picking four from this was so hard

You Have Chosen Poorly

I’m playing the Mines of Phandelver campaign with five of my friends via Fantasy Grounds and four of them are totally green to DnD but wanted to give it a try.  (I figured pre-made characters would make it a little simpler on them while they learned the base mechanics.)  As such, I try to be a challenging but forgiving DM while they learn the ropes.

During the course of their adventure, I realized that my players have a bad habit of stacking encounters on top of each other.  The previous week, they managed to stack a grand total of five encounters in one encounter in Cragmaw Castle.  This particular week, they were coming up against a hard-set deadline (because people had work the next morning) and they’d already stacked two large encounters on top of each other while trying to set a trap for what I tried to clue in to the thief (my sister who’s the only one who’s ever played DnD before besides me) was four hobgoblins, not normal goblins like they’d been fighting, but she didn’t pick up on it.  One of the hobgoblins had alerted another encounter that was already on alert from the previous week (the only reason I didn’t have them join the previous five-encounter-dogpile was because of another hard deadline).

So the thief has been nearly killed this session and is getting a little tired of getting wailed on.  So she decides to ninja her way out of there to leave the rest of the enemies to the newbies while she goes hide and loot some random room.  She has a few options: to the north is a lot of nothing, to the southwest is the kitchen the second group of enemies just vacated, to the east is the now empty place the hobgoblins had previously occupied.  All would’ve been good choices.

She chooses the southwest tower.  The worst possible choice.

Having rolled a 21 for stealth, she gets in through the door and I start laughing hysterically.  I have to take a moment to mute my microphone as I howl with laughter and don’t want to blow out eardrums.  I come back online and reveal the one solitary token in the room: an owlbear.

Me (while laughing): “You enter the room and find an owlbear chewing on a bone.”

Human Fighter (Greataxe wielder) who has never seen a token bigger than one square: “WHAT?!”

Thief: “I FLATTEN MYSELF AGAINST THE WALL.”

I have to mute the mic another two minutes while I laugh hysterically.

The other players manage to finish off the other enemies but I don’t release them from initiative since we still had potentially one more enemy now.  Fortunately, she manages to stealth her way back out and shut the door without being noticed.  I give her Inspiration for staying in character in the first place.

And that was how my newbie players learned the age-old adage “Never split the party.”

4

A thousand years or more ago
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:

Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.

They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers
Thus Hogwarts School began.

Now each of these four founders
Formed their own house, for each
Did value different virtues
In the ones they had to teach.

By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;

For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.

While still alive they did divide
Their favourites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?

Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!

Now slip me snug about your ears,
I’ve never yet been wrong,
I’ll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!

Married Life

Derek wakes up to the birds chirping outside and the sun shining on his face, as a soft breeze blew in from the open window. Stiles must have opened it this morning to get some fresh air into the house. Derek rolls over searching for his husband only to find empty sheets that seemed to have been vacant for quite some time. He frowns sitting up, he searches around the room trying to find his better half, so he can drag him back to bed for some anniversary sex.

It was their four year anniversary and Derek intended to make love to his husband all day. He gets out of the bed slipping on his robe and stepping into his slippers. Stiles always teased him for having a robe and slippers calling Derek an old man before Derek pinned him to the bed showing him what this “old man” could do. He walks over to the open door their dog following close behind him. He notices a sticky note on the door and takes it off the door, he chuckles softly when he sees that it says, “Happy Anniversary!” on it.

Of course Stiles would do this on their anniversary. He follows the arrow on the sticky note finding another one on the bathroom door.

“Four long years we’ve been married” Derek reads. He rolls his eyes biting his lip to keep himself from smiling so hard. He follows the directions given on the note finding one on the closet door.

“I can’t believe I used to hate you!” It says. Derek laughs at this remembering how they used to argue whenever they saw each other. He goes down the stairs finding one on the banister. He picks it up reading it.

“Sorry I got you arrested…”

Derek snorts looking over at the other banister like the note told him. He finds another one picking it up.

“You make my world ten times more brighter!” he reads. He smiles looking at the little sun Stiles drew. He follows the instructions to go to the kitchen and finds a note on the toaster. He picks it up feeling giddy.

“Sorry I burn the toast…”

Derek laughs at the sad face remembering all the times Stiles attempted to make toast, but always ended up burning it. He looks at the cabinets and sees another note reading it.

“And break plates…”

He chuckles remembering when Stiles dropped a plate the other day and started crying. He made sure the Stiles felt better by buying him the biggest chocolate milkshake at their favorite ice cream place. He heads over to the counter like the instructions said and reads a note.

“And put the dent in the counter…”

Derek snorts remembering when they first started having sex and slamming Stiles onto the counter leaving a huge dent in their counter. He smiles following the instructions to go to the dining room. He sets the other notes down on their table reading the one left at the edge.

“I love it when you make pasta…” it says. He looks where the arrow on the note was pointing.

“Or make me coffee in the mornings.” he reads as soon as he finds the note. Derek grins at the blue coffee cup Stiles drew that was like the one in the cabinet right now. He continues to look in the same direction finding another note.

“You have no idea how much I appreciate you!” he reads. He feels his cheeks heat up and his chest swell. He follows the instructions of going to the living making sure to take all the notes with him. He finds a note on the back of the couch picking it up.

“I love watching those boring documentaries with you.” Derek reads. He smiles remembering how Stiles spent most of the time whining and complaining about how they were boring, but continued to watch them because he knew Derek liked them. He reads the instructions and heads over to the bookshelf and picks up another note reading it.

“You’re so peaceful when you read.”

Derek blushes and follows the arrow over to their DVD rack where they kept all the DVD’s they’ve collected over the years. He finds another note in the superhero section picking it up.

“You have a horrible taste in superheroes!” he reads. He laughs shaking his head, only Stiles would argue about that. He follows the instructions on the note and walks over to the coffee table.

“But you always make it up to me.” Derek reads. He smirks remembering the countless times he’s had Stiles on the coffee table, as Derek gave him a blowjob while they watched another Batman movie. He picks up the note looking where it was pointing at and heads over to his study. He finds a note on the door.

“I admire how hard you work.” it says. He smiles walking into the study spotting a note on the computer. He reads it’s chuckling.

“Thanks for letting me play games on here.”

He smiles following the sign that points at his bookshelf. He grabs it biting his lip.

“I love that you have an endless amount of amazing books!” he reads. He smiles looking at his bookshelf, picturing Stiles running his hand along the spines of the books as Derek works on his latest project. He follows the arrow to his desk seeing a note on one of his latest designs.

“You’re drawings are truly amazing Derek.”

Derek smiles picking the note up he looks around his desk looking for any more. He sees a note on the drawing he has been working on for years for the Hale house. He picks it up and reads it.

“Someday we’ll have the perfect house.” he reads. Derek gives a soft smile tracing a finger over the small, blue house. He chuckles at the instructions telling him to keep looking in the same direction. He finds another one next to the drawing seeing the same blue house.

“The perfect place to have children.” it says. He lets out a low growl his wolf going wild at the thought of having pups around the house. He looks at the two hearts close to the house, one heart blue and the other pink. He frowns wondering why the other one was blue, he walks out of his study following the instructions to look for the dog. He finds the note on the dog’s collar.

“You’re so loving even to the smallest things.” Derek reads. He smiles petting the dog fondly. The dog showed up at their house 2 years ago hurt and cold. He didn’t want to keep the dog, but gave in when Stiles gave him the puppy eyes Derek could never say no to. He reads the instructions and heads to the front door peeling off the note.

“And caring!” he reads. He smiles looking at the hearts surrounding the word caring. He follows the instructions to look at screen door opening the front door. He finds another note with a heart.

“Words cannot express how much I love you!” it says. He feels his chest swell at the endearing note, he walks onto the porch finding a note on the stairs.

“You’re so brave Derek.” he reads. He gives a small smile looking around for Stiles, but only sees more notes on their walkway. He walks down the stairs picking up the first one.

“You have the most amazing smile!” he reads. Derek chuckles shaking his head, only Stiles would be this cheesy. He walks over to the second note and picks it up.

“I get lost in your eyes every time I look at you!”

Derek snorts cringing a little at how corny it was. He walks over to the next note bending down.

“I love you to the moon and beyond!” Derek reads smiling fondly. It was Stiles’s favorite saying even though it was supposed to be a joke. He looks at the big stack of sticky notes in his hand smiling, this was way better than his idea. He finds the next one not too far away almost at the end of the walkway. He picks it up and reads it.

“This is where we first kissed and the moment I realized I loved you.”

Derek bites his lip remembering the day Stiles kissed him for the first time. How his heart was beating out of his chest and the way Stiles looked at him. He follows the instructions and heads to the woods finding a note on the tree that leads into the woods.

“I’m sorry your family is dead. I would do anything to them back to you…” Derek frowns as he reads the note confused on why the sudden change in the mood. He continues on finding more notes on more trees.

“I’m sorry you’ve struggled for so long…” Derek reads. His frown continues as he reads more notes.

“I’m sorry people say mean things when they see us in public…”

Derek starts to panic. He hurries to the next note trying to figure out what was going on.

“I’m sorry I can’t get pregnant.” the next one says. Derek adds it to his pile and heads for the last note smelling Stiles’s familiar scent.

“I’m sorry for ever making you cry.” the very last note says. He follows Stiles’s scent the notes balled in his fist. He’s interpret them later, but right now he needs to be with Stiles. When he finally reaches Stiles he pulls him into a hug breathing in his scent. Stiles giggles hugging him back.

“What’s wrong is everything alright?!” Derek asks checking for any cuts or bruises. Stiles laughs and pushes him away.

“I’m fine Derek,” Stiles says fixing his shirt. “What makes you think anything is wrong?”

“The notes.” Derek says frowning. Stiles laughs again and shakes his head.

“You’re forgetting the most important ones.” Stiles says. He points at the note on his shirt. Derek peels it off reading it.

