I’m in a very “late-’90s nostalgia” place right now, so let me pick up where I left off last night and ramble on about why Animorphs was so fucking great.
So, in the beginning, the series had very distinct good guys and bad guys.
Now, what made them good guys and bad guys?
Well, their goals made them good guys and bad guys.
One side was fighting to enslave humanity and destroy the Earth. The other side was fighting to keep that from happening.
And, in the beginning, that was enough.
But it’s a sixty-book series, and a little ways in, by about book sixteen, the kids are starting to ask themselves (and each other), “Hey. Wait. No. Can we honestly pretend the ends justify the means?”
“Can we honestly tell ourselves that, because we’re defending our planet, literally anything we do is automatically justified?”
“Is it not possible for us to go too far?”
“Are there moves that it’s fundamentally morally indefensible to make?”
And from that point onward, it’s not just about goals. Now it’s also about tactics. They’re the good guys because they have Limits, because they have Rules.
They say, “No, we’re not going to pretend the ends justify the means.”
“We’re not going to sink to the level of our enemies.”
“We’re not going to be cruel. We’re not going to be cutthroat. We’re not going to be inhumane or controlling. We’re gonna be clean. We’re gonna be good. We’re gonna be ethical and compassionate.”
“There’s no point fighting our enemies if we just become them in the process. We have to be the bigger people.”
And, again, for a while, that’s enough.
But if the series is about anything, it’s about how war breaks down everything you think you know about yourself. By the end of the series, all six main characters have committed atrocities on a massive scale.
There’s one book late in the series where they literally threaten to nuke their own hometown, and all the innocent people in it, because it becomes strategically advantageous.
Now, they end up not having to because the enemy folds, but the fact that they almost did it, the fact that they would have done it if they’d been pushed just a little bit farther, fucking haunts them.
But at least they didn’t, right? Like, if nothing else, at least they have the small, quiet comfort of knowing it ultimately didn’t come to that.
Oh, except, four books later, they end up nuking it, anyway.
It’s that kind of series. You’re never out of the woods.
In the beginning, the good guys’ leader, Jake, is specifically a reluctant leader. He didn’t want the job. He didn’t ask for it. If he could, he’d happily give it to someone else. He becomes the leader because he’s the one every other member of the group instinctively turns to when times are tough.
He becomes the leader because they need him to be the leader.
Not because he wants power, not because he likes it, not because he thinks he’s the best guy for the job. But solely because, when the chips are down, he’s the one they turn to. Every time.
They elect him, despite his own protests.
He is humble, and he is brave, and he’s this very idealized archetype.
He’s very much cast in the mold of, like, Pop Culture George Washington, the venerated veteran who naturally, effortlessly just exudes strength and power and wisdom and confidence and charisma but honestly really just wants a moment alone in the shade.
That changes by the end of the series.
By the end of the series, he is just a straight-up dictator. He has seventeen thousand defenseless prisoners executed just because he can.
Just because he wants to watch them die.
It’s actually pointed out in the last book, in canon, that he is, by all rights, a war criminal several times over – and that the only reason he’s not being prosecuted is because he was on the winning side.
A lot of fucked-up shit happens in the last five or ten books. Probably the most downright sickening thing is when the good guys recruit a small army of physically disabled kids, then basically throw them at the enemy as a momentary distraction. And they’re slaughtered. All of them.
But what makes the series memorable isn’t just that a lot of really dark and shocking stuff ends up happening. That’s not special by itself.
It’s that the characters spend so much time talking about it.
You know, it’s a kids’ series – these are, like, fourth-grade reading level – that isn’t remotely afraid to have hard conversations about how there’s no such thing as a good war, how even good people can be swayed to do terrible things, and how no one is ever above reproach.
I’m not going to say it’s necessarily perfect, sensitivity-wise, but it’s kind of amazing how much it doesn’t take for granted.
It’s very willing to have the debate (whatever debate happens to be at hand), show all sides, and let that play out to its natural endpoint.
And all this exists in a series that also has plots like, “I turned into a starfish, and a random little kid chopped me in half (because kids are jerks), and then both halves regenerated into a separate me, except one is good and one is evil, weirdly, for some reason, and we need to recombine ourselves by electrocuting each other.”
