Lesser Faces: (Three)

Notes from Mod Bonnie

  • This story stems from the premise: what if Voyager!Claire had gone first to Lallybroch instead of directly to the print shop in Edinburgh?
  • Links to past installments:  (One) (Two)

(Three)

Jenny

I’d run upstairs the instant Claire was gone through the door—first to the bedchamber overlooking the road, then up still further to the upper floors, so I could see her for just a moment longer. For, damn me, but I couldna take my eyes off her…just kept—watchin’ her— until the last.

And even when the shape of her had long vanished over the horizon, I was still watchin’, staring into the spot where she’d been, the last place she’d inhabited before she’d gone away….just as she’d promised. 

The letter—God, Claire’s letter—was clutched tight in my hand and heavy on my heart. But it was also heavy in my hand, I realized. There was more than paper, therein, I’d swear to it; firm, whatever it was, but not rigid, exactly, for I could still bend it easily.  

I had the nail of my finger under the edge of the wax before somethin’….somethin’ stopped me—or could it be someone?—and I shivered. 


“Jenny?” 

Claire was in the doorway of the kitchen, cloak on, the letter clutched to her breast. 

I stood, awkwardly. “You’ve finished?” 

She nodded, and her eyes closed, of a sudden, and she looked so very young, like one of the bairns in a thunderstorm, all scared and—small—So sad, and—

—and I wavered. 

But before I could say anythin’, Claire was there right before my face, pressin’ the envelope hard into my hands. She didna let go, just kept—holdin’ on to me, eyes boring into mine so I couldna even blink. 

 “Whatever hurt there is between you and me, Jenny—” Those whisky-colored eyes were shining wi’ feeling, ready to spill over wi’ it. “—I beg you to see that Jamie gets this.” She added her other hand and squeezed me so hard that own hands were shakin’ along wi’ hers. “Please don’t wait too long to give it to him.” 

My voice cracked, and I couldna look away. “Why’s that?” 

“There are things in here, that—” the paper crinkled, loud and violent, that bitty sound, “—that will give him peace….I hope.” A small, broken breath. 

Peace…Peace for Jamie…

“Please, Jenny—PLEASE—promise me that you’ll give it to him.” Those wildcat eyes begged, and I could do nothing but nod. She heaved an enormous sigh and closed them, nodding, herself. “Thank you.” 

She released me, then and made for the door, pulling her cloak tight about her. Her eyes were on the handle as she said, “Goodbye.” 

And then before I could blink, she’d come back again and thrown both her arms ‘round me. Unnaturally tall as she was, my arms were trapped down at my sides, so I couldna have hugged her back, even had I wished to. 

Her voice was a ragged sob of a whisper. “I do love you, Jenny.” She kissed my cheek.

And then she was out the door, gone. Forever.  

And it was only as she was far, far gone, a vanished speck through a frozen windowpane, that I realized….

I *had* wished to. 


“Mam?” 

I nearly leapt out of my skin as I whirled like a guilty bairn to the door behind, where Maggie stood wi’ her own babe on her hip. 

Ye’ve been up here for an age and a half, Mam. Did…” She gave me a significant look, “….something give ye a turn?” 

“I’m fine, mo chridhe,” I promised, flustered-like, bustling past her down the stairs to resume my work and hide my face. “Perfectly fine, nothin’ to—”

“But who was she, Mam?” Maggie’s voice, her footsteps, chased me down the stairs. “The dark-haired Englishwoman? Why was she here?” 

“She was a traveler. No one ye need be worrit about.” 

“Mam, I’m no’ a wee bairn. We all heard the great skelloch the two of ye were makin’. Clearly she was someone ye kent well, and it sounded as though she had come were wi’ a purpose, and  “ 

“Maggie, do not— ” 

“But what was it she wanted of ye, Mam? She stayed hardly an hour, and we  “

I dinna wish to DISCUSS it, Margaret.” 

