is not over the metamorphosis

On Tonight's Survivor:

I am a transgender woman, only out to a couple family members and all of you online. I’m pre-transition but about to start, which is to say that I have not yet begun to know the struggles I will likely go through in life to be myself.

On tonight’s episode of Survivor: Game Changers (Season 34!), a closeted trans-man named Zeke was outed, both publicly and on the show, by a fellow contestant at Tribal Council. This contestant, Jeff Varner, was likely to be eliminated from the game and announced to the tribe that Zeke was trans, ostensibly as a ploy to make people distrust Zeke.

The initial response by both Zeke’s fellow tribemates and the host Jeff Probst was stunned silence followed by intense anger and sadness directed at Varner. All five tribemates lambasted Varner as Zeke sat in shock.

My reaction was the same as Zeke’s. I couldn’t believe that someone I had watched on my local news for years, someone who I had loved on two previous seasons, someone who was an openly gay man, could do something so mindlessly cruel to another person. I expect those type of comments from ignorant assholes and spineless politicians, but certainly not from someone like Jeff Varner. I also realize that Varner surely regretted saying it once the words actually came out, but that doesn’t undo his actions. I know I have said stupid things in my life, but I can’t say I’ve ever stooped that low as an adult.

Despite all of this, somehow the overall feeling I have tonight is joy. Something so tragic could’ve left me feeling shaken and sad, but the way Zeke turned the moment into a beautiful one amazes me the more I think about it.

After regaining his composure at Tribal Council, Zeke found the strength to say this:

“Being trans and transitioning, it’s a long process, it’s a very difficult process, and there are people who know. But then I sort of got to the point where I stopped telling people, because when people know that about you, that’s sort of who you are. There are questions people ask, people who want to know about your life, they want to know about this and that, and it sort of overwhelms everything else that they know about you. You’re no longer Zeke, you’re ‘the trans person’.

I think I’ve been fortunate to play Survivor as long as I’ve been playing it and not have that label, and one of the reasons I didn’t want to lead with that is that I didn’t want to be ‘the Trans Survivor Player’, I wanted to be Zeke, the Survivor player. And I feel like I am! So I’m okay. I knew someone might pick up on it or it might be revealed, so I am prepared to talk about it, to have it be a part of my Survivor experience. It’s kind of crappy the way it’s happened, but, you know.

'Metamorphosis’ is the word of the episode, and I feel like I’ve seen such a metamorphosis of myself over the past 52 days I’ve played Survivor. I don’t know if the scared kid who hit the mat in the marooning of (Season) 33 would be as calm as I am right now, but I’ve started two fires with just bamboo, I’ve won challenges, I’ve been part of blindsides, I’ve done all kinds of crazy stuff and I am a changed, stronger, better man today than I was then. So you know what Varner, it was really not cool, but you know, I’m fine.

You know Jeff, I’m certainly not anyone who should be a role model for anybody else, but maybe there’s someone who’s a Survivor fan, and me being out on the show helps him, or helps her, or helps someone else, and so maybe this will lead to a greater good.”

As incredible as it was to hear these words delivered so eloquently by Zeke, and on national television no less, it was the words from another tribemate that amazed me the most.

Sarah, a conservative cop on the tribe, was the most reserved person at Tribal Council while the chaos caused by Varner’s words unfolded behind her, sitting deep in contemplation. What she finally said blew me away.

“I’m just thankful that I got to know Zeke for who Zeke is. I’ve been with him for the last eighteen days, and he’s, like, super kick-ass. I’m from the Midwest and I come from a very conservative background, so it’s not very diverse when it comes to a lot of gay and lesbian and transgender things like that. So I’m not as exposed to it as much as most of these people are, and the fact that I can love this guy so much, and it doesn’t change anything for me, it makes me realize that I’ve grown huge as a person.

Of course we want to come away with the million dollars, but the metamorphosis that I’ve even made as a person that I didn’t realize until this minute is invaluable. I’m sorry it came out that way, but I’m glad it did. I’m so glad I got to know you for Zeke, and not for what you were afraid of us knowing you as, and I’ll never look at you that way.”

Seeing someone who has obviously never had to confront feelings like this so directly, and quickly realizing that she still loved Zeke for Zeke, with his being transgender not changing anything, gives me hope. It makes me realize that most people, when given the opportunity, will treat you with kindness and compassion. And maybe what they need to explore these feelings is to have a personal moment of realization like Sarah did. Zeke, and Varner I suppose, gave millions of people the opportunity that Sarah had tonight.

