While decorating Arlene’s room in the new house, I remembered how much I dislike houses with dormers in Sims 4 - they look lovely on the outside, but they’re a pain to play and decorate - the camera is always jumping up to the next level, the roof eaves clip into the room, etc. So now I’m having second thoughts on this house. XD I’ll probably keep it but use it for a secondary family - I think I’d go nuts if this were my main gameplay house!
I do like how Arlene’s room turned out, though - the Parenthood GP has some very nice shinies. I especially like the icicle lights!
Cartomancy is divining with playing cards. Each card has a meaning and are interpreted by the reader who organizes them into certain spreads. Spreads are the way that the playing cards are set onto the table and I’ll be talking about them more later. Some readers integrate their spirituality into their readings, calling upon deities or spirit guides or connecting with their higher self. Others may use their beliefs to explain how cartomancy works.
Regarding emotions and home
Ace: New friendship or romance
Two: Deepening attractions
Three: Joy in company, friendship, or celebration
Four: Turning inwards, apathy
Five: Despair, loss
Six: Childhood, nostalgia, good memories, old frienship
Seven: Daydreaming, wishful thinking, choices
Eight: Emotional detachment, leaving love behind, making a hard choice
I use the joker to represent unlimited potential but I’ve seen various meanings.
Here’s an example of a cartomancy spread:
A reader places a card on every rectangle pictured above. They would then apply the meaning of the card to the situation it stands for. A spread sets up the situation you are looking to divine about. Here is a spread focusing on a person’s whole life but a reader could lay out a spread that’s centered on a person’s love, job opportunities, or present struggles.
If doing a face-to-face reading, it’s a good idea to ask the receiver to shuffle the cards. This allows them to connect to the cards and engage in the reading.
When you draw the cards, you can choose from the top of the deck or spread them out and choose whichever call to you.
There is more to consider in cartomancy than the set card meanings. A group of certain colored cards can be significant as can a group of court cards (kings, queens, jacks)
The more you know about the cards, the easier readings become.
Klaine fic - “All the Beautiful Pieces” (Rated NC17)
Blaine Anderson is spending the summer after graduation flipping houses with his brother for Cooper’s total home renovation show. The show features the worst houses Cooper can buy, with Blaine playing the role of lackey so that Cooper can torture him in front of his viewers. The last house Blaine has to renovate is an original Victorian House in San Diego, CA, which is in terrible condition. But this house turns out to be more than just another job. It was once owned by a famous Vaudeville ventriloquist by the name of Andrew Smythe. It houses a very interesting collection of items - among them, two life-sized puppets. Blaine isn’t sure exactly why, but he’s drawn to them - especially to the one with the beautiful blue eyes. He convinces Cooper to give him the puppets, and Blaine starts to restore them. In the course of the restoration, Blaine finds out that neither puppet is simply a run-of-the-mill puppet, and Andrew Smythe was hiding a secret that will be the key to saving two lives.
Okay, so, as many of you people know, this was my Reverse Bang story from way too long ago. I had it completed, but as I was uploading it, my computer crashed and obliterated this plus a ton of my other stories, which I have been writing back from memory these many years. I had this one almost down except for the last three chapters, which have been lost in the void of my brain. So, what I’ve done is start over from the beginning. I haven’t been changing the story, just freshening the language, and then I will add those last three chapters. But I’m posting it here one chapter per week so those of you who would like to can get reacquainted with the story. Of course, you could jump ahead to AO3, and cheat, re-read all 17 original chapters at once, but you’ll still have to wait for the ending, and only chapters 1-7 have been redone. Anyway, this story wouldn’t even exist without @freakingpotter who is an amazing artist and an even more amazing friend <3 Give her lots of love <333
(Warning for character death that happens in the past, hoarding, and anxiety.)
Chapter 1 (6515 words)
stares out the windshield of his rented Honda Odyssey, his jaw dropping open,
stunned out of his senses at the sight of the disastrous house in front of him.
