not thrilled with this but whatevs

iwasapruneratfaverolles  asked:

PLEASE TELL THE CHILDREN THE STORY OF MS. STUBELS

Grace fuck, why would you invoke her name like that???

Okay, fine, gather round children, buckle up because we’re going on a bumpy ride back to everyone’s collective least favorite place: 7th grade.

Some background: I went to a very small Catholic school. One class per grade (we were the largest with 19 kids), everyone knew each other whether they wanted to or not. Despite basically every teacher and faculty members insistence that we were The Best And Most Special Class In The School and that everyone loved having us, the longstanding 7th grade teacher Mrs. O’Hara decided to retire in the summer of 2008, meaning the school had to find us a new teacher for the upcoming year. This would be like, the first new teacher in the school in a while, and as she was getting the ‘best class’, it was viewed as a Big Deal. Somewhere in like July or August we got a letter announcing Mrs. Stubel, and it came with a list of books to pick for the summer reading, and that was basically all the information we had.

So…the first day of class. She seems nice enough. Very…ditsy, I guess? It was very easy for her to get herself off topic while talking. She constantly paced around the room, never staying in one spot for longer than a second, complaining she has restless leg syndrome. Which like, I’m sure she did, but she was in the middle of introducing herself and then went on a 20 minute tangent about restless leg syndrome without anyone prompting her. It was almost like you could see her scattered thoughts flying around her head.

So anyone, she eventually gives somewhat of an introduction- she had only taught in public schools before, and kept worrying she ‘didn’t know’ how to teach in a Catholic school despite the entire class insisting literally nothing was different, you just teach the curriculum, twice a week we have religion class with Sister Mary King, that’s literally it (she still talked over us in worry), she told us about her kids, she told us about her obsession with Emily Dickinson, stuff like that.

And then she hands us this worksheet.

She’s like, “Oh, these are just some basic questions for you to answer! Just so I can get to know you guys better!” like in lieu of an icebreaker game, which is fine, but…the questions. The questions were all “What is your most haunting fear?”, “What is your deepest regret?”, “Have you ever experienced the pain of loss?”, “What was your worst injury?”, “What was your worst nightmare?”, all questions like that, and then on the back she wanted us to draw a gravestone and write out what we wanted our epitaph to be.

We were twelve year olds, mind you.

Oh my God and one girl missed the first day because of her grandmother’s funeral, so when she came the next day and saw what the teacher was insisting she do for homework, she almost had a panic attack? And the lady still made her do it? Literally who wants to think about death anymore at a time like that omfg.

Okay, so then we get to the summer reading book reports, right? Now, she had given a list of maybe, 20 books that you could pick from, read it, and then present an oral report on it. You had to have notecards and you had to be able to answer questions from the class at the end. All in all, I’ve had worse projects.

So, on this list, she apparently put Madeleine L’Engle’s entire book series on the list…only she did not make it known that this was a series and not multiple stand alone books, so when reports started up it caused mass-panic of kids trying to put together plot points and make connections on what the hell they had read.

I was the only kid in the class who had chosen to read “A Wrinkle In Time”, and that has since lead to a series of events that…really actually scares me, I’m still incredibly freaked out, I’m not going to get into it right now because it’ll take away from the current story, but just know that I’m not above wondering if it only happened because I read the book for Stubel.

Anyway, so like, I got through the report okay. The class asking questions about it was fine, but the teacher kept asking questions that didn’t make sense, like, at all. My friend Angie has always had super neat handwriting and Mrs. Stubel got like, obsessed with her notecards and asked if she could borrow them for something. When we got our grades back a few weeks later, Angie had points taken off for not having notecards.

And then her teaching just…didn’t happen. She’d never stay on a topic, she’d always get herself distracted! We were not learning anything. And like, this wasn’t a class of advanced smart kids that loved to learn. By all accounts we should’ve been thrilled. But it got out of hand. It got to points where we had to start teaching lessons to ourselves, asking teacher from other grades for help, always coming home in tears, complaining constantly to our parents and the principal because this woman wasn’t teaching us anything. There were two kids who asked her multiple times for extra help, and she told them each time to ‘talk to me after school’, but then she’d leave immediately after school so they wouldn’t be able to talk to her. They finally brought up the issue in the middle of class and she had a breakdown, yelling about how nobody ever thinks that maybe the teacher has a lot of work to do, and maybe she’s entitled to taking off early, but when we tried to argue she shouldn’t schedule meetings and then break them off in the name of relaxation, she stormed out of the room and tried to get the principal to give us detention. (Which, like, our school didn’t even do, and she was the only one in the wrong during this situation) We are still in September at this point, and already at least ten kids have parents considering transferring them to another school. (And remember, there was only 19 of us, and most of the class had been together since preschool, so that was a big deal).

Then, she starts coming in with all the weird bruises. All the Moms™ immediately started gossiping that her husband had to be beating her, and that’s why she was so screwy in the head. But the way she talked about her husband made it seem like he *might* be dead, and we actually did witness her fall and smack her head into a doorknob once, so no one really knew what to believe. (Also, I’m not trying to imply that abuse would make someone crazy or ‘damaged’ or anything, this is just what was being said. I think they were trying to turn her into a more sympathetic character, because if you feel sorry for her you don’t have to hate her for frustrating your kids so much, and Hate Is A Bad Emotion.)

Also…this woman and Emily Dickinson.

She talked about Emily Dickinson every chance she could get. None of us knew who Emily Dickinson really was before she got there and you could see in her mind it was a capitol offense. She found out the curriculum didn’t have room to cover her (because like, we had a text book), and was way too upset about it. She started reading her poems whenever she found the time (usually somewhere in history class), and always gave us very detailed accounts about her dressing up as Emily and reading her poetry at the library.

Now, two things to note here:

  1. The library did not hire her to do this. She would literally just get in the mood, put on an Emily Dickinson costume that she made by herself, drive to different libraries, and just read poetry out loud to everyone there until someone eventually asked her to leave.
  2. The way she described these events…her tone, the look on her face, her posture…you could just tell that she was getting some sort of sexual gratification out of this? Like dressing up as Emily Dickinson in public and reading her sad poems is really what got this lady’s jollies rocking? Got her all hot and bothered? Which is…a lot, but why would you tell a bunch of seventh graders about it holy shit. What about that sounds like a good idea! What about that turns you back on!

So anyway, we learned a lot about Emily Dickinson against our will.

One of the Davids™ was reading a book for pleasure- which shouldn’t have been a shocker, a lot of kids always had books on them, but Stubel got really interested and asked if she could borrow it from him. He was like ‘sure, after I finish it?’ but she took it that day. He asked her for it back for like five weeks straight.

And…the strudels.

Okay, so the school was trying some dorky thing to promote ~togetherness~ or some virtue or something, I don’t remember the specifics of why, but each class had to make a huge themed poster and hang it on the wall outside the classroom. Which was like, whatever, not the most thrilling project but at least it allowed us to be productive vs just sitting there as the teacher runs about the room rambling about her family vacation from four years ago. Mrs. Stubel decided we needed a quirky nickname and after like three days of deliberation we were christened “Stubel’s Special Strudels”!

(points for alliteration or whatever, but no one actually voted for that and what exactly do strudels have to do with Catholicism? It became a big running joke amongst the kids)

Also, in case you were wondering, she didn’t explain the assignment correctly to us- so every other class had like these beautiful, artistic, well-themed and put together posters, while ours was just…literally a bunch of shit thrown together on paper. Nothing fit with each other, it was literally embarrassing to look at.

But then…she wouldn’t drop the strudel thing. Like she kept bringing it up. She got really into strudels and would just tell us random shit about them. Finally, someone jokes that we should get strudels one day for a party (like instead of a pizza party), and she’s Freaking Out and On Board. She really wants to buy us strudels and have a breakfast party now. She talked about it for like two days straight.

So like… you know in school when you would have a pizza party, usually the teacher would buy it? That’s how they always happened in my experience (not counting the last day of 10th grade when some kid had pizza delivered to the school for lunch but it didn’t get there until math class lol). But especially in grade school? Like if it wasn’t a PTA made party that’s super organized, the school would buy the food, right? Right?

Yeah, so she was like, if this is happening you guys need to give me the money. Just give me the money and then I’ll pick them up on my way to work!! And after some arguing some kids are on board. Strudels should only cost a couple dollars right?

And she’s like, oh no, I’m gonna get them from this high end bakery near my house so it’ll be special, but they’re not cheap and it’ll be a big order! I’m gonna need like fifteen dollars from each of you!

And at this point I’m just like…lady. Come on. 

But she keeps insisting. She’s not gonna go until every student in class pays up.

And I’m like…I’m poor. I don’t even like strudel.  And some of the less-naïve kids are siding with me.

And then she pulls that “you guys are just spoiling all the fun for your classmates” shit, like the naïve kids who already paid up, so it gets to the point where we just gotta cave and give her the money.

(I ended up stealing it out of my Crazy Bitch Aunt’s wallet so it’s whatever, I guess.)

And then of course, shockingly enough, every morning she was met with “where are the strudels?” and every morning she went wide eyed, slapped her forehead and yelled in embarrassed horror “I totally forgot! Tomorrow, guys, I promise!”

Honestly, with how scatterbrained and confused she always was…like to this day I can’t tell you with 100% certainty whether she hustled us or was just actually forgetting about the damn pastries, I choose to lean towards the hustled us side because that’s just the type of people I’m used to, but if I found out it was innocent forgetfulness I wouldn’t exactly be surprised.

She couldn’t handle more than one person talking at a time. Like, we’d have break periods, or group work, or something and all the talking made her go wide-eyed and batty. She’d look overworked and anxious and would be darting around the room trying to do work or something but she couldn’t focus and she’d yell at anyone who tried to talk to her directly. I remember one time she was using this boys desk for something so he asked “where am I supposed to sit?” and she snapped “Sit on the ceiling for all I care!”. And this kid was the Class Clown™ , so he immediately grabbed a chair in one hand and started climbing the bookcase to try and reach the ceiling. She’s standing right next to this and doesn’t even notice. He got all four chair legs planted on the ceiling and was trying to somehow maneuver his way into the chair (I really don’t know what the plan was exactly- he was really tall and it was a small building, so I think he probably had the idea that if he can get his body upside down and in the chair, and stretch out his arms like a hand-stand to hold onto bookcase, he could arguably sit on the ceiling.) but he slipped. Crashed into my desk and the two desks next to me, knocked over the book case, broke the chair in half and hit the desks with enough force to knock them down lower. It was hilarious. Everyone was loosing their shit cracking up (he was fine) and it still took Stubel like five minutes to notice his lying out across the desks right in front of her eyes. She was pissed but how did she miss any of it in the first place? She was barely being helpful in whatever it was she was trying to do.

