oh and the specs

What really sucks about the way Joss Whedon writes is that he sort of has this idea that if he writes about women being strong and confident, that is all it takes for women to appreciate his work. Like, even if the villain constantly belittles a woman for being a woman and people are constantly harassing her and sexualizing her, it’s okay because she’s strong and she can take it.

The biggest difference between Whedon’s version of Wonder Woman and Jenkins is that in Whedon’s version Wonder Woman is A Woman. She (and the audience) must be constantly aware that she is a Woman, that she is Sexy, that she is overcoming incredible odds because she has the terrible disadvantage of Being Born A Woman.

Whereas in Jenkins’ film Diana simply exists. There are some points made by other characters about her being a woman, like when Steve won’t sleep with her because he feels it’s improper, or when his secretary says, “Oh yes, put specs on her, like after that she won’t be the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen”, but Diana is almost completely unaware of her status as a Dreaded Woman. Her excitement over a baby? She’s literally never seen one before. Her little makeover seen? Spends the whole thing looking for something comfortable she can fight in. She basically never mentions the difference between men and women, never even says that women are better or whatever because she was raised by them. 

Joss Whedon would have never let Wonder Woman forget she was a Woman. She would have constantly been making comments about it, wether positive or negative, as would everyone around her. In Whedon’s heyday that might have flown a lot better, but now women seem to be a little sick of grrrrl power. They just want power. They just want to exist, both on screen and in life, without constant reminders that they are Women and that they must pay for that at every turn.

NERVOUS | RACE HIGGINS

RACE X READER

[NEWSIES]

REQUEST(S): “Tough AF Brooklyn chick is pined after by Race Higgins” - anon

“Hey could you write something with a badass girlsie who the boys are kind of afraid of? Sorry it’s kind of vague I just don’t see many SUPER badass ones. Maybe she beats up the delancey brothers by themselves and the boys are like WTF?!!! And could it be racetrack x reader? Love you tons your writing is amazing!!” - @impractical-impala

SUMMARY: In which Y/N makes Race nervous

A/N: ayyyye guess who finally wrote something? but seriously, i can’t write fight scenes??? like idk how to do that so sorry if this sucks :( also, i know Y/N isn’t like super super bad ass in this so sorry about that too, i’m not really sure how to write that either. hope you like it though!

__________

Y/N was headed to Manhattan to deliver a message from Spot to Jack Kelly. She’d already finished selling her papes for the day, and Spot trusted her the most out of all the other Brooklyn newsies. It was a simple (stupid, in her opinion) message, but she didn’t mind taking a walk on such a nice day. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and there was a nice breeze.

She’d come to Manhattan a few times before, and if prompted she would begrudgingly admit that, besides Brooklyn, it was her favorite part of New York. It didn’t hurt that she liked a couple of the Manhattan newsies. Jack was enjoyable, Crutchie was too sweet not to like, and Specs was endearing. Then, of course, there was Racetrack Higgins, who flirted with her endlessly. She pushed him away or ignored his efforts every time, but he kept coming back. She found that she didn’t mind too much. She found she also didn’t mind that he - that all of them were a bit scared of her.

When she made it closer to the Manhattan lodge, she could feel eyes on her. On instinct, she took in her surroundings, searching for whoever was watching her. Spot made jokes a lot about how she was like a guard dog, always tense and ready to attack. Slowly, she walked towards an alley, listening to their footsteps as they followed her.

Once they were tucked into the alley, away from all people, she whipped around. In front of her stood Morris and Oscar Delancey, grinning menacingly.

“Wouldya look at that? It’s one o’ dem Brooklyn goil newsies,” Morris spoke.

“Brooklyn? Ya think she’ll put up a fight?” Oscar asked. They were acting like she wasn’t there, but their eyes stayed trained on her. She was waiting for them to move first before she did anything. If she hadn’t already guessed their intentions when they followed her into the alleyway, she sure as hell knew them now.

