student info: Junk, the student assistant librarian
The library is an odd place, and the librarians are an odd bunch. There’s the research librarian who hunts monsters; there’s the one who smells like fig newtons and seems to live and breathe books and only books, as if bound somehow to the library itself; there’s the… some guy, you think, who helps with reshelving (and “some guy” is not at all an accurate description of… whoever or whatever he is, but you don’t dare risk any other description) and, of course, the head librarian. The head librarian is called Irons, and her name suits her. Mrs. Irons is rarely seen, but when she does show up, everything- everything- falls silent. They say Mrs. Irons once shushed the Wild Hunt. You almost believe it. They say she learned the true name of one of the Gentry, and put him to work in the library as an unpaid intern. You don’t know about that, but you don’t look up when you hear some guy shuffling a book cart around the shelves.
And then there’s the student assistant librarian.
The student assistant librarian is exhausted and stressed all the time. Usually she says her name is Junk, but sometimes she gets confused and introduces herself as something else instead- not ever her true name, no, just whatever she happens to blurt out. She’s used to false names. She wears boots with iron hobnails and sweaters inside out and cargo pants with a hundred things in their pockets; her hair is usually uncombed but always smells of witch hazel. She’s tall, but she has the sort of permanent stoop you get from keeping your eyes on the ground all your life. She’s personable, but she doesn’t do well when conversations go off script. She never makes eye contact, and her dark eyes move oddly when she looks around- as though there are things in the room she wants to avoid seeing. She lies as often as she tells the truth, seemingly without reason. Her lies are always either entirely inconsequential or unconvincing to the point of absurdity, but she always delivers them with the same impossibly straight face.
The job is minimum-wage work study; you’re not sure how many hours they’re even allowed to give a student each week, but it seems like Junk is always in the library. There’s a dingy old microwave behind the circulation desk and a pile of clothes from the lost and found that could conceivably be a bed, if you’re an exhausted college student who doesn’t want to risk the trek back across campus at three in the morning. (Any time but three in the morning, freshmen quickly learn- you can be a night owl all you like, but three in the morning is not our time.)
The student assistant librarian, whose name is usually Junk, is on the brink of flunking all her classes and always behind on reshelving. This is understandable. She is a student and an assistant librarian, but the real task of the student assistant librarian has little to do with either of those things. The library is an odd place and it is full of odd things, things odder even than the librarians. It is the task of the student assistant librarian to provide protection between the library and the students. She wanders the shelves with silver studs in her ears, washers on a chain around her neck, salt in her boots, a hand-crank flashlight in her pocket, and a crumpled guide to the Dewey Decimal system in her hand. She recites a poem as she walks, not because it keeps her safe but just because it’s her favorite stim: feeling the rhymes and rhythms on her own tongue, finding the patterns, finding the sense. It helps keep her calm- and she needs to be calm when she walks the shelves.
She finds the students who have wandered into danger; she finds the danger that has wandered into the library. She sorts things out. She chews her lips bloody inside every time she goes into the deep shelves, but she sorts things out. She knows exactly how to deal with the Gentry, and exactly how to avoid dealing with them. She is not all-powerful, nor does she think of herself as particularly heroic, but she is smart and she is stubborn and when you are in her library you will be safe.
There’s a rumor that Junk was born with the Sight. You’re not sure if that’s true- you’re not sure if that’s possible- but when you look at her, this strange gangling girl who strides into the deep shelves every night for minimum wage and strides back out again with lost students at her side, this girl who knows every rule for every interaction with the Gentry, this girl that lies as easily as breathing and once accidentally introduced herself as Captain Kirk, this girl that you once saw crying into a cup of E-Z Mac behind the circulation desk… when you look at her, you think that if anyone was ever born with the Sight, it was probably Junk.
You do not envy her that.
She has a cat, officially registered with the school as a support animal for her autism. It is grey, a bit chubby, incredibly loving, dumb as a box of rocks and about as energetic, and all in all one of the most aggressively mundane animals you’ve ever seen. Perhaps that’s why the Gentry have never messed with it- or maybe that’s because Junk has always ensured that the cat is as protected as it is possible for any animal to be: an iron-buckled collar of brass bells, fur washed with witch hazel water she’s left in the moonlight, salt packets sewn into its support animal vest, no name given, and always at her side. It does not chase mice in the library. It does not chase anything at all, nor has it ever attempted to drink or eat from the offerings that students leave out. Maybe, upon reflection, it isn’t actually that dumb.
