So, this is something I’ve been doing for a while. The original project was to draw 128 video game characters with a limited palette, with a focus on variety of games represented and variety of characters. Not only was this way too ambitious for my own good, but also enthusiasm for the project had died down for me as I realized that the task would require me to pick and draw characters that I have no investment on, from games I also don’t really know or care much about, so instead, once per week, I’ll dump five or six characters I drew for this personal project. I’ll be posting them mostly on chronological order of when I drew them, so even though I revised most of them to look much better, please excuse the dirtiness of some of these!
Not much to say here about this first part. Megaman is based mainly on his original NES/Famicom appearences, but it has hints of other incarnations’ designs if you take a close look.
So we all know, and some of us love, Yondu Udonta. However, have we even begun to appreciate this character in his whole? I believe solely, that Yondu could carry his own tragedy plot, based off his hero’s journey and based off his redeeming qualities.
1. Based off Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth structure one could follow through using Yondu (Based off GOTG Vol. 2). Despite being a side antagonist, he still pertains his call to adventure, when asked by Ayesha to deliver the Gaurdians for execution. His “supernatural aid” results from his group which he intends to lead, however soon the challenges arise, before he pertains his “Mentor” of sorts. The ravagers Accusations of him becoming soft, and his exile are the sole leaders of Yondu’s beginning transition. His helper comes in the form of Rocket. While, once again not the typical positive-driven leader, Rocket is a depiction of Yondu’s self, which directs him to his redemption. As his trials and tribulations begin, Yondu approaches the abyss threshold. The prime example of this occurrence is when Yondu shouts at Rocket, with the speech of who they are. This is a clear moment of self discovery that the movie has been leading up to. Yondu expresses the dissatisfaction he feels with himself, and is finally able to recognize his faults. The next part is the ordeal. This is when Yondu agrees to fight alongside the Gaurdians, doing his best and whatever it takes to save the galaxy. He is rewarded with gaining trust from the Gaurdians, as they seem to incorporate him into their alliance. His road back is depicted through his choice to sacrifice himself for his illegitimate son’s sake. In that precise moment Yondu portrays his abilities as a hero within this movie. However, as we can all agree, the saddest moment in the movie is actually Yondu’s redemption. As he swoops in, and Saves Quill at the last moment, he says “He may have been your father, but he wasn’t your daddy.” Yondu was accepting his role, and accepting his death, for what it was worth. I believe that with that decision Yondu was aware of his very own redemption as he, for the last time, proved to Quill that he was more of a father than Ego would ever be. Though many hero’s journeys allow the character to return alive, Yondu still achieves his return with an elixir. His return brings alliance, between the Ravagers, and a greater understanding for Quill to see the childhood Yondu gave him, keeping him from being essentially murdered by Ego. Despite having been exiled, once they are aware of the sacrifices Yondu made, and for the reasons he made them, They give him the Ravager send off/funeral. Though he is dead, Yondu’s character has flourished as his character overcame boundaries of mutiny, self hatred, and ultimately proved that he was a hero.
2. While not all of the elements of a tragedy apply to Yondu, the main few still stand. From the get go the audience knows it is inevitable that someone is going to die. While we may not have expected it be Yondu, it makes sense in the whole of the plot. The dramatic irony ties into the fact that, despite being the “bad guy” he endures a mutiny as he is labeled “weak”. He was a leader of his clan, aiming to look like the baddest baddie of them all, however that’s what gets in the way; his sense of flawed pride, but that ties in later. The chorus, in this case, is Yondu’s group of ravagers. They tear him down for who he was, and shame him for his weakness, and love for Peter. Their role plays the part in Yondu’s self-awareness arising. However as this recognition of who he his surfaces, so does his tragic flaw. In the end, Peter Quill will always be his tragic flaw. Yondu was willing to die to protect and save his son leading to the cathartic finale, where the tragic hero dies, succumbing to his fatal flaw.
3. Finally comes Yondu’s redemption as a whole. Throughout the movie, his character fought the conflict of man vs. self. It was an inner conflict that stemmed from his self discovery. He looked upon himself with shame for what he had done, after he was exiled. Yondu admitted to his mistakes, and allowed himself to speak of who he was, and his regrets of who he had become. He began as the stereotypical evil antagonist, but moved through his hero aspect and became the protagonist within his own tragedy (almost like a subplot). In the end, Yondu proved himself, and earned his redemption due to his self discovery, his acceptance, and ultimately his final sacrifice, which in itself brought upon further alliances and proved that Yondu was indeed a tragic hero.