From the look on her face, I’d shouted it, violently. She went all meek-like and left me standing alone on the stairs landing without another word. I started to go after her, but—I let my hands fall back to my side, clenching into shaking fists.  

What was it the Englishwoman had wanted of me, Maggie, love? The woman who saw ye delivered into this world? Only to come make peace and to mend your Uncle Jamie’s heart…and I… 

*I*….

Hands of guilt seemed to shove me toward the door, toward the stables. 

Janet Murray, go after Claire. Go after her right this moment. There’s still time to catch her up! 

“Aye, and WHY should I?” I muttered under my breath, stormin’ to the pantry and busyin’ my hands, furiously flyin’ from task to task. 

WHY? Because it was doomed from the start! 

Dinna lay the troubles of their marriage at my feet. It was GOOD for Jamie to be marrit. He NEEDED a woman.

You saw her fetch at the wedding. Jesus God, woman, THAT was your warning. THIS is the test. 

I wasna going to see my brother die alone, and I couldna have dreamed that she’d saunter in one day after—

No one could have supposed Claire was alive; but now that you know, you MUST make this right. 

Go and stop her…GO!

She had no right —No RIGHT to just vanish as she did. God, the —the arrogance of it — I threw an old jar against the wall, the crash of the pottery against the stone some kind of satisfaction amid the storms of rage and of shame within me.  not to even CHECK !—And ‘complicated,’ she says…COMPLICATED! 

She said she’d be able to explain. 

All can be made right, Janet Murray. Go after her, beg her to  

I'll no’ beg that Sassenach witch for anythin’. The rage was boiling up within me, and suddenly even the promise of delivering her letter seemed like the vilest of insults. ‘Will bring him peace,’ she says…How could she POSSIBLY ken what can bring him peace, having been gone from him for twenty

YOU would know, just fine, if it were Ian. Separation couldn’t change your knowing of him, could it? 

I ignored that pleading, reasonable voice and stormed back up the stairs. The only sensible thing was to pretend as though the letter had never existed. 

Jamie need never know. If he wasna precisely at *peace,* now, he’d at least settled into a living, and found a certain

He hasn’t. 

NO sense at all in opening up old

And since when were love or mercy about *sense*?  

What he doesna know canna pain him, and that’s all there is to it.

I stormed upstairs and threw the letter resolutely into the back of the drawer, coverin’ it over wi’ old underthings and rags where Ian wouldna find it. 

But all the rest of the day, that stern voice haunted me, warred with me. 

Go after her. 

Leave me be. 

What’s done is done. 

No, it isn’t. 

GO AFTER HER.

Claire let him suffer. 

She stayed away for TWENTY—

She doesna DESERVE  

That was Jamie’s judgment to make, woman. Not yours. 

I told her only the bare facts. 

No. You lied to her. 

He DOES have a wife!

He DOES have two daughters that called him Da!

You told her all the difficult truths and made them as painful to her as you could. 

And you told one lie.

 That Jamie is happy.

Is he?  

No…

The guilt shuddered through me, a fist wrapped around my throat. 

He’s broken…

He’s still hurting…still raw….

From want of Her. 

And you sent her away. 

The look on her face as she begged me to give him that letter—

But the THINGS she did to  —

What you’ve just done is worse, still For you did it from spite, Janet Murray; of your own pride and

Across the house a door CRASHED open and I reeled back from the spice cupboard as though shot, my blood poundin’ in my ears as footsteps came thunderin’ in from the front door. “What in GOD’s holy name—???” 

“I dinna need to WASH to see Mam,” a grumpy voice protested from the foyer. 

“Oh Mary, Michael, and Bride—IAN!!” I’d forgotten—completely FORGOTTEN to be sick with worry for my wee scoundrel who’d run away. Lord forgive me, what sort of mother FORGETS

I flew across the house, my guilt over Claire momentarily replaced by outrage at myself and fury at my son and RELIEF. “Ian!!” I sobbed as I threw my arms around his thin frame. “Ian you –YOU–oh—!” I swore violently, a great string of things, but all grateful, all emphatic with love as I squeezed him tight, wetting his shirtfront “—I’m so glad you’re safe, a chuisle.

