Hand to the short curly haired man upstairs, this hadn’t been planned. It started with a bit of fun, a small prank. Although now, at this new point in time, you couldn’t remember what possessed you to think of this, you had changed your name in Sam’s phone. It was suppose to be a minor inconvenience. One you could laugh off later. Instead of “Y/n” your name read “Destiny”. The joke was a lot funnier at two in the morning as you were rushing to think of something while Sam was in the bathroom. You returned to you separate motel room next door before he was done.
We need to learn how to preserve and protect our energy. We need to guard our intimate space and realise that no matter how good people may look, not everyone is meant for us. We’re sacred, so treat yourself as such..
Gladio: Hey, Iggy. You feeling better? Ignis: what about? Gladio: Your fever. Ignis: ?? I had no fever? Gladio: Oh. My bad. You just looked so hot last night. Ignis: Omfg, Gladio, not in front of the kids.
Mix-tapes were a feature of my twenties in the early 1990s. I’ve still got a tonne of them. Although, that tech died for a reason - it degrades big time.
But, I’ve kept them for sentiment. They have home-made covers, created from cut-up and cut-down postcards, with hand-writing in coloured pen listing the tracks on the inside. And sometimes, hand-drawn hearts and personal dedications.
They were made for me by people who loved me - some of whom are still in my life, some not.
Making a mix-tape took hours, especially if you were (as we usually did) making a compilation and mixing and matching artists. You had to think about how each track would follow another; the tone, the tempo, the mood, the lyrics. Wind, rewind, record, relisten… they were extended love-notes very often.
Dean’s mix-tape for Cas reads “Dean’s top 13 Zepp TRA XX”
He’s written it as “TRA XX” as if, just maybe, you could read that as a couple of kisses at the end, insteady of a groovy way to spell “tracks”. Ambiguous, diffident, scrawled, unspoken, but there… Oh Dean….
But, Cas tried to give it back. After ignoring Dean’s phone-calls, Cas returned to the bunker to try and return a piece of Dean ‘s heart, to lie to him and steal from him.
Cas came into Dean’s room, his intimate and personal space, and, as Dean says, “played him”. He stole the Colt from under Dean’s pillow, knowing full well what the history of the Colt means to Dean.
Characterization-wise, how can Cas have regressed like that? Knowing, as he does, that going behind Dean’s back in S6 hurt Dean so much and began such a terrible rift between them?
Sure, Cas says it’s to protect the Winchesters from Dagon. No doubt that’s true.
But, Castiel is also someone who has recently said “I love you” (in 12x12 Stuck in the Middle with You) and not heard it back…
Have you ever said “I love you” to someone and not heard it back?
It haunts you, it eats at you, you feel stupid, you feel rejected, you feel… lost.
Dean’s mix-tape was probably his way of trying to say, “I love you” back, but how would Cas know what a mix-tape means? Or perhaps he did know, thanks to Metatron’s pop-culture upgrade, and returning the tape was our angel’s way of being a bit snippy, a bit passive-aggressive - Thanks for the cop-out tape gift, Dean, but I would quite like to hear you say it.
And why is Dean so forgiving, explaining to Sam how Cas needs a win, how he gets it, as he rumages around under the hood of Cas’s truck, fixing her up?
Well, it’s eternal sub-text, of course, but here goes…
Because Dean knows he is someone to whom, “I love you,” has been said. And, despite his worried phone calls, his appeals to “Team Free Will”, Dean also knows he is someone who has not said it back…
unless of course you count two “XX”’s on a mix-tape.
One of the positively wonderful aspects of The Bold Type’s presentation of Kat’s evolving understanding and development of her sexuality is that they haven’t chosen to force a wedge in or alter her dynamic with Jane and Sutton. She is treated no differently than she was before she realized and acted on her attraction to a woman. She, Jane, and Sutton still have a completely sound relationship, including physical affection and physicality, in general, that has not been questioned, lessened, or made awkward/stilted.
