my thoughts on 5x20 (and why it’s better than 3x20)
WOW. I woke up, the sun was shining, my skin was clear, Olicity is rising and Arrow is back on top again. GOD BLESS.
So I’m doing something different with this recap. Normally I just give bullet-point impressions of the ep. Today I’m doing bullet-point reasons of why I think this ep is better than 3x20. If you know me, then you know that 3x20 has long been my favorite Arrow episode. I had severe doubts that 5x20 could top it. Even when the spoilers started coming out. But then I saw 5x20.
This episode had THRILLS.
The way it started, with Felicity on the floor and Oliver scoping the bunker out with the gun?? Protective!Oliver is hot hot hot! 🔥
The way these two bickered in the present day was harsh and rough and absolutely appropriate given how 5x19 ended.
It was also very married and adorable and them. They were more real with each other here than they were in 3x20, I hate to say.
The flashbacks (which the title card said took place 11 months ago… but then MG said on Tumblr last night that he felt it took place closer to 5x01 than it did 4x23 so… basically… somewhere in the summer. Let’s say LATE AUGUST and call it a day) were so full of tension-laden chemistry that I about burst into flames during that scene with Felicity cooing over his boo-boo on his arm.
Yeah that’s another reason 5x20 >>>> 3x20: the flashbacks. Olicity focused flashbacks beat s3 Hong Kong flashbacks any day.
Olicity was so much of this episode. And anything that wasn’t Olicity was the team trying to save Olicity. And Dyla working out their shit. That sure beats Lazarus Pit resurrection and joining the LoA if you ask me.
Oliver and Felicity having a picnic on the mats, eating take-out and drinking two (2!!!) bottles of wine is basically fanfic. ITS FANFIC.
Oliver coaching Felicity on how to do the salmon ladder is also FANFIC.
Oliver demonstrating for Felicity is basically the most preening show pony he’s ever been and I’m here for it. So is she.
As demonstrated by her jumping him with a kiss right after. You get him, girl!
Okay, I’m not sure a love scene this hot on network tv during the 8pm hour is allowed. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
But it’s also fun? Cuz they’re enjoying themselves and each other? And tender? Cuz of all the hearteyes? How is this better than 3x20? I don’t know but it IS. It feels… righter.
Also: full-on “morning after” scene where they’re cuddled up NAKED together on the mats. NAKED. NAAAAKEEEEED.
They want me dead. That’s all there is to say. This cuddling is TOO MUCH.
Of course then things have to get real with Felicity saying it doesn’t mean anything. Oliver’s eyes are saying “excuse you, it meant A LOT to me!”
Also: “it was nice”. GIRL PLEASE. It was more than nice. Oliver, you’re not gonna take that lying down are you? Show your girl what “nice” really is. 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Or…. save it for the reunion sex. I wouldn’t mind that.
(this said, I still am not convinced we’ll get reunion sex… are we that lucky? i have my doubts)
BUT Felicity was right to say what she did. And she did give Oliver and opening. Figure your shit out and get back to me.
Newsflash: he didn’t get back to her. 🤦♀️
BUT! The present day shows them finally talking this shit out. The shit they should have talked out an EON ago.
Oliver trusts her, he will always trust her. He doesn’t trust himself. He’s not sure if he’s a monster or a hero.
The tear when he told her this nearly murdered me. Death by tear.
Felicity is sure he’s a hero, but he has to believe it. But when he does… it’s ON.
In case you’re concerned: this ties Olicity’s fate with the main conflict of the season. Once Oliver has what he needs to defeat Chase, he will have what he needs to reunite with Felicity.
So if you’re one of those people who keeps sending me anons, step away from the ask box and read one of my posts. THEY ARE REUNITING IN S5. 5x20 CONFIRMED IT. Stop asking me if I still think they’re reuniting. 😂 It’s obvious that I do!
Where was I? OH YES. Okay, so 3x20 ended with Olicity separated and Oliver selling his soul to the LoA. 5x20 ended with hope for our favorite pair reuniting (and for good this time).
Is there any comparison? I don’t think so.
Also, Chase approaching William. I am officially shook.
God bless this episode. And god bless Olicity. This is my ship. The stunts, the arguments, the selfless acts of heroism, the heart to heart conversations… this is why I’m here.
You just started your Junior year in high school, well that wouldn’t be so bad except, you just transferred to a whole other school, so you literally know, nobody.
You get sent to office to get your schedule, the lady at the desk had way too much perfume and smelled like an old woman’s house.
You inhale it all and cough a bit
“Are you okay dear ? You’re not trying to get out of the first day of school are you ?” she laughs likes she made the most funniest joke in the entire world
You just fake smile at her, grab your schedule and be on your way.
You walk through your new school halls, wishing this day would be over and done with, but it was just beginning.
1st period was math , which you sucked at.
You sat down and tried to not look any other way , you opened your math book and started flipping the pages , not really paying attention to the people coming in.
“Okay you guys, we have a new classmate..” your teacher says out loud
“Great..” you say under your breath
“Let’s give a warm welcome to Y/n!”
The classmates glance at you and look the back to their phones and friends, acting as if you were a brick wall.
Well this was going to be a great year you said to yourself.
You start to walk to your 2nd period, it was P.E, you didn’t care much for physical activity, but you weren’t terrible at it.
You get changed into your attire and it seemed all good, some girls would giggle and laugh at you, but seriously, what could you really do ?
So you walk out of the locker room and get to your P.E group.
Today’s activity was simple, walk for basically the whole period, which was easy enough for you.
You walked alone, of course, but not really minding that, it was a great day out, you so you couldn’t complain.
Watching everyone hang out with their buddies, and friends, and even significant others made you feel sad. You never had a lot of friends in school, only really two best friends , you moved and you were heart broken, you use to call each other the 3 musketeers, you did everything together, the mall, shopping for the right clothes, go to parties, even did cheer and wen to cheer camp. You hated moving, and you hated this school.
After basically walking for 30 minutes you go back to the locker room, the girls laugh and pointed again, sure , that’s all they did, but it still hurt.
You shed a tear or two as you walked to your 3rd period, it was hell from there, everyone ignored you, 4th period was a little better, you met a friend, she was nice, her name was Jessica.
You also had 5th period together so you walked to that class together as well.
Unfortunately you guys didn’t have lunch together so you sat alone, you ate your food, alone, it was embarrassing.
You ended up in the library just eating and drinking, while reading a book, it was your only escape.
You got a glimpse of a guy who was being a little louder than he should, he caught your attention, he had chestnut brown hair, tan skin, and cheek bones that could cut you. You cocked an eyebrow, he was a little cute, but still too loud. You looked at your watch, it was almost time for your 6th period, so you got up and started to walk out of the library.
While you were walking you held your head high, swaying your hips just a little, hoping he would notice, well little did you know, he was.
Jeff’s Point Of View
Well, shes’s pretty I thought, she has a cute figure, I wonder why I haven’t seen her around, I shook my head, she must be new.
I got up and started walking to my 6th period, I noticed the girl was walking ahead of me, and the same direction, I come to find out we have the same class together, it was Science.
“Okay class, now everybody welcome Y/n , she’s new and just transferred”
I look at her up and down, I get a closer look, and she’s so damn beautiful, almost breath taking, I need to get to know her.
Regular Point Of View
I smile and wave and a few people wave back, giving me a little bit of confidence
“So today we will be in pairs, how about you and Jeff ?”
The boy from the library looks up in shock but then quickly goes back to his cocky self
“Yeah sure.” he says , shrugging his shoulders.
You sit down next to him and start to open your text books
“You’re not going to need those.” Jeff says as he looks at you
“How do you know?” you ask a little sassy toned as well
“Because we are working on a project, that includes your notebook, we’re literally making our own science.”