Some people will hold onto their prejudices regardless and demonize Zeke to fit their worldview. Perhaps they’ll never become accepting of LGBTQ people, or maybe it will take someone directly in their life coming out to change. But I know that some people watching tonight, who rooted for Zeke every week not knowing he was trans, are spending tonight reconsidering their values. That’s progress. And what a beautiful thing it is.

On a personal level, the handling of this moment by both Jeff Probst and the producers/editors involved in it make me proud to be a “superfan” of this show. It could have gone haywire and turned into a purely rotten situation, but instead became a truly important focus on what it means to be true to yourself in this world. I have always wanted to be on this show, roughing it in the rain with people scheming against me, trying miserably to untie knots underwater because I want to be treated to Adam Sandler’s latest film, feeling the euphoria of making it onto the jury, and even the slim possibility of winning a million dollars. I had never truly thought I could make it onto the show, and coming out as transgender initially made me think that I had even less of a chance.

Zeke changed that for me.

I want to make an audition tape now. I feel like if he can do it, and do it so well, then why the hell cant I? I know millions of people have had that same thought, but I’ve never once felt this sense of drive in my young life. I owe that to Survivor first and foremost, but also to Zeke and the, dare I say it, heroism he showed on tonight’s episode.

Maybe you’ll see me on a future season of Survivor, maybe not. But I know that I got something life-changing out of the show tonight, and I’m sure I’m not alone. If eight year old me, sitting there enthralled by the very first season of Survivor, could know just how big an effect this show would have on her, she wouldn’t believe it. Mostly because she was eight and didn’t know anything about anything, but still.

Tonight, send your love to Zeke Smith for bravely confronting what could have been ruinous and transforming it into something worth celebrating. Send your love to Sarah Lacina, Ozzy Lusth, Tai Trang, Andrea Boehlke, and Debbie Wanner for speaking up on Zeke’s behalf, being true allies to trans people everywhere, and showing that there will always be people in this world who will have your back when the bullies try to knock you down. And send your love to Jeff Varner, who made a terrible mistake, and has by all accounts suffered ten times over for it. Allow him to learn from this and become a better person as a result. He will be most capable of doing this with your love and support. Do not excuse his actions and similar actions of others worldwide, but fight to turn the negatives into positives whenever possible.

We can do this.

Love always,
Claire.

When Stephanie Brooks (pseudonym), his first true love, broke up with him in 1968, Ted Bundy was devastated.  Brooks had found Bundy to be too immature, lacking in any real goals or future prospects; she wanted a man who would fit into her wealthy California lifestyle.  Heartbroken, Bundy lost interest in his studies and dropped out of college.  He attempted numerous times to win Brooks back, all to no avail.  In 1969, he then discovered his birth certificate which pronounced him as “Illegitimate.”  The event, followed by one final rejection from Brooks when he visited her where she worked in San Francisco, catalyzed a psychological shift in him.  Instead of sinking deeper into depression, Bundy was inspired with a fierce, revengeful determination to become the man Brooks and so many others would adore.  

Over the next four years, a metamorphosis took place, during which Bundy carefully constructed an image of charming, artful sophistication.  He started that fall as a psychology major at the University of Washington, where he became an honors student, and he strengthened his involvement in politics.  He also began dating Elizabeth Kloepfer.  Still, Stephanie Brooks was the only thing on his mind when he went to Sacramento on business for the Washington Republican Party.  Bundy contacted her in San Francisco.  Shocked and impressed by the changes in her ex-lover, Brooks immediately agreed to resume their relationship.  She returned to Seattle with him and the romance progressed rapidly.  In just a few months, the two even began talking about marriage.  However, towards the end of 1973, Bundy inexplicably cooled in his affections.  Brooks was baffled—she thought he was over the moon in love with her, now he treated her as if she was an annoyance.  On January 2, 1974, she flew back home to California, where she waited for Bundy to contact her.  In mid-February, without so much as one phone call or letter, an enraged Brooks called Bundy and demanded to know why he had just dropped her from his life.  In a cold, flat voice, Bundy told her, “Stephanie, I have no idea what you mean …” He then hung up the phone.

“Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12 presents a minor problem to mainstream Christianity. It becomes a much larger problem to Bible literalists. LUCIFER IS NOT SATAN!

 Lucifer makes its appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

“O Lucifer” was used to express “O shining one”, and not the name of a biblical character, and certainly not Satan. Its own simple context clearly shows this.