Too often, young queer women discovering their queer identities become forcibly estranged from their close female friendships. This happens due to many factors, including fear and ignorance. Relationships between women are precious. They are special, and yes, they are often uniquely physical. Women touch each other. We hold hands. We rub each other’s backs. We sit on each other’s laps. We bare our bodies in front of one another and rarely think twice about things like running our fingers through a friend’s hair or offering to apply lotion to one’s back or sitting beside the tub while the other takes a bath. We share beds and cuddle and offer one another comfort and attention and reassurance that is both platonic and physical. These are not considered strange or uncommon things. Relationships between women are often naturally, respectfully physically intimate.
Too often, when one of us within that dynamic discovers and claims our queer identity, it can introduce a rift in this natural flow and connection, and that rift can be so damaging and so heartbreaking. Sometimes, the changes are subtle, uncomfortable, relatively benign but something, still, to watch and be wary of, and sometimes, they are aggressive, malignant; something consuming and catastrophic. Something that eats away at the soul until we feel little more than empty inside.
Suddenly, every touch is stilted or hesitant or stops entirely. A physical distance is introduced where previously there was none, and we begin to wonder if our friends are now seeing us as predatory, are now questioning the nature of every prior touch we shared, are now wary of sharing a small, intimate space with us (like a bed), are now careful never to change their clothes in front of us lest we suddenly become aroused by their nudity…We begin to loathe ourselves and check ourselves. We second-guess every touch we make, every embrace we initiate, every compliment we give, and we wonder, always, if she is wondering, if her expression is one of discomfort or disgust. And sometimes, in the most painful of circumstances, she confirms our fears. She asks or accuses. She pulls others into her way of thinking. Our friends turn on us, and suddenly, we are intruders, violators, outsiders.
It is a struggle too many queer women have had to endure, something both external and internal, something that teaches us new ways to crack and crumble, cave in on ourselves. Distrust ourselves. Withdraw. Worry. Wither.
Our platonic relationships with women are often critical to our survival. The support and intimacy we find in that connection can be so elevating, so motivating, and so vital to our sense of self-love and self-worth. To have that stripped away because of how we love and who we love is a tragedy, one that often produces lasting trauma.
To see Kat being treated no differently by her friends than she was prior to discovering a new aspect of her sexuality, her friends who love, support, and respect her journey and her discovery and her identity, is so refreshing. It brings tears to my eyes, and rests like a soothing balm over wounds that still sting years later. They never shy away from her, never hesitate with touch. They don’t fear baring their bodies in front of her or send her questioning glances when she touches them, bare skin or otherwise. They don’t question her intent when she compliments their bodies or rests a hand on their thighs. They don’t fear holding her hand or physically engaging with her in public out of some misguided need to distinguish to the world that it isn’t like that. They don’t withdraw their trust or their affection, not in any way, not for a second. Some might say it is nice because they don’t care, but that’s the thing.
They do care. They care about Kat so much. They love her no matter how she identifies, no matter who she loves or is attracted to, no matter what romantic or sexual activity she engages in. They care enough to ask questions, to squeal with excitement when she is happy and humming with newfound energy and understanding, to never alienate her when she is questioning or conflicted about how she is feeling, to offer her physical and verbal attention, comfort, support, and connection without even an ounce of hesitation.
It is such a supportive, positive, respectful dynamic they have introduced between these three women, and to see Kat being loved and touched and comforted and held dear by her closest female friends throughout her journey of discovery is something I am so thrilled and so deeply grateful to see.
author:sugardaddytonystark (formerly buckysbackpackbuckle) pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader word count: 1179 warnings: AU, smut
“Come on,” Bucky moans. “Come for me, sweetheart.”
It’s in the script, printed there in black and white, but
it’s still a shock to you anyway. His voice is pitched low and rough. His blue
eyes are bright and sparkling as he looks down at you. His dick is rubbing
against your clit, and even through two layers of fabric, you can feel him hot
and hard and thick against you. So when he tells you to come, you do it, and
you hope that everyone else thinks your acting is just that good.
If I told my 10-year-old self who was mocked for having buck teeth and listened to “Picture to Burn” every afternoon before soccer practice that one day Taylor was going to look her in the eyes and say that she had “the most beautiful smile”, she
wouldn’t believe me.
