lauren does a thing

Okay, so I’m finally going to express my personal thoughts on the whole debate over Lauren Zuke’s recent post.

 First off, I’d like to say that I understand where the defenders of Zuke’s actions are coming from. As a story boarder, they do have the right to add in their personal ideas to an episode as long as it is in-character and follows the plot. Personally, I see no problem with Lauren adding in occasional Lapidot to the episodes they board. In “Warp Tour” Pearl and Amethyst share a slightly romantic moment, and even though I don’t believe Pearlmethyst will be canon, the story boarder, who probably shipped it, had the right to add that in. The difference between Zuke and the scene in Warp Tour is that Zuke sacrificed good writing in order to write Lapidot.

It was made obvious that the other writers had no intention of making Lapidot canon, so Zuke relied on off-screen development of Peridot’s relationship with other characters. One episode, Lapis and Peridot have a very complicated relationship, but definitely platonic. The next episode, they’re unusually close. One episode, Peridot has a crush on Amethyst. The next episode, they’re just friends. In a show that revolves around Steven, not Peridot, it’s bad writing that confuses the audience. In the scene from “Warp Tour” the story boarder kept the scene in-character and did not rely on off-screen development to be realistic. I feel Zuke could’ve pulled that off if they wanted to, but they didn’t.

It’s extremely obvious that they wanted Lapidot to become canon, especially when you take into account the things they posted on their private blog, and that’s okay, but when you work on a show, you work in a team. If you don’t like what the team is doing, you can try and reason with them, but under know circumstances do you sacrifice good writing to do what you want.

“But Cosmos! Why would the Crewniverse approve the episodes they boarded if they didn’t like Lapidot?” You may ask.

Well, because Lauren Zuke stuck to the plot, despite making many mistakes. It’s obvious from Zuke’s private blog that they did try to make Lapidot canon, didn’t succeed, and probably left after that.

I know that Lauren Zuke is a good writer, they’ve story boarded amazing episodes such as Chille Tid, Catch and Release, Too Far, the list goes on. They just didn’t do their job.

I used to be a HUGE Lapis fan, and I was one of those Lapis fans, the kind that will defend her every action. Now, she’s one of my least favorite characters. There are episodes such as Same Old World, Hit the Diamond, and Alone at Sea (none of which Zuke boarded) that wrote Lapis really well. Unfortunately, Zuke ruined her character for me and many others so she could write Lapidot. What Lapis needed was a friend who would understand and help her recover from her time as Malachite, and that friend could’ve been Peridot. Maybe that friendship could evolve into a romance, who knows? But what Lapis didn’t beed was to be immediately forced into a relationship she’s not ready for with Peridot and lose what made her interesting.

Lauren Zuke was paid to story board to make the show better, not to force a ship, and certainly not to treat a real show like fanfiction. They didn’t do their job, and that’s it. I feel like a lot of people defending her (mostly Lapidot shippers) believe that being critical of them is bullying and that all Zuke did was try to write healthy gay couple. I love gay couples, and I actually ship Lapidot, believe it or not, but Zuke forgets that the show already has Ruby and Sapphire. Lapidot is not needed to have a proper gay couple in the show, and from what the post suggested, the crew was probably planning for Amedot to become canon. And being critical of someone and being frustrated about how the handled a situation is NOT bullying, I still enjoy most of their episodes and from what Zuke posted on their Twitter account when it was still around, they seem like a wonderful person, but a person who made some very real mistakes that are okay to be critical of.

If there was one thing in that post that they did right, it was saying that people can view character’s relationships any way they choose, which is important. No matter what ship does or doesn’t become canon, you should keep shipping whatever you want. If anyone wants to drop me an ask about this, I’d be more than happy to respond. Thanks!

pterodactylichexameter  asked:

PEACH GRAPE COCONUT KIWI (TELL THE WORLD ABOUT FRED)

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D THANK U <3 

peach: do you have any piercings or tattoos?

^^^Fred. Upon my (very peely-wally) leg. He is my one and only child (so far) and I got him yesterday :D It’s very exciting. I love him very much. 

grape: if you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

At the moment I have a real hankering to go to Ireland…I just can’t think why. It’s a true mystery. (Also Greece. Greece is good. Will always go to Greece.) 

coconut: favorite perfume?