Not sure if I ever mentioned it before on stream or otherwise, but I absolutely adore the “Magic” animatic by @yuramec. No idea why the sudden onset of inspiration for fanart of this particular animatic came up, but the blog is once again living up to its tag line.
1. Black Butterflies
2. Am I Pretty?
3. Like We Did
5. My Heroine
6. We All Roll Along
7. The Way We Talk
8. English Girls
9. Take What You Can Carry
10. Lost in Nostalgia
11. Right Girl
12. Raining in Paris
13. Girls Do What They Want
14. Diet Soda Society
15. Do You Remember? (the other half of 23)
16. Bad Behavior
17. Another Night On Mars
How could she feel nostalgia when he was right in front of her? How can you suffer from the absence of a person who is present? You can suffer nostalgia in the presence of the beloved if you glimpse a future where the beloved is no more.
I don't know if you're doing song prompts, but if you are, could you do Bellarke to She is the Sunlight? 😊
A/N: Because I hate myself and everything about the emotional turmoil these fools put me through ever week #IfIHaveToSufferWeAllHaveToSuffer
And if loving her
Is heartache for me
If holding her means
I have to bleed
It’s chaos. Complete and utter madness. The shrieking of alarms letting them know the Death Wave is looming, crashing down any second. The way their feet pound as they run, their frantic intake of sharp breath and quiet hisses. The rocket is packed, necessities and people alike. Through their suits, sweat dampens their brow and slides down their backs.
And yet…. She stands there in the middle of it all, helmet off, a serene look on her face.
“What the hell are you doing?” Bellamy demands. Why is she just standing there? A totally blank stare mares her face as she looks right at him. Like she sees right into him. It makes him shift uncomfortably.
“Trying to remember,” Clarke replies, absently.
This is no time for nostalgia.
“We’ll remember later. Right now we have to live, Princess.”
He grabs her hand to tug her along behind him as he climbs up into the rocket, but her fingers slip deftly out of his, pulling him back around and towards her. She stands on her tip-toes, barely even reaching his shoulder, and presses her nose against his collarbone. Breathes in deeply. Once… Twice.
“Clarke…” His voice is hoarse.
As much as he’d love to just freeze time and hold her, breathe her in like she’s doing to him, kiss her… He shakes his head.
He can’t. They can’t.
They don’t have the time.
“I’m right behind you,” Clarke whispers, releasing him.
He believes her, foolishly, until the second the rocket door slides up behind him. He shouldn’t be surprised, this is Clarke after all, but he’s in shock. So shocked that when he looks through the tiny window and out at her, his brain can’t process what he’s seeing. He looks around at his equally horrified friends faces as if to ask that they are seeing the same thing he is.
I’m sorry, she mouths.
Her hand comes down around the button that will fire the rocket up and into space.
She can’t be doing this.
“Clarke!” Bellamy screams. His fists come pounding down on the rocket door, willing it to slide back open.
She has the Nightblood, but she’d been sick just hours before. Coughing up blood, her skin practically sizzling with radiation burns. She’s staying behind for whatever reason, some Clarke must-atone-for-her-sins logic, but there’s no guarantee at all that she’ll be able to make it.
If anything, she’s practically good as dead.
May we meet again.
And then her hand is slamming down on the button and everything is moving even as he continues to scream and beg and plea. It’s violent and brutal and deafening. Everyone is screaming around him, desperately clawing for something to hold onto. A life-line.
He numbly looks at his hands. Even through the material of the suit he can feel they are slick with blood.
He just left his life-line down on Earth.
Then I am a martyr
Love is to blame
She hurries through the trees, the fresh bark pulling at her fingertips. A warm colored yellow sun catches the gold of her hair. Her breath quickens as she pushes herself.
Faster, faster, faster.
The ever-present countdown in the back of her mind is slowly winding down. Closer and closer it calls, nearly here.
She grips the walkie tightly in her hand, bursting into the clearing where she left the rest of her gear earlier. She can’t hear them yet, but maybe soon. Hopefully soon.
Clarke crouches down, begins fiddling with all the little dials and switches. God, she hopes today is the day.
It has to be.
