just ten numbers


[Connor]’s the kind of player that coaches like to coach, and players like to play with.

anonymous asked:

Hello JHH! Do you have any personaly proof that David and Gillian in romantic relationship? What maked YOU believe? Can you call 5 reason to believe in more than friendly relationship

Hello anon! No I don’t have any proof. If I had one, I wouldn’t be here guessing and analyzing everything! But I can definitely call 5 reasons to believe in it. You could have asked for 50 actually. So this is going to be in no particular order, just as it crosses my mind. 

1 - I don’t know what kind of friend you are for your friends, but I don’t kiss mine on the lips (twice) and I don’t put my tongue down their throat to amuse my coworkers around me (twice) (probably more than twice). I don’t have more than an attraction for my friends. I don’t know them more than their spouse. I don’t tell them there’s no ramp required for where I want them to be. I don’t want to be buried right next to them. I don’t miss especially one of them while laying in bed. I don’t wear shirts with an arrow pointing at them saying I’m with them. I’m not moist around them. I don’t tell them “why don’t we just have sex on this table right now?” Even if the word is dying. 

2 - I haven’t even started, and it’s more than 5 reasons already.

3 - They don’t only confuse fans. They confuse their friends and coworkers for twenty five years. Chris Carter said it’s as if they share a secret. Kim Manners was amazed at how they “truly loved each other”. Joel Mchale think they should get married. Shangela wasn’t sure if she was asked about Mulder and Scully or David and Gillian being a couple. William B Davis dropped that “the rumor said that David and Gillian were getting along really well… personally” (Who say that?!!). Photographers find them flirty and their chemistry electrifying and unwordly. And don’t get me started on Mitch and Orlando Jones!

4 - They even confuse themselves. David dropping “All that’s left is the heart” between them while asked about their characters… What was that? 

5 - They ALWAYS disappear at the same time. Always. And they always resurface at the same time. It happens all the time. You just have to pay attention, but it’s always like that, and it can’t be just coincidences. 

6 - You got me started, I’m on a roll, you won’t stop me now.

7 - What kind of friends describe their friendships as adult / enjoyable friendship based on logistic? What does that even mean? Would your friend make your year by being on stage for five minutes giving you a totally unknown award? Would tearing Neil Young apart with one of your friend would be the best night of your life? Without even being drunk?

8 -  They lie to us. They do. And they’re proud of them. 5 emails a year? A confessed lie. Having “meals together when nobody’s watching”? another lie. They have breakfasts together. Do you have breakfasts with your friends? I don’t but maybe I’m missing something. They say they’ve never dated, but what were the 1997 Golden Globes? 

9 - There are too many stories. You’re free to not believe them, but I do, for most of them. 

10 - Just look at them. 

Questions That I Need Answered

  • What is Marina’s last name. She was disguised as a human so she has to have a last name and I need to know it.
  • Which of the Garde/Loric Allies can sing. There’s a bunch of them, so like AT LEAST one or two of them have to be able to sing well.
  • DOES Adam have an emo haircut?
  • Will more human Garde be created or will it just be the ones that are already created?
  • Did some animals turn into chimæras? Like some humans turned into Garde
  • Do the Garde finish school after the war?
  • Does John live in a cave for the rest of his life?
  • Do any of the other Garde teach at the Academy at some point?
  • Does Adam ever leave the camp?
  • Lorics are supposed to live longer than humans (at least I’m pretty sure they are) so have the human Garde’s life spans been extended due to the Loric-ness in them
  • Were human teens the only ones that got legacies or were there just like 80 year old men in wheel chairs rolling down the streets, chucking fireballs at Mogs?
  • What is everyone’s favorite color?
  • What happened to Emily from the first book?
act naturally

A ficlet collection of missing and alternate POV scenes from the fic help i need somebody (not just anybody)

master of strategy – ficlet #1/?