Sorry @katiezerk for being late here you go, hope you like it.
SIMON x READER
WARNING : none
“Yo what’s up guys and welcome to reacting to sidemen vines. And today I’m with JJ, Calfreezy and our new special guest…Y/N!” Simon did his intro, moving his arms and introducing us.
“Hi” I smile awkwardly towards the camera while the guys are cackling in the background. I look down knowing that i’ve made a fool of myself again. It’s not my fault I am not really comfortable with all of this. Simon starts the vines compilation and we soon hear the intro of the video, the boys dancing to the music trying to be in sync with the beat.
“STOP DABBING IT’S 2017!” JJ screamed, making Cal push him off of his chair earning our laugh. The vines were quite funny and many jokes were made. I even got more comfortable as we recorded the video.
“OH MY GOD” Cal laughed. “This is the best thing” he said when a vine showed the times when Simon got slapped at their Brighton meeting event. We were all laughing until JJ said that we should do the same game all over again, play rocket, paper, scissors and the winner gets to slap Simon. Simon disagreed and went on about how this isn’t our choice to make and how this is his channel and how he did not give consent but JJ ignored him and said that he’ll begin.
"Unless you’re PUSSY, HUH!? Yeah that put you off.” JJ said. I bursted out in laught while JJ moved his chair beside Simon to play. “Ching chang wolla!” “No, wait man you’re cheating!” JJ said. “No you’re just mad you lost that’s it! Stop complaining!” Simon tackled JJ on the floor. “This video is a mess, and I thought it’ll be original to add a game in it but no. GUYS!” Cal screamed at the fit of giggles on the floor that is Jide and Simon. “Not that his channel is original” I laughed and high fived Callum. Let’s just say that Simon’s face was priceless. Cal lost his go too and soon it was my turn. “Bring it on Britney” I gave him a weird look and pushed him.
He couldn’t believe it, I mean he was kinda embarrassed because he is considered as the king of Rock Paper Scissors but I was finally beating him at his own game and I won. “Just do it” He said while looking down, anticipating the pain. I slapped him, I think a bit too hard, but it got a great laugh from the guys. But what happened next scared the devil out of me. “That’s for saying that my channel is not original” said Simon as he slapped me. Couple of “ooos” were heard while me and Simon kept smiling at each other like crazy people.
*Got this finished far quicker than I thought I would.
Requested - Rocket finds reader leaving and asks them to stay for him. When the reader refuses he confesses his feelings in the hope that it will change their mind.*
“You can’t!” He shouts from the middle of the room. You glance over your shoulder at him and continue hurrying around your room grabbing your most important belongings.
When you finally leave your suitcase unattended Rocket scurries over to the bed it is placed on and starts throwing the things you had packed across the room. He was going to do anything to slow you down. He grabs the final belonging at the bottom of your case and freezes. He feels the sharp pricking of tears in his eyes. His small fingers wrap around the photo frame containing a photograph of you holding baby Groot while Rocket hugged around your neck, a massive smile plastered across his face.
“Rocket, please don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”
“You can’t just leave!”
“Rocket…” Your tone was a mix of frustration and sadness. You look over at him and see him hugging the photo frame to his chest. His ears droop and you see the tears start to fall.
“You can’t leave! Here, just, please look at this! Please (f/n)!”
He runs to you and forces the photo frame into your hands. With a sigh you look down at the image.
It had been one of the best day of your life. You and Rocket had scored big on a bounty and as a treat you went to the small shop on Xander that sold stuff from different planets. To your suprise you found a battered Polaroid camera from Earth that was still functional. Your eyes lit up as you ran your fingers over it. You heard the scampering of Rocket’s paws on the tiled flooring of the shop.
“What is it?” You heard him ask from your side.
“It’s a camera, from my home planet. I used to have one when I was a kid. It’s even still got the paper look.” You pointed
“How many units?”
“A lot of units…” You replied with a sigh.
“Here.” He holds out his hand and you pass him the Polaroid camera. “I’ll buy it for you.”
“No Rocket, I can’t ask you to do that.” You take the camera from him and place it back on the shelf.
“I said I’m going to buy it for you - don’t make me climb up there and get it myself.” He crossed his arms and tapped his foot while he waited for you to give him the camera. A small smile tugged at his lips as he looked up at you.