“Oh okay, well what are we going to be doing?” I ask
“I was thinking about making a computer that does your homework for you.” he says
“Wow.” you rolls your eyes
“What? Google isn’t cutting it okay ?” he says
You giggle a bit, and that brings a smile to his face
“No but on a serious note, what do you have in mind?” he asked
“How about a dating site that matches you through music and tv shows?” you say
He looks at you for a second in confusion, them simply smiles “That could actually be really interesting.” he says as he writes that down
“You could be the designer, since you have good taste.” you admit to him
“You think I have good taste?” he smiles
“Yeah, I mean , your fashion style, you know.” you say as your move your hair back
“Got it.” he puts his thumbs up.”
Before you both knew it class was over and the bell rang
“Hey what class do you have next?” he asked
“History” you said
“No way?! Me too!” he said
“Wait really? “ you asked
“Yeah, we can walk together if you’d like?” he said a little shy
“Yeah i’d like that.” you smiled
The next few weeks became a lot like that day, math was slow, P.E was hell, 4th and 5th period were very fun because of your friend Jessica, and then after that You saw Jeff for lunch, 6th, and 7th period.
You guys became really close, he was a really nice guy, sure he let his cockyness show sometimes, but not in a bad way, he was a jock, so it was expected from him.
“Why don’t you come over to my house ?” he asked
You were a little taken back
“Oh , Jeff I’m not like that…” you say a little offended
“No no oh my gosh not like that Y/n, for the project! We need more time and 30 minutes isn’t enough.” he says
“Oh! Okay I need to ask my mom if that’s okay -”
“You need permission?” Jeff asks a little confused
“Yeah” I say a little embarrassed
Jeff noticed so quickly said “Hey all parents are strict over theirs daughters, not so much the boys am I right?” he laughs
And you giggle as well “Right, well I’ll text you and let you know what they say!”
“Okay cool.” he says
Your parents say yes since it’s a school project, you quickly text Jeff saying you can make it.
“Great, you can come over around 4:00pm?” the text said
“Sounds good” you say
Jeff sends you the address and you start to get ready, straightening your, putting on a floral top, some white jeans,a jacket, and a pair of sneakers, you grab your books and head out your door.
Getting to Jeff’s house, you were in schock
“wow, it’s huge.” you say as you walk to the door, you ring the door bell, it was a fancy bell ring , of course.
Jeff opens the door and smiles, you realize he changed as well.
“Hey!” he says as he waves
“Hi!” you wave back
“Well I don’t want to keep you outside, come in!” he says
Looking around his house and you start to realize Jeff must have the richest parents in th world
“Sorry I didn’t pick you up, my car is in the shop.” he says
“Oh it’s not a problem, you actually live like 3 blocks away.” you smile
“Wow really ? That’s good to know.” he starts to walk into the kitchen
“ Do you want anything? We have water, soda, juice?” he asked
“I’ll take a water.” you say
He opens the fridge and it’s like a super market
He pulls out a Fiji water and hands you it
“Thanks “ you smile and start to drink it
You open your notebook and start to talk about the project.
Getting a lot done you decide to take a break
“Do you want something to eat?” he asked
“like what?” you ask
“Hot pockets?” he asked
You laugh at that “Sure Jeff I would love a hot pocket.”
He smiles and heats up both of you one
Setting them down on place mats you start to eat.
“Do you wanna go to the tv room?” he ask
“You have a tv room?” you ask a little confused
“Yeah, come on.” he signals as he gets up
You grab your hot pocket and you water and start to follow him
Heading to the tv room your mouth opens
“You mean the theater room?” you almost yell
“Yeah I guess” he smirks in a cocky way
“You laugh and you guys watch spongebob on his gigantic movie screen
Enjoying the show you take off your jacket, Jeff couldn’t help but stare, you catch him looking so he quickly looks away, and coughs a little bit.
You smile at that and just continue watching the show
Going back to the living room you guys decide to work on the project a little bit more, well you forgot your jacket, soas you were writing Jeff looks at your arms and he noticed the scars on your wrist.
“Hey, whats; that?” Jeff pointed out , kinda regretting he asked, but then kinda glad he did
“What ?” then you looked and saw that your scars were showing, “Oh my gosh.” you got up from the table and started to collect your things
“Wait . don’t go Y/n.” Jeff said as he got up too
You were trying to get your stuff together and things kept dropping, so you just started to head to the door, as you were opening it Jeff shut it and puts your hair back behind your ear, that was your first touch, your first physical encounter touch. You quickly look up at him and saw the look he had in his eyes, his eyes, they looked sad, they looked concerned.
All you could do was cry, you put your hands in your face and you just cried, Jeff grabbed you and pulled you in, just rubbing your hair and back.
“Hey hey, it’s okay, you’re okay.” was all he really said, he never dealt with this himself, nor knew anyone who did, he was popular, and he wasn’t like you.
He asked if you wanted to sit down and you nodded yes.
He then got you an other water and said to drink it to calm down, you did.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked
“No, yes., I don’t know.” you shook your head
“I promise I won’t judge, or say anything.” he said
“It’s just I’m under a lot of pressure, my parents want me to become something big, like a scientist , or a corporate manager, or something like that.” you cry a little
“What do you want to be?” Jeff asked
“I want to run my own bakery.” you say
Jeff laughed a little bit and you yelled “You said you wouldn’t judge!”
“Calm down I said I wouldn’t judge you why you did it. I didn’t say I wouldn’t judge you for what you wanted to be.” he laughs more
You fold your arms and try to hide the smile that was peaking through, you loved when Jeff laughed, he smile was breath taking, his teeth were perfect, his jawline was so structured , and it just made you happy
“It’s cute that you want to own your own bakery, honestly, and you could totally do it, you could do anything you set your mind to, I promise that okay?” he said
“Okay.” you said
“Baby look, you’re one of the most sweetest , amazing, down to earth people I know, I don’t want you doing this.” he says
You were in shock
He called you “baby” you didn’t know what it meant, but you sure all hell liked where it was going
“Thanks Jeff.” you said with a smile
“Anytime, and hey, promise me, when you feel like doing anything like this, call me okay? It doesn’t matter what time it is.” he said
You laugh “Okay expect late night phone calls.” you laugh
“I’ll look forward to them!” he says with a laugh
Then things got pretty quite, but then all of a sudden , Jeff grabs your chin and pulls you closer to him, faces were inches away from each other, he looks you into your eyes, and he kisses you.
His lips, they melt into yours, they feel like how caramel mixes in with chocolate, it’s like your lips were made for his. He kissed you slowly, it wasn’t fast at all, his hands glided through your hair , your hands surrounded his neck and you could feel the passion in the way he moved, his hands traveled your body, in the most respectful but sexiest way. Tracing your curves of your skin with his fingers and gently touching them as he does so.
Soon his tongue enters your mouth and you tongues swirl around like its a twister. Dancing together, not giving up, and fighting for dominance you quickly discover that he wasn’t going to let you win, and you couldn’t help but smile try to fight even more.
As you finally break away for air Jeff just looks at you and you simply blush and ask “What?”
“Nothing” he shakes his head
You realize moving to a whole other school couldn’t be so bad after alll.
“So, how do you know each other again?” asked Yukako.
I held my water glass against my lips for a second longer, looking over at Alejandro, buying time. He looked back at me. We locked eyes.
What were we supposed to say in a situation like this?
But to properly tell this story, I need to back up a few days.
I was in Shizuoka, about an hour ride out of Tokyo, Japan. My goals were simple: visit the Magic Grand Prix tournament in Shizuoka, and then spend the next week seeing Magic stores and trying to explore a side of Japan I had not yet seen.
It was the last day of the Grand Prix. The world is slowly crumbling around 2,700 players, as the delicately placed banners and colorfully shaped signage are being stripped down and removed.
This is the saddest part of any Magic tournament: when it ends.
It’s when the convention center hall stops being a living, breathing embodiment of Magic, with a pulse that sounds like the slapping of cardboard and a heartbeat that echoes with shuffling. When this marvelous world goes back to being a white-walled building that will be used to host dance recitals, or cheerleading rallies, or car shows.
But there was a brief moment left. A flicker of life, minutes, maybe, before the convention center passed the threshold of no return and reverted to its blank state.
