raise the river

Avatar Aang, Feminist Icon?

“Who’s your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…” kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character, the titular airbender, of the entire show.

I never really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before. I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed. Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:

Avatar casts the least traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is, so we look elsewhere.

To show what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole 180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle, some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s supposed to do.

Now let’s look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara is a badass, and we love that.

So what about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only “weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph – whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety, never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.

Now there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes, because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the context of the rest of the show.

Let’s look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a list, shall we?

Azula completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even bend.

Azula led the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth Kingdom.

Azula then bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise, befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation, emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret police and did conquer the Earth Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.

And she did this all when she was fourteen.

That last part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous, understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.

We must then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age, not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent reason. But nobody every calls for more weak male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t, because he’s not.

Even in his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one, he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.

In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of ownership or macho competition.

Contrast this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction? Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best he can.

I could go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the rivers, and puts the fires out.

Aang isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned. Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small. And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of self-identity, feminist icon.”

I just get so so annoyed by people who come for the Celaena in the first ToG book. People always accuse her of Mary Sueing and not actually being as lethal as she claims and I am like have you considered the following:

-she has spent a year as a slave in Endovier

-she has had to fight every day of that year to remain sane 

-she was whipped. a lot. she was malnourished and weakened when she left the mines.

-it takes her a while to get back into shape after being a slave. like, duh. did you expect her to be killing ppl left and right as soon as she was free?? idk that would unrealistic and isn’t being unrealistic one the things that mary sues get criticized for?? hmmm? like idk u cant have it both ways. 

-the plot of the first book is not about her being an assassin. like, lol, thats part of her past and that is made explicitly clear. can u ppl even read i mean come on

-the plot it literally set up to give us a main character who has an intricate and painful backstory, i mean, her backstory is not completely clear in ToG1, but we do know that Arobyn is a dickhead and Sam is dead and that there is something else horrible lurking in her past. 

-so why are you all surprised when a 16 year old girl is happy to lounge in bed and read and flirt with the crown prince and go to balls

-she has literally been a slave for a year and before that she was an assassin like 

-so like same. fucking same. think about how u would act in her situation. u would flirt with dorian too. and chaol. and u would love nehemia. we all would. 

-can we stop expecting characters who are teenagers to act like they aren’t teenagers

-can u cut teenage girls irl slack as well

-and im sorry was Celaena’s participation in the competition to be the king’s champion not gory enough for you

-i mean is it not enough that she is supposed to kill like 20 other men

-i just…what else is she supposed to do?? she starts to learn about wyrds marks??? she is doing her part to begin the Hero’s Journey™ like ya gotta start somewhere

-again like the plot of tog1 is that she used to be an assassin as in past tense, as in, her assassinating people happened before the beginning of the book not during the book so stop complaining that she doesnt kill enough ppl?? 

-why is whether or not the main character kills anyone a legitimate complaint

-hint: it isn’t.

-there is literally a book called the assassin’s blade that makes her work as an assassin explicitly clear. and she does kill a lot of people. and at this point in time you can read the AB before Tog1 if youd like.

-please dont use the term mary sue to describe female characters. its pretty sexist tbh because we get tons of male characters in fantasy novels written by men who are idealized without ever proving their worth but i only ever see the term applied to teenage girls. like?? have u ever read the name of the wind. it is a bomb book but if u wanna talk about wish fulfillment and mary suing, Kvothe (yes his name is that pretentious) is ur fucking guy. 

-also an integral part of the mary sue trope is that the character is idealized and perfect and uh, Celaena is not perfect. Her flaws are what make her believable. I mean she has had this horrible past and she comes out of it being fairly selfish and a bit cowardly and vain. and thats just…so realistic? I mean that is how you would react if you woke up in a pool of your parents’ blood, were drowned in a river, raised from the age of 8 to be an assassin by an abusive dick wipe who claimed to love you but really just had a creepy crush on you, conditioned to mistrust everyone, had the one person you actually loved in the world be murdered, and then were sold out by your abusive assassin dad to the king who was responsible for your entire family’s death and ended up in the fucking mines as a slave. 

-I see a lot of people say that Celaena is a mary sue and then criticize her for all her flaws and im like…but the mary sue is an idealized character who has no substance to back up their perfection. Celaena cannot be a mary sue and also have all the flaws you claim she has??? that is just false logic?? in fact, Celaena has all of the substance and flaws and life experience to back up her actions and like, none of the perfection. 

