How would Ignis react if he got corrective eye surgery so he could see again and he sees his s/o for the first time?
I had originally planned to write a whole one-shot for this and everything, but this has been sitting in my inbox for a good while… so I’m writing it now.
When Iggy’s s/o told him that the team working on the reconstruction of the Citadel had found a way to bring back his eyesight, he was in disbelief.
“This… this isn’t a dream, or some joke, right?”
Of course not. His s/o wouldn’t joke about something like that.
Ignis is in absolute shock. It’s been fifteen years since he last saw something – last saw anything. He’s extremely excited but, undeniably, he’s scared. He doesn’t know why, but the matter still stands.
When he recovers from the shock, he reaches out to his s/o, pulls them close, tucks his head into the crook of their neck, and cries. His s/o gets really nervous, because did they do something wrong? But then they hear him. He’s thanking them over and over and over again.
After the operation, Ignis realizes why he was scared. What if it doesn’t work? What if his eyes were too damaged and they couldn’t do it? What if the world is simply too bright for his eyes to handle and he has to keep them closed, and thus remain blind anyways?
He doesn’t open his eyes immediately when he wakes up. He finds the call button, summons a nurse, and asks for his s/o. He wants the first thing he sees to be them.
There’s a shuffling in the room and Ignis recognizes the steps to be his s/o’s. He reaches out to them, and he doesn’t realize that he’s shaking until his s/o takes his hands.
His s/o kisses his hands, then his forehead, then his scars, and then his lips. They tell him that the lights aren’t on, there’s just candles, and that he can open his eyes. They’re right here for him, just like they always have been. They squeeze his hands tightly.
Ignis opens his eyes. He has to squint, because even the candlelight is still too bright for his newly recovered eyes, but he blinks once, twice.
He locks eyes with his s/o. He sees them smile. He sees the sheen of their hair. He sees the tears in their eyes. He feels tears coming to his own. He can see.
“(Y/N),” He mutters, and his voice is shaking, “You’re beautiful. You’re absolutely beautiful.”
He reaches up, he touches their face, and finally, he’s able to match a precise image to everything he’s been feeling since he met his s/o. He’s just gotten the use of his eyes back, but he’s already mastered the look of absolute adoration for his s/o.
He kisses them, and at some point during that he starts crying again, and his s/o’s there to hold him, and they’re crying too. They’re both so happy.
It takes Ignis some time to rehabilitate from the operation. His eyes are still extremely sensitive to light, so he wears darkened lenses for an extended period of time while his eyes adjust. There’s frequent headaches, since his brain tends to get overwhelmed by all the detail it’s suddenly registering again.
Though the recovery process is a bit harrowing at times, Ignis couldn’t be happier. He treasures the sight of everything now more than ever, all the colors around him, all the lights, the sunrise (which is just how he remembers it), everything…
I have thoughts, and when I have thoughts, they get written down into a thing.
The fact there even is a Solas romance blows my mind. I mean, here is a world Solas has written off as being full of not-real beings. Small minded, uncaring, unfeeling things. He has no notion or reasoning to get attached to anyone.
Yet Lavellan completely catches him off guard. At first, I’m sure he convinces himself his preoccupation with her is strictly situational. She has the Mark, after all. Of course, she would hold his attention.
“You were a mystery. You still are.”
But little by little, he finds himself drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. He becomes enamored by her. Yet even when he admits his feelings to himself, he knows it can never be more than a fantasy.
Then they find themselves in the Fade together, and Solas’ feelings slip through. He tries to cover his mistake by telling her his words were only a figure of speech. He turns away from her because he knows this cannot happen. He will not encourage this. But then she turns his head and kisses him, and all his will power goes out the window.
“You change everything.”
Even then he tries to fix it. This isn’t right. We shouldn’t. This could lead to trouble. Even if Lavellan agrees with him, he still thinks of her. He can’t not. And when we find ourselves on the balcony scene, Solas’ feelings slip again, and again he tries to walk away. But Lavellan takes his arm and asks him not to go, and he is completely doomed.
He is in lovewith her, and there is no escaping it.
As Wanda peered out the window into the grey sky, she did her best to keep herself in high spirits. It wouldn’t be like last time, she told herself. He would show.
She could always sense him before he came into view. His mind was unlike any other, serene and light. It attracted hers like a beacon in the dark, this evening was no exception. Only, as Wanda turned expectantly, a grin already growing, it wasn’t him.
“Oh!” she recoiled as a strange man phased into her room. Instinctually, her power pulsed through her, ready, defensive.
“Wanda,” came his familiar voice, the one that warmed her heart and soothed her fears.
After a hesitation, a step that couldn’t be helped moved her towards him. “…Vizh?”
“Yes,” the man replied. A small smile formed on his lips, one that was almost reminiscent of his - but not quite.
This was obviously a dream, she concluded. A conjuring of her mind, a cruel illusion in an attempt to cure her longing. Sadly, it wasn’t the first.
Another step, this one his.
Wanda continued to eye him suspiciously, this strange ghost. Before she could pose the obvious question, the man spoke.
Gently, calmly, as always, he explained, “Mr Stark and I created a holographic projection, borrowing from an old SHIELD concept, to alter my appearance.” After another step, he continued, “Unfortunately, many, well all the preset disguises Mr Stark suggested were less than ideal. The projection, you see, it requires precise imaging. However, after some covert tinkering, I—”
He was rambling, a nervous quirk she adored. As her feet shuffled forward, a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. What a clever little illusion. “I’ve missed you so much,” the words slipped through without a second thought. “I wish you were here.”
“But—” he wavered, uncertain, and pressed forward, closing space between them. “It is me, Wanda.” Gently, he grasped her hand in his, guiding it to rest on his forehead.
Wanda paused, for it was not human flesh beneath her palm. But something much more familiar, much more desirable. Her thumb traced the subtle symmetrical lines, before grazing over the not-so-subtle protrusion of the Mind Stone. “…Vizh?”
With a soft hum, Vision opened his mind, his heart, for all of her to have.
Cupping his face, she gazed into his eyes. The kind grey irises dissolved, giving way to the intricate teal, ever-analyzing orbs she knew. “It is you,” she whispered.
“Yes,” Vision murmured, covering her hand with his own as he leaned into her touch, almost painfully, and kissed her palm.
“Oh my god,” she grinned as joyous tears began to fill her eyes and spill down her cheeks. “You look so weird.”
Cupping her face in return, he wiped the trails away with the pads of his thumbs, finding himself grinning as well. “And you’re as enchanting as ever.”
As their lips met, a relief flooded through them both before the familiar euphoria took hold, sweeping away the anxiety and longing. Finally together again, finally home, in each other’s embrace.
Wanda was reeling from the metallic sweet taste that could only be Vision’s kiss. As she opened her eyes, the man from before was gone, in his place stood the one she’d fallen in love with. “There you are,” she breathed. “I’m so glad you came.”
His fingers combed through her lock, an honest smile growing, “I will always return to you.”
Their next kiss quickly grew more frantic as need and desire raced from Wanda’s core to her heart and down to her very fingertips. From experience, Vision knew what she wished from him, provoking a most human response, a soft moan against her lips.
But as he gripped her shoulders and gently pushed her back, he reminded himself of his intentions. “I admit, there is a more selfish reason I chose to don a disguise to be with you.”
“Oh?” As if on cue, Wanda’s empty stomach growled.
With a sultry grin, he said, “I wish to take you out to dinner.” He concentrated, projecting his hologram again.
“I would love to, Vizh,” she smirked, tugging at his shirt. “But first, take it off.”
Vision was pleased, yet bewildered. “The hologram, or my shirt?”
“Yes,” she giggled, pulling him to the bed.
