What The Signs Will Teach You

ARIES: they will teach you to stand up for yourself, even if you risk to be misunderstood

TAURUS: they will teach you to never lose your dignity, no matter how hurt you are, to always get away with grace and to never dumb yourself down for anyone

GEMINI: they will teach you to laugh when you’re not even in the mood to smile because people don’t need to see everything you feel

CANCER: they will teach you to love unconditionally, with every corner of your heart, not expecting anything in return

LEO: they will teach you to appreciate yourself, to know your own value, to accept your flaws

VIRGO: they will teach you to stay honest and pure in this dirty world full of liars

LIBRA: they will teach you to treat everyone equally, to love everyone, just because all the people are unique

SCORPIO: they will teach you to be passionate about everything you do

SAGITTARIUS: they will teach you to believe in yourself above everyone else, to fight for your dreams, not expecting help from anyone

CAPRICORN: they will teach you that loyalty pays itself off, either in love, in hard work or in waiting for something you want, that everything will always be okay in the end, as long as you don’t give up on what you really need

AQUARIUS: they will teach you to show off your imperfections since they are all that makes you who you are

PISCES: they will show you how far the human imagination can go 

Reasons to ship Camren…

  • They have matching onesies; Lauren’s one is gray whilst Camila’s is pink.
  • They’re both Cuban.
  • They’re both from Miami, Florida.
  • Both are Latinas.
  • Lauren and Camila got the most solos in The X Factor performances.
  • They are both big fans of One Direction.
  • They both auditioned in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • They both have a younger sister.
  • They hung out with each other on December 31st, 2012 to January 1st, 2013. They then tweeted a photo of Camila making a funny face and Lauren looking awkward.
  • Spanish was both their first language.
  • They live 15 minutes away from each other.
  • They often switch places with the other girls so they can sit next to each other.
  • They both love to do accents with each other.
  • They often think the same things at the same time.
  • They both have a weakness: Lauren for beanies and Camila for bows.
  • Lauren is the only one who calls Camila Camz.
  • Camila said if Lauren got arrested for something, she would get arrested for being so sweet.
  • They sat right next to each other at a The 1975 concert.
  • They have the same music taste.
  • Lauren said Camila is her “Pink Princess”.
  • Lauren is the “mom”…and Camila is the “father”.
  • Camila thinks Lauren is a “boss of an intelligent opinion”.
  • Camila thinks Lauren “is real”.
  • Camila would switch her mind with Lauren.
  • Lauren would switch her mind with Camila.
  • Camila wanted Lauren to kiss her under the mistletoe.
  • They wear the same “merch” clothes.
  • The way Lauren looks at Camila after she says “Fall, by Ed Sheeran”.
  • Lauren is Camila’s celebrity crush. (Oh … and Camila wants to marry with her celebrity crush ..even if her family doesn’t support the relationship.)
  • Camila would be "Baby Spice” because she is Lauren’s baby.
  • Lauren is the only person who laughs at Camila’s jokes.
  • Camila loves Lern Jerg.
  • Because Lauren helps her when her banana is dead on the floor.
  • Because Lauren helps her when her microphone breaks.
  • Because Lauren ties her shoes.
  • Camila is the sun and Lauren the moon.
  • Because Lauren doesn’t know what else to say but she thinks Camila is pretty fucking Dope!
  • Because Camila has Lauren “written on her”.
  • Because Camila read Lauren’s favorite book.
  • Because Lauren knows that Camila cried reading “Fault in Our Stars”.
  • Because one day Camila and Lauren went to the bathroom together and … that’s the end of the conversation!
  • Because Camila thinks Lauren can sing and is pretty too.
  • Because they have an audience that calls them crazy! (and they call us delusional!)
  • Because both like “so many hot boys”.
  • Because Camila said: “keep the boat floating”.
  • Because Lauren said “It’s Camren, YOOO!.
  • Because Lauren wants someone to love her insecurities…and Camila do!
  • Because Lauren has “the most beautiful emerald eyes in the world”.
  • Because Camila thinks Lauren is “perfect”.
  • Camila tried salmon because Lauren loves sushi.
  • Because Lauren thinks Camila is goofy, not the bad kind goofy, the cute kind goofy.
  • Because Camila loves people from “planet green eyes”.