They both took a few steps toward her and she slowly clenched her hands into fists. The closer they got, the more she tenses up. The second Oscar’s hand brushed her arm, she landed a punch right on his jaw. He stumbled backwards, but Morris came charging toward her. He threw a punch but she dodged it, kicking him in the shin. Oscar was back up and he grabbed her from behind, locking her arms behind her back. She lifted her leg up and swung it backwards, kicking him in the crotch.

He let out a groan and fell backwards, hands covering the area she had hit. Morris came at her again, but she grabbed his suspenders and pulled him down so she could knee him in the stomach before punching him in the head. He dropped to the ground with a bloody nose and wavering consciousness. Oscar tried one more time, but all it took was one swipe at his legs with her foot and he was down.

“Woah.” She looked up to find Crutchie and Race at the opening of the alley, staring in awe at both her and the Delancey brothers lying on the ground.

“Mush came ta get us,” Race explained. “Said the Delancey brudders had followed some goil into an alley and they ain’t lookin’ too friendly.”

“We came to help,” Crutchie clarified, smiling slightly.

“Thanks, but I think I got it handled.” Crutchie laughed loudly, but Race continued to stare at her. His eyes were wide and his mouth hung open slightly. If she had been really thinking about it, she would’ve realized he looked a little love struck. “You boys wanna walk me to the lodge? I got a message from Spot for Jack.”

Race nodded quickly, closing his mouth and erasing his previous expression from his face. As they walked, Crutchie stayed slightly in front and Race and Y/N walked side by side. Every so often Crutchie would glance back at the two of them walking in silence, grin, and then shake his head and look forward again. It was no secret to the Manhattan newsies how smitten Race was with Y/N.

When they reached the lodge Y/N was taken up to the roof to talk with Jack, leaving Race staring after her. All the other boys watched him, whispering and teasing.

“I’m gonna do it,” he spoke suddenly. The boys were silenced.

“Do what?” Specs asked nervously.

“I’m gonna tell Y/N how I feel.” His face was set and he was determined to finally tell her. Immediately, there were protests from the boys.

“She’ll punch you if you even try to touch her!” Someone shouted, warning mutters of agreement.

“She could kill you!”

“I heard once that ‘er and Spot got in a fight and nobody’s seen the guy since.”

“No way! I heard they found the body washed up under da bridge.”

“Would you lot shut up?!” Everyone was silenced by Race’s outburst. He looked nervous and he was wringing his hands. “I’m tellin’ her and that’s that, so you can stop blabbering 'bout it!”

__________

A little while later, Race was outside smoking to calm his nerves. The boys had convinced Y/N to spend the night rather than make the trek back to Brooklyn while it was gettin’ dark out. None of them doubted that she’d be able to hold her own, but Crutchie had pointed out that she looked tired and wouldn’t be at her best if something did happen. She had eventually (reluctantly) accepted the invitation.

He felt his heartbeat speed up as he thought of telling her how he felt. The boys were right, if he said the wrong thing he would most likely end up dead or severely injured. Wasn’t that some saying, though? Love hurts? Love. Because didn’t he love the way she could fight better than any boy he’d ever met? Don’t he love that she wouldn’t let anybody control her or undermine her? Didn’t he love the way she rolled her eyes when he winked at her? Didn’t he love how she hadn’t threatened him to make him stop flirting with her like she’d done to Romeo? That had to mean something good, didn’t it?

He whipped around suddenly, startled by a noise behind him. There she stood, an eyebrow and raised and her arms crossed as she looked at him.

“You got some big date comin’ up or somethin’?” She asked, joining him where he was sitting on the curb.

“W-What?” He could feel his hands start to shake slightly.

“You don’t usually smoke this late. Plus, you’re chewing that cigar like you ain’t eaten in weeks.” She wasn’t wrong, but he pleasantly surprised him that she noticed the change in his behavior.

“I actually been meanin’ to talk to ya,” he said, trying to calm his breathing. She nodded for him to continue and he took in a sharp breath. “Ya know how I’m always flirtin’ with ya?” She nodded again, furrowing her eyebrows. He could see the growing confusion in her eyes. “Well, I just - I wanted to make sure you ain’t gettin’ the wrong idea, 'cause I - ”

“I get it,” she cut him off. “You flirt with every goil, you ain’t tryin’ to settle down, blah blah blah.” She rolled her eyes but her words were harsh, and she looked almost angry. He gulped, this certainly wasn’t how he’d planned for this to go. “That all?”