There’s only the sharp whine of static coming from the radio in her hand, but there’s always static. Every single month, every single year. Eventually it has to go away. Eventually she has to hear something.
“Hello,” she says, hesitant.
She’s so sick of her voice being the only thing she hears.
“Hello, this is Clarke Griffin. I repeat, Clarke Griffin. I’m alive. I’m still here.”
And hopes and prays.
And waits and waits and hopes and prays and she does it every single week. Hope is exhausting and she doesn’t think she can take it anymore. Hot tears slide down her cheeks leaving a burning trail behind them. She let’s out a frustrated grunt and brings the walkie to her forehead.
She should just end this torture. Throw the damn thing away and never come back for it.
But the what ifs are too strong even on her most bleak days and she can’t help but wonder if they made it. If they survived and are ever going to be able to come back to her.
“Please,” she cries. “Please, I can’t do this alone anymore.”
Her chest heaves as she struggles to inhale, to breathe. Panic is settling in.
And then, remarkably, the static stops.
“This is Bellamy Blake,” a voice breaks out, strong and clear.
“I repeat, this is Bellamy Blake. I’m coming to get you, Princess.”
Hat-tip to laurelwitting on Instagram for reminding me of this issue of Propaganda, which I know I once had. There’s a copy up on eBay right now, but I don’t know if I want to drop that amount of cash because my early 90s nostalgia is drowning me right now.
The issue with that jazz post is that white people like black music packaged in white bodies so they clamor to white jazz musicians and white R&B musicians and they are the ones that get rewarded in award shows and that become white people reality, they have tried doing the same thing to hip hop too . just because the op doesn't listen to jazz musicians doesn't mean that black people have abandoned jazz and and you have movies like lala land reinforcing the lie.
Yeah, exactly. And like, people might look at Pat Boone doing a very vanilla version of Tutti Frutti by Little Richard and laugh, but it’s something that still happens a LOT even if it’s not (quite) as corny.
Honestly, the things I’m just recently hearing about La La Land… I know they talked about the struggling to get it made and I’m like, how DID it get made and win Oscars in 2017? Was it helped by “Make American Great Again” white supremacy? I’m not joking. That shit has fueled a pre-Civil Rights nostalgia wave and a lot of historical revisionism.
It’s kind of ironic that a band named No Vacation has the means to take us on such sonic escapades with their pop. The San Francisco outfit, who signed to Topshelf Records earlier this year, drenches us with languorous glistening dream wave on their new single Yam Yam, which can succinctly be described as “yum yum”. No Vacation is preparing to release their new mixtape this summer and Yam Yam is a more than intoxicating preview off that release. Its surf tinged bedroom pop is a thick swirl of sun kissed nostalgia. Yam Yam falls right in with some of the wistful sounds coming from their brethren across the Bay, like Hazel English and Day Wave, with a touch of Yumi Zouma and a heftier dose of propulsive bass. No Vacation will be embarking on tour with The Bilinda Butchers later this month. The tour’s final stop brings them back home to the RIckshaw Stop in San Francisco on June 9th.
Hello! May I get some drabbles about Mei's, McCree's, and someone else of your choice having a S/O that died... and then later came back to them as a ghost? And the ghost s/o can't interact with them without possessing something (or maybe even someone)?
(I’ll make the third one my bae, Genji. ^^)
Mei held the photograph in her hand, her elbow leaned to the wooden
writing table. It had been a long time since they had died… And she
didn’t even know.
Mei had been frozen for years without knowing all of her comrades had
died. She was the only one on Ecopoint: Antarctica to survive. Not
even her lover had remained alive, and she didn’t know. Once she was
found and told what had happened, she almost couldn’t believe it was
It had been a long time even since then, but she could not stop
thinking about them. Mei wasn’t sure she’d ever get over them, but
she didn’t even know how to try. How to start trying. Fot the moment,
she couldn’t take her eyes off that photograph.
Their old house felt far too large without smelling the fresh coffee
made by her s/o, and without waking up next to them. Their old
clothes and furniture were still everywhere, reminding her of the
past she could not let go. Every day, she felt hollow.
