it takes effort to look this good

some gentle reminders for today, in case you need them

jane would want you to stand up for what you believe in - even if they come after you, even if they call you ‘Hanoi Jane’ and get bumper stickers saying ‘Goodnight, Jane. Goodnight, Bitch’ - even as they continue to attack you for not being perfect in your efforts. to remember that you can make mistakes but that does not take away from any of your beautiful, good decisions. to accept that empathy and understanding are painful but so very, very necessary. to kick your bad relationships to the curb and never look back. to learn to love yourself, and forgive yourself, no matter how long it takes.

lily would want you to be open about who you are. to not let anyone - your friends, bosses, family - tell you how to live your life. to never hide your own heart to make others more comfortable. to enjoy and relish every opportunity that you have now, but realise that these are (hopefully) not the best years of your life. to always bring laughter everywhere you go, because people need it, and so do you. to never apologise for the weight of your radiance. to help make others more aware of their own brilliance. to never take yourself too seriously.

grace would want you to hold your head up high, but realise that no matter what, there are always places inside of you that can grow softer. to realise that you can become a better person by letting down your walls (however sturdy they may be). to be ambitious and feisty but draw, always, from a reservoir of deep values. to not listen to the limitations that others try to place on you. to remember that sometimes you outgrow your friends, but that you will make better, healthier relationships as you evolve. to remember that mean only ever attracts mean. to refuse to give up.

frankie would want you to embrace who you are - to channel whatever deities or sources of power that you draw from to comfort and soothe your soul. to make no apologies for how you keep your little heart happy (even if that is just with tacos and bad tv). to feel the fear and do it anyway. to commit to a path of learning and changing. to love others more than you ever thought possible. to know that families come in all different shapes and sizes, and you can make your own if you need to. to give out as much light as you can. 

these amazing women are looking out for us and they would be proud of you little pumpkins and so am i. please message me if you ever need an ear.

What if by alien standards we are really cute?

And I don’t mean like attractive cute, I mean like baby otter cute. What if the stumble upon us and go “ohhhhh my god!!! Oh my god!!!! I’m dying this is- look at it! Look at them!!! Oh my god!!!”

We usually imagine having to come up with some Devils trade or unholy arrangement to get tech and trade with aliens, but the instant they see us the aliens immediately set out into conservation efforts. They’re like “their habitat is becoming harsh and unlivable for them! We have to save them!” And everyone just puts a picture of us next to this information and they all agree “Look at them! We have to save them!!” We become like the panda mascots of intergalactic conservation efforts.

Simultaneously, our main export is just streams, videos, holograms, and photos of us. Aliens lose their composure completely over videos of us sneezing or yawning or eating pop tarts or playing video games or taking care of our kids.

There are lines of aliens who would LOVE to have a human in their home or on their ship. It’s a little condescending (we’re not sure if we’re guests or well treated exotic pets) but still a good opportunity, and any human who wants can go to space at any time basically for free or even for profit, and the aliens will go out of their way to give you anything you ask for.

There are obvious downsides. We struggle to be taken seriously. While it’s usually shut down pretty quickly, every once in a while some alien group sees the demand for us and tries to start an illegal trade. But at the same time, it’s neat that somewhere out there is an alien (or usually a LOT of aliens) that would love you unconditionally, find every flaw and idiosyncrasy endearing, be worried about you and do anything they could to make you safe and happy. They work hard to make our planet and our personal lives better and don’t ask for anything in return. They just do it because they decided we are important and worth saving just for existing. It’s an odd relationship, and we’re not always sure what to make of it, but honestly it goes a lot better than we worried alien contact would.

How to Change from being a Toxic Person

Even if you’ve hurt other people in the past, or have been the kind of person that you really don’t respect, you can always make the decision to change. The tips below might be helpful for this.

1. Look for the good in the people that you meet, and try to empathise, and understand others’ viewpoints.

2. Remind yourself of this: “That it’s not all about you” … and the feelings and the wishes of others matter too.

3. Be polite; try saying “thank you”; and don’t take people for granted. What they did took thought and effort, and it’s nice to be acknowledged.

4. Think before you speak. This will save a lot of grief. For once those words are spoken, they cannot be taken back. They may never be forgotten, and can haunt you later on.

5. Check your tone of voice and the words you choose to use. These can cause misunderstandings, or create a bad impression.

6. Don’t gossip about others; look for things to praise instead.

7. Don’t take the bait and be pulled into arguments. Just let the comment go. You don’t need to rise to that.

8. Make the effort to be kind, and offer others your support. And do something that’s special, and which demonstrates some thought.

Hey, sorry to be posting on the meme bot account for this, but this is the biggest audience I’ve got. I need help finding a new home for a lovely kittycat in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A friend of mine has a cat with some problems who needs a new home. She’s a good cat– loves to watch birds out the window, will sit next to you and purr– but she has both bowel and neurological issues and she has trouble using the litterbox. She regularly poops and pees outside of it. She is also very shy and needs someone who will really put in the effort to earn her trust.

I posted a Twitter thread with more information. We’re happy to provide her vet records and any other information that would be helpful for taking care of her.

We’ve been looking into shelters and sanctuaries in and around New Mexico, but very few of them have room for more cats at all, let alone the resources to take in a cat with neurological issues. She really needs a dedicated human (or family of humans!) who can spend the time and effort helping her.

If you know anyone like that, can you please pass this info along to them? You can contact me here, email me (barrlr AT barrl DOT net), @ me on Twitter, etc. We’re able to travel about a day from Albuquerque– so that means we can get to West Texas and anywhere in the 4 corners states– but I worry that going further than that would be extremely stressful for her, so I don’t want to do that unless we literally have no other options.

Thanks!

4

Grant, Candice and Keiynan cuteness before filming
(a very spoilery scene, proceed with caution)

Here is 10 things I tell my students on the first day of class about building yourself up into being a artist. This is starting point, not a all encompassing list. Hope you find it helpful!

1. Never stop experimenting. When you stop trying new things your style will get stagnant. Developing your style never has an stopping point, you’re going to continue learning and changing–that is a good thing.

2. Don’t draw to please a particular person or audience. It is tempting to draw something you think the person viewing it will like. It starts with drawing to please a friend/family member, then a teacher, and then a wider audience online or in person. However, consider drawing to please yourself first, an audience will follow in time and you will face a lot less burn out down the line. You’ll be hired for this, work you made out of something you liked crafting–not something you forced yourself to craft. Don’t make art that makes you miserable.

3. Learn the basics. Get good at anatomy (human and animal), perspective, creating depth, lighting, etc–then break the rules you’ve learned. Work, no matter how abstract, pushed, and pulled is always stronger when informed by a mastery of the basics.

4. Practice working in ways that do not hurt your hand. Learn to draw with a relaxed hand and draw in long strokes. Both of these methods help prevent issues with your hand, wrist, and arm. I’ve never gotten carpal tunnel, and I draw on a daily basis, because I have learned how to treat my hand well. Your hand is your tool, if you wear it out there isn’t a new one you can just pick up. The best treatment for any possible physical issues is prevention.

5. Learn how to draw without erasing. It is scary and it is tough no doubt! However the best way to become more confident is through not erasing. There is a medium for everyone to try this out, whether it is pen or non-erasing colored pencils. If you want to ease yourself into this method try out Pentel red lead, it erases a bit–but overall will always leave a mark with every stroke you make. The importance of this is learning to not be afraid of mistakes.

6. Draw from life, from reference photos, and from imagination. This trio is important, combining all three is usually how you build great drawing skills. Drawing from life gives you the ability to capture small details that you’ll remember to put in when drawing from a reference photo, drawing from refs will give you the practice you’ll need to handle whatever subject so that one day you can draw it from your own imagination–see how that works?

7. You’re art isn’t completely unique and that is okay. I can’t emphasis how many people I know who have gotten so hung up on being something totally unique that they burn out fast and never make work again. Now, considering how much art is in the world there is no way that what you create will be 100% unique to you. That is fine, your personality in your work is more of what makes something yours than a “style”.

8. Figure out your work’s personality. On that note finding the personality of your art is important as you go into trying to build your own place in the art world. The personality of a piece is a combination of style, subject, color, shapes, lines, and maybe most important themes (yes subject and themes are different). This combo is what makes your art special. At a loss for where to start figuring out your own personality? Compile a list of 10 artists you love. Why do you love them? Is it the shapes of one artist that speak to you, the line work of another is beautiful, the themes of a third make you feel inspired? Now take the 10 things you love about those 10 artists and start applying them to your own work. This isn’t about copying these artists, it is about the inspiration. That line work you love in another artist’s piece is gunna look different in yours for example. Those themes from another artist, well when you take them on your life might inform them in a opposite way. In time your inspired work will evolve into something that is your own.

9. Talent is nice, persistence is more important. Someone may be naturally talented in some areas of art, however someone who is persistent in their craft is so much more likely to succeed. Effort, continued growth, and practice will add up to so much more in the long run than just skating by on “talent”.

10. Be a good person. Treat others with respect, learn about social issues, don’t be a creep, and use your art to help people. And this might mean you craft a piece about an important issue that changes thousands of lives, or you might just be creating to help yourself get through the day. Both are important, after all you are a person too and you should always be trying to help and be kind to yourself.

To my fake friends, thank you for showing me the value in understanding people for what they are. Thank you for taking all of my good qualities and turning them into something negative to fit your narrative. Whereas a real friend would see my effort not to judge others and allow others second chances as beautiful, you saw me as easy to manipulate and easy to control. Where a real friend saw my habit of ensuring our relationship is okay by asking honestly, “Are we okay?” when I sensed any sort of discomfort as honest and looking for a way to amend things if they were wrong, you saw it as a sign of weakness and instead, never told me until things came to a resentful head. Where the best of my friends would look at my habit of apologising and immediately trying to make amends as the quality of a kind and genuine person, you deliberately saw it as something to exploit by making me feel worse and worse every single day by never telling me what was wrong but bitching behind my back.


Initially you must have surprised me.


Your kindness, or your (false) giving nature, something about you must have truly made me think the world of you. You see, I’m the kind of person who will love you genuinely or not love you at all. I don’t play games of in-betweens and I certainly don’t pretend to be friends with someone if they are not someone I care about. The truth is, without you, I would not know who my real friends are, nor how to value them. I would not have learned that some people thrive on being unkind. I would not know how to handle those who look for reasons to dislike me, rather than the other way around. I never understood insecurity for what it was. Because I am a highly self critical person and tend to focus on what I have done wrong rather than anyone else.


Without you, I could not have learned how to look outside and understand that other people are flawed too.


I would not know how to stop being so hard on myself. I would not grow from being a people pleaser to choosing the people I love carefully and with consideration. You taught me how to appreciate that I am a person worthy of love, and forgiveness and kindness, by treating me the opposite way. You taught me strength by showing me that when I was in my greatest pain, the person I needed to rely on most was myself because you were only going to be unkind and orchestrate more pain in my life.


Thank you for that. Thank you for every lesson you have taught me. Because I could not be prouder of who I am today, and it is you that I have to thank for that

—  Nikita Gill, A Thank You To My Fake Friends
Good Girls Go Bad

Set in the 40’s. Y/N was your stereotypical girl next door, growing up in the apartment right across the hall from James Buchanan Barnes. She had always been the shy, reserved girl; she was the complete opposite of the enigmatic ladies man. Despite their proximity, she was sure that he didn’t even know she existed. What happens when they run into one another during a night out on the town? Is just one night all it really takes? 

