just flexing my wings with it

VAS Needed

To submit to be considered for the part, please email SteWilliams@Mills.edu with an attached voice sample reading the provided passage. Along with the sample, please include a photo, a short bio paragraph, including any significant identities, an availability schedule, and a list of equipment you have.
Note: You may submit more than one sample, as long as it is significantly distinct from any others you submitted.
Note: Diversity is a major driving decision in casting, please keep this in mind when auditioning.

Chris Rush
(18 - 21)
Dudebro fraternity man, and part time mermaid.
Husky, playful voice.
Please read:
It’s not like I have some deep attachment to the ocean or whatever, more like if I stepped into a puddle of spilled beer, it’s chill. I’ll splash around in it, I’ll dip a fin. Once, I broke into the campus pool, and me and Josh fooled around in it for hours, him on my back, and me gliding effortlessly through it. What a bro.

Heather Hogan
Grounded and reserved, with two wings tucked into her waistband.
Please read:
Lyra is interesting. Sometimes, we’ll both end up in the outside bathroom beside the Delta Gorgon Alpha building after a party, and things’ll get weird. Like, my wings will flex against my shirt, and I’ll look away for just one second to push them back down, then she’ll vanish, leaving only a faint whiff of mint and massive clumps of hair.

Lyra Comey
Curious and very intelligent, a werewolf just trying to earn her Bachelor’s.
Please read:
Yeah, yeah, the whole shtick, to the point where it becomes boring. Fangs, claws, and fur bursting out of me. Some things are different, like, I don’t remain bipedal and I definitely don’t resemble a human. I turn into a wolf, the full animal form. Not the same size as a normal wolf, but the size of a huge bus, probably 10 feet tall and 25 wide. Legs like trees, and teeth like big ass splinters. Can’t really study Rhetoric and Composition when I can’t fit at my desk.

TAZ FIC: The Queen's Command (2,000 words)

[AO3 link]

Kravitz receives an unusually urgent summons – his Queen wishes to speak with him, and she seems less than pleased.

The grim reaper receives a reprimand. The god of death always gets what she wants.

Kravitz knew when his Queen wished to speak with him, because She would make it known. Sometimes it would be through the small medallion with Her crest that never left his neck, other times through another emissary – the birds were Her favorite, heralds of Her will – but, on rare occasions, She eschewed any such formality.

Sometimes Kravitz simply felt Her pull. Aggressive and insistent. She was, after all, a part of him – or, more accurately, he of Her. Kravitz could not resist Her command, just as his own hand could not resist his. Not that he had any desire to.

(Kravitz did wonder, at times, what precisely he was to his Queen. When She looked at him, did She see a person? A being? Or was it simply another aspect of Herself, like looking into a microscope and regarding one of the millions of cells that made up a mortal creature?)

Now was not the time for wonder or introspection, however. Kravitz tore open a portal, stepped through, and found himself in his Queen’s chambers.

The Raven Queen lived apart from the realm She held dominion over. Kravitz always felt a strange sensation pass through him whenever he entered Her presence. He guessed they were at some mid-point between the Astral and Celestial planes, a space between spaces in which the Raven Queen conducted Her business.

He stepped forward, looking around. The room appeared the same as it always did: an endless sea of stone columns, lit by torches of blue fire and the delicate wisps of pyreflies. The columns stretched in all directions, each marked by the same unending pattern of runic symbols – the names of all those who had ever lived, their births and deaths, carved into the stone in an artful and wholly incomprehensible script.

Kravitz turned in a slow circle. The Raven Queen was not present to greet him. Odd. He cleared his throat.

“My Queen,” he said respectfully, voice echoing into the distant darkness. “You summoned me?”


Kravitz startled, but didn’t jump. He turned to face Her.

When he had first crossed over to the Astral plane, the Raven Queen had appeared to him. She took the form of a woman in black, a dozen feet tall, hooded and veiled with a feathery cloak the color of midnight. Kravitz threw himself on the ground before Her, said the words he’d repeated in Her temple all his life, done the sort of things one supposed they should before a god. The Raven Queen had conducted Herself with the dignity and gravity befitting Her position, and when She had bent Her knee and lifted his head, his Queen had offered him the job that would come to define his new, unearthly existence.

How different things were now, he thought, as he saw Her now; not a woman at all, no, nothing so simple. He had learned later, from others in his line of work, that whenever She appeared to mortals, She took a simpler form for their benefit, something they could parse and comprehend. It made the initial job offer go smoother. As time had gone by (in as much as any time truly passed in the Astral plane) his Queen had revealed more of herself to Kravitz, a sort of familiarity growing between them, until She appeared as She did now.

The Raven Queen filled his vision. A barely-comprehensible assemblage of pitch black feathers, strong wings, sharp beaks, gleaming talons, and shining eyes, all in a multitude of shapes and sizes. There was a vague shape to Her, an outline that seemed to shimmer and warp, as if space itself struggled to capture what She was. When She moved, it was in indistinct billowing clouds of shadow that formed as She needed them and disappeared when She didn’t.

Kravitz bowed, deeply and respectfully. “My Queen.”

“Kravitz,” She said, in a voice that was many. “How good of you to come.”

He was glad he hadn’t bothered to put on his skin for this; it made it easier to hide his frown. What was that tone She took? And why did She say that? Of course he came.

“I exist at your pleasure, my Queen,” he said, hoping that was enough to convey his meaning.

The Raven Queen drew closer to him, large taloned feet clicking against the stone floor while great wings stretched and flapped behind her. Sometimes She didn’t bother defining a specific head for Kravitz to look at or speak to, and he would end up keeping his eyes low to the ground, or staring somewhere in the center of Her mass. Kravitz found this frustrating and uncomfortable. Initially, he had wondered if his feelings were simply so far beneath Her concern that they didn’t register. These days, he was certain She simply enjoyed making him squirm.

“That is true,” the Raven Queen said, one of her great feathered heads briefly looming over him. “You exist at my pleasure. You serve my will. You do only as I wish. Is that not so?”

Kravitz would have swallowed, had he a throat to do so in that moment. He looked up to meet one set of Her eyes. “Yes, Your Highness. That is so.”

“You are a part of me,” She said, Her voice growing somehow larger as the head he’d been addressing shifted lower, down towards the center of Her. “As I am a part of you. Intrinsic, and inseparable. Like all mortal things. Is that not so?”

Now he would be sweating, if he had the capability; his Queen had not spoken so formally to him since the breakout from the Eternal Stockade, some years ago. It had been a reprimand, then. So what did that make this?

“That is so, my Queen,” he said solemnly, lowering his gaze.

She lowered one of Her many heads to his eye level. Its dark eyes blinked as it tilted.

“So, then,” She said slowly, an edge of regal menace in Her echoing voice, “if you truly understand that all this is true…”

Kravitz braced himself, though he didn’t know why – it wasn’t as though the Raven Queen had to physically strike him to destroy him. What had he done that had displeased Her so? What sin had he committed that deserved this scorn?

“My Queen,” he ventured cautiously, “I–”

One of Her massive feet slammed on the ground and She loomed closer. Kravitz fell silent. He didn’t move, his hands still held behind his back, his head still bowed respectfully.

“Kravitz,” She said, her words dripping with disappointment. “Of all my emissaries, I had thought you better than this. So many faithful years of service, so much shared between us…”

Kravitz ground his teeth in his skull. He squeezed his hands tightly and heard the bones creak.

“…and you don’t even invite me to your wedding?”

He jerked his head up instantly. The head in front of him, as grim and unreadable as any common raven, seemed to grin somehow. It tilted its head and its feathers ruffled as it clicked its beak.

“I – you – that is–”

The Raven Queen’s laughter filled the chamber. The pyreflies danced, bright blue lights flickering in the dark.

“Dear boy,” She drawled, Her size shrinking considerably, “forgive me, but you are such a stiff, sometimes.”

Kravitz sighed, pinching the bone above his nose as She laughed at Her own terrible joke. This, he was far more familiar with. “Forgive me, my Queen, but is that what this is about?”

