presence of things

i’m reading a very manly 1950s account of a hunt for el dorado but i’m thirty pages in and the narrator has already described his traveling companion as “handsome” 4 times, “extremely handsome” twice, “exceedingly handsome” once, his voice as “quietly husky” and “a husky whisper,” his fingers as long and deft, his body as “tall and cat-like,” and his eyes as some variation of ice-blue at least three times.

just men being dudes. dudes being pals. it’s great. this is great.

We give Japanese cartoons a hard time for recycling the same episode premises in every show, but if you think about it, not only do North American cartoons do the same thing, our stock episode premises are weird as hell.

Like:

Japanese cartoons have beach episodes.

American cartoons have that episode where the protagonist accidentally creates a whole bunch of duplicates of himself, all of whom later die horribly, with the last one standing giving the protagonist some valuable bit of life advice just before expiring.

Japanese cartoons have tournament episodes.

American cartoons have that episode where the focus character misuses time travel and accidentally erases herself, then goes on a tour of a world where she never existed and discovers that everything is terrible, because apparently her presence was literally the only thing holding back the Apocalypse.

5

Henrik talking about the connection between him and Tarjei

10

This is Chaka Khan appreciation. Without Chaka, we might never have heard of the (still-underrated) Rufus. We would’ve never had Kanye’s “Through The Wire.” We would’ve just missed so much. Whether you call here Yvette Marie Stevens (her birth name) or Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi (adding the Khan after marriage), the name she received when she became a member of the Black Panther Party and friends with Fred Hampton, you’d have to acknowledge that lovers of music owe her so much. 11 solo albums. Another 11 with Rufus. A career that spans more than 42 years. 10 Grammy Awards. 22 Grammy Nominations. When you look at this pictures, know that you’re looking at greatness. I mean, even after all that, she’s so bad that a 60-plus-year-old Chaka Khan looks like a lot like a 31 year old Nicki Minaj. (You’ve been told: it don’t crack.)  Her beauty, her hair, the face, the energy, the presence–these things would define a mere mortal. But Chaka is no mere mortal: she is every woman, and her musical and artistic accomplishments are so great that even her beauty cannot distract you from her talent for long. She’s been quoted as saying, “I’ve always struggled so much just to appreciate myself.” That one quote explains so much. But Chaka–Yvette– and this is no substitute, but you should know: we appreciate you, for who you are and what you’ve done. Let me tell you something good: you are one of the best ever to do it. Chicago stand up. Everybody stand up.

2

Sense8 | You Want a War?

Before I get on a plane and go anywhere, before I discover what it actually feels like to be in the same room with you, before I know what it really feels like to have these lips against mine, and not just in my head, something I might be imagining… I need to know something. Something true.

Someone recently asked me “do you see yourself years down the road with the same girl you are with now?” Without hesitation I quickly responded with “fuck yes”. They asked me to explain how but I just smiled and shook my head. But all I could think of was how she talks about me like I put stars in the sky. How one kiss, one touch from her and I feel like I’m flying. It’s the way my body aches when hers is just a little too far away. It’s the way her presence is the only thing that seems to calm my entire soul. How her smile, her laugh could take any bad moment and turn it into something worth while. It’s how her beauty is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The way she makes me feel can be compared to the way kids feel when they are told they are going to Disney. Full of butterflies, full of excitement, full of anticipation. That’s how loving her feels like. So when someone asks if I can see myself with her in the future I’ll just smile and nod because for the first time thinking about a future with someone doesn’t come across as terrifying to me. A future with her feels calm, it feels right. I’m not much of a believer of soul mates but I do believe that our souls were meant to cross paths for a reason and I’ll spend forever finding out why.
—  this love was worth the wait
Writing Trans Characters

DO:

1. Treat them like regular people, like actual human beings, because they are people, not just trans

2. Mention they’re trans at some point, because proper representation is important- it doesn’t have to be a huge reveal, it can just be one sentence, it can be totally offhand

3. Be confident about including trans characters in any setting- there have been trans people since there has been gender, there’s no context in which their presence makes no sense

4. Research things like binders and tucking and hormone therapy if you don’t know anything about them

DON’T:

1. Do that thing where a character’s like “I was Steve… But now call me… Stevette”

2. Include a trans character simply for the purpose of fetishisation

3. Feature unsafe practices like binding with bandages unless it’s really crucial to the plot, somehow

4. Use the phrase “trapped in the wrong body” or outdated terminology like “transsexual”- all of which can be easily researched- because like, honestly, it’s just not correct

Aura? Yes, you can see it

I’m not going to explain what aura is, let’s just skip to the main part, how you can see it?

1. How to see other people’s aura. Blur your vision on purpose. 

(If you don’t know how, here is a little tip: Focus on something far away from you. Like a tree, or a car, let’s say, across the street. While you’re looking at the thing you chose, focus your mind on what is between you and that thing. The blurry part of your vision. The more you try and practice, the better you’ll get.)

Once your vision is blurry, go sit in the park or somewhere where you can see people walking around. Sit on a bench, blur your vision and focus your mind people walking around. Do not look directly at them. Just accept their presence and look at the thing far away. After some time you’ll see something that looks like a beam of light right above people’s heads. This is the step n.1. Remember the more you practice, the more you’ll see. After some time, you can start to see whole auras around their bodies. Some will be wide, some will have more layers, some will have colors and spikes or smooth edge and so on. 

2. How to see your own aura. Wait for the night. Sit alone in a room, let just the street light slightly enter the space you’re in. Hold your hand in front on you, make sure the wall (or something else) behind your hand is dark colored or preferably, black. Blur your vision focusing on your hand. Do not look directly at your hand. After some time, you’ll be able to see something that looks like waves of warmness around your hand. It looks like warm air rising from a tea pot. You may see colors, you may see shape and edges.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t beat yourself up because you won’t be able to see it right away. It takes time.