On the occasions she actually manages to make it to class, she usually falls asleep on her tiny desk within ten minutes. Even in small classes, most of her classmates don’t want to wake her. Student assistant librarian is not an easy job, and it is only decency to allow her rest where she can find it. Her grades suffer, but she will return to the library for her shift, and when you are in her library, you will be safe.
Junk doesn’t have a major. Even after two years, she’s still muddling through her gen eds. She doesn’t often talk about her family- at least, she doesn’t often tell the truth about them- but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love them. Sometimes, at Elsewhere, it’s best to keep the things you love secret. Her family, whoever they are, wherever they are, are proud that their daughter made it to university. They do not know about her job, or the duty that comes along with it. They especially do not know about her grades.
Finals week is hard on everyone, but it also means that the number of students in the library increases tenfold- and so does the number of other things. Finals week is the most dangerous time of year, more dangerous even than the ravages of Spring Break, and it is the duty of the student assistant librarian to provide protection between the library and the students. She stays up all night herding the desperate studiers out of the unsafe places; she takes her exams as quickly as she can (too quickly) and then races back to the library to fetch those who have gone missing in her absence. It is not uncommon to see Junk full-on sprinting down the campus sidewalks during finals week, lanky limbs akimbo, hair wild, cat peeking out of her backpack. As hard as she runs, though, she never cuts a corner from the safe pathways.
Not a single student has been Taken* from the library since she started work- an unprecedented record. She’s proud of that, even and especially on days when she’s too exhausted to put three sentences together, let alone write a timed essay. It seems unfair to give a job like this to a full-time student, and it is- but there is something about it that’s vital that the student assistant librarian must be both student and librarian. They must be a go-between. They must walk both worlds. They must provide protection.
(*She found a philosophy student halfway to the Barony once, miles past the marble palace in the reference section. He was lost and glamour-dazed, but not yet Taken, not all the way. She gave him half the sandwich she had in her pocket (the other half went back into the pocket, just in case) and led him back to the circulation desk in time for the end of night shift- the journey had been several days, she was certain, but time passed differently in the library. Two weeks later, the same philosophy student went missing from a party, and never reappeared. Junk couldn’t do anything about that; he wasn’t in her library. But no one gets taken from her library.)
Junk never asks for anything in return from the students she rescues from the deep shelves- it is her duty, after all, and duty means a bargain bigger, more binding, and more sacred than any trade between students. Still, it might be a good idea to help her with her classwork. After all, if she flunks out, the school is unlikely to get another student assistant librarian like this one.
((Hope this is alright! Wasn’t sure how to submit this but… Junk and Mrs. Irons are original characters of mine, sliding into Elsewhere University AU-wise. Anyone who wants to can find out more about them and their other lives (and talk to Junk!) at my blog @deweydeadcimal.))
#ChallengeYourShelf April Fourth: Stand Alone
I admit, it’s been years since I read this but I loved how such an ordinary girl became the heroine by pure determination. It proves anyone can achieve anything when they set their mind to it! I definitely recommend! What are your thoughts on The Scorpio Races? 📚
Warnings: none, pranks gone wrong, suggestion of sex at the end
A/N: This is for @bkwrm523 30 prompts challenge. Late, I know, but life got in the way. But it’s here!! Sorry for being gone for so long and I hope a little Winchester banter will make it up to you.
Edit: Big thanks and shoutout to @adriellej for betaing and helping me with this fic :D
“Fed up, you threw the soap at him!” you exclaimed as you slammed your hand on the steel table top. “Or rather…ME!” You glared at the two adult hunters in front of you, both of them frozen in their spots, against the wall behind the older Winchester a greasy splash and a bar of soap scattered across the floor. With a huff you marched off towards the library, leaving a wet trail behind, pulling your soaking wet clothes from your body.