If I told my 12-year-old self who sang and danced around in her best friend’s room at her first sleepover to “You Belong With Me” that she was going to have a dance party and even body roll with Taylor one day, she wouldn’t believe me.
If I told
my 14-year-old self who sat in the front seat of her mom’s car before her first day of high
school with earbuds in listening to “Fifteen” that she was going to thank Taylor for her music one day, specifically during times of worry and stress, she wouldn’t believe
If I told my 16-year-old self who after she received her driver’s license inserted her Red cd into the cd player of her first car before driving home from the DMV that Taylor was going to tell her one day how proud she was of her, she wouldn’t believe me.
If I told my
brokenhearted, 17-year-old self whose only source of joy at the time was 1989 that Taylor’s hugs would one day mend the broken pieces made by the boy on the football team, she wouldn’t believe me.
If I told my
18-year-old self who cried herself to sleep listening to “Never Grow Up” before
her first day of college that Taylor was going to tell her how “lovely” she was one day, she wouldn’t believe
One week ago, 20-year old me met the woman who has been writing the soundtracks to my life for the past 10 years. I am a firm believer that every moment has led up to this-every heartbreak, every coming-of-age moment, every dance party, every anxiety attack, every road trip down PCH, every clean moment. I am still in utter disbelief that I went to LA secret sessions. Every Taylor Swift album holds a unique and intimate space in my heart, but reputation in particular holds the biggest space. My heart is overflowing with sheer happiness and thankfulness. I feel honored to be a fan of such an extraordinary and powerful woman who takes on the world by storm but also feels like my best friend.
How do you write friendship? How do you make it realistic? How do you know it’s time to unlock their secret sharing and mutual trust? There are no rule for that, but here goes a small guide to help you write and develop a friendship.
But, before anything, this guide is not a rule, just an example.
Stage 1: For now, they share nothing but the current location, event or activity that brought them together, for example, work, school, sport, rock concert, a zombie apocalypse… They talk mostly about the location, event or activity. They also have a first impression of each other, sometimes (most of the time) a very negative first impression. So, in stage 1 we have small-talk, first impression and one thing in common.
Stage 2: They find something else in common, maybe both characters love horror movies, or paintball, or a song in particular. Maybe they have the same goals and duties. They will talk about it all the time. First activities might start as well, like eating together, walking home together, taking the same bus. The first impression will soften. So, in stage 2 we have common interests, changing first impression and enjoying the company.
Stage 3: After sharing their interests, and bonding, trust will start to set in. With trust comes sharing problems. People don’t usually open up their secrets out of nowhere. They usually talk about their problems, they ask for help or advice. Secrets come in the shape of problems. The more characters help each other, the faster their relationship will grow. They might share a few memories, family issues, and important information. Nicknames and inside jokes might appear as well. So, in stage 3 we have helping, problems solving, nicknames and a few memories.
Stage 4: This is the stage in which friends step up from being a good listener to being the voice of reason. They will care for each other and will speak the truth even when the other person doesn’t want to hear it. They are taking care of each other. They will hurt when the other person is in pain. They will cry. They will open their minds and soul. So, in stage 4, friends will become more like a family.
Stage 5: Friends will enter your house, open your fridge, take your food, meet your family members, sleep over. Not only problems, they share secrets as well. The other person is fully trusted. So, in stage 5 we have a more intimate approach regarding space and trust. This is the best friends forever stage.
Stage 6: Beyond best friends, they can read each other’s feelings by looking at their eyes. No words needed. They can read each other’s movements, desires, fears, expressions, voice tones, intentions, reactions… So, in stage 6, magic happens. Their souls are connected somehow. They need the other person’s company. This friendship will hardly be broken.
It’s incomplete, but I had to get this out of my system:
How Yosuke Hanamura broke my heart
Persona 4 is a funny game. It is also a long game, and that allows the social simulation aspect of it to really work, allows you to feel at home with the characters, through charm and repetition - grumpy Dojima, overly energetic Chie, confused heart of gold Kanji. Through little bits of interaction, day by in-game day, you at some point start to realise that when this is over, you might actually miss them. All of them.
And then there is Yosuke.
