After countless attempts at making a slightly realistic aesthetic for Vegeta…and ending up with a big-headed-Italian-looking Vegeta… This is my first satisfactory result. 🙌 I found my inspiration in @nickbateman …if he isn’t the ideal image for Vegeta, I don’t know who is. (the topic is free for debate) Lol Plus, his facial hair is impeccable. 😍 Aaaaand I completely horribly suck and drawing hands… First hand angle that I actually like.
I’m pretty sure tags have been messing up again and certain people aren’t getting notifications, get your shit together Tumblr! If I forgot you or if you want to be added to the list please let me know <3
“The more Ty thought of it, of the way Nick’s smile could light an entire room despite how broken he had always been, the angrier he became. His body began to tremble and he held Nick tighter. Tears came unbidden to his eyes and he hung his head, ashamed to realize he wasn’t worthy of the loyalty Nick had always given him. He would never be worthy. “I’m sorry,” he gasped. He ignored the tears and kept talking. “I’m sorry I’ve been a shitty friend. And I’m sorry about Eli. If we’d listened to you, then he’d still be alive. You were right, and I’m so goddamned sorry he’s gone.” “Damn you, Ty,” Nick said, his voice muffled by his own tears and Ty’s chest.” -Ball & Chain, page 249 by Abigail Roux
Here’s the thing about this scene. Nick doesn’t believe a single word he said to Ty about Sanchez. I’m sure he THOUGHT it once, when the pain was raw and he was hurting, but he shut it down because it was dirty and wrong and of course Sanchez’s death wasn’t on Ty’s head. He was lashing out, the same way he mentally lashed out at Kelly for being the first to leave Sidewinder.
Everything Nick said to Ty was to deliberately hurt him, to keep him at arms length so he wouldn’t find the truth. His best friend was too perspective and knew him too well, there was no way he could have hidden his actions from Ty. So he used everything he knew that would hurt Ty to keep him safe, including that single guilty thought he had years ago when they were both devastated by Sanchez’s death.
That tremble? That “Damn you, Ty” is Nick seeing the fruits of his labor. He’s seeing his best friend suffer at his hands. He sees Ty ACCEPTING it because Ty thinks he deserves this pain. He’s seeing Ty: hurting, suffering, begging for forgiveness, and STILL LOVING HIM. That damn you and that tremble is Nick coming to terms with what he’s done to his best friend, who could take all the mental mind games Nick threw, and still want to love him. Now that he sees the consequences of his actions, and sees Ty’s undying loyalty, he’s devastated.
so y’all dealt with Ms. Mormino, but as far as I’m concerned, the tale of the substitute from the black lagoon part II doesn’t have anything on the story of the Nerf Brain.
What is the Nerf Brain?
Let’s go back in time a bit. Appropriately enough, this tale begins in a history classroom. Back when my current European History teacher, Mr. M, taught Global History class, it was a transitory period in America—dating back to those so-close-and-yet-so-far-away days of the early 2000′s. In an era no longer AOL but not-quite-yet MySpace, administration noticed our students, particularly in our social studies department, were struggling with grades. After what I’m sure was an all-too-unpleasant quandary full of endless staff meetings, Mr. M finally had a breakthrough. There had recently been some talk drifting through the conference halls that kids tended to learn better when actively involved, so Mr. M decided to conduct an experiment in kinesthetics. He brought a football to school with him and organized question-and-answer sessions that required students to pass the ball around. Excited and engaged, kids payed more attention, and grades went up.
Unfortunately, the football posed some other problems when the linebackers of the class took to “passing” the ball to the frailer, gawky kids—by “passing” of course, I mean “shouting something about the Battle of Stalingrad before sending a spiral right into Seymour’s head.” (A couple of kids sustained some nastily broken glasses.)
Mr M needed a solution—and that came in the form of one opportunely audacious sophomore named Randy. Randy was a redhead with a penchant for trouble. In addition, he was an aspiring rap star with a habit of interrupting lectures to drop his own (usually pathetic) verses in class. (I wonder how that worked out for him) One morning, one of Randy’s verses concluded in a rather unsavory comment about the supposed sexual escapades about a classmate’s mother, which landed him in a ninety-minute detention after school with Mr. M. Something important to know about my school’s layout is that the downstairs is much larger than the upstairs, so most upstairs classrooms are next to a large stretch of roof—if you climbed out of an upstairs window, you’ll be standing on an expanse of concrete several across. This setup was infamously taken advantage of by an enthusiastic humanities teacher named J-Stew. That’s not related, though. The important thing is that it was this concrete space that Randy was staring at during detention. Mr. M asked him what he was looking at, and Randy explained that, sitting just a few feet outside the window, was the Nerf Brain.