And that’s when I had the fortunate happenstance of being introduced to Ryan.
Blonde hair. A slight grin at the corners of his mouth. A full backpack. The discerning gaze of a Magic player. He introduced himself: a local player, formerly from the States, who now lived in Japan.
“I had heard from Helene you were staying around in Japan for a little longer, and I know it’s out of your way, and it’s probably a long shot, but I live in Nagoya, and it has a great Magic scene, and plenty of people who would love to meet you, and I know you like food and I would show you great food, and some of the sights, and we can play some games of Magic, and once again, I really know there’s probably a low chance, but if there is any possible way you could briefly come visit Nagoya during your stay, I’d be happy to show you around.”
“Yeah, sure. See you tomorrow?”
And that, ladies and gentlemen and those who identify as neither of the crowd, is how I travel.
I got Ryan’s information. And true to my word, the very next day, I found myself on a train, bound for Nagoya.
And so the tour began.
Delicacies, with a mix of known and unknown and unwanted-to-be-known contents, were consumed. A smorgasbord of 7 Magic shops were visited, showcasing so many shapes and sizes and colors that Doctor Seuss would have had a field day describing them all. Games were had. Stories were told.
We ended up by visiting one final game store: Mishimaya. A small family run shop, with that lovely musty smell that reminded me of childhood. And there we met a group of other local players.
And, well… It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a group of Magic players, in possession of decks, must be in want of a game.
Rajib. Kevin. Daniel. All from far-flung corners of the English-speaking world, we slammed down our cards. We ran Goblins into Angels. We laughed. We bantered. We talked about life in Japan. I took a picture of us. Put it on Instagram. We went out to dinner. Menus were attempted to be navigated.
It was a good time. We parted ways.
I hopped on a train, headed elsewhere, redrawing up new plans to account for the change of plans. And that was that.
Or so I thought.
Still riding the train back, something else unexpected happened. A notification popped up on Instagram from someone I had never spoke with. His name was Alejandro.
It read as follows: “You should take the [train] to Fukuoka. I still have an original Conspiracy box in Japanese to open and draft :)”
I looked it up on a map. Fukuoka was basically on the entire other side of Japan. My brain’s impulse was immediately to say no. I mean, it was a long way out of my way, I hadn’t planned on going there, time in Japan was precious, I didn’t know this person at all. It didn’t make sense, right?
Well, it’s a good thing that Japan has all these bullet trains.
I arranged to visit in a few days. Alejandro writes to me, “Just so you know, it’s actually quite a bit west of Fukuoka and a bit rural…”
Perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I took the bullet train to a station. From that station, I took a subway train to a tinier station. From there, I took yet another train. Out the window, I watched the metal buildings turn into brick buildings, the brick buildings turn into blossoming trees, the blossoming trees turn into rice fields. For the first time during my stay in Japan, signs begin to look run down. Roads begin to look bumpy. The passengers on the train were no longer mostly in suits.
The train spit me out at my stop, and it was immediately clear I had walked into a Miyazaki movie. Little statues sat in the streets. I spotted farmers in the distance. The buildings all had wooden sliding door entrances.
This – this was the Japan I grew up thinking about.
I’m swept up from the subway station by a car full of strangers. Alejandro has rounded up five others – three local Magic players, whom he had taught himself, one of their wives, and her young daughter – to come meet me.
I’m taken to a restaurant, in an old wooden building, that has had many lives and seen many owners. There is a small museum in the front of the restaurant showcasing its history. People are sitting on pillows and tatami mats, eating from small tables.
The five of us sat down. I took a sip of my water.
“So, how do you know each other again?” asked Yukako.
That is the question, isn’t it? How do you answer that? How do you even begin to summarize it all into a short paragraph, or sentence, or word?
Let’s just back up for a second and review the facts.
I had traveled to Japan to visit a card game tournament as part of my job at Wizards of the Coast. I then met a local player, who showed me around his city for the day and introduced me to a number of players. They gave me a bunch of advice for my travels. I posted this on Instagram, of all places.
Someone on the other side of Japan whom I had never even talked to saw this, asked if I wanted to visit, I replied saying yes, and traveled 5 hours by train to get there. Once I arrived into Chikuzen-Fukae – the middle of nowhere in Japan – I met five total strangers, and was now sitting in a traditional Japanese restaurant, speaking with these people like they were family. Combined, we heralded from Spain, The USA, Japan, Nigeria, and London.
Pause for a moment. Cue, eyes widening. Cue, flashbacks to the many other times similar things have happened to me or other Magic players. Cue, the sudden realization that this is actually an extremely abnormal event.
Cue the realization that this is family.
I love Magic. It is the greatest game in the world. But even more powerful than the game, even more meaningful than the hours spent smiling and learning, are those people you spend those hours smiling and learning with.
It is a community of immediate friendship. A game which is a blacksmith that forges “Hello and Good Luck” into stories, stories into friendship, and friendship into family. A game which will always direct you to your long-lost cousin or your mystery aunt in every town, in every city. Time and time again, I have found there is always a family member there for you. There’s always someone from the family of Magic.
And there is nothing else like it. Not in the whole world. And I find it hard to imagine anything – truly anything – that could properly describe this series of events other than one word. So it’s what I said:
I elaborated more, but that’s really the only way I can best explain it. We laugh. We eat our meal. We learn about each other’s lives. I make goofy faces at the young daughter like any cousin would. And, in that short window of a single meal, we become a family.
That day, this family of Magic visited sites in this tiny town. We climbed the muddy path up a mountain and watched a waterfall in the forest. We visited an Island temple, wind biting at our noses. We dropped by the restaurants – which my new family knows the owners of – to see if they will open just for us. It is a neighborhood where you actually know your neighbors.
And, eventually, we drove back to Alejandro’s place, with sliding doors and tatami floors, short ceilings that hit my head and tall tales that hit my heart, and we sat at the wooden, engraved kitchen table. We smile and, knowingly, reach for our Magic decks.
That afternoon, my family drives together, an hour, to play in a tiny store for the local Magic tournament.
That night, I sleep on a rolled out bed, in a room kept warm by a kerosene heater. Like an uncle, Alejandro lights the heater for me. And, like a nephew, I wish him sweet dreams.
When I wake up, there are trains to catch. Things to do. New places in Japan to see. I bid my farewells.
My adopted uncle walks me to the train station. He gets on the train, going part of the way there with me. Like any family member, he gives me a long list of directions, trying to be careful I don’t lose my way back.
The train goes for about 20 minutes. Alejandro stood up to get off. He looked back at me. We had known each other in person for less than 24 hours, and yet, I already felt a bit emotional.
I nodded. He nodded. We may never see each other again.
But that’s okay. We both knew it would be far from the last time we saw our everlasting, evergrowing, evergracious family: our family of Magic.
Hiya. Confession: So I took a long break from tumblr because it was taking over my life but I’m back now because Bucky. Obviously. I’ve mostly been writing fiction the past few years, but this is my VERY FIRST dipped toe into fiction of the “fan” variety. This story was running through my head ALL day at work yesterday so I had to get it out. I was brought back to writing from all the awesome (Y/N) x Bucky blogs I’ve been reading, devouring entire Master lists in fact. (Ahem, @squishybucky@writingruna and @imaginingbucky. Still making my way through @you-and-bucky ‘s list and I’m loving it!)
I’m still learning this new form of writing, so please be kind but helpful tips are welcome! I pretty much wrote it last night from top to bottom with very little editing, but mostly I’m posting now before I lose my nerve. :D This story is loosely based on my life experience when I fell hard for a guy, wishing I could’ve been as bold as the reader is.
Summary: Reader is 26 years old training with the avengers. She is slightly accident prone with a sheltered background, resulting in aversion to swearing. No verbal filter and says most things without thinking. She gets creative with curse words. First meeting and developing feelings for Bucky.
Warnings: none? Mostly Fluff with a little heat at the end. :) I can’t handle pretty much any smut without dying of embarrassment. :)
“Nice try, Hawk, but you’re about to eat mat, mother trucker!”