Word Count: 3,408

Warnings: swearing, smut


Originally posted by evanstansource


You sighed, adjusting your dress as you gazed into the mirror. Even though it was still rather conservative, you couldn’t help but notice that it was more revealing than you were used to. The neckline plunged rather low, the collar fastened with a bow that drew attention to your cleavage. The waist was cinched, showing off your figure. Paired with the red heels that your friends had chosen for you, you were looking like a regular bombshell. Your friends had insisted that you go out with them tonight. You had turned them down too many times. They said that now, of all days, you had to accompany them. The newest army recruits would be shipping out tomorrow, and it was sure to be a lively night.

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Foreign

Plot: Jimin always thought his traditional Korean girlfriend was perfect – that was, until he realized how beautiful foreigners could be.

Pairing: Idol!Park Jimin x Backup Dancer!Reader

Genre: Angst, Fluff

Notes: I based this off of every single MTL I have seen of BTS dating a girl of a different race or a girl of color – Jimin always seems to be one of the people who were least likely to date one. I definitely do not think that Jimin is this ignorant in any way. This is only a work of fiction. This is for all the international beauties! 2,536 Words

Originally posted by bwipsul

“Oppa, I’m missing you so much!”

“I’m missing you too, my love. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a few days, okay?”

One of the worst parts about tour was leaving lovers behind. For Jimin, it wasn’t only his lover, it was his home. He enjoyed tour, performing for all of the ARMYs around the world, going on stage; but he wasn’t a huge fan of being in a foreign country. He didn’t know English that well, and he wasn’t fond of being in a place where he couldn’t understand anything. 

“I know,” The soft voice of his significant other brought pink to his cheeks. “Call me when your rehearsal is over.”

“I will, I love you,” He glanced at the leader of his band, who was calling him over.

“I love you too.”

With that, he had ended the call with a sigh, and headed over to his band. It hadn’t even been a few minutes since he cut the call, and he was already missing her – a thought he had experienced after each long-distance conversation with his lover. The short male shook his head and got his head back in the game, his eyes going up to meet a group of people dressed in black.

“This is your dance crew for this city,” The manager announced to the band. “Not all of them know Korean, so if you have an queries, just talk to Jihoon. He is the leader.”

“We understand.”

Once that brief introduction was done, they were all left to their own devices for a few minutes, whilst the leader of the dance team talked to the leader of the band. Jimin had let himself scan over the people he would be working with; not that he would talk to them, he was just curious and bored. Most of them had masks on – no one had really caught his eyes, except for one person. 

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How to Build Emotional Resilience

1. Talk to someone: Sharing how we feel helps to reduce the inner tension (but make sure it is someone who cares about your feelings).

2. Work on improving your self-esteem: Self-esteem is the way you see and feel about yourself … and there are lots of lots of things that undermine our self esteem. For example, experiencing a break up, putting on unwanted weight, doing badly on a test or being excluded by our friends. It’s important that we keep on working on our self-esteem by treating ourselves well and noticing when we succeed (instead of noticing the negatives).

3. Manage your stress levels: If we’re always feelings stressed then it’s hard to cope with life. We tend to over react and have a negative mind set … which drains us of our energy and saps our will to fight. So take a look at your lifestyle and see what you can drop. You may be doing too much, and don’t have time to relax.

4. Make the time and effort to enjoy yourself: Doing things that we enjoy helps to improve the way we feel. So build in little things like having coffee with a friend, or going to a game, or taking time to watch some sports.

5. Choose a healthy life style: Pay attention to your diet and how much you exercise; try to limit alcohol, and don’t deprive yourself of sleep.

6. Develop good relationships: Do your friends make you happy? Do you enjoy their company? Are they kind of people with your best interests at heart? Do they treat you with respect and help to boost your self-esteem? If not, then work on finding new relationships!

Long rant about Portugal winning cuz I’m salty and can’t sleep

First of all, to all the people who’re gonna say 

“You don’t appreciate good music!”
What music I like and what would be considered “good” music is not for you to decide.

or “You’re just jealous that your fave didn’t win!” 

You are absolutely right, and here’s why:

  1. The song itself was pretty forgetful and boring to listen to. Literally ASMR material. It was different, yes, but just because something is different, it doesn’t make it exceptionally good.
  2. The singer blantantly disrespected the contest itself and acted as if his music was superior to everybody else’s. 
    Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova: “Bitch, hold my fucking poodle.”
  3. Actual quote of him: “Music is not fireworks, music is feeling.”
    Music can be anything and that’s the beauty of it. All the other contestants that you bashed in your speech put just as much feeling and effort into their songs, maybe even more than you. Stfu.
  4. Actual arguments by ppl defending the song:
    -He sung in Portuguese
    -He performed despite having a heart condition
    -The audience was quiet during his performance
    -He looks cute

    Let me take em one by one..
    a) There were other songs, who sung in their own language as well, what’s your point
    b) Good for him, but that was pretty reckless, considering smthg serious COULD’VE happened
    c) They were quiet cuz the dude was whispering and maybe they were even *asked* to be quiet
    d) Kristian looked 10x cuter, thank you. 
  5. People saying that “A song with meaning won”, did you actually read the lyrics in English? His song was about love, the most generic topic in a boring ass ballad.
  6. You want a song with meaning, that isn’t sung in English and is quite memorable?
    FUCKING HUNGARY!!!!!! 
    Did anybody even bother with Hungary??
    Traditional music, traditional dancing, traditional clothing (partially), bilingual singing (none of it in English) AND the song was about the racism that Romas (aka Gypsies) face. PLUS THE SONG WAS ACTUALLY QUITE MEMORABLE AND VERY UNIQUE
  7. People were angry and pissed at Portugal winning, not because they hate Salvador or even the song, but because there were so many others that deserved it much more.
    No matter HOW you look at it, this was by no means a “winner” song. It sounds like no-copyright Coffeeshop music. And if the jury and the viewers voted for him because of him behaving in a peculiar way or because of his heart condition, Idk what to say to you. This isn’t the first time this happened, Conchita also won because of her being a drag Queen, however, her song was not that horrible tbh. I’ve already forgotten the rythme of Salvador’s song, that’s how forgettable it is. 
  8. And finally @ all the people being salty that Bulgaria didn’t win: I feel your pain.
    Compared to Portugal, Bulgaria was heaps better and idc what Salvador thinks about other artists, but you cant tell me that Kristian didn’t put just as much heart and soul into his performance with even better vocals and an actual good song all around. Both songs were about love, so you can’t argue with any difference in lyrical content. He was also very angry at himself and apologized for not being able to make it 1st place. He apologized for being ONLY 2nd, which is very admirable for a 17 year old to even GET this far. You deserve the world, boy. Your song will actually be played on radio stations and may your records be purchased by millions.

I think that’s all I had to say. Eurovision has become a disappointing joke. 

anonymous asked:

hey there! thanks for answering all our questions on this blog + how possible would it for someone to crack ribs with a solid kick? there's a character i have in mind that's escaping captivity, but they're also young, so i'm not quite sure how easily they'd be able to hurt the (adult) antagonist in such a manner, especially lacking any fighting experience to begin with?

Well, you can break someone’s ribs with a kick. That’s the entire purpose of the roundhouse, especially the version where you strike with the ball of the foot rather than the top of the foot. (And… aren’t like me when I was seven or eight, when I was new to sparring and totally stubbed my toe in another kid’s side at a tournament after my brain/body got confused between the two. I didn’t break my toe, but I could’ve.)

That story above is important, by the way. If you’ve got a character who doesn’t know how to fight then they’re not even going to get that far. If you don’t know how to kick then that’s a great way to get your leg caught by someone who knows what they’re doing. They catch the foot by the ankle, and then drag you wherever they want. That’s assuming the character can get their leg up and out without falling over. Even if they do manage that, say because they’ve watched a lot of martial arts flicks, they won’t know how to generate power and will be very slow. A, B, and C occur anyway. Your protagonist is going to end up back wherever they were being kept, this time in a much less comfortable position.

Even for an experienced martial artist, kicks require fairly constant bodily upkeep in order to be able to do them cold (much less perform them at all). That’s not a combat scenario, that’s just in general. You’ve got a great chance of pulling all the leg muscles you need to get away, including ones you didn’t realize you had and that’s if you don’t break your toes. Board breaks with the roundhouse kick are the most terrifying of them all because you’ve got to remember to curl your toes just right in order to carry your foot through the board.

Kicks are off the table.

More importantly, this is an exact rendition of the “Feel Good Violence” trope: My Instincts Performed A Wheel Kick.

The protagonist is suddenly and randomly enough good at fighting to not only fight, but win when making their first attempt at a violent altercation. They use techniques which require a fairly high level of dedication and aptitude out of “natural ability” and “instinct”.

Unless you’ve got an ironclad reason for invoking the trope (past lives/ immortality/memory loss/the matrix) it will undercut your narrative credibility in ways the story cannot recover from.

When you’ve cracked your foundation, you’re done.

“The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible,” - Mark Twain

Narrative integrity is based on the rules or limitations we’ve set for ourselves, those limitations are the ironclad rules by which the narrative functions. They exist on two levels: in behavior and actions of characters within the world, and on a secondary level the setting’s behavior around them. Everything in your story must be working to uphold the fiction. When it doesn’t the audience’s “suspension of disbelief” starts to crack. You are beholden to the rules and limitations set down by your setting. Without them, you have no story.

When you’re setting out to create a character, there are four questions you should ask yourself:

1) What can the character do?

2) What can’t the character do?

3) What is the character willing to do but can’t?

4) What can the character do, but is unwilling to?

Within these four circles you have your character, their ethics/morals, and their limitations. That is the box you’ve created for yourself. It is important to own it and abide by it. When dealing with a protagonist, those limitations are not just the foundations of a character but the entire narrative.

Your character cannot fight your antagonist in a one on one and come away with any victory because you have established they don’t know how to. That is a limitation you set for yourself. That the audience knows and understands, so they will expect this character to act in accordance with it. They may want to walk up to the antagonist and kick them in the ribs so hard those ribs break, but they can’t. That desire could be a driving force behind them learning to fight later. As of now, though, their powerlessness in active violent conflict serves to reinforce the antagonist’s position. Reinforcing the antagonist’s position is for the narrative good.

They should be making choices based on the Venn diagram’s center: when what they can do meets what they are willing to do.

If what they can’t do conflicts with what they’re willing to do and they go with it anyway then the result is a failed escape attempt. A captive’s survival is based on their value. If they’re valuable enough for the antagonist to go through the trouble of capturing them in the first place, then they’re probably not going to be killed. At least, not until their value runs through. They lose and wind up back in captivity under more scrutiny, more security, and with fewer exit options. This reminds us why they were captured in the first place, and reinforces our villain’s position.

A protagonist can fail and retain their legitimacy many more times than an antagonist can. While this is a perfectly legitimate narrative outcome, I don’t think its the one you’re looking for.

This is the second issue with your question:

A narrative’s antagonist is its backbone.

Your antagonist is one of the most important pieces of your story, if not the most. They are the lingering threat, the shadow hovering over the story, and the knife at your protagonist’s throat. They are seventy percent threat, and the last thirty relies on their ability to make good on it.

One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is assuming their antagonist’s position in their narrative and the threat they provide are impervious to harm.

Unlike your protagonist, your antagonist is always in a precarious position. They must constantly re-affirm themselves and the threat they represent through their actions. That threat is all consuming and when challenged, it must either be defeated or confirmed.

If defeated, then the threat is gone.

If confirmed, then the threat level is heightened because now we imagine what they might do next.

An antagonist can re-affirm themselves after a defeat, but they’ve got to double down on their effort and create a new threat rather than relying on their old one. You as the author must work harder to make up for what you lost, and even then you’ll never have the initial fear ever again.

The first rule of the antagonist is: your capital is limited, so spend it wisely.

When you undercut an antagonist in favor of the protagonist before its necessary, you damage the antagonist’s credibility and, subsequently, their position in the story. When you lose your antagonist, you lose most of your narrative tension.