Their miniature prank war had been going on all week. It all started with a snarky comment from Dean and a pair of scissors. He may have gotten a little too close to Sammy’s hair with the metal blades, chopping off some of the edges by accident and sending his little brother into a fit. A lot of apologies and a haircut later you thought that would be the end of it.
For our Greek Mythology Unit i recommend you read Percy Jackson.
Me, screaming internally:
...Have you read it, miss?
No, but all the kids who read it and enjoy it do well in this unit so I guess the content is good. Also the sypnosis seemed innocent enough.
The series starts with the 12 year old protagonist dealing with his abusive stepdad who he later helps his mother turn into stone after he hits her, one of the characters dies in an explosion, one of the main characters, who was blamed for his mother's death in a fire, does the same ON PURPOSE but then revives, a girl is killed by her own father, another dies trying to get a gift for her brother, another one clears her dad's memory because he was going crazy, a mother waits for her child forever, not knowing he's dead, a cursed girl dies with her mother and then gets revived only to be put in terrible danger again, two of the main characters fall into hell... I could go on.
You’re dismissed, class!
*Race to the library to get PJO*
Teacher, to me:
Are you okay?
YOU MONSTER YOU JUST DOOMED A WHOLE CLASS TO FEELS AND HEARTBREAK
THEIR HEARTS WILL LITERALLY FALL INTO TARTARUS ALONG WITH PERCABETH
THEY’LL FEEL THE PAIN OF WAITING FOR THE NEXT BOOK WHEN LEFT IN A CLIFFHANGER
Yeah sure… just a little worried about their hearts, that’s all.
The author trolls the readers a lot. That’s all.
Warnings: Mentions of suicide, drug use, starts out kinda angsty, OOC Connor
Summary: Y/N finds out one of Connor’s darkest secrets, and confesses her feelings before it’s too late
A/N: This is probably both the most intense and sensitive fanfic I’ve ever written (content wise). Connor is kinda OOC here, but whatever.
“Evan! Hey!” I called as I ran up to Evan, panting slightly. I got a couple of shushes from various library patrons, but I didn’t care. “Hey Y/N. Are you ok?” Evan asked gently. I shook my head vigorously, doubling over as I tried to catch my breath. “What’s wrong?” Evan asked and I felt my eyes prick with tears. “Have you seen Connor?” I said, gesturing to his cast with my head, Connor’s name scribbled across it in black sharpie. “He, uh, he left a few minutes ago. Why?” Evan said and I took in a deep breath. “I’m very worried about him, so I thought I’d try and catch up with him. Thanks Evan.” I said hurriedly, ignoring Evan’s various questions as I raced out of the library. I made my way into my car and raced out of the school parking lot. I knew the route to the Murphy’s house like the back of my hand, and was there in record time. I parked haphazardly on the kerb and took a deep breath before knocking furiously on the front door. The door opened to reveal a very calm Cynthia, who smiled when she saw me. “Hello Y/N. I don’t mean to be rude, but Zoe is at jazz band at the moment.” Cynthia said kindly and I shook my head. “I’m here for Connor, Mrs Murphy.” I said and Cynthia’s face was a mix of emotions. “Oh, sure. Please, come in.” She said and I nodded gratefully. “So, uh, I didn’t know you and Connor were close.” Cynthia said, pouring a cup of coffee. “It’s, um, it’s complicated, Mrs Murphy.” I said and Cynthia’s eyes widened slightly. “Is there something, if you don’t mind me asking, going on between you and Connor?” Cynthia said and I felt my face flush red. “I, uh, well, I care about your son, Mrs Murphy. That’s actually kind of why I’m here.” I said and Cynthia raised an eyebrow. “Please call me Cynthia, Y/N. Would you like a cup of coffee?” Cynthia asked and I shook my head. “No thank you. Is Connor upstairs?” I asked and Cynthia nodded. “He got home not too long ago. He looked upset, so I thought I’d leave him be.” She said and I grimaced slightly. “Thank you.” I said, smiling at her once more before walking up the stairs. I saw that the door to Connor’s room was closed, so I knocked on it gently. “Go away mom!” Connor shouted and I winced, holding my ear to the door. “It’s Y/N.” I said and I was met with silence. “Can I come in?” I asked, and I got a grunt in reply. I took that as a yes and turned the knob gently, pushing the door open. I was met with the overwhelming scent of weed and I coughed a little as the smoke hit me. I