sherlock and john investigating a hundred year old mystery at the claude monet estate in giverny just a few weeks after john comes home. sherlock gets to speak french and john finds it all unbearably sexy. they have to share a bed of course and sherlock gets to be cheesily sentimental about art, which surprises john, and then john is more surprised that he’s surprised, because he knows now that sherlock does feel things that way and he hasn’t always given sherlock enough credit in that way, which starts him wondering, and wondering, and wondering, what else he’s missed
and eventually when the case is over sherlock disappears into the gardens and john goes and finds him just around dusk, the flowers in bloom all around him, dripping from the branches overhead, leaving little petals caught in his curls, the scent thick and heady. and sherlock starts rambling on about how monet cultivated the gardens specifically to paint them, building a beautiful thing to build a beautiful thing, this cycle of creation, this constant layering of beautiful things trying to understand it, trying to capture the light and the fleetingness of it, and john just interrupts quietly, sherlock, just like that, just says his name the one time, and sherlock looks at him, and their eyes catch, catch and hold, and hold, and hold, hold, hold, until finally john leans in and kisses him, kisses him soft under the mossy branches, on the japanese bridge with the water lilies blooming all around them, kisses him soft like a butterfly, like a breeze, like a beautiful thing he’s trying to understand in the fleetingness of it, and for the first time since john came home, they both breathe
“Now a soft kiss - Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.” -John Keats
Raven was not an outdoorsy person.
Sure, nature was pretty. Of course she thought so; she was wont to meditate on the roof during sunsets and bask in the salty ocean breeze. It was calming and gave her the chance to tune everything else out. She also would not deny the importance of wildlife for society as a whole; economically and otherwise.
But that did not mean she wanted to go traipsing out into the wilderness armed with only a potato rake and bulky, hard-to-walk-in waders.
Raven heaved a very obvious sigh and poked at rotting leaf litter with the butt of her rake. “Do we really need to do this?” she asked for the upteenth time, earning raised eyebrows from her fellow green skinned companion.
“Would you rather pay the city damages?”
She just scowled. This whole excursion was a result of the Titans’ contract with Jump City; they’d pay off any city damages via community service. There was a lost list of services they were provided year-to-year to choose from, ranging anywhere from cleaning trash out of the gutters to helping out at local schools.
This year, the city had given an option to help out at the local university. Apparently the school was short on teaching assistants, and somehow the Titans were qualified to help. Raven figured it had more to do with publicity than anything; after all, they didn’t do much of the actual teaching, they just showed up to classes and held office hours to help the students. Plus, their presence definitely helped the attendance and registration numbers.
Raven hissed, tugging herself free of a thorn bush. The forest was riddled with them, and she was pretty sure her shirt was riddled with holes now.
Biology was fun, Raven wouldn’t deny that. There was something fascinating about how all of biotic aspects of nature just fit together, and she enjoyed reading through various studies and articles. But she didn’t particularly care for field work.
This particular ‘job’ was one-hundred percent Beast Boy’s idea. As soon as he’d seen the class listed on their community service sheet, he’d begged Robin to let him do it. The Titan leader had consented, somewhat baffled by the changeling’s enthusiasm. After all, Beast Boy was not known for his teaching prowess, and he’d requested that Raven accompany him, lest things go south.
But Raven had an inkling that Beast Boy was more interested in the class itself than teaching. Which was why they were now participating in the class field trip out into the depths of a swampy forest, overturning logs and looking for herps.
“Besides,” the shapeshifter said as he expertly rolled over a log, “this is fun!”
Raven raised a brow, unimpressed. “And what exactly is fun about thorns and mud?” All she got for an answer was an excited yelp as Beast Boy dove for the ground. He popped up, holding a wriggling salamander in his hands.
“Dude, check it out! An Ambystoma opacum!”
She blinked. “Wait, you know the Latin names?”
“Uh, yeah.” Bafflement tickled her senses, matching the shapeshifter’s expression as he raised a brow at her. Raven shook herself and padded closer, peering down at the curious looking amphibian. She could admit that it was cute, with its black beady eyes and tiny little feet. The colors were intriguing as well; a black body with white patterns crisscrossing its back, giving the salamander a marbled appearance.
“Yep, it’s a salamander,” she said dryly. “Yet another animal you can shapeshift into.”