His hands grip the steering wheel for support. His knees knock together,
completely out of his control. A low, pitiful whining noise rattles around in
the back of his throat. The house to his right, nestled incongruously behind a
manicured lawn, carefully pruned rose bushes, and a well-established Mulberry
tree, is so incredibly awful that he can’t stop looking at it. It’s like a
horrendous traffic accident – lots of blood and twisted metal, but try as you
might, you can’t make yourself look away.
Do you have anything I can read about the "active struggle to increase workers’ control over society and revolutionise the relations of production" in China under Mao?
As we are not a blog that focuses on reading communist literature or literature on the history of communism, we feel it is not adequate to answer this question with a simple reading list. However, the question of how there was an active struggle to increase workers control and revolutionize the relations of production is a pressing one, and deserves a thorough response.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) was a massive upheaval in social, economic, and political life in the People’s Republic. It was in this context that China saw a massive shift from the economic policies both capitalist states and the USSR (both in its socialist and capitalist periods).
In the factories, workers and local revolutionary committees maintained a strict political line and focused on the welfare of workers in their workplace. In Charles Bettelheim’s work, The Cultural Revolution and Industrial Organization in China, textile workers interviewed on the changing of relations remarked on the welfare of workers achieved in the GPCR:
“We pay particular attention to working conditions and are guided in this by the Chinese Communist Party. We are concerned with the welfare of the workers and the preservation of human initiative. In the old society things were very different. The capitalists did not care about such matters. […] There are two additional fifteen minute breaks for physical exercises designed to prevent work-related disabilities. These are at the same time military exercises, for we must all be prepared in case of an imperialist invasion.
All doctors attached to the infirmary are required to make daily rounds of the shops. This reduces the need for a worker to consult a doctor elsewhere. […] There is no charge for consultation and medication. […] Of course, we do not claim that we have done enough to improve working conditions. We must make even greater efforts, for there are always new problems to be solved.”
Other factories in China operated on similar platforms, as well as paying wages regularly above the cost of living, providing special assistance to workers in extraordinary working conditions, and providing more assistance to working women and mothers. Many of the larger factories offered educational facilities for workers, teaching technical skills, engineering, and more. During the GPCR, workers struggled to replace the individualist idea of “professional advancement” with serving the people- using these more advanced skills and new responsibilities to be useful and for the benefit of the collective and the whole people.
Most industrial workplaces in China were attempting to “learn from Daqing,” a petroleum complex that, following the end of Soviet aid as a result of the Sino-Soviet split, necessitated massive effort of workers and administrators working together, not just to earn more money, but to expand China’s resources and provide for the revolution and the people. Daqing was upheld as a model to follow for the PRC because it ended the country’s reliance on foreign oil and maintained a proletarian political line.
In Daqing and other factories, problems were discussed collectively, and daily, and so solutions were formulated outside of a purely technical outlook. In the USSR and capitalist countries, factories had "economics in command”- meaning production was seen as primary, along with monetary incentives, specialists, profit, etc. The top-down method of Soviet leadership in the economy was abandoned as workers made a serious effort to include political cadre in production and themselves in management. Before the GPCR, the division between workers and management was stark, similar to the USSR. Management was appointed by central administration and the factory party committee, which focused almost entirely on production and technology without much (if any) conversation with the workers. The GPCR flipped this model, and put “politics in command.” Factory committees were completely dissolved and replaced with mass organizations such as management teams and revolutionary committees, with the revisionist line of management eliminated as the workers and masses rose up under the leadership of the Communist Party. Piece wage systems were abolished, individual and group bonuses were increasingly eliminated, and production teams took over much of the work of management. Some factories implemented yearly production goals after lengthy, factory-wide discussion, and production teams even deliberated on their own wages based on experience, skill, and attitude. Furthermore wages were set on a system that averaged wage differentials to 1:3. Management, political cadre, members of the revolutionary committees, and administrators all participated in production as the GPCR went on. “Triple combinations” of workers, administrators, and technicians were formed to solve technical problems and make innovations. Factory workers began focusing on the needs of the country as a whole, instead of just their workplace.