looked over at Connor, whose eyes were slightly red and sunken in. “Connor.” I said softly, waving some smoke from my face. “Hey Y/N. I wasn’t expecting visitors. No one ever wants to see or talk to me, so this is a pleasant surprise.” He said dully, and I let out a soft sigh. I sat down next to him, looking him up and down. His dark hair was stringy, and covered part of his face. He wore his usual all-black attire, and somehow managed to pull it off in a way no one else could. “Connor, are you ok?” I asked, slightly nervous that I might say the wrong thing and get hurt. He let out a dark chuckle and flicked his hair out of his eyes. “Do I look ok? Everyone loves my stupid sister more than me, my parents hate me, I don’t have any goddamn friends.” Connor ranted and I took in a sharp breath. Seeing Connor this way was jaunting to say the least. “Connor, if you don’t have friends, then why the hell am I here, worrying my ass off about you?” I said sternly, almost glaring at him. “I don’t know. Maybe you just wanted to come and laugh at me one last time.” Connor said and my face fell. “Connor, what do you mean by one last time?” I said, looking at him warily. Connor flicked his eyes to something that glinted in the dim light of the room and I gasped. “Connor… you don’t mean.” I said and Connor nodded grimly. “What good am I on this planet, Y/N? I could just disappear, and no one would notice I was gone. I don’t mean enough to anyone, Y/N. Not even my parents love me.” Connor mumbled, his voice gaining strength and volume towards the end of his sentence. “I’ve been worried sick about you, Connor. You may not notice, but I try to make an effort to befriend you, to be there for you. And every time you shrug me away, yeah, it hurts, but I know that there’s more to you than the scary, printer-throwing kid that everyone thinks you are.” I said, gently taking Connor’s hand in my own. “Your parents do love you, and they do care about you. You may not think that, but they do.” I said, squeezing Connor’s hand as I spoke. Connor took in a deep breath, a mildly annoyed look on his face. He wrenched his hand out of mine and stood up, walking towards and picking up the gun I could now see clearly. “Why do you even bother? There’s nothing here for anyone to love or care about. I’m a mess, Y/N. I’m better off dead. Can’t you see that?” Connor said darkly, his eyes flicking towards the gun in his hand. “I can’t see that Connor, and I have a damn good reason for it. I love you, Connor Murphy! Your life is not yours to take. Think about how much it would affect people. Your parents, Zoe, me. I couldn’t stand to see you die.” I shouted, slamming a foot down on the ground. “Why do you love me? What the hell is it about me that you find even mildly loveable?” Connor screamed, his voice matching my volume. “The fact that there’s more to you than meets the eye. The fact that you can care about people, but never make a big deal of it. I saw you sign Evan’s cast today, and I swear I saw you smile. You look so much better when you smile, Connor, and no one else will be able to come to that realisation if there’s a gaping bullet hole in the back of your goddamn head!” I exclaimed, waving my hands about wildly. Connor’s eyes widened, and the hand he held the gun in went slack, the metal implement falling to the ground. “You… you actually mean it. You do love me.” Connor said and I nodded, feeling tears prick in my eyes. “It’s finally gotten through that thick skull of yours.” I said, sniffling as the tears threatened to release. I walked over to Connor, the silence comforting somehow, and shakily wrapped my arms around him. I closed my eyes as I sunk into the embrace, Connor’s lanky frame pressing against mine. “Y/N.” Connor whispered into my hair, his arms wrapped around my neck. “Thank you.” He whispered again, and I felt the tears start to freely flow from my eyes, staining Connor’s jacket. “Thank you.” Connor repeated, and I pulled him closer to me, still crying into his jacket. “Do you, uh, want some coffee?” I asked shakily, my voice cracking in places. Connor pushed me away slightly and I grimaced, but I suddenly felt his hand under my chin, pushing my head up so I locked eyes with him. His touch was surprisingly gentle, and I let out an involuntary shiver at the contact. “I’d love some coffee.” Connor said and I smiled at him, gazing into his eyes. My gaze flicked to his lips and I leaned in, noticing that Connor was doing the same thing. Our lips grazed each other, but