With a sigh you grabbed the camera back off the shelf and gave it to him shaking your head. He never took no for an answer.
He scampered off to pay and you followed hot on his heels.
Just as he was about to hand over his units you gave over half the amount the camera cost.
“(F/n), I said-”
“Rocket it’s half or not at all. Now pay the man unless you want me to put it back.” You smiled at him ruffling the fur on top of his head.
He smirked and handed over his half of the money.
When you got back to the Milano that night you had dragged him into your room and forced him to take a tone of silly photographs. Baby Groot had joined the two of you and wanted to be in some too. For that night all of Rocket’s worries and pain seemed to drift away. Sure, it cost him best half of his units, but it was worth every single one. To see you happy made him happy. The way you were with Groot, the way you were with him… He was starting to feel feelings he hadn’t felt for a long time.
You don’t realise you’re crying until a single tear lands on the glass of the frame. You kiss the photograph and walk back over to your case, placing it in.
“I’m sorry Rocket; I really am…”
“No…” He was crying heavily at this point. “You can’t leave us… you can’t leave me.”
You pause from picking up some clothing Rocket had thrown.
“Rocket… You dont need me, you have Groot. I don’t belong here, I can’t keep running all my life.”
“… I do need you. I’ve never needed anyone more in my life.” He slowly walked to you and wipes away some of his fallen tears. He was glad Peter wasn’t here to see him cry - he’d never let it go.
“You don’t Rocket - all I do is get in the way. I can’t fight, I’m terrible with tech. I’m useless to this group and you know it. I’m sorry but I have to go.” You offer him a sad smile and continue packing. “You’ll forget about me Rocket. You will and you’ll be fine.”
Rocket eyes widen. He could never forget about you.
“Are you honestly that stupid?!” You look at him suprised by his outburst. “I love you, you stupid humie. I could never forget about you. Never!” He takes a second to calm himself.
“So I’m begging you, please don’t do this. Please stay for me.” He looked broken and it killed you to see him like that.
“Oh Rocket…” You walk to him and lower yourself to his level. Your hands pull him close. You feel his small paws bunch up the fabric of your jumpsuit.
“Please…” He whispers into the crook of your neck.
You sigh and stroke the fur on the back of his neck. In that moment you realised you could never bring yourself to leave him. “…Okay. I’ll stay Rocket. I’m so sorry I just -”
Rocket cuts you off by pressing a kiss to your lips. He was gentle but firm and kept clinging to your jumpsuit as if you would leave if he dared to let go. You allow your eyes to flutter closed as you lean into the kiss.
When you finally pull away from him he looks scared; terrified by what your reaction will be. You just smile and pull him back into a hug.
“I love you too Rocket. Now,” You say letting go of him and looking around your room. “You going to help me tidy this lot up?”
He laughs as he wipes away the last remaining tears clinging to his fur. “Sure, If you kiss me again.” He winks and leans in for another kiss.
The last thing to be put back away was the photograph. You sit it in its rightful place on the bedside table and Rocket wraps his small arm around your waist from his place stood on your bed.
“We’ll have to get some more of that camera paper stuff.” Rocket mumbles still looking at the photograph. “Need more photographs incase you try to leave me again.”
You laugh and look down at him. His teeth show as he smiles up at you, a loving glint in his eyes.
“A trip to earth? I’m up for that - it’s been a while since I’ve been there.”
“You can introduce me to the parents.” Rocket laughs knowing how ridiculous the idea was.
“I’m sure they’d love you Rocket… Just not as much as I do.”
Rocket’s ears twitch as he looks away and you know that underneath his fur he’s blushing. His arm leaves your waist and his hand finds your’s. He grasps it tightly and begins to drag you towards the door.
“Come on (f/n), let’s get something to eat before the others come back.”
With one final glance towards the picture you follow him with a smile.
Kravitz doesn’t get summoned often, especially not to talk about his intentions toward his maybe-boyfriend.
Kravitz didn’t get summoned often. It was expensive as shit, for one thing, and for another most people didn’t want to encounter a grim reaper. The Raven Queen’s bounty hunters couldn’t be used as supernatural assassins the way some demons were.
So he was bemused to find himself jerked away from his breakfast (“breakfast”–coffee, black, spiked) and into a binding circle.
Gwen has picked up a habit of biting her nails, and it’s starting to get out of hand. David decides to help her beat the habit, but she is reluctant to accept his help.