You play Persona 4 as Souji, a quite detached guy moving in from the city, hand on his hip, jacket slung over his shoulder, and while you, the player, grow fond of the game’s characters, Souji always feels like he doesn’t quite belong. He is the leader, the one who pulls the strings, the one grown up far beyond their age, with the world’s weight on their shoulders.
You juggle realtionships, help people out, they call you senpai, sensei - and then there is Yosuke.
Yosuke, who somehow, magically, manages to transcent Persona 4’s charming but game-y relationship system and becomes something else. Yosuke, who calls you Partner, and rings you up at night asking about your dreams or which girl you like. Yosuke, who does and says so many silly things that you never quite know what to expect - Yosuke, who ultimately breaks the boundaries of Persona 4 and makes Souji/Yosuke the most unexpectedly real-feeling relationship within a video game that I’ve ever encountered.
I don’t know what I thought when I first laid eyes on him, it’s likely that it was something along the lines of “Hey, this is quite cool-looking for an anime video game guy. Nice headphones.”
Then, in quick succession, things happened that made it clear that Yosuke was many things - heartbroken, repressed, funny, lazy, loyal, competitive, insecure, reckless - and that there was something building between him and Souji that seemed like a stunningly natural depiction of friendship. Somehow, this is rare - a video game showing two guys becoming friends, a process that just like falling in love requires making first moves, and opening up, and getting comfortable with each other. It seemed like Yosuke was the person in the cast that always wanted to know a little more, the one to push Souji a little bit, willing to ask stupid questions just to get a reaction, and unlike the other characters, he seemed to always act out of a desire to be level with Souji, to break through the calm, collected, leader-shell of his and address the human being inside.
Now, that alone would be a remarkable thing for a video game to depict, and worthy of high praise. What complicates things is that Yosuke, no matter how much he might deny it, seems like the most obvious case of a closeted gay person the world has ever seen.
When I started playing Persona 4, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, through reading about it and actually having played a bit in the past. I also knew about the game’s realtionship system, and was aware, or thought I was, that you could only get romantically involved with girls. Thus, when the game started to tease the possibility of a gay option, I raised an eyebrow, then another one, and then I lost my marbles.
When it started, the closeness between Souji and Yosuke had already been established, and since I’m a sucker for guys not actually hating each other, I started to favour Yosuke a little bit - choosing him to eat lunch with on the roof, studying together, spending afternoons at the Junes food court, talking in the soft glow of the sun on the Samegawa river bank. When Yosuke asked which girl I liked, I chose “neither”, cheekily, thinking I was playing the metagame, when the next midnight channel story twist came up, I bet each time that Yosuke would be the one to call Souji, outraged, worried, flustered, and each time when the phone rang and it was indeed him, I smiled to myself. But surely it was all in my head - I was starting to ship it, but it was just a fun little thing to do, to spare a thought here and there and layer it on top of these two characters whose interactions I enjoyed way more than expected.
Then, these little moments started happening - the group sitting together at Junes’ and Yosuke remarking how good Partner is with his hands, a comment that might not even have stuck out so much if weren’t for the fact that immediately after saying it, Yosuke became a hot mess of backpedalling embarrassment. His insistence to know whether Souji had a crush on somebody, and who it was, despite the awkwardness. His remarks about inviting a third person to their activities, “or else people might think we’re gay.” And ultimately, the sheer time the game devoted to the Souji/Yosuke relationship - way more than any of the other characters got.
Persona 4’s social link system is fairly rigid. You choose to spend time with people, and if things go well, and even sometimes if they don’t, it raises your relationship level with said person, allowing you to climb the social link ranks, which has gameplay and combat benefits and also allows you, in some cases, to pursue a romance. What is remarkable about Yosuke is that the game spends a significant amount of time showing interactions between Yosuke and Souji outside of this system, building their relationship beyond the confines of you walking up to a person after school and answering “yes” to their proposal of hanging out. This not only serves to create a markedly more natural and complex relationship, it also sets Yosuke apart from the other characters - he is the one to choose to interact with Souji while the other characters can only wait to be chosen.