This was the year the Phillies were going to the World Series, and all the grades were having a Phillies Rally in the cafeteria so a news crew was coming to the school and each class was supposed to come up with fun little cheers for them to broadcast. Multiple cheer ideas were presented to her and she vetoed all of them, someone even suggested just singing the damn eagles theme song with replaced words and calling it a day but she vetoed that too, she was very adamant that she could come up with a cheer all by herself and it’ll be the best one (whoever had the best cheer was winning like an ice cream day or something idk). And then like…literally five minutes before the rally she just hands us signs with the letters and was like ‘we’re just gonna spell out Phillies it will be cute won’t it my strudels???’. We were the weakest class there, predictably. I think we lost to the kindergarteners. There might still be a video online of me yelling “ i “ passionately at the top of my lungs. It was online bc our cheer was so bland the news crew cut it out of the broadcast.

I literally can’t say enough about how she never taught us anything. She’d be going on some tangent about how she doesn’t understand the science behind skiing, and I’d be like “Okay yes but please can you just tell me where Romania is on a map???” And she’d start fights whenever someone actually wanted to learn. It was so easy to get her angry but so hard for her to stay on topic. Kids started teaching the class themselves! Like seriously, she’d be rambling and one of us would just go up to the podium, open the teacher’s guide textbook and just start reading out loud and talking over her. By the time she noticed we’d be halfway through a lesson. And we understood it better than when she tried! You know something’s wrong when pre-teens are more qualified for a job than an adult who supposedly went to school for this.

We were in the church having run-throughs for our upcoming Confirmation and she almost set the church on fire…fifteen different times. In less than half an hour. How hard is it to hold a candle?

Okay, and here’s when stuff starts kicking up. It was October 28th, a Tuesday, and it was our last day of school that week because they were having parent-teacher conferences the rest of the week. So we were just hanging out, watching movies in class and reading (lord knows we weren’t learning), and Stubel calls me over to her desk.

So like, she had given everyone little bags with candy for Halloween, but I get up there and she hands me an extra one. And she’s like “Molly I know your birthday is tomorrow and I bought you a present but I left it on my coffee table this morning by accident! So just have the candy for now!”

And I’m like….”Ma’am I’m like, the sixth birthday this year. You didn’t give anyone else presents?”

And she goes “Oh, I know but this is a special secret surprise. I just know you’re gonna love it! Do you wanna stop by my house later this week to pick it up or should I just give it to you Monday after school?”

And like…In writing this sounds like a non-threatening exchange, and like, it was, but I felt so uncomfortable holy shit. I’m looking over my shoulder and shooting my friends SOS signals. Something about this felt so weird in my gut omfg. I told her thanks and I’d just see her Monday.

So we flash forward to Wednesday- my 13th birthday, the day the Phillies won the world series, and also the day my mother innocently strolled into the school for her meeting only to be met with screaming, the sound of heavy destruction, and the school secretary Mrs. Daily running at her in a panic, waving her arms and yelling “YOUR MEETING IS CANCELLED YOUR MEETING IS CANCELLED GET IN MY OFFICE NOW!”

So my poor mother, who thought she could handle this whole meeting in a few minutes and barely be an hour late for work, is now barricaded in the front office with the school secretary, as the noises from down the hall get louder and louder. The woman explains that they had gotten so many complaints about Mrs. Stubel that this morning, when she got to the school, the principal Sister Patricia called her in and said “Listen, we need you to be professional and still have the parent conferences, but we have to let you go. We just don’t think you fit in well here, and the kids need to come first and feel comfortable in their school.” and like, I’m paraphrasing because I wasn’t there, but we all know she was very polite and professional about it.

Mrs. Stubel, however…was not.

She flipped her chair and stormed out of the office, and locks herself in the seventh grade classroom. She started wrecking the shit out of that place, screaming obscenities and the top of her lungs, they had to call the cops on her! She was locked in there for almost an hour! And let me just give you a nice little list of everything she did in that classroom:

  • Smashed three windows.
  • Threw everything off her desk and carved swear words all over it.
  • Got cleaning fluid that she knew would damage the chalk boards, smeared it all over.
  • Cracked the chalk boards by repeatedly smashing chairs against them.
  • Wrote swear words all over the walls and on desks
  • Went into students desks, ripped up their books.
  • Stole my glasses. (which were in my desk bc I only used them in class at the time)
  • Threw some desks around.
  • Carved swear words into the boards. (there was so much carving I’m assuming she just had a knife on her person, which has to lead to the question, did she have a knife on her while she was in class with us?)
  • Physically ripped the hooks to hang backpacks on out of the wall.
  • Knocked the closet door off it’s hinges.
  • Ripped up all the books in the bookcases and threw their pages all around the room.
  • Wrote lewd phrases inside student’s desks.
  • Broke multiple chairs.
  • Used her podium as a battering ram against the wall that’s in front of where the backpacks go. (the wall won but Damage Was Inflicted)
  • Set a fire in the trash can.
  • When the principal and other teachers started trying to get in, she tossed her rolling chair at the door to scare them off.
  • She was screaming curse words at the top of her lungs the entire time, and cursing the school and the kids and the principal and the church in general, and the school building was small, so all the parents and the smaller children that had to come to the meetings (who were locked in their respective classrooms in fear) heard everything.
  • So much more? But it’s 4:30 in this morning and this list is already long.

So my mom is in the front office and deadass the

entire police force

shows up, running down the hallway to the classroom yelling at her to stop, and it takes a while for them to get her out holy shit. They knocked down the door and she tried to escape out of one of the broken windows! But they got her and dragged her out.

So of course, in such a small school with very involved parents this shit spread like wildfire. The entire town knew within the day. The poor principal called the newly retired old-seventh grade teacher and was like “So we…need some help” and the lady was like “I already heard I’ll be there Monday” omfg. I remember I got a text from one of my classmates saying “if your birthday wish was for us to be set free from the beast I love you” omfg.

So, we eventually go back to school on Monday and everyone’s buzzing. The principal has us go to the cafeteria and she ‘delicately’ explains the situation, and that the old teacher is coming out of retirement for us, the school has a restraining order against Mrs. Stubel now and that she’s sorry we had to deal with this mess. Our classroom had to go under some heavy reconstruction before we could be let back in there, so for like two weeks we alternated between the cafeteria and the preschooler’s classroom, we had no books or anything, just provided loose-leaf paper and pens. It was like, surreal, but everyone was just so happy to be rid of her and to be in the presence of a competent teacher omfg. We eventually were able to get back into our usual classroom.

  1. It took a while for things to go completely back to normal, though. After the big spectacle she made, for weeks after she was fired we were all very scared of the possibility of Mrs. Stubel returning to the school with a gun in hand. It was always a topic we whispered about at lunch with wide eyes and shivers. Like…genuine nightmare scenario.
  2. About two weeks after she was fired, a boy in the back of the classroom gasped loudly during SSR, and when we all looked at him, he whispered in anger “She never gave us our freakin’ strudels!”
  3. About three months after she was fired, we were lined up at the door to go to Library when a few of us looked through the windows and saw something darting through the trees. It was fast and we couldn’t make anything out, so we let it drop. When the class and teacher returned half and hour later, the book she had borrowed months before from one of the boys was sitting on his desk. It was just laying there, the room was silent, nothing had been disturbed…but I have never seen a book look so threatening. People were freaking out. Someone kept insisting that she turned the book into a bomb. No one figure out how she got in the school, and no one could figure out how she got it on the right desk, as we had switched the seating arrangement since she had last been there.  
  4. A full six months after she had left, it was nearing the end of the school year and our class was dicking around during our last computer class. Someone found a website (that we weren’t allowed to be on) that pulls up any police records attached to whoever’s name you enter, so someone decided to search Mrs. Stubel as a joke. We ended up finding out she had like six DUI’s.

Aaaaand that’s the story of the horrendous teacher I had for two months in 7th grade. One of my favorite party stories but tbh she still haunts me™ .

2

the best family in the marvel universe tbhhh

Day Eighty-Eight

-Two men in their forties came through in complete hunting regalia save for one’s bright pink boots to purchase two Hot Wheels cars. Specifically, they bought the Roller Toaster, a toaster on wheels. I applaud their taste in toys and fashion.

-I would like to apologize for whatever I am doing to give the impression that, when I reach out to offer change, I am offering my hand to hold. Several elderly women have acted upon these unintentional signals and none of us have been happy about it. 

-Someone stamped a Decepticon logo onto a series of twenty-dollar bills. This is the beginning.

-A hanger was labeled “NB.” I am thrilled that the store had begun to carry clothes outside of the gender binary, although I wished that they would make them for adults and not just newborns. 

-I handled several articles of clothing for infants and toddlers with taglines such as. “First Crush,” and, “Cutest Bachelor.” I am grateful that we as a culture begin forcing romance on our youth at such an early stage, lest they become queer, or worse, uninterested in relationships altogether.

-Nothing makes me happier than older guests shopping with their friends and insisting upon paying for each other’s purchases. Nothing makes me more stressed out than when the bickering escalates and I am forced to choose sides and accept one’s payment at the fury of the other.

-In the middle of paying, a woman pointed at Starbucks, loudly said, “Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh,” and then returned to her business without any acknowledgement to assure me that it had actually happened and was not a heat-induced hallucination.

-A woman approached me, informing me that I looked important and therefore must be a manager. The joke is on her, as I am but a lowly cashier, but appearances are half of the battle and this proves that my master plan is on the right path.

-I asked a man how he was. He looked me in the eye and replied, “I am but a man.” That will not be changing anytime soon if he keeps up this attitude.

malec-go-to-hogwarts  asked:

hi cassie :) i've been a fan of the books since 2010 and it's been amazing to see how much they've grown in terms of popularity and audience. I would love to know whether you came up with the idea to write the eldest curses because of how popular Magnus became and the reaction to him or was the idea in your head from the beginning and you decided to finally write it :) also could i be cheeky and ask for a snippet from the lost book of the white preferably featuring Alec....

I was excited to write the story of Magnus and Alec Having An Adventure and Falling More In Love for a very long time, but my ability to do so was limited by the way publishing and distribution worked back in 2005, when I was initially trying to sell City of Bones. There was a lot more resistance to gay characters in YA at that time. A couple of publishers turned the book down because Alec, a gay character, was in it. The Barnes & Noble website page for City of Bones included a review from Commonsense Media where they gave it a content warning for “sexual content” just because of the presence of a gay character even though he never did anything sexual. A lot of big box stores refused to carry the book, and major children’s book clubs passed it over. 