“Of course!” She said lightly, now only around ten feet tall, a thin sliver of the massive presence She had taken before. “Birthdays, I understand. Time is looser in my realm, and they stop having meaning after a while. But weddings? Kravitz, I should think I merit a wedding.”

“Of course you do, my Queen. I merely–”

“I mean, really, what the hell do I have to do? Ask to come?” She huffed, and all of her feathers ruffled at once. The sole raven’s head atop what passed for Her shoulders turned away in disgust. “And here I thought we were more than employer and employee.”

“Your Highness, please–”

“Now, I know that I haven’t been able to offer you a retirement package, or allow you to use your accrued vacation time,” She said clinically, “but that is simply the way things are. We’re swamped! What am I to do, let the laws of life and death slip a bit here and there because one of my employees went on honeymoon? We’re not a stationary store, we’re the guardians of mortality itself, you know that–”

“I’m well aware,” Kravitz said loudly, taking the risk of interrupting Her. “I’m not ungrateful for the time I’ve been given, I can promise you that.”

The Raven Queen bent and peered at him. “Well, then?”

Kravitz made a noise in the back of his throat and scratched at his cheek with a bony finger. “I… merely thought you had more important things to do.”

“Do I seem busy to you, my boy?” She said sardonically, sounding simultaneously old and young, petulant and aloof.

“Not at the moment, my Queen, no.”

Her head tilted, peering at him with one large black eye. “Well, then?” She repeated.

Kravitz sighed and settled his shoulders. “Would you do me the honor of attending my wedding,” he said flatly.

His Queen gasped, rearing back to Her ten-foot height. “Why, Kravitz, what a lovely thing to be asked by a friend! The honor would be mine!”

Again, he was glad he had no skin, that She could not see his sneer. “Many thanks, my Queen.”

“Shall I give you away as well?”

“I–” Kravitz froze. “Pardon?”

Her head seemed to grin again.

“That won’t be necessary, Your Highness,” he said wearily.

“Oh, please?”

“No, I’m quite alright, thank you.”

She tutted. It sounded like a caw. “You’re no fun.”

“Yes, my Queen,” he said rotely. “The wedding is–”

“July the 27th, one o'clock, just north of the village of Greendale, with a reception to follow.”

Kravitz stared at Her. Her many wings flexed, out and in. He imagined She thought this made Her look innocent, somehow.

“Shall I bring a hot dish?”

“That won’t be necessary,” he said quickly. “My husband will be minding the catering himself.”

“Ah, yes. Of course he will.” The Raven Queen tittered, and it sounded like a schoolgirls’ choir. “And no need to worry about my appearance, I’m sure I can find something unassuming to slip into.”

“I’m sure,” Kravitz drawled. “If that’s all?”

“Yes, my boy, that’s all for now.” She dismissed him with a wave of Her wing, sweeping as She turned away. “I won’t keep you from your family any longer.”

Kravitz bowed, as deeply and respectfully as he had when he entered. “Thank you, my Queen.”

“Thank you, Kravitz. Give my best to your fiancée,” She replied seriously, Her head turning towards him in profile. “I’ve not forgotten what all of you did. I never will.”

Kravitz had no response to this, no words that could adequately express what it meant. He merely nodded and turned away, cleaved a hole into the Astral plane, and left without another word.

He was already rehearsing how he’d explain this to Taako. He’d probably find it deeply amusing. Probably.

The day of the wedding, all the invited guests arrived, save one. It was only when he stood waiting at the altar that Kravitz noticed the raven perched in the oak tree behind the audience. A fair bit larger than average, it regarded him with a thoroughly imperious stare.

When Taako finally made his appearance – strutting down the aisle with his arms thrown wide, glittering pyrotechnics and fountains of sparks shooting up behind him as he walked – Kravitz was certain he saw the bird grin.

And as the ceremony concluded, and Kravitz dipped Taako down for a passionate kiss, he was equally certain he heard a raven’s caw intermingled with the cheers and applause.

Originally posted by cedrcdiggory

whenever drunk, before dating his s/o, and sometimes after they’re together, Warren puffs out his chest, stretches and puffs his wings to full glory, and just so happens to be flexing his arms, for no reason of course, when you enter the room.
(and yes, there was one instance when he took Scott’s glass of water and poured it on himself for extra affect while flexing)

BTS as shit my sister says pt dul (2)
  • <p> <b><p></b> <b>Jin:</b> i gotta stop looking in the mirror. Im damn cute.<p/><b>Yoongi:</b> *just woke up* can i take a nap?<p/><b>Hobi:</b> *screams incoherently* there was a fly.<p/><b>Joonie:</b> so, i may or may not have broken the closet door. If you see it hanging off the hinges. That wasnt me it was the dog. *she doesnt have a dog*<p/><b>Jimin:</b> i did one sit up, wanna see my abs?<p/><b>Tae:</b> cantaloupe and cant-a-loupe. Which ones the animal?<p/><b>Kookie:</b> look at this... *flexes her arm, and jiggles them* wings<p/></p><p/></p>
Encore (4/5)

Ichigo pushes to his feet again, trying his best not to grind his teeth. “Shinigami,” he explains flatly. “Their reiraku is red. Damn it.”

And as though the enemy has been waiting for that cue—or as though they’re desperate not to be discovered—screaming green light fills the air, turning those caught in it to stone.

“Defensive formation!” Shuuhei cries, sword in hand even as Ichigo calls out his first kido spell and knocks a man dressed all in brown away. “Move!

But it’s too late, and the battle dissolves into bloody chaos.

The patrol is late returning.

Byakuya stands in his office, by the window, because the only other options are pacing the room or going to the gates and pacing there. Neither one of those is acceptable, not for someone of his standing and reputation, so he forces his feet to stillness, forces his eyes to fix on one point in the sky.

And if that point happens to be near the gate, if he has his senses open and his ears straining, well.

No one has to know, and the only person who would dare to call him on it is currently four hours overdue to return.

Byakuya shifts his weight, resisting the urge to cross his arms and instead clasping his hands behind him—an acceptable pose, for a captain, but it feels like a lie, like the tension in his shoulders and the faint twisting of his stomach turn it into something entirely undignified. He lets out a slow, careful breath and closes his eyes. (It lets him stretch his senses out even more, lets him search just that little bit further for the carefully bound and restrained reiatsu that he’s seeking, but that is simply a coincidence and not worth contemplating.) The sun is setting, staining the ground with a familiar orange he hasn’t seen in years now.

He doesn’t need to see it. He doesn’t need that daylily hair to know that Kurosaki Ichigo has come to dwell in Soul Society, right under the noses of those who knew him before.

Sometimes, in idle moments, Byakuya wonders at his lieutenant’s choice. Surely he would have been greeted with a hero’s welcome had he chosen to return immediately. Now, with this careful distance from his former friends, this false existence, there will doubtless be cries of betrayal and anger when the farce is done.

Except, he will realize at other times, watching the quiet, dark-haired, surprisingly competent man who has become his second. Except that it is not a lie, not a farce, and the hero’s welcome is the very reason Ichigo has chosen to hide himself so very cleverly. Concealed in plain sight, as it were, and there is nothing about Shiba Kei that is not Kurosaki Ichigo, it is simply that no one ever took the time to see that the hotheaded ryoka boy was far more than they gave him credit for.

Kei smiles, but Ichigo did as well, if more subtly.

Kei is brilliant at tactics and planning, but so was Ichigo, adjusting and attacking and winning every time that truly counted.

Kei is diligent and hardworking and capable, and had they ever given Ichigo the chance, Byakuya has no doubt he would have proved the same.

It is his belief that Shiba Kei is not so much a mask as a revelation, presenting the inner core of the man when before all they were shown was the gruff exterior.

Alone in the privacy of his office, Byakuya allows himself the faintest of smiles, because he took a chance that day at the Academy. The first moment Shiba Kei appeared before him, Byakuya knew. Kei had a weight to his gaze, a wariness that no student—much less one from a noble family—should have possessed. That black sword, those bright-sharp eyes, the familiarly immense reiatsu no matter how it was choked off and chained—not even a student’s blues or a quickly donned mask of emotion were enough to hide Kurosaki Ichigo from his gaze, and Byakuya wonders at what fools his fellow shinigami are not to see it.