“No.” She sighs and looked at him, absolutely no interest shown in her eyes. “No, no that’s not what I meant. That’s - that’s the idea I didn’t want to give you. I ain’t goin’ 'round flirtin’ with other goils, Y/N. It’s just you.” She wasn’t looking at him anymore, and she stayed silent. He felt his nerves spike up and launched into a quick ramble.

“I just mean that I really like ya, and I mean it’s fine if ya don’t like me - 'cause I really can’t expect ya to. And you know I just wanted to get it off my chest, 'cause it’s real hard bein’ 'round you and pretendin’ like I don’t have feelings for ya. You can punch me now, the boys said you would. Pretty sure that got a bet goin’ in there. Some say youse gonna hit me, other’s say I’m dead, and then, ya know, some of the boys said you had feelings for me to, which is completely -”

His anxious ramble was interrupted by her hand over his mouth. She was smiling slightly at him, amusement written all over her features.

“You’re cute when you’re nervous,” she whispered. “I’m gonna kiss you now, that okay?” He nodded quickly and she leaned in. Their lips met and it wasn’t rough like he’d expected it to be with her. She was kissing him gently, and her lips were soft. He kept his hands folded in his lap, tightly gripping his cigar. He was afraid to touch her without any spoken consent, but she had her hand cupping his cheek.

When they pulled away she laughed at the expression on his face. She looked nice when she wasn’t constantly waiting for someone to attack.

“So, who gets the money if I like you back?” She asked, smirking.

“Oh, um - just Crutchie.” He was still having trouble breathing, but for an entirely different reason. She smiled and let out another laugh at his answer.

“Perfect. He’s my favorite.”

“Not me?” Race joked, finally able to act like his non-nervous self. She grinned at the fake pout on his face.

“Sometimes,” she shrugged. He smiled and haphazardly threw his arm around her, feeling his heart pounding in his chest when she didn’t push him away.

“C'mon, lets go inside.”

home is wherever I’m with you

[read on ao3]

She isn’t one to back down from a fight, but Emma knows the feeling of the tide turning against her well enough to recognize the choice to drown or get out of the undertow.

Facing down the Black Fairy after getting hit so hard by a giant spider that she’s still seeing double – when her only ally here is someone who tried to murder her and banished her True Love to another realm- seems like something of a poor decision. And continuing on when said ally collapses into little more than a pile of robes beside her, while the Black Fairy monologues unceasingly about her overcomplicated plan to take over Storybrooke, is something Emma Swan simply does not have time for at the moment. A strategic retreat is definitely in order.

Keep reading

honestly? i have no idea what the fuck peoples’ damage is with the term “allosexual”. it’s like they think it was created specifically to insult them, like it has the implication of shaming people for having sex (they like to imply it shames gay people specifically), when in reality i have never seen a single a-spec person use it in a derogatory way. the only people who use it detogatorily are… aphobes, in order to mock and vilify a-spec ppl.

because it just means? “non-ace”? that’s literally what it means?? ive heard aphobes say “as soon as you say allo this discussion is over lmao” like wtf??? can u imagine “as soon as u utter the phrase ‘non-ace ppl’ in this discussion about asexuality the convo is over bye u fucking homophobe” bc that’s. that’s what you just said

the really funny part is i’ve been in ace communities long enough to remember when allo started catching on, before that it was just “sexual”. asexual v sexual, not asexual v allosexual. and then ppl started (rightly) pointing out how just saying “sexual people” could sound shaming and insulting, which is why “allosexual” was fucking coined in the first place. we need a word for this? it had the exact same meaning as “non-ace” before aphobes started trying to twist it into some sort of slur. ive seen on a byf “don’t follow me if you say allo unironically” - could you imagine seeing “don’t follow me if you say cis unironically”?