I always hoped for systems to change. As the books grew more popular, and as times changed, I was able to include more of Magnus and Alec as the series went on. In fact, their presence in the story and on the page made a big jump starting in CoFA, at which point I received a surge of criticism from those who were upset that I was writing about Magnus and Alec more prominently. I remember having my books pulled from libraries; foreign translators cut scenes with Magnus and Alec in them; once I was standing in the middle of the street about to get into a car to take me to a school where I was going to do a talk about my books when my publicist came up and said we were no longer invited: the school had read about Magnus and Alec and they didn’t want me there. Or often, if I was at a school, I’d be asked not to talk about Magnus and Alec while speaking to the students.


I tried to walk a careful line, including Magnus and Alec (and later, Aline and Helen) as significant and meaningful characters, but still managing to keep schools, libraries, and reading groups from throwing the books out or locking them up where the kids who most needed to read them wouldn’t be able to access them at all.


I held onto the hope that attitudes would continue to shift, to allow for more freedom to write characters who accurately represent the population of the world we live in (and represent my own friends and family, on whom Alec and Helen specifically are based). Hope that I’d be able to expand roles for characters like Magnus and Alec, and over the past twelve years — partly as I’ve carved out my career in a way where I can take the sales hits that sometimes result from major LGBT+ inclusion, and partly because of so many brave writers, readers, editors and publishers who’ve pushed for change — I’ve been able to do so more and more. 


When I was writing CoFA, I purposefully left a gap where Magnus and Alec go on vacation, with the idea that someday I could go back and fill in that gap with a story focused on them. For a long time that wasn’t something that companies wanted to buy and publish. I could have self-published the series, but I wanted the books on the shelves in stores, on the “bestsellers” rack with every other book I’ve written, making a statement about how much people want this kind of book and these kind of characters. I chose to write the story now when I did because Simon and Schuster, my publisher, opened Saga Press, an imprint dedicated to expanding what you can do in YA and cross-publishing with adult fantasy/sci fi. It’s Saga that will be publishing The Eldest Curses.

I thought a lot about what to say here because of two things: one, that people don’t like to hear about pushback against writing non-straight characters — it’s depressing (it is), it seems distant, unreal, how can these old systems and thought processes still exist? We’ve had successful books with gay characters in them! We’re done, right? I guess all I can say is that I think there’s a value to illuminating the pushback because it underlines how important it is to keep supporting books with LGBT+ characters because we are not there yet; we’re not where those books are give the same budgets and marketing and push as books with straight casts, and it takes the support of readers and reviewers and bookstore and library buyers to get us there.

I’d also say that I know I’ll get criticism for saying I was careful in my portrayal of Magnus and Alec until I felt like I’d gotten to a place where even if the fact that they were in love, lived together, even had sex was shown or even just implied (as it is in CoFA) it wouldn’t mean the books were locked up in libraries and slapped with warning labels. I guess I can only say it’s hard to navigate a situation where you fear the very kids who need to read about Magnus and Alec won’t be able to. When you meet kids who say “This book saved my life” so many times, and you think “But what if you couldn’t get to it? What if your school wouldn’t carry it, or your library, or your Walmart, which in small towns is sometimes literally the only source of books?) I accept that criticism. We all face hard choices in life and we make complicated decisions we think are for the best, and being criticized for those decisions is part of living and learning.

I guess the only other thing I’d say is whatever shitty things were said to me over the years about Magnus and Alec, they pale in comparison to the shitty things said to writers like Malinda Lo and Scott Tracey who were writing their own lives and experiences in the form of LGB characters on the page — and as Malinda says, their pain at confronting homophobia/biphobia will always be more visceral and personal than mine.

If you go out and buy The Lost Book of the White of course I’ll be thrilled, and a lot of that will be because it’s a way to show publishers that this kind of media and these protagonists are wanted and desired by readers. But I’d be just as thrilled if you picked up any fantasy by an LGB+ writer with LBG+ characters in it. There’s a ton of wonderful stuff and I hope you’ll explore it.

Not going to lie, I’m crazy happy to see Pauline in Super Mario Odyssey. I can’t believe she’s appearing in a main Super Mario title as a prominent NPC. That’s very cool! Can’t wait to see how she’s used and if we get any other cool cameos. 

I love that she’s mayor of New Donk City, and red suit is a nice touch. The fact that she’s a singer, and sings the theme song is just awesome and perfect. 

I only have one concern - she’s always been taller than Mario, but previously it appeared she was closer to Peach’s height or at least shorter than characters like Rosalina (although Pauline’s size has always been inconsistent), but this game slightly redesigns her to be less “cartoon-ish/stylised”. Making her somewhat semi-realistic like the other citizens of New Donk City (although her face and appearance are still more stylised than the other NPCs in her area). This worries me because it makes her proportions very different to other Mario franchise characters and I’m scared this means she’ll never appear past this game, in spin-offs or future titles (as Super Mario games rarely repeat locations as well) because she won’t fit stylistically. 

Although, I suppose Nintendo could always re-cartoon her/shrink her down at their own discretion (as lets be honest consistency is not always a big concern to them), to insert her into - oh I don’t know - a kart, a party, or whatever. 

However, even with this concern … I’m thrilled to see her, this is an awesome surprise and MAYBE it will be her last appearance for a long time again (I don’t know, I hope not), but if that’s the case its a pretty fantastic one!

Oh! Also the New Donk City purple currency has an image of the city on one side and a profile of Pauline on the other, which is sweet.

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→ Paper Doll | 01

Originally posted by sugutie

☆ pairing → Jungkook x Reader

☆ genre → idol+singer-songwriter!au, drama, slight angst

 warning sexual themes with smut in the next chapters, mentions of past unhealthy relationship 

☆ word count   → 2.1k

summary   → When the nation’s little sister, IU, gets into a huge scandal, your agency seizes the opportunity to thrust you into that now vacant spotlight. Your self-composed song Paper Doll becomes an overnight sensation, and soon people are itching to find out who was the one who broke your heart. All hell breaks loose once netizens discover that you used to date popular idol, Jeon Jungkook. Little do they know that it wasn’t him who left the relationship unscathed –  it was you.

alternatively: a story on the consequences of a hit break-up song

01 | 02 


a/n  → so basically this is me being coerced into writing jjk smut 
edit: pt i is more of a prologue



[+11,435; -2,003] this really breaks my image of him… proves how you can’t judge someone from their personality on camera

[+9,386; -1,983] all this time he was pretending to be super innocent haha all those stupid fangirls throwing money at him blindly must be going crazy

[+5,903; -1,234] i mean everyone goes through break-ups, but he was cosplaying as an innocent guy who was scared of skinship with girls all these years.. lmao he’s super shamel–

The words on the screen in front of him all blurred and bled into one big stain. He quickly scrolled through the hundreds and hundreds of comments, each more condemning than the last. A steady pressure was building in his ears, until the only thing he could see or feel were the accusations of a faceless crowd, all jeering at him loudly, fingers pointed.

It was as if his entire life flashed in front of his eyes right then, and he could suddenly recall every inconsequential and significant thing that had shaped his life the past seven years – the hours and hours spent in front of the mirror rehearsing the same steps over and over again, the taste of soggy ramen Hoseok hyung had let overcook last week, the screams of fans, the sound of his alarm clock, the look on your face when you told him it was over. There was no chronology to the kaleidoscope of fleeting glimpses of his past.

“What,” he breathed, hands shaking, eyes wide and disbelieving as his phone fell with a clatter on the table. He desperately wanted to ignore reality, but the stares that were all focused on him kept him grounded to the present.

Of course his first scandal would be linked to you.

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The Lilith Signs

What is the Lilith Sign?

In Astrology, the Lilith placement describes negative tendencies, life struggles, and how we may behave when at our worst. But also, it is a warning. Knowing your Lilith placement can help you see when you are beginning to decline. The Dark Moon, as it’s called, constantly pulls at us. Pulling back is what gives us balance. 

It is important to note with the Lilith sign: the reading is almost always more extreme than the person. Again, this placement talks about tendencies, or things we may do. It is about what we may struggle against, not who we are. Check under the cut for specific placements.

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Had a friend beg me last minute to join the online D&D campaign she was in with three of her friends. I had all of five minutes to prepare. I tried to say “you know I can just join you guys next week” but she insisted.

When I showed up, there were three other people just as stunned and confused as I was, stumbling over their words, wide-eyed, worried.

Then we realized.

We all played bards.

And they were tasked with finding “outside talent” to represent them in the kingdom’s version of ________’s Got Talent. 

The DM gave them ten minutes to find an actual person who played a bard to show up with whatever most recent edition of their bard they had available.

I had level 10 Prianna. The others had level 1 - 3 bards. I’ve jacked up Prianna’s performance skill using Expertise twice now, because I like having something ridiculously overpowered that will get me out of weird roleplay situations LIKE THIS ONE. (Sidenote: I dumped the rest into Persuasion because other roleplay situations.)

Because I described, at length, the sound and feel of the song, the key it was in, and what it was about (the thrill of the hunt for my friend’s character, a ranger), I got advantage. Rolled a 5 and a 19. I have a 15 in performance. My ranger friend screeched at the 34 score I pulled out.

I can now add Talent Show Champion to her list of accomplishments.

Originally posted by nbcagt

for @fauvistfly, who wanted something with pining and stiles being a singer

rated T, 2.3k also on AO3 here 

It’s four am and the diner is quiet. Derek finishes wiping down a table; life as usual, he’s alone, he’s at work, everything goes on as it does. He refills coffee for the two tired-looking truckers sitting at the counter and goes back to refilling the salt shakers.

The last time Cora was home, she’d asked if he and Laura ever considered selling the place. “Doesn’t do much business,” she said, trying to be gentle. Say it was okay to let go. But she’d only been a baby when the accident happened that took their parents; she didn’t have memories growing up here the way Derek and Laura did, playing hide-and-seek under the counters, watching their dad bake pies and their mom fill coffee, listening to travelers talk about their lives on the road.

Hale’s is fifty miles from the nearest town in either direction, a blink-and-miss-it diner still stuck in the ‘50s, right off the Pacific Coast Highway. The little town of Beacon Hills is an hour away, so almost all the patrons are travellers, people looking for respite from the road, on their way up to the redwoods or heading down to San Francisco and Los Angeles. There’s a little wall of autographs from famous people who’ve dined here; cowboys and starlets and authors and people Derek’s parents took a shine to. The diner is a historic landmark, not to mention it’s always been home to Derek.

So Laura manages the day shift and Derek does the night. It works out well; he doesn’t have to interact with people much. He and Laura were homeschooled until high school, and Derek had found Beacon Hills High School overwhelming with its crowds.

