It’s a term largely used on Tumblr, but it describes a subset of boys/men that exist on and off Tumblr.
Basically it’s a subgroup of boys/men who believe they differ from “other” men because they don’t conform to or perform masculinity in a typical way, be it because they are more effeminate, or because they are interested in traditionally non-masculine activities, or because their aesthetic preferences are traditionally non-masculine, or because their behavior is traditionally non-masculine.
These boys call themselves “soft boys” and believe that their like of flower crowns or soft-spoken conversation or stuffed animals or sparkly images or hugs and cuddling or whatever “non-masculine” quality in question distances them from being held accountable for male violence/patriarchal violence.
What makes their behavior so egregious and dangerous is that they genuinely think that their straying from typical patterns of gender conformity makes them entitled to being misogynistic. Whether it’s coercing women into sex (”I’m a soft male feminist and I just want to be loved by a big strong woman, uwu”), believing that they have the right to scream at, mock, and hurl slurs against a woman (”women can be horrific bitches and I’m not wrong for saying that!”), or thinking that they can get away with violating a woman’s space or body, these men are equally as bad as men who conform to traditional masculinity, and they are just as culpable in enacting misogyny against women.
The difference between them and traditionally masculine men, besides their gender performance, is how they weaponize their gender against women. Traditionally masculine men assert their dominance over women through stereotypical displays of power and control, whereas these “soft boys” weaponize their gender non-conformity against women, often 1) citing their gender transgressive behaviors as “proof” that they “aren’t the same as other men/aren’t as bad as other men”, 2) citing the fact that they may have been abused or bullied by individual women before and that this thus gives them the right to be misogynistic toward women as a whole, and 3) using identity politics to justify misogyny if they’re marginalized in some way (ex. mlm thinking that it’s okay to police women’s behaviors, harass them, and verbally abuse them because straight women are homophobic, or trans men thinking that it’s okay to be violent because they “need to perform masculinity” and that it’s wrong of any woman to point out their misogyny because they’re trans).
Both traditionally masculine men and “soft boys” may also genuinely believe that “misandry” exists on a systemic level, and that women are capable of oppressing men just as much as men are capable of oppressing women. Again, however, they manifest these beliefs differently. The “soft boys” may weaponize this into identity politics, often claiming that a woman hating men as a class is actually just racist / homophobic / transphobic / ableist because some men are men of color and/or trans and/or gay/bi and/or disabled/neurodivergent.
“Soft boys” are similar to “nice boys”, but “nice boys” weaponize personality traits against women whereas “soft boys” weaponize defiance of traditional masculinity against women.
Okay idk about anyone else, right, but from the few scraps we got about Helion in ACOTAR/ACOMAF I was expecting…a wildly different character. Like he was described as ‘Helion Spell-Cleaver’ and was from the Day Court with their thousand libraries and infinite knowledge.
I was expecting this kindly, dusty ancient fae who takes 16 years to get out a single sentence and chips in occasionally on intense meetings with his Pearls Of Ancient Wisdom that makes everyone assembled hush up and listen to him because we must respect the elders when they’re this old and wise.
What I got was a flaming bisexual, sexy toga wearing, powerful thigh displaying bastard who seems to have fucked half of Prythian. His dearest ambition in life is a foursome with Mor/Cass/Az, and he’s Lucien’s secret father like ??? I could not have been more wrong if I’d tried.
My favorite part about listening or watching live TOP concert videos is when the audience just knows when to sing. Tyler doesn’t tell them what lyrics are next, and he doesn’t prompt them to sing. He just subtly goes silent and the crowd carries it on because they know where the lyrics fit in around the music. They’re just so familiar with these songs from late nights in their rooms, or long car rides, or while making art, that they just know how they should sound.
And to hear it is one of the most powerful displays of unity I’ve ever experienced.
D&D: How to Use Character Arcs as a Dungeon Master
In my previous post on character arcs, I talked about how a player should determine how they want their character’s arc to begin and end. It was from a player’s perspective. But how does a DM write an adventure that will make that player’s arc happen?