Enjoy.

i know a lotta people are just now gonna be going out to counter-protests against fascists and I really just want to hammer this home (leftists you are excused from this post as I think we’re all in general agreement about the following statement): 

The. Cops. Are. Not. Your. Friends. 

I’m serious. And you may believe the cops will help you at first, ESPECIALLY as there will be heavier police presences after Charlottesville, but if things get ugly they WILL protect the fascists before they protect you. I have seen it. Over and over. Every time. 

Back in march I was even at a counter-protest with one neo-nazi (the rest were just your average Trumpians) who got up in the fact of a friend of mine and fucking bashed my friend in the face, causing his lip to bleed. Guess who the police protected behind a barricade of cops, then led off to file a police report at the station? the fucking nazi. My friend was spitting blood on the pavement and the nazi is sneering behind police lines. 

I’m telling you, I understand the urge for those of us who are white and come from relatively financially secure backgrounds, I understand that urge to trust cops. They wear a uniform, you’ve been taught all your life to call them for help. Do. Not. Trust. The. Police. Trust your fellow protesters, trust and know the medics at your protest, but never expect the men and women in blue to help you, because they WILL BE protecting the fascists, because their vested interest is in the continuation of white supremacy. And I know a lot of you will not believe me or fully grasp this until you see it for yourself at a counter protest, but for real, it will happen. 

No, Wait, You Got it All Wrong

You know what there’s not enough of? Canon compliant future fic where Stiles is a cop and he runs into Derek again. What’s that you say? There’s a ton of that?? Yes, true, but NOT ENOUGH.

“…. so then he says, ‘No, Officer, I swear to God this is the first time I’ve ever smoked up! I’ve never been in trouble with the law in my life! And I say, Billy, my man, you’ve been in trouble with me personally twice this month.” Stiles snorts at the memory. “Kid was so fucking high.”

Amanda must be halfway past tipsy, because she laughs uproariously into her beer at the mediocre punchline.

Stiles smiles. He’s satisfied with her reaction, with the warm murmur of the bar, with the buzz he’s got going… with just about everything, actually. After tonight, he’s looking at two full days off before he’s back on the beat, and the night’s still young. He leans back in his chair and takes a pull of his beer, savoring it.

Amanda glances towards the bar, probably considering a fourth round, and then visibly perks up as something near the front catches her eye.

“Oooh, Stiles,” she croons. “Look over at the door, like, just glance over.” She’s adjusted her gaze down at the table now, faking casual disinterest. Badly.

Stiles raises his eyebrows at her.

“This dude just walked in, he’s so your type,” she hisses. “C’mon, look! I’m telling you, six feet two inches of ‘yes, please, give it to me’ muscles, with some salt-and-pepper scruff icing. Unff.”

“Eh,” Stiles says, tipping his weight forward to hunch over the table. It’s not that he isn’t interested, exactly, but this is a cop bar and he doesn’t want to shit where he eats. Metaphorically.

“No, really,” Amanda insists. “He's… oh my God, he’s looking over here. He’s looking at you. Oh my God, Stiles, he’s coming over here!”

“No, he isn’t,” Stiles scoffs. He’s filled out a bit from high school and he’s finally competent at styling his hair, but he’s not that hot. Only Amanda’s sitting straight like a rod, eyes fixed on a point behind him that’s about where a six foot two man’s eyes would be.

“Stiles?”

He turns then, shooting to his feet before his brain’s quite caught up, because that voice is familiar like the back of his own hand.

Keep reading

6

every westallen scene ever (122/?)

transcript of the speech i gave at Vassar’s black baccalaureate service

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and the Vassar class of 2017.
Just saying that aloud made me feel old. Class of 2017? Most of y'all were born after dark-skinned Aunt Viv left the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That’s wild.

I want to first thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. I am honored, privileged, and a bit in disbelief that you asked me of all people to give this address. I try not to have feelings, and I’m going to do my best not to cry today, but no promises.

I’m here to stand in the gap between you and your parents and guardians and any other elders in your lives that you stopped listening to because you thought they were wack and out of touch. I remember being in your shoes not TOO long ago, and it is my fervent prayer that something that I say here today will help you avoid some of the mess I went through.
To be honest I’m a little nervous, but I figured there was no way could this be worse than when Betsy DeVos went down to Bethune-Cookman, so let’s get started.

As you transition to life after Vassar the changes will be both inevitable and swift, so I’d like to begin by giving you some well-intentioned advice and warning you about the continued process of becoming an adult.

Keep reading

Sometimes, after a particularly dangerous mission, Keith is unable to calm down. The excess adrenaline continues to course throughout his body, and he just… can’t stop moving. It’s not in huge, obvious ways, but more in the sense that his fingers keep twitching unless he taps them against his thighs; in the sense that he can’t stand still and has to continuously shift his position.

On these days, Keith burns off the adrenaline by heading straight for the Training Room and fighting with the bots. Lance catches him once; he scoffs and says that Keith needs to take a break (and mutters something about how “this is why I can never beat him”). Keith agrees with this sentiment; fighting after such a harsh mission is hardly the way to recuperate, and he knows resting is important. But he also knows that he won’t be able to sleep, that he’ll be restless, turning and twisting in bed. There’s no point in staying up and doing nothing, so he may as well get some training in.

On another day, Shiro catches him. Keith doesn’t notice until his simulation is done because unlike Lance, Shiro watches him until the end.

“It’s late,” Shiro says.

Keith nods. “Yeah.”

Shiro approaches him and takes his hand (as Keith drops his weapon), running his thumb across Keith’s knuckles. Until then, Keith hadn’t realized that his hand had still been twitching. But in Shiro’s grasp, it stills for a moment, and Keith no longer feels the irresistible need to move around.