Her hand stung like Hell and was bleeding more than enough for it to be noticeable to anybody who happened to pay attention. Trying her best to work through the pain, Gwen dragged a small wooden stool up to the shelf beside the television and climbed on top, reaching to grab the first aid kit from the top shelf. She felt around the dusty wood for a moment before grabbing the clean plastic handle of the container in her hand.
“Gwen, are you in here?” David opened the door, poking his head in and calling for her.
“Son of a-” Gwen was shaken slightly by his sudden appearance, nearly falling off the stool with first aid kit in hand.
“Gwen!” David rushed in, ready to help, but she quickly managed to steady herself against the shelf, straightening up as she immediately realized that pushing back on it was a terrible idea. She stepped off of the stool, her heart racing from the sudden shock. She pushed it back against the work table with her foot.
“What is it, David?” Gwen asked in as monotone a voice as she could manage. She quickly tucked the first aid kit under her arm, shoving her hands into her pockets, tensing at the pain that came with the rough fabric in her bleeding thumb.
“Oh I just didn’t know where you were and-” David was quickly cut off by the sound of shattering glass as a rock flew through the window near the end of the room and landed on the floor. A piece of paper secured to the rock with string read “Dolph” in messy handwriting. “Things are getting out of hand.” As David finished his sentence, his voice raised slightly in pitch. His usual smile looked almost tired.
Gwen immediately threw both of her hands in the air in an exasperated fashion, dropping the first aid kit on the floor. She pushed past David, who was still standing in the way of the door. Immediately, she feared he may have caught a glimpse of her hand. She tightened her fists, hoping that David would believe that he may not have seen anything at all.
“Alright, you little shits!” Gwen was barely surprised to see what appeared to be a shoddy catapult in the middle of the open field outside. She marched towards Max, who was loading a rock with his own crudely made name tag tied to it into the catapult. “What in God’s name are you doing?” She demanded, snatching the rock away from him.
“Trying to see whose rock will go that farthest,” Erid responded cooly, tossing her own, smaller stone from one hand to the other.
“Like Hell, you are.” Gwen made her rounds through the group of campers, confiscating the stones that they still had. Nerris, Nikki, and Dolph had already launched theirs, and Nurf’s was heavy enough to possibly break the catapult. Neil had insisted that Nurf would use it last. Her arms full of stones, she walked back up to David. “Sit them down and do… I don’t know, ‘board games camp,’ or something, just keep them distracted.”
David smiled brightly, which eased Gwen’s worry. If he had noticed something, he would have said so. “Can do, co-counselor!” He chirped. Gwen rolled her eyes and walked towards the lake to throw away all the rocks. That way, Max would have to find new ones all over again.
She returned to the cabin to pick up the first aid kit, which was still on the floor. By that point, her thumb was nearly finished bleeding. Gwen opened the kit and fished a small band-aid from under a box of gauze and closed the kit, leaving it on the desk before walking out of the room, closing the door behind her. She moved on towards the washroom to clean off her hands before opening the band-aid and wrapping it around her thumb, checking in the mirror that she hadn’t stained her shirt. Unable to find any red spots, Gwen assumed that nobody else would either. Tightening her ponytail quickly, Gwen left to check up on David.
He had indeed managed to calm down the campers. Within the five minutes, Gwen was gone, he had sat them down at picnic tables and handed out sheets of paper, hoping to teach them how to make airplanes. Gwen sat down at the picnic table farthest from where David sat so she could keep a better eye on the kids in that area.
“Hey Gwen, what happened to your finger?” Space kid jumped up and pulled himself up to sit on the bench next to Gwen.
Gwen was silent for a moment. “I cut it throwing away those rocks.” She said absentmindedly as she watched the other campers run back and forth with the paper planes that David showed them how to make.
A good number of the crafts were too mangled to actually fly, though a handful were at least decent enough to glide for a few seconds. At this point, Max would rip apart any piece of paper he was given and throw it on the ground. Then, David would follow him around as Max threw more and more supplies onto the ground, knocking stacks of paper and stickers off of picnic tables and watching in glee as David walked around reorganizing it all.
“I made my own rocket!” Space kid held up his own plane, though it appeared to be entirely improvised and half squished by his gloves.
“That’s,” Gwen pauses as she took the folded paper in her hand, noticing how Space Kid’s face lit up when she picked it up. “Very good, Space Kid.” Gwen’s tone was as pleasant as she could manage. She offered the paper rocket back to him, half paying attention to David as Space Kid raddled off the different parts of the rocket ship.