Summary: After they pick up dinner on the way back to their building after taking Jackie on a tour of the town, John and Rose relax in John’s flat. Set immediately after the events of chapter four and before the start of chapter five.

Pairing: Ten/Rose || Rating: All Ages


“Come on, you can’t be serious,” Rose cried out, poking John’s side with her foot. “You’re having me on.”

“I am completely, one hundred percent serious,” he said, grabbing her foot with his free hand. He was somehow managing to keep a straight face but the twinkle in his eyes gave him away. “That’s really how Jack and I met. He’ll tell you the same thing if you ask.”

“If you ever let me meet him, I will,” Rose warned. “Because pickpocketing you and then giving your wallet back so he could ask you for a date sounds highly unlikely.”

“That’s only because you haven’t met Jack.” He ran his fingers down the sole of Rose’s foot and she squealed. She tried to get her foot back but her squirming resulted in her moving closer to John on the sofa.

“You are so lucky I wasn’t still holding my beer when you did that,” she said with a mock huff once she’d regained her breath. They’d ended up in his flat after picking up their curry and dinner had turned into them watching some ridiculous documentary on Netflix that was now being ignored.

“I bided my time,” John claimed. “Waited for the perfect moment to strike.”

She rolled her eyes and jabbed him with her elbow. “Master of strategy, you are.”

He just winked outrageously at her in response.

Rose stood and plucked his empty beer bottle from his hand before stooping to get hers off the floor. “Want another?”

“Nah, I think I’m done for the night.”

“Suit yourself.” Rose walked into the kitchen and set the bottles next to the sink before opening the fridge and snagging another beer.

“Help yourself, though,” John called.

Rose popped the lid off in answer. “Will do, thanks.”

She grinned at him as she walked back towards the couch, giggling when he rolled his eyes. Rose plopped down right next to John and settled her head on his shoulder. “So, do you know what’s actually happening in this documentary or should we pick something new?”

She felt him take a shaky breath and then before she could second-guess how she had practically cuddled up to him, he was off and rambling about the contents of the documentary and all the ways it was wrong.

Rose settled against him further and took a sip from her beer. She really hoped that nights like this would be something that lasted after Jackie went home and she and John were freed from their charade.

Headcanons about Sportacuses/numbered heroes (because I can)

*The Sportacus we know is the 10th Sportacus, and obviously the most recent one 

*The elves take the position of Sportacus VERY seriously. The previous Sportacus has SOME input in who becomes the next Sportacus, but there is actually a whole council of elves who make the decision together. 

*The position of Sportacus is NOT something that is inherited. However, a relative being a Sportacus previously DOES help…10′s grandmother was a Sportacus previously (I like to say the 7th tbh) 

*Anyone can be Sportacus regardless of their sex. 

*You can be appointed Sportacus at any age, but it most commonly happens when the elf is young…like in their teens or twenties. 

*A Sportacus can give up their position for any reason. The most common however, is getting old, or wanting to retire to start a family. 

*The purpose of a Sportacus is to help humans. The position of Sportacus was created by elves to assist humans living in rural or faraway areas where they don’t have quick access to police and other emergency services. A Sportacus sort of functions in a town as a replacement for police/ambulances/fire dept etc. This is why 10 stays in Lazytown. 

*A Sportacus also has the duty of teaching the citizens of their towns how to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. They teach these things because living healthily can actually prevent certain emergencies from happening. Overall, a Sportacus wants to improve the community that they look after. 

*In order to be a potential candidate for the next Sportacus, one is expected to be very active and fit physically, often starting from a very young age. Knowledge and skills in many different sports is also desired, as is an extensive knowledge of health in both the elf and the human body. A Sportacus should also be outgoing and kind, and patient with a friendly personality. 

*A Sportacus is usually told which town to go to, but they can move town to town and go wherever they believe help is needed. When 10 first heard about Lazytown, he knew it was the kind of place that needed his help. 