  • I love you. You’re one of my best friends and I feel like I’ve know you forever. You’re one of the smartest people I know and you’re stuning. I’ve learned a lot from you, just know I’ll always be here for you no matter what!” - Camila on Lauren
  • Happy 16th Birthday little one(: thank you for always being you and being one of the raddest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. You’re an incredible person and I’m extremely lucky to have you in my life. Thanks for being there to vent with and even though we haven’t known each other for even a year yet, I feel like you’re the sister God forgot to give me. I love you Camzi(: have a good one babe! 💙😘🎉🎈🎁💙#camren” - Lauren on Camila

  • Happy 17th Birthday to this little nugget right here. I thought this picture was cute so I decided it would suffice. Just wanted to let you know that you’re an amazing beautiful person and I’m glad that you’ve been alive for 17 years and that 2 of them have been spent with the girls and I because idk you’re pretty rad and an amazing friend and fun to have around. I hope you have an amazing day and feel as special today as you deserve to feel everyday. Thanks for always being there for me when I need you and for being your wonderful self(: I LOVE YOU CAMZ” - Lauren on Camila

  • AWHHHHH YAAAY I LOVE YOU UR CUTE 🐏🐟💗🎷” - Camila on Lauren

  • The word I’d use to describe Camila is hmm I’m gonna say cutesy, like also goofy. It’s like both, like the good kind of goofy not the weird kind. Like the cutesy kinda goofy” - Lauren on Camila

  • LERN JERGI. ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY. YOU ARE 18. THIS IS THE MOMENT YOUVE BEEN WAITING FOR. IF YOU STUCK YOUR TONGUE OUT IN THE AIR RIGHT NOW YOU COULD PROBABLY TASTE THE SWEET AND PUNGENT FREEDOM OF DRAGONFLY TATTOOS, NOSE PIERCINGS, AND VOTING RIGHTS. we’ve been through thick and thin in our friendship, and through those thick and thins I’ve gotten blessed enough to experience you as a person. ive gotten to experience your bomb music taste which I am SO HAPPY YOU INTRODUCED ME TO because we have the best time at concerts bonding over bands and there are so many more to come PRAISE JESUS. i can come to you about anything and expect the pure, honest, rare truth and I’ll always be there tell you it’ll be okay when you cry on my shoulder when you feel lonely or hurt. I’ve gotten to see firsthand your incredible sense of justice, when you see that something unfair or wrong has happened, you’ll raise your voice and fight for that person with a bravery that I, and many other people (although they might not admit it) wish they had. i love how passionately you fight for what you think is right and everyone should remind you today and everyday that it’s a strength and not a weakness. i can’t tell you what a comfort it is to know someone like you will stick up for me and have my back, i hope you know i will too. i love you always” - Camila on Lauren

  • Super cute candids taken by a random stranger always make good birthday post pics. HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY CAMILA CABELLO. YOU’RE LEGAL NOW YAYYY!!!!!! You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I’m so thankful that I get to call you my friend. Thanks for all the laughs, for being my shoulder to cry on whenever I’ve needed a friend, for giving amazing sound advice (even though you’re just now considered an adult by the government you’ve been there mentally for a while which I greatly appreciate) I wish you many more years of amazingness and I hope you had the best day with your family. You deserve all the love and happiness the world has to offer and I wish it all upon you for many many years to come. I LOVE YOU CAMZZZZ❤️❤️❤️” - Lauren on Camila