“I can’t wait for you to be a father!” he reads. He looks at Stiles confused. Stiles gives him a smile and lifts up his shirt to reveal a small baby bump with a sticky note on it.

“A father to a beautiful, baby boy…or girl.” it says. Derek looks up his eyes wide. He drops to his knees pulling the note off Stiles tummy. He sets his ear on Stiles’s stomach listening to Stiles’s heartbeat and one more. He looks up tears pooling in his eyes.

“How far along are you?” Derek asks.

“Three months.” Stiles says running a hand through Derek’s hair.

“How did I not know?” Derek whispers. He rests his head on Stiles’s stomach again.

“I had Deaton help me hide it,” Stiles says. “I wanted it to be a surprise for you.”

“I thought-I thought that we couldn’t get pregnant.” Derek says. He kisses Stiles’s stomach listening to the small heartbeat again.

“Deaton found this spell book and I found something about pregnancies, so I figured I’d try it.” Stiles says. Derek continues to rub his stomach the tears flowing down his cheeks.

“I’m going to be a dad?” He asks shocked. Stiles laughs continuing to run his hands through Derek’s hair.

“Happy anniversary babe.” Stiles says. Derek stands up and kisses his husband with as much emotion he could pour into a kiss. This truly was the best anniversary gift a man could possible get from his spouse.

(Just a little thing I did yesterday nothing too important. There were also some baby hints in there see if you can try and find them except the last two they just give it away. There’s a couple!)

  • okay yes yes yes but Sirius Black and Lily Evans being bros at Hogwarts
  • Eleven year old Sirius trying to juggle with oranges he stole at breakfast. He accidentally throws one right at Lily Evans’s nose. She takes her new wand, waves it a bit and accidentally gives him horse hooves
  • This is how they become bros
  • Thirteen year old Sirius black getting his ass whipped by thirteen year old Lily Evans in wizard chess
  • Lily and Sirius partnered for charms where they’re meant to be summoning cushions and it just ends in them starting a class pillow fight
  • Fourteen year old Sirius taking really ugly close-up photos of lily while she sleeps and she wakes up like sirIUS I’m GOING TO SHOVE THAT CAMERA DOWN YOUR THROAT YOU PIECE OF SHIT
  • Sirius and lily taking the piss out of James because of his stupid hair thing and his freaking walk that looks like he’s dancing

‘it’s like he’s prancing or something’
‘yes lily.. He really is prancing. Rather like a deer I would go as far to say, don’t you agree Evans?’

  • Lily and Sirius sliding down Hogwarts banisters screaming
  • Twelve year old losers want to prove that they’re not scared of the forbidden forest so they both go out there in the middle of the night like: ‘first one to come out is a WUSS’
  • It ends with McGonagall finding both of them in her dressing gown half way up a tree, with lily writing her will on a piece of bark and Sirius waving a large stick screaming ‘THIS WAS A MISTAKE’ repeatedly
  • Drunk Lily in sixth year and an even drunker Sirius Black gives her piggyback across the grounds while she stretches her arms wide and screams
  • ‘Mr Black, Miss Evans, your homework answers are exactly the same, I suspect one of you copied the other. My money is on Mr Black’
  • ‘PROFESSOR IT WASN’T ME I DON’T DESERVE DENTENTION IT WAS FREAKIN LILY I SWEAR’
  • It was Lily but who would believe him
  • No one
  • He got detention and Lily laughed about it for two weeks.
  • Lily taking toast up to Sirius when he doesn’t wake up in time for breakfast
  • Sirius with his head on Lily’s stomach watching as Remus gets utterly thrashed by Mary in Gobstones while yelling unhelpful things like: ‘YOU SHOULD TRY AND WIN THIS ROUND’ and ‘PUT HER SHIRT OVER HER HEAD AND STEAL HER STONES YOU’LL FOR SURE WIN’
  • For her birthday Lily gets a shit-ton of daises because (ironically) they’re her favourite flower and she grins because she knows exactly who they’re from
  • Mulciber calls Lily a Mudblood at the end of sixth year and Sirius Black emerges from nowhere and punches him so hard in the mouth he loses four teeth and his gums forever look a little lopsided
  • Being partnered for potions like:

‘this goes in here’
‘no it doesn’t’
‘LET’S FIGHT IT OUT’

  • It all ends in them wrestling on the table while Remus laughs, Peter gawks and James feel conflicted about who to cheer for
  • Sirius getting a letter from his mum and when Lily reads it, then picks it up and throws it into the fire before saying ‘you’re more than that’
  • Lily refereeing him and James wand-sword fights like SIRIUS YOU CAN’T JUST TAKE AWAY HIS GLASSES EVERY TIME BECAUSE THEN HE FALLS OFF THE TABLE THAT’S CHEATING
  • Fourteen year old Sirius-no-one-is-better-at-pranking-than-me-Black laughing his ass off when Lily makes the board disappear, flips a desk, breaks a window by throwing a vase through it and turns a third of the class into rabbits before climbing on James’s desk and screaming ‘FUCK GOBBLINS’ and prompts the only reaction out of Professor Binn’s on record.

‘Black, late to class again I see. Probably doing your hair, am I right?”
“yes in fact you are Evans. I care about my appearance, clearly you do not”


  • Lily flips him off and McGonagall is in disbelief because she is head girl and Miss Evans I expected more.
  • ‘Alright so there are goose feathers everywhere, which one of you three did this?’ *both point simultaneously to James*
  • Sirius citing Lily as a source on his witches in the 1700’s and by source he means she ranted to him for thirty minutes about the treatment of witches by not only muggles but WIZARD MEN and he wrote it all down and turned it in
  • Fifteen year old Lily really likes coffee but never knows how to get it and Sirius showing her how to tickle the pair and OH MY GOD THIS IS FANTASTIC and she hugs him and he sort of… stands there like so shocked before wrapping his arms around her waist and his mother pretended like she didn’t know who he was at Hogsmede yesterday but everything seems a little better now
  • ‘Evans look over there’ *smears peanut butter down neck and turns around pretending like he didn’t*
  • ‘Oi Black look over here’ *produces scissors and threatens to cut off his eyebrow while simultaneously throwing cornflakes *
  • They always talk each other up to their crushes like ‘yeah Millie Sirius DOES have huge muscles’ and ‘James I heard that Lily has THREE BOOBS. Evans would you stop kicKING ME PLEASE’
  • At graduation right after Sirius gets his certificate and he grabs the magical megaphone like ‘SUCK IT EVANS I GRADUATED BEFORE YOU’ and Lily’s all ‘Black that’s just because ‘B’ is before ‘E’’ but he’s too busy yelling ‘THIS IS A SIGN I BLOODY KNEW I WAS SMARTER THAN YOU AND THE SAME GOES FOR YOU MOONY’
  • Basically Lily and Sirius being bros at school and having each-others backs is highly important u need to realize this 

The Chris Evans Mini-Series (One Shots)

Imagine your first Mother’s Day with Chris and your baby boy.

A/N: Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely moms out there. I know I’d be lost without mine. Here’s a quick (kinda quick) one shot, it’s written around my favorite couple and favorite little baby boy. ❤️

Chris laid awake next to you and watched as the first light of dawn came to behind the beige chiffon curtains in your master bedroom. It was Mother’s Day and he’d asked Kevin for a little time off his ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ press tour to go home and see you as it was your first ever Mother’s Day. He smiled to himself as he looked over at you, remembering the look you had on your face when he walked through the front door yesterday afternoon. He wasn’t meant to be home until early August, not even for a short four days. It was the greatest Mother’s Day present you could have gotten; Chris’ presence. You kissed him so long and so hard, the world around him spun.

His smile widened when he thought back to the look on his baby boy’s face when he carried him for the first time in four and a half months. Like every other parent who had to leave for long periods of time while their child was still a baby, Chris was worried that his son wouldn’t recognize him. He was afraid that Jack would see him as a stranger even though he FaceTimed the two of you every morning and every night. He was even hesitant to pick Jack up from his rocker, nervous his son would start crying if he did. He was so afraid that he just stood by the front door and observed his son from afar, feet glued to the ground despite your urging him to pick Jack up. Even Dodger urged him, nudging his best friend’s leg with his head.

You assured Chris none of what he was worried about would happen as you spoke about him with your son all the time. You showed him pictures, you watched interviews together, and little home videos you’d shot on your phone. You told Chris how Jack would light up every time he saw him, or heard him on the television, or your laptop, or some other mobile device. Chris managed to take a step closer upon hearing that, but still kept his distance. You sighed and decided to help move the meeting along, knowing the worries your husband were carrying on his shoulders were irrelevant. You walked over to Jack who smiled at you when you lifted him out of his rocker, bouncing him gently as you made your way over to Chris.

“You are so good with him,” Chris told you when he saw the way Jack looked at you, utterly mesmerized by his beautiful mother. “No no no,” he shook his head, taking a step back when you got too close. “I don’t want to scare him, Y/N. Just-” he huffed, “take it slow, please?”

“You’re not going to scare him, Chris,” you chuckled softly and took slow steps towards Chris, who looked like he was ready to run out the door. “Chris, stop.” You narrowed your eyes at Chris when he took another step back as you got closer. “You’re being ridiculous, so can you stop. Please?”

“Sorry,” he mumbled and released some of the tension from his shoulders, allowing you to approach with Jack. The closer you got, the tighter his shoulders got. “Oh my God, he’s not going to cry is he?” He asked you when he saw his son watching him curiously, his tiny head tilted to one side. “Y/N, is he going to-” Jack started laughing, making you smile and Chris flinch. “He’s got the cutest laugh,” Chris looked up at you with a wide grin; you nodded with the same smile. For a second, he forgot he was afraid and unconsciously reached for the hand Jack was holding out. “Hey, buddy.” Jack’s hand wrapped around Chris’ finger. “Have you been looking after your mama for me? Yeah?” Chris laughed along with Jack and you smiled at Dodger as the two of you observed their interaction. “You’re the man of the house now, aren’t you?”