Stumbling a bit, Keith leans into Shiro’s hold.

tbh i think the long and deservedly lambasted “woe is me for i am Plain and Uninteresting” affliction of YA heroines has been replaced with “woe is me for my personality is Edgy and therefore i will never be loved unlike my sister Sweethot McSlutpants who will get ten pages of screentime but our relationship is Complicated and Important, I swear”

True mourning in rooms
– not the cemetery
to find only
absence –
– in presence of things
—  Stéphane Mallarmé (trans. Paul Auster), A Tomb for Anatole
She’s Just Not That Into You » Part III (A Harry Styles Miniseries)

Miss the previous parts? Part One » Part Two

As always, this miniseries is dedicated to @stylesunchained. Thank you so much for reading the first two parts!  I hope part three is just as enjoyable for you all.

Let me know what you think! Happy reading.

Originally posted by glamour-divine

Although Harry had been disappointed to not receive your personal phone number, he still called “Megan” the next day to set up an appointment to see you. The earliest you can see him for a consulting appointment is in two weeks, and when Megan breaks the news to him, he nearly chokes on his morning tea.

Two weeks?

There wasn’t a logical way to see you sooner. There wasn’t a way to spin it in order for him to pop into your shop, especially considering he still had to sign the final papers to make the house his. How could he explain to you that he hadn’t quite sealed the deal yet, so you’d be decorating a completely hypothetical space? He’d already felt like an idiot in front of you, getting caught snooping around your bookshelves, and he wasn’t too keen on feeling like that around you anytime soon.

So, he waits.

He busies himself with packing up the items he knew he wouldn’t need: small, decorative sculptures, a majority of his books, the picture frames that littered nearly every spare surface of his home, his summer clothing that he knew would be completely unnecessary for at least five more months. Once he gets news that the final papers are ready to sign and the house is his, he cleans every nook and cranny of his current house, figuring it might as well be good to spruce it up for the new owners. He meets old friends for lunch, he takes his mother out for dinner, and he begs his sister to come over for a movie night.

And, of course, he reads. He reads the book you spoke so highly of, immersing himself within the worlds of each character, wondering which one you connected with most. Did you cry at the same parts he did? Did you have the same pit in your stomach that he experienced whenever the subject matter turned particularly dark? He needed to know what happened next, reading late into the night, promising himself he would go to bed after he finished the page he was on, but knowing he wouldn’t stop until he could no longer open his eyes.

The two weeks pass, but they feel more like a month and a half than they do a fortnight.

When the day of the meeting comes around, he peeks into the storefront, smiling at your name on the door. He meanders around your shop after checking in with Megan. She nods when he states his presence - a meek little thing with big brown eyes and a nervous giggle - and notifies you that “Mr. Styles is here,” via the bulky black telephone on her desk. He can feel the girl’s eyes on him as he walks around, recognizing some of the pieces from your website.

“Hi!” your voice echoes from behind him, your heels clicking against the concrete floor.

Harry turns around, fully expecting a normal salutation to escape his lips, but instead, his voice catches in his throat. You’re wholly professional, the version of yourself he saw in the magazine shoots. Cropped black pants with pointed-toe heels, a blazer rolled up to your elbows.

You look like you run the place - which, of course you do.

“How are you?” you ask before kissing his cheek and bringing him in for a hug.

That’s a bit better, he thinks to himself, remembering how previously, you’d greeted Nick more lovingly than you had Harry.

“Good, good,” he takes a step back from you, hoping your perfume had transferred onto him so he could smell you on him later - so he could pretend that reality wasn’t against him and that your scent was stuck to him for reasons other than a professional greeting. “Yourself?”

“Excited!” you clap your hands together. “Before we go back, let’s walk around a bit so you can get a sense of where I’m coming from, design-wise.”

He nods, pretending not to have already extensively researched “where you’re coming from,” and follows you until you stop in front of the mock room setups, pointing out some of your favorite pieces.

“Marble is really in,” you explain, tapping a stone coffee table. “But I try not to overdo it. If you like the look of marble - if you like this exact table, even - this would be the only marble piece I’d choose for whatever room.”

Taking his chin between his thumb and forefinger, Harry nods, inspecting the table and picturing it in his new living room. He likes it. Come to think of it, he liked everything. And it wasn’t just to appease you - there was no reason to like a chair just because you liked it - but he could envision nearly every piece in his new home.

“Just got these lamps in,” you turn one on. “I’m obsessed with them. Might snag them for myself,” you smile, clicking the remaining lamp on.

“How often does that ‘appen?” Harry smirks, raising an eyebrow.

“More often than it should,” you laugh. “I’m on this kick of deep greens, navy blue, and gold. Realize it’s not everyone’s cuppa tea, but if you see anything you like, there will almost always be different colors available,” you fluff a throw pillow, adjusting its position next to another.

Harry nods, imagining what his new place would look like decorated with a darker color scheme. He’d never been one for bold rooms - white was his go-to, with him being more concerned about how comfortable the furniture was instead of the color of the walls. You’d done Nick’s living room in bold, dark colors, and Harry loved it. It was his home, he’d told Harry. It wasn’t just a place he stayed and passed the time until he found somewhere else to live. It somehow felt right, even in the summertime, which Harry had initially worried about after seeing it for the first time. The home had Nick Grimshaw written all over it, and Harry was envious of how easily his best friend’s personality was packaged within every room.

He’d wanted that for himself, and you would be the one to give that to him.

He relishes in watching you work the room. You’re completely in your element, answering a couple of questions from Megan when the girl timidly approaches, letting her know that she was free to take lunch just as soon as your meeting with Harry wrapped up. You thank a middle-aged man for his order when he stops in to retrieve a rug, running to hold the door open for him as he heaves the rolled-up carpet over his shoulder. You make a joke with him as he leaves, winking at him with a smile and a wave of your hand.