  • HAPPY 19TH LAUREN!! i remember the day you auditioned for X factor seeing a beautiful green eyed girl belt out an Alicia keys song so perfectly i feared for my life. i remember telling my mom "that girl can sing!! and she’s gorgeous too!!” and then you walked out and i told you i loved your shirt remember? HAHAHA. it’s funny how before we even knew how important we were going to be to each other, something in us knew and something in us will always know. i love how fiercely you defend your opinion, i love your strength, your bold independence, and your desire to live life fully. i love that we crack up at each other’s jokes even when nobody else gets them- and i love those moments where we get caught up in talking about a band or a book and we get lost in the conversation like two normal girls in high school that aren’t about to go do something ridiculous like go to an awards show. i will always be there for you when you need someone to vent to, when you want to talk about the overwhelming underwhelmingness of boys that break our hearts or the overwhelming overwhelmingness of when a kiss leaves your head reeling, when i back you up and you need someone to stick up for you, or when you just need someone to understand- we’ve done that for each other in the last 3 years and we will do that for each other forevermore. i love you so much !!!! happy 19th lern jergi!!!!! camila“ - Camila on Lauren
Salah is like a mirror,
reflecting the state of your heart
as you speak to your Lord.
Are you distracted?
Are your words pure?
Be honest with yourself, 
what do you

When Bucky comes home, the apartment is empty, which, admittedly, isn’t exactly what he had been expecting.

For as long as Bucky’s known him, Steve has never once failed to greet him when he’d get home on his birthday. Not back in Brooklyn, and certainly not since Bucky came back to live with the guy here in the Twentieth century.

Steve takes birthdays very seriously. Even when he shouldn’t – something Bucky has experienced first hand, more than once. Like that time Steve had insisted on baking him a birthday cake, despite the fact that Steve’s the kind of guy who can’t even boil water successfully. The mere memory makes Bucky’s throat constrict, and he quickly pushes the thought away before it can grow all too vivid.

He sets his bag down by the door and toes off his shoes. It’s a weird rule, but he knows that Steve will throw a minor fit if Bucky walks in with his boots on – especially seeing as it has been pouring rain all day long.

Bucky’s jacket is still dripping a little as he hangs it up. He pulls his metal fingers through his hair, knowing that it’s wet, even though the sensation registered by his nerve endings doesn’t translate exactly the same way as it would have with his other hand. It’s still an odd feeling. Tony’s been working hard on this new sensory module for his arm, and so far, Bucky is now able to actually feel a whole range of different things compared to what he had been before. Heat, cold, and pressure had always been there, but the little things… Those are what throw him off, still.

Like being able to feel the rain, for example. Which had been the reason why he’d decided to walk home in the first place, rather than take a cab – with the left sleeve of his jacket pulled up all the way to the elbow, just because he could.

The rain is his favorite sensation so far, and he’s already relishing in the thought of the similar, falling water in the shower he’s going to take in a matter of minutes, when he spots the Post-It note that’s been stuck to the center of the hallway mirror.

It’s in Steve’s handwriting – soft and curvy – and Bucky tugs it from the mirror with a curious frown. The note says a single word.


Keep reading

What The Signs Will Teach You

ARIES: they will teach you to stand up for yourself, even if you risk to be misunderstood

TAURUS: they will teach you to never lose your dignity, no matter how hurt you are, to always get away with grace and to never dumb yourself down for anyone

GEMINI: they will teach you to laugh when you’re not even in the mood to smile because people don’t need to see everything you feel

Keep reading

I think what I love most about Jaal’s final romance scene is just how respectful and open he is towards Sara. He literally lays out his feeling before her and says “I adore you and I want to make love to you. Do you want me to?” And it’s just so pure, honest and beautiful cause it’s not your typical “makeout session gets heavy and then they fuck” but it’s just so full of respect and realness and I love it. You can even refuse to sleep with him and just choose to stand by the lake and he accepts it and is totally cool with it and you can tell how much respect, honesty and understanding is in their relationship. I love it so much because it’s all based on things that are so fundamental to pretty much any relationship, not just romantic ones, but still I think they aren’t highlighted as much in other romances as they are with Jaal.

anonymous asked:

Why do you think people like us love kaisoo so much? I'd like to think they're one of the pure and honest things left in the world💕

Kaisoo means so much to me anon.. For me it’s about the love that they share and the adoration in their eyes when they look at each other ^o^ the respect, their chemistry, their smiles, the fondness, the adoration, the way they eyes literally light up when the other is near!! 