Right. Listen. I’m gonna be square with u here Alicia I have no fucking idea what perfume is what or why or ??? I have no idea. The one I have atm is idek but it has a nice little pink skull bottle and it tastes like flowers and citrus fruits so like I’M SOLD. This is as specific as ur getting. I apologise. I am an uncultured heathen. MOVING ON. 

kiwi: what’s something that fascinates you?

Erm……I….Hmm. OH PLANTS. PLANTS I LIKE PLANTS!!!! Plants are just….Wild. They just. Yes. Plants are cool af. All plants. Any plants. They’re just so. I love plants. Ahem. I also have A Thing with patterns and codes and shit??? It fascinates me, always has, my brain is just geared to try and find patterns in things even when there aren’t patterns there BUT THERE ARE. And it gets Irked when the pattern is interrupted. (I am thinking of a very specific, very insignificant thing here but the way I explained it makes it sounds dramatic so we’re going with that) Plants and patterns. There u go. (I think u knew this already though it’s not much of a revelation) 

(also for u Alicia) 

cranberry: favorite time of the day; morning, afternoon, dusk, or night? 

……………………………………..Night. It’s just. Night. Night. Just night. I don’t think I function properly until it hits like 7pm then I just :D TIME TO BE vaguely HUMAN. But it’s just…Dark and quiet and private and intimate and so many good things. It’s mine all mine. U definitely know this :D 

star fruit: favorite sea creature?

(what a random little question) but squids, squids are wonderful. (fish are fucking weird, okay, while we’re on the subject of sea creatures. their fuck off huge eyes and freaky pointy faces and just…no thank u.) Manta rays are pretty cool too (they feel wonderful. they’re all soft and silky it’s nice) but. Squids. 

anonymous asked:

Sorry but Camila deserves better, I don't doubt Lauren when she says Camren wasn't real but even if it was and she kept denying it in such a rude way... imagine how hurt Camila would be? Imagine your ex or whatever spoke of you like she was disgusted. There's no need. She could keep quiet like Camila. Gosh I really want Camila to find someone who loves her and cares for her

im sure lauren does it for a reason but yeah i agree with the last thing you said

10

So, seeing as today is the 238th anniversary of the Continental Army’s march into Valley Forge, I decided I would take a little day trip and go to the park. They actually do this really cool after hours thing for the anniversary where you “march in” to the camp on guided lantern tours, it’s really nice.

I thought I’d share some interesting things I learned while I was there, because I had a really awesome day and, obviously, I included pictures. Let’s begin.

  • Most interestingly, the bedroom we all consider to be the Hamilton/Laurens bedroom (pictured above in the panoramic and detail shots) was apparently not where they actually slept. The set-up of the house is just representative of what the park thinks it might have been like, not necessarily what the layout of the house actually was. As someone who writes a fic where they’re in this room, it was quite a blow.
  • There’s a great story about Laurens being a meme hitting his head on the ceiling in the garret (attic), which is pictured at the middle left, which also leads them to believe that Laurens, at the very least, was all the way upstairs. Another fun fact: the ceilings are super low –– I’m pretty short, and I hit my head on them going down the stairs right after reading about how he’d done the same thing. I can only imagine the neck problems he had if he was actually sleeping there.
  • According to the museum they have in the old station, the Peale miniatures of Hamilton and Laurens were done in 1777 and 1784, respectively. Not only does this mean that they didn’t get them done together lame, but it also means that Laurens’ wasn’t done while he was living. So not only did Peale’s portrait talents not improve at all over the course of seven years, but he was painting Laurens from memory and, if I’m not mistaken, that means there are no known portraits of Laurens that were done while he was alive. We may never know how hot John Laurens actually was. For shame.
  • This doesn’t really have to do much with the history itself, but some of the park rangers are really cool and, if you get to talking, you’ll realize you’re speaking to a 60-something gay socialist who ships Lams and is actually, like, the coolest guy ever. Seriously, if you guys ever go to the VF Park and stop by the Isaac Potts house, talk to Jeff. He’s amazing.
  • On the lantern tour, they had some of the cabins set up with different tools and such. One of them was a hut for African Americans in the Military so, naturally, I thought I’d stop in. Apparently, you can stump an entire group of Valley Forge employees/re-enacters when you ask about Laurens’ black plan. It was glorious. I felt so successful.