“Hey, Space Kid,” Gwen stood up. “How about you tell me more, later? I’m gonna go deal with Max.”
“Roger that, Gwen!” Space Kid gave her a clumsy salute before rushing off with his paper spaceship. She nodded and walked off towards Max, who was still leaving behind trails of paper for David to deal with.
“Hey,” she stood in front of Max and snatched away the stack of paper he had under his arm. “Cut that shit out. We already have enough work to do.”
“It’s only enough as long as you fucking excuses for counselors are busy.” Max stuffed his hands into his pocket, looking proud of himself.
“Go piss off your inmates.” Gwen tucked the paper under her arm before approaching David, who was still trying to pick up the ripped up paper.
“David,” she put the small stack of paper down on the table beside her and knelt down to pick up some of the ripped pieces herself. “I’ll take care of this, you keep an eye on the kids while I sweep up the mess.”
“Gee, thanks, Gwen!” David stood up, giving her his signature cheerful smile. Gwen’s stomach lurched when she could have sworn that she saw his smile falter. She quickly balled up her fists, looking down at the ground and continuing to pick up the bits of scrap. She forced herself to focus on the paper and how lucky she was that it wasn’t a windy day. After a second of awkward silence, David walked back to tend to the campers.
Gwen glanced up from the ground, watching him show the kids how to fold a paper crane. She never knew he could do that. When their eyes locked, she realized that she had been staring. Gwen immediately looked back towards the ground, crumpling up the ripped paper in her hand. She quickly gathered all the biggest pieces and wandered off to toss them away. A half-assed job, sure, but she needed a second to think without the background noise of several crazed children.
Gwen couldn’t help but mentally scold herself. Not only had she been staring creepily at her coworker, but David definitely saw her hands. No doubt, she was in for a lecture.
Mark and I sign the discharge papers and are ready to go home when Miss Jansen appears out of nowhere to know how Zoe is doing. When we tell her what happened she explains that she did tell the medics not to touch her and Zoe disinfected her wound herself and placed the bandage herself. She also told the doctors once at the hospital and they told her not to worry and to wait in the waiting room until they were done.
Since we both came separately, Mark takes Zoe with him because he’s the only one who can carry her, and I take my car home. I arrive a little bit later than them. When I walk in, Mark is just coming down the stairs, loosening his tie.
“I just put her in bed.” He tells me as I walk to him. I let my bag fall to the floor and wrap my arms around him, burying my face in his chest. He’s warm and he smells good and I want to dissolve into him and never get out of his embrace.
“What a day.” He sighs, curling his arms around me and holding me close. We stay like this for a long moment.
“I need to take a shower.” I sigh, pulling away from him.
“Can I join you?” I hear him say, but I’m not really in the right mindset now.
“No, I’ll be quick, I just need to splash some cold water on my body.” I mutter dismissively, walking around him.
“Baby.” He stops me, taking my hand in his. I look at him and see his soft eyes gazing at me. He wants intimacy.
“Can I join you?” He repeats, and suddenly I feel like I wouldn’t have been able to shower without him. I nod and he gives me a fraction of a smile, picking my bag up from the floor and leading me up to our bedroom.
He undresses me himself, slowly, almost reverently. And I return the favor, loving discovering our children’s names on his skin, and all the other tattoos that reminds me how much he loves me and the kids.
Mark says I shower with boiling water, but always sets it on my temperature when we shower together even though he doesn’t like it. In the shower, I wrap my arms around him and he pulls my head to his chest, his hand pushed in my hair. The warm water cascading down on us, we stay like this in silence for a moment.
“You were full on mama bear mode out there. It was impressive.” He says, breaking the silence. I don’t think I can remember being this angry and this violent towards people before
“It’s usually your role.” I remark. Mark was just as furious as me but stayed calm. I low a few years back he would have set the place on fire, but he’s made a lot of effort to control his anger issues. I didn’t.
“Do you think I overreacted?” I ask, tilting my head back and looking up at him. “Calling it rape?”
“No.” He murmurs. “You’ve definitely put things it perspective for everyone.”
“I feel the exact same way as you, but I couldn’t think of a word to it.” He says. “It wasn’t sexual, nor violent, but she was their screaming and they wouldn’t stop. They abused our baby and I’ll make sure each of them pays for that.”