“Do you want to hold him?” You asked and Chris nodded, but made no effort to prepare himself for the pass over. “Sweetheart, you’re not going to scare him. Look at him, he’s so happy to see his daddy. Trust me, it’s going to be okay. If he loves the try-hard mom, he’s going to love the natural dad,” you joked, drawing a smile to Chris’ face. “Here,” you carefully passed Jack over and Chris took him from you like an absolute pro. “See,” you kissed Chris’ cheek as he bounced your giggling son, “there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“Thank you,” he returned a kiss on your cheek then proceeded to kiss Jack’s. “For this, for him- for everything you’ve given me since we met.” You smiled, gently rubbing Jack’s back as you rubbed Chris’ arm. “How are you doing, Jack?” He spoke to your son with so much joy in his voice. “Are we cool?” Jack cupped Chris’ face in his hands and made soft noises with his lips, making you and Chris laugh. “I know, bud. I miss my beard too.”

Chris returned to reality when he heard soft noises come through the baby monitor. He quickly grabbed it from his bedside table and turned it off, slipping out of bed to attend to him. He was trying to give you the best day of your life, starting with some well-deserved rest. He knew you were playing it cool, but you were having a bit of a hard time doing the whole parenting thing without him. He’d wished he’d gotten you pregnant after his Marvel contract ended, so he could’ve been there for everything. He wanted the whole experience, but he’d only had half a pregnancy, an early labor, and the three months of Jack’s life. As much as he’d like to complain, he couldn’t; he had the perfect wife and the son he’d always wanted. Sure, he’d missed out on a little bit, but it was only the beginning. There was so much more to come that he was going to be there for.

“Good morning, Dodger.” Chris patted Dodger’s head as he walked past him to scoop Jack out of his cot. “Hey, buddy.” He rocked Jack soothingly, smiling when his son wrapped his tiny arms around his neck and rested his head against his chest. “I’ve missed you too, kiddo.” He held Jack as closely as he had last night, rocking his son to sleep before joining you in bed. “I know I haven’t been around, but I’ll be home soon. You and Dodger just keep taking care of your mama for me, okay? I promise I’ll be home soon, to take care of all of you.”

Chris carried Jack for a little while, pacing the room as he enjoyed the simplicity of holding his son in his arms. It was feeling he’d never, ever get sick of. It was peaceful, very zen-like to have Jack’s tiny body held against his chest; to listen to his soft breaths; to kiss his soft hair; to breath him in because babies always smelt good. Chris didn’t know why, but they did. He was so satisfied with his life at that very moment because he was finally a dad able to celebrate Mother’s Day with his wife and child; he was no longer just a son who had to take care of his mom. He was a husband, a father, and he had to show you how grateful he was towards the woman who’d given him that. He needed to make breakfast, and clean the house, and take out the trash, and fix anything that was broken in his absence. He needed to spend today, and the next two and a half days showing how much he loved and appreciated you before he had to leave again. You may have known already, but it wouldn’t have killed him to emphasize.

You instinctively woke at 6:25AM, like every other morning if Jack managed to sleep through the first light of dawn. You turned over and reached for your husband only to find the bed empty and the baby monitor turned off. You smiled because you knew what day it was and what Chris had planned to do for you while he was home. It was sweet, like everything he did. You stretched, grabbing his pillow and hugging it to your chest. Your mom was right about you knocking things out of the park with him, he was absolutely perfect.

You got out of bed and went into the bathroom to get cleaned up. You were coming out of the bathroom when you heard Chris’ footsteps and Dodger’s paws coming down the hall. “Shhh,” you heard Chris tell your babbling son. “We don’t want to wake your mama, I’m just going to sneak into the bathroom to brush-” You smiled at him as your three boys entered the room. “Oh, you’re awake.” He chuckled when you nodded, walking over to him. “Was it us? Were we too loud?”

“No,” you shook your head and held out your arms to take Jack from Chris. “I’m used to waking up early, as is Dodger.” You looked down at Dodger, smiling. “This little guy keeps us up and at it. Don’t you, bud?” You poked your son’s stomach, making him laugh and Chris smile. “You can go brush your teeth, I’ll watch him.”

“Happy Mother’s Day, sweetheart.” He leaned over to peck you on the lips and you smiled. “I’m going to go brush my teeth first, then I’ll come back and give you a proper kiss.” You chuckled and nodded, bouncing your son as you made your way back over to your bed. Dodger joined you, sitting down in front of you and resting his head in your lap.

“How did you sleep, handsome?” You asked your son, smoothing his bedhead with your hand.

“It’s definitely good to be back in bed with my wife,” Chris answered from the bathroom. You laughed and he poked his head out with a toothbrush in his mouth, “oh. You’re talking to Jack,” he said, his words muffled by his brushing.

“Yes I am,” you smiled. “But I’m glad you slept well too, handsome.” You winked at Chris, earning a wink back. “And you, Dodger.” You cooed and scratched his head. “Anyway, Chris.” You looked back up at your husband. “I am really glad to have you back in bed too, it’s been awfully lonely without you around.”

“I know it has been,” Chris murmured, careful not to get any toothpaste anywhere. “I’ll be home soon though.” He walked back in to rinse and spit, then came back out as he dried his face with his face towel. “And then we can actually be a team like I promised.” You smiled and nodded. “I’m really sorry I haven’t been around to help you.” He walked over and sat down next to you; you passed him Jack and he held his son close to his chest. “Really, really sorry.”

“Don’t be,” you shook your head, kissing his cheek. He pressed his lips together, eyes filled with guilt. “Darling,” you chuckled, rubbing his back. “You didn’t run out on me, you went to work. It’s not your fault you’ve been away, you’re making money to provide for this family. So don’t apologize, okay? You haven’t been far, you know I always carry you in my heart.” He cracked a smile and leaned in to kiss you. “I love you,” you told him then met his lips.

“I love you too,” he whispered. “And you’re getting everything you deserve today, don’t you worry.”

“I’ve already gotten everything I need,” you smiled at him. “My three,” you glanced from Dodger, to Jack, to Chris, “beautiful and perfect boys.” Chris chuckled, leaning in for another kiss. “Yeah, I don’t need anything else.”

Tags: @chrisevans-imagines @widowsfics @m-a-t-91 @xoxomioxoxo @imaginesofdreams @ateliefloresdaprimavera @katiew1973 @winter-tospring @shamvictoria11 @caitsymichelle13 @michellekeehlmello @letterstomyself21 @soymikael @faye22 @always-an-evans-addict @sammyrenae68 @brobrobreja @elizabeth-matsuoka @thegirlwiththeimpala @camerica96 @all-of-the-above11 @whenyourealizethisisntagoodname @yourtropegirl @smoothdogsgirl @createdbytinyaddiction @siofrataylor @dreamingintheimpalawithdean @imaginary-world-of-mine @wanderingkat77 @grantward3 @rileyloves5 @chrsmom302 @buckys-shield @mylittlefandomfanfictions @breezykpop @catch-me-im-a-falling-star @tabi-toast @ssweet-empowerment @hayleesteashoppe @chrixa @feelmyroarrrr @akidura79 @louisespecter @castellandiangelo @ccrossfire @assxmblesstuff @edward-lover18 @princessesnaddy @1d-niallerbieberforever @dxbrevgrey @bellastellaluna @christopher-or-steven @brokenwingsxix @yourenotrogers @im-a-fandom-slut @royalexperiment256 @palaiasaurus64 @mysteriouslyme81 @captainumeboshi @avengingalec @tacohead13 @badassbaker @pegasusdragontiger @evanstanimagines @avengersgirllorianna @sfreeborn @dorisagent101 @antisocial-angel13 @mizzzpink @aekr @scarltvison @imagine-cats96 @adeptkillsyasse @shliic @ask-steverogers @justanotherfangurlz @winchesterandpie @creativeheartgemini (Inbox me if you’d like to be added to the tag list)

Happy Independence Day, America!

I realize a huge portion of you don’t live in the United States, but today is the Fourth of July, so let’s talk about the most American pokémon there is, Braviary!

Braviary is very obviously designed to be a bald eagle, the bird of prey found in every state except Hawaii. Bald eagles are large majestic birds, which prey off fish and other small animals, mate for life and build the largest nests in the world. They can fly up to 10,000 feet and 100 miles per hour in a dive.

The pokédex says that Braviary can carry a car. Although there are stories of eagles carrying off small dogs or even children, the truth is the laws of aerodynamics just wouldn’t cut it for a bald eagle’s wings. The maximum is around four or five pounds, before the weight interferes too much with its flight to continue.

So what makes Braviary different? Braviary weighs about 90 pounds (just over 6x the weight of a bald eagle), and cars are typicaly around 4,000. This would give it access to more momentum than a bald eagle. Every object falls at the same rate, independent of mass. For example, a bowling ball and a feather (neglecting air resistance) would hit the ground at the same time if dropped from the same height. What this means for Braviary, is that it can reach the same speeds that smaller bald eagles can in a free fall dive, which is over 100 miles per hour (160 mph).

Because Braviary is so massive, he gets lots of momentum from this. Momentum is a sort of resistance to change in motion. Something with lots of momentum is hard to stop. Bald eagles actually use momentum to their advantage as well. They can only carry four or five pounds for long distances, but if they get their momentum up, they can carry up to 10 pounds for short amounts of time.

So Braviary uses his massive amounts of momentum to pick up a car. It may be near impossible for him to fly with all of that extra weight, but because he’s already moving so fast and with so much momentum, he can carry a car for short distances despite this.