Anyway, I think that’s it. I have more pictures, if anyone is interested, but I spent most of my day in and around the Isaac Potts house, so. Whoops.

anonymous asked:

Do you think Lauren regrets the whole "literal slaves " thing? I think she does because it has really damaged the group's image badly

interesting. Maybe yeh, but theres so much we don’t know about the circumstances of this ‘leak’ that we can’t really make an informed judgement on that. For all we know it might have been leaked by the girls themselves (or their managers) to use as blackmail/leverage in label negotiations. But from a PR standpoint it has been a lot to deal with so it does make me wonder if Lauren was punished for it. She didn’t say anything too specific though and technically it doesn’t ‘identify’ her or breach any confidentiality agreement, so for me this just adds to the idea that it was some kind of controlled leak. Perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree here and it all actually happened more organically, but personally i just find a lot of things about it suspicious.

2

she’s our leader: antonio&lauren

you’re cool too! i’ve seen you in action. you? you’re just as good.

“Every thing she does just turns me on” played from the somewhat recent rendition of “Every a Little Thing She Does is Magic.” The song was already (at the very LEAST) was giving 1a WA feels.

But like…that line played a couple time over & WA’s 3x04 make out scene popped into my head, and now I somehow need to clear my head of THOSE feels before walking into CHURCH.

Deep breaths, Lauren.

It is not as if you just read @wanderer765’s latest smut fic during church.

You just thought of a (the only) steamy WA scene.

THAT’S ALL IT TOOK. 😳

3

Oh look more HamilQuotes.

I had too much fun making these. Can you tell?

anonymous asked:

Nesta, Mor, 30 ;)

(Listen dude, I am fully aware that you probably just want Nesta sin and then Mor sin and I am nearly 100% sure that you didn’t mean what I’m going to interpret this ask as. Most unfortunately I do not care. This fandom is sorely lacking in this area and you delivered this to me and so now you’re going to have to watch as I roll up my sleeves and put my grimy, sinful little gay paws all over this and transform it into femslash (yell at me again if you want them individually and I will do it but dude this opportunity was too good to pass up))

Nesta/Mor + sex: 

Their first time involves a nice little role reversal for Mor. I think Mor is typically the one who is attended to shall we say in the bedroom? She allows her partner to slowly peel her out of her clothes and lay her down on the bed and worship her body with theirs. But this is the role that she ends up taking on with Nesta, for various reasons. 

I think Mor has this knack for putting people at ease around her. People trust her, they feel safe with her, they feel confident with her and able to be themselves. So it takes all of about five minutes for Mor to have Nesta relaxing with her in the bedroom and less than ten before she’s a puddle of want before her. Which pleases Mor no end. 

She starts of slow, very slow, while Nesta is still a little on edge. They’ve never gone this far before but she said she was ready and she is and she’s totally not even a tiny bit nervous (except she is. but Mor can tell and she’s cool with it) It’s lots of gentle kisses on her lips, getting a little harder and more intense. And then she moves to her neck and as she’s kissing she sees Nesta’s eyes flutter closed and feel her relax and she starts easing her clothes off so gently and seamlessly Nesta barely even notices until she’s practically naked before her. 

Mor spends a good long time kissing Nesta all over. She’s in absolutely no rush at all. They have time. And she wants Nesta to enjoy this, every second of it. She also gently stops Nesta from putting any of the focus on her (at least for the moment) Every time Nesta tries to pull herself out her pleasure haze and think about Mor she just shakes her head and softly insists that there will be plenty of time for that later. 

Then she’s coaxing her to lie back down and holding herself over her and carefully dragging her underwear down her legs all the while looking in her eyes. Gently stroking her hair back from her face and murmuring that if there’s anything she doesn’t like this stops immediately. But Nesta just nods and murmurs that she trusts her and Mor gives her one of those radiant smiles and starts slowly kissing her way down Nesta’s body until she’s between her thighs. 

There is absolutely nothing Mor does that Nesta doesn’t like. Mor feels pleasure shiver through her with every single soft moan and shudder that Nesta makes for her. And Nesta does give her a little bit of guidance here and there (because she is familiar with her body and she knows what she likes dammit. And Mor is all for hearing about that…and being shown too but that’s another story) but for the most part she just lies back and surrenders herself to Mor and tries not to think about how easy that is. Because it shouldn’t be this easy. But she can’t help trusting Mor and feeling safe in her arms. 