Were you always this beautiful, or had Harry neglected to see how effortless your charm was?

No, that couldn’t have been the case. He’d noticed right from the second he laid eyes on you that you were something special; something different.

You lead him to the back of the expansive store, asking him questions about his current living space, wondering what pieces of furniture he wanted to keep and which he wanted to ditch.

“Oh my gosh!” you stop abruptly in the doorway to your office, clutching Harry’s shoulder as your eyes widen. “I didn’t even ask you if you wanted anything to drink! Water, coffee, tea?” you shuffle to the mini-fridge in the corner of the room, opening it and then closing it again. “I’m sorry. So sorry. I jump the gun sometimes. Get excited over the idea of a new space to transform and all that,” you laugh, rolling your eyes at yourself.

“Water would be great, thanks,” Harry smiles. He tries not to touch a hand to where you’d touched his shoulder, but he was worried you’d burned a hole through his shirt, what with how hot the area felt to him now.

He notices the familiar smell when he walks into your office, nodding his head when he sees that you’ve got yet another Diptyque candle burning on top of a filing cabinet - he can tell it’s pomegranate without even reading the label. He inspects the decor, loving the juxtaposition of clean lines set against rustic elements which make the room feel comforting and clean.

You pull out a chair with brightly colored fabric across the cushions, offering it to Harry before placing a bottle of water in front of him and walking to the opposite side of your desk.

“Okay,” you wake your computer up, scooting your chair closer to the screen. “I normally take clients through my portfolio so they can see the spaces I’ve completed, before and after I’ve gotten my hands on them.” You adjust the large monitor so Harry can view the screen as well. “Does that sound alright?”

“Of course,” he rubs his hands on his knees. “Whatever you normally do.”

You click on a file, asking Harry if he could see the screen properly. You show him your bigger projects - cafes and restaurants, along with office buildings - as well as clients who had hired you to renovate their houses. You mention how you tend to be inspired by patterns and colors, along with custom fabric you use to reupholster vintage, antique furniture.

“Do you reupholster them yourself?” he asks.

“The smaller pieces, yeah,” you nod, taking a sip from the cup of tea in front of you. “Like that chair you’re sitting on. I usually spend my free time refurbishing the pieces I find. I’ve done chairs, side tables, desks - all that,” you go on, clicking open a picture of one of your completed pieces. “Stopped doing the big stuff when my schedule got busier. Now, I work with a father-and-son team and they do the couches and loveseats,” you click again, a picture of you and two men sitting on a couch in what seems to be a workshop. “There we are,” you chuckle, quickly moving on to the next picture.

Harry knows that he can’t ask you to go back - what would you think of him if he’d insisted upon you showing him the picture again, just so he could see the way your legs crossed one over the other at the knee; how you smiled so easily, your eyes bright and your arms wrapped around the shoulders of both men. You were happy - genuinely happy - and it was a look you wore well.

“So which pieces from your current place do you want to keep?” you ask, meeting Harry’s eyes when he looks up from his lap. “If any…”

“Thinkin’ maybe,” he pulls at his bottom lip. “I’d wanna start fresh? To keep consistent?”

“Perfect,” you nod, minimizing your portfolio and bringing up a calendar. “Okay then,” you begin, moving the monitor back to its original position. “I’ll need to see your new place before I do any work-ups for you. Is there a time this week I can come and see the space?”

Harry’s heart jumps at the thought, even though your intent is purely professional.

You’d said the words, though.

You wanted to come over to his house. To his place. To his home.

“All I ‘ave is time,” he smiles. “So whatever works for you.”

Two days later, Harry finds himself waiting for you at his new property, the wintery London rain keeping him indoors as he paces back and forth in front of the large window overlooking the drive. It was just like London to rain on such a day - a day that should’ve been filled with bright sun to match the occasion - but he was used to the drizzle, no matter how much he didn’t agree with it.

His phone rings, the vibration in his back pocket causing him to jump. An unknown number flashes on the screen, and when he picks up, he’s surprised to hear your voice on the other line.

“So sorry, Harry!” your plea causes him to smile. You sound different on the phone - your voice is less smooth, but he lets the sound of it was over him, regardless. “I promise I haven’t stood you up! My shoot on the other end of town ran long, but I swear ‘m on my way! The GPS says ten minutes.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he chuckles. “I’ll be here. Drive safe, alright?”

You say you will and apologize again before hanging up. He grins as he looks out the window, biting his lower lip and furthering the dimples in his cheeks.

You’ve got his number saved in your phone.

He’s got your number now.

Whether it was your business phone or your personal phone didn’t matter. He had a direct line to you, and you to him. Knowing that he’d most likely never use it for reasons other than strictly professional, he felt nearly giddy as he saved your number, creating a new contact for you.

When you arrive, he’s surprised to see that it’s in a van with your logo on the side. Why - based on everything he knows about you thus far - is that the thing to make him hard? And why does his stomach flip so dramatically when he sees you step out of the driver’s seat, dressed in a worn-in flannel and jeans with paint splatters on them? You shuffle quickly over to the passenger’s side, shielding your eyes from the rain. When you emerge into sight again, you’ve got your arms full of materials like folders, tape measures, and a ruler. You laugh as you run up to the front door, shielding your papers beneath your plaid shirt.

How was Harry supposed to make it through the afternoon without a full-on stiffy with you looking like that?

“Hi,” he smiles when he opens the door, the security system beeping throughout the empty house.

“Hi!” you jump into the foyer, trying to catch your breath. “I’m so sorry - I hate being late!”

“Not a problem,” Harry assures you, noticing the pencil tucked behind your ear.