First, get the information you need. Ask your players to each determine how their characters will begin the campaign and how they want them to change by the end of it. Then ask for copies of their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. Note whether a player’s character is going to die tragically and if they are okay with that. With this information, you can give the players what I call a moral quandary, personalized for their own character’s arc. A moral quandary is giving the player two difficult options that the player must decide how their character would choose. The character should lean to one side of a moral quandary at the beginning of an adventure, but gradually start to lean the other way as their arc comes to completion.
For instance, a cleric might be presented with a choice to kill an evildoer or merely capture them. If the cleric is heading down an arc where their ideal changes from “all life is precious” to “evil must be stopped at all costs” in their character arc is going to make very different choices in that situation depending on where they are on their arc.
Let’s figure out how we can use this info as a DM and where to put moral quandaries using a 9-point story structure. These are not an entire campaign, but you can use each point as a fixed point in the narrative; a story outline based on the characters’ arcs. Plenty of different stuff can happen between each point, but the points must happen to create a robust story.
Call to Action
The player is given an initial call to action. Essentially, a moral quandary disguised as a quest hook. Try to have a separate but related call to action for each player. Ideally, the players should refuse the call to action, as they haven’t been “changed” yet. If they play to their characters’ initial backgrounds and traits, they will refuse the call. You can even enforce this by loading your call with descriptions of how the character is feeling. “You are offended that someone would even offer something so morally reprehensible to you, despite the fact that you could use the money.”
A good-hearted rogue is starting a tragic fall arc and is offered a chance to make millions from some morally questionable actions involving an evil regime, but decides it is wrong. An innocent paladin starting a coming of age arc could be offered a chance to rise against an evil regime, but values their own safety. A studious apprentice wizard starting a corruption arc is offered power in exchange for service to an evil regime, but decides they can get power on their own.
Something happens to force the player to action, whether they are ready or not. Try to come up with an inciting incident that involves all of the players, not just one. The inciting incident can act as where the adventuring party finally meets.
The evil regime in the Call to Action ends up invading the players’ quiet suburb to enforce martial law. The players escape or fight back or else they and their loved ones die or are enslaved. The rogue decides to run from their debts by joining the party. The paladin has seen firsthand what the regime can do, and will now join the party to find someone else who can help them stop it. The wizard seeks out more power to stop the regime.
1st Plot Point
The players learn the first shreds of information about the overarching narrative of the campaign. After the inciting incident, some characters might not be convinced and want to turn back. This gives them a reason to continue onward together, as a team. There should be no turning back from the 1st plot point.
Players learn how this evil regime has been spreading across the kingdom. It still holds many mysteries, but its power is great and threatening. Its power is centered in a capital city, which the players now opt to travel to in order to find the things they currently desire.
1st Pinch Point
A pinch point is the first real display of power from the antagonist or opposing force. In D&D this should be actual combat, though it doesn’t have to be. As long as the players see firsthand what the antagonist can do to their characters, this part will add the tension/drama that it should. If you want to have a 1st Pinch Point for each character, then this display of force should directly target the player’s character arc and spark the desire to change through a moral quandary. It’s an awakening. Create tension by ending a session with this pinch point.
The players come across a thieves’ guild run by the evil regime. The rogue takes note of how rich, glamorous, and lawless the life of a criminal is to spark their tragic fall arc. The paladin realizes how deep the corruption of the world runs and sparks their coming of age arc as their innocence starts to fade. The wizard realizes how much resources the evil regime has, and wonders what sorts of power they had in mind for him sparking their corruption arc.
More info is revealed about the antagonist and the perception of the characters change. They have an epiphany and decide to continue onward through their arc. This can, and most likely will, happen at different times for each character and their varying arcs.
The players learn about the leader of the regime. They have been pushed to the breaking point by the regime’s forces. The rogue decides join the regime and start doing crime for the regime and acting as a double agent against the party. The paladin no longer cares about finding someone else to help them stop the regime, vowing to end it themselves. The wizard gets an unholy tome and decides to learn how to make a pact with the demon the regime mentioned to overpower the regime. They are all still heading to the capital, though now with severely divergent goals.