Beast Boy rolled his eyes and pulled out a plastic bag, dropping the salamander inside. “Yeah, great, a green marbled salamander. How accurate.” He bent down and scooped up some damp leaf litter and placed alongside the salamander inside the baggie. “We’ve already talked about this; it’s better for the students to get the field experience.”
Raven sighed. He was right of course; they had spoken about it. Repeatedly. Raven had tried to convince Dr. Carrleton, the professor, to merely show the class live specimens via Beast Boy, hoping to escape the obligatory field work. Both protested heavily against it; though Dr. Carrleton did ask the shapeshifter to supplement for any native species they couldn’t find themselves.
There were many reasons, of course, that Raven’s idea was rebuttable; students looking to study herpetology needed to know how to find said herps, how to handle real wild ones, and how to properly and ethically mark, weigh, and potentially collect said creatures. Plus, there was the added obstacle that Beast Boy couldn’t project any color aside from green, though his range was pretty extensive in terms of the color’s spectrum.
“Come on, let’s go check out that creek,” Beast Boy said, cutting through her thoughts. Raven just shrugged and followed after him, carefully picking her way through the shrubs and briar bushes.
The ambling creek carved a path along the forest floor, sloping down into a little gurgling gully. Muddy banks jutted out around the curves and fallen branches and mossy rocks peaked out of the water. Raven watched as Beast Boy leapt into the creek, water spraying out in all directions. She eyes the slopes, trying to figure out the easiest way to join him.
Should she shuffle down? Or find a less steep section?
Light drops splattered on her nose, and Raven directed her gaze upwards. The forest canopy was not quite complete yet, but there were enough leaves developed to obscure her image of the sky. Still, Raven could see hints of grey overhead, and she scowled.
Great. Just what she needed.
The squeaky voice grated on Raven’s ears, and she cringed. Crashing through the forest were two of the Herpetology students, both of which were currently lusting over Beast Boy like dogs in heat. It was utterly disgusting, the intensity of their desire, and it made Raven want to barf.
“Look what we got!” the first girl squealed, sliding down into the creek with ease. She tossed her golden pony tail as she thrust the baggie into his face, a charming and grotesquely flirtatious grin curved onto her lips. Beast Boy plucked the bag from her grasp, his gaze focused solely on the critter enclosed inside.
“Damn, Lisa, that’s awesome!” He shot the student a playful look. “What species is it?”
Lisa opened her mouth to speak, but her friend on the bank beat her to the punch. “It’s Desmognathus ruber!”
“Yep, that’s right, Emily!” Beast Boy chirped, handing the bad back to Lisa. Emily’s face contorted into a grin so smug, that Raven felt an urge to smack it right off. She suppressed a growl.
Stupid college girls being stupidly inappropriate.
She marched forward, ignoring the rain that was starting to come down harder. Raven jabbed her potato rake into the mud to assist in her descent as she tried to not fall on her face. Unfortunately, Raven misjudged just how muddy the slope was. Her supposedly extra-grip waders did nothing to help her keep her footing, and she found herself sliding down the bank and splashing right into the creek.
Raven floundered, trying to pull herself up out of the water. She coughed and spat out creekwater, barely managing to stagger to her feet.
The section she’d fallen into was deep. So deep, in fact, that her waders were now full of water. Raven bit her lip hard.
Don’t shriek, don’t cry. Don’t shriek, don’t cry.
“Shit, Rae! You okay?”
Beast Boy’s voice broke her out of her reverie, and Raven blinked at the green shapeshifter. He half jogged, half waded through the water, rain dripping off of his face. It was starting to really come down, which was so not helping the situation.
He reached for her wader strap, concern billowing off of him. “Here, let me-”
A roll of thunder accompanied her voice. She smacked his hand away, narrowing her eyes. “I have had enough of this stupid field trip. I am soaked, muddy, and standing in the stupid rain.” A bitter laugh bubbled from her lips, and she tossed her hands in the air. “And for what? A stupid contract? No. I’m done.”
Raven worked to unfasten her wader straps, her numb fingers fumbling and awkward. Green hands entered her vision and clasped her hands, making her pause.
“Let me help,” Beast Boy murmured. Raven wasn’t sure what it was, but something in his voice enraptured her. The anger she felt dissipated in an instant, and Raven watched dumbly as Beast Boy undid the straps. Some of the water spilled out, though she’d have to actually take the damn things off to get it all out.
Raven looked up, catching Beast Boy’s gaze. She sucked in a breath. Wet hair hung in his face, dripping with rainwater. His eyes were bright amid the growing storm, luring Raven deeper into their mossy irises. She felt his thumb brush against her jaw and she shivered.