The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin word. So how did it find its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who fell to become the ruler of hell?

The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to whom they gave the name “Lucifer.”

Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, bringer, or bearer, of light.“ In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can best be translated as "Day star, son of the Dawn.” The name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king’s dress and court (much as his personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, “The Sun King”).

The scholars authorized by King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated … largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, “Day star, son of the Dawn,” as “Lucifer,” and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and — ironically — the Prince of Darkness.

So “Lucifer” is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the morning star, the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians who identify Christ himself as the morning star, a term used as a central theme in many Christian sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the morning star in Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

And so there are those who do not read beyond the King James version of the Bible, who say ‘Lucifer is Satan: so says the Word of God’….“

- Doc de Lux

anonymous asked:

Do you know any superhero AUs?

sooooo this is canon? theyre literally space superheros, however there are a lot of miraculous ladybug au’s around so ill link you to some of them

Hardest of Heart’s by Stxrmfall (7/? | 21,163 | Teen And Up)

In the daytime, he was Keith. Just a normal guy with a normal life.
But he had secrets that no one knew yet.

One: He was the superhero known as Ladybug, fighting off countless akumatized enemies with his partner in battle, Chat Noir.
Two: He was irrevocably, head over heels in love with his sworn rival.
(All right, maybe that one was less of a secret.)

But no matter what, everything was about to get a lot more interesting.

(shallura, ladynoir, hunk/shay, alfor/coran)

I Was Running on An Empty Heart by orphan_account (1/1 | 2,722 | Teen And Up)

Keith Kogane, a boy who had an alter ego named Ladybug, gets a bit closer to his partner in crime, Chat Noir (who happens to be the boy he’s ridiculously pining over, Lance McClain. But he doesn’t know that.)

(background shidge)

metamorphosis by Alltheroads (1/? | 1,749 | Teen And Up)

It’s been decades since the defeat of Hawkmoth in Paris. The world has moved on from superheros, villains, and magic. That is, until akumas with a vendetta against the Garrison start appearing. Lance is excited to play the role of a hero. It helps that his partner is amazing, gorgeous, and brave as hell.
Meanwhile, Keith is determined to get answers on the disappearance of his brother. Impressing the cute boy he rescued his first day on the job is just a bonus.

anonymous asked:

Hey doc, something I've been curious about. Since Mayuyu has a pretty distinct break between her older image and current, I tend to see a lot of people who will favor one or the other. As a Mayuyu oshi, how do you personally rank her "eras" so to speak?

Interesting question. Just so we’re on the same page, I’m just going to explain my definition of what I think we’re referring to when we talk about the different stages in Mayu’s metamorphosis over the years.

We had the “Cyborg” stage, which was when she first started out up to roughly around the release of “UZA” in late 2012. This was defined by her character as a textbook idol, someone who lived, ate and breathed the aura of a ‘perfect’ idol. Her youth and position in comparison to many other AKB48 members at the time meant she also had a bit of a spoiled-brat side to herself, that further reinforced her icy, solitary, lone-wolf status.

Then we had a short “Transitional” stage that lasted between early-2013′s “So Long!” and “Kokoro no Placard” in mid-2014. With the setback of being dropped from UZA’s center position in favour of Jurina when she proved incapable of handling the heat, she appeared to realize that she was starting to stagnate, and as such she needed to improve into a more mature individual. Starting with the infamous Kato Koji kick in the head, she experimented heavily with variety TV, attempting to create what I call a “Gap Factor”. By showcasing a wilder, more unrestrained (some would say violent and repressed) side alongside her regular prim, proper image, she constructed a personality that was almost bipolar in nature, making for some pretty hilarious situations as she worked towards becoming a more competitive, viable character within 48G.

Her current “Adulthood” stage kicked off with her appointment as “Kibouteki Refrain”’s senior half of the dual-Center position, as she started to assume the duties of a senior 48G member. Providing professional advice to juniors, keeping watch over the growth of AKB48, and leading 48G’s frontliners in the PR battles we had to fight. All the while, she was also further refining her character into a more mature, multifaceted personality that seeks to establish a more holistic portfolio within the industry, with dramas, hosting gigs, stage-musical training and wider variety TV appearances.

Personally, while I thought Mayu’s “Cyborg” stage did well in establishing strong professional foundations in her work ethic, and her “Transitional” stage opened her up to a wider audience, in my opinion, the current “Adulthood” stage is Mayu at her best. It draws upon the best parts of her past - a wholesome, prim, proper and professional working character, with a weirdly eccentric side to that works perfectly in establishing hilarious situations when called upon.