I don’t kid around when I say that I’d wanna find someone who looks at me the way they look at each other, I guess for me kaisoo is the definition of love? 

And seeing how even ppl outside of our fandom, believes there’s smth more to them, shows that it’s not just some “ordinary” otp that’s made for fangirls to fan over. Which is exactly the reason why kaisoo has a lot of b t s moments and never interacts for the sake of the fans!

But I mean.. can they really blame us for being in love with their love tho? 

286. Slytherins have their own potions kitchen just off the main room where they always keep a range of poly juice potions brewing. Any Slytherin that wants to can take the potions as a way to shift gender presentations. Some of the top potions students have even perfected the recipe to the point that changes in appearance can cover a wide range from entirely different person to subtle shifts. Slytherins agree that there isn’t any reason for gender fluid, nb, or trans students to struggle with dysphoria or social pressures around passing. Expression of who you are should be pure and honest and not something to be ashamed of, even when that expression shifts on a regular basis.

EXO Reaction when their usually nerdy/geeky bff shows up all dressed at an event to support them

How do I even explain that all I wear is pants and jeans and whatever shirt I find in my closet XD XO, Admin A~

/I don’t own any of the gifs used, unless stated otherwise/


“Hey you pretty lady… let’s forget about this party and run away together” *You drive him crazy*


*Can’t stop staring at you* “I’m sorry but… this is too much even for me. I love this look on you” *Can’t stop blushing either*


*Doesn’t mind showing you around* “Oh come on… you can’t hide forever! Let them see that beauty of yours”


*Won’t close his mouth the whole night* “B-b-beautiful…. s-stunning…woah”


“Now I’m not sure if I’m suitable to be your date tonight… you are like a goddess” *Feeling a little flirty*


“We need to take a picture like now! I don’t know when I’ll ever see you again with a dress… you look so beautiful!” *Impossible to hide his secret crush on you*


“Oh my… come here baby… come to Daddy Baek” *Can’t even control his pervy side*


“You see that girl that is just arriving? She’s my future wife” *Has completely made up his mind*


*Feeling really nervous* “I’m sorry Y/N… I don’t know why you are making me so nervous… I mean, I see you everyday but… you look really pretty tonight”


*Really trying to hide his smile* “Why is my heart beating so fast? Why can’t I stop loooking at her, specially tonight?” *Baby is in love*


“Of course you look good Y/N! More than good! You should wear contacts more often.. I love staring into your eyes” *Always so honest, so pure*


“It’s funny you know.. how I brought you a rose tonight but you came to me looking as beautiful as one…”

[Masterlist] [Guideline]

OK, so I wrote a complaint to the BBC. As I’m not from the uK, I wrote a real letter:

BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922

Hamburg, 29th January 2016

Sherlock Series 4

Dear BBC,

once, you were the beacon of truth and originality. Your shows were groundbreakingly brilliant. As I am a livelong fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was especially delighted by the new adaptation done by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I followed this series since 2010.

Therefore, can you imagine my shock when I just watched series 4? As I don’t live in the UK, I pre-ordered the DVD and just watched it over the weekend. I loved everything on this series up to The Abominable Bride. But series 4 was not only disappointing, it is, in my honest opinion, pure treachery in regard to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Please, let me explain:

Especially The Final Problem has nothing to do with how a Sherlock Holmes story works and it’s a right affront to say that it was adapted from the works of Conan Doyle. because it wasn’t.

No, this is not about canonical purity (like “Eurus wasn’t in the books!” whining). It’s about the structure of the narrative that makes a Holmes story.

Sherlock Holmes is not a magic wizard - he operates by logic. Therefore, his deductions are comprehensible and reasonable. When he explains them, people can follow through (even saying that it sounds easy when explained). The deductions follow logical rules to determine the truth.