A character who doesn’t know how to do something is applying a limitation to the character. You are applying a restriction to what they can and can’t do. If you’re character doesn’t know how to fight, then fighting will be off the table. More importantly, having your character succeed at a skill set they have no experience in doesn’t make them “awesome” or “cool”, it means instead that the other characters who put time and effort into honing these skills suck.

When those characters are your antagonists… that hurts.

If you’ve got a protagonist with no hacking experience who manages to overcome a supposedly great hacker on their first or second go round with no time spent learning how to hack, then who looks bad? The second hacker. They’re the ones who are supposed to be good at hacking. If the narrative hinges on them being a major antagonist, then the author just shot their narrative in the foot.

Combat skills are the same way. They’re a skill set, not an instinct. They don’t come naturally, and take a great deal of time and effort to hone.

If your goal is to show your dangerous antagonist is a bumbling moron when an untrained teenager gets a lucky shot so miraculous they manage to lay them up for the rest of the story, then that’s a job well done.

If your goal is for the antagonist to maintain their credibility within the narrative? Don’t use them for a punching bag.

Violent confrontation is based just as much on threat of force as it is on the follow through. The threat is usually more frightening than what follows, and your protagonist is already challenging the fear by trying to escape. From a narrative perspective, if they get over their fear enough to challenge their antagonist directly then it’s game over. You spent your all capital either at the beginning or midway through the story, and you’re not getting it back.

Remember, your antagonist has to do just as much work to earn their street cred as your protagonist. Their position is a delicate balance of power management and threat of force. They rely on show over tell. They need to live up to whatever it is you’ve been saying about them. They need to be as dangerous as they’ve been puffed up to be, unless their reputation itself is the real antagonist. Never forget, your antagonist (whoever they are/whatever it is) is the backbone of your story. They are often the driving force of action, the reason why the protagonist is struggling, and the focal point. In some ways, they are more important than your protagonist because without them the protagonist’s got a whole lot of nothing.

When you undercut your antagonist, you also hurt your protagonist’s development. You cheat them of their chance for growth, and deny them their ability to show off whatever it is that they’re actually good at i.e. using their bravery, intelligence, and cleverness to sneak out.

If your protagonist beats down their Goliath at the beginning of (or even the middle) of the story then there’s no reason for them to go to the mountain master and learn to throw rocks.

-Michi

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Vodka

This is sorta lame and cheesy, but it’s basically just a fluffy Imagine about Tom being a cute boyfriend and taking care of his drunk girlfriend💗
Author’s Note: This is a oneshot inspired by sorta me? My mom had a party and made a ton of mixed drinks, and because I’m a dumb baby that never drinks, I forgot that vodka literally punches you in a face when you drink too much of it? Anyways, I got drunk and ended up crying to one of my cousins for about 40 minutes about all the reasons why I love Tom? Apparently, I’m even more cheesy and sentimental drunk than I am sober, who knew lol?

Vodka
She giggled to herself, ankles knocking into each other as she braced herself on the door of her apartment. She was absolutely, completely, and undeniably smashed. Truly, she couldn’t even remember how she’d gotten this way, but then again, she could barely recall her uber ride home.
Her hands kept shaking and she couldn’t find the correct key to fit itself into the doorknob. At this rate, she’d be out all night.
Tom paused the film he was watching and glanced back towards the front door. He was pretty sure that he could hear someone out there, but it was probably just their neighbor’s being noisy. Allowing the film to regain his full attention, he did his best to ignore the strange sounds outside, until he heard something that replicated her giggle.
His eyebrows knitted together in confusion. She was supposed to be at a sleepover with her best friends, not coming home at one in the morning? Tom got up and made his way over to the window by the door. Peeking out, he saw that the giggle outside indeed belonged to her, and she appeared to be struggling hugely with the task of opening the door.
Quickly crossing to help her inside, Tom yanked open the door and barely had time to catch her as she crashed in on top of him.
“Tom!” She yelped excitedly, making no effort to move off of him, instead cuddling further into him, while he laid sprawled across the floor with her lying on his chest. “Do you wanna hear a joke? It’s so dirty and I know how you love dirty things!” She explained innocently, her eyelashes tickling his neck.
Tom chuckled, “Darling, come on up here. We’ve gotta close the door.”
“Okay, I’ll tell you!” She leaned over him, “What did Cinderella do when she got to the ball?”
“You’re absolutely wrecked.” Tom laughed, taking in her mussed up appearance. She still looked good, how could she not? Her skirt was just shorter, her breasts were more exposed than she’d be comfortable with sober, and her eyemakeup was slightly smudged. Her hair tumbled down her back in messy waves and she teetered on her high heels.
If she had come home sober, Tom would’ve dragged her off to bed with him, but alas, she was drunk and needed to be taken care of.
“She gagged!” His girlfriend giggled, finishing up the butt of her joke. “Do you get it?”
Tom burst out laughing and cradled the back of her head as he rolled her onto her side so that he could get up to lock the door. “Yes, baby, I do. Where’d you hear that one?”
She didn’t even seem to have registered what he asked her because, in response, she said, “I don’t think I’d be Cinderella if I was a disney princess. She gags, but not me. I don’t gag, unless you make me.”
“Oh my gosh, you’re going to be so embarrassed in the morning.” Tom said, slipping his hands beneath her arms to pick her up. Helping her down the hallway to their bedroom, he asked, “Darling, how come you’re not with your friends right now?”
She blinked her eyes slowly and licked her lips. “We were all talking, and drinking. So, so, so much drinking. Did you know that vodka is strong? Like, it’s so strong, because, I’m not sure if you can tell, but,” She leaned closer to his chest and pressed herself up onto her tippy toes to whisper in his ear, “I’m kinda drunk right now.”
Turning his head towards her, he decided to play along, “Are you serious? I’d had no clue.”
“Well, yes! Anywho,” She dragged out the last letter of anywho before she tripped over herself again.
Tom caught her and slipped a firmer hand around her waist. “Anywho?” He pressed.
“We were all talking about our boyfriends, and how much we love them, because, I love you so much. And then, we started talking about the stuff we do with our boyfriends.” She paused in the hallway to poke Tom’s chest, “That’s my favorite shirt on you.”
“Darling, I’m not wearing a shirt?” Tom said, cocking his head to the side.
“I know,” She smiled, “That’s why it’s my favorite.” She gestured to Tom’s exposed midriff, “This is all great. Like, you look so good. The best.”
Tom dissolved into laughter and shook his head, “My silly, drunk girl. What are we going to do with you?”
“Well, you see, what I’d like you to do with me is make-out. That’s really why I came home. We started talking about some things,” She cupped her hand around Tom’s ear and whispered, “Sexy time things. And we all agreed that I should come home to you so that we could do the sexy time things. Because, I wanna do them, with you.”
Finally crossing the threshold of their bedroom, Tom placed her gently onto the bed and tried to ignore her last statement. Yes, she was his girlfriend. Yes, she’d just told him that she wanted him, and yes, he obviously wanted her too. But, she was drunk, much too drunk to consent to sex with him.
Tonight, Tom would be a good boyfriend and take care of her, but, in the morning, Tom would be a good boyfriend and he’d give her at least 2 orgasms with 2 advil pills to chase away her headache before breakfast.
“Sweet girl, we can’t right now. You’ve been drinking too much, you’re absolutely wasted.” Tom tried to reason with her.
“No, no I’m not. If I was drunk, could I do this?” She took a deep breath, “‘May I feel said he/ (I’ll squeal said she/ just once said he) It’s fun said she/ (May I touch said he/ How much said she/ A lot said he) Why not said she.”
Tom cut her off, “Sweetheart, nothing you say matters right now, you’re too drunk. Now just let me help you out of that dress.” Shaking his head, Tom laughed as he walked over to her with an oversized sweatshirt of his in his hand. Only she would be able to quote E.E. Cummings completely inebriated.
Kneeling in front of her, Tom lifted one of her feet onto his lap to unbuckled her high heeled shoe. Undoing the clasp and carefully removing the heel, he pressed a tender kiss to the top of her foot.
“You know, I like it a lot better when you’re on your knees for a different reason.” She pouted, sitting up to watch him.
Tom chuckled again as he began to remove her other shoe, “Trust me darling, so do I. Roll over-” He didn’t even get to finish his sentence when she interjected.
“Are you gonna spank me?” She asked, rolling over. Her tiny dress had ridden up even more and Tom had to bite down on his lower lip and clasp his hands together to prevent himself from doing just that.
“You’re making this really difficult.” Tom muttered.
“Then do something about it. I thought bad girls got spankings?” She teased him, eyeing the hardness growing within his pajama bottoms.
“Stop it, I’m trying to take care of you and you’re making it really hard.” Tom groaned.
“I can tell,” She giggled.
“For fucks sake,” Tom rolled his eyes, “I’m going to help you out of the dress, and that’s all the touching I’m going to do tonight. Then, I’m going to take off your makeup, and you’re going to go to sleep.”
“Tom,” She whined, wriggling around on the bed, “I don’t wanna. I want you to do me.”
Tom laughed, “You’re going to die in the morning, oh my gosh. You’re such a child.”
“Ugh!” She whined and flattened out onto the mattress.
Sitting down behind her on the bed, Tom rolled her over and unzipped the back of her dress. He did his best to not look, but the zipper kept getting caught in her hair, and he couldn’t ignore the soft skin of her back. He saw that she’d chosen to wear the pretty, light pink, lace bra that she’d been wearing the first time they’d had sex. Groaning over the memories, he helped her rid her body of the confining fabric of her dress and had slid his sweatshirt over her body.
She turned to lay on her back, “Will you at least kiss me?”
“Yes,” Tom placed a soft kiss on her mouth, “Do you wanna get up to go to the bathroom to take off your makeup, or do you want me to do it for you here?”
“Hmmm, here.” She sat up and stuck her hands inside of the sweatshirt, only to toss her bra off seconds later.
Tom’s eye lingered on her chest as he got up to retrieve her makeup wipes.
“I love youuuuu.” She said, hugging herself to his chest after Tom had successfully cleansed her face of all traces of makeup. “You’re my favorite, even though you refuse to fuck me.”
Tom tucked the duvet under her chin and crawled in behind her. He kissed her temple and curled an arm around her, “I love you too darling.”
He prayed to the high heavens above that she wouldn’t feel his excitement poking her in the back while she drifted off and into dreamland.

Lately, I’ve been seeing something slightly bothersome around studyblr, and I just want to say something about it. Basically, there seems to be this attitude cropping up (or at least that I’ve seen/heard about more frequently these days) that your grades reflect your level of effort, or that by simply working hard and putting more effort in, your grades will automatically improve. I disagree.

Yes, there are certainly some cases where you’re already proficient in a class and if you just put in the extra time to study, you’d do better. But there are some classes where grades are not a measure of the level of effort you put in, and therein lies my biggest issue with the grading system and these types of studyblr posts in general. This was certainly the case with me in honors physics (so bear with me, because I have a very large point to make with the following anecdote).

Personally, I’ve always had “easy A” classes where I don’t have to work hard; my brain and academic strengths simply favor me in that particular subject, so with minimal effort I can still be top in the class. And then I see peers who go in for tutoring every day, who spend hours studying and meeting with teachers, who basically invest 100 times the effort I do… and still can’t get above a B or C.

This is not to mention people who take classes that are “reaches” and, accordingly, don’t do so well – even though they work hard – because it’s a challenge. Then there are those who take lower level classes but have capabilities beyond that – and don’t need to put effort in – thus giving them an unfairly easy A. Does their A mean that they work harder? That they’re a better student, studier, scholar, intellectual? Hell to the no.