Later, as they began to dress, Wanda observed Vision from the corner of her eye.
“I just can’t get over how,” she paused, reminding herself not to say ‘weird’ again. “…different you look.”
“Oh,” Vision glanced down at his human hands. “I had hoped to settle on an appearance you found pleasing.”
“Don’t be sorry,” she smiled, placing her hand over his heart. “I mean, I don’t care how you look.”
“Is that a fact?” Vision questioned, doubtful.
“Not really, no,” she admitted. “Honestly, you are most handsome just as you are. I’ve always thought that.”
As they strolled hand in hand down the street, Wanda couldn’t help the giddiness that raced through her over the date. She and Vision had never been out together before, certainly not to dinner, due to obvious reasons. Yet here they were, just like any other couple. Despite this excitement, a pesky question weighed on her mind.
"How long this time?” She hated to ask, but she simply had to know. They’d
as often as possible, but their time together always banked on how long Vision could afford to be away before it was noticed. “Will you stay the night?”
“I will stay,” Vision hesitated as he peered down at her brilliant face. He had mentally reviewed the past year many times, but had yet to discern the exact moment Wanda became the center of his attention. These days, not a moment passed where he did not think of her in some capacity. Simply being in her presence was all that he wished. It was this thought that brought him to a profound conclusion. “For as long as you will have me,” he finally replied. It wasn’t at all logical, he knew. When Mr Stark returned from his trip, and realized Vision was gone, he would begin searching. Obviously, the first place the genius would look would be with the other Avengers. Yet, his heart argued, was it really illogical to wish to stay with the woman he adored?
As he continued to speak, each syllable perfect and melodic to her ears, a grin bloomed across her lips, eyes brightening. “For as long as I like?” She echoed his words.
Boldly, she continued, “And if I want you to stay forever?”
He shouldn’t, truly shouldn’t. But he would not deny her any longer. “Then forever it is.”
Wanda, of course, knew the implications of such a promise. “You’re certain?
“Wanda,” he began. “I hope you don’t find my declaration too brazen, but you have become — that is to say, I can’t — simply put, you are —” he stammered.
“It’s okay,” she assured, squeezing his hand. “I love you too.”
Vision’s heart soared at the words they’d only whispered to one another in private. Alas, before he could return his affections, his troubled mind caught up with him. “They will search for me,” he mumbled, eyes downcast.
“I am uncertain of our next course of action.”
“We will figure it out.”
“I wish to stay with you, no matter what.”
“No matter what,” she agreed.
Wanda wanted to leap into his arms and kiss him until she was out of breath. But once that began, she sincerely doubted she had the will to stop. So she steadied herself, and decided to wait until they returned to her room, where there would be no need to stop.
She couldn’t contain her grin as they entered the small bistro, the delicious aroma in the air, his hand at the small of her back. She would look back on this memory fondly, replaying it again and again. For it would be the last trace of happiness she experienced
Iron Man glared down at the still form of Vision as he was laid on the steel table. Were it not for the open impression where the Mind Stone once rested, he might’ve been mistaken for asleep.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” Tony murmured. “And it *wouldn’t have* happened if he’d stayed here. At the tower. Where it’s safe.”
“Tony—” Steve began.
“Why was he in Scotland?” He turned to Wanda, who didn’t glance up. “What were you up to?”
“No,” Tony brushed Captain off. “I want an answer.”
Wanda continued to cradle Vision’s still hand in her bandaged palm, eyes downcast as she traced the lines along his wrist. “We were going out to dinner,” she whispered as a single tear trailed down her bruised cheek.
Iron Man scoffed, “Vision doesn’t eat.”
“He was so excited,” her voice cracked with a small smile. “And a little nervous, I think.”
After a moment, Tony blinked, finally comprehending. “Let me get this straight. He was out in the middle of nowhere, with you, a known fugitive, on a date?”
Wanda didn’t respond to his belittling tone as the sorrowful emptiness within her began to mutate. An anger, vile and jagged, spilled forth.
“You’ve got to be kid—” Tony paused, suddenly choking on a flurry of crimson tendrils that wrapped around his frame like a vice.
Finally, Wanda’s sharp, ruby eyes turned to him. “You know nothing, Tony Stark,” she growled as she stalked up to him. “What your petty squabble did to him. The guilt you put on him. Now he’s lying there, and all you care about is who to blame?”
Tony gargled, grasping at his neck.
“Wanda, calm down,” Natasha warned uneasily. “I don’t think Vision would be too happy to learn you killed Stark in his absence.”
With a sneer, the ruby mist released Tony, who fell to the floor, gasping. Glaring down at the playboy, she wiped dried blood from her lip with the back of her hand. “I am going to kill them and get Vision back.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Tony wheezed, on his hands and knees.
“And when I do, he and I are leaving,” she turned on her heel and began to limp away. “For good.”
More about The Robe i.e. What if Armitage Hux is a Palpatine fanboy
By now the infamous black robe Hux wears in Phasma is its own character, and we all have a precise image in mind. Needless to say, that’s a sexy, silky and half-naked image. But. There is a but. Indulge me for a second.
In SW not only are robes common articles of outdoor clothing, but they are also charged with meaning: they are what Jedi and Sith wear. A black robe is a Sith robe. Emperor Palpatine used to wear a simple black robe. Robes are uniforms. And Hux wears his robe like a uniform.
I like the idea of Armitage getting ready for Kylo, in his wanton, silky and sexy robe, as much as any other girl does; but I am becoming more and more convinced that, in his downtime, General Hux dresses up like the old Emperor. Besides, we know from Before the Awakening that Hux is one of the hugest nerds the Galaxy has ever seen: he takes the time to explain how Starkiller works to the stormtroopers – even to those working in sanitation! Him cosplaying Palpatine is just the next little (oh, so little!) step.
[OR. Or. If Hux’s robe is actually intentionally reminiscent of a Sith robe, there might be some plottier implications. But that is a topic for another post]
I really like the way you analyse and how you put things. It helps me think things through like I thought Louis chose his team and the promo against larry but you made me see deeper. I know you're a louie but you say you're a larrie to? Would you say what you think about Harry? He was always my fave but when he went solo the way his image was, just really hurt me. Do you think Harrys choosing all he's doing? I see Louis not free. Is Harry free? How can they be together if Harry's Sonys friend?
Ack. Thank you anon. That really nice of you :)
Your ask is a bugger though which I’m probably going to regret answering because H is a touchy subject! 😐 When it comes to his situation, Im a human shrug. I really only have questions. But… I’ll give you the little I have?
So… I think we all agree H looks the freest of the free. We know he’s being handed the world in terms of his career, and a lot of money and influence are being spent (and have been spent for years) to propel him into the industry stratosphere. That investment means he’s a valuable product, with huge marketing expectations on his shoulders.
As I said recently, it stuck me only when Louis launched solo as Sony-1DHQ’s @Louis made flesh, that Harry, when *he* went solo, had also immediately validated the exact PR image given to him by Sony. No little nuances; it was the precise image of H disseminated over the years by Dan Wooton & Simon Jones: unapologetic solo ambition, Haylor, Hendall, and general heterosexual fuckboydom, with a side of playful, harmless, sexual ambiguity. The other 3 guys sort of validated their Sony built images too when they went solo didn’t they- Liam, Zayn and Niall? And they all shore up each other’s 1D images when asked. So… since theyre all free, it must be that everything Dan told us all those years on Sony’s behalf was true. These are the real guys. Sony never lied to us.