2nd Pinch Point
The antagonist reveals their full power and threatens the completion of the characters’ arcs. The entire party should, in general, be at their lowest moment and completely without hope. This should happen at the same time for everyone. Ideally, end a session with this pinch point to create a cliffhanger and highlight the hopelessness.
The players reach the capital of the evil regime. The rogue is faced with a moral test, where they will be offered riches and allowed to live if they rat out their adventuring party. They choose to take the offer and are betrayed by the regime’s leader and sentenced to death anyway. The paladin comes face to face with the regime’s leader after being ratted out by the rogue. They fail the encounter and barely manage to escape with their life. The wizard is also defeated and their unholy tome is destroyed in the battle. The rogue is imprisoned and the paladin and rogue escape the leader and are being hunted in the capital.
2nd Plot Point
The last piece of the puzzle has come together in the second plot point. The characters finish their arc and learn how to overcome the antagonist. This can happen at different points and doesn’t have to happen quickly. For a tragic character, this is the part where they finally meet their end. Tragic characters fail to change or their change is self-destructive and they fail to overcome the antagonist of the story (tragic, isn’t it?). Think of this part as a moral quandary that characters’ finally “know the answer” to, as far as their character arc is concerned.
The rogue tries to escape, succeeds, but heads back to the thieves’ guild instead of his adventuring allies, and they ultimately betray and kill him. The paladin’s innocence is shattered and they gather rebel forces over time to take on the regime’s leader, becoming a leader themselves. They also find an unlikely ally in the wizard, who has finally succumbed to evil. The wizard still doesn’t know how to summon the demon, but they have already gotten a taste of evil’s power by performing vile rituals on captured regime members and will now use their power for vengeance against the regime’s leader.
The characters finally face off with the antagonist. The promise set out at the beginning of the campaign is fulfilled. The characters, having completed their arcs, are now changed enough to be able to defeat the antagonist. This should be the players at their most powerful and should be the most epic battle to take place in the campaign.
The paladin’s rebel army and the wizard’s evil magic face off against the evil regime’s leader. The battle is long and epic, but the characters succeed, freeing the kingdom of the evil regime.
The game shouldn’t abruptly end after the antagonist is defeated! There needs to be closure. The players’ characters find out the results and the aftermath of defeating the antagonist, for better or for worse. In the case of an ongoing game, you should now set up the next campaign here.
The paladin and wizard regard each other as unsteady allies who no longer have a common enemy. The wizard seeks more power, even seeking to possibly usurp the void of power left from the regime’s defeat. The paladin and their rebel army gather in defiance of the wizard. The paladin tells the wizard to leave the kingdom and not threaten anyone with their evil, else the paladin will smite them down. The wizard, not having many spells left after the battle and not being ready to face an entire army, teleports away to parts unknown with a puff of green smoke. The paladin is placed in power, and the wizard now acts as a looming threat. Perhaps an NPC and villain for the next campaign?
This character arc outline is not cut-and-dry. You should use it as a guide, not a rule. Some characters might abruptly choose to change. Some will reach different parts of the outline at different times or out of order. Some characters might waffle between two sides of their arc before deciding which side they want to be on. But the more you talk to your players about it, the easier it is to come up with a generalized plan for your campaign’s story. Heck, your story might even change from what you initially intended by the end of it (a character with a bad roll can still end up dying before even finishing their arc!) But hopefully this will aid you in making the players love their characters even more and have fun as they grow and change in your campaign’s world. That’s what it’s all about, after all.
ya lit meme [1/6] locations ➝ The Queeenstrial (The Red Queen Series)
So this is a pageant….A violent one, meant to showcase a girl’s beauty, splendor—and strength. The most talented daughter. This is a display of power, to pair the prince with the most powerful girl, so that their children might be the strongest of all. And this has been going on for hundreds of years.
God it must have been terrifying seeing drogon entering the dragon pit, and slowly lowering his shoulder so dany could get off. It was such an important and necessary show of power.. that's why I really loved that scene. Just knowing what seeing that would mean to these characters- fully grown dragons and a dragon rider who has, for lack of a better word, control over them. These people grew up hearing stories of exactly that.