English is one of those “easy A” classes for me. I’m just innately strong in verbal-linguistic intelligence (going off of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences), so I’ve literally never had to study for English tests or reading comp/writing. But put me in other classes, particularly science classes? Well, that’s something else entirely.

Which brings me to junior year honors physics. 

Guys, I studied my ASS off, for hours at a time. I desperately Skyped people in my class nearly every night to try to understand the homework and spent every lunch block trying to master the material. I met with my physics teacher and tutor all the time and had a dozen anxiety attacks (and I mean actual, diagnosed anxiety attacks) over that one class because I tried harder than I’ve ever tried… and I got a B for the whole year. I was the one who dreaded seeing that red number scrawled on my test, who shoved it into my backpack before others could see and blinked back tears, thinking, But I studied so hard!

Physics was a nightmare I was desperate to forget by the end of junior year. But then a couple things happened that shocked me, and I instantly thought of them when I read some of these posts about good effort = good grades.

Now, my physics teacher, who has a reputation for being on the strict side and being a tough grader, has had four teaching assistants (TAs) in five years of teaching. Most science teachers at my school have as many as five a year. At the end of 11th grade, after I’d scraped by with a B in his class, he asked me if I wanted to be a TA. Out of the entire grade – out of the multitude of students I’d watched parade past with straight A’s and “that test was so easy” and “I barely studied” and “sorry Edye I don’t know how else to explain it to you” – he chose me.

I think I (very graciously) blurted out, “What? Why?” because I was so taken aback. He said that I was hardworking and dedicated – that I’d always gone above and beyond in my studying and meeting with him – and he wanted someone like me to be a TA. I was flattered, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a TA during senior year. (Also, anyone who doesn’t think he’s super nice is incredibly wrong. He’s awesome.)

Two years later, I got to read his college recommendation for me. Bear in mind that I was not, based on my grades, a top student in his class. And this is what he wrote for his opening line:

Honors Physics is a rigorous course that draws from the strongest students in the junior class and Edye proved to be one of those students.

What? He had seen my report card, right? I got worse grades than all of my friends. I got a goddamn 66 on a test in that class, my all time low. He continued:

One of the many examples of Edye’s commitment [is when she] had been ill and missed quite a bit of school and consequently had a lot of school work to make up in all of her classes.  Many students in this situation would take one or more classes pass / fail for the quarter; Edye would not take the pass/fail option and insisted she complete all the work and complete it with the grade she would earn.  She did in fact complete all of the work and with a B-.  A remarkable accomplishment considering she kept current with her studies while making up all of the missed work.

He called a B-minus “a remarkable accomplishment.” Did he say “too bad she didn’t put enough effort in, which was reflected in a B-minus” or “she only got a B-minus, so I guess she didn’t try hard enough”? No, he praised the amount of effort I put in, even though I didn’t even get a “good” grade.

I’m hardly one to knock putting in effort, but what bothers me is that this attitude, that effort = good grades, has the potential to make people feel bad. To feel like if they aren’t acing a class even though they’re studying harder than anybody else, well, they just aren’t trying hard enough. Yes, grades are important. So is effort. But they are not always directly correlated. As is evidenced by my story, sometimes people who get lower grades have worked even harder then those who got high grades. And, if they’re lucky, this will be acknowledged. (I can certainly attest that while I’ve been praised by English teachers for my writing skills and intellect, they’ve never singled me out for putting in an exceptional amount of effort. They know that while I’m proactive and responsible, I don’t try super hard because, well, I don’t really need to in order to get a good grade.)

Encourage other students to put in a reasonable amount of effort; recommend different study methods. But don’t tell them that good effort = good grades. Teach them to measure their success by looking at how productive they’re being, how proactive they are in reaching out for help, how dedicated they are to their education, how resilient they are in the face of obstacles, how committed they are to school. Admire those who refuse to take the easy way out, even if they only get a C. These qualities, which are far more important than a 4.0, just don’t always translate directly into good grades.

I dislike seeing this message all over Tumblr, that to get better grades you just have to try harder – which carries with it the implication that if you don’t get good grades, it’s because you aren’t putting enough effort in – when I know from firsthand experience that this is not always true. I strongly believe in trying to be the best student you can be, rather than trying to be in the top 5%. But in the end, do what works for you. Just take it with a grain of salt.

And to my followers, and anyone reading this… please know that, if you work hard regardless of your grades, you are already a model student, and you are absolutely someone I look up to.

BotW Age

So Link grew up in/around Zora’s Domain, right? Like knew everyone well enough that even 100 years later a good number of Zora are like “Oh my god, Link?!” when you come back. I just like to imagine there was some off-screen time where a bunch of them just… kinda mob him. Like sit him down and are all sharing stories from when he was a kid that he doesn’t remember, trying furiously to jog his memory?

I like this idea that while he was able to jog things looking at all of Zelda’s pics, it actually takes a group effort from the Zora to get some of the older stuff back for him. Like just imagine a huge circle of Zora all yelling, “Remember that time Deza told him not to eat that fuckin Octoroc and he just scarfed it?” or “You nearly drowned like five times because you wanted to swim with your friends and forgot to come up for air.” and “When you were five you puked on the king. It was amazing.” also “Sidon used to attack your ankles because you called him an ‘ankle biter’ as a joke and he took it at a challenge.”

And Link is horrified and so fuckin relieved, because he’s starting to remember and the Zora are actually really important to him. Low-key adoptive fish family overly protective of their weird Hylian hero-boy. 

Fight (Fuck) Me! [Stiles x Reader]

A/N: just a little heads up, Theo’s a complete dick in this one. Also, if u guys have any ideas for stuff plz let me know.


Pairing: Stiles x Reader, Theo x Reader


Warning: abusive relationships, asshole Theo, smut (female fingering, oral - male receiving, the deed etc)


Summary: You and Stiles aren’t the best of friends, but you know he’s a pretty decent guy in the end.


***


“Are you fucking serious?” You yell out in shock and hear Stilinski irritable ‘Shut it!’ from halfway across the house. You can’t be bothered with how you’re dressed when you stomp over to him, holding out your bottle of moisturizer.


“Stilinski!” You shout and Stiles groans loudly. He’s lounging on the living room couch playing Xbox and dressed in a tight white shirt with some black jeans.


“What are you bitching about now?” He asks, not bothering to look away from his game. Your mouth drops open in shock at his lack of response and you stand with your arms crossed.


“I’m talking about this, you assfuck!” You scream, throwing your now ruined bottle at him. Stiles finally looks away from his game when the sticky, half open bottle hits him square in the chest. He holds it away from himself with two fingers.


“The fuck?” He asks, looking up at you. You stare him down, seething with anger with your arms crossed under your breasts.


“You!” You accuse. “You did this! And your gonna repay me for it. Do you have any idea how much that shit costs?”


You and Stiles have been living together for about three weeks now. Your dad and the Sheriff are close friends and you needed a place to stay while your dad was out of town on business. Immediately, he sent you to Beacon Hills, where you would attend Beacon High, and unfortunately, have to live with the Sheriff and his asshole son.


Only, that asshole son was a total fucking babe.


A total fucking babe that was staring at you with his mouth agape.


“What?” You snap angrily. It is only then that it occurs to you what exactly you look like. Your hair and parts of your body are dripping wet, having just walked out of the shower moments earlier, and the only thing covering your modesty is your hot pink Victoria’s Secret bra and thong, which you were wearing for a date tonight.


Stiles continues to stare at you, and makes a considerable effort to maintain eye contact. You huff, which you know makes your chest flair out. “Take a good look, Stilinski, coz that’s the closest you’re ever gonna get.”


With those final words, you grab the moisturizer bottle from his hands and storm back into the shower, temper flaring. You can feel his eyes on your ass all the way.


When you’re in the bathroom, you lock the door and make a quick decision to look extra fuckable tonight. You’re sure that Theo will appreciate your efforts. And if you slip back into the shower and spend thirty extra minutes with your fingers in your pussy, thinking of the hungry look in Stiles’ eyes moments earlier then it’s nobody’s business.


****


When you do finally emerge from the bathroom, you can’t help but feel a little proud. You’re wearing a tight white top that dips into a considerably low V with a red mini skirt that falls halfway down your thighs. Your hair is done in a way that you know makes you look gorgeous and your makeup, having taken about an hour to do, is fucking on point.


You walk to your temporary room and rummage through the closet the Sheriff gave you until you find a pair of brown, heeled boots. Slipping them on, you walk to the mirror and admire the way they elongate your legs.


“Hey, you done or not coz there’s-”


The voice stops short and you turn to see Stiles standing in your doorway, mouth agape. He’s staring at you as though he can’t believe what’s in front of him, and you take the opportunity to reach down to grab your bag and get your perfume, ass in the air.


“What is it?” You ask, flipping your hair to the side so that you can spray your neck. From the corner of your eye, you can see the way Stiles follows the movement, licking his lips. For a second, you think he might just pounce and attack you right there.


It’s difficult to ignore the wave of desire that courses through you at the thought.


Stiles finally snaps out of his daze when you place the perfume bottle down loudly. He clears his throat awkwardly and pretends that he hasn’t been outright staring. “Your, um- Your date’s here.”


You nod and grab your purse, slinging it over your shoulder. As you turn to leave, you notice that Stiles is still leaning against the door frame. “Yes?” You ask, albeit impatiently.


“How long’ve you been with this guy?” He asks, going for casual but it’s a near miss. You roll your eyes.


“None of your business, dad,” You reply pointedly, making a move to push past him. Stiles is quicker and stronger, so he easily stops you with two firm hands on your shoulders.


“I’m serious, (Y/N),” When he speaks you realise that he actually is. “Who is this guy to you? Do you trust him?”


There’s a long moment when you truly don’t know what to do. For the most of it, your conversations with Stiles have been clipped and short, or irritated and in the form of shouting contests. You haven’t heard him speak this sincerely before.


“Why?” You ask because you honest to God want to know. Stiles looks contemplative, as though he’s not sure whether or not to tell you something. The moment a decision crosses his face, a loud honk of a car is heard outside.


“Just-” Stiles sighs, and you notice that his hands are still on your shoulders. “Just be careful, alright? If there’s one person in the world that I don’t trust, it’s Theo Raeken.”


After a small nod, Stiles moves out of the way and you brush past him, walking out the door to where Theo is waiting in his car. You barely realise what’s going on around you, your mind still reeling from Stiles’ sudden attitude change.


“Do I smell?”


You jump at the sound of the voice. Looking to your left, you see Theo smiling at you gently. The car’s stopped and you realise that you’ve spent the entire ride to the restaurant in silence.


“I’m sorry?” Because there’s no way you heard that right.


“Do I smell?” He asks again and you shake your head. “Maybe it’s the outfit. A bit much?”


You smile and take a second to look at what he’s wearing. Theo cleans up nice. He’s in a blue button down with a pair of black slacks and some Oxfords on his feet. He looks really good.


“You’re incredibly hot.” You say with a smirk and Theo barks out a laugh. He steps out of the car and moves to your side, opening the door for you before you can’t protest.


“You’re pretty hot yourself, babe,” He whispers in your ear as you stand, one hand smacking your ass before he closes the door.


Your eyes dance around the restaurant and suddenly you feel really bad for the car ride. Mistaking your guilt, Theo walks you towards the table with a hand on the small of your waist, murmuring in your ear: “Don’t worry. The manager owes me a favour.”


He pulls your chair out for you and you sit, feeling a slight blush form on your neck. The table is set for two, in the balcony with no others. It’s completely private. There’s a rose in the centre and the classical music from inside filters through the air.


“This is really sweet.” You tell him when he takes his place in front of you. He smiles bashfully.