It’s also important to consider differences in how Braviary flies, compared to a bald eagle. His wings, which generate lift based on the Bernoulli Principle (see Latios), are somehow differently shaped, sized, or etc. such that he can get more out of them. After all, an airplane can carry over 100 tons. Perhaps Braviary has significant control over his flight, changing the way he does it based on whether or not he’s carrying cargo. For example, perhaps he extends his wings outward further when carrying cargo, such that he gets more lift that would normally throw him off balance if he was empty handed.

Braviary’s unique wings and high mass (momentum) enable it to lift impossibly heavy loads, such as a car, during flight.

Birds like Braviary seem fearless as they dive at high speeds straight for the ground, but it’s all just instinct. Bald eagles mate for life, so its similarly possibly that Braviary can form friendships as strong and as loyal as the dex describes.

bosstoaster  asked:

The Pals have to take care of a giant, 8 foot, fluffy creature for a few hours while Allura and Coran do peace talks. It turns out to have the temperament and energy of a young puppy.

finally filling the airplane prompts I took earlier this week :) i have a few more of these coming, tag is ‘airplane prompts’ if you want to blacklist. all sizes of fills coming from large to smol.


“As far as bonding experiences go,” Keith says flatly, his arms folded across his chest, “I’m not convinced this one’s worth it.”

Hunk follows Keith’s gaze, down the little rise they’re standing on and across the courtyard below. Under the salmon hues of this planet’s sun, the three other Paladins face off against the behemoth pupper - no, against the Sacred and Noble Guardian of the Highest Court, or so the Paladins had been introduced. The Sacred and Noble Guardian towers well above Hunk - above any of them, really, its long fur flapping into its four eyes and poofing around floppy ears. It has six legs, tons of teeth, an enormous orange tongue, and so much fluffy blue-white fur that it’s basically a massive eight-foot-tall cottonball of doom and drool.

“I dunno,” Hunk says, tilting his head to the side. “It’s kind of cute. Just - big.”

Across the courtyard the Sacred and Noble Not-Pupper trots away from Shiro, Lance, and Pidge, snuffling its shiny nose along the grass until it reaches a giant pile of coiled rope stored carefully in a corner. It lets out a delighted yelp. A handful of birds squawk in fear, fleeing from the trees. The Sacred and Noble Cottonball picks up the rope almost daintily in its enormous, slobbery jaws.

“ ‘Bond with it’, the Princess said,” Keith mutters. The Sacred and Noble Poof-Face drags the rope across the courtyard to the other Paladins, massive tail wagging so hard in undeniable excitement it knocks over four nearby chairs and a table. “ ‘This creature’s sacred to them’, the Princess said. ‘We won’t be but a moment.’”

“She said a few vargas,” Hunk supplies helpfully. Pidge is first to the giant rope, near cooing up at the massive Guardian as it lowers itself partially to the ground by bending its first two legs, rear end up, tail wagging. Pidge gestures excitedly at Shiro and Lance; from this far away and with their helmets off, Keith can’t make out what she’s saying. “It’s been what, one? One and a half?”

“One,” Keith agrees, grudgingly. Lance helps Pidge pick up the giant rope; Shiro bends to help as well, though he’s grinning as Lance gives wild instructions, gesturing with his free hand. “I just…I don’t know about this.”

Hunk elbows him, almost smug. “Not a dog person, huh?”

“That’s - that’s not a dog!” Keith yelps. Down below the Sacred and Noble Not-Dog grips the knotted end of the rope in its significant mouth and takes one single giant scramble backwards. Despite their firm grip on the rope, Shiro, Lance, and Pidge are all pulled right along with it and straight off their feet. “How are we supposed to bond with that?!”

Down below the Paladins pick themselves up off the ground, every single one of them laughing. Shiro says something, face turned upwards towards the Sacred and Noble Whatever in endeared delight. The Sacred and Noble Fluffbutt barks its joyous approval. Six birds scatter from the trees.

A slow grin spreads across Hunk’s face. “You scared?”

“I’m not scared,” Keith starts defensively.

“Hunk!” Lance hollers up at them, hands cupped around his mouth. Shiro and Pidge are picking up their half of the rope, while Sacred Noble Keith’s-Not-Afraid-Of-It-Dog wiggles its fluffy butt in gleeful anticipation. It’s panting. Drool’s everywhere. “Keith! Get down here, you lazy butts! We need you!”

“Then c’mon,” Hunk says, to Keith, and pulls Keith after him down the slope.

Seven fields

1. There is an old god of mud who sleeps beneath the footpath across the valley. You would not know it, most of the time. Only when the Spring comes and his long feet thaw beneath the far stile, that time when he is sometimes prone to roll over or snore. Then you get great bubbly puddles in the mud, the sort that children idly jump in and find themselves submerged to the waist.

2. Close to the edge of the forest, there is a field that grows something purple. And you can try and find the owner of the field if you want, but there is a tight and tangled maze of bureaucracy to go through and it spits you back out at the start when you think you have it solved. Meanwhile the field gets harvested on Midsummer night. For a month or so the stumps ooze glittery juice, and then up come the purple leaves again, whispering anonymously as they grow.

3. It is hard to cross the field above the railway line. Maybe because of the mud, or the brambles that have long since cloaked the footpath, or the swarms of biting flies. I have not seen anyone cross it in five years, and only the sheep know about the scar through the field’s centre, where the mud parts into broken rock and through it you can see dark, dry depths.

4. Where the five fields come together on the hill there is a little extra one, a secret field ten metres across that you cannot see from any road. There are four apple trees there. The apples are small, and hard, and brown, and the magpies go at them in a frenzy in the Autumn so that there are none left at the harvest. But every so often a traveller comes from the city and picks a few to take away before the birds have at them.

5. The long-grass field round behind the wood. There is a circle in the centre where the cows will not go and the weeds grow long and tangled. Under the cow parsley there are the stumps of seven old stones. They say there was a tomb here once, and then it became a cowshed, and now it is scattered rubble.

6. I know also of a field by the North road that is in the shape of a spiral. You would not think it to look at it. But it is oddly difficult to approach the old oak in the centre by the direct route. And if you approach it obliquely, spiral-wise, you get the sense that you are slipping deeper, going further perhaps than you should; making a journey from which it may be hard to come back. There are crows in the tree, but I do not know how they made it there. Maybe they come from some other place.

7. There is a field beneath the town, a field that was ploughed by a white horse and a black one, and the black horse was the white horse’s shadow on the moonlit river that had somehow been pulled up into the world of men. Those horses could never be parted. In death they walked the field’s edges together, even though the field was soon gone. You can see them, sometimes, passing through the back room at the hairdressers’, or crossing the high street below the traffic lights. They are waiting for the sea to rise, to sink them both back below the water. They are patient and will not have to wait much longer.

The Outsiders is Gay™, an academic study:

Some of these quotes are 100% serious and meant genuinely, especially in regard to Dally and Johnny. Other quotes are absolutely us being pedantic, entirely because of how much of a hissy fit Hinton threw for the mere suggestion that there is a possible queer reading of this book. So if some of these seem like reaches… they are, and that’s what makes it so much fun.

Chapter 1:

  • WHEN I STEPPED OUT into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home. (Paul Newman, a bisexual icon.)
  • I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes. I wish they were more gray, because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have. (Ponyboy has a type.)
  • Darry is six-feet-two, and broad-shouldered and muscular. He has dark-brown hair that kicks out in front and a slight cowlick in the back— just like Dad’s— but Darry’s eyes are his own. He’s got eyes that are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice. They’ve got a determined set to them, like the rest of him. He looks older than twenty— tough, cool, and smart. He would be real handsome if his eyes weren’t so cold.
  • Soda is handsomer than anyone else I know. Not like Darry— Soda’s movie-star kind of handsome, the kind that people stop on the street to watch go by. He’s not as tall as Darry, and he’s a little slimmer, but he has a finely drawn, sensitive face that somehow manages to be reckless and thoughtful at the same time.
  • Soda merely cocked one eyebrow, a trick he’d picked up from Two-Bit.
  • “I’d just as soon tease a full-grown grizzly” (The biggest and best reach of all.)
  • They came running toward us now— four lean, hard guys. (They were hard, guys.)
  • Steve Randle was seventeen, tall and lean, with thick greasy hair he kept combed in complicated swirls. He was cocky, smart, and Soda’s best buddy since grade school.
  • (The entire description of Dally that lasts three paragraphs.)
  • If it hadn’t been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are.
  • Dallas lit a cigarette and handed it to Johnny. (Historically a queer symbol, just saying.)
  • Two-Bit cocked an eyebrow. “Nice-lookin’ bruise you got there, kid.” I touched my cheek gingerly. “Really?” Two-Bit nodded sagely. “Nice cut, too. Makes you look tough.”
  • I can understand why Sodapop and Steve get into drag races and fights so much, though— both of them have too much energy, too much feeling, with no way to blow it off. (Heh.)
  • In a moment his breathing was light and regular. I turned my head to look at him and in the moonlight he looked like some Greek god come to earth. I wondered how he could stand being so handsome. (Why would you even think that?)

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mage0flight  asked:

Hey what if when the UT/UF/SF sans are shopping with their S/O they asked if the S/O wanted chips. The response that the S/O gives is "I'm always a slut for Doritos". How would they react?

This is hilarious and also kinda me

Undertale

Sans

The moment the phrase “I’m always a slut for Doritos” comes out of your mouth, Sans is hunched over laughing the hardest he’s ever laughed before. The shoppers around you stop and look at your boyfriend. You laugh with him, clutching the bag of chips in your hand. This quickly becomes an inside joke between the two of you. 


Underfell

Sans (Red)

Much like UT!Sans, Red can’t contain his laughter. He has red tears streaming down his face from laughing so hard. He picks up at least four bags of Doritos and throws them into the cart before wiping his face down. He won’t give a shit if people are staring and kiss you right in the middle of the aisle. Never change sweetheart. 


SwapFell 

Sans (Rasberry)

Rasberry lets out a surprising snort as he throws the bag of chips into the shopping cart. He’ll grab you by the waist and pull you closer to his body. 