The broken table lamp flickered on and off again and it was starting
to get distracting. Mei put down the photo and turned to turn the
lamp off, but it didn’t seem to work. She groaned and sat up, going
to pull the plug on it. She tore it out of the socket, and the
flickering ceased. She sat back down, sighing. [Name] had always been
cheap when it came to furniture…
A moment later the light started flicking again, causing Mei to blink
in confusion. She made sure the cord in her hand really connected to
the lamp, and it did. So… How was this happening, exactly? She
picked up the lamp and examined it thoroughly, then screwed off the
light completely. Yet it still blinked.
“What in the world…” she muttered to herself as she
stared at the blinking light. That’s when she noticed more blinking
in the corner of her eye and turned to look toward it. She saw that
another lamp was blinking in the hallway. Was somebody pulling a
prank on her?
Mei stood up and followed the blinks with a confused expression,
stopping under the supposedly broken ceiling light. That’s when it
stopped blinking and turned off. However, another blinking started in
“Who’s doing that?” she asked, still more confused than
anything. After lagging in the hallway for a few seconds, she decided
to follow the light downstairs. When she reached the bottom of the
stairs, the blinking stopped again. She heard the TV get turned on in
the living room. Now things were really getting creepy.
Hesitantly, she followed the noise into the living room and
cautiously stepped toward the television. She picked up the remote
and turned it off, but it came right back on, by itself. That’s when
she noticed she had started to shiver.
“Whoever is pulling a prank on me, now would be a good time to
stop,” she asked, more than a little spooked. But no response
came. Then the channels of the TV started changing, never going
further than one or two words before changing again.
“Hello… My love… It has truly been… A while… Hasn’t
Mei flinched, and her legs gave in. She was now seated on the sofa,
her hand covering her wide open mouth. She couldn’t believe what she
was hearing. This prank was outright cruel.
“I know you… Have been waiting… For… Me… For a long
time… But I… Had no way… To… Contact… You.” The
channels kept changing similarly, as if the TV was really Mei’s dead
lover speaking to her. She couldn’t help it when her eyes suddenly
filled with tears.
“This isn’t real. That can’t really be you,” she protested,
nearly choking on her own words.
“It’s… Hard… To believe… Even… For me… I’m sorry…
For… Leaving… You.”
Mei hiccuped and tried to hold back her sobs. The words were spoken
far too much like her lover’s. Her heart was pounding in her chest
and she shook her head in protest. She couldn’t believe it.
“I don’t… Think I… Have… Long… But I… Wanted to…
Tell you… Did I… Ever… Tell… You look… Cute… Without…
That’s when Mei finally broke into sobs. It must’ve been her lover.
There was no one else who would know to speak to her like that.
“You told me all the time,” she sobbed, her cheeks wet with
tears. “Every morning you would tell me that. I- I miss you too,
[Name]. I miss you so much…” The television took its time
before starting to change channels again.
“Hah… Yeah, I… Think I… Did… But… Mei?”
Mei thought it was strangely cute how the TV had turned to a weather
report to get her name. “Promise… Me… You… Will… Move
on.” She shook her head again.
“No, I can’t p-promise that… I don’t know how to, I can’t
forget about you. I don’t want to,” she stuttered, pointlessly
trying to wipe away her tears.
“I don’t… Want… You to… Forget about… Me… I
still… Love you.”
“I love you too, [Name],” Mei responded, her breathing
shaky. “Please don’t leave me again.” Again, the television
didn’t respond at first.
“I’m sorry… I have… No… Choice… I’m… Already…
“That’s not fair!” Mei exclaimed weakly, her throat sore
and her voice hoarse from crying.
“I’m sorry… Goodbye… Mei.”
The television flicked off. It became dark in the room, and the only
noise left was Mei’s violent sobbing. She had curled up on the couch
and covered her eyes with her hands. Though she felt the world was
cruel for tearing her apart like that, there was a hotness in her
chest she hadn’t felt in a long time. For the first time of what felt
like a decade, she felt like she was actually alive again.
Mercy was currently examining him after Jesse had gotten injured on
his last mission. As usual, he’d been too reckless and had not
thought everything through. There was a bullet wound on her thigh,
and he was currently only in his briefs in front of the beauty that
was Angela Ziegler. Anyone would have been a little flustered, but
the doctor was very professional about it.