The radio starts a new song; it’s one of Derek’s favorites. He doesn’t remember the name of the artist, but it makes Derek feel alive. The song lyrics aren’t particularly sensual, but the man’s voice is— Derek shudders, feeling his blood run hot under his skin, and he imagines the warm touch of someone pulling him close, embracing him, kissing him—

“Can I take this coffee to go?”

“Oh. Sure,” Derek says, pouring the trucker’s coffee into a plastic cup.

They leave him a decent tip and are off, the bell jingling as they go.

Derek sighs, watching the moonlight dance across the ocean in the distance. He listens to the rustling of the trees, and occasionally a car will drive past the diner, lights blaring.

He turns off the radio and hums the song to himself as he sweeps up.

There’s longing here, of a love long lost, and Derek is lost to the song, to the memories it drags up.

Nothing but the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the white hot sun burning just beyond Derek’s closed eyes. He can feel the warm body next to him stir awake, and then fingers carding through his hair.

“Derek… hey. You awake?”

“Nope,” Derek says, and he can already picture it: Stiles leaning over him, his hair still wet, eyes bright with laughter.

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anonymous asked:

Loving the text messages!! Keep up the good work! Also if you don't mind could you describe darks and antis personalities according to you?

Absolutely!!! Beware though, I’m about to wax poetic because I LOVE these two characters. I’m sorry that this post is so long but I’m NOT putting it under a cut because I worked on this for over a fucking hour instead of writing my history paper and I want at least one person to actually read it. :P

I’m gonna go a little in depth with what I believe is their canon personalities according to my interpretation and then how I incorporate those interpretations into Texts From Dark And Anti. Some of you may be surprised to find that I actually heavily take their canonical personalities into account when I make my edits; it’s not all just dick jokes and memes for the sake of notes. Texts From Dark And Anti is my love letter to these two characters, and I’ve gone to great lengths to portray them in the best way possible.

But enough babbling. Let’s start with Dark.

CANON PERSONALITY: Master Manipulator and Sexual Predator

Originally posted by markimemey

Per Mark, Dark is a master manipulator. He’s a snake in the grass, ready to tell you anything and everything you need to hear in order to get what he wants from you.

I’d argue that this often works for him. Obviously he’s a very good actor if he’s able to mimic Mark perfectly in the “Chocolate” ending, so that makes me think that he’s able to assume whatever personality and/or extend whatever favors he needs to to trick his victims into abiding by him.

But it’s also worth mentioning that Dark’s biggest weakness (arguably) is his jealousy. As Mark said, Dark’s extremely jealous of Mark, and he wants everything that Mark has: wealth, fame, success, and devoted fans. I’d be willing to believe that that last thing is what rubs Dark wrong the most.

Evidence? Mark’s fans are exactly what he goes after. Wanna know what’s freakier? IT FUCKING WORKED.

Mark took all of his fans out on a date. All of us adored him for it. Dark got jealous of this, so he infiltrated the date and tried to get us to support him instead. And when Tyler Mark showed up to fight him, Dark didn’t kill him himself. He manipulated us into doing it for him.

And what brings this home is that Dark has had the longest lasting potential out of anything to come out of this video. All of the other memes and references have lost their luster by now, but the resurgence of Dark-related fan art, ask/rp blogs, edits, and memes are still going strong. Dark infiltrated our date and convinced us to love him and worship him the same way that we do Mark, and we fucking fell for it.

So why does he do this? Is it just because he’s a jealous prick? Partially, but I think that, canonically, there’s more to it. I think it’s because he thrives on his ability to hold power over people, which is comparable to–get ready for it–sexual predators.

Dark exhibits a lot of the traits we normally attribute to these criminals. He’s attractive, charismatic, extremely manipulative, and sadistic. He says things like, “I can give you anything,” and, “If it’s dinner you want, I can provide.” Provide is an interesting word choice here, because that’s what society has dictated the man in a relationship should do. He even acts seductive: arching his neck, eye-fucking the camera, and he even blows us a kiss (see below). But the way that he grabs and shakes us periodically throughout his mental breakdown betrays his inner sadism and anger issues, also common among sexual predators. I absolutely think that based on Dark’s behavior and what we know about him, he’s totally down to fuck anyone and everyone in order to get what he wants–consensual or otherwise. And I definitely think he’ll enjoy it.

Originally posted by mirrorthehorse

I wouldn’t necessarily say that Dark is a nymphomaniac. As an otherworldly being, it’s entirely possible he doesn’t even have a sex drive. But sexual predators don’t usually rape their victims just to get their dicks wet. Usually, it’s a power issue; they want to feel like they have mastery over something, and that they are dominant and in control. Given Dark’s obsession with taking all of Mark’s glory away from him, coupled with his violent mood swings and sadism, I would say that sexual assault is probably just one of the many ways he appeases his insatiable appetite for power and manipulation. And I’d even bet that it’s one of his go-to’s.

In Texts From Dark And Anti, I normally portray Dark as a bitter old demon who doesn’t understand memes and doesn’t want to put up with anybody’s shit. But I didn’t just do this for fun; I did it because I could see Dark being jaded in real life. Off-camera, when he’s not trying to seduce us into adoring him over Mark, I could see him being sick of being overlooked. He’s old, even by Mark’s channel’s standards, and up until “A Date With Markiplier”, he wasn’t mainstream in the fandom at all–not fun for someone who craves the adoration of others. So he’d definitely be off-put by Anti’s much younger, more erratic personality, and in a bad mood he’d bitch at him for it. But in a good mood, he’d use it to his advantage to get whatever he wants–sex, souls, and anything else his blackened heart desires, both for the reward and the thrill of not having to do it himself.

Now let’s talk about Anti.

CANON PERSONALITY: Chaotic Psychopath

Originally posted by treblegirl

Jack has been near-silent on his personal interpretation of Anti (although he’s stated that he definitely has a personal canon that he refuses to share, the little fucker), so all of this is going to come from speculation and what we see onscreen.

While Dark chose to make his debut in one long, continuous, elegant appearance, Anti showed up randomly throughout the month of October, with no prelude and no explanation as to why he was there. Also in contrast to Dark’s smooth, charismatic personality, Anti is visibly unstable, jittery, and psychotic. Both he and Dark exhibit bloodlust, but Anti doesn’t hide it. He doesn’t hold back any of his sociopathic tendencies, going so far as to murder his host on camera for the world to see.

We don’t exactly know what Anti’s agenda is, but that’s just it: I don’t think he has one. At least, not one beyond the psychotic urge to kill as much and as many people as he can. Even in “Say Goodbye”, all he does is laugh at/condemn the viewer for not warning Jack and saving him. The other times he was on camera in October, he was glitchy, with several different appearances (fangs, gauges, blood, etc.) and contorted, unsettling body movements, making me think that Anti is a supernatural being that thrives on chaos and bloodshed.

But  Anti doesn’t just want to cause havoc–he wants to cause havoc and get the credit he deserves for it. That’s why he showed up so much on camera without Jack noticing; he was there for us, not him. Then he made a big deal about us not telling Jack what was going on, condemning us for our failure to make his existence well-known. Then he crashed Jack’s panel at PAX, angry at us for “forgetting” him. He’s not trying to garner our support like Dark is; if anything, he wants us to be terrified of him.

Originally posted by redthereaper07

But personally, if I had to choose between being locked in a room with Dark and being locked in a room with Anti, I’d choose Anti in a heartbeat. Because even though Anti is more obviously psychotic, at least I’d know I would be killed quickly–unlike Dark, who would torture and manipulate me verbally, physically, and possibly even sexually for an indeterminate amount of time. This is Anti’s downfall, I think; Dark disguises his true nature with seduction and charisma, but because Anti’s so unpredictable and surface-level, he identifies himself as a very obvious threat, ironically making him a little easier to understand.

Thus, my interpretation of him in Texts From Dark And Anti reflects this (albeit in a more comedic way). Anti loves memes and silly trends because he wants to stick out in a way that’ll gain recognition. He’s more up-to-date with Internet trends and slang because he’s much younger than Dark–but that also means that he’s more gullible, and a lot of simple things go over his head. Basically all of his emotions are double that of Dark’s, and he makes no efforts to disguise them. He’s also much more privvy to senseless murder than Dark. This speaks highly of his psychotic tendencies and general disregard for any order or secrets he could be bothering to keep. What you see of Anti is what you get: an easily-excitable, always-ready-to-fuck-shit-up killing machine.

Originally posted by markired

So…yeah. That’s pretty much my piece. Told you it’d be long. X’D

But tysm for asking!! And if any of you bothered reading this far, PLEASE reblog or leave a reply with your thoughts on my interpretation of these two characters and how you characterize them personally. I’m super crazy interested in the lore around these two (or lack thereof), which is why I created Texts From Dark And Anti in the first place. ^_^

NEW DIRECTION

How Louis Tomlinson survived the break-up of the world’s biggest boy band and became his own man

The Observer Magazine 25 Jun 2017

Photographs ALEX BRAMALL Fashion editor HELEN SEAMONS

Coming out of a dissolving boy band must be a bit like being an entrant in one of those dystopian jungle fights –a Hunger Games- style event in which bandmates are scattered across an unknown terrain and challenged to slog their lonely route back to fame. Justin Timberlake, after NSync, enjoyed the unsporting edge of natural talent and crushed his former colleagues. Robbie Williams looked supreme in the Take That scrimmage, at least until Gary Barlow circled back, gathered up the other three, and made the fight a more compelling four- on- one. By the time One Direction announced they were to go on indefinite hiatus in 2015, many of us were familiar enough with the conventions of boy-band bloodsport to start picking favourites for the coming melee.

Harry Styles – charming, a grinner – was best placed to succeed on his own. Big-lunged Zayn Malik was already out of the band by that time and had used his head start to good effect, preparing a solo album that went to No 1. Liam Payne and Niall Horan – always second-tier members – were given middling chances. And ranked last in any serious analysis, the most fitfully appreciated member of One Direction, was Louis Tomlinson. Here was a combatant you might expect to find curled up in a fox hole on the battlefield, pale and chain-smoking.

It is in roughly this position I find the 25-yearold, one afternoon earlier this summer. Slender, tracksuited, a little wan under his manicured facial hair, Tomlinson sits on a garden bench outside the photographer’s studio and rewards himself with an entire pack of cigarettes. “I know, I know,” he says of the smoking. “It’s not great. But there’s so much hurry-up-and-wait in this job. It helps me get ready to go again.”