except that isn’t even really the best analogy, bc it could be taken to imply that allos have “allo privilege” over a-specs the way cis ppl do over trans ppl, which, let’s get this out of the way, has never been the case and no one who’s educated on the matter has ever made that claim. but lateral aggression is very much a fucking thing, so maybe a better analogy is “binary” vs “nonbinary”, as in binary trans person vs nb person. ( and before anyone jumps on me for this, yes i am trans and nonbinary and i have a right to bring this into the discussion.)

cld you imagine if. all of a sudden everyone was saying “you can’t say binary, it’s a transphobic slur”, “lmao 'binary’?? you fucking transphobe”, “don’t follow me if you call trans men/women binary”, “are you saying they have privilege over you for being 'binary’???”, “look this asshole thinks trans men/women are oppressing NBs by being trans”.

but no, “binary” and “nonbinary” are terms that exist because they are useful and necessary for intracommunity discussions, because each group faces different challenges and experiences, and it’s language we need to talk about those experiences and engage in dialogue.

not to shame anyone or imply anything about someone’s privilege.

that’s why allosexual(/alloromantic) exists. why is this a problem to anyone.

oh, yeah, that’s right, to demonize a-spec ppl and paint them all as homophobes in a nonsensical smear campaign.

i’m tired.

What she says: I’m fine

What she means: ok, but for real, who IS Specs? I mean according to his canon lines in the show and most general headcanons based on the cliché “sweet lil glasses nerd” trope, he’s really considerate and loyal and softspoken. Like this boy saw that the paper price was up and decided “huh maybe I’ll save my manhattan buddies the trip and check out the journal. oh diddly darn cheese and crackers it’s hiked up over there too”. But in the tour version, he’s the one that breaks in and out of the Refuge to get Crutchie’s letter. NOT JACK, the escaped convict. The only person ever known to “beat” the Refuge. Not the legendary Jack Kelly. Oh no. Freakin Specs McSweetiepants straight up BREAKS IN AND OUT OF JAIL to deliver a LETTER to this distraught sack of wild-west-themed emo fuck. Like. How does he know how to do that?? What has my baby known?? And then remember Jack’s super duper top secret art that reveals his soft tender side that he doesn’t even show Crutchie during the prologue?? - NO. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT HIS ANGSTY PICASSO SHIT EXCEPT THIS BRAINY SMURF-ASS MOTHERFUCKER who sells out scary big bro Jack for LITERALLY NOTHING. Like did Katherine even ask??? Or was Specs just being beyond petty like “bitch you think that’s bad you should see these scribbles he does while blasting mcr on the roof and getting a noise complaint its fuckin pathetic” AND JUST LEAKED ALL THIS GARBAGE LIKE THIS BITCH AINT LOYAL BY ANY MEANS HUFFLEPUFF MY ASS. WHO. THE FUCK. IS. SPECS.

Noctis: Oh come on Specs, that spell just made us switch bodies. It’s not a big deal. It’ll wear off again.
Ignis: It very much is and we have to solve this problem immediately.
Noctis: Could you… maybe lower my fringe? I don’t like seeing my forehead.
Ignis: Certainly not. I’ve always been wondering how you can fight like this anyways.

Noctis: Might as well stay like that. You’d make a better king anyways.
Ignis: Nooooct!


Or something like this. Was in my head, had to get it out.

so my 9yr old brother watched newsies

here are some choice quotes (i only started taking them down a bit through):