Oh it must definitely be terrifying, to actually witness the kind of magic that only exists in myths and legends. That’s why, as you put it, it was a very important and necessary move on Dany’s behalf & it’s not even the first time she has pulled it off. It’s a move our girl has been perfecting over the years. Back in Qarth, she learnt an important lesson that the image you build carries more weight than what lies underneath. She was rejected at the gates despite being Daenerys Targaryen but Xaro was the most powerful person in the city because he built an image of being the wealthiest, despite his wealth being an illusion.
When Dany went to Astapor, she pretended to not understand Valarian, didn’t show her disgust for slavery and meets the slave master as a potential buyer. In the books, she even wears her Qartheen gown to appear rich.
When she goes to Yunkai, while negotiating for the siege, she changes out of her usual outfit and slips into a beautiful queenly gown. She even casually throws a piece of meat at her dragons for a subtle display of power and to insight fear.
In Meereen as well, she shoots barrels full of collars of former freed slaves to make a powerful statement for her agenda to eradicate slavery.
Even with the Dothraki, since they only respect strength, she walked out of a flaming temple in Vaes Dothrak. She could have escaped with Daario & Jorah but she chose to display her fire magic in a city full of all the Dothraki clans. Later she mounts Drogon, names them all her blood riders & gives them the same speech Drogo once gave when he riled up his people to sail for Westeros. All of these were necessary displays of strength to get the Dothraki to follow her.
Now that she’s in the great game, she does it even better, her first impression on Jon Snow was very powerful and intimidating. She sat on that throne for the first time just to be greet him. His weapons & boat were taken, the Dothraki welcomed him and even Drogon casually stopped by to say “Hi.” She wanted him to see her power & understand that her benevolence is only out of the kindness of her heart, before she asked him to bend the knee.
That meeting was probably the most important of them all, she was finally meeting all the leadership figures in Westeros for the first time. When her entire army had them surrounded, Daenerys arrived like a Queen in the end, riding a dragon to top it all. She doesn’t have power, yet, but it was a very powerful move from a political standpoint. They all had to see that now that the dragon has arrived, lions won’t stay at the top of the food chain for long.
PS: Sorry about the rambling, I just realised that this answer got a lot longer than what both of us intended. I just love this woman too much! Haha
If you were to advise young girls on what to look out for in guys, what would some of the things be?
typically my advice is to stay away from men for as long as possible. Odds are that the majority you run into, will hinder your growth. So my advice is to look out for men, rather than look for anything in them.
Cultivate your self-esteem, your passions, become financially independent.
Cultivating self-esteem: i can’t stress this enough, it must be there before you go near men. Most men will damage your self-esteem. It doesn’t even have to be deliberate on their part. It can be something like them not responding to your communication needs and you will turn that inwards, and see that as reflecting your self-worth.
My advice to brown girls is typically the same as well. To build those things first. But then i guess, reluctantly, I do advise them to date. Because they will often be discouraged from dating. And in my experience, no woman from our cultures has managed to get away with not being paired to a man without breaking ties, no matter her initial reluctance. And your parents pickings will definitely be far worse, in that the aim of parents choosing for you (whether anyone admits it or not) is to continue patriarchal control over you.
So coming to what to look for in men:
1) look for how he reacts when you disagree with him. This is the biggest thing imo. Does he get irritated. Does he budge. If he does budge is it reluctant “I guess you’re right”. Do things seem to always be followed by a but. What you want is someone who is impressed and admires you. Not someone who is annoyed that you know better or more, because that would mean he wants to maintain himself above you. Also, men can admire you for being intelligent or opinionated but still manage to reduce you for it: either objectify you or infantilize you. E.g., aw its so cute she knows a lot. OR it’s hot that she knows a lot. Avoid both.