Now, by introducing an omnipotent, superintelligent, crazy and therefore unpredictable previously unknown factor like Eurus into the above equation, who, because she’s mentally ill and a genius, is motivated by inexplicable and irrational impulses, the writers literally threw over the board. It’s not a game anymore, indeed, because this is not the Holmesian game as it has been played for decades. It broke the rules, it revoked the contract the writers had with the audience: that when a Holmes story is adapted, the viewer has a chance to solve the puzzle. The lost sister was never foreshadowed in any episode, not even hinted at, before suddenly taking centre stage in the penultimate episode. That, at least to me, is rather cheap storytelling, even cheating on your audience.

Because we didn’t have a chance to figure it out. The writers and the director reduced that beautifully crafted, exciting show to a pile of senseless rug pulls just for the sake of it. There is nothing to analyse, no motivation to look into, no making sense of it. And that is not only true for The Final Problem now, because by carelessly interlocking the Eurus factor with previous episodes, Moffat and Gatiss even destroyed the frame of reference I thought they had established.

Another point I want to complain about, that intelocks with Eurus, is the show’s dealing with its female protagonists. They either sacrifice themselves for the male hero(s) (Mary), are reduced to a sobbing, pining mess (Molly), used in a purely sexual way (Irene Adler) or have to be locked away because they are superintelligent and therefore crazy. Whereas Sherlock and Mycroft were shown to control their mental powers and reign them in to make use of them (Mycroft as a government official, Sherlock at least as a freelancer, albeit with a drugs problem), the sister wasn’t able to channel her extraordinary gift. She doesn’t seem to have got any help, but was just locked away. To me, as a female academic, that says that very intelligent women are also easily bound to go off the rocker because they are too emotional (Eurus apparently killed Sherlock’s childhood friend because she was jealous). I find that depiciton of female genius highly problematic.

And please tell me why the show was marketed with the catch phrases „Miss Me?“ - a hint to Moriarty – and „I love you“ or „Sherlock is in love“? Because Moriarty was only shown in a flashback and wasn’t that important after all, because he was only employed by Eurus; and with whom Sherlock might have been in love didn’t register with me. Certainly not with poor Molly Hooper, or Irene Adler (who’s a self-proclaimed lesbian). Was it the sister he didn’t even know he had? Well, you certainly love your siblings, but I hope you are not actually in love with them, as this indicates romantic interest…

In all, I feel rather let down and a bit cheated by Sherlock series 4. Sorry for throwing that at you, but as I said, I truly loved this show once.

Yours sincerely

This is the reply I got:

On the plus side, it’s not the general ‘NO JOHNLOCK’ response - on the down side, they simply say that you can’t please everybody (true), and, as the series is so hugely successful, it doesn’t really matter if a few people had issues with the series…

Yet I do think that the conclusion is the most vital part of a series, especially if the conclusion throws most of the previous series overboard and retcons large parts of its own narrative.

*shrugs* But what can you do?


Nepeta Leijon Ratings

A fresh feline start to a life that should’ve been wonderful. 10/10

Being cute does not make you weak. 10/10

She looks ready for an adventure, even if hers would be short. 10/10

Would commission her! Her troll DA page should be full of nice comments. 10/10


Wants to spread happiness by default. 10/10

A little too bubbly and the face is a bit strange, but it means well. The hat matches her actual face, so that makes up for the slight negatives 10/10

This is the more honest one. Pure, and balanced. Not as happy as she wants others to think she is. 10/10

Why is she stabbed when she is going to be blown up anyway? Goodness, Look her face… 0/10

All she wants to do is protect her friends. She will keep fighting until she has done all she can. 10/10

Her undeserved fate is finally revealed after a drawn out period of false hope. 0/10

Even if she is unable to be heard, she can be seen. She’s a cute pirate. 8/10

Even if it’s by a bizarre accident, she’s given enough love to have another chance at life. 10/10

Even if it is not 100% Nepeta, her contribution to their strength enables them to fight Lord English along side their friends, a great contrast to being forgotten.   9.999/10