Hide’s Ace of Spades

Anon said: I see noone else asking you this so here: it was revealed in sensei’s twitter that Hide is Ace of Spades (Misfortune; sometimes associated with death or, more often, a difficult ending). What are your thoughts on this? I’m actually feeling a little hopeless about Hide’s case after seeing that. :( Ty for answering!

Anon said: Hello!! I’ve read a lot of your thoughts abt tg esp abt hide and i really wanylt to know abt what you think about hide’s card being the ace of spade in ishida’s recent art?

Anon said: Hello!! Your theories interest me and i rly love your hide related ones(i love that boy to hell and back) so im wondering what your thoughts abt hide being the ace of spades in ishida-sensei’s recent art?

Small post about all the cards {x}; Touka’s Ace of Clubs {x}; Yorkio’s Four Of Hearts{x}

Original: {x}

Oh, Anons, you know my weak spot so well, thank you for the asks!

Keep reading

6

The moon draped over the volcano they were trapped inside.

It shined it’s magical light on the water, and suddenly it began to glow, vibrate and sparkle. They could feel their legs tingling and they were terrified. They screamed.

It lasted for what seemed like forever to the girls, but in reality it was probably only twenty seconds or so.

And as soon as the crazy event had began, it stopped.

The girls looked at each other with utter confusion, and then they one by one went back out to freedom.

1. 
Her fingertips tremble when the silence cracks. Heart hummingbirds like a mouse’s, straight out of her chest. The lights stay on at night.

2.
But hers is a careful reinvention, veneered chrysalis of anxious laughter, speckled glass bullet casings and eleven types of misery crawling under her skin. A laughter that sounds like swan song but sometimes just like laughter. A hitching breath that stutters but not quite far enough to become a sob. A fluorescent happiness that shadows something deadly and ugly that can’t be pulled out no matter how hard you try.

3. 
Yet this is a childlike heart she protects in her chest, still. She bleeds emotion like they’re gifts, or apologies, she hasn’t figured out which yet, and she pulls her chrysalis over her face like a blanket to smother herself with, all that metamorphosis and disaster, and you keep watching it sink in. Watch her smooth it over herself the way she brushes down her skirts or slides a hot gun into her holster or sinks a blade into a gut.

She fashions her nails sharp, clean, pretty, and honey, those same nails have come close to your throat before. They glide against the knife under her pillow when you sleep. And did you ever actually think she might stop your breath in the night?

Hasn’t she done it enough times already?

4.
She loves you though, you must know that, right?

Because, even though you’ve caught yourself wondering where she keeps all that blood now if it isn’t in that death of hers she keeps inside herself, if it isn’t in her heart or her lungs or under her fingernails or on the bathroom tiles by the bathtub where you fell asleep that one time you were too high to make it to bed, it’s all in you, all her heart and all that happiness, and you oughta know.

You oughta know by now that you make her afraid of death. You oughta know that you make her afraid of living.

Now, her hands still shake and it might be you or it might be that gunshot wound or it might be how hard the whole world presses down on her but sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s just the way you look at her and the way she shakes into pieces against your chest and the way she smoothes herself over and over and over and over again until there are only pitch black ceilings and a weightless whisper and she reaches for you instead of that knife and you tangle together like you never knew how to be apart and she falls asleep and dreams of nothing.

-

So here is how it goes,  because it’s been counting down to this your entire goddamn life:

4.
Her fingertips still buzz when the silence cracks.

3.
But this is a careful reinvention,

2.
And hers is a childlike heart you’ve always held in your hands,

1.
And you love her. God, you love her.

0.
She loves you too.

—  GENTLY, GENTLY // H.X.L. · A.B. · K.A.T.
(@firstnameagent​; @cptsdgavino)

anonymous asked:

Can you please remove this het bullshit you just posted? "Sapphic" introductions are called queerbaiting, so please don't confuse that with representation. Thanks.

Nope. It isn’t queerbaiting. You know why? It was made in 1934. This particular piece was not made to bait a queer audience, because the concept of a queer audience didn’t really exist then. The vanishingly small number of things made by straight people for a queer audience back then were about educating them, punishing them, or ‘correcting their deviancy’. Queerbaiting is an entirely modern phenomenon, and it only exists because straight creators are now aware that queer people exist. (Which is lovely when you think about it, that things have progressed even that far. In my childhood a queer audience was not even a thing that was thought of - Xena was probably the first time straight creators became aware of a queer female audience and started writing for them).