“Well, we needed some way to celebrate out one month anniversary.” You grin but can’t help but feel extremely guilty, thinking about how you’d spent the morning.


“Hey, what’s your deal with Stiles?” The words are out of your mouth before you can’t stop them. The smile on Theo’s face falls and immediately you regret it.


“My deal?” He asks, and immediately you know that you’ve crosses a line. In your four weeks of dating, you quickly learned when and when not to question Theo, and when to immediately back away before he gets mad. “What gives you the idea I have anything to do with him?”


“Nothing.” You say quickly, picking up a menu. “He just seemed to recognize you as all. Must’ve been my imagination.”


“Yeah, you really need to put a handle on that.” He murmurs, picking up his menu as well. You pointedly ignore the comment and take far longer to read the menu than you normally would have.


“Good evening.” The waiter, a guy who’s probably around 19 with brown eyes and combed back blonde hair, greets gently. “My name is Evan and I’ll be your server tonight. Would you like to hear out specials?”


You were about to say yes, because you really didn’t know what to order, when Theo spoke for you. “That won’t be necessary.” He said. “I’ll have the Steak platter, extra gravey. Babe?”


“Chicken Burger with fries.” You reply, because that seems simple enough. Just as Evan is about to write it down, Theo interrupts.


“You sure?” He asks, his voice casual but still implicit. He reaches under the table and tugs slightly at your love handles, and you go red. “Make it a Greek salad.”


Evan gives you a look, and you can see that the man is barely containing his disgust at your boyfriends actions. “Greek salad.” You confirm. Evan gives a slight nod, though he looks slightly troubled, before picking up the menus.


“Anything to drink?”


“Coke.” Theo replies distractedly, looking down at his phone.


“Ice tea.” You say, and Theo raises a brow. “Diet.” You quickly add, and are rewarded when Theo shoots you a dazzling smile which you can’t help but return, albeit hesitantly.


Evan nods and gives a beaming, fake smile. “Anything else?”


“No.” Theo says, but Evan doesn’t move. You look up and see that he’s waiting for your answer.


“No, thank you.” You smile, and Evan returns it. It looks a little more genuine, if a bit pitying and you quickly look away before Theo gets mad. Evan tell you two that the meal should take only 10 minutes, 20 at the most, before disappearing back into the hotel.


“I don’t like the way that guy was looking at you.” Theo says, and you clench your vista in your lap to help keep your composure. “Got no right to be looking at my girl like that.”


You can’t help but smile. Despite everything, Theo is very possessive of you, and it honestly makes you feel like he genuinely cares about losing you. It’s also the reason why you could never leave him. He made that pretty clear.


“I love you.” You say gently, and Theo smiles, reaching a hand across the table and taking yours.


“I love you too.” And his voice is too sincere to doubt. “I should ask for another waiter.”


“That’s-” You pause. “Isn’t that a little unnecessary?” You can see Theo’s eyes darken and fear tinges at your fingertips. “I mean, we came out here to have a good time. We don’t need any drama.”


“Course you’d say that.” He says, eyes still dark. You want to pull your hand away from his, but he’s got a tight grip on your wrists and it fucking *hurts*. “Bet you’re loving all this attention they’re giving you. The waiter, the Stilinski boy. You’re a little slut who’ll open her legs for anyone who asks nicely enough. Babe, you need to realise something. They only want you because they know they can’t have you. They’re just trying to challenge the Alpha Male - me, and I won’t let them think I’m weak just because you can’t keep your tits to yourself. Understood?”


You look down to hide the tears streaming over your cheeks. No reply comes from your mouth, because you know that it’ll be choked and wet and Theo absolutely hates seeing you cry.


“Answer me!” He slams your joint hands on the table and you wince. You look up and try to contain yourself when you speak.


“I understand.” Your voice is barely above a whisper and Theo smiles.


“Good.” He says. “Now wipe your face. You look like shit when you cry.”


***

You try your damnest not to make a sound as you open the front door with shaky hands. Despite your best efforts, you and Theo still got into a fight, and he showed you as much mercy as he had all previous nights.


The fight (which had been about Stiles, of all things) hadn’t lasted very long. You weren’t very edger to fight back, your guilt from your earlier interactions with the guy still weighing down heavily upon your chest. Theo had misread it, and seemed to think there was something going on between you and Stiles. Words were yelled and punches were thrown but you walked out of it okay. Safe for a mean looking bruise on you jaw, which would blossom into a deep purple mark tomorrow, and a few cuts and scrapes, you were untouched.


You knew, however, that despite this being one of the better nights, your injuries would not go unnoticed by Stiles or the Sheriff, which was why you had waited until all the lights were out to try and get in.


Without much thought, too tired and in too much pain, you push the door open and make a b-line for the kitchen. Immediately, you pull out a bag of something frozen and stick it on your cheek, rummaging through for some ice cream.


“What the fuck?”


You jump at the sound of the voice. Almost immediately, your hands fly to your face as a defence mechanism, but it isn’t necessary. It’s just Stiles.


Stiles, standing there in nothing but some black shorts with a baseball bat in his hands.


“Umm.” You say stupidly because the sight of Stiles’ abs has rendered you as such. Stiles drops the bat and walks towards you, looking concerned.


“What are you doing?” He asks as he walks to you, eyes brimming with worry. “It’s three in the fucking morning.”


“Ice cream.” You say lamely, but Stiles isn’t listening. His eyes are glued to the packed of frozen peas in your hand that you’re trying to hold against your jaw and wrists at the same time.


“What happened?” He asks, slowly pulling the bag of peas away. You prepare yourself for the look of disgust on his face when he sees the injury, so it’s very unexpected when he looks even more concerned.


“I fell.” You lie easy. Stiles doesn’t look away from your injuries, now choosing to inspect your wrists, which are bruised all round and is bleeding in a small area.


“I’m not stupid.” He says, and you’re shocked by the sincerity in his voice. “I know Theo did this to you. I know he’s the reason you’ve been coming home with bruises all month long. What I don’t know is why you haven’t said anything about it.”


You wince as Stiles prods your jaw gently. He looks contemplative, but eventually settled for sitting your down at the kitchen table. “Wait.” He says, then runs off. You resist the urge to scream.


This wasn’t supposed to happen. No one could know what Theo was doing because they could never understand. All they would do is judge you for not leaving, and give you pitying looks all the while thinking that you must’ve done something to deserve it. No one understood, least of all Stiles.


“Here.” You look up to see Stiles, hand stretched out with a bucket of ice. Confusion clouds your features and Stiles gives you a gentle smile. He puts the bucket down on the table and brings your right hand towards it, pushing it in.


It’s extremely cold but also soothing. You sigh gently as your wrist is finally given the attention it deserves. You’re about to thank Stiles before he leaves, only to find that he’s not leaving at all. He’s kneeling next to you and opening what looks to be a first aid kit.


“That’s not-” You try but Stiles silences you with a look.


“It’ll help.” He says. “I promise.”


The older boy opens a jar of sorts and the smell of herbs drifts to the air. He dips two fingers into the salve and gently brings them to your face, applying it to the spot with the utmost caution.


“It stinks.” He says. “But it’ll reduce the swelling. Give me your wrists.”


You oblige deftly, raising your bruised wrists from the tank of melting ice to where Stiles is kneeling half-naked next to you. He drys your wrists off with a kitchen towel before applying a rather thick layer of the salve onto your wrist, massaging it gently.


“Better?” He asks in a whisper as he stands, after five minutes of comfortable silence. Suddenly, you are pulled back into the real world and are faced with the truth. You had just shared this moment with Stiles, with the guy you had screamed that you hated at your boyfriend before he punched you in the face. Theo would be pissed, so fucking pissed, but you would deal with that tomorrow.


“Much.” You say, and make a move to stand, but you’re unsteady. You’re feet wobble in your brown heels and Stiles quickly wraps his arms around you, stabilizing your body before you fell.


“How bout something to eat?” He asks, “I mean, you could go to bed like this and all, but for some reason I don’t think you’ll wake up in the morning.”


“Bet you’d love that.” You say, feeling some of your wit returning. Stiles smiles.


“Nah.” He says. “Then who’s gonna be there to falsely accuse me of stealing moisturizer?” You laugh loudly and Stiles smiles. “Um, there’s a 24 hour pizza place a couple of minutes away. We could go there.” He suggest and you shrug, realizing how close you are. You pull back.


“Hey man, it’s your town.” You say and Stiles nods.


“Eddie’s it is, then.” The two of you stand but you hesitate, looking down at your outfit.


“Give me one second.” You say and run up the stairs into your bedroom. For a moment, you wonder if you should dress up but ultimately decide that it’s not worth it. You swap out your skirt and top for a pair of sweats and a baggie t-shirts, and your heels for your beat up converse. You grab your phone as you walk down, pulling your hair from it’s tangles and into a messy bun.


“I look like shit but who’s gonna see?” You ask when you walk back into the kitchen. Stiles looks at you laughs.


“You look beautiful.” He says, and grabs his car keys. You eyes widen.


“Aren’t you gonna put something on?” You ask as Stiles stand in front of you, still wearing nothing but a pair of black shorts. He shrugs.


“It’s hot.” He says simply, walking out the door. When you just stay right where you are with your mouth agape, he pops back inside. “You coming or what?”


“I’m gonna regret this,” You say as you follow him out the door, noticing that he left behind his baseball bat. As you walk out into the front yard, you see Stiles in his blue Jeep, looking far too excited for a midnight drive for pizza. “Yeah, I’m definitely gonna regret this.”


The ride to Eddie’s, as Stiles had called the place, is filled with stupid small talk and light arguments. (You think that Batman could win in a fight against Iron Man. Stiles strongly disagrees) The two of you listen to crappy music and Stiles sings along at the top of his voice, which you realize is actually pretty good, and you join him. Soon, the two of you are laughing after having belted out the final notes to Smashmouth’s 'I’m a Believer’ in the Eddie’s parking lot, while people look at you like you’re mad.


“Oh my God,” You say breathlessly, wiping the tears from your eyes as you clutch your stomach. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a worse butchering of a Shrek song in my life!”


Stiles laughs, loud and free, and it’s like music to your ears. “I think that guy in the ugly Mini would agree with that.” He says though a new burst of laughter and you look to your right to see a very disgruntled looking man in a piss green mini looking at the Jeep and it’s occupants like it was something he stepped in.


“Fuck off!” You scream through the window and throw the finger at him. The guy, despite probably bring in his mid twenties, looks positively insulted and immediately get in his car and leaves. Stiles bursts out laughing.


“You know,” he says. “Maybe if you weren’t such a bitch at the start we could’ve been friends much sooner.” He smirks when he says it, and you can feel Stiles’ eyes raking over your form.


“Friends?” You ask, keeping a sultry edge to your voice. “Is that what we are?”


Stiles smirks, and you take the moment to fully appreciate him. His skin is stretched taught over his muscles and you love the way the dim light of the parking lot reflects off of them, making him look all kinds of delicious. His whiskey eyes are dark with lust, and you notice the way his pupils are huge and a vein sticks out slightly from his neck. You want to lick it.


“Let’s go.” You say and promptly step out of the car, taking a deep breath. You really shouldn’t, not after Stiles had seen you so emotional and vulnerable, but you can’t help it. He’s a fucking babe, and you want nothing more than for him to pound you like there’s no tomorrow.


Stiles follows out after you and the two of you walk into the place together. You know you must look like a pair if drunk lovers, with your faces flushed and your attire being what it was, but right now you couldn’t be bothered to give a damn.


He leads the way, taking you to a booth that’s on the edge in the centre of the Pizzeria. The place is mostly empty, safe for an elderly woman who’s out with her husband, giggling like teenagers. You grin at them. Stiles walks around like he knows the place well, and doesn’t even pick up a menus when he sits down.