What was the Nerf Brain, you ask?
commercially known as the Brain Ball™ by Nick & Nerf, it wasn’t certain how long it had been there, only that it was rather faded and pretty poor shape overall from all the time it had spent out there baking in the Florida sun. In order to get Randy to stop staring, Mr. M allowed Randy to retrieve the Brain and return it to him.
That night, Mr. M got an idea. He merely replaced the football with the soft foam brain, and the number of assaults to the nerdy kids’ craniums dropped dramatically.
Everything seemed to be working until, thanks to the constant use and abuse, this brain was worn down into a state worse than mine after finals. So, Mr. M sought out to find a replacement.
Just one problem.
The Nick & Nerf Brain Ball™ was manufactured in one year and one year only: 1995. After that, it was never again made. Still, nearly a decade after it’s discontinuing, Mr. M was determined to find a new one—thus began the holy grail-esque search for the Brain Ball™.
Despite countless searches in the then-Brave New World of online shopping, dozens of scouring ventures in the backs of chain retailers, innumerable searches through thrift stores, and one tearful call to a Nerf bigwig (Mr. M confesses he’s not proud of that moment) All of Mr. M’s attempts at locating it proved fruitless. When a student heckled the futility of his searchings, he gave the class an offer; if anyone could track down the sacred cerebrum, he’d give them an A in the class, no questions asked.
Weeks passed, and no brain was brought, no A’s were given, and Mr. M’s encephalon obsession grew pathological. It became the subject of staffroom small talk—the football coach even reported he’d seen Mr. M bleary-eyed and staggering through the hallways, wringing his hands and muttering “Brainball. Brainball. Brainball.” Coach Packette did always have a tendency to exaggerate, though.
The class continued utilizing the busted brain until the end of the year. The students had given up long ago. Mr. M’s resolve only strengthened, though it became apparent to everyone but him that the search was getting more and more hopeless.
At the end of exams, the results proved that the brain, no matter how distressed, had proved its effectiveness, for all but one student passed the class. That student, however, was a quiet, high-strung girl by the name of Kenzie. Having always liked Kenzie, and noticing she seemed to do well in her other classes, Mr. M felt bad about having to fail her—but a grade was a grade, and by the last day of school, Mr. M didn’t give it too much thought.
It wasn’t until a few days into summer, that Kenzie re-entered Mr. M’s consciousness.
At that time, there was a gap period of several weeks between the end of school and the deadline for grades. Mr. M, still preoccupied with his search for the BrainBall, had put grade entry on the backburner. Several days after the end of the school year, Mr. M finally decided to return to his classroom to enter grades in addition to cleaning up his room before the summer. Plenty of teachers do this, although much of the lighting is shut off after the final day at my school, which can lend a sort of eerieness to the halls. Mr. M paid it no mind, and was in the midst of making his way to his classroom when it took a turn for the terrifying.
In a scene which I can only imagine had a haunting parallel with the infamous spectacle at the end of the hallway in The Shining, Kenzie stood before his door, creepily still, creepily grim.
“Uh, hi there, Kenzie,” Mr. M said. “What are you doing here?”
Kenzie clutched a tote bag in front of her, saying nothing.
“Kenzie?” Mr. M repeated, briefly conjuring up an image in his mind of one Brenda Spencer.
Slowly backing away, though trying to appear unbothered, Mr. M spoke one more time. “Kenzie? What’s up?”
“I’ve got something for you,” she grunted, reaching into her bag.
What she pulled out of her bag nearly froze Mr. M’s heart in his chest, but not from fear.
Kenzie placed in Mr. M’s hand a fully wrapped, untouched, mint-condition Nick & Nerf Brain Ball™.
According to Mr. M, the revealing of the brain was accompanied by a legion of seraphim and a hallelujah chorus filled the air. But it’s hard to verify that.
And that’s the story of how Kenzie got an A by satisfying my teacher’s year-long quixotic quest for a discontinued foam brain from 1995.
Excitement overload here today! It just so happens that Stevie’s new tour dates coincide with a family holiday I already had planned to the U.S. If luck is on my side & Stevie can weave just a little more of her magic, I’ll be seeing the 24 Karat Gold tour, something I thought would never, ever happen. Fingers crossed I can score tickets! To celebrate I’m taking 20% off all stock in my online store. Offer valid for the next 3 days & while stocks last. Orders will be shipped within 3 working days, so they should arrive before Christmas. Use the code FINGERSCROSSED to get the discount. 🌙
requested by anonymous:
hey! i love your writing so much! could i request one where nick proposes to the reader and they’re so happy and it’s all cute but then they surprise nick by going down on him? thanks!!
Stevie’s aesthetic summed up in a cute tee! Lots of these in stock right now, ready to ship.
After several enquiries, I’ve decided to work on printing up a limited edition black t-shirt version (with white text) of this one too. Pre orders are available to ensure you don’t miss out! Pop me an email via the website if you’re keen.