  • talking about the delancey brothers fighting the newsies to stop them from striking “those two against these guys? they have no CHANCE”
    “those guys against just jack dont even have a chance!’
    "BOTH OF THEM HAVE LESS OF A CHANCE BEATING UP JACK THAN ALL OF THESE GUYS”
  • i told him specs’ name and he remembered it and i got excited and he said  “how could i forget specs”
  • “i love specs”
  • when les smashes the delanceys heads together “yeah. YES LES”
  • “jack just looks BADASS!!!!!”
  • goons show up  “who are they? the brooks?”
  • “oh… more boys to beat them up”
  • “i would LOVE to be in this fight”
  • davey, rolling the barrel with les "DAVEY DIDNT KNOW… HE DIDNT KNOW HE WAS IN HERE”
  • romeo gets punched  “WHAT THE FUCK. ROMEO JUST GOT THE ASS WHOOPED OUT OF HIM" 
  • he kind of just talked about crutchie all through santa fe he was so upset that crutchie was gone
  • "cutchies gone”
  • “I WANT CRUTCHIE BACK” x3
  • “I NEED SPANKS! AND FRESH AIR!" 
  • "wait… is it specs or spanks?”
  • “I HAVENT SEEN HIM? WHERE IS HE” asking where specs is in the middle of santa fe because he couldnt remember him in the fight
  • me: “theres specs” him: “WHERE?”
  • katherine talks about the front page “but what about crutchie”
  • as king of new york begins  “race… its just race" 
  • "jacks at his…. air quotations PENTHOUSE” “specs… i dunno just… look at him . hes up on a table”
  • specs doing his fast tapping  “was he the one like TELLELELELELELLELE" 
  • they all start tapping at once  "oh jeez… sick" 
  • “what’s her name” he forgot katherines name in the middle of king of new york
  • king of new york ends “is that the end???”
  • romeo walking on his hands  "YEAH GO ROMEO" 
  • letter from the refuge… “OH. HES IN PRISON. JACK ESCAPED FROM THAT PLACE”
  • i guess i wasnt much help anyway “oh shut up. you were. well you couldnt have done anything” (i cried when he said this)
  • ‘oh yeah jack, this is crutchie by the way’ “snort who else would he think it was? just saying”
  • your brother, crutchie “ oh… OH YEAH”
  • “is that jack? whats he doing? oh hes a painter now”
  • “i like danny” (danny?) “davey" 
  • "hes happy because hes like a little brother…” talking about les and jack. rip davey
  • “I SWEAR SHE LIKES DAVEY MORE THAN JACK. IM JUST SAYING. or she mores friends with davey than jack" 
  • in watch what happens reprise  "theyre like the four main characters. oh and crutchie. its just that hes not here”
  • “THATS HIS DAUGHTER? HIS DAUGHTER?”
  • when jack said that pulitzer stinks  “he sounds like a little kid” and then imitated jack
  • pulitzer says cowboy or convict “ cowboy then. YIPEEYAW, PCHEW PCHEW”
  • what they doing? OH ITS BROOKLYNS! its the brooklyn people! but its actually just them. oh no… the front row… that guys the same guy as before. points at spot (me: hes not new) oh but points at elmer that guys not new. brooklyn. howd they get brooklyn. HOW COME BROOKLYN ARE THE TOP NEWSIES?
  • when jacks not at the strike ‘is that davey? daveys the new man, right?’
  • “everyones afraid of… of jack now right”
  • jack and katherine kiss  “……oookAY”
  • “she probably did that to calm him down”
  • “this…based on a true story? is it!?
  • about a whole minute of him just trying to get comfortable and not paying attention to something to believe in
  • “im just saying…she seemed like an asshole at the start. one of those posh assholes. right?”
  • “im looking closely and… if they kiss… do they actually kiss… some tv shows they actually.. have to kiss. in the thing… they actually.. kiss”
  • in the middle of something to believe in he started ranting about spot? “know that lil short guy? no the um… the brooklyn. i wouldnt be scared of him. hes the same height as me. hes a tOUGH GUY. he pushed jack. so? im just saying. what’s so badass about that? whys everyone scared about him”
  • quietly in the middle of once and for all “ “i love this movie" 
  • another rant about spot in the middle of once and for all this time  "he DOES look tough… but whys everyone scared of him? is it because… he’s tough? okay im just saying when he banged that wooden thing… he wasnt even close to how hard the delanceys banged it. not NEARLY as hard. this was him (gentle hit) and this was them (HARD HIT) … im just saying but they hit it way harder”
  • “oh yeah. jack… jack banged it EVEN HARDER. with the cloth. hes just like. … BLOGHUGHG !!! (bangs rlly hard) he was Angry”
  • “THEYRE INCLUDING THE AUDIENCE IN IT… LIKE THE AUDIENCE IS ALL THE NEW YORK”
  • (me: theres spot) him: laughs
  • roosevelt is on screen  “i like him. like his moustache.”
  • when jack freaks out about teddy shaking his hand “WHAT HAVE I BEEN TOUCHED BY!”
  • (deep, southern voice) “ITS A COMPRAMISE WE CAN ALL LIVE WITH”
  • pulitzer and jack spit and shake hands. “UGGGHHHH.  HE DIDNT EVEN SPIT”
  • “i like romeo. LOOK AT HIS FUNKY SOCKS, THE ONLY ONE WITH FUNKY SOCKS”
  • “wait. just think. the idea that davey said at the start… is now the end…. (leans over and pauses newsies)  he said any of the papers you dont sell… we buy back (does mind blown action)”
  • "YAY. CRUTCHIE (VOICE GOES UP 10 OCTAVES) CRUUTCHIE!!!!!! YEEEEAHHHHHH”
  • when katherine and jack were talking at the end  “i dont feel…"  "santa fe. is that even a real place?” and then burped very loudly
  • (me: that ones albert, the one with the red hair) “whos albert” (me: the one with red hair) sean: but who is he. am i supposed to just… know some guy called albert 
  • “whos that? …thats some guy from brooks”
  • “OH YES (claps) SPEC. DID YOU SEE SPECS SWEET MOVES!??!?!?! IN MIDAIR YOU CANT SEE ITS SPECS”
  • “ ok wheres jack. wheres jack. OH HERE HE COMES. wiat wheres jack. oh here. jeremy jordan. is it jeremy jordan?”