A lovely middle aged woman walks up to you two a few minutes later, and you’ve decided on your order. The woman, Delores as her name tag tells, smiles broadly when she approaches.


“What’ll it be, sweetie?” She asks, sounding cheerful. Stiles turns to her, offended, and for a second you think he’s gonna yell before a broad grin swipes across the woman’s face.


“Sweetie?” He asks, “Lola I’m offended. Whatever happened to hottest ass in town?” You snort at that and the woman gives you a wink.


“Don’t worry babe. You’re still the sweetest piece of ass I know.” She says, laughing. “I just didn’t want your girlfriend over here to get jealous.” Stiles looks at you, grinning and licking his lips, looking all kinds of sexy and adorable.


“I’m not the jealous type.” You say and he laughs at that. The waitress, Lola as Stiles had so lovely called her, grins broadly. You and Stiles stare at each other from across the table, each challenging the other to look away first.


“Now now,” Lola interrupts. “No eye fucking just yet. Lemme first get you order.” You look away abruptly, going red and Lola laughs good-naturedly. “Okay, so usual for you?” She asks and Stiles nods. “And you, sweetie?”


“Give me the greasiest, most carb filled pizza that you guys make.” You say, looking at Stiles and wondering for a fleeting moment if he’ll object or look at you with disgust. Instead, he just raises an impressed eyebrow.


Lola laughs. “Your girl’s a keeper.” She says to Stiles.


“Damn right she is.” He replies, softer, looking deep into your eyes. There’s a moment where you know that you have a choice. You could correct him now, you could stop this by simply looking away or saying no, but you don’t.


“Best believe it.” You murmur, but by the way Stiles smirks slightly, you know he’s heard you. Lola offers you both two large milkshakes, she says it’s on the house but Stiles will pay for it anyway, and walks off, looking entirely too satisfied.


“I used to come here when I was little.” Stiles says, looking around the place. “My dad would drop me off here coz there wasn’t anyone at home and I was too small to stay by myself. Lola would babysit me, stuff me with junk food and all kinds of shit an eight year old wasn’t supposed to be eating. She’s practically family.”


You nod, smiling slightly. “She seems nice.” You say, then think again. “Wait, she seems really nice. Why is it that she likes you again?”


Stiles scoffs, offended. “I’ll have you know that I am perfectly likeable, thank you very much.”


You smirk. “Yeah, that’s why it took me a whole month to warm up to you.”


“No, no, see that’s different.” He’s smiling, oh so softly and it makes your insides flutter. “See, I had a plan with you. It was all set to schedule. If everything goes on track, you’ll be falling in love with me by the first day of summer.”


“Is that right now?” You asks, sitting up a little straighter. Stiles smirked slightly, and you know that he can see down your cleavage. “How’s that working out for you?”


He bites down on his plump lip before licking over it with his tongue. You want nothing more than to jump across the table and bite said tongue, but you refrain from doing so. “Great.” He says, leaning his forearms on the table. Suddenly, his face is right in front of yours and you can see the lust in his eyes. “In fact, I think tonight might be the night.”


“Oh really?” You ask, sounding disbelieving but the husk in your tone gives you away. “What makes you think that?”


Suddenly, Stiles is leaning over the table and pulling you in close, so that his mouth is just under your ear. “Because,” he says in a whispered rasp, “I’m doing this and you aren’t stopping me.” He sticks his tongue out and licks at the shell of your ear. You shudder, leaning forward as Stiles takes the lobe between his lips and sucks it gently. He trials his wet lips upwards and nibbles slightly at the top, and your hand reaches out holding on to his shoulder.


“Now, now,”


You jump back at the sudden voice and your heart pounds in your chest. Looking up, you see Lola staring at you with a watchful eye, but a smirk is playing at her lips. “This place is strictly PG. Understood?”


Stiles’ ears go slightly red, but his nipples are taught from your actions. You’re sure he’s sporting a bit of a boner. “Yes, ma'am.” He mumbles, thanking Lola when she places two large pizzas on the table.


The woman walks away, giving you an over exaggerated wink behind Stiles’ back and you smile slightly at her. “It’s a shame.” You say, pulling back a slice. “Now you have to walk outta here with a tent in your pants.”


Stiles gives you a look that says 'that was totally inappropriate but you’re too fucking hot for me to care’ as he too takes his first slice of pizza. You don’t know what he’s eating, but he licks sauce off his lips and all you can think about is licking it off his abs.


The rest dinner (or early breakfast) is spent mostly in silence, but you can’t help but look up every now and then. Stiles is staring at you with a fierce look in his eyes and it makes you want to jump his bones right there and then.


When he pays, the sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. You can’t help but think of all those times where you were so mad and frustrated at him and wanted nothing more than to have him fuck you senseless.


Afterwards, you’re driving in the Jeep when you can’t take it any more. Stiles isn’t helping, looking unfairly sexy with nothing but a pair of shorts to cover his modesty, and brown, hunter eyes. When he pulls the car to a stop, you place a hand of his thigh.


“Yes?” He asks, smirking slightly. You just shrug, as if you don’t know what he’s thinking. Stiles doesn’t say anything as he presses down on the gas, eyes focused on the road.


Slowly, painstakingly so, your hand moves higher and higher. You can hear Stiles breath hitch when your nails scratch gently over the bulge that has formed in his pants, and you consider giving him what he wants, but realize it’s much more fun to tease. Your hands only graze over his covered cock before you move further up, dragging the smooth surface of your fingernails over his exposed abs.


Stiles outright moans when you run your fingertips over the muscles, and you see the way he gripped the steering wheels with white knuckles. *My turn,* you think as you unbuckle your seat belt and move forward.


With a hand still toying gentle with Stiles’ abs and happy trail, you shift closer and press your lips to a spot just under his ear. Stiles’ breath hitches in his throat and he stiffly changes gears. “What are you doing?” He asks, his voice full of lust.


“Giving you a taste of your own medicine.” Your voice is feather light and your lips brush teasingly over his ear as you speak. Stiles groans softly, and you take it as an okay. You mimick his earlier actions, licking wetly over the shell of his ear before biting down gently, enough to make the car swerve slightly. “Careful, babe.” You say, your voice sulty. You lick over the bitten spot again, blowing cool air over it and Stiles moans.


“Oh, fuck it.” He says, and suddenly he’s pulling over and parking the car on the side of the road. You take the opportunity, swinging your legs over so that you’re straddling his lap, unbuckling his safety belt.


His hands go to your hips when you begin to kiss down his neck. Stiles’ skin tastes like salt and vanilla and you suck down on it like a vacuum, determined to leave your mark. He lets you do as you please, something you’d never got from Theo, and tilts his head back to allow you more room.


You go left until you find that vein you’d seen earlier. It’s protruding loudly against his neck now, and fuck if it’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen. You press your tongue wide on it and lick from bottom to top, only stopping to nibble slightly on Stiles’ jaw.


His breath hitches, and he hesitates only a moment before taking control and crashing his lips to yours. He tastes like chocolate milkshake, you think absently as his lips devour your own and you wrap your arms around his neck. They feel amazingly soft and delicate, yet at the same time wild and demanding. You love every second of it.


His tongue pushes into your mouth and it’s all teeth and lips after that. The wet muscle strokes against your mouth expertly and you moan into him. Stiles smirks against your lips, forcing his tongue further down your throat until you’re sure there isn’t a place in your mouth that his tongue hasn’t touched. Unfortunately, the need for oxygen becomes to great to ignore and you pull away, breathing heavy.


“The things you do to me, baby.” He says, leaning his forehead against your own. You grind down on him, and are pleased to find that he’s hard and aching. Stiles moans at the touch and pulls you in for another kiss, his tongue shooting into your mouth before your lips have even touched.


His hands move slowly as they travel under your shirt and pull it up over your head. He throws it behind somewhere, but you can hardly give a fuck with Stiles’ eyes watching you like that. You’d opted to go braless when you went to change, and now with Stiles looking like a kid on Christmas, you were glad for it.


He leans down and quickly takes one nipple into his mouth, the other hand expertly cupping and toying with the other. Your hands move from his neck to his hair and you tug harshly at the strands when Stiles starts to suck noisily at your tits, making the sweetest of sounds. When he takes your nipple between his teeth and pulls back so your tit stretches out, you moan so loudly you have to stop yourself.


He gives the other breast the same treatment as his hands move downwards and toy with the waistband of your sweats. His skin is like lighting against your own and and your arch into him, loving it.


“You okay with this?” He asks, pulling away from you and looking up with the utmost sincerity. Despite the lust in his eyes, you know that if you ask him to, he’ll stop right here and now. It warms your heart, but right now you need to be fucked.


“Definitely.” You say and Stiles smirks. He pulls your pants and panties down in one go and immediately stuffs two fingers into your pussy, pumping wildly. He has to hold you tight at the small of your back to stop your from falling over with the intensity of his movements. You moan hotly and pull his face up, crashing your lips together and the car is filled with sweet clenching noises.


“You’re so wet for me.” He mumbles against you, sounding so utterly fucked out and sexy that you can’t help but moan again. You grind yourself against his bulge and Stiles moans loudly.


The hand at your back is gone and Stiles curles his fingers inside of your pussy, just as a his other hands’ thumb presses down hard on your clit. You come with a shout, clenching down on his fingers which are still moving rapidly inside of you. Your over sensitive nub is rubbed at again and you feel jolts of electricity shoot through.


Eventually you have to stop his hands as the pleasure becomes too much. He pulls his fingers out of you as you calm down and you look up, seeing your come on his digits.


Then, he does the most absurd thing. He sticks his fingers into his mouth and wipes them clean, looking you dead in the eye and smirking at your open mouth. His tongue swirls around the digits and he smirks through it, pulling them out clean.


“Fuck,” you say, then make a quick decision. Stiles isn’t expecting it when you suddenly drop to your knees and pull his shorts down, his errection springing up in front of your face. The pedals are digging into your back but you don’t care.


You eyes widened and your mouth waters at the sight of him. He’s big, bigger than you expected, but you know you can take the full thing. His thick cock is slightly veiny, and looks so damn tempting. You can’t help yourself when you immediately lean forward and wrap your lips around the tip.


Stiles moans loudly was you suckle his tip, hands automatically moving to your hair and pulling it out of its bun, only to then tangle his fingers in it. His nails dig into your scalp and you moan at the feeling, loving the way he forces you deeper and deeper.


You pull away and lick one long stripe from base to tip. He stops you from going back down. “Stick your tongue out, babe.” You do as you’re told, rogue hanging from your mouth. You moan loudly when Stiles slaps his dick on your wet tongue hard, holding your head in place with one hand. You open your mouth wider, loving the feel. “Oh, you like that don’t you?”


He forces you back down on his cock and you love how dominant he’s being. He guides your head non too gently along his member and you bob up and down, loving the taste of his skin and salty precum on your tongue. Then, his dick hits the back of your throat and you tighten around him. Stiles moans loudly, pulling you off.


He reaches down and fishes into the pockets of his shorts for his wallet. Fumbling only briefly, he pulls out a silver foiled packet and throws the wallet aside carelessly. You take the packet from his hands, just as he’s about to open it.


Looking into his eyes, you tear the packet open with your teeth and Stiles eyes widen. You smirk and roll the condom down his length and Stiles watches you with something akin to awe.


With one hand on your hip and the other on his cock, Stiles’ teases your entrance with his tip, rubbing it against your sensitive clit as you stand on your knees above him, legs spread wide. You moan as jolts of electricity shoot up your spine, but Stiles continues to watch you, not giving in.


“Please, Stiles.” You beg. The teenager smirks.


“Whatever you say, Princess.” Suddenly he slams into you in one thrust and you moan loudly against him. The thrusts up quickly, his dick slamming in and out of you at a brutal pace.