And then Kanji entered the picture, Yosuke freaked out completely and I looked on, amazed at the fact that this game would dare to introduce a gay character, who, despite being closeted, met up with dates after school and whose dungeon was, of all things, a gay bathhouse, with sexual content that wasn’t even the slightest bit concealed. Of all the characters, Yosuke reacted most strongly to this, outright refusing to enter and making a big fuss about being afraid of Kanji taking advantage of him.
It culminated in the camping trip - Kanji, Yosuke, Souji sharing a tent - a scenario that could have been used very easily for a gay romance movie of questionable quality, full of the usual tropes of late night talks, denial, confrontation and very real confusion on my part of where exactly this was going - the game laid on the armored gay homophobia on Yosuke so thick that it seemed almost impossible to read what was going on in any other way. Combined with the unusual qualities that had been established in the realtionship before Kanji joined the group, it started to feel like an entire plot was going on behind the scenes, inexplicit yet persistent and increasingly impossible to ignore.
A few in-game days after that camping trip, Yosuke broke another boundary the game had set up to this point - he visited Souji’s home. More importantly, his room, a place that up until then you, the player, had always been alone in. The conversation that followed, in that intimate space, can’t adequately be described as subtext anymore, it’s text, and very gay text at that. I was streaming the game at the time, and I bet if that session’s video was still up, you’d hear my breath hitch when Yosuke, no homo Yosuke, asked about Souji’s porn stash and teasingly, suggestively stated he’d find it while Souji was out of the room. That was only the top of the iceberg, the whole scene and its context hit me like a 10 ton truck - could it be real? Was there really, explicitly something going on? The fact that I, after learning through research that there was no gay option, felt the need to double check after that scene, to make sure there wasn’t one, should speak volumes.
That’s when I learned of the fact that Yosuke very likely was a gay option, that there were unused text and voice lines left over on the game’s disk that turned the inexplicit explicit, both in english and japanese, suggesting the developer changed their mind after the localization was done, i.e. very late in the game’s development. Only, they had ripped out very little, leaving in tons of sublte and not so subtle parts of the relationship, and that was when I realised that Persona 4, beyond being one of the best games I have ever played, would also have the potential to make me very sad, and very angry.
It wasn’t just that gay rights had been dear to my heart for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t just that the progression of Souji and Yosuke’s relationship eclipsed any other possible pairing in the lineup by miles in terms of complexity and depth and just feeling right. It was the loss of an incredible story being told, a story that would have been unique in the history of video games - the story of two fully realised, multi-faceted male characters that you, as a player, like, falling in love, and dealing with the fact that they both happen to be guys, with all the issues that might bring in a society where homophobia and hate are still so prevalent.
While this has been done in movies to great success in recent times, mainstream video games haven’t dared to show male homosexual relationships in positive light and up front and center. Persona 4 does dare to spend significant time on very progressive subjects, including homosexuality and transgender issues, but it falters and pulls back just on the brink of being truly groundbreaking, which, to anybody playing the game with an open mind, can only scream injustice both in a worldly and in an in-game sense.
The level 9 rank of Yosuke’s social link progression has the two of you standing on a hill overlooking the town of Inaba. Yosuke’d probably call it a village, and the two of you talk about coming to terms with your place in the world, literally and figuratively. It’s autumn, and the evening sun plays with the coloured leaves on the trees - it’s a beautiful spot, a wistful song is playing, and despite the Playstation 2’s aged graphics you can’t help but marvel a little. You’ve never been to this spot before, you think Yosuke probably brought you here, and you wonder if there are any other locations in the town you know so well by now that you haven’t seen.
“There is still nothing here,” Yosuke says, meaning Inaba, a place he resented for the longest time, “but I have family, and friends…and you.”
I sat in front of the TV for a long time, the soft piano notes of the song playing making me ache, and then I realised that while Yosuke Hanamura was denied the chance to become part of video games’ first positively framed gay male relationship, he had acomplished one thing:
Okay, so I’m watching S03 for the N-teenth time and I’ve noticed a couple cute things for the romantics on this site. Let’s begin!