Rather than simply disappearing along with other forgotten characters, quite possibly the last trace of her existence is shown being destroyed in a terrifying way along side the happy endings of the living characters. With Davepetasprite^2 gone we can only assume the worst for this poor kitty?


savethelastklance  asked:

um im not sure if we need a prompt number to ask for a fic maybe but ive been dying to read a shklance fanfic of someone saying to lance he doesnt deserve to be on the team and the team defending him and giving him reasons why he does and shiro and keith just shower him in love,gahhhh im rambling im sorry lol


*Clears throat* So yeah, hello!!! Without further a due, here you go! I hope that you like it and I did good! First time writing Shklance, it was a trip. Still gotta practice tho, to try and balance the characters.

Content: SHKLANCE and Mean Emperors. 

A N Y W A Y S, here ya go! 

Disclaimer: Voltron doesn’t belong to me. 

Non number but who cares. “shklance fanfic of someone saying to lance he doesn’t deserve to be on the team and the team defending him and giving him reasons why he does and shiro and keith just shower him in love” // Shklance.

“Your presence won’t be needed, Blue Paladin.”

Lance’s freezes at the words and raises his head slowly towards the voice, not even noticing how the entire team stop on their tracks with him.

The Emperor of the planet they just saved stares down at Lance with their unblinking bored feline eyes, vague disgust on the back of their pupil.

“Excuse me?” Lance hears a second voice behind him, cold and sharp and Lance suppresses the shiver that runs down his back when he recognizes it as one of his boyfriend’s.

The Emperor shrugs their shoulders nonchalantly, turning slightly to meet Shiro’s gaze from behind Lance. “This is an important meeting. The entire council will be there and each of your team is required to come with an agreement treaty because all of you have something to offer.” Their green feline eyes fall on Lance once again, expression bored and indifferent, “Except for the Blue Paladin, his…presence is not required.”

Lance’s smile wavers and he takes a shuddering breath in before he lets it out slowly, taking a step back.

“Ah, that’s alright, Your Highness.” Lance says, clearing the back of his throat subtly, “I will just – go back to the castle and stand guard, no problem.”

“Lance.” Keith says, scowling deeply at the brunet but Lance shrugs off his concerns.

“It’s okay. It’s fine.” He reassurance his boyfriend gently, spearing him a quick weak smile over his shoulder before turning to the Emperor.

“You Highness.” Lance says respectfully, doing a small bow at the royal before he stands up and turns around, heading towards the castle, ignoring Hunk’s soft calling of his name and Pidge’s hand on his wrist.

It’s until Lance’s out of their sight when Keith turns around and snarls into the Emperor’s face.

“You have no right –!” He snaps but he’s cut off short when Shiro’s places his Galra hand on his shoulder, keeping him in place.

Keep reading


Aside from TRF where Sherlock tells Molly he needs her, what other episode does he have a 100% openhearted moment with her? 

 The Empty Hearse where she wears that bright colored striped sweater (jumper). Call me a conclusion jumper (haha see what I did there?) but she wears that same sweater during the phone call which I still believe to be a 100% openhearted and raw scene. If the sweater being worn in moments that are purely honest between her and Sherlock is a clue, we have more proof that it’s canon. (Not that we needed more lol)

Originally posted by sprinkledwithsherlolly

Originally posted by acrossthestarx


anonymous asked:

I would love to read something where Jamie walks into a bar or cafe and Claire is up on stage singing something. They have never met and he is instantly transfixed by her. He wants to meet her but she has been burned before and he has to work hard to show her he is serious.

The damn phone was ringing again. Shrill in his ears with the sound of what could only be bad news.

But he couldn’t afford an answering machine, and was just about broke. So he reached over the side of the bed, fumbling in the dark for the receiver, spilling a pile of records to the floor.

“Hello?” he croaked, voice raspy with sleep and cigarettes.

“Oh good, you’re awake. What are you up to tonight?”

He rubbed his face with his free hand. “It’s six AM, Ian. What the hell?”

“I’m still out with Murtagh – he said he’s got a lead on a singer looking for a band. You in?”