*Every Sportacus has their own special uniform, but they do not all look the same. However, they are all inspired by athletic gear to a degree. 

*The airship and the crystal are passed down from Sportacus to Sportacus. Before 10, 9 had  flown the same airship, and used the same crystal. However, the ship was reprogrammed and personalized for 10 after 9 was relieved of his position. 

*The airship is fairly new technology. Before that, they used special magic hot air balloons. 

*The crystal enhances the elf’s already sensitive hearing, allowing the elf to hear EXACTLY where the trouble is and helping them locate it. However, it’s not immediately known who is in trouble or what the trouble is, until they get closer. Obviously, the crystal works by magic. 

*If a SPORTACUS is the one causing trouble for a citizen (for example, attacking or harming them), then the crystal will beep, and then BURN the wearer until they stop what they are doing. The elf council will be immediately notified, and the Sportacus will be forced to step down from their position as punishment. (This has only happened once, and that Sportacus was the shortest-running for this reason, and also the only Sportacus to get kicked out of his position. Their term was MUCH shorter than all the others) 

*7 was the first female Sportacus, and is also one of the most celebrated and most successful

*8 was the first disabled Sportacus and spent most of his career as a numbered hero in a wheelchair (basing this one off of something Magnus said once) That however, did not get in the way of his hero-ing. 

*The very first Sportacus, #1, was appointed in the mid-late 1800s. However, there have been earlier versions of the concept previously dating all the way back to the 1600s

*10 was made Sportacus fairly recently, around the start of the 21st century (matching the show’s timeline). 

*10 would LOVE for Stephanie to become 11 some day, but the elf council so far seems pretty against it since she is a human. He kind of wants to fight for it though, because he REALLY sees potential in Stephanie

*There are other types of numbered heroes besides Sportacuses. However, Sportacus is the only athletic/health focused type. There are other numbered heroes that assist and educate humans on different matters, such as mental health and relationships, science, literacy , music/art,  etc. Other magical creatures besides elves also assist humans with similar hero programs. 

….this ended up a lot longer than I thought it would 

anonymous asked:

79. Sometimes you can hear your soulmate’s thoughts… with Taeyong from NCT

79. Sometimes you can hear your soulmate’s thoughts…

Originally posted by t-yong

The first time you heard your soulmates’ thoughts, his voice, travel through your mind, he’d been in utter despair. You only caught one word, your connection not being strong as young adolescents: Ten. And although it had only been that one word, that one number, it had filled you with the same sense of panic and fear that your soulmate was currently feeling.

Over the next seven years, you’d learned through fragmented thoughts, that Ten wasn’t just a number at all, but a person. He was your soulmate’s best friend; they were all the other had. They worked together, lived together, seemingly spent every moment together. Ten was the main person your soulmate went to when something was bothering him; one time he’d even dyed his hair, purple you thought, although nothing he thought actually confirmed that. It was just a feeling, you supposed. And Ten, of course, had hated the color.

You eventually learned more about Ten than you did about your soulmate; you didn’t even know your soulmate’s name. He never thought his own name, although you tried to think yours to him over and over again in the hopes that he would know you.

You met Ten exactly eight years after the first time you heard his name run through your mind in a wave of panic. You were working in your parents’ bakery, both of them having gone home for the night and leaving you to run the store for the next few hours, and then close up. It was a boring shift, but you liked the quiet of the growing eve.

A boy came into the bakery right as you were heading to turn the neon ‘open’ sign off. He looked as if he’d jogged up to the door: a little red faced and slightly winded. His red hoodie was just a fraction too big for his frame, his black hair styled up with bold stripes shaved into the sides of his head. He glanced at you for a long moment until he noticed your raised eyebrow and impatient stance.

“I have an order to pick up,” he gasped out, rubbing his hands on the thighs of his pants. You nodded, begrudgingly, and beckoned for him to follow you up to the counter.