“I’m fine, mam,” he said with a sigh, though he returned the hug. 

I pulled back and slapped his shoulder, hard. “Well ye WILLNA be by the time I’m done wi’ ye! What were ye THINKING, Ian Murray, runnin’ away like that wi’ no word???”

“I DID leave word, Mam!” 

“Oh, ye think a wee note is enough? Not in this house, Ian. God, I’m so fashed and so happy in one single moment—” True enough; I was panting with the rush of the relief and the fright of the last two weeks. I hugged him again, then pushed him toward the stairs. “Off wi’ ye—we’ll deal wi’ your punishment later.” 

I turned from one Ian (well, the back of one, as he sulked off) to sigh in relief at sight of the other. “There’s my sweet lass,” he said, grinnin’ that bright, warm smile that I loved so well and holding out his arms to me.

All but fell into them, I did. “Mo ghraidh, ye found him.” I pressed my head against his chest, so happy to have him close; so happy for the relief of havin’ him hold me. There, against his heart, all could be well; all the voices and the shame and the rage could be silent. 

He kissed me, touched my cheek, then turned for the study. “I didna do much.“ He thudded into an armchair and pulled me into his lap. “In fact, I didna even get to Edinburgh.” 

“No?” I grinned, kissin’ his dear face. “Was he making such puir time? Chasin’ after lost pups and rabbits, again, aye?” 

“Nay, he’d already been to Edinburgh. When I came upon him, it was head on, already on their way back to us.”

I jolted back. “Their?” 

“Aye, Ian and Jamie.” 

JAMIE?”

Go after her 

“Aye, who else?” Ian kissed me, blithe as ye please. “Said he didna trust Wee Ian to come back unescorted, and rightly so.”

Go after her

“Well, and — it’s good ye were able to meet Jamie on the way.” I brushed my hands nervously down my skirt, tryin’ not to give in to the feelings risin’ up in my gullet. “He’ll have needed to be back in his shop as soon as possible.”

“Oh, nay, he left Fergus in charge. Said he was past due for a visit. No sense in him making the journey twice, now, is there?” 

“Jamie’s — He’s — ?” I felt as though I were going to faint. 

Go NOW

What if he finds out? 

You MUST tell him. 

I canna — I CANNA —

I screamed it at my conscience, but it wasna like the rage of before: a scream of panic. The weight of what I’d done—it was fallin’ down all around me and over me, smashin’ apart my anger and my stubbornness and my pride only to reveal beneath all my darkest shame and regret and 

“Jamie’s gone to Balriggan, then?” 

“NO, a nighean,” came a grinnin’ voice that paralyzed me as surely as the bolt of a crossbow in my spine, “he’s behind ye.”

Lord, help me, 

I canna


You won't believe the kinky gift Jamie Dornan got Dakota Johnson

When Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan closed out shooting the Fifty Shades trilogy, they showered each other with gifts – sort of. In an interview with the co-stars, they told us about the hilarious items they’ve been sending each other over the years.

Johnson thinks back to the close of the Fifty Shades of Grey shoot. “The first wrap gift I gave you –” “Was (chef) knives,” finishes Dornan, who loves to cook.

“Oh!” Johnson exclaims, squinting at Dornan. “I’m sorry, I just remembered something, speaking of wrap gifts. Where’s my (final) wrap gift?” Dornan freezes. “UPS is a (expletive) nightmare these days,” he grins. “I’ll call them again today.”

Point, Johnson.

When the duo wrapped Darker and Freed (the two final installments were shot simultaneously in 2016) the actress got creative. “Jamie worked with a dialect coach to perfect his American accent – which was brilliant – and he would write out his lines phonetically, which I thought was the funniest thing literally in the history of comedy. And I would do dramatic readings of them. So I got him a T-shirt with one of his lines printed out phonetically on it.”