Political study of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and other socialist thinkers was also common in factories, in order that workers would be more able to investigate and forge solutions to both economic and political issues.
When the Deng Xiaoping clique within the Party gained power, these achievements were all reversed, washed away and replaced with the all-too-familiar system where all authority was placed into the hands of factory managers.
This ask is already quite long, and we have really only touched on industrial production- but these achievements were deeply felt in the rural regions of China as well. During the GPCR, peasants in the countryside (who still made up 80% of the population) formed independent mass organizations in the People’s Communes, and directly confronted the bureaucratic methods of work by leadership and Party cadre. Production team leaders were elected and subject to recall. Village revolutionary committees were formed and exercised day-to-day leadership in villages and on Communes, similar to urban revolutionary committees did in city neighborhoods. Peasants began painting, writing, performing, and became involved with politics, and the expansion of education and healthcare brought immediate benefits to people who had never had access to it before. The rural Communes were advised to “learn from Dazhai,” which was a brigade of a Commune in Shanxi Province. Dazhai transformed its hills into fertile land, struggled against capitalist mentality in agriculture, and constructed new housing and community projects in villages. In the late 1970s, again with the rise of the Deng clique, the Communes were broken up, land was distributed to individual peasant households, and privatization brought an end to the collective healthcare system and “barefoot doctor” initiative.
The key achievement both in industry and agriculture towards revolutionizing social relations was in putting politics in command. By putting politics in command, the PRC was able to transform enterprises into interrelated political units, dramatically changing the relationship between workers and managers, between city and countryside, and further advancing the class struggle and demonstrating, especially considering the reversal of these achievements, that a proletarian political line is essential to the development of socialism and of communist transformation.
A/N - Hi can you do a Joe one where it’s the reader and his wedding and the buttercreams do a really embarrassing speech for them x If you don’t want to or can’t that’s fine ❤
“I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride” My smile grew even bigger as I felt Joes lips on mine. Hearing everyone around cheering and clapping, I felt the tears building in my eyes. I finally married my best friend.
Walking down the aisle hand in hand with my now husband smiling and waving to all our friends and family. My feelings right now wouldn’t process. I am literally over the moon with happiness. All I could hear were people cheering “Yes Sugg” “Go On My Boy” and a few faint cries. I still cannot believe this is my wedding day. The wedding day I have been planning since a little girl. I was now living it out. Everyone else was gathered into another room with champagne, me and Joe were guided around the building for photos. We had photos on the stairs, in arch ways, in the gardens, and in front of the country side view. We were then joined by the bridesmaids who happened to be my sister and Zoe, the groomsmen Caspar, Josh, Oli, Jack, Conor, Mikey and our parents. Lastly We had photos with the whole group and I stood there being grateful to be surrounded by the people i love most.
While everyone moved to the reception room to take their seats, me and Joe waited back a bit giving everyone time to settle.
“I cannot believe we did it” Joe turned to look at me with a beaming smile.
“I’m still in shock, I’m generally so happy” I smiled back taking his hand in mine.
“After 6 years of being together and 8 years of friendship I can officially call you a Sugg”
“I finally fit in the Sugg family!” I cheered laughing.
“You’ve always been classed as a Sugg babe”
“But now we have it in writing”
“This is the happiest ive ever been, even though we’ve been in a relationship for so long, our next adventures start now”
“Our honeymoon, new house, new projects. Im so excited”
“Same love, it’s going to be something to treasure”
“I love you”
“I love you too”
“Are you two ready to go in?” The staff member asked. We glanced to each other and nodded. We followed the member of staff and waited behind the doors until we were told to go any further.
“Can i have your attention” The staff member started. “We’re all there to celebrate the newly weds, so please put your hands together for Mr and Mrs Sugg!” We walked in and everyone was on their feet, cheering. Glad we got someone to film this day, I can look back and remember this moment for a life time. We took our seats in front of everyone while they all settled down and allowed us to get comfy. After all the food was served and drinks were topped up Zoe got out her seat to walk in front of the table with a microphone in her hand.