To me –its 100% obvious Louis *has to* validate his Sony-created image, after years of bravely and stubbornly undermining it. He can’t even hire management and PR that work for *him*, rather than the label he’s supposed to be only distributing through. His team are all people who’ve been proven to fuck him over repeatedly in the past. We can see the eminently predictable results of that, in a solo roll out that’s deliberately, constantly skirting the edge of disaster crisis and disappointed expectations. With Louis, Sony, for some reason, aren’t even trying to pretend he’s really free or that any of this is in his interests.
But why would Harry, with the world at his feet, having just negotiated a label deal from a position of strength with a new team made up of his close personal friends – why would *he* agree to continue to run his career by the *exact* narrative he was given by 1DHQ back in the day? Dan W could have scripted his Rolling Stone interview, and Dan IS scripting a lot of other things, with H’s teams obvious collusion, for example the exclusive on both H’s latest, and previous, ‘romances’.
But H must be totally free, because his manager is his best friend and he chose him; in fact he practically lives with him. Probably the strongest argument it’s all Harrys choice, is that his manager is Jefe, the loveable, cuddly fandom favourite. Its the one I find hardest to counter too.
Ive always thought it was a little odd though - why do we know for sure despite his fiercely protected private life, that H is closer than close with Jeff and his family? Well, because we’ve been shown it, over and over and over and over again, by paps and stalkers and leaks – all the favourite methods of spreading info with which we’ve become familiar from what we used to call 1DHQ. Is that of any significance? Who knows.
Maybe this stuck with me, because, when I came into fandom in 2015, it was at the point of paps being called to record Harry’s Froyo dates in LA every day (while Louis, Liam and Niall were in the UK), but not to show H and a girl, but H and Jeff.. I remember at the time looking at papwalk after pap walk and thinking - why is this happening? Why were we being shown Harry’s every public moment with another guy (and his GF and his family and friends), implying this was Harrys entire non-working life? Why were stalkers invited to Jeff’s birthday party to watch Harry lead the tributes? Why was Jeff everywhere Harry was, whenever there was anyone – stalker, fan or pap - to tell or show us? Why do all ‘leaks’ show Harry and the Azoffs? Why put so much effort into making the fandom accept that Harry and Jeff are closer than close? At the time, as a newbie, I was told it was because Harry was defying 1DHQ on behalf of the band by flaunting the Azoffs who were crafting a rebellion to save them. Ofc I wanted to believe it.
Now I wonder why Sony and Modest allowed the Azoffs that access and influence over Harry and his behaviour/image, when they had H under a notoriously restrictive and controlling contract? Why the Azoffs were able to de facto take over as H’s managers, though H was still under contract for several more years to Modest and Sony, and tied by their draconian image clauses? Why the Azoffs were allowed to change Hs image in a way that distanced him from the rest of the band and worked to build a solo product, if Sony weren’t guaranteed then to gain from that, through the solo Harry we see today?
I dont know what any of the above means, except I dont think Im ready to accept blindly anymore that the relationship between Harry-Azoff-Sony was entirely as we were shown. Or that Azoff and Sony were ever at odds. Then again, theres so much we’re not shown. Maybe it was all as it seemed.
Other things may point to whatever propelled solo Harry was Harry’s own choice… and principal among those was The Yacht - or maybe, more the eagle tattoo?
Harry got it immediately the hiatus began, and showed it off. It was such a pointed image. But then, because tattoos like the Larry tattoos became a fandom communication signal of rebellion and defiance, I dont think its beyond the bounds of credibility to wonder if management know tattoos are a short cut to fandom belief for whatever they want to sell. The E tattoo is a case in point. It struck me recently though that the most powerful thing about Harrys eagle to us at the time, was the symbolism – he got it on his free arm. The ‘things I can’ arm, which had been bare, waiting, we thought, for LHs freedom or even a CO. Except it turned out to be just Harry’s solo career/ freedom, not Louis’. I wonder though, why Harry hasn’t put anything else on that arm? All his new tattoos, he’s crowded still on ‘things I cant’. That probably means nothing; it’s just a thought?
Im afraid those aren’t very revolutionary observations on Hs freedom, anon. But I do wonder at the moment, from all the shenanigans that surround them, if any of the guys are genuinely free. (And yeah, thanks to recent events, I am still a Larrie. :) )
Hiya! Someone asked me this a while ago and I had so much fun responding, and now that I've started your story, Deception, I GOTTA KNOW. What does Richonne look like in this world? I AM LIVING for both of them in this, btw!!! Thank you!
Hi there @kendrawriter! How are you? Thanks for the great question although I never have a particular visual of them but I suppose it is good to try to bring the characters to life that way. Of course, I couldn’t pinpoint a precise image as I do want a glamorized Michonne (which we just don’t see on TWD), dreadlocks and all. I’ve chosen two photos of Danai but just know she has her dreads in Deception. As for Rick, he is ex-military and although I wanted his hair a tad longer, I will settle for what I found as it does fit. Again, thanks for the awesome support. I appreciate it.
I have a script for a full Youtube video on this that I intend to make… some time… so I’ll give you the cliffnotes. SC has a fairly large cast, but it’s mostly comprised of orphans and supervillains. For something about a family, we don’t actually see that many familial units on-screen.
Various details would imply that it takes two of the same species to produce a child. For instance, every single depicted Cooper we’re shown is a raccoon, and the one full family we do get a brief glimpse of - Dimitri’s immediate family, the Lousteaus - are all the same type of weird lizard.
But, there’s also evidence that two parents of different species can have a kid, and will just produce offspring in one of the two parental species. Most prominent is Sly’s romance with Carmelita.
He’s explicitly expressed the desires both to be with her and to have kids of his own, and doesn’t seem worried by how those might be mutually exclusive goals. So maybe the Coopers just have crazy-strong genes (since they’re already basically magic), and having a Cooper parent will just guarantee the child is a raccoon.
(Also, Tsao is pretty convinced he can successfully have kids with a panda.)
All this, these logistical questions which have plagued me for over a decade, is yet another reason I really want more info on Sly’s mom. There’s precisely two images of her in the games:
Her feet look similar to Conner’s. She’s not shown with a tail, but oddly, neither are Conner or Sly.
If you really squint, you can see a woman with dark hair and pointed ears next to a man who looks like Sly. Given the other picture is obviously depicting the previous Cooper Gang - and just via the Law of Conservation of Detail - we can assume these are Sly’s parents.
So: we know she had pointy ears.
…That doesn’t mean she was a raccoon.
That’s a reasonable assumption, sure, but technically speaking she could be a wolf, a cat, or even in a poetic and/or disturbing twist, a fox. When I say we have no information about Sly’s mother, I mean it. We do not have an explicit species here, people.
Could you please do a little something with Obi-Wan, young Councillor, a little ashamed of his crunch of Mace until he understand the other one is interested too, only waiting for him to make the first move ?
Its not like its a new thing.
Obi-Wan is flesh and blood thank you very much. And he’s not
asexual either though sometimes he strongly wishes he was.
He’s not quite sure what he is but he knows he favors females and
males. Strong willed and powerful men and women to be precise.
The image of golden curls and Satine’s face flashed in his mind at
that but he quickly shut it down. For them to have a life, he would
have to step of the path of being a Jedi, and had she asked for him
to forsake his duty, he would have.
But Mace Windu…
Mace is a fellow Jedi. There’s a certain…safety in that.
In indulging in a little bit of fantasy.
The idea of dark hands holding his own. The thought of the Korun
being close and warm. The little thoughts of how the others lips
would feel against his.
But to be this close to a fantasy is not a smart thing. Obi-Wan is a
Jedi master, he’s a councilor now for Force sake, he should be able
to control this…this…
Oh he refuses to call it a crush.
Padawans get crushes. Jedi Masters don’t.
Infatuation. Yes, that one fits better though it made Obi-Wan flush.