“Ten.” You gasped out loud, glancing up at him with an expression mixed of shock and awe. You couldn’t believe it; you’d been hearing this name for eight years, and suddenly the person who owned in was standing in front of you. And it had to be him; how many other people in the world could be named Ten? 

Ten’s eyes suddenly looked worried, concern making his features become pinched. “Is there something wrong with the cupcakes?”

You realized how your reaction must have been taken, but your mind was whirling and the right words just wouldn’t come out. “Oh, um… no, they’re fine, no… do you have a best friend, Ten?”

Ten’s face became even more concerned, although now there was shock widening his eyes. His mouth opened and closed a few times, like a fish caught out of water.

“I’m sorry,” you gasped, holding both palms up in defense. “It’s just… I hear your name, from him. From my soulmate. He’s always thinking about you and…”

Suddenly, his voice came across your mind, running through it from left to right like a conveyer belt of his words. You took a chance, blurting out words before you even thought about it, hoping it would make Ten believe you. “He knows about the surprise party you’re throwing him for his birthday.”

“Damnit!” Ten cursed loudly, slamming his fist on the table. You jumped slightly, your nerves wiry. “I was trying so hard to keep the whole thing a secret!”

“I’ll just… um… get those cupcakes for you…” you ducked into the back room and grabbed the box of cupcakes from the fridge with Ten’s name on them. When you came back into the room, Ten had a smirk on his face.

“What are you doing tonight?” he asked, surprising you. You rang him up as you answered.

“Nothing after a close up the shop. Why?”

“He might know about the surprise party, but he doesn’t know that you’ll be coming.”

As you crouched behind the couch, the lights off, waiting for him to show up, your heart raced. You knew he was walking up the stairs of the building, knew he was getting close to the door. As he got closer and closer, his thoughts became more prominent in your mind.

“Ten!” he shouted as the door open, just as everyone popped up from their respective hiding places. His eyes were wild; he knew about the surprise party, but as Ten had promised, he didn’t know you were going to be there, but he felt it, just like you felt him. You stood slowly, the ‘surprise’ you were supposed to shout dying in your throat. Your heart tightened as you looked at him, his eyes wild and frantically peering around the room: frantically peering until they stopped on you.

You could have cried, gazing at him across the room. You’d heard stories of soulmates meeting, heard how powerful the first meeting was. But nothing could have prepared you for the overwhelming flood of emotions that were coursing through you.

He strode over to you quickly, completely ignoring his group of friends that had all gathered to surprise him about the party he already knew about. He grabbed both of your arms, right at the elbows, and brought your face close to his, looking over every detail of your face with genuine awe and curiosity.

“Y/N?” his voice came out as a croaky whisper, the same voice you’d been hearing for eight years. You reached up and brushed your fingertips through the strands of his blonde hair, the feathery feeling making goosebumps rise all over your arms.

He immediately pulled you into him, sighing in relief as he felt you in his arms. You knew a faint tear was trickling from your eye as you tenderly wrapped your arms around him, trying to hold him as close as possible to your body. You never wanted to let him go, never wanted to let this moment end.

“Taeyong,” you choked out, because finally, finally you could hear his name, and he was yours.

- Admin PeachJin

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY! Today has been A Day. Not good or bad, just A DAY. And Sleep will be Appreciated??? Because?? yEaH??!? Idk. Blarghthghshghhh. 

The air quality in California is so shitty right now there’s like 20 giant ass fires burning simultaneously across the state. I’m miles and miles away from the nearest fire AND on the coast but the air is still hella smokey and smells like burning wood

Me after finding out that the title of the next book is The Fate of Ten
  • Me: *begins to sob*
  • Me: Eight still has a chance!!!
  • Me: Maybe PL named the 6th book after ten so he could surprise us with Eight's resurrection in the 7th book!!
  • Me: Maybe Ella's fate is to revive the dead Garde!!!
  • Me: Maybe... Maybe....
  • Me: *slams head in the table*

Serena Williams & Her Amazing Bod Is EVERYTHING In New York Magazine’s Fashion Issue

Come through queen! Serena Williams is shutting down the Internet today with her amazing cover and spread for New York magazine’s newest fashion issue. And she’s giving us life.