“Hope you all are having a good time!” A few yeah’s and whistles flew around the room. “To kick off this evening, we are now going to move onto the speeches” Zoe turned to smirk at us both while i groaned and Joe nervous laughing knowing how embarrassing this was going to be. We watched as Josh took to the stage first also smirking as Zoe handed him the mic.
Joe placed hand on my leg and lent in close. “You know this is going to be interesting”
“I’m dreading it” I laughed turning to face Josh and linking my hand with Joes.
“I get the pleasure of starting this off. I remember meeting you Joe for the first time then i didn’t leave your apartment for months. I basically followed you and Caspar round like a lost dog. You used to get grumpy when i finished your milk or i didn’t wash up after myself. I can clearly say you haven’t changed. You’ve been a good friend buddy you’ve helped me through a lot of shit and i’m grateful to have a friend like you. I’m glad you found a girl like Y/N, she’s kept you in place but at the same time you’re still the Sugg i first met. Y/N you have a lot of work now that your married, he’s going to become even more lazy. You’re a talent women and you’ve been there to listen when i needed someone to. You’re like my sister and I wish you both the best for the future. Ill be round soon so you can cook me food” I’m glad Josh went first because he wouldn’t embarrass us. He’s the nice one out them all.
Next was Mikey.
“Cor i get to do a speech. I’ve always been the target and now i can target you two. You’ve been good friends to me over the past few years. Despite the bad things Joe has made me do or forced me to do such as having a leaf blower in my face to wearing tight red lacy boxers to trying to light my farts. I’ve even had to eat dry protein powder ruining one of my many black t-shirts. Joe your crazy ideas make you as a person, you’re one heck of a guy and you are very lucky to have Y/N, anyone would be. Y/N thanks for looking after me making sure i have eaten. No wonder i cant shed weight. I look forward to raiding your new sweets draw by the way”
Next was Conor.
“I would like to thank Y/N for introducing me to Joe, because of you i made a great friend and because of Joe I made even more. Y/N i would like to thank you for staring in so many of my covers and even on my album. I mean i still say i have the better voice but I’m not going to judge. I cannot believe you two are married now, I’ve seen your relationship grow these past years and I look forward to having something like this. You two are literally a perfect match. Joe i dont even know what to say about you. You are one of the most hilarious down-to-earth guys i know. You deserve to be happy. I’m glad it’s Y/N who has to deal with your strange ass. I’m surprised she can handle it. She has to wake up to you farting, coming home drunk but then again thinking about it you are both as crazy as each other. I remember coming round once and you both swapped clothes pretending to be each other. That was a weird sight. I wish you both the world of happiness you both deserve it”
Next was Jack.
“Suggy got married! To a gorgeous girl also i should have started youtube sooner maybe i could of snatched her. Im joking im joking. Seeing how happy you two are together makes me want this but it also makes me sick but in a good way. You are both good friends to me i couldn’t ask for better people in my life. Well sometimes i could replace Joe after what he’s made me do. Clamping my hand, sticking sellotape to our heads and ripping it out our hair and daring me to run down the street naked. I hope you enjoy people licking your ears Y/N because Joe will be doing that a lot when he’s drunk. trust me. I remember Joe telling us he was going to propose and how nervous he was. You should of heard the other plans he had. They weren’t as romantic. Y/N thank you for appearing in my videos to give me more views. Thanks for the many shout outs too. Like i said, you’re a beautiful women inside and out i know how happy Joe makes you. You’re both weird and I’m glad i know you. Hears to the future”
Next was Oli.