So let’s start with a couple of basics on relationships and the use of space. Around each person are levels of space we use to show and share intimacy. Mind that some of these spaces change from culture to culture, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
Jardin Rouge is an intimate space created by Montresso Art Foundation, where contemporary artists are invited to experiment and build artistic projects, and collectors and critics can discuss art, from all around the world.
“I could search the world, nobody is better than you!” is some next-level Pride and Prejudice type shit tho.
Like I get that this is shouted at Viktor while he’s doing naked stretches on a local monument and That’s Ridiculous, but this could just as easily have been murmured on a moor somewhere. Words said so quietly they have trouble even crossing the intimate space between where Yuuri’s body ends and Viktor’s begins, rain pouring down around them. Yuuri takes off his glove and presses his fingers to Viktor’s cheek for the first time. Skin-to-skin. The headiest and most erotic thing either of them has ever experienced.
“I could search the world,” Yuuri says, gut stirred by the simple sensation of Viktor’s smooth cheek against his hand. “Nobody is better than you. My feelings for you are…most ardent and unequaled. I have never felt for anyone else what I feel for you, and don’t care to. I understand that our misunderstanding was in some part my fault, but please do not let this sour your opinion of me, for you are the man I hope to someday make my husband.” Viktor’s eyes widen, ice on a clear lake. Yuuri doesn’t wait for him to speak. “These are not emotions I take lightly, Mister Nikiforov. They have consumed my mind and my person for years, and will continue to do so until I hear your response. Please, think on my proposal.”
Yuuri turns to go–he does not expect the firm, elegant grip that pulls him back by his wrist.
“I have thought about it,” Viktor tells him, silver hair sopping with rainwater. Even here, soaked and mused, he is beautiful. “My answer is yes. Yes, of course. I consent to your courtship.”
Yuuri feels the smile bloom onto his face, almost entirely without his own command. “An understanding, then,” he murmurs, disengaging his wrist from Viktor’s hand, but only to take it in his own.
this is just a little spec fic I wrote after tonight’s episode. i’m very sleepy and this is very un-beta-ed, but enjoy!
This wasn’t the first time.
The first time someone had tried to break him.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, he had endured so much in
his life, by now he should be numb.
How much easier would it be for him if he just didn’t feel
He had lost track of the days he had spent chained up in
this cold, dark room. The hours he was alone were almost harder than Adrian’s
visits because the only company he had was the words of his captor echoing in
his mind, imprinting themselves as truths, continuing his torture.
Old wounds that had never fully healed had been reopened,
not just the ones currently dripping blood all over the concrete he was laying
on, but deep emotional ones that had been hastily patched up underneath
whatever crisis was more of a priority that year than giving them time to heal.
Adrian knew everything about him, knew where to twist the knife to make him
scream, to haunt him with memories he had tried to forget.
He knew his teammates were looking for him, knew they
wouldn’t stop until they found him, but every minute he spent here made him
more afraid that time had run out, that Adrian had gotten to them, one by one,
before they got to him.
The sound of the metal door scraping the floor caused every
muscle in his body to tense up in preparation for whatever blow would be
delivered to him this time. Would it be the one that finally shattered him?
Lifting his head ever so slightly, he saw in the dim light through
his blurred vision a sight that made his breath catch in his throat.
She rushed forward, collapsing to the floor beside him and
gently cradling his head in her hands.
“We need to hurry,” John’s voice reached his ears. “Adrian
could be back any minute now and we need to get you two on your way.”
Kara isn’t the first to notice the brunette jogging with the retriever. But she’s the first to notice that Alex is staring.
Alex never notices when she’s staring.
Kara nudges her in the ribs slightly, a small grin on her face.
“You like going for runs, too,” she singsongs, and Alex splutters.
“What are you – “
“You could ask her, you know. If she wants to go running with your dogs together.” Kara giggles. “It’d be like a double date. You and the girl. Gertrude and the retriever.”
Alex glances at the woman one last time – guiltily, now that her sister’s called her out, because true to form, she hadn’t even realized she’d been staring, open-mouthed, at the woman in a tank top and biking shorts, glancing down at her retriever every few steps and egging her on, a grin on her face and sweat running down her toned arms… Alex gives her head a swift shake – and forces herself to meet Kara’s gaze.