After Nesta comes (or more likely finally stops coming because Mor just keeps pushing and pushing and pushing until she can’t breathe anymore, wanting to see how many times she can make her gasp her name) Mor is more than prepared to settle herself down beside Nesta with a cheshire cat grin spread across her face and watch her pant and try to recover herself. 

Nesta has other ideas. As far as Nesta is concerned Mor has far too many clothes on. And she hasn’t had nearly enough orgasms yet. Nesta plans to do something about that. 

And so while Mor is expecting things to start settling Nesta is only just getting started. And Mor finds herself being very thoroughly kissed while at the same time Nesta starts fumbling with the clasps of her dress. Mor tries to insist that they don’t have to do this tonight, they can wait, it’s not a prob- but Nesta just growls that she wants this. If Mor does? Mor is a little breathless at this point and more turned on than she would have believed so damn right she wants this. 

Nesta is, understandably, a little bit more uncertain about this than Mor was. But Mor is very patient and she’s a very responsive lover. So she manages to let Nesta know when she’s doing something right (or very right in the case of that thing she does with her fingers) or to guide her into doing something a little different without making Nesta feel patronised or foolish. 

Nesta very quickly discovers that she loves the sound of Mor’s moans. Mor isn’t quite as loud as she herself is (a recently discovered fact) but she’s still very vocal in bed and she talks more coherently than Nesta did. Nesta gets a lot of breathless, hoarse instructions, “Good.” “Yes, like that.” “More, Nesta.” “Please.” “Again.” Which Nesta follows as and when she sees fit (Mor discovers that Nesta is a tease in bed. She likes making Mor breathless and she likes making her moan and she really likes making her come…but more than all of that, she likes making Mor beg. She’s really just too composed and carefree for her own good. It’s good for her to be a little desperate and out of control every now and then. And damn if the sight of her arching her back, her lips parted in a soundless moan, her hands fisting the sheets beneath her isn’t the hottest thing Nesta has ever seen) 

By the end of the night both ladies have very thoroughly explored their partner’s bodies and they’re very happy with what they’ve discovered. Mor now knows for instance that Nesta is surprisingly ticklish. While Nesta knows that Mor has a small scar on her jaw from where she and Cass had a flying/winnowing contest and she slammed into a balcony rail. Nesta has kissed this scar very often. They fall asleep in a messy jumble of limbs and blankets, with their hair pooling together. And Mor thinks that she really rather likes the fact that the hellcat turns into a pliant little kitten if she strokes her tummy just right. 

send me a character and a number and I’ll write you a headcanon

When Alexander Hamilton finds out about the death of his dead friend John Laurens, the first thing he does, is finish writing his letter to him.

He sat, haunches over his desk. The floor decorated with crumpled balls of paper, that crinkled under his feet whenever he shuffled in his seat- interrupting the uncomfortable silence that wrapped itself around him.

His hand shook violently as he held his pen against his paper, creating light ink lines through some words he’d scribbled to his dead friend.

He stared at his trembling hand for several moments before his vision blurred; and it was only when he heard the small taps of his tears hitting John’s letter, did he realize that he was crying. His face twisted into an unrecognizable expression as he felt sparks of anger tangle itself with the sadness that consumed his chest.

He shouldn’t have met him go alone- no, he shouldn’t have let Laurens go at all.

He should’ve written him more, and worked less. He should’ve spent more time with him outside of work.

At this point Alexander’s shook as he sobbed; his tears mimicking a waterfall as they fell from his eyes and ran down his cheeks.

“Stop crying.” He growled to himself.

“Stop crying and finish writing your letter to-” his breath caught in his throat, and it was as if an elephant were sitting on his chest, and he couldn’t breathe.

Laurens can’t be dead.

He wouldn’t get himself killed like that. He wouldn’t let something so foolish like that happen. This has got to be a mistake.

Right now, his mind was coming up with every and any excuse as to why this wasn’t real- this couldn’t be real. This had to be a dream.

But unfortunately, this was no dream, nor was this a nightmare. It was reality, and John Laurens was really dead.

+

Alexander doesn’t know how long he’d been crying for, but by the time he stops and is reduced to hiccups and uneven breaths, the flame from his lamp has died out; and the moon as beginning to shine its light into his office.

A knock at the door doesn’t prompt him to get up, but the sound of a sigh and something being slid underneath his door does.