A knock at the door pulls him from his contemplations and he opens his eyes, half-turning to look at the intruder. His former lieutenant hovers there, wary and worried and quiet clearly wound up in knots of agitation. Byakuya surveys him for a moment, remembering that the Ninth had joined the Sixth’s patrol today, remembering Ichigo’s mention of Lieutenant Hisagi, and nods to the other captain.

“Renji,” he says, and steps to one side to make room in front of the window.

There’s a moment of hesitation before Renji slinks into position next to him. “Thanks, Captain,” he says, and Byakuya wonders how long it will take him to break the habit of that title. They’re both of the same rank now, after all.

Byakuya inclines his head. “Third Seat Akon of the Twelfth says that there were numerous strange energy readings in the 54th District,” he says. “He had asked the squads to investigate.”

Renji’s features are tight with anxiety. “Yeah,” he answers roughly. “Said that those signatures started multiplying a few hours ago, blocked out all trace of the squads. Kyoraku said the Captain-Commander’ll give them a full six hours before sending out another party, just in case they were simply delayed.”

That, at least, is news, and Byakuya clenches his hands together until the knuckles strain. He has never been one to argue with the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, but this is a situation with known hostiles. While Byakuya is unfamiliar with Hisagi, he knows very well that Kei would not delay their return without sending some sort of message to explain the circumstances. But there has been no contact, no sign, and that puts Byakuya on edge more than anything.

Kurosaki Ichigo was never a friend—comrade, shield-brother, ally, but never friend. As Shiba Kei, Byakuya would like to think that they are. He has little time for frivolities, and less for useless emotion, but Kei knows his steps before he takes them, reads his actions and expression regardless of whether they are in battle or Byakuya simply desires a cup of tea. He is a good lieutenant, a good shinigami, and Byakuya does not fear when he knows that Kei is following him, as ever three steps behind and one to the side. Not a doormat, not afraid to argue, with a sense of humor and a maturity that is rooted in loss, and Byakuya can respect all of those things. Does, in fact, and it is…amusing, that it is the upstart ryoka who can inspire such a thing in him of all people.

Byakuya well remembers his grandfather’s words, back when he was a child. Quick to anger and hotheaded, the man had said, and that is also amusing, to think that he and Kurosaki Ichigo have such a thing in common.

“You’re worried,” Renji blurts suddenly. Byakuya casts him a sideways glance but says nothing, and Renji winces slightly. “I mean,” he hurries to add, “not that I didn’t think you would be, but, ah, Shiba’s only been your lieutenant for…”

“A year and three months,” Byakuya says, returning his gaze to the sky above the gate. “Do you think that I would not have been so concerned had you been the one returning late from patrol, Renji?”

That earns him another wince. “No, I just—that’s not it. But you always seemed as if you disliked Kaien, and you’ve never cared much for Kukaku or Ganju, and I thought—”

“Shiba Kei has proven himself a capable lieutenant,” Byakuya interjects, before that foot can get lodged any more firmly in Renji’s mouth. “He is also quite powerful, and keeps much of his strength in reserve. If something has delayed him this much, it is very likely to be the source of the attacks.”

Renji looks grim, and he knows that the same has occurred to the Ninth’s captain. “Yeah,” he says. “Yeah.” A pause, and then he adds abruptly, “I volunteered to go out after them, soon as the Captain-Commander lets us.”

Byakuya nods, just once, and keeps his eyes on the horizon. “As have I,” he murmurs, feeling the weight of Senbonzakura at his side like a taunt, a promise of action just beyond his reach.

“Fuck!” Ichigo ducks under a bolt of green light, feels it scrape against the edges of his reiatsu, and tucks forward into a roll that brings him right back up on his feet again, still moving. Shuuhei is on his right, Kazeshini in shikai, and he turns as they round an outcropping of rocks, the scythe spinning from his fingers. There’s a spray of blood and one of their pursuers cries out, but the others don’t even pause to see to him.

“What the hell happened to teamwork?” Ichigo mutters with what little breath he can spare.

Shuuhei grunts an agreement, stumbling. Ichigo catches his elbow and drags him on before he can fall, and he bobs his head in thanks. “Mixed blessing,” he pants in return. “Not stopping to help each other, but not helping each other against us, either.”

Ichigo concedes that much with a huff, then shoves Shuuhei out of the way of another bolt of green. The older lieutenant tumbles to the ground as Ichigo regains his footing and spins, raising one hand. “Hado 58: Tenran!”

There’s a collective cry of dismay and the enemies scatter, but it’s already too late. A whirling, tornado-like blast of power shoots straight at them, hurling some away but mostly spreading chaos. Ichigo takes the opportunity to lever Shuuhei to his feet again and launch into his fastest shunpo, dragging his friend with him.

They land in a small hollow, surrounded on all sides by stark-jagged rocks and small trickles of clear water, and slump to the damp ground with shared relief.

“Damn,” Shuuhei mutters, quickly tearing off the already trailing hem of his shihakusho and gingerly pressing it against the freely bleeding gash over his ribs.

“Seconded,” Ichigo agrees grimly, flexing his tingling fingers. They’re threatening to go numb, which is just about the last thing they need. He suspects that the knife that winged him was poisoned. “But why the hell are they trying to take prisoners now? Those other patrols—”

“Weren’t being led by lieutenants,” Shuuhei reminds him, offering up another scrap of cloth. Ichigo takes with a faint grimace and ties it around his upper arm. They don’t have the reiatsu to spare for healing kido, even if one of them was good at it, which they aren’t. “They took our squads as bait.”

“They’re morons,” Ichigo growls, and for once he doesn’t give a flying fuck if this is a Kei reaction or not. His squad is back there, trapped and helpless and being used for fuck knows what, and Ichigo isn’t going to stand for it. Not one damn bit. Retreating to regroup was bad enough.

Shuuhei is watching him with serious grey eyes, equal parts determined and wary. “You specialize in kido,” he says finally. “That spell they used to freeze the others…”

“Didn’t recognize it,” Ichigo sighs, slumping back against the rocks, even as he keeps his senses alert for sounds of pursuit. “Of course, it’s possible that one of them invented it. Not unheard of, even if it is difficult.” He closes his eyes, flexing his fingers again. “Damn. Damn. And it’ll take me time to break this goddamned barrier, time we won’t have as soon as I start poking at it. Can’t break that kido spell, either, without getting right up close to our squads, and I’m certain they’ll have guards.”

Shuuhei hums in agreement, and then says, “Still.”

“Still,” Ichigo agrees, opening his eyes and offering the other man a crooked smile. He pushes to his feet, offers Shuuhei a hand up. “Squads first?”

“You even have to ask?” Shuuhei lets Ichigo pull him to his feet, expression set in stubborn lines. “If I give you time, can you get them free?”


“Can you?”

Ichigo grits his teeth, but nods. “In theory, a stronger practitioner can always break through a weaker practitioner’s spells. If I have to, I can just use brute force. But against all of them, Shuuhei…”

Shuuhei smiles at him faintly, not commenting on the use of his first name. “I’ll be fine, Kei,” he returns. “Don’t underestimate Kazeshini, or me. Melee fighting is something we’re good at. Focus on the kido.”

Before, Ichigo would have been the melee fighter, leaving the spell-casting to someone else. But now, as Kei, he’s good at it, enough that a far more experience lieutenant is trusting him with it. He huffs out a breath and nods. In terms of brute strength, he’s got more than enough for something like this, and he’ll use it even if it gives something away. He always knew this charade wouldn’t last forever, and some things are far more important than keeping up the act.

“Hopefully they’ll send out reinforcements,” Shuuhei says, casting a glance in the direction of the Seireitei.

Ichigo shakes off the last of his nerves, calls up the determination that let him face down a god, and bares his teeth. “Let’s make sure there’s nothing for them to do when they get here,” he offers, and Shuuhei matches his will with a steady stare and a grim nod.