2) is the conversation conducive: it’s more than if he is just listening to you and can regurgitate what you’ve told him about yourself. Does the convo have a flow. Do you get to say what you want. Does he hear you out, ask questions, show interest.. or is he just waiting for an entry point in the convo where he can insert himself in order to relate to you. Because the first one feels wholesome whereas the latter, while okay, will make you feel empty in the long run. (and i personally like it when i have said what I want, and the guy still stays quiet on the topic until I ask him so ‘what about you’. I like it when they are quiet and don’t speak unless instructed.. this applies for any men in my life not just dating lmao but anyway)
3) look for how he talks about other women.. what it is that he talks about when he talks about women. Look at how he looks at other women. Ask him about the women he has been attracted to and how he became attracted to them/what about them he liked. Ask this for real women. Ask this about fictional women. Always be mindful of whether he is objectifying women or not. If he is objectifying women, he’s not capable of real love so forget it. How to know whether he is objectifying women or not? Ask yourself if you or any women you have known would become attracted to a man in the same way/same scenario that he is describing to you.
4) Porn, dominance & attraction: this one is by far the hardest for me to describe. It does go in with #3, about how they talk about women. You can ask the guy about his current porn use, age at first exposure. What he thinks about and gets off to lol. But I have found that they give it away in their verbal language and body language. Like the example of the guy I talked about who I had asked who he was attracted to/ if he ever found someone sexually attractive that he did not find emotionally attractive. And he mentioned his boss and then told me how he did fantasize about her, then goes “you know when you wanna put someone in their place….. oh you don’t know??” If a guy “falls for you” real fast, to me that is an indication of him having objectified you. Love takes getting to know. If he seems to have a “type”, i am personally weary of those men. Any type at all. A body type, even a personality type. Because they still manage to reduce women into categories. You cannot and should not fall in love with a category!
5) how he makes you feel about yourself: related to the above. It’s his responsibility to make you feel good about yourself. I have stated elsewhere that I believe, that unless a woman has clinical type self-esteem issues, the average woman’s self-esteem issues in a relationship actually stem from their male partner’s failures. Their male partner is either objectifying other women which comes across subtly in conversations or the way they behave. So if you are not feeling good about yourself while you are with him, you’re not crazy. He is shit.
6) age old how he treats others: how does he treat people in the service industry. Does he get annoyed when his food at the restaurant takes longer. Life is a game of patience, and he won’t live if he doesn’t have any.
7) sense of responsibility: does he pick up after others. Not just himself. But others. This is observed. But also you can tell from the stories he tells you. What does he do for others? It’s the kind of thing where eg., the house phone rings, who has to go for it or else it goes unanswered? Would he put the dishes in the sink or leave them around for someone else to pick up?
8) what is he telling you about himself: related to above.. When we tell stories, we all want something taken away from them about ourselves. What is he trying to get across? Most men’s stories are about a display of power and dominance, rather than having been helpful. Take notice!
9) How he relates to other men and things deemed feminine: does he have a lot of guy friends (these men are a lost cause lmao). If he tries to distance himself from anything that is related to women, stay away from that man. E.g., he doesn’t watch click flicks… or watches them cos they are good to watch when you don’t want to think so much. Also relating to #3, you can also check that from how he views female characters in movies, TV shows and books. If he sees their perspective or not. I remember one guy told me that robot girl from ex-machina was crazy, and that’s all he had to say, and i wanted to bash his head in cos of how dumb his thoughts on the movie were….. If he can’t see from the female perspective in shows and books where it is literally spelled out, he lacks emotional depth and empathy.
I can’t think of more. Over the years I have mentioned quite a few as I came across! But I haven’t interacted much with men as of late so it’s not so fresh anymore. Just look for any display of dominance and dehumanization, both in words and in actions. I do have an advice tag.