You had no verbal filter. Everyone on the team knew that. After almost a year of training together, they were used to your bizarre outbursts and ridiculous exclamations. However, you grew up in a very religious, uptight household and despite distancing yourself from those beliefs years ago, old habits held strong. Such as your inability to curse like a normal person. Any response to excitement, pain, surprise, or fear resulted in a random phrase that usually began with the first syllable of the intended word.
“Kick his asteroid, Nat!”
The redhead rolled her eyes, but kept focus and had Clint on the mat in seconds.
You pumped your fists in the air with a triumphant yell, then approaching the mat in anticipation of your own sparring match. All training focus had dissolved, however, as the gym doors opened revealing Steve and a dark-haired stranger. Curiosity peaked as you joined the welcome crowd approaching the newcomer. Shoulder-length hair covered his down-turned face, but the glint of a silver hand not covered by his left jacket sleeve explained all.
did not begin as royalty. Had Oropher not founded Greenwood and not been
elected as the King of the elves there, Thranduil would have been a normal elf
living in Doriath.
considered he and Thror quite close, and often visited the mountain for dwarven
holidays. Their friendship was ruined when Thror found the Arkenstone, and
Thranduil attempted to warn him of the vices of a jewel
of Mirkwood, he learns each and every language
of the different Silvan elf tribes that live in his forest. When he comes to
his maturity, he can speak more than 200 languages. Fluently.
is younger than his wife
will sit in the woods and meditate for days.
It takes a lot of magic to keep the river enchanted and to project himself into
had the young silvan elves pull at his hair and ask him if he put powder on his
face. Aside from Legolas, he is the lightest elf in his kingdom.
being the king, he allows groups to govern themselves. If an issue is to
threaten Mirkwood as a whole, then he will call all the tribes together and the
-He is constantly
fatigued, and by elven standards, considered ill. He gives much magic to
Mirkwood to counter the darkness spreading through the forest, and it has an
effect on him. His people have asked him to sail for his own health, but he
politely refuses (he has had accidents at council meetings, where he tumbles
when he stands or blacks out completely).
-He has never
seen himself above his people. Ever.
trapped souls in his woods, has had men wondering his forest for years.
related to Eol. This is why he can enchant the woods to confuse intruders.
he wears was granted to him by children when he first arrived in Mirkwood. They
strung together flowers and twigs to make him happy after his father’s death. He put the enchantment on it.
has never liked Elrond. He blames his family for the destruction of both Sirion
and Doriath. Though he gains slight respect for Elrond when he refuses to keep
the One Ring in Rivendell. Thranduil expected Elrond to let his people parish
like his grandfather and mother.
attracts his people. It glows like starlight, and it is unlike anything they’d ever
seen before. He will cut his hair of sometimes, and give it to the children who
follow him around the woods.
has a sense of pride when Elrond is made to call him King. At a point, Elrond
could have been his High King, and in Thranduil’s not so humble opinion, the
line of Thingol has no right leading anyone.
was not born a King, he had to earn it, and after his father’s demise, his people
chose him. That’s something he’s very proud of.
-He is always followed around by children when
he leaves the palace. Even solo walks become completely interrupted by children.
Sometimes when he sits to eat in the woods, small children will crawl onto his
mat and eat with him.
-He is not
fond of Galadriel. She rules over a people she has never worked to lead. She
rules over his people. The Silvan,
and they are so dependent on her that they are lost after she leaves to
Valinor. Had not been for Celeborn ensuring their safety and integration into
Mirkwood, they would have died without the power of her ring.
at all like Legolas when it comes to his son’s strange fighting style. He doesn’t
like climbing trees nor does he like sliding off animals.
wine. It alleviates the constant pain he’s in (both physical and emotional). So
he gets drunk a lot.
Title: Blame It On The Bikram. Paring: Cassandra/Varric - Modern AU Warnings: Swearing, mild suggestiveness, and Cass in yoga pants. A/N: For vehlr… BECAUSE I LOVE YOU BEN WYATT!
“Oh, come ooooooooon,” Hawke whined
in spectacular fashion, face screwed up like a petulant child, fists
balled at her sides. Varric was surprised she hadn’t stamped her foot
Oh, wait, there we go.
“Okay are you an adult or a five year
old, because I’m very confused right now.”
“Varric,” she said, somehow
managing to drag his name out into at least twenty syllables. “Just
come with me. I don’t want to go by myself.”
“Then ask Rivaini.”
He paused, sucking his teeth while he
thought. “What if you asked anyone other than me? I clearly don’t
need to go to the gym.”
And he didn’t. They both knew it. Hell,
he was probably in better shape than she was, yet he knew he wasn’t
going to get out of it. He should just accept defeat… but no, he
would go down fighting.
“Look, it’s a free day. There’s no
need to sign up. I just want to check it out because it’s new and
close to my house and it would be convenient. But I don’t want to go
alone! Please just come with meeeeee.”
“Maker, you really can’t do anything
by yourself, can you?”
Varric huffed out a sigh. “Fine, I’ll
Hawke pumped her fist in the air,
letting out an enthusiastic whoop, and he was already regretting his
Tumble- either one or a serious of various backflips/gymnastics skills
Stunt- when one to four people lift (generally) one person in the air, where the flyer performs any number of tricks or skills in the air
Pyramid- a series of difficult stunts put together, typically near the end of the routine and the flyers hold hands/hold on to each other a lot; a great place for scoring points and a major part of the score sheet
Needle- when a person has a very flexible back and can lift their leg behind their head at a 180° or more angle with their other leg.
Dorito- what a beginner’s scorpion is called, typically when they do not have a flexible back; similar to a needle, though the person’s legs make a 90° or so angle instead of 180.
Stick- when a cheerleader lands a tumbling pass perfectly and keeps their feet glued to the floor once the pass or skill is over.
“Whip it out”- what people say when you are working on a new tumbling pass and it’s time to just do it already
Hit hit hit pull- what people yell during a level four or five jump sequence, to help the cheerleaders remember to be sharp in the jumps and set high during the connected tumbling skill.
Hit hit squeeze- what people yell when the flyer is doing a kick double basket toss.
Werk- what you need to do to be a good cheerleader
Elite stunt- a stunt typically in the middle of the routine, often after running tumbling, which is a great place to wow the judges and earn some killer points.
Running tumbling- hen a person takes one or more steps into a round-off and then does a series of tumbling skills.
Standing tumbling- when a person does a one singular or a series of tumbling skills from a stand-still position.
Comp- short for competition, because “competition” is just too long to spell every time.
Uni- short for uniform; it sounds like you know what you’re talking about when you use this.
Tick tock- when the flyer switches feet while in the air; the bases release the foot and then catch the opposite foot a second later.
Set- when a tumbler spots a place on the wall for a second and goes straight up, using their arms and shoulders to lift them off the ground, performed after a round-off or back handspring to prepare for a higher skill; what every tumbler needs to learn to do.
Dip- a very small bounce where the bases prepare to go up or down in a stunt.
Pop- a slightly bigger dip, usually used when preparing for stunts that involve a lot of power such as a slip or double down.
Sponge- when the flyer is in starting position in a squat at the base’s belly buttons
Half/Prep- when the bases have their elbows bent and their hands at their chest, and the flyer’s ankles are about at the base’s mouth level
Extension- when the bases have their arms straight and elbows locked above their heads in a stunt.
Lib- stands for liberty; when one leg is bent and the foot is placed next to the other leg’s knee.
Bow and Arrow- when the person’s leg is held by the opposite side’s hand over the head, and the other hand is in front of the leg usually making a fist.
Tilt- when an extremely flexible person hyper-extends in a heel stretch; what most people think they can do when really they can’t at all.
#–OD- stands for “#– or die,” a pretty nasty yet common saying for fierce teams
Mat- the big (generally) blue spring floor we cheer on
Eat mat- when a person completely falls and wipes out during a standing tumbling pass
Line- the tape that holds together each panel on the mat; also see: if you have to tumble on these, god bless
Space- between each line on the mat
Tight- what every cheerleader should be; when you squeeze your body and tense all muscles.