Tingles spread across her skin, making her feel warm despite the water that clung to her skin and clothes. Raven could feel the college girls watching, but they didn’t seem to matter anymore.
Not with Beast Boy this close.
He kissed her then. His lips tasted of rainwater and peppermint, a taste Raven was quickly becoming addicted to. She hooked her hands into his damp shirt, pulling him closer.
Raven had read many books. She’d encountered countless kissing scenes before, each one more intricate and interesting than the next. But nothing really compared to the feel of Beast Boy’s lips on hers, and the blanket of euphoria that wrapped around them tight.
The broke apart, their foreheads brushing.
“We should probably get out of the rain,” Beast Boy murmured. Raven hummed, glancing up at the obscured sky.
“Perhaps. But I don’t mind staying for a little while.”
The shapeshifter raised his brows, a playful grin warming his features. “Oh?”
She shushed him by kissing him again, there beneath the rain.
Based on “Imagine being able to see people’s dreams and that’s how you find out a member of the Company likes you” from
There and back again imagines
For averil-of-fairlea (I hope you enjoy, thank you so much for giving me the chance to write this one.)
The woods are quiet, save for the droning snores of the dwarves and the crackling of the campfire as you feed it with sticks and mossy branches. You train your eyes on the trees around you, willing yourself to stay alert despite the heaviness of your eyelids, encouraging yourself with the thought that your watch will soon come to an end. Sleep will be especially welcome tonight, after a long day of trudging through field and forest…and when your weariness is heightened by the effort it takes to keep the dreams of your slumbering companions from crowding into your mind.
No healer has ever been able to explain your strange gift, and you’ve seen many of them since the day when, as a small child, you first astonished your parents with detailed descriptions of the content of their dreams. As you grew older you gained greater control of your abilities, teaching yourself to shut out the images as though closing a door in your mind, but this discipline is always far more difficult when you are tired, and since joining the company of Thorin Oakenshield, you can scarcely remember a time when you haven’t been tired.
This photo surfaced recently of what some people are claiming is Bigfoot. The photo was taken by a Maxine Caulfield in Northern Ireland. She was out walking her dogs through a supposedly haunted forest when her dogs started acting strange. They stopped being their usual energetic self, stopped and stared in the direction of the creature.
“It was as if they knew something was there.” said Maxine, “It wasn’t normal.”
Maxine regularly walks her dogs through the forest and hasn’t had anything like this happen before.
Ireland isn’t popular for Bigfoot encounters, which leads many to question the authenticity of the photo. The picture does have a significantly better resolution than most photos but still quite blurry. Could Maxine have been making it all up? Is there really a new species of bipedal ape roaming Ireland? Or is it simply a mossy log and entangled branches? Let me know what you think!
In the swamp, sounds nestle in small spaces, curl around boggy stumps, and brighten at the turn of a corner. Birds and bugs peep and chirp from latticeworks of branches or within the folds of damp tree bark. And atthe styracosaur’s feet, the water speaks and ripples out, undulating in little hills under the duckweed.
From one tree tumbles the cry of a mother bird—tee-tee-tee-tee-tee-tee-tee—calling to let her fledgling know where the nest is. After another step, the reply of the little bird comes to the dinosaur’s ears—ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee. The baby is not far from the mother, just hopping up the next tree over.
Dragonflies hover by, their beating wings like origami songs. The sizzle of the flies that sip vapor from the nostrils is less lovely.
Under a mossy branch, black insects with stubby antennae rattle a mechanical pulse. It’s an alien sound, almost too precise and fast to be organic. The bugs hush when the dinosaur nears. Their timpani are not tapped for his pleasure.
Aires: This is the battle of Troy, and your chariot grinds to a stop outside the smoking remains of a once great temple. Short-sword in hand, you survey the battle through your gilded helmet before rushing back in, the battle cry on your lips mixing with blood and ashes. No one can stand before you, and you are completely in control of your every movement even if you seem like a warrior consumed by chaos.
Taurus: A soft blanket of fog hangs over the marsh as you wade through knee high water. It is clear and pure, and the spear in your hand creates small ripples as you touch it to the cold surface. A bird calls out and takes to the wing not far from you, and you know your attackers are not far off. The fog is so thick that you can see only a few feet in front of you, so you stand completely still, ready your spear, and control your breathing. Whatever is coming, you’re ready.