“I know that’s not the only thing you’re a slut for,” he says suggestively. Still, he finds it very humorous. 

- chapter one: part two -

“There’s a million reasons why this won’t work…but there’s only one reason why it will…”


7 weeks

I struggled with what I wanted to, or actually, what I should say to Niall for what felt like forever. It was more like…four hours and twenty three minutes. Which may seem a bit excessive to some, but being in the current situation I was in, with the person I was in it with, I knew I had no choice but to get this exactly right on the first go. I had no clue as to what I was going to do about…anything quite yet, but the first thing that needed to be done was to tell Niall.

Sitting on my couch and continuously staring at the little piece of paper as I contemplated word for word what I was going to say to him, almost made my head hurt. But I finally swallowed back my fears and picked up my cell phone, getting up from my couch to nervously pace back and forth across the carpeted floor. My teeth nipped increasingly hard at my bottom lip, scraping off the bits of skin that I had already been picking at for the past four hours and I could feel my hands jittering uncontrollably as I held the phone in my hand. Nervous was beyond an understatement at that point; I was absolutely scared shitless.

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In Pursuit of Lunch


@bloatedcrayon and I have a happy au where Lee had all four kids and gets to spend their early years in Suna with Gaara, his loving husband. we spend a tremendous amount of time discussing what a tiny snuggle prince Araya is, and also how he was a big baby with an extreme appetite. sometimes his quest for lunch grew so strong that he saw his sister as getting in the way of his meal. here’s a story about that.

—–

“Metal, what’s wrong?”

“Papa, Araya is a…,” Metal’s sweet almost-three-year-old voice started to answer.

Gaara waited patiently for his darling child to finish that wholesome thought.

“…fat monster.”

Gaara blinked at his oldest son and shook his head.

“He’s a what?”

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Just a little sneak peek at a fic im writing

It’s always been the two of them against the world. 

Being seven making paper eye patches to wear during their sword fights, sharing chicken pox miserably at nine but it was okay because wearing mittens as lobster claws was cool, the race at eleven for whose voice would crack and who’d get their first armpit hair, turning fifteen and competing for the higher amount of goals in football for a dumb trophy or being seventeen doing Russ together while throwing what they thought were groundbreaking parties. The time at nineteen fates finally deemed goodbye for a while was necessary. 

“Promise me that no matter how far we’re separated this isn’t a permanent goodbye.” Chris muttered quickly because feelings sucked. Change was scary. He was smart enough to know that this would happen one day. He just never wanted it too. “You’re my best friend.”

Always the dramatics. He was going to miss it. 

William expected this to go much easier. Everyone found it so easy to leave him so why was it so hard to just pick himself for once. Chris had never left him. It was that simple. Instead, William felt terrible like he was losing a limb from his body, but he’d never dare show it. “When Noora and I have kids, I need proof that I was cooler.”

“Fuck you, Magnusson.”  Chris cursed sticking both middle fingers in his face. 

“You wish.”

One pill after another to swallow. 

“I think I’m in love with Eva.” That statement didn’t throw William. It’s been four years  leading up to this moment. Two spent where Chris only had eyes for Eva. Anyone involved with either of them could see it. For Christ sake, they’ve been attached at the hip. He’s more surprised that its taken him this long to admit he has feelings.

Disney Part 2- Josh Dun

You day had started at 3 a.m. Your flight was at 6 a.m. so you had to be up and out very early. You didn’t care though because it was all to see Josh.

Once arriving in Florida you could barely contain your excitement. You looked around for Josh but you didn’t see him. It wouldn’t be to hard to spot him because of his bright yellow hair. As you approached baggage claim you saw a small crowd with four people in the center, one with bright yellow hair. His eyes met yours and he politely excused himself from the fans and practically sprinted towards you. He picked you up and spun you around. You couldn’t get the smile off your face as he held you. Once he put you down he held your face and kissed you. A small tear of joy fell from your eyes.

He put his arm around you and walked with you toward the other 3 people he was with before. You were happy to realize it was Jenna, Tyler, and Josh’s brother Jordan. You all exchanged hugs and you chatted with a few lingering fans.

After about 10 minute of just talking you gave Josh a look signalling that you really wanted to go.

With that josh wrapped up the conversation and all 5 of you left and headed back to the tour bus. Although having 5 people on one bus was cramped and not ideal, you were so happy it was with these people.

The rest of the day was just catching up with everyone and eating taco bell. You realized that Josh was a little distracted. Every Time you would look at him he would be staring at the floor or off in space.

At about 1030 at night you were extremely tired from such a long day.

“Sorry to be such a party pooper but i’m going to head off to bed. I’ll see you all tomorrow.” They all said goodnight to you as you walked towards the bunks. You thought Josh would have followed you be her didn’t. You were slightly concerned so you decided to text him.

‘Babe come to bed with me. I miss you’

Not even a minute later Josh was pulling back the curtain of the bunk and climbing in.

“I’m so happy you’re here.” He said as he pulled you into his bare chest.

“I am too.” you said yawning. “Josh can I ask you a question?”

“Of course Y/N”

“Are you okay? You seemed kind of off today.”

There was a slight pause. He was thinking of a response.

“Yeah . I’m just really happy you got to join us on the tour. I guess I was just kind of upset not knowing if or when you would be able to so I’m now in shock that you’re here.”

“Well I’m here to stay for now.” You said as you turned to face him. You closed the gap between your and Josh’s lips. You felt him smile against your lips. Before you knew it you were fast asleep in Josh’s arms. You have been waiting for this moment for so long you didn’t want it to end.


When you woke up in the morning the bus was completely silent. Josh was asleep still holding you. As you went to get up you heard a small grunt from Josh.

“No, don’t leave. Not yet.” He held you tight and wasn’t letting you go.

“Josh I have to pee, please let me go.” You said giggling lightly.

He let you go after about 3 minute of an intense make out session and a few exchanges of ‘I love yous’.

As you went to head to the kitchen part of the bus to make coffee you were pulled up into the bunk. I guess he really didn’t want to let go of you.

What felt like 5 minutes was actually an hour. You must of fallen back asleep in the bunk with Josh because you were woken up by a big “Yeah, It’s Disney day. Get the hell up Y/N and Josh.” From Tyler.  

You laughed and Josh just rolled his eyes at how childish Tyler could be at times.

Once all of you were ready it was about 9 in the morning. You all were pumped to go to Disneyworld and after a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal everyone was out the door.

Before you knew it the day was nearly over. You all waited for the fireworks to begin.You could see out of the corner of your eyes Tyler and Jordan talking to Josh about 10 feet away from where you and Jenna were standing. He looked very anxious. You were about to walk over to see what was happening when the first boom of a firework sounded. To be honest it kind of startled you. Josh and the other guys walked over and joined Jenna and you. Josh pulled you close and you both stared at the fireworks in the sky in awe.

After the firework show you all went to ride a few rides before leaving. As you walked off the last ride you noticed Tyler giving Josh a pat on the back. Josh grabbed your hand and lead you towards a more private area. The rest of the group hung a few feet back and that’s when you turned around to see Jordan with his phone recording you.

“Jordan what are you doin-” your words were unable to form as you turned around to see Josh down on one knee with a velvet box in his hand.

You put your hands over your mouth and tried hard to fight back tears.

“Y/F/N” Josh began to speak. “You truly are the love of my life. I’ve been thinking about this very moment since the day you said yes to going on a date with me. You are my one, my only, my whole heart. I want to be the one that make you smile just like you do to me. Now before I start to shed a tear or fans realize what I’m doing. Y/N Y/L/N, will you become Mrs.Dun and marry me?”

You couldn’t speak . You shook your head yes and he slipped the ring on your finger. He got up and hugged you so tight. You cried happy tears into his chest as people clapped and cheered around you.

“Oh my god, Josh I love you so much. I want to spend my life with you. I’m so happy.” He held your face and wiped away a few stray tears.

“I love you too. I can’t believe you said yes. I wanted to do this in Disney World because this is where I first told you I loved you on our third date.” You smiled remembering back to that day and at how he kept track of the dates you guys went on.

“This is really where dreams come true. I got my dream guy, dream day, and dream proposal.”

snoozingcat  asked:

i'm not feeling well (so just like the last time I sent you a crappy day prompt, I think). I have a sore throat like you wouldn't believe, so-- maybe something where 1/2 of stevetony loses their voice? or goes off grid during a mission and scares the bejeesus out of the other. hope you feel better soon!

aw yuck. i hope this helps!

The fiasco is Tony’s fault.

He’s second in command, so it’s his job to tell Steve he’s being a moron when he’s being a moron. And going on a mission after nearly being choked out on a mission two days prior is being a moron.

But then, what kind of moron does that make Tony for not putting his foot down and benching him?

Supreme moron.

Steve’s voice has only been audible over the comms because they’re such good quality. He’s nearly incomprehensible in a non-tech enhanced conversation because the bruising around his trachea was so bad he’s about one yell away from losing his voice entirely.

Which, again, is why Tony is the Supreme Moron.

Everything is going fine until the swarms of A.I.M. lackeys start riding Tony’s ass with laser cannons. He has to pull his focus from keeping-an-eye-on-everyone-and-especially-Steve to making-A.I.M.-agents-sorry-they-ever-signed-up-for-this. 

That is, naturally, when he a) loses track of Steve and b) hears him attempt to yell something. He only gets three syllables out before his voice gives up the ghost and all Tony hears is his raspy breathing.

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Uncommon love Pt. 1

King Hercules x Reader


“You call this clean? This is a mess!” the head maid cried as she saw what you had been working on cleaning. “Do it again!”

You sighed and placed your bucket back on the floor, readying to get back to work. No matter how many times you cleaned an area you were always told to do it again.

You didn’t know why, it was probably because your boss didn’t like you.