“Gertrude and I don’t mind being single. We have each other. And we have you. Isn’t that right, Gertrude?” Alex squats down to take her husky’s face into her hands, rubbing her nose onto Gertrude’s until the pup squirms away.
Kara laughs, and she relents.
Because Alex hadn’t noticed – Alex might be the best secret agent Kara’s ever met, but damn, does she fail to notice a lot when it comes to women – that the jogging brunette had nearly tripped over herself when she and her dog turned down the path facing Alex. When her eyes had fallen on Alex.
So Kara just grins, and makes a mental note to ensure that Alex will come back to the park with Gertrude at the same time tomorrow.
And she does, because she may put up a solid fight, but when Kara, J’onn, James, and Winn all join forces to tell her that she needs to take more breaks, she needs to spend more time taking care of herself – when they bring Gertrude into the DEO as both proof and incentive – Alex relents.
And she finds herself in the same park, along the water front, watching while Gertrude plays off leash, while she dashes across the grass, ebullient and powerful and frenetic and purposeful – part Kara, part Alex, through and through.
She takes her eyes away from her husky when a chewed up tennis ball lands by her feet. When a retriever comes bounding up, all energy and spirit and focus, to grab it.
A retriever that Alex recognizes from the day before.
Her stomach backflips as she offers the dog the ball, as her ears take in the sexiest voice she’s ever, ever heard.
“Aww, come on, Spotty, let the pretty lady enjoy her day, huh?”
Alex tries to remind herself that she can talk to women. That she’s good at talking to women. That women like her, that women find her attractive, that women…
She looks up, and she’s lost.
Because the woman from yesterday, the woman jogging up to her, with sparkling eyes and the hints of dimples playing on her face and her hair pulled back in low ponytail and a sleeveless flannel shirt that Alex immediately wants to unbutton and jeans that Alex immediately wants to take off?
It’s going to be harder to talk to this woman than it would be to take down all of Cadmus single-handedly.
But she said she’s pretty, she said she’s pretty, she said she’s pretty.
Which makes it even harder.
“I… she’s not… bothering… she doesn’t have any spots.”
The woman stops and chuckles as her pup nearly barrels her over, eager to show her that she’d found the ball, eager for her praise.
Hell, Alex can’t blame her. She’d like this woman’s praise, too.
The woman tilts her head and squints slightly.
“Come again?” she asks, and some thought forms in Alex’s foggy head about making this woman come as many times as she wants, but the English language – or Russian, or Kryptonian, or any of the others Alex can normally pull up so easily – is simply refusing to translate through her lips right now.
The woman’s probably not a lesbian, anyway.
And even if she is, or even if she’s bi, she’s probably got someone.
There’s no way she’s into girls and single.
And, single or not, Alex had better stammer out some words before she loses patience, before she loses that curious gleam in her eye.
“Your dog. She doesn’t have any spots. But you… you called her Spotty. Spot. Right? But she doesn’t have any spots.”
Good god. She sounds like Kara around Cat Grant. Like Kara around Lena Luthor.
It must run in the family.
The woman just laughs, and it’s a sound Alex wants to hear over and over and over again.
“I know. I uh… I was into irony as a teenager.”
Alex grins. “My sister says my punk rock phase was very – oh hey honey!” She drops to one knee as Gertrude comes barreling back over, alternating between her arms and wanting to sniff the newcomers.
“Can she – “
“Hey, Spot, you wanna try to make a new friend? Sure, yeah, go ahead.”
They watch as they circle each other, as they sniff each other, as Spot drops the tennis ball from her mouth and nudges it toward Gertrude.
They watch their pups bond, and then they watch each other.
Both of their breaths hitch when their eyes lock, Alex still on one knee.
“So uh… so you’ve had her since you were a kid,” she clears her throat, hoping the woman can’t tell why her heart is beating so damn fast and then reminding herself sternly that she’s probably not, in fact, Kryptonian.
She blinks as she stands, as she takes the opportunity to take in Maggie’s entire body. As she notices the detective shield on her hip. She points to it casually. “NCPD’s finest.”