“Mr Joe Sugg? The Joe i know is actually married now! It feels so weird saying that. I’ve known you for so long and you haven’t changed one bit in a good way though! You both have helped me through a lot over the years with projects, videos, and life in general. I do appreciate it. Joe you are an absolute nutter. Seriously. I couldn’t ask for a better friend what friend would draw penis’ on your body or do jump scares every time we meet or would make me stay up will ridiculous times in the morning to set up pranks. I mean what friend would have a cardboard cut out of me? You better move that into your new home. I’ll always be watching then. Your relationship is probably the strongest i know. You’re both so open and that can be taken in different ways. I’ve seen them both naked. It was a few strange moments. Some moments i wish i could take back because i can still see them imagines in my head to this day. I also remember when i turned up at your apartment Joe was wearing this horse costume and Y/N was dressed like a cowgirl. I didn’t want to ask what went on. They said it was for a video but i dont believe that. I dont like to think what goes on in their minds. Moving on, Y/N you are one in a million you’ve been that one friend i can always rely on even if i’m in a bad mood you put up with me and i can speak on behalf of the other guys as well. You have so much patience and i respect you for that. You have a wonderful mind and a heart of gold. You are both lucky to have each other and im glad to call you both my best friends”
“I would like to start off with thanking Y/N for breaking my heart, you killed jaspar. I’m joking jaspar will always be round. I have known you both since we all started Youtube together. Remember our gang when we first started? The 3 of us, Zoe, Alfie, Tanya, Jim, Marcus, Niomi and Louise. Then it grew bigger. But look at the two of you now, i know you both never expected to get this far in life. I respect the both of you because you don’t take the famous title seriously, you just see yourselves as normal human beings doing something you love. It’s been amazing watching you both grow and seeing the success you’ve achieved. I couldn’t have wished it on better people. Joe, You are one or the bestest friend i could ask for. You are also one of the craziest dudes i know. Very spontaneous also. I could stand here all day and tell all our stories but i don’t want to bore you. Thank you for being my travelling buddy over the years. I’ve had some of the best memories with you such as doing Hit The Road. What an experience that was ay? and for everyone’s information i am still the best pizza maker here. Im not thankful for the pranks though. Filing my room with cups of water, setting many alarms, posters of my face all over the walls, filling the room with balloons then Oli popping out with a clown outside and the best one turning my apartment into a slip and slide. I’m also not going to miss seeing you naked when i walk into your room. I am defiantly not going to miss hearing you and Y/N have sex either. You loud buggers. The amount of times i’ve walked in on you both, i still do it today it’s like a curse! Y/N, i still remember meeting you for the first time. You were so shy and timid and now, now i cannot get you to shut up. You are like a boy only when it comes to burping though. Ive seen you when you only had a few thousand subscribers and now you are the top female Youtuber in the UK. I am so proud of your achievements. You seriously deserve it. If i ever needed cheering up i knew you were and still are the person to text or call. You are a positive soul. You and Joe have always been perfect for each other. You are literally the same person. I hope you both the best as a married couple. I love you both.”
I continued to wipe away the tears which were flowing from my eyes. I couldn’t of asked for better friends or a better husband.
This former weaving
factory, founded in 1882, was taken over a couple of times in its history.
During the almost 90 years it was operational it remained a mechanical weaving
factory. Due to the rise of new technologies the factory had to close its doors
in 1970. From 1970 until 1997 the buildings were used as a furniture store. In
urban explorer circles the location is known under several names. Pete’s Shop,
Pete’s Factory, Usine Petite Echelle en Factory 2601. Because of the characteristic
graffiti art by Pete One, the name Pete’s Factory is the most popular. Even
though the site was noted as architectural heritage, it was never really protected. Not so
long ago it was decided that the buildings would be demolished to make way for
a new housing project. At the time of my visit, demolition had already started…
Im really doting on my best tank. Also, do you have any suggestions for his A-skill slot?
If he’s the kind of tank I’m thinking of, I’d swap Armored Blow for something that’s focused on enemy phase, so that it works in conjunction with Quick Riposte. You’ve got a handful of options that do essentially the same thing.
Earth Boost - basically using his high HP to your advantage to proc a Def boost every fight. Especially good if you’re using other characters / builds that can heal on demand (like Desperation + Ardent Sacrifice!Linde).