You were a maid in the castle of King Hercules. You had been here ever since you were 12, along with your mother who had sadly passed away a year ago.

You continued scrubbing the floor as hard as you could, just wanting to finish the job so that you could go to sleep. It was already eleven.

You dried the floor quickly before picking up your bucket and leaving the room. You put everything away and yawned, leaving to go to the servants quarters for some rest.

“What do you think you’re doing?” a voice called from behind you. You stopped and groaned softly.

You turned around and plastered a smile on your face, looking at your boss.

“I am retiring for the evening m’am.”

She scowled at you and walked closer.

“I don’t think so. You haven’t done all your chores yet.”

You gaped at her. Like hell you didn’t.

“M’am with all do respect, I have been up since four in the morning working as hard as I could. I have done every single thing on my chore list and even on Emily’s chore list since she was feeling sick.”

Your boss snarled at you.

“You little-”

“I’m sorry but what is going on here?” a deep voice called from behind your boss.

You both turned in shock, seeing King Hercules standing in front of you with a frown on his face.

“Your Majesty!” your boss cried, staring at him. You dropped your head and sank into a low curtsey, your boss following your lead.

“Young lady what is your name?” the king asked you.

“Y/N your Majesty.”

“And you said that you have been up working since four in the morning, is that correct?”

“Yes sire.”

“Then why on earth are you still awake right now? You should be sleeping, it will be midnight soon!” he cried, sounding slightly angry.

“I was told that I needed to redo the spots that I have cleaned sir.”

He turned to your boss.

She looked up at him nervously, not knowing what to say.

The king shook his head.

“Go to bed Miss. But come see me tomorrow morning, say nine. Get some rest.”

“Yes sire.”

You curtsied quickly and left the room in a hurry. You could hear him start to chew out your boss. You felt bad for her, but she also probably deserved it. Oh well.

At least now you would get some proper rest.