The woman shrugs. “Sometimes. Detective Maggie Sawyer, NCPD Science Division.” She reaches her hand out, and when Alex takes it, her world inverts. Maggie’s hand is calloused but smooth, her grip firm but not overcompensating for anything.
Her handshake is perfect, and god, so are her eyes.
“Alex Danvers, FBI.”
Maggie’s eyebrow shoots up. “Patrolling the park, Danvers?” she grins, and Alex fights to act casual, because their hands are still connected.
But Maggie isn’t moving away, and dammit, neither is she.
“Boss-enforced lunch break. Something about working too hard.”
Maggie grins, and Alex thinks she feels her thumb stroking the back of her hand briefly, gently, before they finally release each other from their grip.
Alex’s entire body keens at the loss.
“Same,” Maggie says, and Alex needs her touch again.
“Science Division, huh? And a detective. You must be good.”
Words. Words coming out of her mouth in coherent sentences.
Kara will be so proud. Lucy will be even more so.
Maggie shrugs, and Alex decides that she likes Maggie’s balance of self-deprecation and knowledge that she is, in fact, good at what she does.
“Quantico’s only supposed to take the best. And seems like they only let you guys have the cutest puppies, too. May I?”
Alex glances down at Gertrude as Maggie sinks into a squat, and Gertrude seems eager to get to know this new woman.
There’ll definitely be an extra treat for her tonight.
“Yeah, sure,” she says, and she watches with a slowly melting heart as Maggie lets Gertrude sniff her before touching her, and when she does touch her, starting on her back, starting slow, before bringing her hands to the more intimate space of her face.
“You grew up around animals,” Alex observes, squatting down, too, and wondering what it would be like if this was… family.
Maggie stiffens, and Alex apologizes.
“I’m sorry. FBI training. The way you are with Gertrude. That’s all, I didn’t do background on you or anything – “
“Sorry, yeah, no no, I… yeah, I did. Blue Springs, Nebraska. Left when I was seventeen and never looked back, but uh… I do miss the creatures.”
“Took Spot with you though, huh?”
Maggie turns to her friend and kisses the top of her head. “She drove the getaway bike,” she grins, and Alex watches an expression that reminds her of the one Kara gets sometimes when she talks about Krypton flit over Maggie’s face.
“Can I take you to dinner? Or coffee? Or – it doesn’t have to be coffee, it – but cops love coffee. Is that a stereotype? Coffee and stakeouts, and – I’m sorry, I’m rambling, you’re probably not even – “
“Not even what?” Maggie asks, her voice soft and her hands still and her eyes fire.
“Available,” Alex stammers, and Maggie knows.
“To a woman like you? With a pup like this? I’m as available as you want me to be, Danvers,” she says, and Alex decides that when Maggie finally says her first name, it’ll be her favorite sound in the world, judging by how her body reacts, how her heart leaps, just from the sound of her last name on this woman’s lips.
Quick Writing Tip: Surround Yourself With Supporters
If you have people in your life who aren’t 100% supportive, excited, and over-the-top enthusiastic about your pursuit of writing, now is the time to start weeding them out if possible. Writing is hard enough without people who discourage you or think you’re wasting your time. If you’re sensitive, even a general lack of interest from close friends or family can be crushing. Know what kind of support you need and get it whenever you can. Both you and your writing will benefit.
If possible, have a talk with your family and friends about how much your writing means to you and what you need from them.
Don’t date someone who doesn’t care about your writing.
Don’t expose yourself to other people’s jealousy, disinterest, or disapproval about your writing if you can avoid it.
Make friends with people who are excited for you. Who think you’re on the right path. Who want to see you succeed. Who want to read your writing. Who get wide-eyed with excitement when you mention your latest project.
Whenever possible stay away from money-obsessed capitalist conformists, blocked writers and artists (people who wish they were making art but aren’t and hate everyone else who is), and pompous members of the literary elite. They are unlikely to be your allies.
If you are new to writing or you have lived a lifetime of allowing soul-crushing people into your intimate space, it may take a while to gather a solid group of supporters and change or end your relationships with those who aren’t truly on your side. Start now. It will be worth it in the long run, I promise. <3