This will just hands down always remain one of the most epic moments of “Supernatural” to me, because there is so much to love about this scene in which Dean diggs himself out of his grave (and damn yes if the Doc Benton episode in S3 didn’t serve as a massive set up here). The way he struggles, but manages to pull himself out and then falls on his back and just stays like that for a while just breathing. I mean, this is the first time in 40 years that Dean (technically his soul, but you know what I mean…) at that point has probably filled his lungs with fresh oxygen (and not just sulfur stained air of Hell) and it’s likely the first time in 40 years that he has seen the sun, that he has seen green, nature. And that alone must be extremely much to take in. Now imagine all that, but when you finally open your eyes and look around you find yourself at the center of destruction, a place in the middle of nowhere that looks like a nuke went off, that nuke possibly being connected to you. So yes, I love how you can see all that on Dean’s face. The relief of breathing, of managing to escape that coffin prison - though I think at that point he may well believe that this could be just a trick played on him by Alistair or whoever else as a means to torture him some more when he realizes that he isn’t actually “saved”. You can see that bit of weariness and uncertainty in his eyes and then when he see the destruction, when it seeps in that this amount of power displayed on that field without a doubt is connected to himself and who/what raised him and then you can see that it does indeed trouble Dean quite a bit. And yeah, last but not least - and yes of course I had to mention this as I have an obsession with it, you guys know… lol - the upwards zoom is just genious and is one more major moment of many throughout the series framing Dean not just as the “righteous man”, but more so a “christ figure”.
Sooooooo I was thinking what would Shiro do if his s/o showed up to party in a sexy black dress just to get him back for spending so much time with Voltron P.s I love your Blog!
I like the way you think! I do love me some petty revenge.
“Hey Shiro! What are you up to today? Cause I was thinking–”
“I’m sorry, Y/N, I need to go over Voltron’s last battle and come up with some sort of game plan,” Shiro sighs and glowers at the screen in his hand, “We should have taken that Robeast out before it had that chance to knock us down. Maybe if I had had Lance and Hunk move us–” He’s talking more to himself now so you just cluck your tongue and walk away. Maybe next time.
You paced back and forth on the observation deck, growing increasingly agitated with every slowly passing minute. Seriously? He’s thirty minutes late! Where the hell was your boyfriend?!
You stop and loudly vent your frustration before storming storming towards the training deck. God help Shiro if he’s still training during date night because oh…he’s not here. None of the paladins are. So, clearly they finished?
You sigh and head towards the rooms. You can hear various showers running and the thought of scaring the crap out of Shiro while he’s showering brings a skip to your step. But when Shiro’s door opens, you can see him laying face first in bed with his armor still on. You deflate and let his door shut on its own. If he’s tired enough to sleep in his armor then there’s no point in waking him.
And so it keeps happening. Every time you think you finally get Shiro on his own he either has Voltron related business, extra training, or is passed out in places he shouldn’t be. It’s frustrating. It’s vexing. It’s starting to piss you off.
Of course, you don’t think you’re more important than defending the universe from evil purple aliens but dammit, it hurts to be pushed aside so easily!
But tonight…oh-hoho, tonight you were going to get back at the Black Paladin.
You see, Allura, Coran, and Shiro have been in negotiations for the last week or so with the twin High Priestesses of Il’rea, who have long been fighting the Galra in their own quadrant of space. They’ve been highly successful; due to the combined power of Lady Arcadia’s tactics and Lady Selena’s bloodlust and frankly, Team Voltron needed help from people like them if there was any hope to defeat Prince Lotor.
Tonight, the whole planet was celebrating the new alliance in Voltron’s honor with a huge party. Food, music, pretty girls, pretty guys (just pretty people in general), and displays of power and magic promised to be a fun night.
But there was a small problem. The problem was, as Lance put it: “Those Priestesses are total babes! They could literally crack my skull between their thighs and I would die happy.” Whether he was on duty or not, Shiro was spending a lot of time with beautiful women that were not you and tonight was the night you were going to drag his attention back, Voltron and the Alliance be damned. Especially since it’s been a good two weeks since you two had some true alone time.
You smiled triumphantly at the sexy little black number hanging on the back of your door, ‘Watch Shiro ignorethis.’
Shiro missed you. God, he missed you so much it started to hurt and the guilt he was carrying about temporarily pushing you aside to focus on Voltron was starting to haunt his nightmares. He was determined to fix it tonight. He was going to apologize for being a shit boyfriend, apologize for overworking himself, and apologize for making the love of his life feel like she no longer mattered to him.