A little infatuation with the older councilor and the way his hands
looked when they gripped a tea cup or his lightsaber hil-
“Obi-Wan, are you alright?” Obi-Wan jerked out of his thought,
looking from the mans hands to his eyes, meeting the dark orbs. “You
seemed far away there for a moment.”
“I….yes, of course, its just been a few long days.” Obi-Wan
flustered a bit, holding onto the cup of tea Mace had given him.
Being invited to the others chambers had been like the start of
another fantasy of Obi-Wan but he hardly thought the other would
consider him that way and he felt a bit ashamed.
Here he was, Jedi and fresh councilor and he was indulging in fantasies of
a senior member of the order. Not only that but a skilled operative.
Where were all those lectures on attachment now?
‘Blown to smithereens.’ Obi-Wan thought dryly before peeking at
Mace over the rim of his cup.
And meet those dark brown eyes again that were filled with…
Obi-Wan blinked, his cup slowly lowering as he held Mace eyes.
Anticipation, want, need…
His own widened slowly. Perhaps he was not the only one who wanted?
Slowly he put down his cup on the table with a soft clink and slid
his still warm hand across the table until it was resting on Mace.
The Korun gave a thin smile and turned his hand, holding Obi-Wan’s
in return before sliding free hand across the table until they were
“There are…certain rules.” Mace murmured. “I have
a…position of power that leaves me…unable to initiate
certain…situations with others.” He squeezed Obi-Wan’s hands.
“But others could initiate them?” The copper haired Jedi murmured
back, green eyes holding the others.
Obi-Wan stood slowly, still holding onto the others hands as tightly
as he could. He drew Mace up as he slid around the table and meet the
other with a soft and experimental kiss, their fingers laced
hello. i'm currenly reading a book Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, and i'd like to ask if you are interested in Beat Generation? i'm sorry if this was already answered. the language and many things in the their letters confuse me to be honest. nevertheless, as one girl already said in one of the asks, i want to try reading Yeats or T.S.Eliot or other poets and writers they liked. thank you in advance for your answer
I have read the Kerouac/Ginsberg letters & although I don’t have any interest in beat generation poetry (leaves me cold & I think it’s mostly poorly written stuff with no lasting quality whatsoever) – I must say that I enjoyed the letters. A lot. Ginsberg’s all too Ginsberg in his correspondence; flamboyant, very in-your-face but at the same time spontaneous & carefree (often to the point of childishness // passionate extremity) and Kerouac is witty in return, truly charming & authentically confessional (during the most “rough” in tone personal phases he was undergoing). My advice would be not to be intimidated by the language flow (both of them were incoherent even on purpose half of the time or spoke an “inside joke”, mutual language) & if you can enjoy two people being immersed in their era, often being consumed by their work but altogether enjoying talking to each other then…proceed. Otherwise better leave them aside.
Eliot & Yeats are almost the exact opposite of the beats (style wise, vision wise, everything wise); they belong to Pound’s “school” of poetry; they appreciate excruciating language precision, cognitive imagism & sensationalism of impressions [without yet being trite or sentimental.] They loved tradition while re-inventing it and, to me, they made modernism acquire the timeless transparency that it has; their language is reflective and contemplative and often transgressing because it involves inward attention and complete patience. They took what they did very seriously – they did not merely put themselves out there. At the same time they were humorous too, in their way, and not always grave and philosophical. I suggest that you read them when you’re in a mood to appreciate language & beauty all over again.
I was a huge Azoff supporter at first. The 30stm movie and Irvings history gave me hope. But the why/how is an interesting question. Perhaps it's as simple as Harry had the ability to hire solo management. Idk. That they're perpetuating the Sony Harry image doesn't surprise me. Look at Jared Leto. The Azoffs have never been about helping Harry come out. They've been about making his closet slightly more bearable while making him a star. They're going to work with Sony as long as they make $.
Weren’t we all huge Azoff supporters anon? It pains me that these questions crossed my mind in 2015 (why are they allowed this access to Harry? why are Jeff and harry having so many pap walks? etc etc ) but I talked myself out of really looking at it head on because I didnt want to. I listened to the prevailing opinion (again because i wanted to believe it) that Harry was fighting against what they were doing to him (creating solo Harry) by flaunting the Azoffs in the face of Evil Modest and Evil Simon. Imagine my surprise then (ahem) when HSHQ unapologetically launched the very product I’d convinced myself they were fighting against. Its all so stupid looking back. Its so easy to convince people who want to be convinced, and we were all in that boat.
No I dont believe Harry had the ability too hire solo management in 2014. Why would he be able to do that? And since he would still have been under his label contracts (which we know would have been shit) how would that management be able to blatantly start grooming him for solo fame without the collusion of Sony? In fact the collision of Sony is obvious. Who pushed Harry to the front? Who gave him half the solos on MITAM? Who allowed him to create an image that stood out startlingly from the rest? Nah. That had to be a joint project.
Harrys image is precise and we actually watched the Azoffs help build it. Those VS models. The LA Celeb crowd. The separation that had Harry in LA eating Froyo while the others were in the UK drinking lager. Etc etc. I totally agree with you about their attitude to CO though. That struck me the moment i heard he was doing a movie. Jared Leto and whats happened to his image is a cautionary tale.
There was something odd though in 2014 almost as if the promise had been made? Everything that happened up to Zayn’s departure and a while after gave the impression that they were loosening the Larry closet. Instead they were preparing to pile all of it on to Louis. Harry was left with a much more bearable one yes but somehow I think that might be more about managing his fandom as a solo star, than humanity.
For more than 40 years, Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo has been fascinated with the golden ratio. Represented by the Greek letter ϕ (or Phi) and equal to 1.618, this ratio is often seen in the natural world. Using a pencil, compass, ruler, and protractor, Araujo renders with exquisite mathematical precision stunning images of nature — “from the hypnotic whorls of the chambered nautilus shell to the balanced proportions of butterfly wings” — that conform to the golden ratio. And he leaves the construction lines intact “to highlight this natural mathematical framework.” It can take him up to 100 hours to create a single composition.
In response to many fans and followers who have asked for renderings of his work that can be colored in, Araujo and a Sydney-based publishing team plan to collect some of his favorite illustrations into a stunning — and soothing! — coloring book. Help bring the book to press here.
On either side of the Taj Mahal are two large sandstone buildings. The two buildings are precise mirror images of each other, maintaining the symmetry of the Taj Mahal itself. The Western building is an operating Mosque. The other was presumably used as a guesthouse, though its main purpose was for architectural balance.
I imagine God took his time when he made you
From the curve of yo hips
To your lips when you smile
To the glow in yo skin
To the sense of your style
I imagine God took his time when he made you
He took the finest of diamonds and crushed them in sand
And plastered a mold that was crafted by hand
And created perfection from a rib of a man
I imagine God took his time when he made you
Even Picasso couldn’t compare the Mona Lisa to this masterpiece
Beauty so rare you would pay cash to be see
sell your soul and ass to see
Travel through space and time
future and past to see
Explore every planet, moon and every galaxy
I Imagine God took his time when he made you
From every nook and cranny
To Every strand of hair
To the way you Walk
Talk and even frown your face up when your mad who wouldn’t help but stare
Screaming I woke up like this this
In every shape and form
That Old skool popping
You be killing them no children of the Korn
The rose that grew from concrete without a thorn
And if beauty was a beast there’d be no way
they could cage you
They’d try to capture the image
But could never frame you
It took 9 months, 280 days, 6,000 hours, 400,000 minutes and 24 millions seconds
Of pure precision
And the image in my head is that God took his time when he made you
Strictly speaking I have a very simple way of prayer. It is centered entirely on attention to the presence of God and to His will and His love. That is to say that it is centered on faith by which alone we can know the presence of God. One might say this gives my meditation the character described by the Prophet [Mohammed] as “being before God as if you saw Him.” Yet it does not mean imagining anything or conceiving a precise image of God, for to my mind this would be a kind of idolatry. On the contrary, it is a matter of adoring Him as invisible and infinitely beyond our comprehension, and realizing Him as all. My prayer tends very much toward what you call fana. There is in my heart this great thirst to recognize totally the nothingness of all that is not God. My prayer is then a kind of praise rising up out of the center of Nothing and Silence.