Hi haters!

What a perfect way to shut down all of those silly “she was born a man” comments. For New York magazine’s fashion issue, Serena Williams, the world’s No.1 tennis player, serves major BAWDY and grace for the cover and accompanying spread. And one thing’s for sure, she’s NO man. She’s all woman…perfectly toned and effortlessly sexy.

While she continues to dominate the tennis court, arguably as the greatest women’s player of all time, the 33-year-old tennis superstar proves tennis isn’t all she’s good at. Give chick two bars, a cut-out body suit by Baja East and she can create a sizzling hot spread that no one can deny as being totally flawless.

Switching gears, she can also serve elegance and grace when glammed up in an uber sexy dress. For the spread, shot by Norman Jean Roy, the YBF chick brings the gorgeousness in an Elizabeth and James long sleeve high slit gown styled with Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Leticia Linton jewels and Platt Boutique Jewelry.  Her cute Yorkie pup, Chip, even brings the cuteness in one of the pictorials.

In another editorial, it’s clear her muscular physique can serve fabness in…anything. Above, the tennis superstar shows off her curves in a Wolford bodysuit, accented with Platt Boutique & Robert Lee Morris cuffs, a necklace by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. and VRAM rings. YAS Serena!

And because we can’t get enough of her hot bod:

Chick served up a few behind-the-scenes shots of her spread. She captioned, “Split Warm up exercises… #proceedwithcaution” #BodyGoals

Next up for Serena? She’s weeks away from the upcoming US Open tournament set to go down at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC starting August 31st. If she wins, it will be her fourth grand slam title win in a calendar year, further proving why she’s the best to ever do it! We’ll definitely be watching.

Serena Williams Is Eyeing a Fashionable Post-Court Life, But First She’s Got Tennis History to Make

It’s a little past midnight at HSN headquarters, and Serena Williams is nine minutes into a disquisition on a piece of fabric she’s called “Convertible A-line Top With Scarf,” available to you, the home shopper, for $39.95 or three “flexpays” of $13.32. “It’s like one huge circle that has a lot of style in it,” she says, not without conviction, fiddling with the bottom of the one she is wearing (“This is, um, mustard”), flapping it like a fan, rubbing one hand on her arm, and smoothing her hair. She forgets the names of colors, misstates a price. There with the right number and the right name is HSN savant Bobbi Ray Carter, sheathed in a hot-pink Convertible A-line Top With Scarf and raccooned in black eyeliner, filling in her co-host’s “ums” with the deft patter of a sales professional: “Amazingly transitional, think-fall-think-summer-think-winter-summer-into-fall versatility, quality, surprise scarf.” Bobbi Ray Carter knows how to touch a piece of fabric: She gives it a crisp snap between her fingers, smartly smooths the drape, all the while growing progressively more tense as Serena fumbles some hangers and launches, at 56 minutes, into a long anecdote about packing jeans for Wimbledon. “Mmmm,” says Bobbi Ray Carter, tight-lipped and possibly not breathing, awaiting the arc of Serena’s story to make its mumbly descent — “I felt good packing my own jeans, I had a moment there” — so she can finally change the subject — “And it’s our customer pick!” — and steer us back to the safe harbor of Denim Moto Legging color choices.

A little background on HSN’s least comfortable saleswoman: Serena Williams is the best women’s tennis player in the world, breezing through one of the best seasons of her life. Should she win the U.S. Open next month, she will have swept all four grand slams in a calendar year, cementing her reputation as the greatest women’s player of all time and making her a serious contender for the greatest athlete of her generation.