Keith had made it a point to find Shiro tell him that last little tidbit last night. It hurt. It hurt so bad Shiro actually spent most of the night crying and beating himself up mentally for that one. He royally fucked up, and he knew it.
So when the shuttle carrying you and the Paladins arrived, his heart began racing and Shiro felt the telltale fluttering in his stomach that told him he was nervous. But there were only four bodies on that shuttle and none of them yours. Concerned, Shiro pulled Keith aside to speak to him in a low whisper, “Hey, Keith. Wh-where’s Y/N? Isn’t she coming?”
Keith pursed his lips and glared. Shiro dropped his hand from Keith’s arm and took a step back, caught off guard by the uncharacteristic hostility in his friend’s eyes. He waits and Keith looks away before clearing his throat, “She’s not coming. She said she has a migraine so she’s going to take advantage of a silent castle and sleep it off. She doesn’t want you there.” He walks away with a final glare, making sure to clip his shoulder against Shiro’s.
Shiro rubs his shoulder and glances towards the other paladins. He blanches as they quickly turn away to hide their glares. Crestfallen, Shiro swallows the lump in his throat and blinks back the tears that threaten to spill. He has a job to do tonight so he steels himself and turns around, stepping out of Takashi Shirogane - the failing boyfriend, and into Shiro - the Black Paladin and Leader of Voltron.
He doesn’t see Lance and Hunk sharing concerned glances as they wonder if they took their glares too far or Pidge and Keith giving each other a thumbs up. He also misses you slipping out of your hiding place in the pod and moving to the next hiding place, shoes in hand. Allura, who has been your silent partner in tonight’s shenanigans, gives you a wink as she steps in front of your new spot, further hiding you. Bless her. She’s just as petty as you are.
There was a time in his life that Shiro once enjoyed a good party and the chance to get shit-faced drunk without a care in the world. Now his anxiety was acting up, telling him there were too many people, too many points of entry, too many chances for an assassin to sneak in, this is was just another chance to get Lance blow–no. No. He needs to stop. There’s no point in thinking like that.
God, he needed a drink.
Luckily, Il’rea has alcohol, or something like it, and Shiro grabs a glass from a passing waiter and downs it in one gulp. Much better.
He grabbed another drink with every intention of downing that one too but he was stopped when he saw you flitting through the crowd. But it couldn’t be you, you were in the castle. Right?
He drops the glass from his mouth and moves to follow what he swears was you. His searching is fruitless and Shiro gives it up as a bad job only a few minutes later. He was looking for a black dress in a sea of black and white with little variation. Why couldn’t the woman have been wearing a red dress? That would be so much easier!
Like Allura! Shiro could make her out easily since her dress started as a bright yellow and faded to a soft orange. She looked like an Earth sunset was easily the brightest person in the room. Shiro smiled as she laughed at some aristocrat’s joke, happy to finally see her so carefree after the stressful week they had. He wished he could be like that.
He watched for a few more moments and was about to turn away when Allura hooked her arm through the arms of another woman and they turned as one to move together. His heart stopped for a split second because he knows that face. He knows that face.
Where Allura was as radiant as the sun, there you were, looking like the human embodiment of the night. Your hair was pulled up and artfully messy, lips painted a deep purple to match purple eye shadow, the front of your black gown draped over you to deeply expose your breasts and Shiro swallowed when he saw the long beautiful silver necklace he found for you sitting innocently on your chest. The last time he saw it he was watching it shimmer and shine as it moved with every thrust of his hips against yours.
You looked like Sin. And when your eyes locked Shiro swore then and there to have you underneath him before the night was over. He continued watching with hungry eyes as Allura twirled you two around and revealed the (pretty much non-existent) back of your dress and he changed it to within the hour. The wink you gave him over the shoulder as you disappeared into the crowd gave him the fuel he needed.
But it wasn’t that easy. Every time he got close to you, Hunk or Lance would whisk you away for a dance and pass you off to someone high ranking enough in the Il’rean hierarchy that Shiro knew it would cause tension if he just cut in, so he was forced to wait.