Thomas Merton in a letter to Sufi student Abdul Aziz
How I shoot: Framing Figures through Light and Shadow with @__darkwhite__
To see more of Rui’s graphical black-and-white photos, follow @__darkwhite__ on Instagram.
Just over a year ago Rui Veiga (@__darkwhite__) picked up photography as a hobby and has since developed his own visual voice, focusing on silhouettes, contrasts and graphic shapes. “I like taking pictures in black-and-white because it travels through time and adds a touch of supernatural,” says Rui, who lives in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It is a style that allows me to go straight to what inspires me.” Most of his images are precisely planned and he often uses friends as his subjects, although sometimes he waits for pedestrians to naturally appear in the right spot.
Here are some of Rui’s tips for shooting high contrast photos:
Camera: Canon 7D, iPhone 6
Vantage Point: “To start with, look for lines, shadows, perspectives or light sources in geometrical forms and place your subject on it.”
Shooting: “Think of your composition and use the rule of thirds, so that your photos have more impact.”
Post-Production: “In post-production I use Lightroom to create the black and the white, correct the perspectives, refocus and reframe.” In Photoshop, Rui retouches more precisely – strengthening shadows and deleting or modifying elements, if desired. “I use Snapseed on my smartphone to finalize my photos before posting them on Instagram.”
Depeche Mode will grow & grow Tomorrow… all the time in the world’NME1981;
Anton, born 62 years ago on 20 May 1955, is a Dutch photographer, music video director, and film director, also the creative director behind the visual output & artwork for Depeche Mode since the eighties, below a recap of his first collaboration with Depeche Mode for the NME back in 1981.
THREE MODES IN A BOAT
by Paul Morley New Musical Express, 22nd August 1981 _____
Paul Morley skinnydips with the electropop heart-throbs from Basildon. Anton Corbijn pictures it
SO I’M surrounded by three of the sweet Depeche boys, impressed by the variety of their haircuts, surprised by their simplicity, and I do what any responsible writer would do. I go boating with them.
Basildon is close to Southend, Essex, a half hour journey on old stock from a little-known London station. Depeche Mode – “hurried fashion” – are in between a British tour that ended in Edinburgh last Saturday and the recording of their debut LP, and are meeting the NME at Basildon station. The NME is twenty minutes late! “Sorry, it’s his fault,” I glibly blurt, pointing at the lanky lensboy. Depeche look annoyed, don’t say much, and hang around the station entrance until their instant photographs have been processed.
We walk through the new town: unlike a close, dirty and snaggy city, Basildon is flat, open light grey and fresh brick red. The sky looks close. I bet the tap water is moderately drinkable. We stroll past the square shopping centre, probably a local attraction for the postcards, cross a busy dual carriageway, an odd sign of speed, towards the indoor swimming pool.
“A lot of people,” Andrew Fletcher – a redhead, with new, dangerously close-cropped hair – tells me, “think that Basildon is a little country village.” Thatched roofs and jukebox-less pubs. “In fact it has a population of 180,000,” Martin Gore – derelict blond curls, a couple of days’ tender fluff on the chin – affectionately mocks him. “Oh, Andy knows everything, even the population.”
“Believe me,” continues Andrew earnestly, “It’s got an electoral roll of 107,000 and that’s not including kids. That’s the biggest in the country, and next time it has got to be split up into Basildon East and West.”
Have you lived in Basildon long? I ask singer Dave Gahan – black hair with a strange lie and an abbreviated fringe pointing down the centre of the forehead. “Since I was four,” he says. Depeche Mode are the formalist tingling sound of young Basildon, the alert geometric sound of the new town, the soundtrack for all cosmetic optimism, an evocative representation of the functional artificiality of some environment. Sunshine suits Basildon, all interviews with Depeche Mode should take place in the open air.
The Swimming Pool is set in a small tidy park: next to the swimming pool is a boating pool, near the boating pool is a putting green. Teenyboppers on school-holiday burn their legs in the sun and look numbly happy in the peace and slowness. Depeche and the NME sit on strictly mown grass under a toy tree; missing is songwriter Vince Clarke, who from past interviews appears to be the most prepared to attempt to rationalise the anti-romantic anti-intellectual Mode pop.
“There was a guy who interviewed us for the Daily Star, Ricky Sky, and he was desperately looking for a headline, an angle, and he was saying to us – haven’t you done anything really exciting, what’s been happening? We said well nothing really, although when we played at Ronnie Scott’s once all the lights went out! He was excited by this, then he started to talk about looks and he said do you think it’s an advantage to be good looking and in a band? Vince said Yeah, obviously, it’s an advantage in life to be good looking. Rick Sky made it out that Vince had said UGLY BANDS NEVER MAKE IT, IF YOU’RE GOOD LOOKING THEN YOU’RE NUMBER ONE. Since then Vince has never ventured out of his flat! He is so upset. It really hit him hard. He hasn’t been out for six weeks and he had a real bad depression.”
At the station I felt that Depeche Mode were going to be surly and silent: pop technicians simplifying their calculated art so that it fits into “the interview”. Actually, they like talking: what they like talking about most is nothing in particular. There is a residue of scurrilous schoolboy values, an innocently mutinous streak. They’re in no hurry: they’ve a cheerily vague idea about where they’ve been, and aren’t too concerned about where they’re going. Yet! Tomorrow is just another day: yesterday was a bit of a laugh. Today: flick the switch, talk to the man, fiddle with pieces of grass. Depeche Pop: for all the time in the world and no time at all.
DAVE: “It’s just the pop sound of the ’80s, that’s what I would describe Depeche Mode as.”
Andrew: “Yeah, I don’t think tours play a major part in what we do. I think most of the people who bought our record have never been to a gig in their life and will never go to one. They’d rather see a picture in a magazine … A lot of housewives bought the record, I reckon, old ones as well as young.”
Dave: “My mum always tells me if a song we’ve made is bad, if it’s too choppy she doesn’t like it. It’s got to have a good beat and run melodically.”
Andrew: “A lot of people still don’t realise that the whole of our set is pop. Virtually all our songs are pop songs. I think people think it might not be like that.”
What do you think people think?
Martin: “They think we’re jokes!”
Andrew: “Naah… a lot of people have still got this thing – synthesiser, he must be moody. You get a lot of Numanoids coming to our gigs.”
Dave: There was this bloke come to see us the other day and he said to me after the show – I think it’s really bad the way you have all your friends in the audience talking to you and that, and then we’re all over here and you don’t react to us. I said well what do you mean? He said: I think it’s really bad that you have like all your friends in the changing room. I said well what do you want me to say c’mon all the audience into the changing room. He said – well have you got lots of friends? I said well I’ve got a few. He said – well I haven’t got any. Well pity you mate! Isn’t that a friend, a guy who was with him. He said – yeah he’s a friend, but not a friend like that.
“It was really weird! I couldn’t be bothered talking to him. He thought that we should be like Gary Numan and have the distant lonely look and image. Because we play synthesisers and we’re supposed to look strange at people, and not smile. The bloke didn’t like the way I smiled at people!!”