Gemini: Combat is an art, and with every flick of your wrist, daggers fly like flocks of beautiful, silver birds. You never miss your mark, and you close your eyes as you feel where your opponent will move next. Your movements are precise and delicate, not at all erratic, but artful, flowing. Like water you sway and dip, always a step out of range. You use your surroundings to remain just out of reach. They can’t lay a hand on you, but boy do you deliver a number unto them.
Cancer: You run through a mossy forest, leaping over branches and dashing past gigantic green trees…the air is cool ,and the ground is slightly damp. The leaves above cast sunlight shadows on the hidden path before you. You can hear your pursuer behind you, trampling the ferns and shouldering aside the smaller saplings. Their bellows of rage are frightening, yet you smile to yourself as you quickly spin around and notch an arrow to your bow; you are nimble and quick and no one knows these woods like you do.
Leo: You leap gracefully from your white coarser and shout orders to your soldiers. The medals on your uniform jingle as you remove your saber from its scabbard. Your intelligence cuts like a knife and your words instill hope into your troops. You are the sun, shining radiantly over the battlefield, kissing the wounded with your warmth and shooting courageous fire through those who remain standing. You know your job is anything but glorious, however, with you in command, anything is possible ,and your light encompasses all.
Virgo: The expert tactician, you pour over maps and charts, trying to figure out why fighting is necessary in the first place. You see no sense in blood lust, yet you are a much sought after warrior because of your ability to perfectly analyze your enemy. War is not honorable…it soils a beautiful mind like yours, but you will always defend those in need. When you do step onto the dueling ground or the battle field, your enemy stands no chance. Your rage is very hard to expose, but when those you love are threatened, you expertly and seriously deliver swift justice. I fear for those who manage to awaken your wrath.
Libra: Spells and incantations fall off your lips as you whisper to the heavens. Magic drips from your fingers, and you fight not with weapons but with words. An unseen threat, your true strength is not realized until it is too late. You hide in the shadows and pull your cloak down over your head, not many know your face, and you go by many names. You write down spells before fighting and draw out intricate symbols that only you can understand. The witch, the wizard, the caster, the nightmare.
Scorpio: You’re in a car, speeding down a highway. It is nighttime and streetlights pass by overhead. You are being chased, yet you feel oddly at peace and in control as you race towards your fate, the smell of burning rubber in your nostrils. The wind whips at your face and tugs at your hair. You purse your mouth and grip the steering wheel, one wrong twitch and you’ll spin out of control. Suddenly, the streetlights end, and both you and your pursuer disappear into the darkness beyond.
Sagittarius: You hear bag pipes, and look up at the line of warriors in front of you. War paint is smeared across your cheeks ,and you stand on a grassy hill overlooking a wide valley. A war cry rings through the crisp air, and the sword in your hands feels loose in your sweaty palms. You are caught up in the steady stream as your men and women spill over the hill and down into the valley…your feet carry you without thinking ,and you scream into the wind. An individual at the midst of a gigantic fighting force, you are destined to survive this.
Capricorn: You’re seated at the bar, sneering in the face of Prohibition. You know who’s coming for you, and you’re waiting for them. The air smells like cigarette smoke, perfume, and people desperately trying to escape reality. You sip your brandy and finger the slim pistol hidden in your coat…the first of three others, carefully concealed on your person. You make light conversation and take in the heavy, fuzzy atmosphere. The door flies open ,and you set down your drink, letting out a sigh as you grip your weapon.
Aquarius: Your spacecraft hurtles through the galaxy, but you don’t have time to marvel at the beauties of the universe. An enemy ship is in hot pursuit, offering up a constant barrage of fire. You’re taking hits as you quickly mash buttons and pull levers, trying every evasive maneuver at your disposal. Unlike theirs, your vessel is nimble and small; you manage to reverse the situation and get behind them, letting out a triumphant yell as you jam down the triggers of your rockets, delivering a critical hit. You smile sadly to yourself as you leave the scene and enter light speed.
Pisces: Up in the crow’s nest, you’re the first to spot the King’s battleship. You expertly shimmy down the rigging and alert your crew mates before drawing a wicked cutlass out of your boot and gritting your teeth. Pirates may be chaotic and wild, but you’d rather that than the king’s tightly strung and highly organized troops any day. You chuckle quietly to yourself as the ship crests a wave and comes crashing down, spraying you with salty sea foam.