-idk what to tell u other than that u have to allow female characters, especially teenage ones, the space to grow? and idk about you but i dont want to read about characters who have zero flaws? I’d rather read about celaena, queen bitchness herself, because hey you know who else is a bitch and immature a lot of the time? Me!!!! Myself!!! 

-But I’ve grown a lot and so does Celaena and idk about you but I am so here for extreme character growth over the course of 6 books like….that is so great…so many authors have flat character growth or no character growth and SJM avoids that completely by giving us a character who has so many issues and ways she could be improving herself.

-stop shitting on celaena for not being the perfect character u want her to be.

-bye. 

2

New borns and grandparents.

I’m not sure what exactly River said, but it was obviously very offensive.

To the Doctor Who fandom:

24 years is plenty of time to have and raise a child.

That is all.

Ways Elves are Not Like Us.

Time doesn’t work the same for them.  They return from death.  They can walk in memory and it’s as clear to them as sight.  They speak to animals, they don’t need saddles, they can sleep and run at the same time, they can live in trees: they woke them from their sleep.  They make lamps that never die, catch starlight in a glass, raise a river in defence. Their apples and bread, even in Exile, are such that Sam Gamgee has never tasted anything like it.  

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My kids have a ½ day so I have 2 hours to get 4 days worth of shit done. 

I have 3 photo sessions to edit. I have another 4 to shoot tomorrow. I have to get pumpkins to carve, halloween candy and figure out the first grade halloween party plans for next week. There is no food in the house to eat, I have no idea what is for dinner, I have bills to mail, errands to run, 6 dentist appointments to make, 3 hair appointments, pay my biz sales tax, so.. 

THEREFORE… this is the best time for me to sit down and re-read Ripper Weather by @sunflowerseedsandscience . OBVIOUSLY. 

Jitters for @itsjilytober

Here’s a short fic I wrote for @itsjilytober , inspired by this text post….

I was so excited to write this, I hope you enjoy it!


Jitters for @itsjilytober, a fic by @contractwithcrowley

“I’m going to die.”

“Aren’t we all?”

“Let me rephrase that. I’m going to die when massive amounts of sugar and caffeine enter my bloodstream and cause either a heart attack or brain hemorrhage.”

Dean sat, arms crossed, assessing the various energy drinks on the desk in front of him. He shrugged.

“At least I’ll have…” He did the math on his fingers. “Thirty-five hours of energy before my body begins to shut down. Gives me enough time to make up that last Bio quiz and set my affairs in order.”

“That’s good.” Cas snorted, pausing to shake out his writing hand. He was hunched over his notebook, glasses balanced at the tip of his nose.

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Percy Jackson and Luke Castellan

It’s a lot but just hear me out.
Percy starts as an innocent boy he doesn’t know much about gods and prophecies he’s a late bloomer let’s be real there’s no way he should’ve live until he was 11.
Luke however always had it rough. Hermes left when he was young and his mom went crazy BC of the mist. Luke didn’t know what was Wong he didn’t know what to do how to fix his mom he loved her he did but it was too much so he ran away. He hated the gods from the moment he found out his dad was one and he held onto that hatred for the rest of his life. It took him over completely. It destroyed him.
Percy however didn’t really have much time to let it process he just did what had to be done and never thought too much about it. But that’s never enough everyone needs time to process and we see it in Tartarus when he tries to drown Misery in her own poison. We see his anger at his entire life, at his loss of a normal childhood. He knows this life brought him great friends and an amazing gf but it’s too much and he knows it. It’s too much pain and fighting. That’s why we have the idea of dark!Percy. Right now Percy is at the same place Luke was in the very first book: the tipping point. He’s done so much for the gods saved their asses at every turn and they remain ungrateful. Percy has a loving family and loving friends so we know that he’ll never be like but if u look at them individually, Percy is what Luke could’ve been if Luke had the same support that Percy does.
Thalia was gone annabeth was too young Grover left to look after Percy and Luke was left to his rage. So it bubbled and bubbled inside him until it exploded into a war.
Can you imagine what it would be like if someone as powerful as Percy exploded? Imagine the havoc he would cause and how nearly no one would be able to stop him. He’s the son of the earth shaker and we’ve never even seen him touch that side of his powers. We always think of him as a water bender. But what would happen if he got as angry at Luke? He wouldn’t need Kronos, he wouldn’t need an army. He would drown the gods in their own filth. He’s raise he oceans, the rivers, the ground itself to destroy them. The gods would stand no chance.