And wait. Prowling like a panther at the edge of the dancing crowd, waiting for his chance to snatch you up.
Eventually there was a lull in the music and Shiro used it to beeline towards you, determined to have you in his arms and screaming his name in one of the smaller rooms next door. But he was stopped by Keith shoving a plate of food in his hands with a cheeky grin. “You haven’t eaten all night. Here. It’s delicious.”
“I-Uh…What? Oh,” he looked down at the plate just long enough to loose you in the crowd again and he cursed his luck. And his crew, the shits. He could spy Pidge up on the balcony, no doubt keeping an eye on the situation and instructing each of the Paladins to intercept him every time he got too close. He should have known they’d be in on this. They do like to stir up trouble.
Well. There would be no getting to you this way. Not with Pidge directing them. And he couldn’t just run up there like a psychopath and stop her. She’d see him. He popped some of the food Keith brought him into his mouth and saluted Pidge. If this was his punishment, it was his punishment. But he could spoil their fun by giving in. His own private revenge on his crew for their mutiny.
“Surprise, surprise. You didn’t come for me,” you sigh as you lean against the balcony entryway. Shiro turns towards you with a bittersweet smile, “Would you have let me?” He leans against the balcony, doing his best to appear nonchalant even though his heart was hammering in his chest because there you are! His beautiful girlfriend! The light of his life! The woman he would willingly risk life and limb for! Dear god, he could see how pissed you were.
You fake thinking for a moment, making sure to bring a finger to your lips, just to enjoy the way Shiro’s eyes darken at such an innocent gesture. “No, not really. I was enjoying myself soooo much. I didn’t want to distract myself with my significant other.” Your pointed glare hits home and Shiro drops his gaze to the floor. You do nothing but wait, letting his shame settle in.
You soften as his shoulders drop and he slowly walks towards you, frightened that with each step closer he moves, you will bolt. You both release the breaths you didn’t know you were holding as Shiro slowly brings his forehead to yours. His large hands feel so right as snakes them around your waist and just holds you, taking a moment just to savor you in his arms before he can gather the courage to speak.
“I’m so sorry, Y/N. I didn’t mean to push you away. I didn’t intend to make you feel like you don’t matter to me, because you do. You are–I love you,” you gasp at his confession and the urge to scream ‘I love you too!’ is almost to much to bear but Shiro isn’t done talking, so you bite your tongue. Literally. “I made a mistake. I need to try harder. I will try harder. For you and Voltron.”
The kiss he gives you is so tender and so sweet it nearly brings tears to your eyes. You pull him down for another harder kiss as he pulls away, wrapping your arms around his neck for leverage before pulling away enough to mumble against his lips, “You beautiful idiot. I love you so much but you’re too hard on yourself. I just…I missed you.”
You buried yourself into Shiro’s chest and squeezed him tight, enjoying the way his arms tightened against you and the gentle way he nuzzles into your hair. He was so warm and comforting and you couldn’t believe that you had gone nearly two weeks without this. These were the moments you lived for: domesticity in a universe at war.
“I’m going to fuck you in that dress the moment we get back to the castle,” his voice is low and gravely in your ear and you shivered. Moment ruined.
“I’ve had to watch you prance around in that sorry excuse for a dress all night. Did you even see how much people wanted you?” A moan escapes as Shiro mouths directly against your ear and he moves his cool metal hand up your exposed back. You can feel his half-hard erection against your hip and he grins wickedly against your ear as he lightly rocks against you, “You naughty thing, I’m going to–”
“Sorry to interrupt,” you and Shiro jerk apart as Lady Arcadia glides by, her sister in tow, “but might I trouble you to use one of the rooms down the hall? As lovely as public displays of affection are, surely you two would enjoy privacy?” They quirk twin eyebrows and smirk, gliding away the way they came.
You adjust your dress and hair, thankful that you were interrupted before anything else started. You share a bashful look with Shiro and clasp hands before re-joining the party; putting a pause on your libidos to play ambassadors. There would be time to play later tonight.