I’ve often wondered why the fringe members of boy bands do this to themselves. Why they gather themselves to “go again”. As Tomlinson acknowledges, in One Direction he was seen by some as “forgettable, to a certain degree”. “The others have always been… Like Niall, for example. He’s the most lovely guy in the world. Happy-go-lucky Irish, no sense of arrogance. And he’s fearless. There are times I’ve thought: ‘I’d have a bit of that.’ Zayn, back in the day. He could relate to me on a nerves level. In the first year we were both the least confident. But Zayn has a fantastic voice and for him it was always about owning that. Liam always had a good stage presence, same as Harry, they’ve both got that ownership. Harry comes across very cool. Liam’s all about getting the crowd going, doing a bit of dancing…” And then there’s you. “And then there’s me.” Tracks from Tomlinson’s solo record have been playing inside the studio. They’re modest, rather lovely pop songs that in their quiet way seem to acknowledge his underdog status. Tomlinson lights another cig. “You know I didn’t sing a single solo on the X Factor,” he says, recalling the time back in 2010, when One Direction were first put together as a band on the ITV reality show. “A lot of people can take the piss out of that. But when you actually think about how that feels, standing on stage every single week, thinking: ‘What have I really done to contribute here? Sing a lower harmony that you can’t really hear in the mix?” He guesses, smiling wryly, that in those months he was best known as “The kid wearing espadrilles, stood in’t back.”

Not the best singer, not the high-energy guy, not the dude, Tomlinson discovered he was the one in the band who was most tuned into backstage logistics – the one who paid attention when “the 20th approval form” was passed around for a signature. “And if there was any bad news that needed giving to the label I’d always be designated to have the argument.” Later this would lead to Tomlinson founding a small record label of his own, Triple String, and to starting a side project managing a girl band. In his day job with One Direction, meanwhile, he toured the world, released five albums and amassed a large, equal-parts fortune like the rest of the boys. Somewhere en route, Tomlinson says, he found his feet as a performer. “In the last year of One Direction I was probably the most confident I ever was. And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!’”

Tomlinson argued against it, he says, when the band first sat down to discuss separation. “It wasn’t necessarily a nice conversation. I could see where it was going.” Tomlinson remembers his instinctive assumption being simple. He would step away – try writing for other people, keep his label going, wait the “two years, five years, whatever it be” until One Direction reformed. “If you’d asked me a year or 18 months ago: ‘Are you going to do anything as a solo artist?’ I’d have said absolutely not.”

What changed? If the management stuff made you happy, I say, why not sit back and focus on that? “But then I’d be conceding,” he says. Conceding to who? To what? He waves his hand in the air. He could mean anything:

Niall is the most lovely guy, Zayn has the voice, Harry is very cool, Liam gets the crowd going… And then there’s me

I honestly think they’ll write books about One Direction fans. They are so fanatical. The intensity. It’s remarkable

history, bandmates, doubters, the press. Tomlinson is quiet for a while and eventually says: “I’m trying to work out why it is that I’m [doing this], now that you’ve asked that question.” He fidgets and trials a few answers that run out of steam. “It’s frustrating, because I know what I want to say and I can’t articulate it.” He pats for his lighter. The odds are against this tilt, Tomlinson seems to understand. But as we start to talk through his reasons for at least trying, I find myself hoping that this Last Directioner makes an unlikely go of it after all.

pop industry has an ineREASON ONE . TH E luctable momentum, and the star who begins something ( like a skier inching off a hilltop) can quickly find themselves bound to ride out whatever thrills and trials comes next. Tomlinson gives the example of how he first became famous. Born in Doncaster in 1991 he was raised by his mother, Johannah Deakin, and later also by her new partner Mark Tomlinson. He was 16 when he went to his first X

Factor audition. Prompt rebuff. A year later he made it into the audition process, but still nowhere near the part where ambitious young singers are briskly embraced or condemned by that great gatekeeper of celebrity, Simon Cowell. In 2010 Tomlinson, twice unlucky, gave the auditions a final try.

“I told myself I’ve just got to get to Simon, get his opinion, that’s all my ambition was. Then all of a sudden everything changed. To my friends in Doncaster I would always say [getting into the band] was the most incredible thing that happened to me. And it was. But it happened when I was already having the best year of my life. I was 17, 18, just started driving, didn’t need fake ID any more, going to house parties. That’s the time. That’s the age. And to a certain degree… ‘Having it taken away’ is the wrong phrase. But there was a price to pay.”

He says his current efforts as a soloist came about in similar fashion. In 2016, Tomlinson had become a father. (His son, Freddie, “who I love so much”, was born after a brief relationship with a Californian stylist called Briana Jungwirth.) He had some other personal matters to work through and in the summer he went on holiday to Las Vegas to blow off steam. At a club the American DJ Steve Aoiki was playing. Tomlinson, giddy with delight from Aoiki’s set, suggested to the DJ they try writing something together. In career terms, he had inched off the hill again, without necessarily considering the gradient of the slope.

A few months later, Tomlinson says, a single he’d written with Aoiki was being rolled out for release through One Direction’s old record label, Syco. Tomlinson was booked in to perform it on live TV. “And I was, like: ‘Did I really think this through?’”

Which leads Tomlinson to reason two. He’s well aware he was fast-tracked into his music career. That, as a part of One Direction, he was only a piece of a “heavy machine”. And as a self-aware northerner, from a proudly working class family, this has left Tomlinson with residual guilt to answer about wealth and status that do not feel to him fully earned. “And I know, I know it sounds ungrateful. But I think about a man, on a nine-to-five, working his arse off for six months so he can go to his family and say: ‘Guys, I’m taking you to Disneyland.’ That moment… I’ll never have that in my family life. And I’ve worked hard. But I’ve never worked hard, not like that.”

Tomlinson says he has already sweated more for this record than any before. When you’re putting together material as a soloist, he says, you quickly learn that those hot-shot collaborators who once dribbled to work with One Direction no longer pick up the phone

so readily. “I couldn’t say to you now that I could definitely get a superstar writer in a session with me. And I understand that.” Tomlinson adds, with no real vinegar: “Harry won’t struggle with any of that.”

In their One Direction days, no question, Styles got the most attention. But all the boys had their devotees and Tomlinson wants to prove to his own fans – reason three – that he’s been worth the backing all these years. “I honestly think they’ll write books about One Direction fans,” Tomlinson says. “Because they are so fanatical. The intensity. It’s remarkable.”

Tomlinson cannot talk about it with me, not without getting into muddy legal waters, but there was recently a difficult episode involving a small crowd of fans at an airport in LA. He was travelling with his partner, Eleanor Calder, who is viewed with some distrust by the fiercest corps of Louis fans. Video footage seems to show Calder being surrounded and attacked by a group of girls. Tomlinson, unable to discuss the matter, says to me more generally that he hopes his new music will reveal to fans a more complete version of himself than before. “Honestly, it’s crazy. It’s hard for a lot of people who are fanatical to believe that you are a real entity and a person.”

Which brings us to reason four. Reason four Tomlinson discusses with caution. Reason four he enshrouds with disclaimers: that it is not his intention to tell “a sob story”, that “I don’t like people feeling sorry for me”. Reason four concerns his mum.

Johannah Deakin was diagnosed with leukaemia in early 2016. Tomlinson had been worried his luck would run out; that having been “dealt that amazing hand” to squeak into the last berth in One Direction, he was due some sort of equalising blow. And he gives a bleak little laugh when he recalls where he was when the terrible phone call came. “At Jamie Vardy’s wedding of all places. Talk about your places, for something super-traumatic. My mum told me, uh, yeah, that she was definitely terminal.”

They were unusually close. He recalls how she was often one step ahead “because she had the password to my email”. It was an intimacy he attributes to them being close in age. “I remember the day I lost my virginity. I hadn’t even told any of my mates and I was, like: ‘Mum? I know this is really weird. But I’ve got to tell you…’ I remember thinking this is a bizarre conversation to be having with your mother. But it’s testament to how comfortable she made me.”

When Deakin died, in December 2016, Tomlinson was only days away from the live gig he’d agreed to do on the X Factor. “I remember saying to her: ‘Mum, how the fuck do you expect me to do this now?’ And she didn’t swear much, my mum. She’d always tell me off for swearing. And this time she was like: ‘You’ve got to fucking do it, it’s as simple as that.’ It was football manager, team talk stuff.’” The footage of Tomlinson’s performance that weekend is hard to watch. When he first appears on the X Factor stage he looks rigid, almost plastic, with grief. He’s clearly able to lose himself in the three-minute drama of a pop song. And after that the colour drains right back out of his face.

Tomlinson smokes for a bit. He says: “I’m not gonna claim this is all for me mum. But it was definitely… It was…”

He thinks. Throughout his life, he says, his mum always had greater belief in him than he did. “Sometimes my reservation, or my confidence, might have prevented me from doing something. And I’ve needed a mum in the past to kick me up the arse and go: ‘You’re doing it.’”

The boy bander has his reasons, then. “I’ve enjoyed this,” he says. “An opportunity to talk super openly. Not, y’know, answer questions about who my favourite superhero is. I don’t feel I get that many chances.”

The pile of cigarette butts in front of him has mounted to quite a height. Tomlinson, seeming to notice it for the first time, mutters: “Sorry. I’ve been chaining.” His mum hated smoking, he says. Then he smiles. “Though I remember she had the occasional cigarette herself.”

He taps his lighter on the table and asks what I make of everything he’s said. “Do you think your readers are still gonna wonder: ‘Why doesn’t he just not do it?’”

I’m not sure, I tell him, trying to be honest. But let’s see.

The day I lost my virginity, I hadn’t even told any of my mates, and I was, like: ‘Mum? I know this is weird but I’ve got to tell you…’

Louis’s new single ‘Back To You’ featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals is coming soon

Is Kara Danvers really so bad at baking? (A short demi-serious Meta)

In episode 02x18 it is shown to us that Kara Danvers probably can’t bake to save her life, case in point:

(Spoiler: it may not be all your fault.)

and

Originally posted by captain-narraboth

Now, I start from the premise that our heroine isn’t used to bake much, supposition seemingly supported by the fact that she needs a video tutorial to bake whatever she is trying to bake (even at the 5th try), and the fact that after 5 botched attempt she still has no clue what’s wrong, so this post will not push the thesis that Kara is secretly a genius backer that for whatever reason got in a baking slump.

My thesis is that although Kara is at best a mediocre to passable baker there is a reason for what has been shown to us, and to know the culprit we have to go back in time of more than a year and an half (in universe time), and more exactly at episode 01x05:

As you can see from this frame from that episode we are told (through Eliza Danvers words) that Kara’s oven has some problems when Eliza can’t cook the Thanksgiving turkey properly with it (It is a heating problem? It is ventilation? Who knows! Can you feel the thrill of mystery?), so she has to ask Kara to use her heat vision to finish the cooking.