Dornan nods. “I wear it to bed, as you do. A pajama top.”

But he might have to rethink his gifting strategy, after his first wrap gift to his co-star was met with … crickets.  "Oh, she didn’t like it,“ the Irish actor recalls with a grin. "I got her a glass case made with a leather flogger in it, and then a line from the movie on a brass (plate).”

“He basically framed the flogger that he beat me with in the film,” says Johnson. “And I was like, ‘Thank you, this will go in my garage. ’”

(x)

Sins of the Father: Let It Rain

Pairing: Finn Bálor x Reader

Warnings: Brief sexual fantasy with brief sacrilege (no need to squint this time - it’s there). A very cruel tease of smut… (I’m so sorry. Okay, not really.)

Word Count: 1198

A/N: Hello hello! So, um, funny story…here’s where things get a bit real. Unfortunately, this particular installment got to where it has to be divided into two installments. So the next part I post, it won’t be an interlude, but a full-blown chapter. And boy oh boy, there will be smut

Quick reminder for new readers just joining in (hi new readers!): normally, I write fics for Supernatural. However, I’m also a huge fan of WWE and love reading the works of that community as well. After reading some brilliant pieces from - and chatting with - the amazing @devitt-club. I got inspired to write a fic featuring one of my current favorites: Finn Bálor. This fic is starting to grow a bit beyond my control and, quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier.

Apologies in advance because, this being my first foray into WWE fanfic (and alternate universe at that), this will probably suck. Still, it’s worth the risk. ^_^

Tag: @yourr-anger-your-anchor @motleymoose @georgiadean37 @wweximaginesxd@racheo91 @daddy-slug @blondekel77 @ambrosegirlforever @liam-is-sexy10 @fucking-bandsx @boundtomyfate 

Originally posted by thearchitectwwe

Because context - even of the sacrilegious kind - is everything, first read Sins of the Father, its Prelude, the Communion, and the Baptism Interlude before you proceed.

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i had an ED relapse not too long ago. i’ve since been trying to embrace my body as it is–namely the new weight that has settled on my belly and hips–and i flaunted it all of yesterday in this crop top (i DID wear shorts when i went outside; this is me right after changing out the shower head, installing two toilet seats, and a bidet)

Mac Ruaidh - Part Three

Part One, Part Two


It was too hot for Jamie to sleep. It had been years since Jamie slept in a proper bed in a proper room and it would take some time to get used to being close enough to a fire to keep properly warm. But he didn’t dare cross to open the window. Much as he would appreciate the relief of a bit of the January chill creeping in the room to counteract the effects of a hearth larger than the dimensions of the room required it to be, Jamie was terrified of what it might do to William sleeping nestled wrapped in blankets in the basket he’d arrived in earlier.

As his mind spiraled from William developing a cold to taking fever because of the open window, Jamie could feel the memory of Claire rolling her eyes before launching into a lecture about her germs and how it wasn’t cold temperatures that caused colds before finally conceding that yes, it would still probably be safer for him to keep the window shut.

There was another person who might object to such measures––the wet nurse Lady Dunsany had summoned, a young widow named Sabrina who had lost first her husband and then her three-month-old child to fever between Christmas and the New Year. The quiet woman had a cot of her own in an adjoining room she was sharing with one of the housemaids.

Lying awake and unmoving on the bed so as not to generate further heat, Jamie listened to the once familiar sounds of a house in the night. The logs in the hearth crackled quietly with occasional louder pops; the glass panes in the small window rattled whenever the wind picked up; the creaking floorboards in the hall and the cramped servants’ quarters beyond signaled other household staff moving about as they finally came to bed for the night or waking, made use of the chamber pot before resuming their unconscious states.