DEPECHE MODE electerrific pop is a mazed glitter reflection of fast life and new values, the subjective sense of populist culture, the sound of flashing lights, a minimalist activating caricature of repentance and reason, a clinging ringing radiance. Soothing and exciting, pop’s equivalent to the TV commercial. Their songs are successive transformation of images, precise parodies of the sense of interplay between technology and man. They’re simplifications, curt cuts, ironic pop sculptures, lively chairs, a spiked soft drink.
Talking to them – especially without Vince Clarke, the missing trinket – you can’t directly appreciate the subtle merit of Depeche pop, where the intention seems to be to disclaim reality as messy and stale, to condemn daily life as heartlessly indifferent to the needs of imaginative life. Depeche Mode is a figurative pop that is the result of a collision between SENSITIVITY and INSENSITIVITY, RESPECT and INDIFFERENCE.
There is more going on than it seems: there will be more going on. Mode’s literate, significantly glossy pop has a superficiality that is contradicted by an inner consistency that hints at emotion, tragedy, spirit, or perhaps an anticipation of impatience with the present format. Depeche Mode are moving between the over candid and value-less simplification of Numan, and the convincing confrontation of new possibilities of Cabaret Voltaire. Listening to the focused pop of Depeche Mode – “to sound like a fairy tale full of silent machines, robots, consumer imperatives and mute children in love with the sky” – can put this listener in the best possible mood to take in the day. Today …
Minus Clarke, Depeche Mode talk like teenyboppers: no complications! Depeche unpretentiously admit that they’ve ended up this way today through a series of lucky breaks. Unlike distant rubbing cousins like Cabaret Voltaire or even The Human League there’s been precious little sense of purpose. They find it difficult to frame their new fame. Ingredients, colours, ideas, references, styles were generously, haphazardly scattered: the accidental pattern that’s formed is brilliant, attractive and the bright basis for a special design. Depeche are a supreme example of the electronic vitalisation of the basic pop format, and it’s the beginning.
Depeche Mode haven’t appreciated this yet. They’re still adjusting, playing truant. That they’re an obvious part of the evolution from Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League and DAF – musically and conceptually – whose observation and explanation of SURROUNDING is dislocated and oddly associated indicates that DeMode have the potential to be a shade more provocative than their fakerist contemporaries. Tomorrow…
THERE IS no impudent statement about Mode’s employment of electronics; though they relish the opportunities. To them it was natural, a rewarding route to constructing intelligent pop songs. There is no rigorous or possessive art background. They’re all under 20. Vince Clarke may well have a folkish background – try singing “New Life” with a finger in the ear, acapella like Steeleye Span singing “Gaudete”. Andrew was a rock snob – pre-punk into The Who and Deep Purple, out of that when punk churned along, and then fond of the Pistols and Parker. Martin, whose previous group performed the theme from Skippy, likes Sparks, The Velvet Underground and Cabaret Voltaire. Dave’s background associates the group with the swift shifts of Egan clubland, has placed them near to the air the cults with names breathe.
“Yeah, I was a soulboy, I’ve done it all, I’ve been everything. I used to like soul and jazz-funk like The Crusaders. I used to go to soul weekends and hang around with the crew from Global Village and I went to, like, The Lyceum on a Friday night.” He got interested in punk, and when that burnt out went back to the clubs for the exotic new electronic fun, the floating fading fantasy of The Blitz and Studio 21.
Depeche Mode were originally Vince, Martin and Andrew, bass guitar and a drum machine. Dave joined up, Depeche Mode became two synthesisers, a drum machine a vivacious front boy. Yesterday…
“We were just a band and we played in front of friends and that… we didn’t start off being a pop group, that’s just the way it went, it was just the music we liked making. We never said let’s form a band, let’s get in the charts, let’s be enormous. We didn’t intend it to be a career, we were still at work until recently. We just never planned anything. We would have signed any deal, we just wanted to put a record out.”
They didn’t anticipate the recent shifts from IRRELEVANT BIGNESS towards mobility, colour, commotion: the newest pop urge to participate more in the bombardment of the senses? Pop in discos: pop as part of the rushing crushing soundtrack for the day. “I think we’re lucky to fit into all that. We have had a lot of lucky breaks.”
MEETING DANIEL MILLER was the sort of lucky break that can be turned into legend. Miller is Normal, Miller is Mute, Miller is ghost, Miller is catalyst. “If we hadn’t signed with Dan’s Mute label we would have signed with a major label and got immersed in all that stupid expense, the big rigs and the 20 roadies…”
DeMode certainly appreciate their fortunate independence: the flexibility. “We didn’t think about it before, but now we run our own thing, plan what we want to do, how and when we want to do it. It could’ve been the other way easily. We emerged just as all the big labels were searching for their “futurist” group.” Depeche Mode appeared on Stevo’s Some Bizzare compilation and were therefore momentarily branded as “futurist”. “We came very close to signing with a major. But we can do anything with Daniel. We could if we wanted do a record that’s just a continual noise for three minutes and he’d release it as a single.”
If it wasn’t for Miller Depeche Mode would have been lost. They would have stood still. Miller has propelled them forward, is helping them see things clearly. His commercially practical yet unconventional vision has given DeMode a properly encouraging context to exploit and perfect their belligerently simple Pop Art. The story goes that at first he didn’t want to help them: when he first heard them they were scrappy and he was in a bad mood. Fate needed to make it happy ever after. “We really were lucky to meet someone like him. We’re surrounded by people we can totally trust. The people he’s got on his label, like Boyd Rice, really are out of order. He puts out a single even though he knows it’ll only sell 1,000. He just does it because he likes it… I still don’t understand Daniel Miller. I don’t see how he’s made any money until us. He’ll make a bit out of this single! But you know we just never really thought anything really. We just wanted to put a single out. Then we did “Dreaming Of Me” as a one off for Mute and that went into the lower charts and we were surprised. Then, in a couple of months, everything’s happened.”
I SAW YOU just before the release of “Dreaming Of Me” at Cabaret Futura and you didn’t move – you were frozen!
Andrew: “That was really terrible… a really funny gig. We hadn’t learnt how to move. It’s very hard moving when you play synthesisers.”
The next time I saw you, on Top Of The Pops playing “New Life”, you were hipping and hopping like puppets with broken strings.
Andrew: “It used to be the main criticism of us, that we didn’t move enough on stage. But it’s really hard, we’ve relaxed a bit now and we dance but we used to be shy and we used to be really young.”
Martin: “We used to be really young! It was only 6 months ago. We used to have this idea of having rails on the stage and we would be on platforms on stage so that we could be moved back and forwards on stage although we didn’t have to actually move! We really want to make our show good but we just haven’t had a chance to sit down and think about it.”
I’ve seen people vainly try to imitate Dave’s daft dance but they can never do it.
Dave: “Did you see Razmatazz yesterday? We were on it and all these little girls in the background were trying to imitate me – copying me weren’t they? I didn’t know when we were doing it but they were there doing exactly the same dance – like you go through loads of times before the real performance and the girls must have perfected it towards the end.”
Do you like appearing on television?
Andrew: “It’s alright. At first I felt a bit like a prune. Like pressing a keyboard and pretending you’re really doing it and singing into a mike with a lead going nowhere – half way through you think God what am I doing here, looking like a prat in front of millions of people. We’ve got used to it now.”
Andrew: “Yeah, it’s just funny now.”
THE INTERVIEW in the sun fades away after about 40 minutes. Depeche are obviously bored, and so they should be. We go boating. DeMode are recognised by almost everybody sunning by the pool. Now that they’re FACES are they into glamour? Shrug, stare into space, laughter.