But what did the King want with you tomorrow?

~~~~

“Ya know Miss Y/N, I have heard from multiple accounts that you are one of the hardest workers in this palace,” the king said from his desk where he sat, looking out the window.

“Thank you sire.”

“I think you deserve a treat.”

You looked at him in shock. He looked back at you and smiled, a silly twinkle in his eye.

“You are confused?” he chuckled.

You gave a small nod.

“Well don’t be. We are hosting a ball this weekend, and I think that you should attend as an honored guest.”

“But sir! I am only a servant, a commoner!”

“Please, do not worry about it. Or anything for that matter. I am having a  gown sent to your room, please accept my invitation.”

“Are you sure?”

He nodded, smiling gently.

“Well… alright. I shall attend.”

He smiled wider and walked over to you. He took your hand and kissed it gently.

“I cannot wait. Thank you.”

anonymous asked:

Sam! I just binge watched all 5 seasons of Leverage and I LOVED it...but now it's over D: Any other recs? I feel like I've seen so many shows but there have to be awesome ones I haven't seen! (I love sci-fi, fantasy, character driven comedy [ie. B99, Parks&Rec, Community], procedurals like Leverage or White Collar but only if characters are amazing. No body horror like Hannibal or Nip/Tuck) Was wondering if you had a rec list laying around

LOL, you named off the three I was going to recc, which were Brooklyn 99, Community, and White Collar….

I would actually recommend the original House of Cards, the BBC miniseries – it was in three parts, each part having only four episodes. It was a lot more narratively compact than the Netflix remake (which is also good but suffered from the usual problems of a 13-episode season, which is that they filled in the gaps with a lot of boring pornbait) and there’s a lot of skulduggery and con-artistry. I’m not sure if it’s back on Netflix though so it may be hard to find. Also, some of the nuance is lost if you don’t have a familiarity with the British class system (the government stuff you pick up pretty fast, but the class stuff is a little stranger and more difficult to parse).  

There’s a show called Sirens that ran for a few seasons which you might enjoy; it’s not on the level of Brooklyn Nine Nine but it’s a similar conceit, a sitcom about a group of EMTs. The quality of the show varied wildly from episode to episode but it was good enough I saved many of the episodes in my TV folder.

The first few seasons of Suits was pretty good – somewhat similar to White Collar in character dynamic, but as a legal procedural, so less con-man hijinks and more legal sleight of hand.  

You might also take a swing at The Librarians. It’s SUPER cheesy SFF, but it’s fun, and the characters have some real meat to them. Christian Kane, who played Eliot, is one of the regular ensemble cast, playing a pretty similar character (an Okie ranch boy who secretly yearns to be an academic). Noah Wylie’s character seems to annoy the hell out of most viewers – I’m not bothered, but I see how others would be – but after the first episode he’s barely in it.  

Readers feel free to chime in, but remember to do it in comments or reblogs, as I don’t post asks sent in response to other asks. Happy viewing! 

Bound for Life and Beyond Reason

THE ASK: “ *holds your face gently* *whispers* kyouhaba, dragon AU ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” FROM THE AMAZING @queerbatnana!!!!

THE RESPONSE: *sweats* f-four thousand words….

i apologize. thank you for the ask though!!!!! this was amazingly fun to write!!!!

If Kentarou thinks hard enough, he can pinpoint the moment he actually condemns the rest of his life, and it just so happens to be the earliest memory he can remember.

A silver stone, with an engraved golden, swirling pattern all over it, sat not too far from his house at the edge of the village. He was small, around three or four, he can never remember exactly. What he does remember is teetered out and picking it up.

The stone was bigger than both his fists and, despite its size, it was incredibly feather-light and pleasantly warm. He gasped and giggled at it, loving how it glinted in the sunlight and how the ridges of gold felt underneath his wandering fingers.

It was only when he pressed his ear to it, thinking that, like the rumors of seashells holding the sounds of the ocean, the rock would carry the sounds of the earth, did his little mind think it was more than a rock. Because the moment he pressed his ear to it, its warmth climbed to a scorching heat, like putting your hands too close to the fire and having the flames trying to lick at them.

In the same moment, his uncle, Kiyoshi, called out to him. Kentarou dropped the rock in shock, from the call and the warmth, and it oddly shook and rolled away to the edge of the woods even though the land was perfectly level. Kiyoshi gathered him up and led him back inside.

So, Kentarou guesses now, its only fate that he grows up to be in love with the only things that seem to be the bane of everyone else’s existence: dragons. They barely attack the village, not anymore, not since the people fought back and they learned to stay away from humans or else. Instead, they fished their oceans and the smaller ones picked off the forest game they could get to. The dragons made food besides anything they could grow hard to come by, and many still thought they should be killed in cold blood for making their lives miserable.

But Kyoutani thought they were beautiful. He wandered into the woods the moment the sun broke the horizon and emptied the traps the other villagers set out (they were all too stupid to set traps that would kill the dragons in sight, too sadistic that they would want to kill the beasts themselves, so it made Kentarou’s job easier). His acts of kindness never made the dragons less wary of him, but it certainly made them accept his help quicker. All his efforts ever got him was a quick glance and a flurry of wings as they fled, but it was all the same; Kyoutani couldn’t shake these creatures, and they couldn’t shake them, not if they wanted to live.

But it started, oddly enough, when Kentarou became aware of the streak of silver at the edge of his vision as he released the dragons from the traps every morning.

He noticed it once, then twice, and then it became a commonplace thing. Anytime he was in or at the edge of the forest, he would see the blur of silver in is peripheral no matter how hard he tried to catch a better glimpse of it. The whole thing would have bothered him to no end if he didn’t assume it was a dragon in the first place.

A dragon following him around? He must be the luckiest dragon-lover ever!


When Kentarou turned sixteen, Kiyoshi believed he was old enough to start helping out the village.

“You spend time in tha’ damned forest often ‘nough, why not try shootin’ a lil’ game to sell in the marketplace? And shoot summa those demons, while you’re at it! Gods know we need less a’them!”

And that’s how Kentarou found himself with a bow and arrow, a new knife, and a whole lot more free time in the forest.

Truth be told, there wasn’t much game to look out for. The dragons picked off most of the bigger stuff, like deer, elk, even bears and coyotes, that would have brought in a fortune large enough to carry them both for at least three months, maybe more. All that were left were birds, rabbits, and the occasional squirrel or chipmunk, which weren’t much but at least they were something.

His first day hunting had him nestled flat on a boulder, scanning the area for anything that moved with an arrow already nocked on his string. He didn’t have to glance to the side to know the streak-of-silver dragon was near, but he couldn’t say it wasn’t tempting. He would’ve, but he could practically feel its eyes burning holes through him, and he didn’t want to scare it off.

It took about a week of nothing, about a week of scouting out almost every part of the forest he could think of that had some promise, before he started getting a little bit of results.

He was perched in a tree with a low enough branch when a startled rabbit dash through the bushes. Elated, he took barely a second to draw and aim before releasing. The arrow stuck true, latching onto the rabbit’s gut and making it topple over, lifeless.

Kentarou launched himself off the tree branch, sticking his landing on the leaf-buried forest floor, and jogged over to the rabbit. When he retrieved his arrow and wiped it on the edge of his tunic, it was only then that he spotted the brilliant silver outline of a dragon through the trees, soaring in the opposite direction. He blinked, stunned, before making the rabbit’s gash wider, tying its tail to a piece of twine, and hanging it over the branch he sat on previously. As its blood dripped down to the forest floor, staining the dead leaves there, Kentarou let himself think about that dragon.

It was small, if the minuscule dot of silver he saw through the trees was any indication, or it at least had to be smaller than half the dragons he’d encountered already. And it wasn’t only following him around now, it was… helping him? By chasing a rabbit towards where he was for him to kill? Which meant that the dragon was a lot more intelligent than most people. And maybe that it wanted to help him.

But that would mean dragons had free thought, or could make decisions for themselves, or had consciences… Dragons were a lot more complicated than he could have ever hoped for. Were all dragons capable of this?

And more importantly, the dragon was a familiar shade of silver that he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

The shade, the glint… it all reminded him of something, but it evaded him every time he thought about it too hard.

By the time he shook himself out of his thoughts, the sun was already in a completely new position in the sky, making the shadows longer and more sinister, and the rabbit was almost completely dry. He sighed, heaving himself to his feet and situating everything he had on his person before making the trudge back to the home he shared with his uncle.

“One rabbit,” he grunted, handing it to a surprised Kiyoshi as he walked through the door.

“Ya actually got sumthin’?” Kiyoshi guffawed, looking at the rabbit incredulously. “And a fat one, at that.”

“Aren’t all rabbits the same size?” Kentarou asked.

“This one here’s pretty fat. Actually surprised the devils hadn’t gotten to it yet,” Kiyoshi noted, bringing it over to the small table they had in the middle of the house and pulling out his knife. “Dunno if we should sell this or eat it,” he muttered.

“Do what you want with it, I guess,” Kentarou shrugged. “I’m headin’ to bed.”

“Tired after bringin’ one bunny home?” Kiyoshi retorted. “You’re getting’ soft, Ken.”

“Gonna get up early tomorrow,” Kentarou amended, not wanting his uncle to think he was lazy. “Something tells me I’ll have better luck.”


At the crack of dawn, Kentarou clambered out of the house and traversed into the woods once more. The paths he’s been taking have been becoming more familiar to him lately, almost a little more worn-down than the rest of the wilderness. He made a note to take different paths in the future. He also took note of the pointed paw print embedded in the a softer patch of dirt along this slightly beaten path.

The dragon, Kentarou figures, smiling a little to himself as he goes and releases the dragons from their traps.

As he figured, the silver dragon that’s been watching over him got a lot better at helping him out. At almost every turn there was some sort of animal scurrying by in fear. Once, at around midday, one tree almost came crashing down to send some birds flying from their nests. Kentarou was grateful, but was honestly kind of worried about how far the dragon was willing to go in order to help him.

Either it being quick thinking or reckless thinking, it didn’t matter, because Kentarou had a plan.

He shot and killed as many small animals as he could, which wasn’t too hard since the dragon really had a knack for its newfound job. He dried most of them, only letting one or two be as he cleaned his arrows and got back to picking off as many as he could. By sunset, he had enough rabbits and chipmunks strung around his waist to look like a nice belt. Normally, he would have gone back home to Kiyoshi to clean out all his kills, but he found a patch of forest that still had sun filtering through the leaves and sat down.

He took one of the unbled rabbits and held it in his hands.

“I don’t know why,” he spoke, looking at the rabbit but making sure his voice carried in the wild stillness, “but you’re helping me more than I could ever ask for. Some of this is your reward, too.” Kentaoru thought for a moment. “You could catch them easier than I ever could, and you’re helping me instead. I don’t… understand… but, please continue to help me!”

He threw the rabbit as far away from himself as he could, and it landed right on the edge of the clearing. He could feel the dragon eyeing him curiously, its gaze as sharp as the points on his arrows, and he had to heave a sigh. So, it wasn’t going to come out with him watching, huh? Fine, Kentarou could play along, too.

Kentarou buried his head in his hands, making sure his eyes were completely covered, and waited.

Time blurred when sitting in almost complete darkness, so it almost shocks Kentarou when he hears the unmistakable sounds of leaves and tree branches shifting and something being swallowed whole. He doesn’t move, doesn’t breath, only waits for the trees to shift again.

By the time he opens his eyes, the sky is painted a transition from orange to blue and a streak of silver slips away from him.

Triumphant, he heads back to the house.


Days pass like this, where Kentarou would return with more meat anyone in the village has seen in one place before, although one or two less than he originally shot. The silver dragon was getting more comfortable, slipping in to eat his offerings nearly a second after he covered his eyes. It felt exhilarating, surreal, like he realy couldn’t believe that it was happening himself.

Everything fell into a pattern, with Kiyoshi going to the market to sell most of the meat he cured that Kentarou brought in the previous day and with Kentarou going out to hunt more and see if he could be closer to his dragon. It felt dangerous, getting close to a dragon, depending on one, really, but what could he say? The dragon was helping him and Kiyoshi get by; he wasn’t about to complain, though he was curious why the dragon seemed so fixed on him in the first place.

About a week after the first offering, Kentarou decided he needed to see this creature instead of glimpse it. He needed to know what this creature looked like if he couldn’t figure out why it was doing these things. It’s not like it could talk in the first place. He just needed to know if all of this was real, that it wasn’t some kind of prolonged dream or a figment of his imagination.

He ended his hunting session like he always did, finding the clearing that let in the most sunlight and sat down. He muttered his thanks, knowing the dragon would hear him, and threw the only rabbit he killed that day towards the edge of the clearing. He jerked, moving to cover his eyes, but peeked through his fingers.

The dragon was larger than him, he could tell that much as it crashed through the tree branches that surprisingly didn’t break. As it lunged for the rabbit, its silver and gold-patterned scales glinted in the waning sunshine.

Kentarou was not expecting for it to look right at him, but in the next moment, they locked eyes, Kentarou’s molten gold meeting its light brown. He couldn’t look away, awed by how human the expression of surprise was as it shone behind its irises, by the way its silver wings tucked themselves closer to its body, as the dragon tensed but its eyes shone with fondness.

Human.”

The thought reverberated through Kentarou’s mind unbidden and he gasped at the sound of another voice, and the feeling of something else, in his head.

The dragon’s eyes widened before fleeing as it came.


Kentarou doesn’t dream, but that night, he did.

It started in completely darkness. He was claustrophobic, cramped so that his every joint, every limb, felt twisted out of proportion. He couldn’t help but try to yell for help, but to no avail.