She is a 33-year-old woman who won her first major at the tail end of the previous century, a simpler era you will recall for its consequenceless Napster-facilitated intellectual-property theft and the looming threat of Y2K. By now, her shoulder should be shredded, her elbow a constant wail of hurt. Instead, she spends her days bageling 20-something moppets who have never known the game without her. The last time a man as geriatric as Serena won a grand slam was 1972. She has won three in the past six months. Her 16-year run is, in the words of Sports Illustrated, “one of the most sustained careers of excellence in the history of athletics.”

“I didn’t think it would last this long,” says Serena, on break from the HSN grind.

“Not to suggest that your career is over — ”

“But even if it was over,” she interrupts, “it’s a really long career.”

Serena Williams travels with her teacup Yorkie, Chip, and dreamboat assistant, Grant, who went to Haverford and plays lacrosse. She is here hawking “Serena’s Signature Statement Collection,” because her career will one day end and she wants there to be something beyond nostalgia on the other side of it. Williams isn’t much for nostalgia. “I have lots of trophies, and I’m just — I’m not that person that needs to see all these trophies,” she says, under a blanket in the greenroom with Chip on her lap. “I have some in my house here, some in my house there, some I don’t know what happened to ’em. I have my grand-slam trophies … somewhere.”

A flippant past-tenseness has crept into her language. “We were so fast,” she says of herself and her sister Venus as children. “We are. We were. Gosh, is this over?” She laughs. There’s a weird anxiety in her stilted professional bio: Serena “continues to also pursue her other interests and has set herself up for a career after tennis.”

Serena is the daughter of one Richard Williams, the perfect embodiment of his perfectly executed, perfectly bonkers plan. You may have heard that Richard was watching TV when he saw a Romanian player win $40,000, at which point he decided to learn a game he knew nothing about, teach this “sissy sport” to his athletic wife, Oracene, and conceive two children whom the Williamses would together turn into champions. You may have heard about the used tennis balls he cadged from country clubs, the 78-page typewritten document in which he detailed his training regime, the broken glass on the Compton courts. But the story is a good deal crazier than you’ve heard, because the facts don’t conform to the tennis-as-ticket-out-of-the-ghetto song-and-dance the networks used to play before a match. Richard Williams was not a poor black man living in the hood. He was the comfortable — very comfortable, according to his autobiography — owner of a security company who lived in Long Beach with his wife and five daughters. He moved his family to Compton, where Venus and Serena served to the sound of gunfire and his stepdaughter was later shot to death, because he thought it would “make them tough, give them a fighter’s mentality.” Oracene Price was against this plan then; one can only imagine what she thinks of it now.

Entire childhoods were devoted to slapping serves over the net and running the court in the California heat, the mundane and lactic-acid-inducing specifics of a 78-page training regime. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is an incantation Richard imposed on his daughters, who were made to keep journals about their goals and how best to achieve them. Serena’s onboard-ness, her total and unquestioning obedience to her father’s vision, is best illustrated by an anecdote she tells in her autobiography, On the Line, in which her father walks around the corner to get sports drinks mid-practice, leaving the girls alone with a basket full of tennis balls and a sack of oranges for a snack. Nine-year-old Serena impishly tosses up some oranges and serves them over the net, to her father’s consternation. End of story. “I’ve got no justification or explanation for my behavior,” she writes. “It was just that devil streak spilling forth … I just went a little crazy.” This is the sum total of what Serena Williams has to say about youthful rebellion, and she still thinks it’s pretty outrageous.  

Serena wanted not just to design clothes but to design wedding dresses. “That was my first real love,” she says, “but then I was like, Listen. I’m playing professional tennis. I’ll just do athleticwear.” In her sartorial interests, as in all things, she followed Venus, who encouraged her to take some college design classes. Together, they brought to the game black lace, flesh-colored underwear, and knee-high sneaker boots. Today, Venus has her own line, EleVen — “Ten is just another number, but EleVen is a lifestyle” — an affordable athleticwear line far tamer than much of what Serena and Venus wear on the court. “We brought fashion back to tennis,” Serena says. “It was great when Chris Evert was around. Tracy Austin had some great designs. But the ’90s was not a good time.”