*That* woke him up. Ian – his best friend and the finest damn drummer on the face of the earth – and Jamie had parted ways with their most recent band two months before. Creative differences, or whatever. They had picked up random session work here and there, but nothing steady since then. And it was damn hard to survive – even in Alphabet City where you crawled over junkies sprawled out on the sidewalk and dodged homeless ‘Nam vets panhandling on every corner just to get to the front door every night – when they both could only bring home a few dollars a week.

“Who’s the singer? Do you know him?”

The long blare of a siren wailed through the receiver.

“Are you on the street, Ian? Do I need to meet you somewhere?”

“No, it’s OK!” he shouted into the mouthpiece. “We can audition tomorrow. But the singer will be performing at Murtagh’s club tonight – 9:30. I promised Jenny I’d go with her to see that new Evita musical in the theater district – she said the orchestra may need a backup backup drummer…”

“OK, OK. I’ll do it. 9:30? Are you even coming back today?” Jamie slowly sat up, rubbing the back of his neck. Frowning at the plastic bag caught in the tree branch right outside his window.

“One more place with Murtagh, then straight to Jenny’s. I’ll say you send your love! And I’ll tell Murtagh we’re in. Gotta go!”

A click – then the dialtone.

Jamie carefully set down the receiver and then reached down for the neck of his guitar. He hoisted it to his knees, idly strumming. Thinking.

9:45 PM found Jamie Fraser half-way through his pack of cigarettes, sliding down the slippery vinyl bench that lined the walls of Murtagh FitzGibbon’s half-cabaret, half-comedy club where a few careers had been launched – and where many bright dreams had faded.

But Murtagh had taken a chance on Jamie and Ian, hooking them up with the MacKenzie brothers the previous year. It was a good gig while it lasted, but Rupert had let the bit of fame they’d garnered (if touring small theaters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire college towns could be considered “fame”) go to his head. He and his twin brother Angus – singer and bassist, respectively – hadn’t let Jamie contribute any of his own songs to the setlist. They wanted to go bigger, while Jamie and Ian wanted to get smarter.

So here he was, back in Murtagh’s club. At least he wasn’t paying him to find a new gig – not like he could have given him any money, anyway.

If things got really bad, he and Ian could always move in with Jenny – Jamie’s sister, and Ian’s fiancée. She had what their parents considered to be a “respectable” job, working as a bookkeeper at St. Vincent’s Hospital. She could always help him find work there, if push came to shove – and it would be a steady income, to be sure.

But Jamie knew he wasn’t cut out for that kind of work. He was creative – had always doodled drawings or written ditties on the piano and guitar from a young age. Mom and Dad didn’t quite understand it, but they supported it.

And this new singer – this potential ticket to a new chapter in his life – was late.

All Murtagh had said in the fifteen seconds they’d had to chat was that the singer would be on after the one-handed French juggler, of all things. And Claudel had just bowed to finish his act.

Jamie sipped the whisky he’d been nursing all night, tapping the heel of his boots impatiently. Watching the small woman with a riot of curly hair set up a stool behind the microphone at center stage. She had to be new – one of the many helpers who dreamed of the spotlight.

But then to his astonishment, she turned around, smiled confidently at the crowd, and climbed onto the stool.

The houselights dimmed, and the spotlight illuminated her gorgeous, creamy skin. She wore a short black dress, black stockings, and black heels.

And a dazzling smile.

“I’m Claire Beauchamp. And tonight I’ll be singing some of my favorites from Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Cole Porter.”

Show tunes? He had dragged his ass all the way to the Upper East Side for a woman who sang show tunes? What kind of joke was Murtagh playing on him?

Then Claire Beauchamp nodded at Ned Gowan – perched, as he had been for over twenty years, behind the piano at stage left.

And she began to sing.

And Jamie Fraser was mesmerized.

That voice. That *voice.* Beautiful and rich and pure. Expressive – evocative – honest. Joyous and sorrowful and a thousand emotions in between.