“There’s no glamour. We drive around in Dan’s Renault… we don’t now because it’s broken, so we get trains. Don’t know about glamour. Nothing’s really changed. We might have a few more pennies in our pockets, and when I say pennies I do mean pennies, but same friends, same places to go to. You always think wouldn’t it be great to have a hit single, but when it actually happens nothing really changes.”
They seem remarkably unaffected and unimpressed by their success: likeably irreverent. “Oh, it’s great fun…” Glad to hear it. The three muscle men who hire out the boats recognise the local goodies Mode. One of them chats to the boys as he helps them into a boat. “What number are you this week then?” “Fifteen” “That’s the way – go get ’em!” He points out the group to what looks like his dad. “Hey this is Depeche Mode, they come from around this way.”
“Never heard of them.”
“It’s really odd, at first you think God, imagine being on TOTP, imagine being in the top ten, but it all changes when it begins to happen. When we got into the lower charts we thought it was good for a while, but then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 40. Then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 20…”
Depeche finish their boat ride. “All the way to number one!” shouts a boat man. Depeche are confused about what they want, why and what for, and are just beginning to work out guidelines. They intuitively realise that there is MORE than Radio One recognition: the charts the glossy magazines will unusually form the background to a hard artistic growth. Depeche Mode are casual but not silly. Would they mind the mythical mishap of ending up as one hit wonders? “I don’t think it would put us off in any way – although some people in the papers would love it. We’ve done a lot already, we’ve learnt a lot, but I hope we’re not one hit wonders!”
I walk around the pool as Anton focuses. Two little girls ask me if I’m in Depeche Mode. It’s nice to be asked, but I point at the threesome. Two early teen lads come up to me and ask me what paper the articles going to be in. Are Depeche Mode local heroes: “Oh yeah really well known!” The two lads argue about whether Stiff Little Fingers are the other Basildon pop stars.
Dave walks the NME back to the station: the deal was all over inside 90 minutes, as it should be. Do they get recognised a lot in Basildon?
“Quite a lot… it’s funny. The people round here sort of think that if you’ve got a single in the charts you’re going to be driving round in a Rolls Royce, but we still use buses. They see you in the chip shop or the Wimpy and they think it’s really odd.”
Is his mum excited? “Oh yes. Mum says to my aunts – make sure you see them on Razmatazz! She’s been really good about it - she’s kind of let me have my own way. She could have been harder.”
She had a banking career in mind? “No, no… I went to college doing Design and shop display, but I left. The College were pretty good about it. They sent me a note the other day, saying congratulations on the success.”
Detached Dave quietly says goodbye to the NME, and straight away seems to have forgotten about them. What did I do today? He might wonder later that night. Tomorrow is just another day… but the day after? Depeche Mode can make intimate and challenging pop art out of routine and insecurity! Dave walks off towards sunsets and sunrises and certain surprises. Depeche Mode will grow and grow. Tomorrow… all the time in the world.
Of course, Kageyama often turned out to be a complete idiot, but Hinata was mature enough to admit that he himself sometimes was an idiot as much as the setter was. But on the volleyball court, oh yes, Kageyama was really cool.
It often happened that Hinata lingered on the peaceful way in which Kageyama closed his eyes with a sigh, opening them again with a thin and sharp form. When Kageyama had that serious and confident look, when he aimed those incredible eyes forward, lit by a spark of concentration and control, Hinata knew that everything was fine. He grinned to himself and thought, “I can’t be left behind, I must become like him.”
It was reassuring somehow and one day Hinata became aware of it more than usual, wondering if Kageyama had that attitude only on the court. Aside from that confident look, Hinata remembered well only those threatening expressions of him when Kageyama screamed something rude to Hinata, apart from the strange faces he always made before or after a match as they talked of this and that.
“I’ve never seen him smile,” Hinata thought for a moment, before Ukai whistled and announced the end of practice, reminding the students not to skip stretching.
Ok, there were those pleased smirks of when they made a good quick, that deformed and scary grin that was supposed to be like Sugawara’s reassuring smile, there was that grin of satisfaction that sometimes Kageyama addressed to him when they were both excited for a practice match or a goal to achieve … but somehow they didn’t count as real smiles.
Hinata was conscious to smile often, for various reasons, but as the end of that practice session ended, he picked as many balls as possible to put them in place before his rival could do it and wondered if there was a serious reason, apart from volleyball, that could make Kageyama smile in that simple, genuine and calm way, a way that perhaps didn’t belong to him, but Hinata really wanted to see it on his face.
He had just shocked himself for giving birth to all these thoughts together, when he felt a gentle tug on his sweaty t-shirt.
“Hurry, we have to close the gym!” Tanaka exclaimed. The shorty didn’t expect to hear his voice, for a moment he thought it would have been Kageyama to talk to him.
“Okay!” Hinata trilled, then looked around instinctively. Where was Kageyama? Oh God, did he really feel his absence with such intensity?
“Kageyama went to change before”, Daichi said entering the locker room last. “He said he remembered something to do for his mother.”
The middle blocker stared at him for a long moment, then nodded vigorously. Nevertheless, he couldn’t prevent himself from looking around in silence, as if he was still looking for Kageyama.
“Oh, it’s unexpectedly quiet here!” Suga said half smiling, finding Asahi who nodded.
Nishinoya jumped out of the club room and lolled on the railing before going down the stairs: “If you miss the noise the first-years always do, Ryuu and I will do something about it!”
“Don’t you even think about it.” Daichi said from the bottom of the ladder, while Sugawara and Ennoshita giggled.
In all this, Hinata hurried earlier than usual to get out of the locker room, not busy arguing with Kageyama about how many inches they could still grow before the end of high school. Tsukishima made a joke about how Hinata was remarkably silent in the absence of the King, but the shorty didn’t even hear him and jumped on the bike to get home, biting his lower lip nervously, not understanding why Kageyama had gone without him and he didn’t even notice.
Kageyama also thought that Hinata was cool.
He wasn’t as conscious as Hinata, but still this opinion existed in him and it was strong. It was implicitly visible in the efforts Kageyama put in every perfect toss he gave his partner, in the rare glow that radiated from his eyes when he saw Hinata succeed on the court, even without his help.
What Kageyama was aware of instead was the strange warmth that suddenly caught his cheeks when Hinata smiled with determination, not to mention the chest node he barely beared when they had a particularly lasting physical contact.
He was seriously thinking of being mad, as he shook his head and proceeded on the dark sidewalk in the neighbourhood. Those symptoms were something for young girls and, unless he had a crush on his teammate, that could only mean he had to pull himself together.
“Could I have trained too much?” Kageyama wondered, pouting and scaring a child.
He was as pure as stupid because of his naivety, but as long as his training with Hinata would have gone on without a hitch, Kageyama believed with confidence that his strange reactions in presence of the shorty would have ended after a day off, going back to the gym without unnecessary thoughts.
He snorted, thinking of skipping a whole day of practice, then he heard a baby crying beside him. He jumped and raised his head, confused: a mother cradling her son to make him stop crying, an old man and a girl of about twenty years old were surrounding him. He lifted his face a bit more and was attracted by the red gleam of a traffic light.
“Where am I?”
A moment later, Kageyama realized he had taken the wrong way. He snorted and cursed Hinata for having distracted him through his thoughts, getting the questioning and disapproving look by the elder man who was about to cross the street.
“So, which way now? I wish I hadn’t gone that far… Damn, Hinata will pay for it! Or maybe I shouldn’t tell him I was thinking about him? He would make fun of me of course. Better not. Maybe I’ll just toss him less than usual. Wait, I know that shop! So if I cross the street and go to the other side… ”
Kageyama was already in the middle of the crosswalk, when a powerful white glow surprised him on his left. He started to turn around, frowning, but before he could do it he met the traffic light that was red again, followed by a deafening sound of screeching tires on the pavement.