Bobble- when a stunt shakes and may fall
Touch down- when a person touches the mat at the end of their tumbling pass
Bust- when a person fails to finish a tumbling pass
Full- when a person rotates their body sideways during a backflip
Tease- hair that is combed backwards and makes you look fierce
Sloppy- what my coach screams at me as i’m trying not to throw up during the routine
Voice overs- the only thing that will save your terrible music
Honey- what to call me if you want to get slapped; typically used in sassy voice overs
Tea- the shit; amazingness
What’s the tea?- what you ask when you know you are the shit
to serve- what you should do 24/7, especially in cheer routines. also see werk.
SAVE IT!- what people scream as a stunt is falling and they want you to keep it in the air.
Partner stunt- when one single base lifts one single flyer
Beast mode- as in beast mode activated; typically when two girls participate in a partner stunt or when an unexpected tumblr pulls out an amazing pass.
Full out- did you mean death?
“Lets work on the dance”- the biggest sigh of relief you will ever hear
Ride- when you pull your arms and shoulders up while flying up in a basket toss
Cupie- when the flyer’s feet are right next to each other in a stunt; flyer usually goes to cupie when sponging
8 Count man- what we hear when we fall asleep
*ding ding ttthhhrrrr*- girl you know that was just a kick double
Flexi- short for flexible; also see: Gabi Butler; Kelcie Burch
Hand- short for back handspring
Toe- toe touch, as in “toe hand tuck”
Whip full whip double- eddie will be calling you for smoed
USAFS- the devil of the cheer world
Basket toss- are you read to bruise your wrists?
Pike jump- you better have flexible calves
Toe touch- jump where the cheerleader splits their legs wide open to each side; where i most commonly say “i hope i didnt unexpectedly get my period
Hey Emily! Could you maybe do a blurb about Persephone telling Harry and his missus that shes pregnant? Thanks!
This is probably a whole mess of shambles because my mind has been all over the place recently, but, here we go. x
September 16, 2043.
The house was warm and cosy, smelling strongly of freshly brewed tea and sweet treats that littered the kitchen counters, varying from red velvet cupcakes to chocolate cupcakes and brownies to a typical dusted Victoria Sponge that had been passed through generations in the Styles family - starting with Harry’s great grandmother, passing on to his grandmother then to his mother and then to him and Gemma to pass on to their children to keep running in the family.
It was decorated perfectly with the similar colour scheme running through the rooms. A teal colour paired with grey and white seemed to be a consistent theme and it made the house feel homely and looked after and Harry knew it was a well-looked after house with a creative mind behind the layout.
The living room had grey sofas and teal cushions accessorising the dull colour, teal curtains hung from a curtain rail and covered the windows through the night to block out any wandering eyes, and the walls were papered with a sweet variety of grey and white stripes running vertically down towards the skirting board. There were sweet little trinkets from her first home placed around the mantelpiece and on the cupboard tops stood photos and sweet memories - photos of Persephone and her siblings, Persephone and her father on her wedding day just a few short weeks ago, and there were photos of Jack and his parents as well as the two of them together ranging from their first few months together to where they were now.
The kitchen had black and white tiles placed eloquently and neatly in patterns that brought a sense of excitement into the room, and their cupboards were a light brown oak with glass doors to show what was inside, their furniture matching the same coloured wood. A marble counter top was perched on top of the breakfast island, a tap and a draining board included with stools and place mats set to eat dinner on when there wasn’t any energy to make up the dining room table into a table fit for date night.
Their bedroom - the master bedroom which was larger and much more used than the others and it gave of a much more homely vibe - had the grey and white theme running throughout and the oak wood was a theme piece that seemed to fit with the rooms interior. On both bedside tables stood two photos that were both milestones in their life as a couple - a personal favourite from the wedding sitting on Jack’s bedside table and a personal favourite from their first month of dating sitting on Persephone’s bedside table, beside a book with her glasses resting upon. And above the bed was a blown-up version of both families together on their wedding day; both families together and smiling widely to show their true emotions towards the day - laughter snapshot in one perfect capture, crinkled eyes on their faces and a tight squeeze of the bride to Harry’s side.
It was the home they had both brought together, after falling in love with it as soon as they’d stepped foot through the threshold on a viewing tour with their estate agent, and it had exactly what both Persephone and Jack were after as a home to create their life in.
It was set between both her parents’ house in London and Jack’s parents’ home in Southampton. Located just on the outskirts of London and nearing the Surrey countryside.
To the modern day in September, the hallway of the Surrey home was sporting the new addition of large and brown suede boots belonging to Harry as well as a pair of pink and open-toed slip-ons that belonged to you, thick coats hanging on the coat racks and a set of car keys set on the table that already held a bowl of wicker balls coloured black and white and silver; something that Persephone had seen on a shopping trip to the furniture stores and had immediately pictured them somewhere in the new home.
A fresh waft of tea filled the lower level of the home as the four of you settled around the coffee table; Persephone and Jack settled on the large grey sofa and wrapped up in one another’s arms whilst you and Harry stayed separate in the arm chairs facing one another, either side of the room. The fire was warm against exposed skin and the crackling filled the silence. Bellies were full of a roast dinner that Jack had taken time to make that afternoon, including the apple pie made specifically with the recipe Harry had passed over to him the night they met - when the taste of apple was still on his tongue, his hand taking a tight hold of the scribbled recipe in his hand as he gave Harry a worded and hushed promise of making it for his girlfriend when she felt homesick and needed a hint of home comfort, and even more so when she needed cheering up from the stacks of University work and the stresses of exam season around the corner.
“I have to say, Jack,” Harry started, gulping down the sip of cold tea he’d taken and pulled the mug from his lips, “you made that apple pie better than anybody who has ever tried too. A little better than myself, should I say, and that’s my own adapted recipe. In my old age and with my bad back, it’s getting a bit difficult to get in the kitchen and put my bakery skills to some good use so it’s lovely to know my little girl has someone to make her sweet treats when she needs it,” he chuckled.
“Pops, god. You make me sound like a pig,” Persephone grinned, her nose nudging against Jack’s cheek as she kept her hold on the glass of water in her hand, the bottom resting upon the knee she’d swung across Jack’s lap. “I don’t eat that many sweet treats, okay? It’s your fault that I have a hankering for them because you always made some delicious things.”
A deep chuckle left Harry’s mouth as his eyebrows raised for just a second and his eyes widened before he sent her a wink.
He had made some delicious sweet treats in the past, when Persephone was a young girl, varying from lemon drizzle cake to red velvet cupcakes to raspberry and white chocolate muffins to jam tarts - both muffins and tarts were what you’d craved throughout every single one of your pregnancies with your children.
Persephone was always his ‘deputy baker’ when she was old enough to understand what he was doing; she was 5 when she first began to join him at the counter, with an apron tied around her body before her dominant persona begged and pleaded to take over the rolling of the pastry for jam tarts or whisking the cake and muffin mix whilst he supervised with a close eye and a strong hand covering her tiny fingers to make sure she didn’t go too overboard and mess up the kitchen as well as her apron covered figure. He’d always allow her to have dip one finger in and have one lick of the mixture that was set to rise in the oven, and his heart would swell when she’d look to him with wide green eyes and whisper “these will taste really good, daddy” as he peppered kisses to her head.
He always trusted her 5-year old judgement on the mix in the glass bowl and she was never wrong with her statements. She never held back.
He’d always known she was going to incorporate baking into her life one way or another - whether she became a baker and owned her own bakery as her profession, after realising Science was too tough and she wanted something that kept her stress-free, or, whether she became the typical mother as well (as a woman of work) of the household and made sweet treats and the pastries for her own children and her husband to snack on through traditions in the future.
When she’d come home one afternoon, a summer break from University if you will, her boyfriend on her arm and a red velvet cake tucked under his arm, she’d gushed over how amazing he was at baking. Insisting that you all needed to try a slice of his cake because she swore it was like sitting on cloud nine.