Now, I can already hear you say, “But, if the oven had problems surely by now she had it repaired or replaced!“

To this statement I reply with this frame I took from episode 02x08, set a year later during the next thanksgiving day (and around 8-9 months before the baking shenanigans), that makes me think that no, the oven is still sitting there with whatever is its problem unresolved:


and two days before, near the end of episode 02x07:


In conclusion, Kara’s oven needs to be repaired or to be trashed and probably she doesn’t use it much anyway.


(Disclaimer: I know the “oven saga” is simply an excuse for the writers to put a domestic heat vision scene here and there, but what is fandom if not a place where filling the gaps in the stories and expanding their worlds? Plus if you want to headcanon a not so terrible at baking Kara Danvers now you have a Canon reason).

Someone to Watch Over You: Part 2

Title: Someone to Watch Over Me: Part 2 (Bodyguard AU)

Series Masterlist

Author:  Dean’s Dirty Little Secret

Summary:  Dean begins to doubt his ability to protect you, while your resemblance to his wife continues to haunt him. You struggle to accept the protection you so obviously need.

Characters:  Dean Winchester, Female reader, Bobby Singer, Tiny, Sam Winchester (mentioned), Georgia (OFC), Melissa (OFC-mentioned), Charlie Bradbury, Tyson Brady

Word Count:  2954

Warnings:  mentions of blood, mentions of drinking, mild language

Author’s Notes: Inspiration taken from the Kostner/Houston movie The Bodyguard.

***My work is not to be posted on any other sites without my express written permission.***

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I'll Always Write Back [Connor Murphy x Reader]

Title: I’ll Always Write Back

Pairing: Connor Murphy x Reader

Fandom: Dear Evan Hansen

Requested: by the lovely @the-murphy-family

Summary: Connor and the reader are friends online, but then find out they’re neighbors too. The reader is homeschooled, so she has no way of hearing the rumors about him. They become best buds and hang out with each other everyday and eventually fall in love

A/N: This was waaaayyy longer than I wanted it to be, so my apologizes in advance. Thanks again to @the-murphy-family for such a fantastic prompt, I’m sorry I rushed the exposition so much. I had so much fun writing this! (If you aren’t already following their blog, I highly suggest it).

Warnings: Connor’s potty mouth | First person reader | Fighting Murphy siblings

It was almost bedtime by the time I’d messaged him. I hadn’t planned on it, by any means. We talked after I’d finished my lessons for the day–he’d skipped school, I saw, which I always thought was off considering his mother was home.

I’d changed into my pajamas–just an oversized t-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts–and had begun to tuck myself into bed when I saw him.

He’d left his blind open tonight, and through the window screen I could see him silhouetted perfectly, all the lights in his room blazing. It was nearing 9:30, so I wasn’t too shocked to find he was still awake. The houses were so close together on this side of town and, from the second story window, there was nothing but a four yard distance between our windows–and a drop nearly twice that length.

He was sitting on the edge of his bed, staring straight ahead, giving me a view of his profile, the sharp angle of his jaw, the thin slope of his nose, and the hard jut of his adam’s apple.

 What startled me enough to give pause was the fact he was unnervingly still, unblinking, staring at something I couldn’t see. He wasn’t working on homework or painting his nails or playing that silly candy crush game on his phone. He was just staring.

Too far away for me to make out his expression, I instead rolled over onto my bed, clicking the lights back on and pulling out my phone, opening up the Chat app we used on the daily.

To: Connor
From: Me

What’s up, buttercup?

I wished I could see him–there were certainly nights we sat by the window and messaged back and forth, but starting out that way would mean he knew I saw him lost in whatever pensive state he’d been in, which more often than not would mean he’d be less than willing to talk. In my lap, my phone buzzed to life.

From: Connor
To: Me

Isn’t past your bedtime or something? 

I snorted, starting my own reply before:

From: Connor
To: Me

Are you having trouble sleeping again?

Swallowing thickly, I immediately replied:

To: Connor
From: Me

No, I’m fine. Just bored, checking to see if you were too :)

I tried to wait, give Connor a moment to compose whatever turmoil he’d been sitting in before I asked how he felt, otherwise I’d get a swift ‘okay’ and the conversation would take a dive bomb south at ridiculous speeds.

From: Connor
To: Me

If it’s nudes you’re looking for, sorry to disappoint, but I’m not in the mood tonight, kiddo

I choked, lunging forward in the bed to muffle my embarrassing squawk into my fist. Thank goodness my bed was out of sight of the window, or I’d have to watch Connor chortling at my less than appropriate reaction to his less than appropriate joke.

Connor and I had only been talking for about two months now, after I’d moved out here five months ago. Well, we’d been talking for nearly the entirety of the five months, but I’d only realized it was Connor not all that long ago.

To: Connor
From: Me

Oh no, whatever will I do without seeing your sculpted, rock-hard abs??? ;)

From: Connor
To: Me

Shut up, jerk off

I cackled into my fist, careful to not wake my siblings that slept in the next room over. It had taken a large amount of time to get used to Connor’s rather blunt personality, to put it pleasantly.  He’d always been candid, of course, ever since the first contact I’d had with him on the Chat app (“You swear you aren’t a pedophile, right? Or my dad? That’d be weird as fuck.”) and it had been thrilling to be with someone so open and ready to talk about things. The way he felt. The things he thought. The fact he was afraid.

We didn’t exchange photos for a long time–and I’d never seen Connor outside the house, other than the on and off times he’d flit across his bedroom window like a haunt, never knew his name–but the second his photo flashed on my screen, I knew. Even in the photo he hadn’t been smiling, the same stoic countenance he always wore.

He’d recognized my photo immediately, and had been less than thrilled. It took convincing–a lot of me showing up at the fence between our yards, very nauseous, promising it hadn’t been a mean joke–but he came around.

From: Connor
To: Me

You sure you’re good? You’re quiet

I smiled softly at my phone screen. It was a rare night when Connor had enough energy to be so concerned about others–it wasn’t his fault, I knew, he was just in a bad spot right now. The fact he could consider my feelings for more than a few moments felt remarkable, flattering. But, most importantly, it meant he was doing okay.

To: Connor
From: Me

I’m fine, pls don’t worry :)

To: Connor
From: Me

Are YOU okay?

From: Connor
To: Me

I’m fine, chill out

I rolled my eyes, unsurprised. Deflect and distract, his usually strategy.

From: Connor
To: Me

Can’t see you rn


From: Connor
To: Me

Come to the window

I sat up quickly, going over to shut out the light to blur my image to him. Combing my messy hair with my fingers, I tugged on my oversized shirt so that it covered my mostly exposed legs before throwing open the window and leaning out.

Connor, across the way, had already thrown his window open and was halfway leaning out, his face scrunched in confusion. He tapped something out on his phone, pausing every so often to tuck back the dark locks falling into his face. His other arm was braced on the window ledge, the sleeve of his hoodie pushed up to expose his bare forearms to moonlight, glowing a soft snow hue in the dark. My phone buzzed as he glanced back up at me with an open expression.

From: Connor
To: Me

Turn on the light, dumbass, I can barely see you

I smiled up at him, putting my phone aside to shake my head 'no’. He frowned, slumping down a little more against the window, his chest pressed to the ledge, before holding his arms up in a 'why not?’ and flipping me the bird.

I typed out a quick response to let him know that my parents thought I was asleep. I watched him read the text, watched his eyebrows furrowed over his deep-set slate eyes, saw him frown, heard him swear under his breath. I bit back a chuckle as he carded his hand through his hair in frustration several times.

I vaguely wondered why this made so little sense–most of our conversation up to this point had been centric of me, but Connor was visibly frustrated (not that he wasn’t frequently) and earlier he’d seemed much to absent to not be upset about something. My phone buzzed to life, casting a blue glow across my face, and I saw Connor’s face stretch in recognition, pleased to make out my expression in the dark.

From: Connor
To: Me

Meet me in the pool house

My heart jackhammered in my chest at the thought of it–sneaking out. He was crazy, he had to be. He knew my parents would murder me for being up this late, let alone sneaking out, and worst of all, meeting a boy.
Not just a boy. Connor.

I felt him watching me from across the divide, at the edge of my vision and could make out where he leaned against the window, propped up on his elbows and head in his hands, hair hanging in his face. Glancing up, meeting his stony gaze, I nodded.

It was immediate, earning a reaction from him. Biting back my chuckle, he scrambled up from where he kneeled against the window ledge, his whole face smiling as he ran from his window without looking back. He was already standing in his backyard, waving wildly before I’d even departed from the window.

I decided against redressing or doing my hair–Connor was waiting and the quicker I got out there the quicker I got back without alerting my parents to my absence. Besides, it was probably too dark in the pool shed for Connor to make out my bare face and frizzy hair anyway, let alone the hair on my legs and the stretch marks on my thighs. As if Connor had the nerve to look to begin with, I snorted.

Sneaking out was surprisingly easy, and Connor had left the gate cracked just enough for me to slip in between. The door to the pool shed–just a small building, hardly smaller than my bedroom, at the edge of the yard–was slightly ajar, and I saw quick movements coming from inside.

Once in the doorway, clicking the door shut behind myself, I heard a sharp intake of breath behind me.

“Connor?” I called, spinning in the dark so that my back rested against the door, ready to exit if necessary. My eyes searched the dark frantically–in vain. There was a small window, vaguely fogged from years of neglect that allowed a slim moon beam to shine in on a small pile of towels and blankets, a little bean bag chair. Connor had told me not too long ago he and Zoe hadn’t played in here for years, which meant it held secrets long forgotten by either of the Murphy children. I felt honored to be inside it.

“Hey,” he breathed, and though I could see him, I recognized his soft voice just to the right side of me, breathy and soft. It’s too dark to make him out, and I noticed he’s careful not to touch me, but I can feel his breath against my ear, warm despite the fact it’s chilly for a June night. I felt goosebumps pimpling along my legs, making the hair stand up on end. I silently thanked the universe for giving me the gift of darkness to veil myself in.

“Feels like it might rain,” I sighed, turning toward the sound of him, the warmth. My bare arms brushed something–maybe cotton, maybe not–but it pulled back immediately away from me, accompanied by a quick intake of breath.

“Christ, don’t talk about the weather,” Connor hissed into the dark, a hard thunk resonating through the shed where he must have leaned his head against the wall, a bit too forcefully. How very Connor of him. “That’s the kind of shit my dad says in the car when he acts like he’s uncomfortable to be near me for more than ten minutes at a time.”