“Ahh, you don’t have to be so violent, doc,” Jesse
complained when Mercy slowly inserted the pliers into the bullet
“Oh, stop complaining. I need to get the bullet out, whether you
like it or not,” she stated with a calmness that would’ve
freaked out a younger McCree. This version was used to it by now,
“Ya coulda made it so that I weren’t feelin’ it, though,”
Jesse argued and earned an eye roll from Angela.
“Honestly, since when have you changed your preferences? You
seemed a lot tougher the last time I patched you up… Or perhaps
it’s because I was doing it in front of [Name],” she teased,
finding the bullet. Jesse stilled at the mention of that name.
“Oh… Could be,” he replied dryly, earning a concerned
look from Mercy.
“Oh, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to bring them up,” she
instantly apologised. Jesse shook his head, waving it off.
“Nah, it’s fine, Angie… Just, hadn’t thought about them that
much lately,” he explained half-heartedly.
[Name] was an Overwatch agent Jesse had fallen head over heels for
when he was still a young man in Blackwatch. On one of their
missions, things had gone horribly wrong and they had passed away.
The only consolence to McCree was that Morrison had told him they’d
passed peacefully. Even if he couldn’t be sure, he wanted to believe
Angela nodded, regretful, and turned back to the wound.
“Okay, this is the part that hurts the most. Bite on that sponge
I gave you,” she ordered, and Jesse did as asked, putting the
white, soft sponge into his mouth. Mercy released a breath and took a
steady grip on the bullet, then pulled it out in one smooth motion.
Luckily it wasn’t stuck to the bone – but even then, Jesse made a
He took the piece of sponge out of his mouth and watched as Angela
put the bloody bullet aside and pressed a clean rag against the now
“Would you hold this for me while I get the bandages? Thanks,”
she asked and moved Jesse’s hand onto the rag. He pressed it against
the wound, like he’d been told to, while Mercy turned to the table
behind her. The wound stung, and he could feel the blood soak the rag
“You could hurry up a little, Angie. I’m bleedin’ out here,”
he half joked and lifted his gaze to the blonde. He noticed she was
oddly still, her back still turned to him. He raised a brow. “Doc?”
Swiftly, the angel turned around, a strange expression on her pale
features. There was a sad smile on her lips, pain in her eyes. Jesse
quickly became worried.
“Hey, Angie, I didn’t mean–”
“Jesse,” she said calmly, but that was not Angela’s voice.
Well, it was, but the pitch was not right. The way she said Jesse’s
name, was not right. Nostalgia flowed through him when he heard the
pronounciation of those syllables. “I’m sorry… It’s been such
a long time since I’ve seen your face.” Jesse blinked.
“Ha… Stop jokin’, Angela. You don’t want me to stain the
medbay, do ya…” he chuckled awkwardly, weirded out by the
behaviour. It must’ve been a strange joke, maybe one she’d learnt in
Switzerland. Mercy shook her head.
“Jesse… I know you haven’t forgotten about me. Remember the
time I bailed on the mission briefing and we hid in the storage room
for hours?” she said, causing McCree’s eyes to widen. Of course
he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Angie, if this is your way of trying to make me feel better
about [Name]… Well, I’d appreciate it more if ya stopped. They
musta told you about that time,” he retorted, disappointed that
someone as nice as Angela would do something like this. He was also
briefly hurt that [Name] had told about something so private and
Mercy kneeled in front of the chair he was seated on and reached to
cup his cheek with her left hand, just like [Name] used to… Jesse
swallowed, and suddenly couldn’t take his eyes off Mercy’s.
“I didn’t tell anyone. It was our secret, after all… Remember
the necklace you gave me that day? The one I lost the next spring.
The lock broke and it fell into the lake,” she said, and Jesse’s
lip quivered. Maybe it wasn’t real, but it was at least something.
Could it be real…?
“I swore I’d dive in and get it back for you, but you stopped
me. I laughed about it after, but ya felt really bad about losing
it,” he finished the story easily. “[Name]…” he said
quietly, his tone needy and his gaze distant. There was a smile on
Mercy’s lips again.
“Jesse,” they responded, softly. “I wish I could stay
longer, but I only came to tell you how much I’ve missed you.”