a knock on the door made us jump apart. “Connor? Y/N? You guys ok?” Cynthia asked sweetly, although there was a hint of worry in her voice. “I just, uh, heard shouting, and I got a little worried.” She said and I looked zag Connor hopefully. “We’re fine mom. We’re fine.” Connor said and Cynthia let out a sigh of relief. “That’s good. I’m glad you’ve settled down. There’s some coffee downstairs if you’d like it.” Cynthia said, and the sound of her voice trailed off as she walked back down the stairs. I let out a slightly awkward cough, Connor still grasping my chin lightly. “Now, where were we?” Connor whispered and I felt my cheeks heat up at the lack of space between us. I gently placed my lips on Connor’s, a warm feeling spreading through my body. His lips were soft, incredibly soft, and I swear I melted a little. His lips had an interesting taste, like peppermint and coffee. Connor let go of my chin and wrapped his arms around my waist, my skin burning under his touch. I let out a soft moan and tangled my hands in Connor’s dark hair, tugging on it slightly. Connor let out a groan and pulled away, cheeks flushed and breathing heavy. “The coffee’s gonna get cold Y/N.” Connor muttered, catching his breath. “Oh, uh, sure.” I mumbled, still reeling from the kiss. Connor took my hand gently in his and opened the door, looking down the stairs for a second. “Mom’s left. Probably to pick Zoe up from jazz band.” Connor said and I nodded, pressing a kiss to his cheek. “That means we have the place to ourselves.” I said suggestively and Connor’s already flushed cheeks darkened in colour. “How about we have a cup of coffee first? I need some caffeine right about now.” Connor said and I nodded, walking downstairs hand in hand with him. Connor picked up the pot of coffee Cynthia had left on the bench, and I noticed a slip of paper underneath it. “Hey, Connor. Look at this.” I said, picking up the note. Connor put the jug down and walked over to me, gingerly touching my shoulder. “Dear Connor (and Y/N), I thought I’d leave you guys some coffee. The shouting followed by silence lead me to guess that you guys are definitely romantically involved (if you weren’t before, you are now), so congratulations to the both of you. I know you’ll be good for Connor, Y/N. See you when I get back, Cynthia xx.” I read, chuckling slightly at Cynthia’s words. I looked up at Connor, who was blushing profusely. “Your mom is so sweet.” I muttered and Connor’s lips turned up in a small smile. “I guess.” He said and I gently punched his shoulder. “There’s that smile that looks so adorable. Now, where’s my coffee?” I said teasingly and Connor’s smile grew as he passed me a mug of coffee. “I don’t know if you like milk or sugar, so it’s just black for now.” Connor said, scratching the back of his neck. I pecked his lips and smiled at him. “It’s perfect. I have my coffee black because it’s my favourite colour.” I said, gesturing my head to Connor’s outfit. He let out a laugh and I fake gasped. “You can laugh!” I said and Connor took a sip from his mug, trying to avoid eye contact. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I think it’s cute. I think you’re cute.” I said, resting my head on Connor’s shoulder, his warm skin heating up my cold face. “Jesus Christ, you’re freezing!” Connor said and he took his jacket off, handing it to me. I went to protest but he gave me a warning look and wrapped the jacket around my shoulders. “Thanks Connor.” I said, looking up at him with wide eyes. “You’re very welcome Y/N.” Connor said, kissing my forehead gently. “I could just stay here forever.” I muttered, wrapping my free arm around Connor’s waist. “You’re welcome to stay here forever. Very welcome indeed.”
I finished Scorpio Races last week so now I’m going to share my thoughts on it. What I liked: 1) Puck and Sean’s character development 2) It’s not a romance book but it has romance in it 3) Thisby 4) The mythology of the water horses made modern 5) The imagery 6) The plot and conflict with was developed and realistic.
I would have loved to know more about the history of Thisby and the water horses; I also would have preferred the book to be longer but that’s just me being a greedy reader.
ALSO, for everyone who loves The Scorpio Races, you should dig up a copy of Blind Beauty by K.M. Peyton! It’s one of my all-time favorite books and incredibly similar to TSR. I would 11/10 recommend that you read this book and then let me know what you think so we can fangirl over it together!