“Sorry,” I muttered, leaning away, and turning to gingerly pick my way across the shed–it was getting late now and I was already beginning to get tired. Connor may be able to stay up until the early morning hours, but I definitely couldn’t be trusted to be awake at eleven.

“Fuck, don’t be sorry, I just meant–shit,” he growled, and I heard another sharp pang against the steel inside of the shed–he’d hit something with his fist, if the metallic clink of what I assumed to be his ring against the sheet metal was any indication.

I stumbled my way to the beanbag chair, collapsing, and letting myself sink into. It smelled a little like chlorine and sun-in hair dye, but it was soft and warm, almost the size of a double bed. I wiggled upright, squinting again to see Connor in the dark now that I took up the only patch of moonlight in the building.

“You aren’t feeling alright, are you?” I asked softly, resting my cheek against the faux suede of the chair, struggling to keep my eyes open. There was a pause.

“That’s not why I asked you over,” he sighed in his tennor, stomping across the room, picking his way, until he flopped down beside me, displacing the insides of the chair and nearly rolling me out of it.

He reached forward with another soft swear, grabbing my shoulder blades to yank me back onto the bean bag bed, rolling me close so that I wouldn’t fall again. I laughed, unsure what was so funny–maybe it was the fact I’d nearly catapulted out of the chair due to all five pounds of Connor “Ribcage” Murphy, or the current situation, my face pressed against the soft cotton of his hoodie, his heartbeat steady and strong against my cheek. I didn’t move away.

To my surprise, Connor didn’t move away either, just kept both arms wrapped around me, hands firmly in place of my scapula as if scared to dip any lower. I felt the dip of his chin against my temple, felt his lips against my scalp.

“Aren’t you freezing?” He whispered, rubbing quick circles between my shoulder blades.

“Quit dodging my question, Con,” I hissed, beginning to pull away before Connor tightened his grip–surprisingly strong for a boy with such lithe wrists.

“But you are cold,” he muttered, slipping one hand down from my shoulder to my bare arms, rubbing in quick patterns there, attempting to make some sort of friction between us.

God, my parents would kill me if they saw me now.

I want to he clear I wasn’t under any pretenses–this wasn’t, er, Connor hadn’t called me out here so that we could, well–

“I’m fine, Connor,” I promised, taking advantage of the moment to fold my arms against him, trapping them between the heat of our bodies, letting my cheek rest idly against his chest. Connor didn’t like me, I knew, but in the dark shed…well, it was easy to pretend.

It was always easy to pretend to be someone else with Connor.

“You wanna talk about what’s going on with you right now?” I said with a false bravado, thumping his chest lightly with my fist. “You can’t hide anything from me, Connor Murphy. I know you too well.”

“You don’t know anything, dumbass,” he grumbled half-heartedly, and I felt him lean forward to press his face into my hair. “You don’t know shit.”

“So you’re lying to me?” I baited with a smile, tapping his chest, feeling his frustrated sigh and rewarding him with a light laugh. “I didn’t think so. I’m here for you, you know.”

“I know,” he growled, sighing heavily, taking one hand off my back to push his hair away, before letting me go entirely to roll onto his back. His thin fingers covered his face, the black fingernails scratching frustratedly against his pale face. “I just–I don’t, I don’t know how to–shit.”

I leaned forward to tap his chest again, letting him know I was here. “Just talk it out. I’m not going anywhere, I promise.”

He shocked me by reaching forward with one hand, knotting his fingers with my own and letting them linger against his chest. I was grateful he couldn’t make out my expression from his position, grateful for the fact he couldn’t feel my face flush. I’d never been this close with a boy in my life, and Connor knew that. He wasn’t being fair, and I was sure he knew that too.

Unless he didn’t. Connor had a bad habit of selling himself short. I bit back the urge to press a kiss to his bony knuckles.

“I know,” he whispered, voice suddenly hoarse. He was worse than I thought. “Um, it’s harder now? I guess. I trust you–I mean, I always trusted you. It’s um, it’s harder because the anonymity is gone, I guess? I’m worried now that you know who I am–what I am–you’re gonna get bored of me?”

I didn’t laugh this time. His voice was thick and rapid as if he couldn’t hold back the word vomit, like he’d been holding it back for a while. My own throat felt thick, and I couldn’t contain the guilty feeling in my stomach. I rolled forward, wrapping my arms around his thin waist, feeling his hip bone press against mine sharply. I was careful not to look at his face–it’d shut him down for sure.

“Connor…I need you just as much as you need me, you know that right?” I whispered, trying too hard not to let him hear the panic in my voice.

“I know,” he rasped shallowly, sounding oddly wet. He was crying, I realized stupidly. My heart constricted in my chest, my stomach dropping. He was in pain and I had barely noticed. This was all my fault.

“And even if I didn’t need to vent, if I didn’t need your support, I’d still talk to you because I like you, Connor. You’re my friend. You’re a good person,” I whispered.

“Shut up.”

“You are,” I continued. “You’re a great person and you’re always looking after me, even when you’re hurt. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, Connor, I’m so sorry I didn’t notice–”

“I’m not hurting! Shut up!”

“Shhhh,” I hushed, sitting up to remind him to be quiet. “You’re parents are gonna–”

His face was red. His nose and lips were swollen, wet, and his cheeks, flecked with silver freckles glowing lightly in the moonlight beam he laid in, and there were tear tracks running from the corners of his eyes.

“Connor,” I cried softly, reaching up to wipe his cheek. “Please–”

“Shit, I’m sorry,” he sobbed wetly, hands folding up to cover his face. “Just fucking get out, okay? This was a mistake.”

“Hey, hey,” I soothed frantically, reaching up to pet his hair, hoping that it might make him unfold himself. “I’m not leaving until you tell me what’s wrong. I’m gonna help, Connor, whatever you need. I want to help you, please.”

“I’m not your responsibility, kid, okay? You can leave. Stop looking at me, Christ.”

“No,” I sighed. “Look, if you don’t wanna talk, that’s okay. That’s okay. Just, let me stay, okay? I’m not judging you, I’m not gonna leave, I promise. I’m here for you. Let me be your friend.”

He shook underneath me, holding in sharp sobs. I wondered how long it’s been since he let himself fall apart like this, let himself have some kind of catharsis, let himself feel, period.

This relapse was good. It was under control. I was here. I had him.

“Okay,” he whispered finally, reaching up to tangle his hands in my hair. “Christ, just–don’t tell anyone, okay? Don’t laugh.”

“I won’t,” I promised. “I’m not. I’m here, okay? You don’t have to talk.”

“Okay. Okay…thanks.”

I might have imagined it, as I lowered my head back to his chest, might have imagined in between the soft presses of his fingers as they moved in and out of my, might have imagined, just briefly, the feeling of his lips pressed against my hair.

———-

The next morning was awkward. My parents and siblings showed no knowledge of the fact I’d snuck out to see Connor last night–it wasn’t as if they weren’t aware we were friends, to my parents chagrin and the Murphys’ delight, but I didn’t need them to think we were involved in some sort of torrid tryst, especially one we weren’t even having.

I left a few hours after Connor had slowly ceased his wet and much needed lament and his breathing had turned into a soft snore. I untangled myself from his arms, and leaned back for awhile to watch him sleep, tried to ignore how angelic he looked, red faced and weepy with silver freckles glowing mutely in the patch of moonbeam.

I’d sent him a quick text to let him know I wanted to return before my parents woke up, let him know I’d be by the next day. Told him to  message me if he wanted to talk again.

Now I was waiting for my mother to finish grading my papers for the day so I could to see Connor, who didn’t have school today thanks to some silly teacher institute, lucky loser. The American school system was a joke, to be quite honest.

“You’re jumpy,” my mother noted, scribbling something in the margins of my paper without looking up at me.

“I was gonna ask if I could go over to the Murphy’s? I haven’t talked to Zoe in a long time,” I asked sheepishly, scratching at my arm.

“And Connor, hmm?” My mother hummed thoughtfully, giving a smirk to my workbook.

“Connor’s cool,” I said honestly, nonetheless feeling a guilty lump rise in my throat.

“He’s a good boy,” she mused. “He always helps me with groceries if he’s outside.”

“Which is never,” muttered one of the younger kids, earning a kick under the table from me. My mom just smiled softly.

“Go ahead, honey. Call if you’re going to be longer than an hour.”

I thanked her, nearly sprinting out the door, my twin braids slapping against my back as I skipped between the yards. Zoe was at the door before I knocked, leading me into the kitchen, announcing me loudly in a way that would’ve earned a talking to at my house.

Cynthia appeared in the doorway, looking radiant, albeit a bit tired. Her face smiled brightly at me.

“Honey! It’s so good to see you, it’s been so long since you’ve stayed for dinner–Larry, tell Connor she’s here!–Zoe’s missed you, you should stay the night, right Zoe?–Larry, call Connor–Would that be alright with your parents? Stay for dinner then stay the night? I can run out and rent some movies and snag a pizza–Larry!

Zoe just rolled her eyes, yanking me down the steps past her mother and into the basement. Her grip on my arm was vice like, almost painful and definitely excessive. Her pretty red hair blew up in my face, making the already dark room even harder to see through the haze of her auburn locks. She practically shoved me onto the couch, following me by slamming down beside me.

“Zoe–”

“I saw you last night.”

My pulse hammered in my throat, and I felt all the blood rush swiftly to my face, making me dizzy.

“What?”

“I saw you. I told Mom. I don’t think Dad–”

“What do you mean?” I gasped, throwing my hands between us. Zoe blinked rapidly.

“You and Connor. In the shed. Last night. Christ, it was only ten, you could’ve been sneaky about it–”

“Zoe, we didn’t do anything,” I pleaded. God, if the Murphys knew, they’d tell my parents–

“You don’t really expect me to believe that, do you?” She sighed, pushing her hair back out of her eyes. “Whatever, okay? You don’t have to tell me, I don’t give a shit as long as you aren’t pregnant. Just–because you’re my friend, I want you to know some things. Are you gonna listen?”

I thought better than to argue with Zoe, so I nodded shyly.

“Look, I know you and Connor are friends. That’s fine, whatever. But you don’t see Connor at school. You don’t see Connor here, not really. Not what he’s like when you aren’t here.”

I felt my heart constrict. She was going to try to convince me to stop talking to Connor.

“He’s mean. You don’t think it’s weird you’re his only friend? He’s a bully. He’s lazy. He’s violent, Christ–he’s my brother, I love him. But you shouldn’t…you shouldn’t take him seriously, okay? One day his temper is gonna flip and you’re gonna be in his way.”

I blinked, stunned that Zoe would say something so slanderous about her own brother.