Joie de vivre, on the other hand, is an early 20th century piece of surrealist art that draws on a long tradition in Western art and literature of women cavorting together, then being discovered, pursued and ultimately conquered by a man. It goes back at least as far as Greek and Roman literature, art and myth (see Ovid’s Metamorphosis if you’d like to read this story over and over again). To people at the time, it would have been seen as romantic or mythic. The ‘cavorting’ in this case is not particularly sexual, it’s more stylised and balletic.

But because this blog is all about applying a queer gaze to art and history, this piece seemed like the perfect thing to reblog here. It’s very similar to stuff we’ve blogged about in the past. I chose to go and watch the entire movie, and write a contextual (albeit totally biased, queer-slanted) description of it. I could have just reblogged it without comment, and you wouldn’t have known it was ‘het bullshit’, would you?

In the past, women who loved women had to exist in the hidden spaces between dominant stories, in coded signals and secrecy. The overwhelming majority of art made throughout Western history was made by heterosexual men for an audience of heterosexual men*. A lot of lesbian or implied-lesbian stuff was created by straight men for their own titillation (although I don’t think Joie de vivre was - I don’t think lesbianism is even implied here).

secretlesbians takes that stuff and re-examines it, and illuminates the intimacy between women that was often captured, almost incidentally, in a lot of this work. This blog is 100% about those hidden spaces. It revels in those hidden spaces.
And yeah, sometimes those spaces don’t look like you want them to. That’s history, when you’re a minority. If you have a problem with it, then this blog might not be for you.

*Historically, sexuality is a lot more complicated than that, but a discussion of heterosexuality as a modern invention doesn’t really fit here.

We need to talk about Yang

We need to talk about Yang

I think it is time to talk about Yang. The firecracker near and dear to all of our hearts is hurting, alone, and probably going to fall into darkness. Do I want these things, the answer is yes.

Yang throughout RWBY has shown a tendency to go for force over negotiation. In the Yellow trailer she threatens he way into getting what she wants and when she doesn’t she uses excessive force. In general, she is the most violent hero out of any of the main protagonists. Even her semblance is fueled by taking hits from her opponents and seems to even get stronger when she is angry. Yang is problematic in that she has the characteristics of a villain while being good guy.

In volume three Yang as well as the audience received a devastating blow. The first is that she saw Blake being stabbed through the gut by her ex-boyfriend. The second being that she lost her arm in defense of Blake. In RWBY weapons are an extension of one’s self. Yang’s weapon is her fists; when Adam cut off her arm, she didn’t just lose a limb. He functionally disabled her from having one her weapons. Adam is a character that is focused on causing Blake pain and by extension causing Yang pain. He took off her arm and suddenly Yang is a lot less threatening.

When we see her back in her home on Patch, we get a lovely conversation between her and Ruby. During this we can see she is distraught over the fall of Beacon, Penny, Pyrrha, and her arm. Weiss going back to Atlas is an even more of a sensitive subject. When Blake is brought up she is angry, claiming that she doesn’t care why she left. During this scene her entire body language is closed off. Yang turns away from her sister and tells her to do whatever she wants, tells Ruby to leave her alone, and doesn’t say I love you back to her. In the last glimpse we get of her, she is looking out the window over the winter landscape. In the tree is a raven, whether this is her mother or not I don’t know. But I do believe this is foreshadowing for things to come. Ravens are often times used to symbolize death as well as being found around fallen warriors. Yang has been through a near death experience and is a fallen warrior. In volume four I believe we will see a metamorphosis in Yang’s character.

In the opening for Volume four we can see Yang training with her father before being confronted by two versions of herself; the first being a healthy version with both arms and the second a reflection of her current state. Yang is likely experiencing a phantom pain both physically and mentally. Then she seems to fall into darkness where Adam is featured in the background. The trauma to her body likely carries over into her mind. In volume four I think the metamorphosis will be Yang following in her mother’s footsteps so to speak. She will leave patch and travel down a destructive road. All the seemingly harmless characteristics she had will become villainous. The betrayal she feels from Blake, the anxiety she has over being left behind by not just her partner but her sister, and the depression over losing an arm will push her over the edge at some point. I don’t feel like she will be getting a happy ending.