He barely had the time to open his eyes wide and curse Hinata again for having distracted him… then the light blinded him.
Kageyama was the first thought that woke Hinata up the next morning.
A moment before he opened his eyes and jumped out of bed, he recalled the tosses he usually received by him at practice and the semi-serious tone in which the setter would have told him “one more time.” There wasn’t any reason why Hinata had woken precisely with those images in his head - or so he thought - but still nothing could stop him from smiling softly throughout the journey that took him to school.
That smile faded only when he got to the gym and realized that Kageyama wasn’t there.
“I’ll try to see if he’s in class. He’s probably not well.”
Takeda-sensei had spoken with the most reassuring tone in the world and no one could doubt that Kageyama would have been back soon. But Kageyama would have never missed a training session even with measles and if anyone was aware of it, it was Hinata.
The shorty was no longer able to smile as he should throughout the day, even the afternoon practice failed to make him happy.
“Nice, Hinata!”, Sugawara said with satisfaction after trying an attack with him, but as the middle blocker returned in position, he saw a grim expression on his face that was even more worrying on him.
Sugawara was about to call Hinata, saying something to cheer him up, when Takeda entered the gym breathlessly and nobody noticed him right away - he had done it so often by now that it was normal - except that the teacher had a troubled expression aimed precisely at Hinata and everyone stopped and stared at him.
“It’s for you!”
The redhead looked up and saw Takeda handing him a cell phone. He put it to his ear without a particular reaction: “Hello?”
“Are you Hinata Shouyou?”
A woman’s worried voice made him startle and just curiosity kept him from making a thousand catastrophic hypothesis all at once. Each of them about one person, of course.
“I’m Tobio’s… Kageyama Tobio’s mother.”
Too late. Panic exploded in his chest a split second before hearing that name.
“I-It’s Hinata… How’s Kageyama?”
“Thank God I’ve found you! I have to ask you a very important favour. Could you come at our place right now?”
“Ehm… Y-Yes, I think so.”
“Really? Thank you, thank you so much Hinata-kun! Tobio does nothing but ask about you…”
“What? About me?”
“He almost had an accident yesterday. A car almost ran over him! He’s alright, but he’s still shocked… He’s been staying in bed without moving all day, he keeps murmuring weird things and repeats your name all the time.”
It took Hinata a while, before he realized. Why him? When you’re shocked because of a fright like that, you usually call your family, your dear ones… not a volleyball teammate you spend your afternoons and most of the time with, not a friend you have fun with because you’ve become very close over the months.
“I.. I’m coming. Yes, I’m coming right now!”
Hinata ran out of the gym towards his bicycle without changing his clothes, chased by the teacher who wanted his phone back. When Hinata hung up and returned the phone, he was already on his bike and didn’t burst into tears with fear just because he was busy riding very fast and every physical reaction was impossible.
The door swung open suddenly and Kageyama jolted. He rose his puffy eyes, meeting Hinata’s teary and scared ones just like his. The silence was broken just by the shorty’s panting.
Some seconds were enough for Hinata to see despair turning into relief in those blue eyes that were so dear to him. He was sure this time: he had never seen something like that and he thought he didn’t want to see it ever again.
With a lump in his throat, Hinata raced on Kageyama’s bed. The taller boy was sadly curled up in a corner and Hinata dropped to his knees to hold him tight. Kageyama did the same and gasped, as if he was able to breathe again after hours of apnea, and pressed his face against his neck.
Hinata encircled Kageyama’s shoulders with his thin and weak arms, too much weak to hold the pieces of Kageyama’s broken heart together, but it didn’t stop him from trying with everything he had. He held him, with his hands wandering in his hair in a confused and hasty way.
“Kageyama! Kageyama, I’m here… I’m here.”
Those words, said out loud, were good for both of them. It was an important proof that they were really there, they were really together.
Hinata felt Kageyama’s back relaxing and his own t-shirt being slightly pulled down, then a hiccup and a wet heat on his heart. He sighed and closed his eyes, lowering his forehead and holding his teammate tight, so that he couldn’t slip away and disappear.
“I’m here… I’m here, it’s alright.” Hinata repeated many times quietly, while Kageyama cried all the tears he still had from the day and the night before.
Kageyama never expected Hinata to come and comfort him, but now he could hug him and didn’t feel ashamed anymore for hoping. He would have never felt ashamed again of reacting weird every time he thought of Hinata. Shame and shyness disappeared, they were nothing compared to that new feeling in his chest and Kageyama knew that hug was everything he needed.
Hinata didn’t move until Kageyama stopped crying. Only when he calmed down and sniffed, he stroke his back hesitantly and asked: “Better?”.
The setter nodded more than once and rested his face on Hinata’s shoulder. “Can we… stay like this for a while?” he murmured, holding him tighter.
Hinata’s heart skipped a beat and he would usually be afraid of Kageyama noticing, but he would have been a fool if he had told him no, so he smiled slightly. “Of course.” he answered, pressing a cheek on his head and closing his eyes again.
Kageyama did it too and sighed, staying still in that hug for a long silent moment.
They both had many questions to ask and they managed to forget them for a while, lying gently in that warmth between their trembling bodies, but then they felt that some explanations were necessary.
“Will you tell me what happened last night?”
Maybe it wasn’t the right question to begin with - Kageyama hesitated before answering. “Yes… I had to do something for my mother, but I got lost. A car nearly ran over me, I was pulled away just in time… but I stayed on the sidewalk panicking until my mother came and took me home.”
“…how the hell did you do that?”
Kageyama opened his eyes and parted from Hinata to stare at him, frowning.
“How did you get lost, idiot?” Hinata grinned, putting a hand on his mouth.
“Shut up, boge!” Kageyama cried. “If you really want to know it, it’s your fault!”
“What, why should it be my fault?”
“Because… I was thinking about you.”
It was just a whisper, but with that shy voice and those red cheeks, Hinata was surprised and ended up being more embarassed than him.
They kept their eyes low, but realized to have still their arms tangled to one another and nothing stopped them from blushing. With no nerve to say something else, Kageyama pressed his forehead against Hinata’s shoulder one more time. The readhead smiled and stroke his back like a minute before.
“I’m glad you’re alright.” he said, before kissing him on the temple.
Kageyama stiffened to that gesture: “W-Why did you do that?”
“The… The kiss.”
Hinata stared at him curiously and was a bit surprised to see that Kageyama was really embarassed.
“Well, when my sister is sad or scared, she comes to me and I usual-”
He was interrupted by a hand on his cheek. One of those hands with which he tossed the ball to him everyday, just for him, and having one of them on his face was a new and beautiful feeling. And those blue eyes! They had never looked at him that way and Hinata knew he was so in love with them.
He didn’t have time to decide what to do about it, because his head moved on his own towards Kageyama and their lips touched before they could think something else. Honestly, every thought was useless now.
It was a simple, common, but sweet kiss. In a corner of their mind a voice echoed “What the hell is going on?”, but it was too weak to be heard, compared to their crazy heartbeat. When they parted with a smack, they stopped and stared at each other for a long moment… and finally, the miracle happened.
It was a faint smile and the curve of his lips was hardly visible, but there was a spark of gratitude in his eyes and Hinata knew immediately that it was the most wonderful smile in the world. A smile like that could belong to Kageyama, then! A smile like that could make him handsome, even more than usual.
That smile exceeded Hinata’s expectations and the shorty stared at him in awe, before smiling in return and holding him so tight that they ended up laying on the bed.
They didn’t stand up again for a long while and Kageyama thought that it was perfect.