But the most prominent sound and the one that kept Jamie awake even as it calmed his nerves was the steady breathing and occasional groans of William beside him. Jamie would find some way to fashion a proper cradle for the baby before long but until then he refused to leave William’s basket on the floor while they both slept and instead had nestled the basket among the blankets on the bed. There was just enough space for the basket when Jamie lay on his back with one arm draped around the woven curve but he felt most reassured when he curled his body protectively around it; the fear of knocking the basket and its bairn out of the bed lessened significantly. But lying on his back was the easiest way to feel that it wasn’t just the bairn in the bed beside him. The sounds of the house weren’t dissimilar to those of Lallybroch and Sabrina’s snoring in the next room brought a smile to his lips and memories of Claire––and her insistence that it was he who snored and not her––to his tired mind.

There was a hitch in the baby’s breathing and Jamie snapped up to peer inside. William’s fist was in his mouth but he needed something that offered sustenance rather than succor. Jamie reached in and swept him up and cradled him to his chest before he could begin to truly fuss. The warmth of his father against his cheek lulled William long enough for Jamie to slip out of bed, ease open the door between his room and the women’s, and gently rouse Sabrina for William’s feeding.

He tended the fire while she sat in a stupor, William latched to her breast but her arms holding him stiffly and she wouldn’t look at him.

“Did you wake him to feed?” she asked as the need to switch William from one breast to the other temporarily roused her from her stupor.

Jamie glanced over, his gaze falling on the back of his son’s head as it turned in search of the rest of his meal. Grinning when the boy found it, Jamie suddenly realized he’d been essentially gawking at the poor woman’s exposed breast and looked away again, grateful that the resultant flush could be blamed on the heat of the fire before him.

“No,” he muttered, finally answering her question. “No, I didna wake him. I was restless myself and heard him rouse. I’m… I’m no used to sleepin’ in the house,” he confessed.

“Me either. Not a house this grand. Thank you, by the way, for catching him before he could cry.” Surprised, Jamie looked over to see her eyes fastened unblinking on the flames in the hearth, shining with sorrow. “If he’d cried… If I’d heard him cry like that I wouldn’t have realized it wasn’t…”

“What was yer bairn’s name? The one ye lost,” Jamie asked quietly, gently.

The reply came in a whisper. “Carina… her name was Carina.”

Jamie nodded and swallowed before telling her, “Faith. My wife and I lost a lass at birth… years ago now. She was called Faith.”

“When did you lose your wife?”

There were times Jamie could feel the shape and weight of every minute he’d spent without Claire; that he could stack them in piles reaching the ceiling and group them into the days, weeks, months, and years they’d been apart. And other times it was a distinctly unquantifiable mass that he couldn’t escape––would never escape… not until death.

“Years ago now,” he repeated knowing this young widow still enveloped in her own grief would be able to understand the struggle to find a way to carry on and live within grief’s muffling embrace.

“Thank ye,” he added a moment later. “For helpin’ wi’ my wee lad.”

Sabrina nodded and finally looked down at the infant suckling her breast. “He seems to be a strong one.” Her voice was hollow but she shifted her arms and her hold of William softened.

Whether the movement unsettled him or he had simply consumed his fill, William disengaged from Sabrina and promptly began to writhe and fuss.

Jamie was there in an instant and had him away from the wet nurse.

“He ate too fast,” she suggested, readjusting her shift and rising from the chair to return to bed. “Rub his back a bit and walk him about the room. He should settle back down.” The door between the rooms closed quietly and Jamie was left to calm his son on his own.

It still amazed him just how small and light the lad was, how fragile. And yet there was growing strength and coordination as Jamie felt William’s tiny arms pushing back against his collarbone and fighting to raise his head. The efforts exhausted him, however, and had failed to alleviate his discomfort. The stiff fingers of Jamie’s right hand held William’s small torso in place while his thumb swept back and forth across the back in a steady rhythm that reduced William’s cries to a weak whimper. Jamie felt the tension leak out of William as the bubble of gas worked its way up and out of his belly. Though the smell was faintly sour, there was no dampness on his shoulder so William’s meal had successfully stayed put.