Qrow told her that sometimes bad things just happen. The majority of her life bad things have happened to her. Her mother abandoned her when she was just a baby and now that Yang is an adult her mother is sending cryptic warnings. Summer Rose left on a mission and never came back. Tai shut down and never really recover, inferring that she probably helped raise Ruby. During the festival she was set up to fail by Emerald and Mercury. Then she lost Penny. Her arm was cut off in defense of her partner. Pyrrha died and the world fell into chaos. Ruby left her alone on Patch. Yang is not going to be okay because sometimes bad things happen, but they seem to happen to Yang more often than not.

(The questions and the people involved are all fake BTW)

The FAKE’s and the LSPD have an…interesting relationshp with each other, to say the very least. After all the times the FAKE’s have been detained, becuase as powerful and infamous as they are the LSPD has to at least make the effort to appear like they’re in some semblance of control over the city they’ve sworn to protect, they’ve developed a kind of rapport with their favorite officers. Officer Demarais, Officers Luna, Marquis, Burton, Risinger, Kovic and especially Chief Burns, are all quite familiar with their number one headaches. Yet, how they go through the detaining process has undergone a mass metamorphosis over the years. Of course, at first, their intentions purer, their vision cloudier, they actually tried to put the FAKE’S behind bars (and imagine Ramsey’s surprise when he sees the men he used to run with holding the handcuffs) and their interrogations were hard, rough, harsh hands and harsh words, screaming threats, and that was tinder to Michael’s fire, background noise to Ray, Gavin would answer every question with a nonsense ‘Would you rather’, Jack would be polite but unyielding, Ryan flat-out refused to be anything but obnoxiously difficult and it was multiple times at this song and dance before Geoff was ready to be ‘civil’ with the LSPD, and each and every time they’d be broken out of their holding cells, The LSPD put together multiple files on Shawcross, Tuggey, Jenzen, Bragg, Denecour, Dooley, Hardy and Collins but never had more than a few cursory lines to fill the wide empty boxes. The support team would raise hell to free their Crew, and the LSPD never got more than a few hours with them. And they learned a lot of things, how well the Vagabond could skin a man alive (thankfully not actually demonstrated), how many curse words Mogar could throw in one sentence before he needed a breath, how Brownman could produce weed from impossible places even though they “locked this goddamn place down, what the hell Demarais!” but the one thing they did learn very well was that surprising (very surprising because the Vagabond sent Demarais and Risinger out of the interrogation room in tears at least nine times each) that the Vagabond is not the scariest member of the FAKES. Nor is it Ramsay, The Kingpin himself. It’s the Frontman. And this they didn’t find out at first because every snarl was met with a wide smile, every insult dealt with laughter and joking, every demand and every shallow threat brushed off. It’s only when they got louder, threatened more, inches from the frontman’s impressive schnoz detailing what exactly the electric chair can do to a woman of Jack’s size and stature, how easily a lethal injection’s components can be changed so the long way down is quite a bit more painful, that the questions they asked where suddenly answered. But not the answers they wanted.

No, these were question of his own. Quiet, unfailingly polite, with a bland, almost evil smile on his face. “How’s your Ashley, Mr. Burns? She’s alright, isn’t she? I haven’t seen her in ages, really I wonder what I’ll tell her when I do. Don’t think the Jinx will be so chuffed to find her lover is a pig, don’t you agree? And while it’s on my mind, the feds never did press charges on your sister’s boyfriends murder case if I’m not mistaken. They never did find that bloody knife that did the abusive bastard in, did they Mr. Burns?” “Mr. Kovic, how’s your Mum, yeah? Still undergoing Chemo in the Central Los Santos Medical Center? Room 208, Doctor Kevin Reynolds? You know, I hear the doctors there aren’t all that, well, good. Wouldn’t it be a real bloody shame if something happened to your dear old mum on their watch?“ “Mr. Luna, how’s your sister, Jenna? Still waiting for that deadbeat husband? How’s the baby, does she look like her father or does she take after her mother? Your paycheck supports the both of you, doesn’t it? Seems like you really need to keep this job.” “And as if I couldn’t forget your darling children, Marquis, how old are they now, two, three? Twin girls, that must be tough. Jessica and Elena need their stalwart father alive and breathing to take care of them, yeah? Of course, you’re most certainly not the only one who could be targeted, perish the thought.” “And Lastly, Mrs. Burton, what a lovely, and unexpected, surprise to see you of all people here, given your exceptional…lineage. I don’t suppose they know, then, about Mr. Burton, do they?”