After our shower, we dress in more casual clothes, and Mark goes to his office while I decide to read a book in the library. But then I see the time and realize Thomas and Mia are going to come home soon, and that I’d rather wait in the living room. On my way there, I walk past the front door, and it opens.
I freeze, watching it slowly opening. Thomas is on his tiptoes, little backpack on his back, holding the door handle and he’s too focused on getting the door all the way open that he doesn’t see me.
I cross my arms over my chest and smile. Thommy lifts his eyes a little, and they land on me.
“Mommy!” He squeals, ginning at me. I smile back, his good mood infectious. He lets the door go and runs to me.
“Helloooo Thommy.” I sing, kneeling down to be at his level. He crashes against my chest, wrapping his short arms around my neck. I squeeze his little body in my arms and kiss his chubby cheeks in turns.
“Did you have fun today?” I ask him, nibbling at his cheek.
“Yes.” He nods vigorously. My baby boy is so cute. I run my hand through his brown hair and kiss him right on the mouth.
“What did you do at school?” I ask him.
“I made a rocket!” He announces proudly.
“A rocket?” I gasp, feigning surprise. “Where is it?”
“In the sky.” He says, pulling away from me and walking towards the stairs.
“In the sky? Wow.”
“No, mommy. It’s in my bag. Don’t be silly.”
“Thomas!” I scold, laughing. His one-liners always make me laugh. This kid has to be the funniest little guy on the planet. Just then, I look up and see Jacob walking in through the open door, carrying Mia with one arm and holding her day care bag in his free hand, a smile on his face.
“Did you hear that?” I ask him, incredulous, while rising to my feet. Mia squeals when she sees me. And bends and contorts her tiny body, reaching out to me.
“He’s impossible.” Jacob muses, shaking his head. I walk up to him and take my daughter out of his arms.
“Hi, Mia.” I murmur, burying my nose in her cheek and kissing it.
“Mama.” She babbles, kicking her feet happily. She smells like baby and saliva.
“Did you have fun at day care?” I ask her, and she answers in pure gibberish, bit it’s the loveliest sound I know. I look back at Jacob.
“Thank you for picking them up.” I murmur. I was supposed to do it but after the incident at the hospital I didn’t feel like leaving the house anymore.
“You’re welcome. How’s Zoe?” He asks, closing the door behind him. I sigh, not knowing where to start.
“It was supposed to be quick and simple.” I trail off, and feel Thomas tug at my leg.
“Mommy.” He calls, but gets distracted immediately after that.
“But when we got there they were holding her down while she cried.” I tell him, and his eyes widen in horror.
“What? Why?” He asks.
“Apparently her teacher told them she didn’t like to be touched but they ignored it.” I explain. “Long story short, she cried herself to sleep, but I’m pretty sure she’s traumatized.”
“Mommy, where’s daddy?” Thomas asks me, tugging at my dress.
“He’s in his office, honey.” I indicate him, and he hops happily towards Mark’s office.
“That must have been a nightmare for her.” Jacob says quietly.
“I’m waiting to see how she feels when she wakes up. But I’m pretty sure she won’t let anyone touch her for a moment.” I reply. I actually dread the moment she’ll wake up. What if she’s really, really badly traumatized? What if I’ll never be able to touch her again.
“Poor thing.” Jacob murmurs.
I tuen around and find Mark being dragged out of his office by our little boy.
“Hi, Mark.” Jacob says as they shake hands.
“Dada!” Mia cries, clapping her little hands together. Mark gives her a smooch on her cheek.
“Hello.” He says to her, eyes full of adoration. He pinches her cheek.
“Wellooo.” She sings joyfully.
“Abigail just told me about Zoe.” Jacob says to Mark.
“Yes, about that.” Mark prompts.
“I need your help with something.” He says, nodding his head towards his office. Jacob nods and Mark turns to me.
“I’ll be back in a second.” He says to me before kissing my cheek. Jacob and Mark leave, and Thomas whines.
“But, daddy!” He calls, and his father turns around.
“I’ll be with you in a minute, buddy, I promise!” He says to him before they both disappear inside his office. Thomas turn to me, smiling.
“Mommy, you wanna see my rocket?” He asks me, and of course I want to. I feel better now that him and Mia are here.
“Sure. Let’s go to the living room.” I propose, ruffling his hair. He takes my hand and leads me and Mia to the living room.
“But whesss Sooee?” He asks as I drop Mia to the floor.
“She’s sleeping.” I reply and sit on the couch.