“I don’t understand,” I said softly, staring across at her. It was no wonder Connor was so upset, why he had to reach out to strangers on the Internet to vent. His own home was a war zone.

Zoe sighed heavily. “You aren’t at school. You don’t hear the rumors. You don’t see the things he does. If you wanna be friends, fine, but…be careful. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near your heart.”

I didn’t argue with Zoe–I thought better of it. So I just nodded.

“Thanks for, um. Thanks for the warning,” I said with a thick voice, struggling to maintain sincerity.

“You’re welcome,” she sighed. “Mom thinks you’re dating. She’s over the moon. It’s disgusting.”

“I thought you thought we were dating,” I pried, raising an eyebrow. Zoe rolled her eyes, hitting me with a deadpan expression.

“As if Connor could ever get someone like you. As if Connor could even feel something remotely close to love–I’m half convinced his chest is an icebox,” she laughed dryly.

“Talking about me, are we?”

We both spun, wide eyed to see Connor on the stairs, arms folded.

“No, go ahead, I’ll wait. I love hearing stories about myself. Tell me again Zoe about how I’m in love with her?” He hissed, making my face burn red in shame. I felt awful for letting Zoe talk about him that way–worse because Connor made it painful clear he didn’t reciprocate any feelings I might’ve had for him.

Wait. I didn’t have feelings. Connor was a friend. A good friend. A friend who needs me and who doesn’t deserve to be taken advantage of, not until he’s okay. Not ever.

“Never said that,” Zoe said with a smirk, rising from the couch gracefully. “But keep digging your grave, it’s fun to watch.”

“Fuck you,” he growled.

“Fuck you,” she grinned. “I’d love to watch your train wreck love admission, Titanic is on, and at least that story has a happy ending.”

Connor kept a white knuckled grip on the banister as she passed, as if holding in an urge to push her. He kept his blazing eyes downcast, and noted his pale cheeks were burning red.

“What’d she tell you?” He whispered once the door slammed.

“Nothing true,” I promised, leaning forward on the couch to make room for him, patting the seat beside me. “Nothing that changed my mind.”

His head snapped up, and I watched his expression go from rage to disbelief to awe before he descended the stairs, shaking. He stopped before the couch, as if scared to come near me, staring down in awe.

“What did my mom say to you?”

I shook my head. “Not much. She asked if I could spend the night. Only if you want me to, though.”

He laughed, but the smile didn’t quite reach his face. “Only if I want you to, Christ, where did I find you?”

“The Internet,” I reminded, earning another laugh.

“Of course I want you to,” he sighed, finally coming to sit beside me. “Of course I want–”

He cut himself off, surprising me, before slinging an arm around my shoulder. I stiffened, but eventually melted against him, reminding myself that it was just Connor.

“You wanna watch a movie? I hear they’re playing Titanic or something.”


——

It’s two am when I wake up, taking a quick mental assessment of where I am. There’s a soft blue glow burning my eyes, shining over what appears to be a nest of blankets piled roughly on the floor.

The Murphy’s basement, I realized with a jolt, I’m just at the Murphy’s.

I’m in a pair of Connor’s pajamas–Zoe’s clothes don’t quite fit me right–an oversized black shirt and a pair of sweats Cynthia brought down in a laundry hamper. My braids have long since come loose, the desperate curls tangling wildly around my head.

Beside me, Zoe is snoring, almost comically, every so often a nostril whistles in time to the soft sound of Dexter’s Lab playing on the tv.

There’s a hand, dangling just above my head. The pale fingers were curved artistically, the nails too short as if they’ve been bitten recently and the black nail polish chipped hopelessly. It’s attached to an arm, long and thin, almost angular, and up farther is a shoulder, bare, pressed against a red coffee stained couch.

Connor.

“You’re awake,” he whispered in a conspiratory voice, but when I sat up to make contact, there’s no sly smirk. He’s frowning. “You are having trouble sleeping.”

I shook my head. “Stop worrying about me, Connor.”

“No,” he rasped, sitting up on the couch. I avoided looking too long at his bare chest, but regardless indulged nonetheless.

“You haven’t been sleeping,” I noted, coming to sit by him on the couch. He immediately opened the blanket, giving me room to slide in beside him, before throwing it around both of us so we could settle back against the couch. His bare skin was warm, and I let him take both my hands between his, letting him rub my hands between his in an attempt at some warmth.

“Been thinking too much,” he sighed softly. “Don’t worry about it.”

I swallowed, beginning to feel the effects of sleeplessness and helplessness melt together in a fatal concoction.

“I can’t help if you don’t let me, Connor,” I reminded him, pressing closer. “Let me help. What are you thinking about?”

He leaned away, as if I’d burned him, dropping my hands into his lap and looking away, the thin muscle of his cheeks hollowing as he clenched his jaw. “Can’t say.”

“Connor,” I pleaded. “Please let me help. I want to. I’m begging.”

“No,” he growled. I felt tears beginning to build, to my own horror, behind my eyes.

“Connor, can you just–”

You.”

It was an explosion. We both froze, turning in horror to glance at Zoe, waiting to breathe until we heard the soft whistle of her nose again. I turned slowly, terrified back to Connor. His eyes were wide, and if I didn’t have my fingers wrapped around his knee, I swore he might try to run.

“Me?” I asked softly, careful not to wake Zoe. Connor pursed his lips, his jaw twitching nervously.

“Fuck, yes, you, just–shit, I didn’t wanna say that–”

I leaned away, watching Connor’s face contort farther.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered heatedly. “I’m sorry if I did something wrong. You want me to go, right? I’m really sorry, Connor–”

“What?” He nearly yelled. “You think–fuck.”

His head ducked, to my great surprise, against my shoulder, pressing his face into the crook of my neck and, of all things, began to laugh.

“Connor–”

“You think–Christ, it’s like you aren’t even real. You think I’m mad at you?”

He pulled away, his face no longer red or swollen, just smiling softly at me, almost awe struck, and staring intently with his slate eyes.

“I…I’m not sure?” I whispered, but not feeling at all nervous when Connor snaked his hands gently up my arms again.

“You’re perfect,” he whispered suddenly, shocking me. “And you have no idea that you’re perfect. Christ.”

I frowned. “Connor. I don’t…I don’t think I understand.”

But he was still looking at me–eyes scanning slowly over my face, landing suddenlyhalf-lidded on my lips, and it suddenly all clicked into place. Why Zoe would warn me. Why Cynthia acted the way she did. Why Connor was so scared in the first place.

I remember Zoe saying how over the moon Mrs. Murphy was at the idea of Connor and I dating–because that meant Connor would have me. It meant Connor would be happy.

It meant I would have Connor.

It was like a sudden dam had broken open inside me, filling me with more revelations as Connor’s hands lifted to cup the back of my head, his eyes soft, scared, and asking as they met mine. I let a quick exhale before I surged forward, slamming out mouths together much too forcefully, and not at all enjoyably.

I laughed–much too loud–but Connor kept back to the task at hand, his eyes closed in concentration, swallowing my outburst and folding me against his (very, very bare) chest and kissing me deeper, slower. It was painfully obvious he didn’t know what he was doing, but so much about the kiss was still tender and important, warming me from my core outward until I was scratching to wind my arms around him, getting him as close to me as I possibly could, kissing back to make sure he knew how much I wanted this. How much I wanted him.

How much I needed him. Anything he needed, I’d give him. Now and forever and–

“If you two are gonna fuck, can you do it in the bathroom or something? I’m trying to sleep.”

Connor and I pulled apart–causing me to stumble backwards against the arm of the couch gracelessly and staring at Zoe as she rolled over with her back to us.

I dared a peek back at Connor, whose lips were pink and wet despite their dry skin splitting with the force of his wide, wide smile.  His eyes were glowing brightly, almost burning as he raked them over me. The flannel blanket was pooled behind his back where it had been wrapped around us, and he just simply opened his arms again, inviting me back. His pale chest–pock marked with freckles, clusters on his ribs–was striped with pink lines from where my fingers had raked in a desperate attempt to give him validation.

I crawled forward, pressing my face against his neck in a hazy attempt to bring my breathing back to a normal speed.

“You okay?” I asked, running my fingertips over his shoulders, fighting the urge to word vomit an unholy collection of questions about who and what we were. Connor Murphy, post kiss. Connor Murphy, still life, smiling with wet, swollen, bloody lips. Connor Murphy standing at the edge of happiness, jumps over the ledge.

He nodded against me, fighting with his own dark curls where they made an attempt to cloud my cheeks in an adoring way. Cute, I decided.

“Okay? I’m,” he sighed, laughing and wrapping his arms around me to squeeze tightly. “I’m…you have no idea.”

“Better than nudes?” I teased. He snorted, embarrassed.

“I’m positive. Although–”

I hit him.

“Okay, kidding! Jeez…” he pulled away, cupping my face lightly, pushing the hair back out of my eyes like I was a child. It felt fantastic, he was right, as I searched through the galaxies in his eyes, his pale skin illuminated by the hazy blue glow of the television. It felt so far past amazing, being held like I was the only person he knew how to see. He cleared his throat, and I saw his eyes were brimming with an emotion I couldn’t name.

“You, uh,” he laughed nervously under his breath. “You have to know I love you.”

It was a startling blow, knocking all the air out of me and forced a bubbling laugh to fly out of my lungs. Connor’s smile wavered slightly, so I popped up to press a soft kiss to the cleft of his chin.

“I know,” I sighed, giddy with the realization it was true. “I know. And you know I trust you more than anyone. You know I love you.”

It was like watching him crack open, the way all the uncertainty was cleared from his face, a wave of joy and triumph.

“You love me?” He asked so softly, so awestruck, I felt my heart shake in my chest. I’d barely started to nod before he surged forward to kiss me again, small and chaste pecks across my face and neck, the bridge of my nose, my temples.

He was okay. We were okay. We were going to be just fine.

- ̗̀  plots inspired by divide // ed sheeran  ̖́-

under the cut you’ll find possible plots for every single song ( 16  )  +1 extra for supermarket flowers from the album ‘divide’ by ed sheeran. everything can, of course, be altered to your likings as these were just some of my ideas. i linked the songs so that you can be inspired a little more as you’re reading the plot!

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You Get What You Give (Long Distance)

Requested: Yes

Summary: Where Harry’s just begun his solo career and performing is everything that he’s ever dreamed of; he can’t help but feel so alone sometimes though. Feeling as though everyone has someone, and he’s so out of the loop with his love life that it brings an imbalance. However, you can’t take everything and expect to give nothing in return or for everything to be ok for forever.

Word Count: 1,700

Pairing: Harry Styles x Fem!Reader

Warnings: Desperation, Reference to sex, Loneliness, Cursing

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