“Let’s,” he agrees, and they flicker away.

Shuuhei has always known, of course, that there are shinigami who finish the Academy but never pass the entrance exam for the Gotei 13 proper. They’re entirely trained and often skilled, and some of those who fail are quickly taken on as bodyguards for noble families.

Others, it seem, become rogues.

They’re a ragtag group, certainly, but far too powerful and numerous to write off as failed shinigami. Shuuhei sidesteps a blast from one, mentally gauging her power, and it’s a bit disheartening to conclude that she’s roughly on par with a seventh seat—not a challenge to a lieutenant, of course, one on one, but that’s not the case here. It’s twenty on one, and the sheer numbers will wear Shuuhei down before long, even with Kazeshini released.

He twists to evade a sword-strike, dodges another jet of green, and ducks under a halberd that skims an inch closer to his skull than is entirely comfortable. Melee has never been his best area—he’s better at single combat, where psychological attacks are just as devastating and unbalancing as physical ones, but that isn’t the type of tactic that will be useful here. With a flick of his wrists, he sends Kazeshini out, both ends whirling in an impromptu barrier, and risks a glance behind him at his companion.

Kei is crouched beside the frozen figure of Shuuhei’s ninth seat, fingers of one hand weaving, lips moving in what is either a kido chant or a mental deconstruction of the other spell. Then a blast of green just missing his ear pulls his attention back, and he tries to pinpoint the caster. If he can take out the main kido user—

A wordless cry of satisfaction is accompanied by the sound of shattering stone, and Shuuhei doesn’t bother to fight a grin. Figuring out how to break an unknown kido spell, in the midst of a hectic and entirely outmatched battle, with all the odds against them, while wounded and losing blood—Kei’s a genius, and if they get out of this in one piece Shuuhei’ll kiss him square on the mouth. Fuck, the kid just became his new favorite person.

Half a heartbeat later, Shuuhei decides he likes him even more as green kido rebounds off an inverted pyramid of light that bursts into existence around him. It fades a moment later, but then Kei steps up to his side, already casting another barrier.

“It’s a power-drain,” he says, eyes focused on the regrouping enemy. One of their own has been hit by that strange spell, and Shuuhei can’t be anything but vindictively pleased. “It freezes whoever gets hit in some sort of leech-stone shell and transfers all of their power to those marked by the caster. Those civilians must have been drained before they were killed, and now the bastards are moving up to actual shinigami.”

Shuuhei curses softly, and asks, “Our people will survive?”

Kei nods. “They’re fine. I’ll break the rest out and send the stronger officers to help you. Just keep from getting hit.”

The barrier shatters with a sound like a struck gong and Kei flash-steps back to the field of statues behind them. More stone breaks, and then more, and Shuuhei steels himself as he’s rushed.

Foot soldiers, he thinks, even as Kazeshini reaps more lives, as he binds and cuts and slashes and tears through their ranks, trying desperately to give Kei the time he needs to free both squads. It’s a thought that’s guided by blind instinct, and urged on by experience. 

These are foot soldiers. Where are the generals?

The 54th District is little more than a collection of roads, a grassy, hilled expanse colored green in the winter and dead-brown in the summer, with craggy pits of stone and sudden drops to catch the unwary. Renji surveys the terrain, though it’s covered by a shimmering barrier of silvery red light, and tries his best not to grind his teeth. Bakudo, and one he’s not familiar with.

No wonder they haven’t been getting any readings from the missing squads.

“Shit,” he mutters, rocking back on his heels. He can’t see much past the shifting shine of the ward, but from what he can make out the squads clearly aren’t camped out and waiting for them, not that he really expected it to be that easy. Still, the universe giving him a break once in a while would be nice.

From his left, a deathly soft voice intones, “Scatter, Senbonzakura,” and before Renji can so much as twitch out of the way a thousand petal-bright blades hurl themselves against the barrier and rebound. He yelps and leaps back, but Byakuya’s control over his zanpakuto is too good for collateral damage. The blades whirl away and rush forward again, and then again, and again before Byakuya finally raises his hand and calls them back. His sword reforms and he slides it away without a word, face still completely calm.

It looks for all the world as though that were entirely deliberate, when in truth it’s the closest Renji’s ever seen Kuchiki Byakuya come to losing control.

He barely restrains himself from gaping at his former captain. It’s little relief that Hitsugaya’s eyes are also faintly wide, and Matsumoto looks entirely serious.

“Someone very skilled at kido will be necessary,” Byakuya says flatly.

There’s a snort from behind him, and Shiba Kei’s sister elbows him out of the way as she steps forward. “Good thing you brought me, then,” she snaps. “Move it, kid.”

Steely grey eyes narrow, even as the captain shifts to the side. “I do not recall inviting you along, much less requesting your presence, Shiba-san,” Byakuya says, in a tone that for anyone else would be a growl.

The Shiba matriarch levels him with an entirely unimpressed stare. “You’re still just as much of a brat as you used to be, Kuchiki,” she sniffs. “As if I’d leave a bunch of shinigami to rescue my cute little otouto. Step back. This might get messy.” With a fierce grin, she raises her left hand and cries, “Shut tight the seven gates. Bind the three storms and seed the five winds with chaos. Beyond the eighth sea, fall to pieces. Bakudo 71: Shatterpoint!

A crack like thunder fills the air, followed by the sound of a vast pane of glass breaking, as white light envelops the barrier. There’s a long, breathless moment where Renji doesn’t know whether to curse or cheer and then it fades away like mist, taking the barrier with it. He breathes out in relief, almost shaky with it, and Kukaku lowers her hand, savage satisfaction on her face. Her green eyes are bright with fury, and she unsheathes her katana as she strides forward.

It’s telling that Byakuya is the first to fall into step with her, and that his hand is resting on the hilt of his own sword. Shiba Kei seems to inspire loyalty the way Kurosaki Ichigo used to, and it’s a little unnerving to watch. Renji follows them, because he’s worried about Shuuhei, and he can’t do anything else.

And then a wave of released reiatsu sweeps over all of them, nearly sending Matsumoto to her knees and knocking Renji off balance. He tries to breathe, tries to move, and then—

The power cuts off as suddenly as it appeared, and half a moment later a surge of figures in shinigami black crest the hill and sweep down towards them, moving at a flat-out run. Behind them—so many, all alive—come two more at a slightly slower pace, leaning heavily on each other and splattered with blood that belongs to more than just themselves. Renji barely pauses to register the two dark heads bent together, the fact that his lieutenant has Kazeshini out and in shikai and that even Shiba has his zanpakuto drawn, before he’s sprinting towards them. His Ninth members acknowledge him as he passes, smiles or weary nods or a rare salute, and Renji hears the Sixth’s members greeting their captain as well. He manages a few pats on the shoulder, a quick smile here and there, but most of his attention is on the two lieutenants.

“Captain,” Shuuhei says as he nears, looking up with an exhausted half-smile. “You won’t believe what happened to us.”

Renji shakes his head and ducks forward, grabbing Shuuhei’s free arm and slinging it over his shoulder. “Probably not,” he agrees, “seeing as you look like you just went through a damn war.”

“Only a small one,” Shiba mutters, sounding utterly drained, half a heartbeat before a red-and-white blur all but tackles him to the ground. He takes the hit with a yelp, releasing Shuuhei to grab his sister as she wraps herself around him for three seconds, then pulls back, hauls off, and smacks him in the head.

“Idiot!” she bellows. “What the hell were you thinking?” She smacks him again for good measure, grabs ahold of his ear, and drags him back into another hug.

Renji and Shuuhei trade glances, and the captain raises one brow. “I’m happy to see you, too,” he drawls. “But sorry, I don’t think I’m that happy.”

Shuuhei snorts. “No worries. I think I’ll survive you just helping me to the Fourth. The rest of the squad should get checked out, too. A lot of them got their energy drained.”