Jesse quickly took their hands into his own.
“I’ve missed you too… You don’t have to go,” he assured,
suddenly worried that he wouldn’t get to see them ever again, or to
hear their voice… What remained of it. It had always been his
“I can’t, I really can’t… It would be wrong to steal Angela’s
body just to be with you. It would be horribly selfish. I’m sorry,
but I can’t,” they said and shook their head violently, clearly
torn. Jesse didn’t want that to be true and he grit his teeth in
“You only came to tell me this and to break my heart again,”
he said, bitter. For years he had mourned after his fallen lover, and
now that he got to see them again, they would abandon him for the
second time. They looked stunned, hurt, even.
“I came to say goodbye,” they said, worked up due to
Jesse’s response. “A goodbye I never got to say. I don’t
remember exactly how I died, but my last memory is wanting to tell
you how much I love you… Jesse, please just give me this. I’ve been
wandering aimlessly for so long. I need to be free.” There was
obvious pain in their voice and Jesse immediately felt guilty about
causing it. He pulled them into a hug, and they made a little yelp as
they were pulled close.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I really didn’t. I’m sorry,”
he repeated, keeping them pulled against him. “I missed you for
so long. I never got to say goodbye either.” They relaxed and
wrapped their arms tightly around Jesse, then pulled away. Their eyes
were locked as they stepped away, fingers still intertwined with
“Goodbye,” they whispered, then their fingers fell apart.
Mercy stilled and stared blankly for a few seconds. She took a hold
of her head, feeling dizzy all of a sudden and having to take support
of the table behind her.
“Woah… What was that…” she muttered to herself –
perhaps she needed to take a break and get something to drink… She
only got to wonder about it for a moment before she was distracted by
the sounds of muffled crying. She looked up and saw Jesse sobbing
into his hands, and she froze, her stare firmly on the man.
“Oh, Jesse…” she said softly and stepped over, placing a
hand on the man’s shoulder. The talk about [Name] must’ve hurt him
worse than she’d first assumed. “Come on, let’s patch you up,”
she continued with a reassuring smile and went to fetch the bandages.
They weren’t sure why everything was such a haze. Events from their
past played faintly in their head, a messy stream of memories. Some
of them were more prominent than others. Their childhood was mostly a
confusing mix of colors, faces and sentences. As time passed, some
moments became clearer than others.
Memories of Blackwatch came to mind. They remembered gruesome
missions, colorful personalities. They remembered Commander Reyes,
how he was the crew’s favorite and how unexpectedly kind-hearted the
man was. The image made them smile.
Then, they remembered another person. They remembered someone wounded
and angry, someone who was half man and half machine. Their heart
beat a little faster at the bittersweet memories. They remembered
falling in love with that man – all the arguments and long nights.
The sweet moments whenever they managed to get a break from life.
They remembered great pain. It started from their chest and spread to
everywhere in their body. They remembered dying, but that’s when
their head stung. How did they die, again? They were pretty sure it
was in a fight, on a Blackwatch mission. But then it hit them: They
It was empty and dark where they were. They tried to look around and
make sense of things, but there were no shapes in the darkness. Not
until a few beats later, when they started forming. Walls, a floor,
furniture… All formed one by one. Then it all came apart and
changed. The process repeated multiple times before the view finally
seemed to still. It had switched to a graveyard.
They stood in front of a dark gravestone. It was cloudy, but there
was no rain. They walked closer to the gravestone, feeling it call to
them, whispers in the distance. They kneeled down, their eyes
widening at the immediate discovery: It was their own name engraved
there. This was their grave.
Quickly, they stood straight and looked around. The graveyard was
almost empty, except for the figure that slowly neared them. The
figure looked like an omnic, they noted, and simply watched as it
came closer. The omnic passed them and kneeled next to their grave,
lighting a stick of incense and placing a sparrowhawk feather next to
Once again, their eyes widened. They quickly turned their gaze back
to the omnic who had put his hands together and said a wordless
prayer. Genji? They tried to reach out and touch his arm, put
it phased right through. Stunned, they quickly retracted their hand
and stared at it. Ah… They were a ghost.