“I need to tell you something Thommy.” I murmur, taking both of his hands to make him look at me.
“What is it?”
“Today Zoe hurt herself and she had to go to the hospital.” I tell him. He gasps quite dramatically.
“She’s okay. It wasn’t anything serious. But the doctors touched her a lot.” I explain.
“Here?” He palms his round and chubby stomach.
“Everywhere.” I say, and he gasps again.
“So for now you can’t touch her, okay?” I murmur. He nods. Thommy is a smart little boy, I’m sure he’ll probably mess up sometimes but I think he’ll remember what I said.
“Okay.” I prompt, turning him around. “Let’s see this rocket.” I murmur, taking his backpack off and opening it. Between his spare clothes, his pacifier ( yes, my three-year-old still needs a pacifier but only to go to sleep and we’re trying to get him off of it), his blankie and his favorite dinosaur, I find a sheet of paper.
His rocket is… well, futuristic. Really it’s just a huge blue stick with red dots and a brown nugget inside, but Thomas says it’s a rocket so I’ll live with that. I gasp has his impressive drawing skills. He gets better every day.
“Did you draw that?” I ask him. He puts his hands on my knees and swings back and forth, nodding timidly.
“Yeah.” He says.
“And- and thess fire.” He indicates, pointing at the yellow cloud pf straight lines at the bottom of the stick.
“And thess Thomas inside.” He shows me the brown nugget.
“Oh, wow.” I exclaim. “Do you want to put it up on the fridge?” I propose.
“Yes!” He replies, taking the paper out of my hands and running off towards the kitchen. After that, I watch Thomas and Mia while they play in the play room, and Marks joins me half an hour later when he’s done with Jacob. When I realize that it’s almost five, I decide to go and wake up Zoe. I leave Mark with our youngests and go up to the first floor into her room. I find her still fast asleep in her bed, her body above the covers, sprawled out upside down on the bed. Zoe is a massive fidget. Always been.
It was a nightmare when she was a baby. I couldn’t turn away from her one second to grab a diaper without her rolling off.
Her dad has taken her spoiled shorts off so now she’s just in her T-shirt and purple panties.
Before properly waking her, I walk in and open the shutters of her windows, then I go to her bed gently shake her.
“Zoe?” I call without getting a response. “Zoe, wake up.”
She stirs, and I have to shake her a few more times before she convinces her eyes open.
“Come on, sweetie.” I encourage. She flips on her back, rubbing her eyes sleepily, before blinking up at me. Now that she’s awake I keep my hands off her.
“How are you feeling?” I ask, tilting my head. She frowns up at me, yawns and closes her eyes again.
“I have a headache.”
“Do you want me to get you an advil?” I propose, and she nods.
“Alright, I’ll be back in a second.” I say, pushing myself pff her bed. “Don’t go back to sleep.” I warn before heading out. I go back down to the kitchen and find Mark and Mia inside. Mark is already starting to prepare his bolognese for tonight.
“Zoe’s awake.” I tell him and pick up Mia. I lift her high in the air and bring her down to kiss her before lifting her up again, she giggles and claps.
“Really?” Mark says as I put her back down.
“She has a headache.” I reply, grabbing a plastic glass for her.
“Did she say anything?” He asks me, turning his head in my direction. I shake my head.
“Daddy!” I hear Thomas shout from afar, and I can hear his quick feet skipping across the floor.
I fill the glass with water.
“Look at my rocket!” He says proudly, and from the volume of his voice I know he’s in the room.
“Thomas, where are your pants?”
I turn around and see my son looking at his dad, one finger in his mouth as he shifts on his feet, as if he was being scolded. He has his T-shirt on but his jeans are gone. Why?
Thomas puts his hands on top of his head.
“I ate ‘em.” He mumbles quietly.
“Ha!” I crack up, because I have to. And it’s cathartic, I start laughing uncontrollably. Thomas giggles with me.
“Baby, this is not funny.” Mark chuckles while I almost collapse on the kitchen counter.
“There’s seriously something wrong with this child.” He mutters.
“Why did you take your pants off?” He asks.
“They smell like beef.”
“Jesus Christ.” Mark cracks up and I laugh hysterically until I have to wipe tears of mirth from the corner of my eyes. I love my kids so much.
“There you go, sweetheart.” I tell Zoe, dropping the pill and the glass of water on her desk. She rises from her bed, her steps still tired and sleepy.
“Do you want to cook dinner with your dad today?” I propose while she takes the medicine. She shakes her head.