“Drained?” Byakuya says sharply, shifting his attention from where he’d been watching with amusement as his lieutenant got chewed out by a woman five inches shorter and a good twenty pounds lighter. “What do you mean?”

At that Shiba manages to drag himself out of his sister’s clutches and face his captain. “A new kind of restraining kido,” he explains. “It transfers energy, from what I could tell.”

“Kido?” Hitsugaya echoes, eyes narrowing. “These enemies, they're—”

“They’re shinigami,” Shuuhei confirms wearily. “We found tracks and Kei identified their reiraku, but before we could head back we were attacked. It’s my belief that they’re Academy graduates who didn’t pass the test to enter the Gotei 13.”

Byakuya’s expression is grim, and he turns on his heel to survey the land the squads just retreated from. “Come,” he says. “Have the well carry the wounded if they cannot travel swiftly enough. It is imperative that the Captain-Commander be told of this at once.”

Shuuhei and Shiba exchange glances and then pull themselves upright, weary but determined. They’ve obviously taken the brunt of the assault, and Renji feels ridiculously weak right now, can’t help but think that he should have been there even though there have been similar patrols for weeks that have never encountered any problems.

Captain’s prerogative, he supposes, but nevertheless it fucking grates.

A Court of Fire and Fury Chapter 1

AN: Enjoy.

I brushed the caramel of Elain’s hair away from her peaceful face, watching the slow rise and fall of her chest as she curled in on the pile of thin blankets that rested on our shared bed.

“I’m leaving,” she said in the doorway behind me. Her wooden bow clattered against the doorframe. “Nesta.”

I didn’t turn, instead, “I’m hungry, Feyre.”

She huffed out a breath, sweeping behind me to snag the arrows she’d left on top of the dresser. Luckily for her, Elain didn’t stir from her sleep. “The woods are barren, the streams are frozen solid, and the big game has migrated southwards,” Feyre said, “I’ve been out there for days, Nesta, I know you’re hungry… we all are.”

Her words didn’t soothe the ache in my stomach, the gnawing in my bones that begged me to chew on the leather of my boots. Feyre knew better than to wait for a wish of good luck or a kiss on the cheek as a farewell, no, she slammed the door behind her, shaking the walls as she left.

I waited, counting under my breath. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. But Feyre didn’t return, didn’t open that door once more to collect a fallen cloak or a forgotten scarf.

The silence made me stand from my vigil and dive for the dresser, opening the flame-painted drawer and rifling through my garments. Panic filled me for just a second until my fingers bumped against something hard. I snagged it from the shirt I’d wrapped it in, hiding it beneath the layers of my cloak.

I took a final look at Elain’s sleeping form, memorising the lines and planes of her face as I always did, obeying the crippling fear that often gripped me, and left the house without a second glance at my father by the fire.

Every time Feyre left for hunting, I’d go on an adventure of my own. When her tracks went west, I’d go east. When hers went north, I’d go south.

Today she’d decided to travel south.

I plucked my way through the northern landscape, all the time thinking of my sleeping sister. I had always let my last look at that godsforsaken cabin be her face, always made sure that she would be my last memory should the cold claim me, should the hunger take me, should that ever-present threat of the territory wall swallow me up into a world of mist and magic and savagery.

We’d all heard the stories.

No matter the narrative that the Children of the Blessed had pushed when they came through with their tinkling bells and tales of a land of prosperity and beauty beyond that wall, the elegance of the superior high fae.

No, we still remembered the stories of the war. We still remembered the high fae that had enslaved our kind, stolen our children from their cribs to be raised under the thumb of the high lords and their lordlings.

I snuck through the ice and snow, vividly aware of what lay just a few short miles north of this point, and found my little clearing in the trees.

It wasn’t much, just a small space where the leaves didn’t block out the midday sun that gave only enough light to see the ink on the page.

I pulled the book out from where I’d stashed it, looking over the tattered leather cover and peeling binding, opening it to the third chapter and beginning to read.

It was one of the few heirlooms from our richer days that I’d managed to hide away. Even when there wasn’t enough food to eat and we’d pawned off the jewellery and silverware and fine clothes, still I’d kept my book a secret. Only worth a few coppers, I’d told myself in justification, not enough to feed the family anyway.

Elain and Feyre knew better than to dig through my drawer and my crippled father was too uninterested to care what went on outside of whatever fantasy he lived within, and thus no one had ever found my little book; barely bigger than my palm with faded yellow pages and flaking ink that wore away more and more by the day.

While father stared at the fire, Elain slept away the hunger pains, and Feyre hunted in the woods, I would sneak away to one of my many hiding spots and read the same book over and over again.

The fairytale was enough to numb the pain in my stomach, enough to make me not feel the chill of the rock beneath my thighs, enough to take me away for just a moment from the hell we lived in and instead transport me to a realm of dashing princes that would lay down their lives for their princesses if only she asked. It allowed me to forget that one of us might very well not survive the winter.

I lost myself in the pages, in true love and destiny and fate.

All vicious lies.

There was no true love and grand destinies didn’t belong to human girls whose parents had squandered their fortune, and fate was more a joke than either; if it was my fate to starve in a rotting cabin in the woods then the gods were crueller than I had once thought.

And yet even with my scepticism, still I read on.

True love, destiny, and fate.

I turned the page once more squinting at the darkened page.

A shadow blotted out the sun, plunged the little clearing into darkness. My book fell into my lap and I blinked up at the sky, trying to discern the two shapes that fell from the heavens.

I tried to scuttle away, throwing my legs up onto the rock.

Two figures slammed into the ground, spraying snow into the air like powdered sugar and with them came shadows like liquid darkness that skittered into every crevice, seeking out the roots of trees and the rock that I sat upon like grasping hands searching for the sun.

My eyes traced the lines of muscle coated in intricate leather that was detailed with scales of hardened leather over their hips, chests, and shoulders.

Right before my eyes were two beautiful, powerful males and, behind them, each had a pair of dark wings tipped with bony talons tucked behind them, the leathery material filtering the weak sun through hues of red and gold.

My heart stilled in my chest, choosing instead to leap into my throat.



“I told you not to land there.” I raised my head, meeting the hazel eyes of the speaker, his hair feathery and short like a raven’s wings, brushing against the harsh lines of his tan face. The living shadows seemed to slither around him when he spoke, rising at times to whisper the secrets of the world in their master’s ear.

He’d crossed his arms over his broad chest as if he’d been trying to show off the blue gems set into his – surprise – leather gauntlets and peered down his nose at me, assessing, weighing what threat I posed perhaps.

I wasn’t going to be the first casualty in whatever war they brought.

I scrambled over the rock, aiming to land on the other side and pick my way down that path back to my house. If I was fast enough then I could take Elain south with me to cower in the capital until the fae had taken the humans they wanted or slaughtered their way across the continent.

But something snagged my ankle and pulled. My legs collapsed from underneath me, slamming my chin into the rock so hard that the bite to my tongue filled my mouth with the sharpness of blood.

More hands gripped my scrambling arms, flipping me over onto my back and holding me there. I looked down in disbelief, at the shadowy claws that pinned my arms to the rock, real and yet unreal, material and immaterial.

The second male had stepped out from behind his companion, his head tilted to one side as identical eyes scanned every protruding inch of my body, skimming my face more than once.

While his armour was the same, the gems set into his gauntlets were a deep blood red, brutal instead of beautiful. His dark hair had been hastily pulled into a knot that, when he turned to scan the rest of the woods, I saw was tied at the crown of his head with a soft scrap of – again – damnable leather.

His face was even harsher than the male beside him with his strong brow and jaw that was sharper than the glinting knives at their sides – knives so cruel-looking that I was glad I didn’t have food in my bowels to dispel.

“A human,” the male with the longer hair said, “let her loose, Az.”

Az looked at his companion but the grip of his shadows didn’t release. “Amarantha has eyes south of the border. I won’t risk his life because you’ve grown soft-hearted to the enemy.”

The claws bit a little deeper, the threat clear.