“My pretty little princess,” he whispers in your ear. “You love it when I fuck you like this, don’t you?” His hands move up your body and squeeze at your tits. “I bet you’ve been fantasizing about this for days. Thinking about what it would feel like to have my cock in you.”


“Yeah. Oh God yes.” You moan out desperately, nails raking down his back so hard, you’re sure it’ll leave marks. Stiles smirks.


“Tell me.” He says and you moan as he thrusts in deep, hitting that perfect spit inside of you.


“I get myself off to the thought of you fucking me.” You moan, fingers sliding into his hair. “I wanted you so badly. I thought of you when he fucked me. I knew you were better, bigger, could make me moan and come in ways he never could.” Stiles moans loudly and slams harshly into you. “I’ve thought about it all month. The first day I saw you, I wanted to get on my knees and blow you. Wanted to have your cum dripping down my face and tits. Wanted you to fuck me until yours is the only name I remember.”


“And now?” He breathes against you. “Now what do you want?”


“I want to come with you inside of me.” You say. “I wanna clench around your dick and make you lose control. Wanna through you over the edge and go down with you.”


Stiles moans loudly and reaches between your bodies, pressing down hand on your clit once more. Again, you come immediately, back arching, clenching hard around him as he thrusts wildly into you.


“I’m almost there, baby.” He moans, pulling your face forward and kissing you hard. It occurs to you that what your tasting is your own juices on Stiles’ lips and you moan against him.


“Come on,” you taunt. “Come for me, baby.” It takes two more thrusts before he pushes into you hard, spilling into the condom and dropping down on the car seat. The two of you stay like that for a moment, his dick softening inside of you.


Stiles pulls out and you move, going back into the passenger seat. Your pussy is raw from his fucking and you don’t really care how you look with your legs spread wide as cold air brushes over your centre. Stiles pulls out the condom and ties it up, throwing it out of the window.


“That’s nasty.” You tell him. He looks at you and laughs.


“You’re one to judge.” You flush red at that. Stiles laughs openly. “Do you really get off to the thought of me?”


You look at him and smirk. “All the fucking time.”

Fifty Shades of Park Jimin

Originally posted by trash-for-bangtan

Pairing: Jimin x Reader

Length: 6k+ 

Warnings: Dry Humping, Dirty talk (do you seriously expect anything else from me tbh), just a lot of filth.

A/N: Okay so, I know this is 2 days late but I had to prepare an unexpected presentation, as well as present, at a peace symposium so i could not post on time. Though please appreciate that I ignored all my studies for an exam in 3 days and spent the whole afternoon writing and editing this, bless. Thank you. Other than that, happy reading :))))) Also the part about them being too beautiful is no exaggeration. To the people who have seen BTS live will know what I am talking about.

P.s.: Fuck park jimin tbh.

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Daydreaming

Summary: Bucky Barnes is a superstar actor in Hollywood, and the reader works as a photographer for an upscale fashion and pop culture magazine. One day, she is assigned to take photographs of Bucky to promote his upcoming movie, but her schoolgirl crush on Mr. Barnes proves to be a problem.

Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader

Words: 3,547

Warnings: Smut (a little bit of D/S undertones, unprotected sex. Don’t get pregnant or catch STI’s,kids). Also some fluff, it’s not 100% smut.

A/N: This is my submission for Kait’s (@bionic-buckyb) 5k AU challenge! My prompt was “Model/Photographer”. Hope you enjoy! (also if anyone can guess what reference I’m making with the fake movie title I put in this fic, you get brownie points!)

Originally posted by little--batman



Another day, another photoshoot in the studio with some rude celebrity who thinks they’re better than you.

You sigh, shuffling over to the strobe to make sure it’s synced properly to your camera. With a quick press of your shutter button, the light goes off, and you’re satisfied that everything is set up perfectly for today’s shoot. Your contentment doesn’t last long, though; the thought of having to deal with another snobby subject clouds your brain. Sure, the concept of meeting celebrities every day at your job seemed cool, but once you got used to it, you realized that they’re all just regular people. There was hardly anything special about anyone you met, aside from the few who were very nice and complimented how good you made them look with your camera.

“Oh, wonderful, you’re all set up!” Michael, the fashion consultant and your bosses’ assistant, bursts through the studio doors. “James will be here in a second. I want you to make him look SO sexy in these photos, got it, Y/N? Carol needs to be proud of our work when she’s back from vacation.”

You shake your head and give him the slightest pathetic smile you can. “I can’t make someone sexy if they already have an ugly face, Michael. Now which James are we talking about?”

“James Barnes?” Michael looks shocked, his eyes widening as he says the name. “For his new movie, ‘Farewell, Atlantis’?”

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How to become a good student (again) 3: Yearn for friendship - not worship; not debasement

Hello, fellow ex-good student!

‘tis done! This beast just got longer and longer, so I decided to cut it down a bit for the sake of readability. But let me know if there’s something that was too vague - the nuance might have got lost in the editing process.

Alright, let’s get down to business (to defeat! The Huns!)! So, if you’re an ex-good student, I’m pretty sure that you know this static in your head, right? Whenever you really need to do something but you just can’t get up and do it, so you keep procrastinating even though you hate it and keep scrolling and scrolling or gaming and gaming and feel more and more guilty?

Well, it might not be the most immediate analogy, but for this post I want you to consider that what connects you and your subject of study is essentially a relationship and that this static is (among other things) an indicator of how screwed up your relationship is. Just like with real people, your relationships with subjects can either

  • prosper and bear fruit (me & Creative Writing)
  • become cold and distant (me & French)
  • or, worst of all, turn sour and actively harmful. (me & PE, back in school)

Now, nobody likes to hear that they’re relationship-ing wrong. And it is true that different approaches work for different people. But here are the counter-productive relationships that I’ve personally ended up in and I’m gonna show you how I got into and out of them, so you can try to do the same. Maybe it’ll help you lift that static from your head.

Side-Note: Always remember that, since your subjects are just that (subjects), and not real people, you are the only one who can actually mend these relationships and, conversely, you are the one who screwed them up in the first place (probably with good intentions, though).

So, we’ll take them in this order:

1) Overeager Debasement

2) Undereager Debasement

3) Worship


(Oh, and in case you wanna catch up:

Masterpost 

Part 1

Part 2)


1) Overeager Debasement

What is it?

The desire to do everything, perfectly, at the same time, right now. Not to limit yourself to just one field of study, but to master them all, to reign supreme above knowledge, to keep your mind wide open to new possibilities, similarities and contradictions.
You overvalue your own capacities and undervalue the needs and difficulties of your subject.
(also refer to the first post for this)

How did you get here?

(read picture from right to left)

So. Many. Possible. Reasons.

  • it’s a cage. The idea of doing just one thing for the rest of your life scares you and you feel imprisoned at the thought of it
  • you know that you could be outstanding if you applied yourself
  • you know that you could be even more outstanding if you became accomplished in multiple fields
  • you want to find connections between fields nobody’s ever considered before
  • you feel like you’ve wasted your last few years and need to catch up to others
  • you’re afraid that you’re not good enough
  • you’re afraid of being ignorant
  • you’re arrogant

No matter the reason (I’ve gone through them all), people caught in this state of mind shovel more and more onto their plate.
And then wonder why they can’t swallow it all.

What do you think you’re doing?

A labour of love, most likely. You think you love languages and sciences and athletics and programming and cooking and hanging out with friends and being alone and so you just want to do it all!
You don’t want to limit yourself! You don’t want to lose any time! But there’s just so much and you have so little energy and ugh, if only I wasn’t destined for greatness, then I could relax like other little people, but no, I need to keep pushing! In every! Direction! At the same! Time!

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend who gets up at 6am, watches the sun rise, does yoga, eats a healthy breakfast, goes for a quick run, comes back home, answers all correspondence, is artistic for a few hours, then scientific for a few hours, then social for a few hours and ends the day with tiny masterpieces in each area, goes out with friends or family to grab a healthy dinner and goes to sleep, happy and balanced :)

Well, you know what, my starry-eyed friend?

What are you actually doing?

You’re the mental equivalent of a social butterfly.
You’re being fucking disrespectful.

You’re always on the run and never able to really commit to anything, because you’ve already scheduled something else afterwards. You’re shallow, deluded, that one friend that always comes in running, screaming “Besties  ~ ♥” and everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats and smiles a painful smile and humours you, because they know you mean well, but they also know that you know nothing about them. 
You’ve never been there for them ever, but always expect them to be there for you. Whenever they want to talk about themselves, you nod and then proceed to about yourself and your plans and “ohmygosh, this is so nice, we need to meet more often ~ ♥ “. But at least you mean well, so they’ve agreed to keep it simple and on the “The weather is nice today”-level with you. 

But here you are, wondering why you’re not making any progress.
Mysterious.

So what do I do?

Well, you need to go from this:

To this:

How? More on that below.


2) Undereager Debasement

What is it?

This stage is what happens when you notice that your lofty ideals from Overeager Debasement cannot be fulfilled. You turn bitter, hateful, cold. You think you’re a failure, you think you were too soft. Instead of wanting to be friends with everyone, you now want to rule over everyone, fuck what they want.

You’re burnt out. You’re done. You just want to get through these stupid classes and catch a goddamn break, goddamnit.

And you WILL get through. You’re too proud to do anything else. But you don’t really care about any of it.
You just want to make it.

How did you get here?

If you were a good student, you probably heard at some point or another that you were “different” and that your complex and mysterious ways were not understandable and definitely not achievable for your average classmate.

Most people who tell you this mean well. A few want to make fun of you, but most actually do mean it as a compliment. But they don’t know how dangerous it is to hear it again and again, because regardless of whether it’s true or not, you start to believe it.
You start to believe that somehow, you have a higher calling, a higher standard. And you start to long for that day when your high standards will be met - when you will go to that one mysterious class where everyone is just as eager as you are, where the “Oh, captain, my captain!”-teacher will spark a fire in your brain that will never go out and when your ominous “gifts” can finally be put to good use for the prosperous future of mankind.


And you work.

And work.

And the class never comes.

You feel the weight on your shoulders when teachers talk of “high expectations”, you feel it crush you a little bit every time your friends tease you about your genuine fear that you might not get an A, that you might lose it all, that your “gifts” could disappear and you’ll be stranded and useless and you put in the hours, you work your ass off to keep that high standard, all in the hope of having that one miraculous class that never comes.

I realized that that class would never come when I entered university.

University, I’d told myself, would be my Arcadia, my Eden, my academic paradise where all my hard work would be rewarded!
Instead, I only found more drudgery, more incompetent professors, more disinterested students and even more bureacracy. To say that I was “disappointed” would be putting it very lightly.

I became disoriented and disenchanted. I realized that I could get through most classes with half-assed effort, I was hardly ever challenged, I floated along and hated every second of it. I blamed my boring teachers, the imperfect system, the teachers who had given me hope only for me to watch it crash and go up in flames.

What do you think you’re doing?

Being badass, cool and detached, most likely.

You dream of yourself as a master and your subjects as slaves. They bow to your will, they dance to your tune, you command them with the snap of a finger.

“Look, you slave of the system”, you say, lying on a velvet sofa, “Look, at how it hardly takes any effort for me to pass these classes! Look at how I spend my time doing things I actually like and that are actually worth it, unlike these stupidly easy classes taught by stupidly incompetent professors in a stupidly screwed-up system! Look at me, being edgy and drowning in self-hatred because I can physically feel myself gliding off the rails that made me so “special” and becoming one of the average people in the masses, haha. Ha. Ha. Screw academia, but still give me good grades, amirite?”