It spoke to him. Burrowed deep inside his ribs. Burst forth in a racing heart.

His fingers unconsciously curled to hold the invisible frets and strings of his acoustic guitar – itching to write.

Who was she? Why was she here?

And why did she want a guitarist?

He’d played some jazz music in high school, and could pluck out any tune on the piano – but he knew almost next to nothing about the music with which she was clearly so familiar.

But for that voice – he’d try anything.

Her set was exactly twenty minutes. As soon as she’d bowed to the tepid applause in the room and made her way backstage, Jamie found his feet following her. He’d played this club often enough to know the quickest way to large room where all the acts got ready. He dodged a man wearing an enormous sombrero, followed by a woman in a gorgeous, colorful dress clutching two maracas, and turned the corner to the prep room.

A long mirror hung on one side, and an equally long line of director’s chairs packed with men and women adjusting their hair and makeup huddled to one side. Coats and boots and props piled randomly on the other side of the room – and there she was, alone, winding a long scarf around her neck.

“Excuse me? Miss Beauchamp?”

She looked up, startled, and somehow he stood right in front of her. God, she had to be a foot shorter than him. She wore barely any makeup – so different and refreshing from the typical woman who performed here. And bravely met his eyes. Waiting.

“I’m Jamie Fraser.”

Realization dawned. “The guitar player? Murtagh didn’t let me know you’d be here tonight.”

“I like doing my research. I didn’t last time, and it came back to bite me in the ass.”

She broke his gaze to shrug into her blue peacoat. “Well then. And what did your research find tonight?”

“Why do you want a guitar player?” he blurted. “Ian – my drummer – and I, we don’t do show tunes. Or jazz, or lounge music, or whatever else seems to be in your repertoire.”

“Well that’s good, then.” She buttoned up her coat and shoved her hands in her pockets, chin tilted up a bit. Defiant. “Because I don’t want to do this kind of music anymore.”

Jamie waited, brows raised.

“Well, what *do* you want?”

“I want to be a rock and roll singer. And I want you to help me.”

He wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it – but thankfully didn’t.

“A rock singer? No offense, but have you ever sang that kind of music before?”

“Are you telling me I can’t do it?” She straightened up a bit, eyes narrowed. “Because I’ve heard that one before. And I’ve ignored every single person who told me I couldn’t. It got me here to New York, it got me here to The Broch tonight. And it got you to come backstage to find me.”

He flushed, suddenly embarrassed. “I’m not – I’m sorry if you took it that way. Only – you have such a beautiful voice. It’s just surprising, is all. Rock isn’t beautiful – it’s tough. Raw. And it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.”

“Well, I’m tough,” she countered, voice steely and fierce.” I’ve been through a lot more than you think. And believe me, I know that happy endings only happen in the musicals.”

She looked away for a moment – but not from shyness. Clearly gathering her thoughts.

He wanted to reach out and caress her face – right there, where her cheek met her jaw.

Then clenched his hand into a fist. What the hell was she doing to him?

“But it’s what I want,” she continued. “I’ve sacrificed so much for this. Murtagh says you’re the best guitarist and songwriter he’s found in a long time. And I need a musical partner – like Page to Plant, or Keith to Mick. I need someone I can work with, and rely on, and who can push me to be the singer I’ve always wanted to be.”

She pressed her lips, suddenly shy.

“Are you willing to do that?”

Jamie’s whole world tilted.

“Yes.” His voice was clear, strong, confident. It was the easiest decision he’d ever made.

Then she smiled at him, and he forgot all the other people in the crowded room.

“Good. I’ve got a rehearsal space down on the Bowery – can you be there at ten in the morning?” She pulled a card and pen from her purse and scribbled the address. He must have nodded because the next thing he knew she had wished him goodbye and slid past him – and he cradled the card in the palm of his hand, realizing he had no idea what the hell he was doing.

Stephen Sondheim, “Send In The Clowns”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_nLz-rciA

Rodgers & Hammerstein, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DBTLN73TXE

Cole Porter, “De Lovely”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txBnEh-SpGg