Distant Def - a lot of people use characters with built in Distant Counter as bait for ranged units, especially in an all-melee team (or when you’re like me and Reinhardt is frequently your only ranged unit). It’s a little safer against red and green magic – he could survive two hits from a 51 Atk RMage or a 64 Atk GMage if I did that math right. Still not enough to stave off Horse Emblem Gronnblade+!Cecilia, but you might could squeeze it if you’re also running Horse Emblem.
Steady Breath - this skill is incredible and the only thing holding it back in its natural state is that it comes on a character without Distant Counter built into their weapon. It activates every time the user is attacked and the cooldown acceleration is applied every single time either participant in the combat lands a hit, so it’s extremely easy to push out frequent skill activations, even for high-cooldown skills like Miracle / Galeforce / Aether. Needless to say, it meshes superbly with Quick Riposte, so if you’re willing and able to sack a Brave Ike for it, this would be my recommendation without qualification.
on the idea that SB and EB better utilize Xander’s kit, Close Def is eclipsed by EB because EB includes bow / knife attacks, and that you should have a unit with better Res that can take magic in Xander’s place anyways so in general Distant Def shouldn’t come into play very often.
“We want white tenants in our white community” sign directly opposite the Sojourner Truth homes, a new U.S. federal housing project. A riot was caused by white neighbors’ attempts to prevent African American tenants from moving in. Detroit, Michigan, United States. February 1942.
Kinda inspired from this just more fluffy. Slightly nsfw
7:00 AM. Elsa looked at her sleeping sister with a warm smile as she placed the last few touches that would complete the image befitting of a queen. Anna was currently twisted among her sheets, her hair already in a severe state of disarray and her soft snores breaking the silence in the room. She climbed on top of the bed and gave a small kiss on her forehead before she quietly walked out the room and eased the door shut behind her.
8:00 AM. After a small breakfast of bread and goat cheese, washed with coffee, Elsa first went to her study where already a small pile of laws and decrees waited for her royal review on her desk. Some of them were fairly straightforward. Permission to allow the construction of new housing in the merchant’s quarter (granted), the Royal Commission of an excessively ornate and exceptionally expensive statute in the Royal Gardens (denied). But she was familiar with the tricks her Council and the nobles played and more specifically she knew that more often than not, they tried slipping clauses that would benefit them at the cost of her people. Which meant she had to scrutinise every word carefully, untwisting the words so that the true meaning became clear in her head. By the time she was a third way through the pile, she began to feel her concentration slip ever so slightly. She immediately asked Kai for a cup of coffee, feeling that wasn’t going to be the last one for the day.
9:00 AM. It was time for her weekly council meeting. Elsa waited at the head of the table as they slowly filtered in through, bowing and greeting “Your Majesty” as they entered. She began with both the most important and yet the most tedious part of her reign: her finances. As the Royal Treasurer explained, they were stable at the moment and would continue to be for quite some time. The effects of the coronation incident on the autumn yield were found to be negligible, much to Elsa’s relief. While the harvest was not as bountiful as they had predicted, they had enough to tide them through winter with a small surplus. She demanded a complete documentation of her finances, determined to verify that her money was not going in places they should not be. After another bout of exchanges regarding the trade with Weselton, Elsa still determined to keep the embargo on them, the Royal Director of Foreign Affairs began his report. After him, there were six other gentlemen waiting to make their reports. Elsa gave a mental sigh as she readied herself with another cup of coffee.
10:30 AM. After the Royal Council finally concluded the meeting, she stood up in a perfect poise of grace to watch them depart, never betraying how badly she just wanted to crawl into Anna’s arms and read or aimlessly chatter or just simply close her eyes. By now she was sure her sister was awake and doing…whatever Anna felt like doing that day. She considered hunting her down in the castle when a messenger boy burst into the boardroom. Between huge breaths of air and pants, he managed to tell her that there was an accident that required her urgent attention. Fearing the worst, she tugged up her skirts and sprinted out of the room, just before she heard where she needed to go. When she finally arrived at the site, she found out that the accident in question was simply a man who had lost control of his cart and crashed just outside the castle walls. Relieved that her sister was fine, she watched as her guards helped tend to the man’s wounds.