“I’m going to take a shower.” She declares.
“Okay.” I reply and leave her alone. Grabbing some sweatpants for my little nudist, I go back down and play with the kids some more while Mark prepares dinner. When both Mia and Thomas start to get hungry and whiny, I go in the kitchen to check the progress. The food is ready, so I drop Mia to the floor and help pull the plates out of the cupboards.
“Sooooeee!” I hear Thomas squeal from the lobby, and guess that Zoe has finally emerged from her tower.
“Where are your pants?” I hear her say, her voice coming closer to the kitchen.
“Thomas!” Mark laughs. “Did you take your pants off again?”
“’No.” He says with a small voice.
“He did.” Zoe says as she comes in the kitchen, changed into a T-shirt and sweatpants. Thomas follows as the smitten little brother he is.
“What’s that?” He asks her, pointing at her stitches.
“Chtischties?” He repeats, amazed.
“I had a boo boo and they closed it.” Zoe explains. Thomas gasps.
“Daddy, can I have chtischties?!” He asks, running up to Mark. I chuckle, and Mark looks up at me, at complete loss.
“Erm…” He says. “Ask your mom.”
I throw missiles at him with my eyes, and he sticks his tongue out at me while Thomas walks up to me with his deer eyes and his charming little smile.
“Mommy?” He says.
“No, they hurt really bad Thomas.” I mirmur, but I feel bad for denying him something he asked so cutely. He pouts and hugs himself, probably truing to cross his arms but not really succeeding.
He turns on his heels and stomps away.
“Maybe if you stop taking your pants off.” I call after him.
“Hey, Zoe.” Mark says to our eldest, who has been watching silently, leaning against the central island in the kitchen.
“Hi, dad.” She says, walking up to him. She tilts her head back and pits her lips, asking for a kiss. Her father bends and she kisses his cheek quickly. Then, she turns and walks towards me, while Mark mouthes ´did you see that?!’
She kisses my cheek as well. Maybe not everything is lost, then. I smile down at her while Mia yells for no apparent reason.
Zoe helps me set the table, and after a good half an hour of battle with Mia to get her to sit in her high chair and finding Thomas’ pants, we’re finally seated at the dinner table, enjoying our meal.
“Zoe, we totally forgot to ask you how you fell at the first place.” I say, the fact occurring me suddenly. She freezes, her eyes growing a tiny bit wider, and her ears turning pink.
“What?” Mark urges. She toys with her fork.
“It’s a little bit silly.” She confesses.
“What happened?” I ask her.
“I stood on the merry-go-around while it spun.” She explains.
“What?” I breathe, so shocked she actually did that. “Why did you do that?”
“I thought I had done all the calculations.” She says.
Oh, there she is with her maths. Her speciality to make us mad and worried is to make calculations to do the stupidest stunts without hurting herself.
“What did you take into account ?” Mark asks, because he’s actually interested.
“My weight, my height, the centrifugal force, the wind, and the right speed to have and how hard to push to reach it.” She enumerates.
“What did you forget?”
“Jenna.” She says. Her best friend?
“I forgot to add the probability of her knowing how to measure her strength.” She explains. So she counted on Jenna to deliver the exact amount of force to make this work?
“0.00976.” She mutters.
“That’s low.” Mark says.
“And that would have deterred me.” She says. I’m dumbfounded.
“Wasn’t the fact that we’ve forbidden all kinds of body experiences supposed to deter you?” I ask her. She stays silent.
“She’s right, Zozo. We told you a thousand times.” Mark says reproachfully. Probably like a billion times! It’s not the first time I’m called by her school for something like that.
“You broke your arm once, and your ankle, and now you have stitches.” Mark reminds her.
“I’m going to ask Miss Jansens daily reports, and if she says you’ve tried something dangerous, you’ll be punished.” He declares.
“Your bolognese is the best, dad.”
“Don’t try to buy me with compliments.” He chuckles, breaking character in a split second. “We’ll find a way to make you stop.”
Feeling like the discussion is over, I look at Thomas who has been silent for the past five minutes. He’s stopped eating, his fork hanging mid air while he stares blankly, but quite in distress in the horizon.
“You okay, Thommy? Is it good? You’ve been so silent.” I ask my baby, running my hand through his hair and caressing his cheeks. His whole body shakes and he seems to snap out of it.
“What are you doing?” I ask him. He lets out a breath I didn’t know he was holding.