“She’s half-starved,” the other hissed, “plus, a minion of that bitch-queen wouldn’t allow herself out in the open like this.” Az shook his head at him in disapproval but a smile broke out across the other’s face so hungry and wide that I truly understood what the expression ‘wolfish’ meant. “If I’m soft-hearted then you’re paranoid, brother.”

Az bristled defensively. “We’re at war. Of course I’m a little on edge.”

The other’s smile only widened further, ready to bite out a witty retort, no doubt. I stopped him in his tracks.

“I’m here, winged pricks, no need to discuss my fate without my input.” Sarcasm dripped from every word, the fire that I tucked in my soul spilling from my mouth as it always did when my temper broke.

The male with longer hair’s eyes widened, his nostrils flaring in pure delight as he gestured to my immobile form. “You believe one of her cronies would have humour?”

Az grimaced and one of those shadows curled over his shoulder and around his ear. His gaze snapped behind me. “There’s a cabin just south of here. A younger girl and a middle-aged man inside.” He pointed to the woods behind me.

Red splashed across my vision and I bowed off of the rock, hissing, “stay away from them, you cowards. Kill me if you must but they stay out of it.” Those talons bit deeper into my arms but I didn’t care, the pain only fuelled me. “You hurt her and—.”

“And what?” Az said, turning once again to his companion, trying to remain unfazed even though I saw one of his hands, horrifically scarred, drop to the bejewelled knife at his hip. “We can’t very well leave her, Cassian, we’re breaking the pact just by being here. If she finds out…”

Cassian shook his head, again transfixed by me. Those great wings unfurled a little as he shook them out one by one, flexing each.

“Taking an innocent’s life,” he said, holding one palm out, “bringing her with us,” he held out the other palm and pretended as though he weighed them on a scale. “I’d say it’s an easy choice.”

With them.

I’d once heard that the fae ate human babes if they cried too loudly.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t go anywhere where baby-eating was commonplace.

Az beat me to it.

“That’s ludicrous.”

Cassian shrugged. “It’s within my right. I can vouch for her, bring her into the fold if I wish.”

“This isn’t the Steppes,” Az retorted, “it isn’t that simple.”

Cassian rolled his eyes, that insufferable smirk never falling from his face. “If she’s a damned spy or a traitor then your Truth-Teller can take over custody of her.” He shrugged his great shoulders and those massive wings moved with the action.

The claw-tipped hands of shadow dissipated, returning to the heaps that swirled at Az’s feet.

I raised into a sitting position, watching both of them carefully. “She’s your responsibility then,” Az growled at his brother in a less-than-human manner and stalked off into the woods, throwing over his shoulder, “take your pet home, I’ll finish up here.”

And I was alone, alone with the fae that looked like he may want more than a meal from me.

He was the most beautiful man I’d laid eyes on, that fact was objectively true. He was tall and handsome in a brutish kind of way and, despite the animalistic smile, the eyes that were set deep into their sockets held a strange spark of intelligence that would have told me he’d had a life full of tales to tell that were actually worth listening to.

If I’d met him in town without those wings then I may very well have dreamed of marrying him.

But as I glared at the grinning fae I knew the rings would have been made of iron and ash instead of gold.

Now that his brother had gone, he dropped down to one knee in the snow before me, meeting my glare with equal intensity. He was so close that I could see the thin lines of white scars that flecked his wings and the short stubble that complemented his sensuous mouth. Finally, the smile was gone and his brow had furrowed into seriousness.

“I promise you that your father and sister won’t be brought into this.” The deepness and harshness of his brash voice had softened considerably, turning into a purring caress that split a painful crevice into my heart.

Sisters,” I croaked in correction, “I have another.”

He nodded. “This is a precaution we have to take, you’ll understand this soon. It was this or death, and I get the impression you’re much more interesting alive than dead.”

I didn’t respond. I didn’t know how to.

He continued in my stead. “You’re under my protection now, no harm will come to you as long as I’m here.”

I shook my head, baring my teeth at him.“How can I believe that?”

“What’s your name?”

I raised an eyebrow, not what I’d expected him to say. “Nesta.”

He drew one of the long knives at his hip and made a clean slice along the width of his palm, squeezing hard enough that drops of crimson stained the snow beneath him.

“I swear to you, Nesta, that I, Cassian, will protect your life as if it was my own and that I’ll allow you no distress or pain,” he said, showing me the wound, “I swear that you shall always have food on the table and a bed to sleep in, and that you’ll never face mistreatment under my roof.”

He seemed to speak the words again but this time in a language that was old and brutal that slipped from the most growling guttural noises at the back of his throat to rolls of his tongue to short dentalised sounds at the front of his mouth. It was hypnotising in its impossibility.

He stood once it was all over, holding his un-bloodied hand out for me.

I took one glance back at the life I was leaving behind. Elain would be alone.

“One more thing,” I said, “my sisters are going to starve. There’s not enough food and we don’t have the coin to make it through winter.” I peered deep into his hazel eyes, unbowed, unbent, and unbroken. “I want my family fed.”

There was hardly a pause. “Then it’s done.”

I would leave and because of that they’d survive at least another winter. I dusted myself off as I rose, finally at peace, and picked my fallen book up along the way, tucking it back into my layers of clothing, and took Cassian’s hand.

His skin was pleasantly warm and, aside from the calluses, softer than I’d thought it would be, even his actions gentle as he pulled me in closer.

But the smirk that split across his face suddenly had dread creeping in at the edges of my consciousness.

For good reason.

He swept my knees out from under me with an arm, holding me tight and close to his body. Flame exploded in my gut again, ready to spit every filthy word I’d heard at him.

But he crouched and those impossibly large wings splayed out behind him. My eyes tried to jump from their sockets and I dug my nails into his shoulder, holding onto the book with my other hand for dear life.

He wouldn’t dare.

Not after what had just happened.

The wings shook out a little more.

And in one powerful flap we shot straight into the sky like a loosed arrow.

Gleam and Glow

Look I’m actually posting something! Just a quick something for the wings au floating through my head. You can probably expect more of this verse in the coming months!

“Hey, you ready?”

Jay looks up to Cole, his fingers still tangled in feathers. “Does it look like it?” he retorts.

“Considering you only’ve done half of that wing, I’d say no.”

Jay sighs, removing one hand long enough to scoop up some more of the dye. He works it into the next patch of feathers, wrinkling his nose at the smell. “C'mon Cole, my wings are still dark enough from last time. Can’t I just skip it once?”

Cole scowls. “Jay, iridescent blue isn’t exactly a subtle color.”

His wings twitch on his back, a clump of black that blends right into his stealth robes. “And it’s poking through- see? Just finish up already!”

“Fine, fine.” Jay covers the rest of his primaries. He arches his back and flexes his wings. “I’m done!”

“You missed a spot.”

The feathers near his spine are ticklish, and Jay squirms beneath Cole’s touch. The earth ninja ignores him, applying dye generously to them. Some of it trails down his back and he shivers at its coolness.

Cole steps away and considers his handiwork. “You ready?”

The other member in the room nods his head. “Whenever you are.”

Cole inspects them both, nodding shortly. “Let’s get going then.

He steps to the window and jumps, the wind catching his wings and carrying him up. Zane goes next, then it’s Jay’s turn. He leaps without looking back.

The night air is cool and refreshing. Jay lands on the outer wall, stumbling only a little. They skim across the rooftops, closing in on their destination. He ducks through a trapdoor, revealing the target.

Jay waits for Cole’s signal before he drops down. They encircle the boy. Three pairs of wings arching high in threatening posture should make anyone terrified, but the boy looks angry, not worried. His wings arch too, right before he jabs at Zane with his toothbrush.

Before anyone can react, he’s sneaking out through the rafters.

Jay leads this chase, flying into the rafters and using his wings to help him go faster. He curses the dye which stiffens his feathers. He could go faster without it. He’s almost tempted to pause and claw it off, if he were able.

They come out into the courtyard and halt. Jay scans the area for any sign of red. He finds it. The boy activates the training course, and now he’s dodging dummies and axes as he tries to fulfill his mission.

They tackle the boy, being careful not to break anything as they tie his arms and wings down.