Jamie grinned and rested his cheek lightly against the small head.

An eruption from his own stomach startled him and made him laugh.

“Now yer belly’s full, mine seems to want a bite too,” he murmured. In the confusion of arranging the room and bringing his things in from the loft, Jamie had only had a few quick bites of supper in passing and hadn’t been able to take an extra bit of bread or cheese to have later as was his habit. “What say we take a short walk down to the kitchens, eh?” he told William, laying the baby on the bed long enough to pull on a pair of breeks.

William stretched, his body arching briefly and the blanket that had wrapped him slid off his legs so that his feet were exposed to the cold. The toes curled and he reflexively drew the limbs back closer to his body and the warmth of his core. Jamie pounced at the opportunity and quickly swaddled the baby as tightly as he dared, grateful to escape having to pin William’s arms and legs in place himself.

“Now, ye must be quiet as a wee mouse looking for scraps left by the kitchen maids,” Jamie whispered as he eased his way into the corridor with William tucked into the crook of one arm. William squirmed and emitted a small mouse-like squeak that made Jamie smile broadly.

The fires in the kitchen were never allowed to go out for the sake of practicality so the large room was invitingly warm even as Jamie’s bare feet slipped from the wooden steps of the servants’ back stair to the cool flat stones that lined the kitchen floor’s outer edges; as he moved closer to the main preparations table and the fire, they grew warmer to the touch.

“Is everything all right?” a voice inquired from a seat near the window.

Jamie spun to see Lord John with a fork in one hand and a plate in the other, a half-finished piece of mincemeat pie resting neatly upon it.

Jamie rolled his eyes as he closed them before looking down to check William hadn’t been disturbed by the abrupt movement. “Aye,” he said in a low even tone. “We’re fine.” The calm that had been on him as he made his way down to the kitchen––the peace of a household at rest––had fallen away. The surprise of Grey’s presence and the anticipation of a conversation he did not wish to have had sent a jolt through his system so that the pangs of his hunger were forgotten as a rush of other information flooded his senses. There were three ways out of the kitchen, the nearest being the stairs at his back, but those would only lead him deeper into the house as would the door in the far left corner; the door to the far right corner would lead to the yard and open air but Grey was still closer to both than he was and Lord John held nothing more dear than stale pie left from an elaborate dinner; it being a kitchen though, there were plenty of implements that could be used as weapons. None of which should matter because there was no real threat to either himself or the baby and yet as he stepped closer to the table––Grey having risen and carried his plate back with a gesture inviting Jamie to join him in his midnight snack––Jamie was able to do so with the steady sureness of someone prepared for anything.

Grey cut a second piece of pie from the leftovers and set the plate near the fire for a few moments to heat up. Jamie busied himself by tending to William, readjusting his blankets and settling him more firmly in the crook of his right arm.

Grey set the plate and a fork in front of Jamie. “Do you need me to hold him while you eat?”

Jamie took the fork up easily in his left hand and shook his head. “I’ll be fine.” He took care not to smile as Grey blinked with amazement at Jamie’s ability to eat left-handed.

They ate in a silence that grew increasingly tense as each waited the other out to see who would broach the subject first.

“Why in God’s name did you agree to this arrangement?” Grey finally asked, setting his own fork down forcefully. “Did you hope to buy favor with Lord Dunsany and his wife by volunteering a solution that would allow them to see their grandson? Because if you hoped this would win their support in petitioning on your behalf for being released from your parole, I’m afraid you’ll find it will actually have the opposite effect. They’ll want you here indefinitely if your leaving means you’ll take that boy with you. And if you simply wanted better treatment you need only have brought any mistreatment to my attention and I would have had a word with Lord Dunsany on the matter.”

“Are ye through?” Jamie asked when it appeared Grey was losing steam.