However, she held back on whether or not if her boyfriend was a better baker than her father - because her father would always take the top position and she couldn’t offer any other man that place. When she picked up a spoon, she was instantly reminded of spooning mixture into the cake holders. When she picked up a a whisk, she was instantly reminded of the day Harry had turned his back for just one second, resulting in splatters of mixture coating the cupboards and dripping from the counter, her hair matted and her cheeks painted with the beige goop.
“I had some help from P before I made that apple pie today. Just to make sure I impressed you with it. I’d been through a lot of ingredients and different ones being made to make it perfect so, Persephone had insisted that the one we ate today was almost like you’d made it from scratch,” Jack stated with a smile, a soft giggle leaving Persephone’s mouth as she pressed her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes, “she has definitely got your baking skills, Harry.”
“She grew up and spent the majority of her childhood in the kitchen with her dad. She was the only one out of her and her siblings who would sit in the kitchen and watch as Harry made sweet treats and cupcakes for her to munch on,” you explained, adjusting yourself in the chair and sitting up a bit more comfier upon the cushions, “she loved sitting with him and stirring the mix and dipping her finger in and pushing it to his cheek and giggling.”
“He made such great cakes though,” Persephone sighed, lifting her head from Jack’s shoulder and sending her father a loving smile, “which reminds me, we have your cake to eat. Do you want some more tea? We can go and make some more and cut some slices of the cake and bring it in. I’m pretty sure there’s a new episode of Antiques Roadshow showing as well, and I know you love watching that, Pops,” she suggested with a hint of teasing in her words, looking between you and Harry, a devilish smirk on her lips as Jack removed his arms from around her.
“I’d love some cake, poppet. I’m getting a bit peckish,” Harry smiled, picking up his half empty cup of cold tea and shuffling on the arm chair cushion he was sat up, reaching forward to grab your mug and hooking the handle around his forefinger, “I’ll come and give you a hand, yeah? I’ve missed spending some time with you in a kitchen.”
50-years old and well into his life with you and his children he feared his
children would leave and he wouldn’t see them as regularly as he had done, and
it gave Harry a sense of relief - she was only 40 minutes away and he could
always hop in his car and drive down if she was ever in an emergency and in
need of someone to help her - that she agreed to living in a house that was
close to her first home. If she needed him to comfort her or to give her a
hug that brought her to a safe haven, all she had to do was drive back home
down the motorway and use her house key to let herself in. The excitement of
being back with her father giving her the determination to get there, no matter
the emotion running through her body.
Harry felt like he was in need of seeing his daughter after a long while of not
seeing her, and, he felt like conversing with her over a mug of tea and some
biscuits brought from the store on his way down to Surrey from London, he was
always welcomed to pull up into her driveway and proceed to let himself in with
the key she’d have made for him and for you in case emergencies happened. And,
he wasn’t a stranger to the key sitting in his jean pocket, hanging on a
keyring along with his house keys and stuffed into his pocket with , and he
wasn’t going to let it become an unused waste.
“No, no. You’re okay, Pops. Stay there. We’ll be back shortly,” Persephone said with a smile, standing to her socked feet and stretching her hands forward and wiggling her fingers, the sleeves of her shirt rolling up her arms as she took the cups from her father and followed Jack into the kitchen, an audible sigh leaving her lips as she disappeared around the doorframe.
The sounds of the kettle boiling began to fill the silent house and the taps running to wash the cold tea down the sink could be heard over the whistling and the bubbling, an incoherent conversation happening in the kitchen between Jack and Persephone as yourself and Harry stayed within the warmth of the fire-lit living room.
“We can’t stay for much longer, okay, Peaches?” You warned Harry, his tired and hooded eyes focused on the TV as he watched an advert about a supermarket roll across the screen. His face turning to yours after some time with a frown on his lips. “I know you don’t want to go back home without her but we have an early start tomorrow with taking Darcy to Freshers Week for university. You don’t want to be tired for that.”
“I know,” Harry mumbled, his hands turning into fists as he rubbed his tired eyes and let out a soft yawn, “m’gettin’ old, aren’t I? Tired at 8 in the evening,” he chuckled, his laugh deep and raspy and coming out almost breath-like as he groaned heavily and sat up comfier, crossing a leg over, his socked foot swinging gently.
“You’re still that sweet 20 year old I met in the coffee shop,” you cooed, standing to your feet with a a smile and manoeuvring around the coffee table set in front of the fire, perching yourself down on the arm of the chair he was sat in and wrapping an arm around his neck, “30 years and 4 kids later, we’re still as in love with one another as we were in our twenties.”
His head dropped to your shoulder, eyes closed and a smile on his lips.
“Still think you’re the fittest bird I’ve been with, you know? I’m glad I married you,” you heard him whisper softly, happiness lacing his words as they rolled from his tongue, his eyes closed in contentment as your finger brushed down his arm, drawing patterns on his skin. “Glad you stuck around, as well. Wouldn’t be here, in our daughters home, if it wasn’t for you.”
“Oh, stop. You’re getting sappier in your old age, Peaches.”
“30 years and 4 kids later, you’re still calling me Peaches,” he mocked, his arm snaking around your waist as he pulled you onto his lap. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Within the heat of the conversation and with the snuggle happening in the armchair, the both of you were oblivious to the two twenty-six year olds standing in the doorway, a tray of four steaming mugs of tea in Persephone’s hands and a tray of four thick pieces of Victoria Sponge cake sitting on blue and white spiral-printed ceramic plates. Four forks tinkling as the metal prongs knocked against each other.
“I want that,” Persephone whispered, her head tilting up towards Jack as he looked down at her with adoration in his eyes, “I want what my parents have. They’re 50 years old, and, they look so great for their age, and they’ve never fallen out of love of anything. I want that with you, Jack,” she cooed.
She wanted that in 30 years.
When they had their own children and they were huddled around in their living room, drinking tea and eating home made cake as they sat in front of the fure . Conversing with their own children as they caught up with their lives now that they had left home and started a journey of their own.
She wanted the love her father and mother had.
She’d lived in a house for 18 years, seeing so much love exchanged and so many sweet and adoring gestures being witnessed.
She’d seen her father give her mother kisses in the morning over eggs and bacon, orange juice coated lips and aprons around their bodies. Soft ‘I love you’s leaving their mouths as they dished up the delicious smelling breakfast onto plates, ordering them nicely on the breakfast bar before calling the rest of the children down to help themselves to the towering plates of food.
She’d seen her mother give her father back massages when he’d have an ache at the small of his back. A wince leaving his mouth when he’d duck down and tug off his boots upon his arrival home from work or from a busy day out, and, it would be like her instincts turn up a notch. Whatever was in her hand would be dropped and her attention would be swiftly changed to his hunching finger and his crumpled face as his palm stayed flat upon the aching small of his back.
And, she’d seen them both run each other baths and decorate the bathroom with candles and sweet-smelling bath-bombs that fizzed in the water and created intricate patterns on the surface and died the water whatever the bath-bombs colour was initially. Sweet cuddles and passionate kisses being given to the other with their bodies beneath the water as they took the chance of a silent household to be as intimate as they could.
She’d grown up in a household that was filled to the brim with love and all she wanted was a household like that in the future. With her own children. With her own husband. In a house of her own.
“And we will have that, Pea. I promise,” Jack cooed, “now, let’s go and tell them, hm?”
“I’m so nervous, Jack,” Persephone gruntled, looking down at the newly opened ceramic mugs and gulping nervously. “What if they hate this idea? What if the-”
“Shush. This isn’t good for you, okay?” Jack cooed, pressing his puckered lips to her forehead and smiling down at her. “Whatever happens, I’ve got you. We’re married. This is great news for them.”
“I suppose so,” she whispered, catching his eye contact and shuffling the tray in her now visibly shaking hands, “let’s do it.”
With a heavy breath in and out, and a three second moment to herself, Persephone followed Jack’s consistent and soft footsteps towards the sofa. Her nerves filling her belly and butterflies flitting around inside of her, her cheeks paling and her head ducked to her chest as she set down tray down on the table, ensuring the words painted across the white ceramic was hidden from her parents’ wandering eyes.