“And I’m sorry for looking suck a mess,” you peel your boots off with one hand, clutching your supplies close to your chest with the other. “Just set up a shoot and didn’t want to be even later in the name of looking presentable.”

Harry looks down at his hoodie and torn jeans, his hair flopping down onto his forehead, “Look more presentable than I do,” he chuckles.

You scoff, placing your boots neatly together, just as Harry did at your flat. He smiles at the unnecessary gesture, appreciative that you didn’t even bother ask whether or not he’d prefer you take your shoes off. Not that he’d have a problem either way - you could traipse mud and leaves all over his new home and he’d thank you for it.

“‘ve got the measurements and whatnot,” he explains as the two of you walk into the kitchen. “The original contractor has the blueprints and sent them over so we’d ‘ave ‘em.”

“Great,” you nod, inspecting the cabinetry from afar. “Think today’ll just be me scoping out the rooms, taking some measurements just to double-check,” you run your hands through your hair after setting down your armful of materials onto the counter. “Not that I don’t trust the contractor’s numbers. I’ve got my own system, though. Years of doing this makes me a creature of habit,” you smirk, flipping open a folder labeled STYLES, H. in bold letters. His heart jumps, thinking that you could’ve been the one to write it. “Wanna help me measure?”

“Of course,” he nods - maybe a bit too eagerly - as you reach for your tape measure and clip it onto the back pocket of your jeans.

The two of you walk through the empty house in your socked feet, Harry remaining quiet until you say something. You inspect each room, writing down how many windows are in each, commenting on where some crown molding will need to be replaced, recommending that the carpet be taken up and replaced with real hardwood to give it a more modern feel.

“Which colors are we thinking so far?” you inquire, unclipping the tape measure. Pulling out the free edge, you hand it to Harry, your fingertips touching his while you cock your head to the other side of the room with a smile. He’s frozen for a moment, willing you to reach out and grace your hand over his once more, but he’s snapped out of it by you walking away from him. He follows your lead, walking to the opposite wall from the one you’re standing against, holding the bulky measure down against the floorboard.

“Like the thought of a dark blue for this room,” he looks around, squatting on one knee when he reaches the wall. “Cozy livin’ room ‘n all that.”

“Good, good,” you grin. “Don’t want you to be swayed by my own likes and dislikes, but I promise you it’ll look good.” You make a quick chart with the ruler you’ve brought on the inside flap of the manila folder, muttering something about always needing to have straight lines, no matter if it was written in on an official document or the inside of a folder. It makes Harry smile, the admission of your quirk. “And if not, we can always change it. Paint is easy to change.”

“Don’t think’ll want t’ change it,” Harry assures, walking slowly backwards with the free end of the tape between his fingertips, crouching down once you’ve met him to measure the width of the room. “Whatever you’ve shown me so far, I’ve loved.”

You peek up through the hair that’s fallen down into your eyes as you scribble more numbers onto the folder, smiling at him in a way he forces himself to remember. His heart pounds in his chest - so much so that he hopes you can’t hear it - and he finds it difficult to swallow the lump that’s housed in his throat.

You work easily together as walk through each room, speaking vaguely about the initial ideas both of you had for the house. You don’t try to sell Harry on one idea or another - you offer a suggestion and if he doesn’t like it, you offer another until he’s comfortable. He feels relaxed, especially once you assure him that nothing is set in stone and that your feelings won’t be hurt if he doesn’t like something you suggest. This is his home, you remind him. It’s all up to him.

“What was the shoot about?” Harry asks as you measure the windows in what will eventually be his bedroom.

“Uneven decorating. Odd numbers look better,” you explain, sniffling slightly. “Always want to have one, three, or five of something, unless it’s like a side table or lamps. But anything on a wall - like framed art or pictures - and table decorations like figurines or candles look best when there’s an odd number of them.”

“You allowed to tell me which publication?” he smirks slyly, leaning up against the wall.

You twist your mouth, trying to conceal a smile. You think on it for a second, tucking your pencil back behind your ear. “Promise not to tell?” you reach out with your pinky, a pseudo-stern look on your face.

“Promise,” Harry links his pinky with yours, trying to conceal his smile by keeping his lips pressed tightly together. How could he say no to a pinky-promise imposed by a gorgeous woman? There were laws against it, he thinks.

“I’m serious!” you scoff, dropping your hand to your side. “I’ll know it was you if you say anything. If you even mention it to anyone - especially Nicholas Grimshaw - I’ll never speak to you again.”

He clears his throat, rubbing his nose twice. He closes his eyes, forcing himself to wear the same stern look you’re sporting. When he opens his eyes, you’re still staring at him intently.

“Swear,” he nods.

“And then you’ve gone and broken a pinky promise, too. Which in my books…” you raise your eyebrows and shake your head with a twitch of your pointer finger in front of you. “It’s HGTV Magazine. From the US.”

“That’s like a major TV channel there, innit?”

“Yeah,” you nod slowly, your eyes widening at the thought. “Now they’ve got magazines. And paint. And furniture. And decor. ‘ve got the market cornered over there. Huge, huge company. Like…massive.”

“And you’ve never been featured in the States, ‘ave you?”

“No,” you nearly whisper.

“That’s a big fuckin’ deal, then!”

“Guess so,” you chuckle, running your hands through your hair. “Thanks for that.”

“Absolutely,” Harry laughs, knocking your shoulder with his knuckles. “Congratulations. It really is a huge deal.”

He knew you were successful, but hearing about how you set up the studio to look like a living room today and would be going back tomorrow in order to get your portrait taken in the room makes him realize just how successful you are. A four-page spread, including an interview on how you’d taken London by storm and your influences would be seen within the American market soon. Their words, not yours, you assured Harry.