“Genji…” they said his name, and for a moment the man
looked distracted. He looked around, as if he’d heard something, but
soon just started walking away from the graveyard. They bit their lip
and started following him, wherever he was going.
It was a hotel, a very standard one with nothing special to say about
it. He walked a straight path into his room and they followed him
like a shadow. Genji picked up the phone in his room and seemed to be
“Room service? Sorry to bother you. I’d just like to inquire you
about your breakfast options,” he said. [Name] just watched him.
“The first one will be fine, thank you.” After he’d said
that, he lowered the phone. Genji picked up the book set on the
nightstand and seated himself comfortably onto the bed, then started
flipping through the pages.
It was hard to take it all in. This Genji Shimada was nothing like
the one [Name] remembered. He was polite and respectful, but most of
all, he sounded like he was at peace. They didn’t know what to think
about it, except that clearly a lot of time had passed. Then they
wondered, was Genji upset when they died? Did he even remember…
Suddenly they were a little bitter. Their lover was allowed to move
on while they were stuck in a timeless loop. They wanted to shout,
but knew it would have no effect. It would be meaningless to scream
in an empty void.
It wasn’t long after that there was a knock on the door. Genji put
the book away and got up from the bed, then went to open the door. It
was the room service he’d called, a pretty lady dressed in the hotel
uniform. Genji let her in with the breakfast cart.
“Thank you for being so quick,” he said politely, but the
maid could only blink at him. It must’ve been odd to serve food to an
“omnic”. She probably thought it was for someone else not
in her view.
“We try our best to be efficient,” she then said and
offered the tray with a wide smile. Genji chuckled softly and watched
the lady take the cart and head back for the door.
Like by the gravestone, strange whispers were echoing in from the
woman’s direction. [Name] wasn’t sure what it was, but it was calling
to them, so they walked closer. They reached toward the maid and
touched her, and slowly she turned her head around. For a brief
second they were sure she had seen them.
They felt a little dizzy and glanced down. That’s when they noticed
their clothes had changed. In fact, they were wearing the clothes of
that hotel employee just now. Their free hand held onto the breakfast
cart, and the metal felt hard against their hand.
“Are you alright?” Genji’s voice called, and they snapped
their head up at him. He was looking straight at them, his head
tilted just a little in concern. He… Could see them? Then… They
must’ve somehow possessed that woman’s body.
“Oh… Yeah…” they said hesitantly, then straightened
their posture. Genji didn’t seem convinced.
“Are you sure? You look like you could use a break. I’m sure
your boss wouldn’t notice if you took a few minutes,” he said,
but all they could do, once again, was to stare at him. They stared,
then averted their eyes. Genji’s gaze on them was too much, even if
his eyes weren’t in view. It felt so long ago, yet not at all, since
they last spoke. It felt wrong.
“I couldn’t stay,” they said hastily.
“I don’t see why you couldn’t. It’s nicer to eat in company,”
the cyborg insisted and seated himself on the edge of the bed, the
tray on his lap. He slowly removed his mask, revealing the scarred
skin underneath. It really was Genji.
[Name] wasn’t sure what else they could do, so they went with it and
sat down next to the man. They didn’t have to stare, they’d seen his
face countless time in the past. They knew what he was.
That’s when they remembered the bitterness at the pit of their
stomach. This was their chance to shout, to scream, to remind their
past lover that they were still here. Alone. Their fingers twitched
at the painful thoughts, and they looked up at Genji, ready to pile
all of their frustration on him.
Genji looked back at them, chewing on his food. They stilled at how
adorable it looked. It wasn’t fair – it wasn’t fair that he had
moved on. They tore away their gaze and grit their teeth behind their
“I have to go,” they said and got up, not leaving room for
Genji to respond. “I hope you enjoy your food,” they added
before pushing the cart out of the room. It must’ve been a strange
meeting on his side, but [Name] didn’t really care. They needed to
get out of there.
In the hallway, they leaned their back to the wall. Their breathing
was shaky as they tried not to burst into tears. Sure, it was unfair
that Genji had found peace even though they were gone from his life.
But at the same time, it filled them with happiness that he was no
longer that broken man they’d fell in love with.
Because of that, they felt themself become filled with relief. It was
nice to see their lover one last time.