This was happening. Her life was about to change and she was about to become something that she’d wanted ever since she was a little girl - a mother.
She was pregnant. A little under four weeks but already showing symptoms.
With a baby of her own; a mixture of her and Jack.
A pregnancy test was sitting in the drawer of the coffee table in front of her, resting in toilet paper upon a pile of chat-magazines that fit snugly in the wood, corners turned to remind Persephone of where she had gotten too in her mid-morning reading with a cup of hot chocolate to wake her up from her drowsy state.
“Tea and cakes,” Jack grinned, lifting up two plates of Victoria Sponge cake and holding them out in an accessible reach for you both to take, “thank you for making the sponge cake, Harry. It’s a pleasure to eat it.”
“You’re welcome, lad,” Harry grinned, tapping your hip and shuffling beneath your weight as you hoisted yourself up onto the arm and stood to your feet. Reaching for a fork for yourself and Harry, you manoeuvred back to the empty arm chair and settled back comfortably in the seat. “I’d be happy to make more cakes or sweet treats if you ever want some or want to have some snacks for a tradition of party. I’m good with taking the 40 minutes drive down here.”
“We couldn’t ask you to do that yet, Harry,” Jack reasoned, holding a forkful of cake to his mouth and wrapping his lips around the fluffy and moist sponge, a grin on his lips as he chewed and swallowed the tasteless yet delicious mouthful, “I know you’d much rather make cakes for your wife and spend time with her. It’s 40 minutes here and 40 minutes back. It’s alright.”
“Nonsense. I’d do anything for you both,” Harry admitted through a mouthful of cake, crumbs sticking to the corner of his lips as his upper lip was coated with a dash of of the dusting and the icing holding the two layers together, “Persephone knows that we’ll always make the long winded drive to come and see you both.”
“Well, we always love having you, Pops,” his eldest daughter grinned softly, looking up from her cake and staring at the all too familiar green eyes.
Silence engulfed the four of you, and as the time went on, Persephone felt suffocated with her thoughts.
She was moments away from telling her family that she was pregnant. Moments away from telling them that she was about to grow and pop out another healthy member to the Styles-Hudson family into the world. She was going to endure morning sickness and hormones, and, she was going to go through cravings and even more hormones, and, she was going to watch as her body accustomed to her growing baby and she’d have swollen feet and aching ankles and a back that would need extra attention when being loved on.
She was going to have a baby bump between her hips that would force her to change from regular clothing to maternity wear; the material needing to be comfortable around her pregnant body as she went about her daily activities. A baby bump that would be touched from loved ones and looked at in the streets by strangers and she knows that, deep down, she’d be asked more about the baby then she would about herself. No one would be interested in how she was feeling or how she was coping about the baby; they would be much more interested in the interesting facts of the baby - they’d be curious to know the size of the baby at a specific day of the pregnancy, they’d want to know how far along you were, and they’d want to know if the gender was going to be found out or whether they were keeping it secret.
This one step of telling everyone had her nervous.
And she’d never felt this nervous in her life - she had a father who was born confident, and, people close to Harry as a child were never short of reminding her that she was exactly how her father was when he was a young one.
She felt her heart in her throat when Harry reached for a mug, before retracting back and swallowing down the last of his cake, setting the fork on the china and setting it upon the empty tray.
“Sweetheart, you’re looking a bit pale,” you pointed out matter of factly, worry coursing through your body as you sat on the edge of your seat and reached across for her head, “and you haven’t eaten anything of your dad’s cake. What’s the matter? You love his Victoria Sponge.”
“Jus’ feeling a bit off,” was her reply.
Soft and nervous and shaky, and it stayed unsettled on your conscience.
“Persephone? What’s the ma-”
A heavy gasp coming from Harry, his green eyes wide as his arm stretched forward and squeezed her knee reassuringly, being careful of the cake sitting on her thighs.
You’d felt like the wind had been knocked out of you as you let the happy news settle on your mind. You’d been waiting for the day your children came home and announced the happy news of a pregnancy, and, at 50 years old, you’d felt your life had been complete.
You’d been a girlfriend.
You’d been a fiancée.
You’d been a bride and you wed to be a wife.
You’d been a pregnant wife and grew 4 healthy babies in your belly before enduring almost 24 hour births.
You’d been a mother for 26 years.
And now you were nine months away from being a grandmother.
Your eldest baby was about to have a baby herself, and she was about to become a mother to her own child and raise a baby in a way you’d done. And, you couldn’t begin to express your pride towards her.
“Poppet, hey,” Harry cooed, “that’s fantastic news!”
He was on his feet in seconds, his arms open wide as Jack removed the plate from Persephone’s lap.
“C’mon, poppet. Come give your old man a hug,” Harry chuckled, lacing his fingers into Persephone’s and pulling her to her feet, “this is brilliant. You’re going to be a mother. You’re having a baby.”
Knowingly enough, being in her fathers arms seemed to calm her down and she felt better and less-nervous about being pregnant and having a changing body and a gruelling birth that would end in something precious. With Harry’s arms tight around her, she felt like nothing could get in her way, and with a supportive husband by her side, she felt she could conquer anything. Give or take, she was going to grab the bull by the horns and go about her life as it comes.
She was ready.
“We have the pregnancy test here, actually,” Jack pointed out, crouching down beside Harry’s legs and pulling open the drawer, his fingers curling around the test as he pulled it out and shut the door with his knee, “our first pregnancy test that came back positive. We had a doctors appointment about a week ago and they confirmed it properly. We’re nearing 4 weeks, I suppose.”
“Oh, that’s fantastic news, darling,” you cooed, tapping his shoulders and pulling him to your petite body, his arms instantly wrapping around your waist as he pressed his lips to your cheek, “you deserve this. This is such fantastic news, really. We’ve been wondering when we’re going to be grandparents,” you teased.
Her mother was happy. Her father was ecstatic. And her husband was as over-the-moon as any new father could be.
A smile lifted up her cheeks.
She was happy and ecstatic and over-the-moon, too.
And, she was definitely ready for this new journey.
Five months ago you joined the Avengers, you also met Bucky Barnes and you quickly fell for him. Bucky offered to help you train, so every single day, yourself and Bucky would head down to the training area and he would help you become stronger and faster. This morning is no different, you and Bucky head down to the training area where he has promised to help you with your hand-to-hand combat, but this training session is far from the normal training session. Bucky keeps distracting you and it ends in a way that you did not see coming.
Promises” part 2 maybe that the reader turns into a werewolf and Derek
helps her, but the reader still hasn’t forgiven him. And maybe he gets jealous
when she starts to try and move on, but she’s his mate. So they end up
Author’s Note: I hope you like this!!! I’ve been wanting to get this done for awhile. Here is the link to Part 1 if you haven’t read that one yet :) Enjoy!
“Again,” Derek ordered, offering a hand to help me up off the
ground. I huffed and took it, allowing him to pull me up to my feet. Shaking
the hair out of my face, I took a deep breath. “Alright. Channel it, don’t let
it control you.” Nodding my head, I got into position. After a few tense
seconds of silence, I attacked, fists flying, claws beginning to come out.
Derek easily blocked every one of my moves, annoying the hell out of me.
In an attempt to land even one blow, I let my frustration
get the better of me and snarled loudly as I kicked out at his torso. He
grabbed my ankle, flipping me to the ground before I could even think “asshole”
at him. Eating mat once again, I groaned in defeat.
“Come on, Y/N, you aren’t even listening to what I’m telling
you,” Derek said, a hint of cockiness in his voice. I closed my eyes and took a
deep breath to try and keep from tearing into him. Literally.
❊ because he was told his angel would love him forever.
3097 words; normal verse!au; kai/reader scenario; fluff, angst angst
Angel, how are you doing?
The moment Jongin hears the lock clicking, he’s up on his feet and sprinting down at full speed towards the front foyer. Angel is home, he thinks giddily to himself. His sock-clad feet are sliding across the floor as he’s approaching you at top speed.