Grey let out a frustrated huff and picked up his fork again but only poked at the cooling piece of mince meat pie, the crust flaking off and making a mess in the pooling grease on the plate.

“I dinna expect ye to understand why I did it,” Jamie told him. “It doesna matter to me if ye do or no.”

“What do you expect you can offer this boy in your circumstances? It’s noble to offer to be a father to an orphaned child but––”

“I was a father long before this wee lad here,” Jamie interrupted firmly. “I became a father the day my wife told me she was with child. I didna stop being a father simply because the child was lost… no more than I stopped bein’ my father’s son the day he died. Ye dinna stop bein’ what ye were when circumstances change––ye can become more than what ye were before but ye dinna become less except by choice… except by how ye choose to see yerself.”

“That’s a noble philosophy but it doesn’t address the question of how you’ll provide for the boy––and I don’t just mean physically or monetarily,” Grey added. “The Dunsanys will see to both your needs as much as they can for the boy’s sake––with plenty of strings involved, I’m sure––but what do you plan to tell him? About his mother? About yourself? Christ, Jamie, I’m the only one here who even knows your true name.”

“I’ll tell him as much of the truth as I can but I’ll no lie to him,” Jamie informed Grey. “When he’s older and I’m able to take him far enough from Helwater for it to make no difference, I’ll tell him everything.”

Grey was shaking his head, still unconvinced.

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Grey finally said, rising from the table and dumping the last few bites of his pie into the fire. It flared up as the flames ignited the grease.

Jamie chuckled and Grey’s head spun to watch him in confusion. “Of course I dinna ken what I’m doing––no father does. It’s something ye learn as ye go, same as most things. But this lad is mine and I’ll do what it takes to keep him safe and raise him well… even askin’ for help if and when I need it.” Grey’s eyes narrowed. “I ken that Lord and Lady Dunsany will no want to see the lad go from them and it willna matter what his age or what rumors follow him. But I also ken it wasna their influence that saw me paroled here rather than transported.”

Jamie let the weight of his observation and the as yet unasked favor underlying it to settle.

Grey’s mouth dropped slightly open for a moment before he shut it again. He nodded his understanding and reminded Jamie, “You will let me know of any concerns that arise during my quarterly visits.”

New Release Review: Alien: Covenant

The Alien franchise is truly one of ups and downs. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original, conceived as a haunted house movie in space, is a bona fide classic that transcends the genre. James Cameron’s Aliens cranked everything to 11 for a big action spectacle in 1986. The first two movies are both excellent in their own right and complement one another well; I would argue their place among the best back-to-back films in any series. Studio meddling is often cited for the decrease in quality in the next two installments in the saga, despite 1992’s Alien 3 having David Fincher in the director’s chair and 1997’s Alien: Resurrection having a script by Joss Whedon.

With the Alien universe dormant as star Sigourney Weaver moved on, the franchise devolved further with 2004’s Alien vs. Predator and 2007’s Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Scott returned to the world he created more than three decades earlier with Prometheus in 2012. Rather than retconning the other filmmakers’ work, he opted to make a film that serves as a prequel to Alien but that can also stand on its own merits. With fan reaction divided, Scott attempts to right his wrongs with Alien: Covenant, a direct sequel to Prometheus that bridges the gap to Alien.

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hey between wonder woman and gotg 2 we’re seeing a comeback trend of unapologetically cheesy and sincere “hero beats the villain with the power of love” superhero movies and i gotta say im way more here for that than more “we’re ashamed of our genre” batman movies or the latest installment of two hour tony stark angst

Came to Starbucks to relax and work on a new installment, instead spent two hours on the phone with my father discussing his gf. Was having a productive day, now I’m just emotionally exhausted booooooo.

So, to celebrate my newfound tiredness, who would read a non-NHL!Bitty angst time-travel fic where Bits dies and Jack spends most of his career trying to win a cup so he can wish him back. Spoilers: it works but whatevs. Also, it’s basically written already so there’s that.