Dragging himself up from his slouched position at his desk, Hamilton makes his way to the door and come face to face- well toe to toe- with a letter. And it’s addressed to him, from Laurens.

Now, there’s a moment- it doesn’t last very long- but there is a moment, where Hamilton thinks that this letter is from today. But the realization hits him, that the last time he had written his friend was about a week ago; so this was his response. And that his friend was dead, so there was no way that this could be from today.

He opens the envelope with such delicacy, and and he lets it fall as he begins reading the last letter written to him by his best friend.

By the time he finished reading the letter, he’s crying again. But this time, it’s not because of sadness, but it’s not because of happiness either.

He just stand there, letter in hand, crying.

Alexander knows he’s going to be okay. It’s not like he hasn’t experienced death of someone close to him before- but it still hurts. Every time.

Wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, he sets John’s letter down on his desk, and starts a new flame for his lamp.

Picking up his discarded pen with tears in his eyes, he sits down and finishes writing his letter to his best friend.

In The Confines Of Fear - A Moriel Fic

For @illyriantremors who prompted me for ‘moriel + rain’ sorry it took a little while but, well, in a twist that will shock no-one…it got long. (possible trigger for panic attacks) 

Title: In The Confines Of Fear 

Summary: ACOMAF missing scene:  ‘Maybe I should have asked Mor to come. But she’d left after dinner, pale-faced and jumpy, ignoring Cassian’s attempt to speak with her. Azriel had taken to the clouds to contact his spies. He’d quietly promised the pacing Cassian to find Mor when he was done.’ - ACOMAF - Chapter 41. 

Moriel + rain. Missing scene from ACOMAF. Before the Inner Circle heads to the Court of Nightmares to steal the Veritas Mor panics a little about what they’re going to be faced with. Azriel goes to her and helps calm her down. Mor’s POV. 

Teaser: “Az I can’t breathe,” I gasp, my panic at this worsening my already ragged, laboured breathing. 

Azriel draws me in to him, pressing me close, our bodies gently melding together into one and I let them. I let myself blend and blur with him, paint bodies smudged into one whole and some of the tension that fills my body leaks from me and into him as he coaxes calm back into me. I hear the soft rustle of his wings as they flare, extending out slowly behind them, spread to their fullest extent. Then he wraps them tenderly around us, cocooning us together in warm, heavy darkness, nudging me even closer to him. 

Link: AO3 

I stumble out onto the balcony of my chambers, hugging myself. Rain was flooding from the heavens in great, violent torrents, as though the world below had done something horribly wrong and was receiving its punishment. But it made me feel clean, as though the lashing rain might cleans the memories from me, might wash away my scars and skin and bare my bones and soul and wipe them of all traces of it as well.

It had been an effort to get through that dinner in which Rhys had outlined his plans for our trip to the Court of Nightmares. My palms had been sweaty and my hands shaking too badly to eat much. As soon as it was over I had left, the words Cassian had tried to murmur to me as I passed a dull roaring in my ears. I’d had to get out, I’d had to get somewhere quiet and dark and empty where I could remember how to breathe.

My chambers had seemed ideal for that, isolated cool and humming with silence. But I had paced them, skirts swirling around my feet like angry storm clouds and in the end it had been too much. The walls had seemed to be closing in around me, the ceiling above me an oppressive weight bearing down on my shoulders, my beautiful room little more than a gilded cage. I had needed out.

Gulping the fresh, cold air down into my lungs I stagger forwards until I hit the thick, wide stone railing that marks the edges of the balcony. Gripping it in my hands I try to steady myself, try to think, try to breathe. My chest feels too tight, as though it’s squeezing my lungs, not letting them expand the way they need to in order to keep me conscious.

Doubling over I try and compose myself, try to control myself, cursing my reaction. I’ve been to the Court of Nightmares hundreds of times in the centuries since my escape but having it mentioned so suddenly after the ordeal with the queens…It was too much. I had dragged too much of myself up in the attempts to convince them, had delved too deep and brushed monsters that ought not to have been woken. Now they have all risen and I can feel them bearing down upon me, attempting to bring me to my knees.

The faint sense I get of him standing behind me is the only thing that keeps me from shattering entirely and adding my own tears to the grief of whatever gods watch us from the heavens above. He moves so silently, always, I’ve never been able to understand what it is between us that allows me to know where he is, when he’s near. Or what it is that draws him to me in my darkest moments in order to offer comfort and the solace and safety that I need.