Nowadays the LSPD make an effort to appear like they still do try to lock up the Kings and Queens, but they know much, much better now. And as for the Frontman, with his intimate knowledge of all the skeleton’s in their closets, well they stay as far away from him as they can get.

Love is Weird

A/N: here’s a bit of post-Mockingjay drabble with our favorite girls that stemmed from that particular quote. I’ve never actually written anything fanfiction-y before, and it’s unbeta’d, but hopefully you enjoy just the same.

“Love is weird.”

Katniss recalled being surprised enough by the dull ache that she had heard straining Johanna’s voice that day that she had chanced a look at Johanna’s eyes. She remembered, very clearly, looking into them and realizing that she actually saw in them that vulnerability and numbing pain for just a second before Johanna quickly let them harden back into a glaring smirk. Katniss had never been good at emotions, as clearly demonstrated by the way everyone but the Capitol had had a hard time truly swallowing her love story. She had always been all about survival: hunt, fight, kill, act; play capitol sweetheart, play lover, play revolutionary, play Mockingjay. All the surviving she had to do had left very little room for actual love, beyond the love of family and friends. But then, look where even that much love had landed her: alone with blood on her hands and a dead heart that had stopped when she saw her sister die. Katniss had realized, on that beach in the arena, after that small glimpse into Johanna’s eyes, that Johanna was all about survival, too.

Katniss couldn’t really fathom what Johanna was like before her games, but love was clearly not a welcome presence to post-games Johanna, with her brash personality and overt self-sexualization and unpredictable (closed off) attitude. Back then, Katniss had still allowed herself to love a little, but Johanna had said, in a hard-yet-heartbreaking voice, that the jabberjays couldn’t hurt her because there was no one left that she loved. Katniss remembered feeling a dull ache begin in her chest at those words when she had heard them, but quickly quenched it; she knew that Johanna would hate her even more for her pity. For Katniss, there it always was, constant and ever bearing, no matter how dull the vibe, and she often thought that it made her weak. That moment in the arena, she wondered if Johanna thought so, too. She knew that love came in many forms, with many results: sometimes it felt like a warm blanket, and other times like a nagging cough that just wouldn’t let go. She knew that it terrified Johanna, despite the cool exterior, and made Katniss herself more than just a bit wary.

When it came to Johanna’s feelings toward Katniss, Katniss suspected that they had undergone a kind of metamorphosis over the course of the last couple of years. They had started off as a very short-lived admiration, then an absolute, scalding loathing, then a dull dislike. After Johanna had been rescued from the Capitol, Katniss had reevaluated Johanna’s feelings toward her, and had been hard-pressed to come up with anything except morphling-numbed pain and harshly worded disdain. Eventually, after spending time together in the hospital, she had felt a bit of begrudging acceptance. Once they became roommates, the vibes had changed to a reluctant sort of caring, and actual appreciation for their friendship. Occasionally, Katniss had felt a heavily disguised pity, but it was always brief, and they seemed to have an understanding that neither would welcome the other one’s pity. Their relationship had moved beyond forced camaraderie, and into an unexplainable sort of relationship that went beyond friendship. They understood each other, without words, and they both gave their care and protection silently and with a sense of caution.

The first time was when Katniss had woken up from one of her usual nightmares, sweating and shaking, with a biting scream on her lips and the taste of blood-bile in her mouth. She had been about to sit up, only discover that Johanna had tucked herself into Katniss’ bed. She hadn’t questioned it, had only reveled in the comfort, and neither girl mentioned it the next morning. The second time was when Katniss pushed open the bathroom door to find Johanna huddled in a bathtub full of five inches of water, arms wrapped around her thin frame, shivering, her teeth gritted together and her lips twisted into a half-grimace. Katniss’ heart had dropped sharply at the picture, and she had wanted to run over and run her fingers through Johanna’s hair, telling her that the water wouldn’t hurt her. Instead, Katniss had simply grabbed Johanna’s washcloth, dipped it in the water, and very carefully scrubbed down Johanna’s body, softly humming the tune of the meadow song.

Eventually, these small moments, these details of their shared suffering, had woven into a pattern that became a part of everyday life in District 13. Every night, Johanna would tuck herself into bed with Katniss, usually with a “how can I even try to sleep if you make such a racket all the time? Move over, brainless, your feet are cold.” Katniss would always be the one to toll her eyes at Johanna and tell her she really needed a bath, then follow the scowling girl into the bathroom and help her wash.