As the two of you walk through the rooms on the second floor, he asks how you started within the industry. You explain to him that you went to school to be a financial advisor and specialized in small business accounts. You were a pencil-pusher, you told Harry, and you were stuck in an office all day long. You’d spend your weekends refurbishing antique furniture, finding that you’d had a knack for it. It made you happy - so happy that it was the only thing that got you through the monotony of your work week. Although you loved your clients and always enjoyed the pride that came with their wins, you weren’t especially happy in your job. Something had to change.

After agreeing that all of the light fixtures upstairs would have to be replaced, you went on to talk about how even though you saw how much stress your clients were under running their own businesses, you couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to begin your own business.

“Put my life savings into my first shop,” you flick off the hallway bathroom’s light. “I was eating Ramen nearly every night. Went without electricity in my apartment for a week because I didn’t ‘ave enough money to pay for lights at the store and lights at home,” you laugh. “Feels like such a long time ago…”

You started out selling furniture and other decor items. It was tough, but little by little, you made progress. Eventually, one of your regular customers asked if you were interested in working with her as an interior design consultant for her company. It helped get your name out, and soon you were redesigning spaces for people you could’ve never imagined.

Harry admires how smart and brave you are - he can understand how scary it is to go it alone without knowing the results. He was going through it right now. He was in a more privileged position, sure, but he was still unsure of what the future held, and he could appreciate how much courage it took to start over. It made him look at you in a different light - a light that allowed him to see the struggle you’d gone through, working you way from nothing to one of the best in your field. He’d envied the confidence that you sported when it came to your work and wondered if he, himself, would ever feel that.

Once you’re finished taking down all of the information you need, you follow Harry back downstairs.

“Still raining,” you frown, gathering all of your materials. “Does wonders for the hair.” You pretend to flip it over your shoulders. The natural state of it brought out by the weather makes Harry want you all the more.

“Ye’ look great.”

You tut, rolling your eyes a bit, but thank him nonetheless. “So, ‘ve got to take off,” you state, your body language pulling you back to the foyer. “But I really am so excited to get started on the mockups,” you hop a little. “It’s a beautiful space and we can start from scratch, which is when I have most of my fun.”

“‘m excited too,” Harry smiles.

“‘ll have Megan call you when I’m done with the renderings,” you slip your boots back on. “Should take no longer than a week. So count on next Thursday?”

“Yeah,” he nods. “And congratulations again on the magazine - really is a big deal.”

You tilt your head to the side, all of your features softening. “Thank you, Harry,” you smile coyly. You squeeze him a bit as you hug goodbye, the materials in your arms pressed between the two of you creating a barrier that Harry would rather be without. “I had fun today.”

“I did, too.”

He watches you run to your work van, leaping over a particularly large puddle. He laughs to himself as you struggle with your keys before unlocking the driver’s door, diving into the vehicle with a sigh that he can’t see. He watches as you push your mussed-up hair back, noticing him standing in the front window. You wave with a knowing smile before turning on the engine and backing out of the drive.

It’s that smile - that sly smirk - that pushes Harry over the edge that night.

He didn’t want to touch himself, but he’d been rock hard ever since he saw how beautiful your ass looked in your paint-splattered work jeans as you ran to the car. He didn’t want to defile you in his mind as he stroked himself in the shower, water running down his shoulders and back as he faced away from the spray. He didn’t want to moan your name as his balls tightened, the images of you naked and begging for him littering his mind to the point of no return.

But, he did.

He had to.

Nobody would know - it would be his secret - but if he didn’t jack off to the thought of you, he was sure he’d lose his damn mind.

He pictures you sporting the same upturn of your lips from earlier as you ride him, your flannel from that day still on, yet unbuttoned to reveal your breasts as you grind down against him. You know what you do to him, and your smile tells all. He imagines how beautiful you’d sound as he gripped your hips, slowing your movements to nearly a stop while he pushes up into you, groaning at the gasp you give him in return.

He’d never wanted to be inside someone as much as he wanted to be inside you. He wants to feel your breath against his ear, his name across your lips, your fingertips gripping his shoulders. He wants to know what you taste like - sweet, probably, like the candles you burn. He wants to know how warm you are; how wet he can make you by just the touch of his lips to yours. He wants to hear your moan - feel it vibrate down his cock while he’s in your mouth, that gorgeous pout of yours wrapped around the head of him.

He wants it all, but he can’t have it, so his hand will have to do.

A part of him feels guilty when he cums on the shower wall, his splotchy vision and ringing ears indicating that he gave in too quickly. But, fuck. What was a man supposed to do? You’d smelled so good; your stories never bored him; you were becoming a global success and you’d accepted to work with him.

And your ass? In those jeans?

He was done before he ever began, as far as that was concerned.

He walks out of the shower on shaky legs, a white bath towel wrapped loosely around his waist. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, he takes his head in his hands and grunts.

“Fuck’r you on, Styles?” he asks himself.

He leans back onto the covers, his feet dangling off the edge of his bed that he’ll soon replace with another one, based upon your recommendation. He falls asleep that way - sleeps deeply, too, his hair wet and his towel coming undone after he shifts slightly in his slumber. It’s a deep sleep, one that doesn’t produce a memory of a dream, and Harry is thankful for that.

He doesn’t think he could take another night of dreaming of you.

Not if he wasn’t able to turn those dreams into a reality so that his mind could stop wandering day in and day out…

Not if he wasn’t able to get what he wanted…

Not if, he knows, he wasn’t able to make you his.

How to know if each sign likes you

I get these questions all the time and thought it would be easier to condense it into a masterpost. 