I can’t handle this tonight, though, can’t process the raging emotions that are burning inside me like fire, burning me to ash and leave me raw. The words snap out of me before I can stop them, before I’ve thought about them. They burst out in a rough snarl- that of an injured animal terrified of its own vulnerability, wanting to be left alone to lick its wounds- and I hate myself for them, for trying to push him away.

“Did Cassian send you to check up on me?” I demand harshly, without turning round to look at him. My hands are still tightly gripping the balcony, trying to keep me upright and I feel tears sting my eyes as the panic continues to grip me.

He pauses behind me, only a foot away now, but he doesn’t answer my clipped, foolish comment. Instead his deep, steady voice says simply, “If you want me to go, ask and I’ll leave.”

The mere idea of it splinters through me like a physical blow and I can’t help the faint, cracked cry that comes from my parted lips. Shaking my head violently I find myself gasping out in a broken whisper, “No. Please no.”

I hear him close the distance between us as quickly as he can, coming to stand by my side where I remain hunched over the railing, gripping onto it for all I’m worth. “Morrigan,” he whispers and the concern, the genuine fear for me in his voice shatters me.

“I’m fine,” I say, though I can’t breathe. “I’m fine,” I say, turning to him without really seeing him through the rain and the panic that still envelopes me like a swirling ocean, drowning me in darkness and obliterating everything, and smiling. Because he needs to hear it, needs to see that I’m alright. “I’m fine,” I say because should be, because I have to be. Even if I’m not.

“I’m fine,” I whisper, into his chest where I’ve buried my face after he shifted, moving in closer, taking me in his arms. My voice is cracked, tiny, easily swallowed up by his warmth and his shadows and rendered invisible. I should have known better. I could convince almost anyone of that lie, but not Az. Even on those days when I could manage to make myself believe it, he would always know.

Azriel’s arms wrap around me, his hands rest on my body and he cradles me to him gently, so gently. Always, Az is precise and deft in everything he does but only with me is there such delicacy in those brutally scarred hands. He holds me as if I were precious, as if I were holy, touches me as though I were made of glass and might shatter at the slightest whisper of contact.

From anyone else I would have rejected such overly careful handling of me. I was not a tender object to be handled with fear of bruising my perfect skin. I was battle worn and scarred and my skin had long ago hardened into armour. But from Az…From Az, who thinks his hands were forged in fire long ago for war and assassination and bloodshed, the gentleness comes not from protectiveness but fear and awe. Fear that those scarred hands that fit blades so well might be have been made only for violence and can never be trusted to brush against something they love lest he paint them with scars. Awe that I could let him hold me this way, let him so close, close enough to burn, to hurt, to break- but find comfort in him instead. The shadowsinger, the spymaster, the assassin who trailed death where he walked…but felt like safety when he put his arms around me.

Breathing deeply, I pull his scent into me, trying to anchor myself on the comforting, familiar reassurance of his presence. But it doesn’t work, it doesn’t help. Panic rocks me again, a tide calming for a moment, only to pull back and slam another relentless, unfeeling wave of terror into me. “I can’t breathe,” I choke out against him, shaking my head desperately. The way he had stepped up to me, softly taken me in his arms and known that I wasn’t okay, known that I needed him, had shattered every bit of my glass armour, torn through every paper shield and crumbled every porcelain mask that had been containing me, to dust.

“Az I can’t breathe,” I gasp, my panic at this worsening my already ragged, laboured breathing.

Azriel draws me in to him, pressing me close, our bodies gently melding together into one and I let them. I let myself blend and blur with him, paint bodies smudged into one whole and some of the tension that fills my body leaks from me and into him as he coaxes calm back into me. I hear the soft rustle of his wings as they flare, extending out slowly behind them, spread to their fullest extent. Then he wraps them tenderly around us, cocooning us together in warm, heavy darkness, nudging me even closer to him.

“Yes you can,” Azriel murmurs quietly to me; his voice is deep and low and calm. “You’re alright,” he says softly. One hand rises gently and starts to rub slow circles over my back, soothing me. “You’re alright, Morrigan. You’re free, you got out, you’re safe now, you’re safe now. You can breathe, you’re alright, I’ve got you, you’re alright.” He repeats those words to me over and over again until they start to slowly penetrate the thick wall of panic that still separates me from him.