11:00 AM. Thus began easily the most aggravating aspect of her day. One by one, the nobles walked into her throne room and presented case after case, grievance after grievance. While some possessed enough sense and respect to enter with humility, most strutted inside like peacocks, expecting her to agree with them simply because their ancestor was so and so or they had been here for this many years. One of them even tried to bribe her to overlook the tiny fact that he was taking more from his workers, the fool. Quite offended by his arrogance, Elsa fined him for the amount he offered and then demanded that he distribute the bribe among those in his employ. But it wouldn’t do well to offend the entire nobility so she found those who was in genuine need of royal assistance, those whose plights were the result of misfortune rather than their own stupidity. Amongst all those thoughts and proposals, she still retained an amount of concentration wondering if Anna found her lessons just as boring as Elsa found listening to the nobles.
12:30 PM. As the nobles departed from her throne room, some content and some disappointed, Elsa was anticipating lunch with Anna when Kai suddenly informed her that several representatives from the various construction guilds were awaiting to talk to her about the new merchant housing projects. At first Elsa was prepared to use her royal authority to command them to meet another time but Kai’s face told her that was not an option. This time she audibly sighed and said, “Fine. But Kai, please, please tell Anna that I’m really sorry about missing lunch.” She knew how much her sister enjoyed their meals together. Kai reassured that he would convey his Queen’s deepest apologies to the princess but that hardly made Elsa feel any better. She hugged herself around her abdomen, imagining Anna’s disappointment upon seeing an empty chair across from her, as she walked to the one of the conference rooms with heavy steps that left traces of frost in their wake. She barely listened as each man presented their arguments on who should do the actual building, where the supplies should come from, and the many technical aspects that accompanied such processes.
1:30 PM. Anna still occupied her thoughts as this time the common people shuffled inside her throne room, ranging from prosperous merchants more wealthy than some of the nobles to the farmers without a land to call their own. Elsa found herself looking around the balconies where the princess was known to linger, watching the proceedings below. There was no sight of her sister. As two families disputed the ownership over some land, she noticed that a gentle spread of ice across the armrest of her throne as her concerns and worries gnawed at her. A cough from Kai alerted her to the families clearly expecting a judgment from her. Startled, Elsa said that she would review their case and make her decision on a later date. Apparently satisfied with her pronouncement, the two families walked away to make room for the next person as Elsa waved for another cup of coffee.
4:00 PM. At long last, the last of the court’s visitors bowed in thanks, bade Elsa good health and good fortune, and left the throne room. Standing up, the queen absentmindedly massaged the parts of her that had grown sore from sitting on the throne as she made her way into her study. However, on the way, she thought about Anna and how she should try to make up for her absence at lunch. The afternoon’s affairs could wait until later, she decided, as she began her search for her sister. However she was nowhere to be found. She was not in the painting room, she was not in the ballroom, she was not in the gardens, she was not in her chambers, she was not in her library. When she questioned Gerda, she said that she had not seen the princess since lunch and assumed that she had went to the city for the afternoon. Not entirely pleased with the answer, she returned to her study to try to do her work but Elsa’s worries only increased as she considered that Anna was upset with her and was avoiding her. Several times the ink in her pen froze completely before she finally gave up work as a lost cause.
6:00 PM. Even if she was mad at me for missing lunch, surely Anna would come to dinner, Elsa thought as she hugged herself again. It was not like Anna to miss meals. But when fifteen minutes passed by with no sign of her sister, Elsa began to consider summoning the city watch to find her. But before she did that, she asked Kai if Kristoff was still present as she idly pushed her spoon through her soup. “Kristoff, I believe, is away,” he replied. “If you’re still concerned with Princess Anna, perhaps she’s in his company.” Perhaps… That did make sense even if it didn’t make Elsa feel any better as now her spoon was scooping piles of slush in her bowl. If she was with Kristoff, there was no telling when she’ll be back. But she would have at least left a note for her…unless she was really really upset with her. Not for the first time, she regretted her decision to meet with the guild representatives.