Aries: Frequent eye contact, bold staring contests, wide smiles, curious tilts of the head, frequent attempts to start conversation, friendly jokes and stories, somewhat obvious attempts to get to know you. An Aries wants to break open your shell and see your true self! 
Taurus: This sign is a lot more subtle. They seem to give off a welcoming, vibrant vibe when they like someone. Wide smiles, charming conversation, trying to get physically and mentally closer to you.. They will respond to you more than they do with most people, simply put.
Gemini: Wit and humor is a Gemini’s telltale sign. They can act charmingly cocky or witty; they will try to engage you in playful banter. If their eyes light up when they make you smile or laugh, you know they like you.
Cancer: Cancers can be playfully coy when it comes to this. Meeting your eyes and looking away, twirling their hair, smiling more around you, playfully touching your arm or nudging you… They will appear somewhat shy but flirty.
Leo: Leos are bold flirts(of course!) They can be very charming and devious when it comes to showing their affection. Challenging you, playfully fighting with you, making it their personal goal to make you laugh as much as possible… They’re generally pretty bold, but in a curious, almost childlike way.
Virgo: A Virgo craves knowledge when they begin to like someone. They’ll ask you your opinion on things, your likes, your dislikes, your goals, etc. If they make an effort to hang around you, such as asking you to coffee, or sitting by you at lunch, it’s a telltale sign.
Libra: Libras are a challenge, because they are naturally charming and somewhat flirty. When they are sweet and somewhat shy, this is your key. They’ll notice little things about you, or be aware of your needs; if it’s cold, they might put their jacket around your shoulders, things like that. They’ll be childlike and gentle in their affection.
Scorpio: This is actually an incredibly easy one, because Scorpios are very selective with their company. If a Scorpio is very intrigued by you, asking you a lot of questions about yourself and making jokes with you, they like you. They might be sarcastic or bitingly charming. Another telltale is if they’re slightly shy in your presence and do things like biting their lip, rubbing their neck, and blushing. Scorpios are pretty confident in front of everyone but their love interest.
Sagittarius: A Sagittarius’s goal is to make you laugh when they like you; but unlike a witty Gemini, a Sag will do cutesy and ridiculous things to gain your attention. They’re very humorous when they like someone, maybe even dorky at times, but in a way that makes them shine. 
Capricorn: Like Scorpio, this one can be obvious. If a Capricorn is slightly shy around you, asks you a lot about yourself, keeps intense eye contact, and generally goes out of their way to talk to you, this is a huge sign. They might be a little bit shy, but they’ll relax when you talk to them more. They’ll probably smile more around you and make more jokes. 
Aquarius: They can be pretty forward. Making lots of eye contact, asking your opinion on a lot of subjects, engaging you in intellectual conversations, trying to figure you out… These are all signs. I’ve noticed that Aquas tend to make you laugh and will say a lot of obviously flirty things to gauge your reaction.
Pisces: A Pisces is very curious when they like someone; they want to get involved with you! For instance, they might go to your art gallery or soccer game. They want to show you with actions that they care about you. They’ll engage you in a lot of theoretical conversations and might open up to you about their imagination. 

signs as words in other languages
  • aries: Hanyauku (v) to walk on tiptoes across hot sand // Rukwangali
  • taurus: Hygge (n) the absense of anything annoying, taking pleasure from the presence of gentle or soothing things // Danish
  • gemini: Jayus (n) a joke so poorly told and unfunny you can't help but laugh // Indonesian
  • cancer: Mångata (n) the glimmering, roadlike reflection the moon creates on water // Swedish
  • leo: Komorebi (n) the interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees // Japanese
  • virgo: Tsundoku (n) the act of buying a book and leaving it unread, often piled together with other unread books // Japanese
  • libra: Ubuntu (n) the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others // Nguni
  • scorpio: Mamihlapinatapai (n) the wordless look between two people who both desire something, yet are equally reluctant to intiate // Yagán
  • sagittarius: Fernweh (n) a longing to travel, missing a place you've never been // German
  • capricorn: Meraki (v) to do something with soul, creativity, or love; when you leave a piece of yourself in your work // Greek
  • aquarius: Dépaysement (n) the disorientation felt in a foreign country or culture; the sense of being a fish out of water // French
  • pisces: Embasan (v) to wear clothes while taking a bath // Maguindanao
One night // SHAWN MENDES

Overview: you’re in a relationship but you’re in love with Shawn- the only reason you’re not with him is because you’re scared of being hurt. One night things get heated between you and Shawn and feelings are confessed.

Requested: YASSS

Authors note: sooooo this is new


“So how’s Jeff?” his eyes glint mischievously as he turns to look at me, our attention quickly focusing on the other rather then the movie.

“Jeff?” I hum, raising an eyebrow at him.

“You know, your boyfriend?” the way he says it makes shivers crawl up my spine.

“He’s good,” I murmur, turning away from him.

“Just good?” he prods, nudging my side with his elbow making me squirm.

“He’s amazing,” I sigh, looking back a him. “He’s so kind and patient, never rushes me into anything I don’t want to do.” I pause, my eyes locked onto Shawn’s, his face blank of emotions.

“He listens to me, I listen to him. We work well together,” 

“Do you think he might be the one?” Shawn questions just above a whisper.

No words come out my mouth as I stare at him. Was my relationship with Jeff endgame? I had no clue.

“Why would you ask me that?” Instead comes out my mouth.

“Curious,” he whispers and in that moment it felt like the room heated up. It felt like the skin of my thigh that was resting against Shawn’s was on fire.

“I don’t know, its too soon,” I whisper back, unaware that I was moving closer to him.

“You’ve been dating for 7 months,” Shawn states, reciprocating my movement.

“Does that mean I have to know now?” I asks sarcastically and Shawn smirks.

“Its usually a good clue for a relationship,” Shawn looks like he wants to say something else.

“Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t,” I shrug. There was tension in the room, something that was unsaid between our friendship that was bound to come out soon. That time seemed to be now.

“Do you love him?” Shawn’s eyes blaze at the question, passion glowing in them.