After three months of living in a small, coastal Malagasy village, August was the month where I finally began to really feel like a part of the community. Suddenly I noticed the village life cycle was unfolding all around me and I was right in the middle of it! I photographed a Malagasy wedding, I attended a few funerals, I helped the doctor birth a baby, and I even witnessed a circumcision party. I was somehow turning into a Rabbi.
I had tried to be involved in community activities as much as I could for the first few months that I lived here…but being dropped in a town so extraordinarily different than what I was used to was overwhelming and adjusting took time. I was happy, but I wasn’t going to rush things. Being a volunteer is weird and everything gets better each day.
In August I was beginning to become more comfortable spending (aimless) time outside. I started to be able to let go of “calculated time”- the structure and order my western brain thought it needed- and I was able to lighten my step and flow with the easy-going village mentality. This is when things started to get interesting.
A Nice Day for a Lime Green and Aqua Blue Wedding:
One day I was walking around without any plans. I was excited to see where things could take me! As I passed by the only hill in town where there is cell-phone reception, a family at the Commune called me over and asked me to help them take photos of their wedding. A Malagasy Wedding!
Where I live people rarely get married officially. There were 4 weddings in my commune in 2014 and only 5 so far this year. Most “married” couples just pair up and move in together…and then switch around if they feel like it as the years go by. A marriage license in this district of Madagascar costs 60,000 Ariary, or $20, which is a ridiculous amount of money for a Malagasy family that typically lives on 50 cents a day.
But that day, there was a wedding and I just happened to stumble upon it! Everyone was so excited to have a strange “white person” there. They refused to let me stand and gave me the nicest chair to sit in, next to the the sisters of the bride. It’s always awkward when this happens, but I’m sure it would be even more awkward if I refused…
All in attendance were wearing shades of blue and green -including the bride. I felt very underdressed in my cloth sarong (Malagasy lamba) that people wear casually but not to important events. But at least it was blue and no one seemed to mind because everything I do is weird anyways!
We sat in the small library while two officials from the commune reviewed papers, said a few words, and then had the couple sign the papers and kiss. There were about 20 people there, and it was a simple and short ceremony. When the couple kissed, they were both very uncomfortable with an audience and began laughing nervously as Malagasy people tend to do when they are uncomfortable. It was such a wonderful and happy moment. And I snapped a photo of it! (Which just made them laugh more).
After the ceremony, the group invited me back to their house a little ways out, down a muddy road. At the house, everyone insisted that I sit at the table with all of the men which included the Mayor and his “cronies.” All of the other women were sitting on mats in another room… But I didn’t want to stir the pot so I did what I was told. The large amount of respect I receive here is confusing yet humbling. I hope to do it justice with my work.
Everyone was very jubilant and I taught them some English as we compared Malagasy and American culture while passing a tray of cookies around the table. Then the bride and her sisters served the men, the elders, and me large bowls of rice -the most important part of a Malagasy meal -especially at a wedding!
Chicken stew and a salad of carrots were served alongside the rice and I once again had to have the awkward “vegetarian” talk with my new friends to explain why I don’t eat chicken. They were very intrigued…but understanding!
After the meal, men brought out some bottles of beer, moonshine, rum, and sugar cane brandy called Toka Gasy. Everyone drank and cheered to the new happy couple. Then the men at the table mixed together a bunch of drinks, as well as some cookies and rice, into two cups and had the couple down the glasses as everyone chanted good blessings.
After the toasts, I made my way into the other room where women and children had been eating on mats but were now beginning to dance. For the next few hours, as the day came to an end, I danced in a small little room with the grandmas and mothers and sisters and children as men sat in the other room, laughing, drinking and D.J.ing the music for us. It was glorious.
A few days later, I printed out the photos I took and gave them to the kind and welcoming family as a wedding gift.
Baby Come Back!
As a Peace Corps Health Volunteer working with a health clinic (CSB -Centre du Santé de Base), I felt that it was obligatory that I take advantage of this position to witness childbirth sometime.
In August my chance finally came! There are often women giving birth at the CSB, but sometimes it is late at night, or other times I had not been able to sit there all day waiting for it to happen.
But on this particular Saturday I had nothing to do! I went out walking and I saw a bunch of people waiting at the CSB. I asked if they were waiting for a birth and they said yes. This was my moment! I ran home to grab my book and returned so I could wait with the family.
The doctor at the clinic who I’m supposed to work with, but I do not talk to much because he has little patience for my “slowly improving” Malagasy, was there. He told me that the baby would probably come in about two hours, near 4 pm. During this time, he and I actually chatted a bit and *maybe* even bonded. He was very intrigued by my Kindle.
4 pm came and passed but the baby still wasn’t ready. It would be getting dark soon and I could tell the doctor was getting impatient. The woman was given a dose of Ocytocin to induce labor but it wasn’t working quickly.
At around 5 o'clock, it was dusk and the doctor decided it was time. There was no electricity, but by the light of a lantern and my iPhone’s flashlight, he handed me some gloves. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. I am not supposed to actually be involved… I just wanted to watch (for some strange masochistic reason).
My job was just to stand there and hand him warm water every once in a while, which I think I was qualified *just enough* to do. Although his Malagasy is particularly fast and I never understand him… It went okay.
But the baby still wasn’t ready to come out.
For a few more hours, the mother silently (Malagasy people do not make noise when they are in pain) pushed as her mother and sisters pushed on her stomach too.
Eventually, after seeing so many traumatic things that I will never unsee, the baby emerged. I helped the doctor to clean her off and then I weighed her on a small balance as she cried her first little tears. (This is the only time I can be certain that the reason a baby was crying in my arms was NOT because I was white).
It was a magical experience… I guess. Terrifying but magical.
I didn’t realize that I had been holding my breath for three hours until I left the health center and finally exhaled a series of “WTF WTF WTF"s under the starry night sky.
In August, I started to facilitate my own programs. I was to lead a nutrition class and cooking demo for mothers and young children one Tuesday morning.
When I arrived at my counterpart’s house to set up, she told me that a two month old baby had passed away that morning and many people were distraught.
She took me to the home of the family. Many of the villagers were waiting outside as a large group of family members and friends were squeezed in the house praying. Every once in a while I would hear loud wails.
I asked my counterpart if we should cancel the program, but she said no and we carried it out.
Later in the day, a large mass of people in colorful clothes were marching along the main road singing. The men in front were carrying a small white bundle. My counterpart told me it was the baby and we joined in with the march.
I was heartsick because of the baby. I was also terribly afraid that I would do something dumb or offensive. In a situation like this, one cannot smile and laugh off a mistake as a charming cultural mishap and my language skills were not good enough to fully understand what was going on.
Further down the road, most of the group took a path into the woods to bury the baby. Instead, I followed a group of women into a pond where everyone got in and began washing themselves. I began washing myself as well. I think it may have been symbolic for the “purity of life."
The following week there was to be another nutrition program in a smaller village nearby. When I arrived in the village, I was informed by my coworker that a 20 year old boy had died that morning and we would be starting late because of the funeral.
I joined the community as they carried the young man wrapped in white cloth to the river. They placed his body in a canoe and most of the villagers stayed onshore watching as a few more canoes accompanied his, to bury him in a sacred place along the water where he’d spent his whole life.
These were untimely and surprising deaths. Both of these two funerals were because people were "sick.” That is all I know. The villagers were very quiet and solemn and did not want to talk.
Death is a very delicate subject that I do not understand well.
One morning I awoke to horrendous screams coming from the house next door to mine. I peaked over into the yard and saw a few mothers holding squirming little boys who were pants-less. They were being circumcised.
I stayed back a bit because -to be honest- after witnessing childbirth, I wasn’t ready for the graphics of this event.
Maybe I’m not cut out to be a rabbi. (Oh goodness that’s a horrible accidental pun).
I guess I will just settle for being the strange community member in a village who does her best to understand the culture around her and tries not to offend people. L'chaim, To Life!