tag yourself as something he said im his spot insults

anonymous asked:

Lololol hey dork! It's me again. I never imagined that you would spasm over the keyboard like that after I gave my honest compliments lol. It makes me happy to read that YOU'RE happy. Totally worth staying up a little extra at ass-o-clock in the morning. Also, the Prompto-thing is cute! (The one where Gladio snatches his phone to say that Prompto was screaming their name) Do you have any more shenanigans with a reader whose friends with the chocobros?

you need a special name because every single time i see you i get so excited like omg i love you so much and i hope you love me too you fool omg dfjshakjh i get so excited bless your soul


Chocobros With Their ChocoTagAlong

  • Gladio is a bed in himself because 1) he needs someone to hold to and 2) he is a bed in itself he is so big like holy shit
  • Ignis will watch in slight annoyance from far away as everyone leaves their dishes and never returns to help
  • bonus points with Specs if you help with the dishes
  • Noctis gets morning wood and calls it his light stick
  • Reader beat the living shit out of Noctis for asking them to take care of it for him
  • Then also teased the shit out of him for it
  • “Does the princely night stick glow???”
  • Cue Prompto and Gladio snorting and howling in laughter
  • Ignis cracks a smile and silently pushes up his glasses while peering towards Reader because hahha smart one kid
  • One time Prompto brought up being a Dragonkin
  • Reader slapped him upside the head
  • The one time Prompto was in the back seat he got so flustered because Gladio kept talking about Chocobros
  • and it made Noctis tease his best friend about fetishes
  • Never again.
  • Everyone thinks that Prompto is into chocobos sexually now
  • Even Ignis doesnt play around with that shit
  • If they have rides for the next few days, Prompto can only depend on Reader to be his new best friend
  • They still tease him
  • When they get to Altissa, Noctis threatens to fight Weskom
  • And the old man just stares him down like “BO I”
  • Reader was just cackling
  • WHAT IF READER WAS WESKOM’S AMAZING NIECE OR NEPHEW OR SOMETHING
  • I WOULD KILL
  • JOT THAT SHIT DOWN I GOT SOME IDEAS ALREADY FLOWIN IN
  • once upon a time
  • in the back of the Regalia
  • Ignis reached across Reader and slapped the LIVING SHIT OUTTA GLADIO FOR FLIRTING WITH READER
  • W O O O O O  DAMN
  • it was fucking halarious
  • Like oh damn down goes the big man
  • im cackling it rhymes
  • Gladio sat there in straight up horror and just stared at ignis like ‘you did not just disrespect my beautiful cheek bones you annoying little twink’
  • and we all know Iggy
  • He just raises his eyebrows like ‘what you gonna do you lil ho’
  • Gladio shut up real quick after that
  • Reader makes Iggy’s coffee now because he trusts nobody but them in that back seat
  • Noctis is butt hurt over it
  • “It was the only job I was allowed to do”
  • “Noctis your coffee tastes like actual shit”
  • He didnt talk to them for like three days
  • more like three hours because eventually they had a super cool link in battle
  • IF READER WAS A WHITE MAGE
  • O O OO O SHIT B OI 
  • PROMPTO MATERIAL HERE WE G O 
  • i am kidding i cant continue this right now im actually crying in laughter.
  • but this is a series now kids
Weapons