Inevitably, the sisters’ on-court style was described as “confrontational.” One sensed in early accounts of the Williams sisters’ dominance, and senses even now, a certain tightening of the available vocabulary in describing a muscular black woman on the court. Doubles-sideline-to-doubles-sideline-in-three-strides is an act of avian grace, and yet Serena is perpetually “crushing” and “slamming” and “rolling over,” as if the entire sports commentariat picked up English at a construction site. It’s instructive here to spend a few minutes googling “Roger Federer,” two words that inspire sportswriters to pseudo-spiritual cant: Federer crushes and slams but also “lifts” and “lobs” and “taps,” his stroke “liquid,” his forehand a humanity-saving treatise on the seraphic potential of the fallen human form, his feminine delicacy evidence that he exists on a higher spiritual plane. When Serena and Venus are called “masculine,” when they are accused of having been born male, when the head of the Russian Tennis Federation calls them “the Williams brothers,” it is not meant as a compliment. This impulse may also explain why Serena Williams, who has prevailed over Maria Sharapova 18 times and fallen to her only twice, makes less in endorsements than her blonde Russian counterpart, and why last month political pundit David Frum, whom no one has ever accused of being excessively masculine, publicly speculated that Serena was on steroids, whereas Venus had stopped juicing in order to get pregnant.

Serena and Venus can never simply be Serena and Venus. They are inevitably spectacle, fodder for abstractions both crude and lyrical. They have inspired not just racist commentary but also celebrated works of poetry. “Some tough little European blonde / pitted against that big black girl from Alabama / cornrowed hair and Zulu bangles on her arms / some outrageous name like Vondella Aphrodite,” wrote white poet Tony Hoagland, whom many confused for the racist speaker of his poem. “And you loved her complicated hair / and her to-hell-with-everybody stare.” Their losses could not simply be their losses. “Every look, every comment, every bad call blossoms out of history, through her, onto you,” writes black poet Claudia Rankine, of Serena, in her book Citizen, which was nominated for a National Book Award. These are works in which the sisters stand for the Sweep of History or the Black Body, and they do little to prepare one for meeting a five-nine, selfie-obsessed, hyperfeminine phenom under a blanket and a Yorkie.

Serena has been ascendant for so long now that it’s easy to forget how highly anticipated were her matches with her sister. (Venus Williams, at 35, suffering from an immune disease known as Sjögren’s syndrome, is currently ranked a more than respectable 15th.) It was a Serena-Venus match in 2001 that precipitated the infamous Indian Wells incident, in which the crowd grew enraged after an injured Venus withdrew. This was a time when Richard was often accused, in the absence of any corroborating evidence, of fixing matches such that he decided which daughter would win a tournament. With her sister out of sight, the crowd turned its ire on Serena, slinging slurs from high arena seats down to the 19-year-old woman standing alone between bright white lines. Her father turned toward the hecklers, fist raised in a black-power salute. “I will not play there again,” Serena says of Indian Wells in On the Line. “I won’t go back. I will not give these people the validation. I will not stand down.”

One can only speculate about whether the Williamses would have been better received had they been more willing to conform, to pretend to care about tennis tradition, to hop on Nick ­Bollettieri’s tennis-star assembly line. They never nailed the rehearsed humility, never mastered the stone-faced just-want-to-do-my-best-so-grateful-for-the-opportunity-thanks-to-all-my-amazing-fans act calibrated to negate the possibility of an athlete’s interiority. Serena answers most questions with mischievous half-statements, eyebrows raised over a good-natured ironic side-eye. On her eventual retirement: “I will finally be able to make some Miami Dolphin games,” she says, laughing, “and make some, uh, better decisions down there with the players.” On the way she has changed the game: “My dad taught us to have early preparation. I notice the other girls have similar preparations to mine, and I’m like, ‘Hmmm … well, you don’t want to admit where you got that from, right?’ ”