“Let me go!” he shouts. “Sensei! Help!”

Jay pauses.

“He’s bluffing,” Cole says, but he’s hesitating too. “Sensei said that we needed to capture the imposter and find the real master of fire.”

The boy smirks from beneath them. “Oh, is that it? Then you’re in luck, boys.” He struggles to his feet and they let him. He presses his fingertips to the ropes, and soon they smoke and burn away.

“I’m your master of fire.”

Jay considers him. The evidence matches up, but he needs to be sure. Only descendants of elemental masters will have iridescent or gleaming wings. That’s why Jay’s are faceted like a gemstone, Cole’s shimmer with a bright copper hue, and Zane’s practically glow in the sunlight.

He calls up his lightning, managing to summon tiny sparks to his fingers. He brings his hand close to the boy’s wing. They looked dark red in the dim lighting of the bathroom, but the section lit up by his hands doesn’t lie.

Red, orange and yellow.

The colors of fire.

This is not our fate

Been seeing a lot of speculation that we might have seen the alternate universe’s Castiel at some point in the S12 finale, and that he might even have been the one who got stabbed. I don’t personally think this is exactly what happened (though YMMV of course!) but I started wondering: why would alternate-Castiel have gotten involved, why would he be wearing the shorter trench coat & striped tie, and most of all… what would he be like? I started rewriting the last half of the episode from alt-Cas’s POV. I was thinking originally that this would be a fun way to lighten my grief, but soon became convinced that either way, it’s still a tragedy. Full text here (on AO3), excerpt below.

excerpt from This Is Not Our Fate:

Castiel’s grace felt sufficiently recharged now; he tested his wings, flexing them slightly from their position in next-door etheric plane. They felt fine now, despite that battering from the unexplained power surge and then the flight from Asia, but just the same he began striding up the little hillside on foot. He needed a better view of his surroundings, but found it was almost pleasant to take a moment to walk upon the Earth, so he decided he would walk on foot to the top. Maybe he was still a bit weary from the flight; or, maybe it was just a bit of weariness at heart, from the five-month-long Himalayan battle.

All battles these days dragged on for months. Or years. The Apocalypse had already lasted much longer than he’d originally expected. The toll among the angels was climbing disturbingly high, and the toll on the battered Earth had been absolutely appalling.

But, of course, one must bear in mind that the Earth does not matter, Castiel reminded himself, as he walked up the hill. All this was temporary, in the bigger picture; all this would pass.

And he still had complete faith in the rightness of the fight, he further reminded himself. Complete faith. In the rightness and justice of the actions of Heaven, and in the inevitability of the Heavenly triumph that would soon surely come. My faith remains unshakeable, he told himself.

Though it did seem these days that Castiel was having to remind himself increasingly often of how unshakeable his faith was.

Reaching the top of the ridge he surveyed a small stretch of barren ground on the other side. It looked fairly normal - which is to say, it looked like a desolate wasteland. It had once been a peaceful tract of woods, to judge from the burned-out stumps that were still visible here and there. But the trees had long ago been burned to the ground, during the repeated waves of apocalyptic destruction that had been visited upon North America, and all the Earth, in the last seven years. Castiel took in the depressingly familiar scene: the earth denuded of vegetation; five or six hellspires scattered around (Class B hellspires, medium height, Castiel thought, assessing them automatically); a burned-out and smoking stone foundation of what might have once been a pleasant little house; the usual set of corpses scattered here and there. And a few humans improbably still alive (though doubtless not for long) who were dashing fruitlessly here and there. Darkly menacing clouds overhead boiled with flashes of hellfire as aerial battles unfolded above. Castiel spared a tired glance overhead; from the frequency of red hellfire bolts and crashes of thunder he estimated approximately three coveys of winged demons were in the clouds above, all of them engaged in battle with the local angels of the Great Lakes garrison.

But he noted, with more interest, that he could hear all the battle dispatches perfectly clearly. There was no sign of the etheric interference that had drawn him here.

A few more steps brought some more of the mortals into view: two men crouching behind a boulder, desperately working at a last-ditch attempt at a spell. Another two rolled on the ground nearby embroiled in a violent fist-fight.

Scorched earth, hellspires, corpses, aerial battles overhead, and a few desperate survivors battling for their lives. In other words, everything looked normal.

Click here for more (link to AO3). A little gift for you all. Thanks for reading!

Fire & Brimstone: Nessian Angst/Smut


AO3 Linkage

Side Note: This isn’t really the Nesta we currently know. I’d like to think that once Nesta realizes being fae can give her emotions the agency they need to control her life, she’ll calm down a little. She’s still snarky and pissed off here, but she’s also coming to terms with a lot of baggage, so she’s more the Nesta I’m hoping we’ll end up with in Book 3 - aka one who isn’t quite so mean all the time.

Lots of angst. And a small bit of smut that defies the rules of physics, but oh well. But mostly angst.

Fire and Brimstone

“It’s a spa.”

“It’s a geothermic pool in the ground brimming with sulfur and minerals that are good for the skin and known to be purifying to bodily toxins.”

I stared at the steam rising from the geothermic pools and called bullshit. “It’s a spa.”

Cassian scowled. “Call it whatever you want, sweetheart. It wasn’t my choice to drag you here. You can leave whenever you want, although I know you’re dying to see me with my shirt off in all my bandaged, bruised glory.”

In light of what had happened to Cassian’s wings, his humor had turned from an arrogant bravado bordering on sultry to a self-deprecating brand I wasn’t quite sure how to cut. The implications of it, however, still pissed me off.

“No thanks,” I replied. “Ugly and bandaged brutes aren’t quite my thing.”

Keep reading

dubonet  asked:

Got any Warren Worthington Head-canons for me lovely?? You said you were bored so I thought I'd help out!! :) x- Lyn


Originally posted by claracivry

  • Warren is totally super (lowkey) protective of you. Like, he wants to protect you S O B A D and keep you away from everything that could hurt you but he doesn’t want to lose you and he definitely doesn’t want to stop you from doing anything you wanna do so he does his best to back off
  • Warren aka The King of Lowkey Bein Jealous - need I say more? he will get jealous ALL THE DAMN TIME SERIOUSLY THIS BOI NEEDS TO CHILL
  • Warren is also so damn proud of you and is SUPER aware of what you’re capable of. If anybody says chats shit about you he’s like “ohH BROTHER YOURE G O N E” and he just waits for you to do your thing
  • Also Warren tries so damn hard to impress you it’s honestly embarrassing sometimes. Like he’ll throw you over dramatic winks and flex his muscles and stretch his wings out and act all cool with his cute, dumb leather jacket whenever you’re near and you just have to be like. “Warren, s t o p!! You’re embarrassing yourself, good lord” He’ll keep doing it anyway just to annoy you
  • oh my gosh also don’t even get me started on Warren’s damn wings. He just about busts a nut when you touch them and he will deadass refuse anyone else’s request to touch them.

~ Clara

Angel Dust

Originally posted by claracivry

Title: Angel Dust

Summary: Why were you suddenly covered in white dusty particles?

Paring: Warren x Reader

Word count: 1291

Warnings: language

A/N: My mom has a cockatoo and when he preens, he leaves little piles of what we as kids called “Paco dust”, ‘cuz his name is Paco and it looks like dust.


Keep reading

Yamada Hizashi (3)


[PREV] || [NEXT]

Hizashi’s mom actually volunteers to drive him to the practical exam.  She doesn’t say anything during the drive, and when they arrive at the gates of UA academy her “…well, good luck sweetie” sounds a little bit stilted.  But she does smile at him as he gets out, and rolls down the window to wave. 

Keep reading

azureoverland-deactivated201610  asked:

"You want me to do what?” Sabriel~

Sleep was something Gabriel didn’t need, but that didn’t detract from his enjoyment of spending the night with Sam. The hunter was currently halfway to dreamland, head tucked up under Gabriel’s chin, knee jabbing uncomfortably into his hip, as Gabriel gently massaged his fingers through Sam’s hair.

Sam shivered. “M’coal,” he mumbled.