Specs wasn’t really an engineer. Their friends took him to be more of the theoretical sort, someone who could crunch numbers but was never seen in the lab for more than the minimum amount of time. He could be relied on for knowledge, but anyone who’d been in group projects with him had heard he preferred working with people, and that splitting work with him and expecting it done was a lot less productive than sitting him down in a work space on campus and bouncing the work between you.

His flatmates knew he wasn’t in the flat that much, and assumed he spent the rest of the time with societies and work. If anyone had checked, they would have noted that there was always a two hour gap in his schedule, but since he seemed to be perfectly ordinary (or as ordinary as the majority of EU student body were, at least) no one paid it much attention.

The shop students knew him as the guy who’d borrow their time to get little things done on their machines. A pinch of solder and iron to fix a wire, a small bit of the forge to cast some metal bits in the unused space of a bigger project. The chemistry students knew him as the guy who’d drop liquids in the liquid waste bin. Never more than a glass, a good way of disposing something you didn’t want to drink or keep nearby. The physics students knew him as the guy who’d request a few minutes with some of their meters. Strain gauges were the most common, but voltmeters and pressure gauges were close behind.

He always had an air of detached interest whenever gossip about the Gentry passed around the lecture halls. It was always another student who’d had a run in with a shadowy figure down by the lot, or had met Jimothy to trade beads, or had carefully not looked too closely at their flatmate recently.

Specs remained a guy with a few good friends who was a nice enough person to chat to throughout his first year. Then, in his second year, his sister came to EU.

Frizz was a drama student, eccentric, always ready with a smile and with a temper that was righteous in its fury. She wrote her own plays, sang her own little songs and drew in her spare time. She and her brother met up every other day for a quick hug, her drama friends quickly becoming acquainted with the smaller group of second year chem eng students who accompanied the elder sibling. When Frizz began dating, in as quietly dramatic a fashion as always, her brother was the one who looked her partner in the eye and stared for half a minute before calmly patting them on the shoulder and giving them a grin when he felt them shaking.

It was only a few months before Frizz had racked up a substantial number of encounters with the Fair Folk, as the liberal arts students tended to. One of Specs’ friends caught the occasional glimpse of worry beneath his usual friendly demeanor, but since Frizz had seemingly taken her brothers words of mild caution to heart she’d not come out of any of them the worse for wear.

Then, halfway through the year, Specs went backstage after a production had finished, he and the rest of the group of friends who’d come to support those of their number involved, to find Frizz’s partner running to him, terror in their eyes.

“They took Frizz!”

Specs face lost all emotion, and the rest of the group took a step back to give him space. A couple of them followed him as he left the theatre with a steadily quicker stride, and lost him as he began sprinting out into the grounds. They hoped he would be alright, knowing that the loss of a sibling would be heartbreaking. One or two of them resolved to go to his flat to comfort him the next day.

What they didn’t expect the next day was for Specs to be sitting behind a table on one of the main university paths with a selection of gadgets and items in front of him and a big digital timer counting down.

The first person to approach him was met with a fake, friendly smile and asked if they’d like a free sample. When they asked him what on earth he was doing, he took a yo-yo from the table in explanation.