Richard Williams is a man who says what he thinks. Serena Williams is a woman who says what she thinks and follows it up with a winking retraction. On Indian Wells: “All I could see was a sea of rich people — mostly older, mostly white — standing and booing lustily, like some kind of genteel lynch mob.” Then, “I don’t mean to use such inflammatory language,” though she evidently did not not mean it enough to delete it from her autobiography. There was her 2011 attack on an umpire after a bad call, about which Serena seems less outraged than genuinely hurt: “You’re nobody,” she said, “you’re ugly on the inside.” Asked about this later, Williams was mostly concerned with the indisputable lameness of her trash-talking: “What a nerd!” And then there is 2009 — the “I’ll fucking take this ball and shove it down your fucking throat” incident, for which she was fined $82,500. “She topped me that one time,” John McEnroe said. Of the outraged reaction to her outrage, Williams tells me, “I just think it was weird. I just really thought that was strange. You have people who made a career out of yelling at line judges. And a woman does it, and it’s like a big problem. But you know, hey.”

But You Know, Hey could be the title of a second Williams autobiography, subtitle The Mellowing. This spring, after a 14-year boycott, she returned to Indian Wells, writing in Time that she wanted “a different ending” to an ugly episode, though she assures me she will still engage in something she calls “being myself.”

“If someone has a bad call, I’m really forthcoming. I’ll look you in the eye and say, ‘Are you sure?’ I’m okay with confrontation. I’ve just” — eyebrow raise — “changed the way I state certain things.”

Richard Williams’s autobiography is called Black and White and barely even approaches the subject of tennis until 150 pages in. Up until that point, it is an account of his family’s treatment at the hands of white people and a memoir of his own “acts of defiance against white people.” Christmas to the child Richard was “a holiday created by and for white people.” His daughters would have to “run even harder, just like I did when I was fleeing white people in the South.” He wondered: “Would the entrance of strong, fast, ghetto-bred black people into the game change it as dramatically as it had all other sports? … My plan was simple: to bring two children out of the ghetto to the forefront of a white-dominated game.”

Until I read Black and White, I had assumed Serena’s swagger to be a result of her talent, intertwined with but ultimately exogenous to that 78-page plan. But Richard was grooming his girls for a takeover, bestowing upon them a carapace strong enough to withstand the doubt, discomfort, and contempt of an entire culture. Winning depended on self-belief so impenetrable that a genteel lynch mob could not slice through. This was all part of the vision: a “fighter’s mentality”; a lacrosse-playing, Haverford-attending yes-man; that to-hell-with-everybody stare.

Serena hadn’t been aware of Rankine’s Citizen. I read some to her while, in the background, a redheaded HSN sales professional moves some units of Serena’s Wide Leg Knit Jumper. I ask what it is like to bear the weight of representing people of color, women, 33-year-olds who want to believe in the imagined possibility of their athletic dominance.

“I don’t think about it,” she says. “I don’t dwell in the past. If I do, I’ll be swallowed up by negativity. As Mandela once said, ‘I will be in a mental prison.’ ”

It’s a ballsy thing to do, quoting Nelson Mandela in your explanation for why you’re not going to think about race right now. But Serena is not yours or mine, and she is less and less her father’s daughter. There can be no further distance from Compton-tough than the spectacle unfolding before Grant, Chip, and me, as Serena steps back on set. “Do you like French terry?” asks the saleswoman. “Who doesn’t?” replies Serena. Richard Williams raised her to go to war with the world. Post-tennis, she plans to live in it.

Styling by Lawren Howell at Lalaland Artists; hair by Johnnie Sapong for Jed Root using Leonor Greyl; makeup by Fiona Stiles using YSL for the Wall Group.

*This article appears in the August 10, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.