I close my eyes, burying my head against his chest for comfort. My hands rise and slide around his chest, tightly gripping the back of his flying leathers as I try to anchor myself to him, to something. His hands wrap around me again and he holds me, lets me remember how to breathe again. I slow my breaths, counting in, counting out, repeating that over and over, forcing my breathing back into a steadier rhythm. It was a technique Cassian had taught me years ago, one he used with his soldiers to calm battle nerves and it helped.

He still smells like home. The smooth scent of leather and vanilla mingles in my nose as I manage to take it in properly again and it helps too. When I come back from visiting the Court of Nightmares or a long trip away from Velaris it’s this that I need. More than stepping into Velaris itself or the House of Wind or my own townhouse, I need Az. Once that scent, that warmth that radiates from him in soft waves is wrapping around me again I know that I’m back. And my body knows, my shoulders will slump, my chest will collapse as that last taut breath is exhaled and the tightness floods me. A soft smile spreads across my lips even now as I relax a little into him.  

Slowly, Azriel spreads his wings and the sudden light that reaches me, the ring that peppers my skins again makes me blink and raise my head again. I look up at him as he spreads his wings, curving them in so that they catch the air around them and blow out like sails, ready to take flight, to launch us into the air. He’ll do that for me, sometimes, if I need to escape, if I need the sense of freedom that comes only from being held by nothing but his hands and the sky around us. I love it, love the sense of heady pleasure that grips me when flying with him but…But I don’t want it tonight. Tonight I just want to remain here with his arms around me, slowly settling myself.

I shake my head, gripping onto him a little more firmly, letting him know that I want him to stay, I just need to keep myself grounded at the moment. He nods, gently squeezing my waist to let me know he understands then he gives his wings a soft snap, tucking them neatly against his body once more.

An involuntary shiver murmurs through me now that Az has exposed us to the elements again. The cold had been welcome when I had first staggered out here into the rain, a respite from the fevered panic that was burning me to ash from within. But now…

“You’re freezing,” Azriel murmurs to me, his hands running gently up and down my bare arms. His wings descend once more, folding around me, trapping a thin layer of air between our bodies and my shivers quickly cease as I’m enveloped by his warmth. I hug him more tightly again for not suggesting we go back inside. Being surrounded by hard, unyielding stone walls is more than I can bear to think of at the moment. And Azriel knows it.

We’re both quiet for a time, my breathing, still a little ragged despite my attempts to control it, evens out more and more as the minutes trail past. My violently thundering heart settles into a steadier, smoother rhythm and my shaking stops somewhat, the tension in my muscles gradually bleeding from them as the panic leaves my blood.

It’s Azriel who breaks the silence between us. His voice is low, soft, when he says, “You don’t have to go tomorrow. I’ll talk to Rhys, he would understand, it-“

“No,” I say, my voice snapping a little more than I meant to in agitation.

The vulnerability of not going, staying back while the others risk themselves, while he risks himself, stealing the orb from my father is not a prospect I relish. I won’t allow myself to be left behind, no matter what demons I have to face in order to go. There was a time when my fear of my father, that court, that place, controlled my every move, my every word, my every thought and breath but no longer. Rhys made me their queen, I made myself their queen and swore the day I did that I would never bow before them again.  

“No,” I say, more softly this time, gentling my words so he knows he was never the cause of that sudden burst of feeling. “I want to be with you,” I murmur, allowing my thoughts to transform themselves into words without thought. “All of you,” I add quickly, glancing up at him when I felt him tense at my words.

What he’s doing, what he risks…Rhys as a High Lord has nothing to fear from going there to create a distraction tomorrow. There might be some political fallout and some irritations for him to contend with if he should infuriate my father or the Court of Nightmares with this but Azriel…Rhys’ favour or not, if he’s caught tomorrow the punishment will be harsh. His title as Rhys’ spymaster will do little to help him, and indeed might make it worse. If the bastard born shadow singer is caught robbing the Steward’s personal chambers blood will splatter against the black marble floors of the Hewn City.

I shudder in his arms, my eyes closing as the sight of my own blood pooling on the floors mixing with Azriel’s and I try to shake the image off, having no wish to return to my earlier torments and the panic that accompanied them.