“I’m starting off with the smallest stuff. Wholly iron and steel, six metres long wire string. Get it swinging at two and I guess you could even wrap someone up in it. Time goes on, I’ll start getting rid of the bigger stuff I’ve got stashed around. There’s a spray paint system I worked on the other day, it’s got a lovely red finish at up to twenty metres. I put some red iron-based paint in it, easily replaceable.”

Of course, most people steered clear of his stall, afraid of angering the Fair Folk, but there was always someone desperate, and soon he’d given out about thirty of the smaller things. There were several people who observed a tall man, lines of red rising on his skin in a manner that suggested something had coiled round him, stride over to the table.

“You will stop,” he said in a sibilant, angry tone.

“Huh?” came Specs disinterested reply. “Oh, you’re right, two hours have gone past and still my sister hasn’t turned up. Time to move on to the next batch.”

The man seemed to grow taller, hands becoming more pointed. Specs pulled a hula hoop from the stand and tossed it over the man’s head, breaking a catch and allowing a spool of chicken wire to spring from within, encircling his interrogator. After a couple of minutes, he pulled the chicken wire down, taking a small water pistol from the table instead. The tall man glared and retreated.

After half a day, Specs was seen walking to several iron electric boxes and pulling out things stashed within, before returning to the stand to place his unearthed stash on display. Unlike the steadily grander toys he’d been selling, these things didn’t hide what they were made for. An ugly looking thing with springs held several iron bolas. A mass of batteries were strapped to a couple of electromagnets with a supply of iron filings to feed between the two. Swimming goggles with lenses and rocks. Flashlights with reticules and chemical warning labels. Ball bearings and a hand cranked handheld self reloading catapult.

For those who were desperate, the rumours that had spread around campus were enough to bring them in. Each piece of equipment was explained, warnings about not firing this through a glass window, it could put someone’s eye out, that shouldn’t be aimed at the legs in case it trips someone up, this should be handled with a paint mask and with no-one in the immediate vicinity.

In the evening, as Specs handed out the last of the things he hadn’t been holding onto for himself, a group of assorted people with burn scars, pocks of red and faces in assorted angry expressions that looked near inhuman came towards him.

“You’ve made a lot of people angry.”

“They can join the club. I still haven’t seen my sister.”

“You have no more threats to hand out. You will be sorry.”

“Oh? No, I’ve got a whole wardrobe full of these things. Then there’s the emergency stashes I made, just in case. Then the stuff I’ve left half finished. And, of course, I might start handing out copies of my designs, I had a bunch of people interested in what I offered today and I’m sure some of them would love to know how these things work, try a hand at making their own-”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Wouldn’t I? I don’t see what the problem is. I’m just putting my frustration into something productive. If only my sister were here to calm me down…”

The next day a girl with Frizz’s face approached the stall. She left when Specs offered her a wire Chinese finger trap to try out.

It was midday when Frizz herself appeared, wandering drunkenly over to Specs stall and hugging him as though she’d never let go. Specs brushed her hair with a hand covered in iron rings, murmuring in her ear. He kept one arm around her as he packed up the stall, hefting the duffel bag and stall with difficulty with one hand before the siblings’ friends arrived from class to help.

That evening, in Specs flat, with Frizz lying exhausted on the couch in the kitchen, one of his friends quietly asked why he’d had all that stuff prepared. In the course of one and a half days he’d handed out enough anti-fae tools for a small mob, and he’d been hinting he had even more. One of Frizz’s friends, the one who never wore iron and smiled all the time, looked slightly scared as she asked why he hadn’t used it.

“My family have always been creative,” he said. “You can see my sister’s talent. My dad paints, my mum sings. I imagine things. And some of those things are not very nice.”

He looked at his hands. After two days of being either clenched or solid as a rock, they were shaking now.

“It was fun to imagine solutions to a problem I’d never faced. To make something cheap, effective and that I’d never need to use, but should have around just in case. Heck, I even said to myself that it was alright to design bigger, because it wasn’t as if it’d be used on anyone nice.”

He began to cry. His voice went very, very quiet.

“I don’t want to be known for weapons.”

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