Through the walls of his confinement, he felt a warmth. It was pleasant, comforting, and he strove to get closer to it. It felt like home, felt like something he needed or couldn’t live without. He kicked, screamed, tried everything he could to get out, and when he heard a bubbling laughter, his efforts redoubled. The sound was high, clear, and pure, he needed to see who made it! Whatever was on the other side of his trap was as necessary as air, he knew, he had to-

And then the warmth was gone, and his trap spun over and over and over again and he continued to fight to get out. He was frantic, he felt like he was dying without that warmth, that sound, that beautiful, unique

His confinement cracked under his flailing, and he felt sunshine for the first time, but it didn’t compare to the warmth he experienced what felt like a century ago.

His surroundings fell away, reconfiguring itself in a smear of crystal blue that matched the sky perfectly. He left weightless, with his stomach left down on earth as he moved through the sky as easily as if he was slipping into water.

Everything disassembled once more, and instead he found himself perched in a tree, looking down at the forest floor at… himself.

He woke up with a shock, heaving every breath like it was going to be his last. He ran his hands through his hair, down his face and his chest, feeling that he was in his body and in his house and in reality. He was shaking, uneasy, and would have curled under his thin blanket once more if Kiyoshi wasn’t knocking on the walls to wake him up.

That day, there were no streaks of brilliant silver in the corners of his eyes and no abundance of animals to shoot at. It was almost as if the forest had been cleared off entirely; the trees, themselves, were so still the whole forest felt like it was dead.

He did, though manage to shoot one small bird as it flitted away from where he was. It was a lucky shot, he would admit that much to himself. At the end of the day, he sat in the same clearing, murmured a thanks, and threw the bird. When he closed his eyes dutifully, there was no rustling, no movement, and, like the rest of the day had already confirmed, no feeling of dragon’s eyes seeing right through him.

“Wha’ happened ou’ there?” Kiyoshi asked gruffly as he walked into the house with nothing.

“I must’ve cleared my regular hunting ground,” Kentarou reasoned, knowing that was more than a lie and hoping his uncle wouldn’t catch on. “I’ll start looking at different places tomorrow.”

“Haven’t seen any dragons?”

What.”

“Damn, boy, I never thought you were the jumpy type,” Kiyoshi chastised, confused by the way Kentarou jerked in response to his question. “You’re ou’ in those damned woods all the time, I thought ya would’ve seen one o’ them devils and killed it by now.”

“They’re not buggin’ anyone.” Kiyoshi laughed. “Well, they’re not bugging me. I don’t have to kill them-”

“They’re the reason you’re ou’ there in the firs’ place!” Kiyoshi erupted. “You think you would be hunting every day if it weren’t for those damned beasts? They take our food! They make us sick with their shit and piss all over the place!”

“That’s not their fault,” Kentarou replied, and when he heard Kiyoshi suck in a breath to refute him, “I’m not arguing about this. I’ll stir the stew we had left over from yesterday.”

And that was that.


The next day, Kentarou trekked deeper into the woods after setting free all the traps he saw along the way. The dragons still scattered away just as fast as they usually did, but for some reason their eyes lingered on him more than they would’ve. Unnerved, but not greatly so, he moved on, but he still didn’t see silver whenever he moved and his mind kept wandering towards the thought of the silver dragon.

It was beautiful, no doubt about it. He’d never seen any dragon colored like that before, it was so unique, and yet, how did the whole thing feel so familiar to him…?

The memory resurfaced so harshly, it made Kentarou freeze.

The rock he found when he was little. The dream of being trapped, the dream of flying, the dream of seeing himself

That was no rock. It was an egg.

“Figured it out, human?” someone seethed behind him, and before another word could be spoken, Kentarou swung around, an arrows already nocked, to look at the person who spoke.

They were taller than him, Kentarou noticed bitterly, and paler. The only thing they were wearing was something that looked like a skirt made entirely out of animal skins.

“That’s the first time you ever pointed that at me,” they said, a little less of a sneer in their voice. “Put it away.”

“Who are you?”

“Haven’t you guessed? You seemed like you had it all figured out a moment ago. Put it away.”

Their features turned harsh, and when Kentarou finally let himself look, he realized that their eyes were the same light brown, and their hair was the same brilliant silver with streaks of gold. He lowered his bow arm and put away the arrow. To say they were beautiful was an understatement.

“You’re the dragon,” Kentarou stated simply, looking at him in awe. “How…”

“Am I like this?” they questioned, stalking towards him with a sardonic smile twisting his thin lips. “You made me like this.”

“What?”

“You were the one that hatched me,” they stated simply, poking his chest with a finger that had a sharp enough nail to do some serious damage. “I was connected to you, I became able to take on your form at will, I listened to every thought in your head, learned your language… and oh, learned that being connected to a human is pitiful.”

“Well, if you hate me so much,” Kentarou snarled, slapping the other’s hand away from him, “why were you helping me all this time? Why were you following me? Why did all of this happen-?”

“Do you think I had a choice?” they snapped, taking a step away and running a hand through his hair. Kentarou noted it was a very human thing to do, for a dragon. “We’re connected. It doesn’t matter what I think. I’m drawn into you like flies on a rotting carcass.”

“Flattering.”

“Shut up,” they mutter half-heartedly.

“No,” Kentarou replied. “You’re pretty pissed about this entire thing, but it could be a lot worse. You could be paired with my uncle or someone else in the village that hates everything about dragons. They’d rather see your head on a stick than have a conversation.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” they said. “Fate has some tricky plans, pairing me with a blood-thirsty human.”

“You mean I can’t get rid of you?” Ketarou said, grimacing dramatically.

“Why would you? You think I’m beautiful.”

“Your scales.”

“You thought that when you saw me human, too.”

“Why can’t I hear your thoughts?”

“Changing the subject so soon?” they mocked, giving him a grin. “I’m connected to you, so I can hear everything. You’re not, so it doesn’t work both ways.”

“Why?”

“Well, firstly, you were unaware of our connection until moments prior.”

“So you’re saying with more time-?”

“No more questions,” they said, sighing heavily.

“One more?” Kentarou asked hopefully. “I don’t know what I should call you.”

“Shigeru.”

“Shigeru?”

“It was the name you always wanted for something.”

“Like a dog or a little sibling, maybe! Not a…”

“Lifemate?”

“What?”

“You only asked for one more question,” they, Shigeru, Kentarou guesses, said shortly. “We need sustenance, don’t we?”

They trekked farther into the woods and Kentarou settled into a spot. Shigeru disappeared through a thicket of trees, and not a second later, the silver dragon appeared and perched itself high in the trees. He was still beautiful, Kentarou thought, hoping Shigeru could hear him, but this was a different kind of beauty. It was fierce. Dangerous.

You’re not bad, yourself,” he heard clearly at the back of his head. To him, the admission almost sounded reluctant. A smile tugged its way across his face just as the first chipmunk scampered down a tree and past him.


“I could bring you cooked meat, if you want,” Kentarou offered, watching almost uncomfortably now as Shigeru swallowed some of his kills whole. A second later, with a slight pop, Shigeru stood in front of him and gave him a confused look.

“Why? This works fine,” he said it with a shrug, but Kentarou would be lying if he didn’t hear a hint of curiosity in his voice.

“But you’re human too, right? It doesn’t sit right with me to only let you eat raw meat.” So, Kentarou felt embarrassed for being grossed out by the whole thing, but he thought he had a point. What if Shigeru made himself sick?

“I’m sure I’ll be fine, but do as you wish,” Shigeru replied. “I’m just surprised you even care that much.”

“What do you mean?”

“It usually takes longer than this for Lifemates to be so invested,” Shigeru said offhandishly. Kentarou gave him a confused look, which made him sigh. “Mothers are supposed to hatch their eggs, but when they don’t, whoever or whatever does becomes the dragon’s Lifemate. It’s just an unbreakable bond between the two and has different effects for different pairs. I’ve known for longer, and since your thoughts accompanied mine throughout my life, I’m more invested than you are. However, your obvious concern hints that the bond is growing.”

Kentaoru thought about it for a second, before smiling deviously. “You make this sound like a relationship.”

“Don’t twist my words,” Shigeru scoffed.

I’m more invested than you are, we have a bond, it sounds like we’re a couple,” Kentarou couldn’t help but laugh at the notion. Shigeru soured.

“Dragon Lifemate pairs tend to be so, yes,” he replied quietly.

“Oh?” That pulled Kentarou up short. “Is it a guaranteed thing?”

“The bond usually strengthens until the two become inseparable. It is usually the next logical step.”

“Well, good, because I can already tell you’re in love with me,” Kentarou muttered.

“I am no such thing.”

“You know everything about me, I’m assuming, you helped me hunt, you’re leading me though this whole thing right now, plus…”

“Plus?”

“You sound almost hurt when you said that I wasn’t as invested as you were.” Kentarou and Shigeru stared at each other, the awkward tension palpable, before Shigeru turned away.

“It’s late. You should be back already.”

“Will you be okay?”

“Don’t try to fake anymore concern.”

“I’m not faking it.”

“Then I can already tell that you’re in love with me, too.”

“Just because you’re attractive, doesn’t mean-”

“I think it does.”

Good night, Shigeru.”

Keep reading

Royai Week 2017 Day 1: Chess

Decided to post this early because I don’t know if I’ll have time to post it tomorrow. Please enjoy this short offering for day 1. =)

———

Hawkeye blinked at the man before her, eyes narrowing in an unspoken question. When she opened her door that rainy Saturday evening, the last thing she expected was to see her superior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mustang, at her door with a lopsided grin adorning his adorable face.

“Good evening, Lieutenant,”

Riza frowned and eyed what appeared to be a game board under Roy’s arm.

“What are you doing here, sir?”

Roy chuckled and scratched the back on his head.

“Well, I had nothing to do today, all caught up with reports!” Riza stared at him skeptically. “I am! And well, I was just wondering if you knew how to play chess? I could use some practice for my weekly games with the general.”

Riza sighed. “No, sir, I don’t really know how to play. Shouldn’t you ask Breda or something?”

“I did, but he was…busy.” Riza saw through his lie and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I could teach you,” he offered, and Riza could hear the hint of pleading in his voice.

He wanted to spend time with her. It had been a while.

“All right, come in.”

She stepped back and motioned for him to enter her apartment. Roy got to work with setting up the chessboard on the small kitchen table while Riza made tea.

“So what prompted this, exactly?” Riza didn’t look away from what she was doing even as she spoke and she missed the sour look on Roy’s face.

“I haven’t won a single game against the general. The old coot is too good.”

A small smile graced Riza’s lips as she turned to bring the tea to the table.

“Then what makes you think it’s a good idea to teach me how to play?”

Roy took the cup of tea she offered him with a nod of thanks and shrugged at her question.

“Because it could be fun,” he answered, grinning behind his tea cup.

Riza rolled her eyes and set her cup down on the table.

“All right, well, where do I start?”

Roy set his cup down and began going over the rules, picking up a piece when he spoke about it and moving it in the directions that particular piece could go. Riza quietly took all the information in and nodded occasionally at what Roy was saying.

“Not too hard, right?” Roy leaned back in his chair and picked up his tea again.

Riza shrugged. “I suppose.”

“Since I’m playing with the white pieces, I go first.” Roy grabbed a pawn and moved it as he spoke.

Riza plucked one of her own pawns from the board and moved it. They continued on in this way for a while, moving pieces without speaking, Riza concentrating intently on the game, until Roy gulped the last of his tea and cleared his throat. He was winning so far, having captured four of Riza’s pieces, but she had captured three of his and he was not liking the odds of this game already.

“I thought you said you didn’t really know how to play?”

“I suppose I catch on quickly.”

“Hmm, so it seems…”

Halfway through the game, it was apparent that Riza was indeed a quick study and Roy could no longer afford to slack off or be distracted. Admiring Riza across the table every time it was her turn was apparently costing him. It was time to get serious. Unfortunately for him, the decision to not take Riza lightly came too late and he soon found himself in checkmate. He groaned and flopped theatrically backward in his chair.

“How? Why? I guess beating me at chess runs in the family.”

Roy’s grumbling elicited a short laugh from Riza.

“It’s only because you didn’t utilize your queen to gain the upper hand. You had plenty of opportunity.”

“The general always says that too and I always tell him the same thing.”

“And what’s that?”

Roy looked at her straight in the eye and held her gaze.

“I could never sacrifice my queen.”

Riza could feel a blush creeping up her face at the tone of voice he used. There was no question to Roy’s meaning with those words. She sighed and sent him a glare.

“You’re an idiot, sir,” she said, making Roy frown. That was not the response he had been imagining. “If you don’t use your pieces to your advantage, you’ll never achieve your goals. Your pieces are expendable, the king is not.”

“Out of the question. You’re not expendable-”

“I will do everything in my power to protect you, even if it means sacrificing myself. You’re too important for the future of this country.”

How had this turned from a friendly game of chess to an argument about whether or not the men on his team, particularly her, should be used as pawns for sacrifice in his gamble to make it to the top? Little did Roy know that it would be an argument the two of them would hash out many more times in the coming years.

He had so many things he wanted to say, so many words to counter hers. He wanted her to know just how important she was to him, but, instead of saying anything, he simply huffed a sigh and glared at her.

“Either way, you’ve won this game… On your first try too. Color me impressed.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Thunder rolled in the distance, signaling a change in the conversation.

“Hm, I better leave before the storm gets any worse.”

“Right.” Riza helped him pack up the chess game and walked him to her door. “Thank you for stopping by, sir. I had fun.”

Roy turned back to her from her doorway and smiled.

“I’m glad. See you on Monday, Lieutenant. Have a good night.”

“You too, sir. See you then.”

Roy turned from her to leave and Riza closed her door, both wishing he could have stayed. Neither of them ever slept very well on stormy nights. Sometimes Roy wished she had never pledged to follow him. If she hadn’t, he’d be able to tell her about the growing feelings he had for her. Instead, they would both go to bed alone in their separate apartments, tossing and turning as the storm raged outside their windows and inside their hearts.