7:00 PM. Elsa found herself much too worried and stressed to do anything remotely productive so after five minutes of just staring at the mountain of papers, she decided to retire to her empty cold bed. But as she shuffled to their chambers, she noted a small rose petal in front of the door. She looked and saw an entire trail of petals leading away from the bedroom. Curiosity seizing hold of her, she followed it to the baths. Through the crack of the door, she could see a dim light flickering inside and even muffled by the door, she could hear the content humming of a certain princess. Eagerly, she grasped hold of the door and threw it open. Immediately she was bombarded with the flowery scents from the hundreds of lit candles on every surface possible and the rose petals that covered the surface of a hot steamy bath. In the middle of that bath was her beloved sister, cheeks glowing with excitement and a smile from ear to ear.
“Elsa!” she squealed, standing up from her bath to reveal her naked body. “Took Your Royal Highness long enough to get here.”
“Anna…” she simply managed, feeling both relieved and confused. “But…but I thought you were with Kristoff?”
“Oh, yeah. I told Kai to tell you that so he wouldn’t spoil the surprise. He’s with his family right now and he asked me to come but I thought, you know, I would be better here. Well, get in, silly. The bath is going to get cold!”
Elsa jumped in, allowing the heat of the bath to melt her dress. She could always form a new one, after all. Immediately she waded towards her sister and pulled her into a hug.
“Oh, Anna…” she said, her head resting on her sister’s shoulder. “I’m so so so so sorry for missing lunch. I really didn’t want to….”
“I know,” she interrupted after cutting Elsa off with a kiss. “I know you wouldn’t miss lunch unless it was really really important.”
Elsa smiled contently as her worry dissipated from her shoulders. “So what’s all…this?” she asked, gesturing at the bathroom.
“Oh, well, when you didn’t show up for lunch, I asked Kai if something was wrong because you know you wouldn’t skip out on me like that. And then he told me about how busy your morning was and how you had to deal with so many boring things and how that one slimy noble tried to bribe you, like honestly, who does he think he is, huh? Anyway, I thought ‘Well, what my big sister needs is a chance to reeeelaxxxx’. So I went to town and kinda emptied three candlemakers’ stores and bought all the roses I could find for you because I knew if your morning was like, you would be really stressed out by the evening. And here we are!” Anna took a minute to catch her breath and then asked hesitantly, “…Do you like it?”
Elsa nearly laughed at the question. “I love it, Anna,” she moaned. She pulled her sister to another kiss, a deeper longer one that showed her appreciation. “You have no idea how much I needed this.”
Elsa had no idea that her sister’s smile could grow any wider but somehow it did. “Oh, almost forgot!” Anna exclaimed. She made her way to the edge of the bath and pulled a silver tray that was covered with chocolates. Elsa’s stomach growled in a distinct un-queenlike fashion at the sight as she was distantly reminded of her last meal nearly twelve hours ago.
“I…had a couple while waiting for you,” Anna said sheepishly. “But I saved the best ones for you. Here, try one!” She plucked one by random and held it front of Elsa’s mouth. The Queen ate it from her sister’s fingers and moaned in delight as the sweetness covered her tongue.
“I must be dead, right?” Elsa said in a weak voice. “Yes, that’s it. I died from exhaustion and caffeine overdose and I’m in heaven.”
Anna laughed, the sound cheerfully echoing the room, before, with a flick of her hand, she flung a small splash of warm water into her sister’s face. Surprised by the sudden attack, she patiently waited until Anna placed the chocolates out of harm’s way before retaliating. And before long, the bathroom rang with the bright laughter and giggles of the royal sisters.