“I don’t know,” I breathe the words, my face inches from his. I hadn’t even realize we’d gotten this close. The last time I’d been in a position like this with him was 9 months ago- before Jeff- where Shawn and I had kissed.

Deep in my soul, I knew I wanted to kiss him again. I wanted to feel his heated lips pressed against my own as my hands trailed up his back to tangle in his hair. I shouldn’t want this- crave this, especially when I had Jeff.

“Why did you run away from me last time?” Shawn asks me quietly, immediately I know he’s thinking about the same thing I am.

“I..” I can’t find the words again. “I was scared,” 

He freezes, his nose brushing the tip of mine and my cheeks burn at the contact, his presence did things to my body that never occurred when I was with Jeff. 

“Of me?” his eyes drop to my lips before flicking back up.

“I don’t think I could ever be scared of you Shawn,” the thought making a smile appear on my face at the absurd question.

“Then what?” His tone is soft, weary. This is the most we’ve ever talked about it. After our moment of passion I had fled- not wanting to see Shawn. After that searing kiss I had buried my emotions in fear of being hurt by him. 

“I didn’t want you to break my heart,” I gulp, the truth finally out in the open.

“Y/n, I would never dream of breaking your heart,” Shawn whispers, his hands reaching up to cup my face.

“I know,” For some weird reason I’m crying. Shawn however, simply wipes away the fallen tears.

“The last thing I want is to see you hurt because of me,” he whispers. Jeff doesn’t even cross my mind as my best friend inches closer to me until his lips are about to brush mine.

“I wish that what I knew now, I knew ages ago,” he says and its like time has frozen, its just me and him.

“I’m sorry,” I mumble and he smiles but it looks fake.

“I wish you were mine, I know I’m selfish to want this when you have a boyfriend but you do crazy things to me,” His words pull me in until its like I’m drowning in them.

“There’s nothing wrong-” I don’t even bother finishing my sentence, my breathing rugged as his hands crawl to hold my waist, my skin feeling hot where his thumb lazily rubs the exposed area.

“One night,” he mutters, to himself or me I’m unsure. “I want you for one night, all mine,” 

Then his lips are upon mine and its everything I’ve imagined from last time. He tastes the same, minty with a slight hint of the tea he always seems to be drinking.

My hands are in his hair as he’s pulling me closer, his lips feverishly pressing into mine and I’m shaking from the feeling of his body against mine. 

Not once do I think of my boyfriend as Shawn picks me up, carrying me to his bedroom to place me on the bed. 

I don’t think about how he’s at home right now, trusting me, as my shirt is being discarded on the floor. 

I don’t think about how he’s been perfect in every aspect that a boyfriend could be as my jeans are peeled off my legs and Shawn crawls between them, his skin flush against mine.

All that crosses my mind is how Shawn is here, right now, kissing me, holding me, touching me. Friends don’t do this. Friends don’t feel this way about each other. A girlfriend doesn’t feel this way when she’s in a relationship with someone else.

Shawn’s damp forehead presses against mine as he raises his arms to press my hands against the mattress, entwining our fingers together as I cry out softly at the feeling of Shawn.

“I’m in love with you,” My eyes snap to meet his in the dimly lit room, his eyes filled with adoration and love. Just like Jeff’s.

“I love you,” I can’t help but whimper back at him. He murmurs it again, repeating it over and over as the night slowly fades away and the morning approaches.

When I wake up, he’s not next to me. I sit up, my stomach a mess of emotions. I slept with Shawn. That same sentence on loop inside my head.

Chucking a shirt over my head I make my way to the kitchen where I hear Shawn’s voice.

“Yeah no sorry she’s still here, she fell asleep and it was late,” his tone is impassive and I feel my stomach drop to the floor.

“Yeah I’ll tell her you called, bye,” He puts his phone on the bench, running his hands through his hair and tugging on the ends in a stressful manor.

“Shawn?” I ask softly. He turns around at my voice.

“Hey,” He smiles at me.

“Who was that?” My voice tremors, both of us knowing that I already knew the answer.

“Jeff,” I still take a sharp intake of breath at the name.

“Y/n,” Shawn breaks the silence. “I want you to know that not for one second last night that anything I said was a lie, I meant every word,” he’s searching my face, looking for a sign that I feel the same.

“Shawn,” I whisper, I’m scared I’ve stuffed everything up.

“Y/n please, no, don’t tell me last night was a mistake,” He’s tearing up quickly and it makes my heart clench. “You told me you loved me,” His voice wobbles and it tips me over the edge.

“I’m sorry,” I sob, my hand wiping my watery eyes. “I’m so sorry,”

“No, no,” I’ve never seen Shawn cry until now. “Please don’t tell me you’re going back to him,”

“I never lied last night Shawn,” He tries to smile but fails miserably. “But I cheated Shawn, Jeff never deserved that.”

“I should have stopped it when I could have,” He turns away from me, his shoulders shaking slightly.

“Hey,” I walk over to him, placing a hand on his bare shoulder.

He turns slightly to me and I wipe away one of his tears and he sniffles, smiling, doing the same to me.

“Last night wasn’t a mistake for me, it was a mistake in a sense that we shouldn’t have done that when I was in a relationship but our feelings couldn’t stay hidden forever,” he pulls me into his chest as I comfort him with my words.

“I’m sorry about how it happened,” He mutters into my hair.

“I’m going to go home and talk to Jeff about everything, I just hope I haven’t ruined his trust in relationships,” I trail off, the guilt simmering in my stomach.

“We all make mistakes,” Shawn leans back to look at me, holding my face in hands. “You’re human and it happens, we can’t take it back,” A silence fills the room.

“I’m going to come back here tomorrow, we’re going to talk about us,” I tell him softly.

“There’s an us?” Shawn asks, shock written across his features.

“I love you, remember?”