“Wassat?” Gabriel murmured into his hair.

“I’m cold.”

Gabriel adjusted his arm, pulling Sam closer to his chest and wrapping his other arm around him. “Better?”

"Thnk y’shd yuzure wngs.” Sam’s jaw hardly moved as he spoke, if such a sophisticated word as “speaking” could even be used to describe the muddled sounds.

“You’re entirely incomprehensible, moosey,” Gabriel chuckled softly. “You want me to do what?”

“Wings,” Sam sighed into his neck. “Use ‘em.”

Gabriel smirked. “Spoiled brat,” he muttered fondly, and carefully warped the space surrounding them until six enormous golden-orange wings unfurled across the mattress, one set of three already cushioning under Sam’s body. They moved almost silently, with just the slightest brush of sound as they curled, enfolding the hunter in soft, feathery warmth. Sam purred contentedly against Gabriel’s shoulder, flexing his limbs gently to feel their silky caress. He giggled sleepily when a stray feathertip tickled the shell of his ear.

You, my big bad hunter, are completely too adorable for your own good.” Gabriel smiled against Sam’s forehead and pressed a kiss there. Sam’s breathing slowly evened out, and the archangel bided his time until Sam would start dreaming so that Gabriel could hold him close there, too.

5 Things About Me!

Tagged by the beautiful monster @undeadeira 

1. Uhhm… Ah, I hate to talk about myself usually because I think I sound like a stereotypical person? I love animals, like helping people, draw, sing, and play video games and to me that sounds like a regular joe and I don’t want to be regular haha.

2. Ever since I was little I’ve had phantom limb syndrome kinda stuff where I can feel horns or wings that arn’t actually there and flex the imaginary muscles and all that jazz. I know it’s not real or anything like that but it has always relaxed me and may be the reason my persona is a shapeshifter?

3. SPEAKING OF CRAZY THINGS for years I thought it was normal to have everything fall into a mind numbing pattern, speed up or slow down despite things being normal speed, and for peoples heads to just shrink and grow if I stare at them too long. Nope. Learned this past year that it’s called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. 

The best way for me to describe it is if you listen to a song on nightcore but it is actually normal speed and you know that. Everything feels rushed and fast and you start to panic. Usually everything will fall into a pattern of 1 2 3 1 2 3 like how you keep count for music and it’s very disorientating. 

4. This isn’t as interesting but I am going to be getting my first reptile soon, a Crested Gecko! I have a 35g hex tank that is almost all ready to go and I’m super excited. 

5. This is going to be my first year not going back to school in the fall and I am kinda terrified of what to do with my life, send help.

I tag @draykan @0bluart0 @ask-nido-royalty @maudunit to do the meme!



by Karl-Shakur -Tumblr Instagram  Twitter

The Day I Almost Died

So I was in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas exploring some rock valley🏃🌄 so I could get some sick shots for😏 insta as usual and I come across this cow skull💀. You know I had to pick it up and flex for the gram 📷one time. After gettin a couple of pictures, I throw the skull in my trunk so I can do some more cool artsy stuff with it later like painting or whatnot. I continue driving🚙💨. After a while, I open my trunk at a gas-stop and low and behold, the heavens haths bestowed upon me; a plethora of extremely thick spider webs 😷😮INSIDE MY FRIGGIN TRUNK. My nigga senses started tingling. Confucius say; wherever there is an extremely thick spider web, there must be an extremely thick spider. So I’m just like *nope*🏃💨 I slam the trunk and keep driving like ain’t nothing wrong. I ain’t about to be dealing with no tarantulas. Heck naw. After getting to my hotel and unpacking everything but the trunk, I mustered up some courage, reminding myself that I possess a pair of nuts🍆. I go back out to my car trunk armed with like 3 cans of bug spray🔪🔫🔨 and like 7 fly-swatters. I open the trunk and there’s a black widow spider in my shiznit. BLACK WIDOW SPIDER!!!!!!🌚🔫. google that stuff fam. One bite can kill a grown man. That nigga had a red hourglass marking on its back and everything. I ain’t even have the balls to take pictures or nothin. No way. I didn’t travel🌊🏄✈️ all the way from the mother-land to come and be killed by no eight-legged-cobb-web-making-no-wing-having-ass-insect-wannabe. You know I had to go Bruce Lee on that nigga👊👋💪. How *smack* dare *smack* you *smack* try to *smack* creep *smack* up *smack* in *smack* my *smack* life *smack* and *smack* try *smack* to *smack* kill *smack* me. *sprays bug-spray till spider drowns*🔫🔫🔫 Moral of the story is, know your lane. Ain’t nobody sent me to be pickin up skulls💀 in the middle of the wilderness just for a gram flex. That stuff ain’t for brothers like me. Holla at me. I’ll be over here in my bed on YouTube😴💻💿 and Soundcloud doing normal nigga shit✊✊✊. Cuz I ain’t about this near-death-experience life. I ain’t no Nat-Geo-Explorer

See other Diary Posts Here


[ℳ]– She waited until Mal’s friends had left her, green eyes locking onto the daughter she never got the chance to know… Her large wings flexed behind her and Diaval cawed from a nearby tree, the faerie ignoring him in favor of approaching her. What does one possibly say in this situation? She honestly didn’t know… She was lucky enough to get out what she did. That little face, she looked so sad… Tear stained and crying just as she was when she came into this world and Maleficent’s expression softened tremendously. “Oh my sweet child,” she whispered, using every ounce of self control not to kneel down to her level and wipe her tears. “What troubles you?”

Mind Cavities - Fratboy!Luke Smut

    Plot: College bad boy Luke sees something he likes. He’s always tried to get what he wants. Sometimes he succeeds, other times…it’s the sweet trip of the drug that’s enough satisfaction. Tonight…he gets both. 

First Person POV (Luke’s)

DISCLAIMER: Drug & Alcohol Use, Angst 

Rating: Explicit

Side note: This was loosely based off of Ariana Grande’s song “Hands On Me” per anon request. Enjoy! xoxo

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

HC for Poe showing off for reader? My favorite that I keep running around is when he runs a meeting and he gets authoritative. (Like the 'we take out their big gun' scene in TFA) 😍😍


  • he would get cocky during flight practice and do tricks and stuff, like barrel-rolling or just doing something crazy. he’d announce it over the coms and be like “(y/n) WATCH THIS” and you’d just laugh and tell him not to die because the resistance can’t lose their cockiest pilot
  • poe dameron is totally The Type that if he’s doing push-ups or something, and you walk by, he’d skip to a really high number like “99… 100!” you would just roll your eyes and he’d throw you a playful wink
  • while working on your x-wings he’d totally try and mess around to get your attention, like flexing when you glance over or trying to get everyone to sing along to some catchy song
  • based off of the meeting, he WOULD SO GET AUTHORITATIVE. he knows you like a guy who can take control without being a dick, and he does just that. (not to mention it’s V V attractive seeing him in commander mode, planning out strategies etc)

if you guys have any more to add, feel free to reblog and add or send them in my ask! <3

Monster Tamer (charming family + cs ff)

A fic based off this conversation, namely the idea that if Emma were raised in the EF she would go around befriending all manner of magical creatures and stressing her parents out greatly.

Set in an AU where Regina was defeated before Emma’s birth, and Killian Jones’ story happened in the present. That means no Milah (and thus no hook), but he did lose his brother to a corrupt king and became a pirate.


It starts with the Huntsman’s wolf.

Emma’s barely walking, and she hasn’t seen the man since he was named godfather shortly after her birth (the Huntsman is fond of Snow but not of civilization, and despite being welcome any time rarely takes advantage of their hospitality), but she seems to recognize him immediately, throwing her arms in the air and grinning hugely wide.

“‘Unsman!” She laughs, and when he doesn’t move to pick her up immediately, wobbily pushes herself to her feet to go to him instead. The Huntsman, Snow, and David watch her progress fondly (and in the Huntsman’s case, obviously bewildered), as she toddles slowly across the room towards the man dressed in hunting leathers.

Keep reading