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend that never studies for classes, comes for three lectures per semester and still manages to get perfect grades because everything you do in school is, like, so five years ago. That one friend who has read all the classics in their spare time, has conquered and enslaved all the knowledge actually worth knowing, will quote obscure Polish philosophers you’ve never heard of and plays the piano with a perfect pitch. They’re the wisest, most culture-non-conforming people you know - they’ve been up until 5am, wandering the streets and drinking vodka from a bottle while forcefully pentrating the mysteries of the universe all by themselves until they finally fall asleep on a park bench and awake with an epiphany about Klein bottles.
They’re “special”.

What are you actually doing?

Caring more about appearing “special” than actually trying to be “special”, that’s what you’re doing.

But, look, what made you so “special” and “different” in the first place was not a “calling” or “gifts” or the fact that you wrote good grades and were destined for greatness.

Here’s a handy chart I’ll use later - you were lucky enough to fall into the green zone, lucky enough to be born with an innate respect and a love for learning. That’s what made you “special”. That’s what made you succeed. Not pressure, not warped ideals and certainly not the fear of failure.


But somewhere along the way you forgot that and only focussed on the results. You started to believe yourself to be so special that everybody else should cater to you.
The fancy titles, the awe-struck looks, the “You’re so amazing”s and the “The genius of a decade”, the planned Nobel prize speech and the prestige, the dream others had lovingly created for you and you had slowly absorbed and warped as your own? It got to you. Hell, it got to me.
And it became more important than learning itself.
Somewhere along the way, you and I, we became an arrogant and lazy assholes.

You looked down on your easy courses and homework and instead of recognising how lucky you are, doing it in a minute and a half and then putting in the extra work on top to dig deeper and to maybe contribute something of value and fun, you threw it aside with a snide remark as beneath you.
Of course it wasn’t fun. Of course it wasn’t challenging. You never even tried to make it either.

(And don’t get me wrong: I honestly do think that the education system as it is right now needs MAJOR reforms. But right now? It is what it is. And instead of making the best of it and doing what you once loved so much, you succumbed to societal pressures you found yourself unable to fulfill and said “meh”.
You cared so much about the fame and the title that the relationship itself didn’t matter.)

But this isn’t the master-slave relationship you imagine it to be.
It’s a trophy-friendship. Once upon a time, you got on really well with this person and other people loved your friendship. You fell in love with the ideal, with their connections, their money, their prestige, their name on a CV, and you stuck around just for that.
You valiantly ignore the reality of the state of things between you two
and take them out only when absolutely needed, only when things are this close to falling apart and so you keep walking a fine, fine line.
Whenever a deadline approaches, you shower them with attention and love and, gingerly, they open up to you and you see a depth and complexity to them that astounds you and makes you think “Imagine! Imagine how much more I could have seen if only I’d started earlier?”
But the moment the crisis has passed, you toss them aside once again.

Because this is enough to make your name.
You may not remember much about these nights or about the person at all, but the only thing that counts is that it will fulfill your “special” prophecy and make you a legend, right?

Well, always remember this:
(read picture from right to left)

You’re not “special” if you made it to university. You’re not “special” if you’ve made your name. 
It comes down to a simple choice: do you value appearances over integrity or the other way round? Do you dare to look like a fumbling idiot again when you start something new? Is the “appearing like an idiot”-part more important to you than the “learning/creating something new”-part? 
Have a think about it.

3) Worship

“Alright”, you’ll say, “Alright. I get it. So I’ll treat my “friends”/subjects with respect and integrity and I’ll take all the time and concentration I can bestow upon them, just as I would upon real friends. But do you want me to be like, uh - like…

What is it?

“…like one of those anime characters that lives only for their dream and gets up at like 6am, does the thing, talks about the thing, breathes the thing, goes to bed, dreams of the thing and then wakes up at 6am to do the thing?”

(Google: Did you mean Hinata Shouyou?

Yes, yes, I did, google.)

Well, no, I don’t want you to do that. See, that’s the other extreme and unless you’re an anime character, chances are that it won’t work out for you. 

How did you get here?

Personally, I was caught in this trap for a loooooong time. Anime offered me a new way of relating to my passions that neither my family nor my school had ever shown me: unabashed obsession.
I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be obsessed. I wanted to give myself up to a higher ideal, something above human consciousness, something that would endure. I wanted to, well, get up at 6am, do the thing, talk about the thing, breathe the thing and so on - “the thing” in question being, of course, studying. I made elaborate plans, complicated lists, study-plans that shift on a daily basis and cover all grounds, I wanted to study for two hours before school, wanted to repeat lessons, wanted to give myself up to knowledge, made cool covers for my notebooks, made mock exams for my friends to use, planned to focus on each continent for a month and study it, planned to listen to one new composer each day, planned to go to the museum every week, planned to analyze Sherlock Holmes and think just like him, planned to - you get the idea.

I wanted to be like this:

What do you think you’re doing?

Being but a humble servant to the eternal workings of truth. Knowing thou art unworthy, yet suffering the perfection of study.

I wanted to go from 0 to 100, I wanted knowledge and wisdom to transform and deliver me, I wanted to feel enlightened, I wanted to feel my brain burning, pushing frontiers and breaking through to new horizons, I wanted to elevate myself to touch even the lowest levels of truth.
I wanted to do something noble, something worthwhile, something that could never be critisized and would always be valued, something with eternal meaning that would echo through the ages and I wanted to be even the tiniest cog in the machinery of mind.

What are you actually doing?

Being, quite simply, an idiot.

This is one of my favourite quotes (David Wong):

“There are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.” 

The same goes for studying. As shown above, studying won’t work out if you do not treat your subjects with respect. Conversely, studying also won’t work if you continue to idolize it as work beyond all work and reproach, as the only true calling, as the realm of the genii and by self-flagellating yourself and repeating “I’m but a humble servant in your kingdom of reason and will never reach where you are, but will spend all my time trying to reach you.” 

Why? Because by saying “I’ll never reach you or be worthy of you”, you’ve already sealed your fate. Some students (no matter how well they actually perform) are stuck thinking that they are stupid and incapable of doing well. Others think that the trick is in the preparation and they undergo complicated rituals of finding exactly the right study spot, exactly the right study drink, exactly the right study time, etc. in the hope of channeling the connection between their godly subject and themselves, but it never turns out quite as glamorous as they’d hoped (once again, speaking from experience).

This is because you cannot force a true friendship if you think yourself unworthy of it. It will always be worship. 

And why are you worshipping?
Because it takes the pressure right off of you
. This always annoyed me about some of my fellow students. They treated becoming a good student as this miraculous and unlikely event that only happens to the #blessed.
I insisted that “no”, it could be done. “Yes”, it was hard work, but ultimately absolutely doable. But now that I’ve been in their shoes? I understand.
Admitting that you could have done it anytime implies failure on your part for not having done it. By saying “Oh no, it is so very complex and divine and a lowly worm like me could never hope to crawl in its shadows”, you shift the focus away from yourself and onto the thing itself. 

But this is a synthetic, manufactured relationship with a partner that does not even exist. It is, at its heart, a kyaa  ~ I hope senpai notices me! (๑♡⌓♡๑) - kind of relationship. It’s idolizing not a person’s true character, but their appearance, their aesthetic and the values that they represent for you. It’s not really listening to what they’re saying, but warping their words so they fit into your perfect idea of them.
Just, unlike with undereage debasement, you do not play pretend that everything’s fine and secretly hate the other person deep down - you honestly idolize them to heaven and back, so you could never possible reach them.
You’re using them to fill in the holes in your own personality.

And that … just isn’t fun? I dunno about you, but treating studying as something that must be done perfectly with exactly the right pen and the perfect face-mask after the right smoothie and in the right lighting by a window overgrown with ivy and with perfect concentration from the first moment and unwavering, knightly passion and exact planning from 6am to bedtime all because I know deep down that I will not be able to fulfill these ideals and thus don’t have to feel bad about not reaching them just … isn’t for me. I don’t like my relationships to be all overstructured and “perfect” and high maintenance like that.

I want my friendships and my studying to be authentic. And that means that sometimes it’s messy and sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s quoting Keats while lying on the floor at 2am in the morning and chugging milk out of a carton, but it’s real.
I truly do understand this longing to make studying look pretty and like a magical realm, because when you’re in the flow that’s really what it feels like. But the beauty comes along with the practice, not the other way round.

No, but honestly - what do I DO then?


Y’remember Hippogriffs from Harry Potter? That’s how I imagine my subjects. Approach them carefully, honestly, maintaining eye contact and as equals and they will respect you. This scene:

This scene is what I’m talking about. 
If you were in a worship-state, you would only admire them from afar, gushing over how beautiful they are, but sad that they would never deign to even look in your general direction. (think of all the subjects you thought would be way too difficult for you)
If you were in a debasement-state, you’d either try to make friends with all the hippogriffs, hopping from one to the other and forming no bond with either or you’d “tsk” disdainfully and try to force them to obey you against their will. (*cough* Malfoy *cough*)

If, however, you’re in the green, there will be mutual respect between you and you will be able to fly.

So what does it mean to be in the green? 
It means not to do any of the above, obviously, so 

  • take your time for and invest brainpower into each and every one of your subjects - be a good friend. Be there. Listen. Even if they have crazy ideas at 4am in the morning. 
  • appreciate your subjects and know that they are more than the teacher who tries to get you to know them. Sometimes, some people just have a really shitty PR department (especially maths)
  • don’t think too much or too little of yourself. You can do amazing things, but that does not give you the license not to do amazing things anymore, rest on your laurels and expect others to applaud you for it. 

  • some relationships take longer than others to build, but getting to understand someone who puzzled you from the first moment and challenged your beliefs will improve your own personality as well
    (side-eye at PE. Yes, I love you now, you crazy athletic bastard)
  • do it for the sake of the relationship itself, because you enjoy their company. Results are presents which, although very much appreciated, should not be the main motivator to keep you going.
    This essentially means that you should think of studying as hanging out with a friend - already makes it seem so much more inviting and way less daunting, does it not?

    (Logic and I, being saltmates. Real friends judge other people together)
  • be aware that all friendships go through rocky patches and some subjects might take a while to warm up to you or you to them. But if you think that it’s worth it, then you gotta power through that. If you don’t think it’s worth it, you gotta be brave enough to say good-bye. 


Look, what I’m actually saying is … be Souma Yukihira from Food Wars.

Food Wars is a crazy and at times pretty pervy manga/anime, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t also one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever consumed and if Souma isn’t one of the most admirable main characters I’ve ever encountered.  

The relationship between him and cooking is filled with trust, love and equality. He trusts his cooking skills, because he knows that they have spent a long time together - cooking won’t let him down and he won’t ever let cooking down by stopping to look for ways to improve.

That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s always deadly serious - he loves to play around with cooking and to try ridiculous new things. He never forgets the joy that even the simplest form of cooking brings him. 

There’s one great episode where he puts his life as a chef on the line and someone fearfully asks him what he’d do if he lost. He shrugs and says he could become a lawyer or a teacher or something. So while he loves cooking profoundly, he does not worship it and he knows that there are other relationships he could build up if he had to. He just …doesn’t want to, because cooking is his bff. 

He loves to take on challenges to see how far he and cooking have come -

- and he takes challenges very seriously -


- but takes it even more seriously if he loses -

- and nonetheless knows that they are stronger for the challenges they have faced together. 

So, yes, this is what it means to be in the green. Cherish your friendships, hang out together, be honest, funny, clever, curious and you. 

You’ll be surprised at how much fun the two of you will have, now that all the pretensions and pressures are gone. 

Just …hang out and have fun.

(and maybe watch Food Wars!, because damn, Souma is the MVP of my inspirational heroes)

Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next (and hopefully shorter) part 4 :)