As though he knows what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, Az gives me a very gentle squeeze and murmurs, “It will be fine. We have a good plan, Rhys knows what he’s doing and I trust he can keep your father occupied for a little while. Besides,” he adds, a wry note in his voice and when I look up at him this time his eyes won’t meet might. There’s a distant look in them, the usual sharp, clear hazel obscured by black memories as he says, “I’ve infiltrated far worse places than your father’s chambers before.”

I nod, sobering up immediately at those words, that thought. Azriel rarely talks about his work with anyone. We learn what he’s discovered but he rarely talks about the methods used to do so or the way in which they affect him. Sometimes, if I know something is truly bothering him, I’ll sit with him and coax him into talking about it but even then it’s difficult to draw anything from him.

“I know,” I murmur, voice heavy with the weight of the knowledge behind those simple words. This time, I’m the one who gives him a soft squeeze, pulling him a little closer.

I never voice my concerns about his missions to him. They’re vital to our court and our territory and we all accepted that long ago, even if it makes us all uncomfortable at times to think of him so isolated and in such danger. But there’s a reason I make sure to meet him on the open terrace he lands on each time he returns. Most of it is for him, to make sure he isn’t come back to more dark, empty silence. And to make sure that if he’s wounded or needs a moment to just be Azriel before he meets his High Lord as spymaster I give him that. But it’s also for me, so that I can see him, know that he’s back where he belongs, that he’s home and he’s safe and unharmed. The faint knot of tension I carry in me whenever he’s away will only loosen when I’ve seen him for myself, hugged him and confirmed that he’s truly alright.

Az strokes a scarred hand gently through my hair, “It will be alright, Morrigan,” he murmurs soothingly. It’s only then I notice that I’ve started shaking again.

Clenching my hands tightly into fists I growl, frustration rippling through me, needing to find some way to let the energy within me out. “This is ridiculous,” I snarl, moving away from Az, magic burning in my blood, rearing like an angry snake, ready to strike, to defend. I shove it back down and pace instead, Azriel watching me with a carefully guarded expression. “I’ve been to that court hundreds of times before, I am their queen, I don’t know how- I don’t know why-“  I force myself to break off, stopping, my back to Azriel, breathing hard.

Az approaches behind me and places a gentle hand on the small of my back. “It’s natural,” he murmurs quietly, as my body starts trembling violently again. “You’ve never done something like this there and what it is…The rebellion, the potential outcome…It’s not a surprise that you’re upset.”

No, no it’s not…Not when it’s spelled out like that. My fingers brush lightly over my abdomen. Even though the material of my dress is too thick I still convince myself that I can feel the ghost of the nail they punched through my abdomen beneath my touch. And as I close my eyes I swear it seems as though my body melts and moulds like hot wax, reforming around every injury they had given me, every punishment I had endured and survived.

Azriel’s arms slide gently around me again, keeping me together as I try and get a grip on myself, still cursing my reaction, no matter his explanation. “I’ll be with you tomorrow,” he growls quietly in my ear. That voice, those words, they promise death to any who would dare harm me. As he always has, as he always will.

“Cassian will be there too,” he continues and I close my eyes, taking deep breaths again, “Rhys and Feyre as well.” My family. My family would be there with me, would support me, would keep me safe, keep me grounded, as they always had done.

Turning in Azriel’s arms, I embrace him tightly, murmuring in his ear, “Thanks, Az.” He’s smiling faintly when I pull away. I find a quiet smile blooming on my own lips as I murmur softly, “If the offer is still there,” I say hoarsely, “Flying with you would be nice right now.”

In answer, Azriel gives me one of his soft smiles and slides his hands securely under me, scooping me into his arms. He launches us into the air so quickly and abruptly that I gasp. And then a laugh bursts from my lips as exhilaration floods me and I tip my head back, allowing my hair to be stolen by the wind’s hungry grasp, and lose myself in the simple thrill of being alone with Azriel with only the bright eyes of the night sky as witness.

****

sexual healing | marvin gaye
every little thing she does is magic | melissa lauren
say it ain’t so |weezer
blue | marina and the diamonds
sins of my youth | neon trees
unsteady | x ambassadors
hurricane drunk | florence and the machine
i want you | kings of leon
like i’m gonna lose you | meghan trainor (ft. john legend)
million dollar man | lana del rey
true love | pink (ft. lily allen)
the way you look tonight | mouse rat

[listen here]