Katniss supposed, now, that all of those things might have constituted as a part of a loving relationship. She never really thought of it as such, she merely thought of it as the way she and Johanna were, two broken people who were just trying to survive, as they always had. Now that the rebellion was over, Katniss was positive that she would never let love be a part of her life again. And yet yesterday she had grown tired of being in 12, tired of seeing the ruined remains of her town and the constant reminders of Prim. Tired of seeing Peeta shoot her both frustrated and pitying looks, tired of seeing him settle down and be happy, tired of everything. There were times that she had honestly missed her time in 13, missed their “prison of paradise,” as Johanna had called their room. Missed the closest thing she had had to normal, no matter how dysfunctional it was in her relationship with Johanna. So Katniss had grabbed her bag and her bow and taken off on the train to 7. She had marched straight from the platform to where she knew Johanna to be living, and without allowing herself a second thought, knocked hard on the door. Johanna had answered in nothing more than an oversized flannel shirt, dirty and sweaty, clearly having been interrupted in the middle of changing out of her wood chopping clothes.

Seeing Johanna now was like taking a long gasp of fresh air after having spent too long underwater. There were no words exchanged, but Katniss watched Johanna take in her haggard expression, read the mourning and pain in her eyes, and saw Johanna’s expression shift slightly. Katniss was looking at Johanna’s eyes once again. There, on the doorstep of Johanna’s house in 7, Johanna was using her facial expression to press down on Katniss chest, crushing it into a slow CPR, restarting it. She said nothing, still, but her heart ached again, and she could feel Johanna not trying to fill the gaping hole in Katniss’ heart, but rather creating a memorial around it, as though in memory of her pain she could somehow find some kind of life again. It was the same hole that caused her dead heart, had eventually pushed Peeta away from her after the revolution, that had now pushed her toward Johanna. But her heart wasn’t dead now. Suddenly she could feel emotions in droves, working their way in wavelengths up through her body as Johanna stared at her with an unreadable expression from the doorway.

Love is weird. Katniss hadn’t known her plan, just had known that she had to get out, to try and reclaim her sense of normalcy. But nothing was normal, was it? Love is weird. Katniss hadn’t known what to say that day on the beach. Johanna had basically said that she never wanted to love again. Katniss didn’t know, now, if she wanted to love again, either. Yet here it was. Katniss couldn’t say anything at all, because there was nothing to say. There was no actual name for the thing she felt boiling up in her chest around that gaping hole. So she acted on instinct. She hadn’t had a plan coming here, no, but she knew that she had to change something. She took a deep, shuddering breath, and pressed her lips very softly to Johanna’s. She felt Johanna’s face break out into her signature smirking smile, and kiss her back. Eventually, after what felt like an age, Katniss pulled away. Johanna still had that odd smile on her face as she stared Katniss up and down. Katniss felt fear flow down her throat and land in her stomach, where it settled into a heavy rock there. What had she done? Finally, Johanna spoke.
“God, brainless. What took you so damn long?”

Rumbelle Break-up Angst (& the Antidote)

As long as we’re rending our collective garments and weeping buckets, let’s just lean in to all the Rumbelle angst ahead, shall we?

Rumbelle Break-up Stories

Into the Night by bad-faery: Belle discovers the dagger deception. Nominated for a ‘Best Angst’ TEA.

It’s Quite Simple, Really by thatravenclawbitch: She wants to know how long he’s been lying. This ficlet will hurt your heart.

Half Alive but Mostly Dead by thatravenclawbitch: He’s only alive because he cannot die. (Never fear–the happy ending is here.)

The Metamorphosis: The Dark Curse takes over, and Rumple goes full-dark. I still receive occasional hate mail for this story. (NC-17)

Rumbelle Fluff to Soothe the Soul

No One Deserves by dreams-love-magic: Belle is a professional cuddler. This is a healthy, wholesome helping of family floof.

That Cord of Communion by lotus0kid: A spell accidentally ties Belle to Rumple in the Dark Castle. Literally.

Cocktail by luthienebonyx: They take a romantic walk on the beach. The title, bless it, is a pun. (NC-17)

Lioness Your Are Not by rufeepeach: To teach his spirited maid a lesson, Rumple turns Belle into a kitten. Perhaps my favorite fluff story of all time.

Cry first.

Then shake off grief like a second skin
until there are pockets of new light
instead of bruises where spaces ought to be.

And maybe this is it:
maybe this is how I’ll cope
when you leave me like rain

I’ll bury our love over and over.
I’ll emerge burning like a butterfly.

—  astagesetforcatastrophe, metamorphosis