What am I looking for?

Two stories on two days? What is this, the apocalipse????

Calm down everyone. Actually this was supposed to be done A MONTH AGO.

If you made the count, you know what it means, if not I’ll tell you: THIS IS THE 6TH PROMPT FOR @starcoweek2. YES I’M A MONTH LATE.

I was almost giving up, but then… I hate to start things and never finish them, I already got to many stuff I did that *looks at the pile of fanfictions and brush aside*

Day 6 was “Song Inspired”, I got a bit of trouble to find a song to this because most of my stories are written with songs so I had way too many ideas and no idea on how to start them… That was until Lyoko decided to add a new song to the playlist in which bring me up back to the past of my childhood and the clip helped me to figured out what I wanted to do.

Also, huge thanks to @mrevaunit42 for the title lol

So here, have a journey to our childhoods and enjoy! (The link for the song is linked on the first verse, just click :D)

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6  | Day 7


Ba ba da da
Take a look at my girlfriend
She’s the only one I got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Marco called his mother to tell the news, unable to wait more. Star was setting the genre for their movie night. Every tuesday, popcorn, couch, blankets, chocolate and soda to watch at least one movie together. Neither of them knew how they started this habit, but it was set and no one would change that.

As his mother picked-up Marco was rambling happily to them and Star laughed from the living room because of his excitement.

“Marco, calm down, is there a problem? Do we need to go back?”

“No!” He laughed. He didn’t want them to get out their little vacation just because he couldn’t control his happiness, “Sorry, I got carried away”

What is it then?

His lips hurt from smiling “I got a girlfriend.”

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bazwillendinflames  asked:

Hi, drabble idea: the Doctor goes back to save Oswin after he realises she was an echo of Clara and 'saves' her to the library (like he did with River). Bonus if he sends her a message through the library data core (you can pick) along the lines of 'run you clever girl, I remember you'.

“Hello.”

Oswin didn’t recognise the voice, or her surroundings. She’d been in her… well, she wasn’t quite sure what to call it. Not a home, certainly, but her… refuge? Perhaps? She’d been in her refuge, and the kind, attractive man with the enormous chin had been talking to her, and then-

Oh. She’d had the unhappy truth of her existence pointed out to her, and blown herself up in a vaguely suicidal yet somewhat heroic manner.

She looked down automatically, relieved to find two arms ending in normal, human hands - not the weapons she’d half been expecting.

“It’s alright,” the voice said, and Oswin blinked hard, looking around and realising that she was in a high-ceilinged white-painted bedroom, resting on a luxurious four-poster bed, with a kind, middle-aged woman with a mass of blonde hair sat beside her. “You’re safe here.”

“Who are you?” Oswin managed, struggling into a sitting position. “Where am I?”

“I’m Professor River Song,” the woman explained with a warm smile. “You might have met my husband, the Doctor.”

“Chin Boy?”

“Oh yes, that’s him,” River chuckled. “Well, luckily for you, he saved you. Metaphorically and literally.”

“I’m not a damsel in distress, I don’t need saving.”

“You’re not a Dalek in distress either,” River raised an eyebrow. “You’re human, and you did an incredibly compassionate thing, and he wanted to say thank you.”

“Where am I?” Oswin asked again, and River smiled.

“The data core of the Library. The Doctor managed to save your consciousness before the Asylum blew, and he uploaded you here.”

“So I’m… a data ghost?”

“Yep,” River grinned, giving a cheeky little wave. “So am I.”

“Right.”

“He ah…” River looked down at her hands, then back up at Oswin. “He left you a message.”

“Oh? What was it?”

“‘Run, you clever girl. I remember you.’”

A Smile and A Kiss

Katara and Aang pose as bait to help Zuko capture some Dai Li agents, and they banter while fleeing.  Katara realizes what it is that she finds so irresistible about Aang.

Rating: T; 896 words


“Why is it,” Katara panted, “that every time there’s a trap,” Aang grabbed her arm and jerked her to the side, ducking to avoid the boulder that had been hurled at them, “we always … always end up being the bait!”

 Aang ran as though it was effortless, propelled by the force of his own bending.  Katara was struggling to keep up and avoid slipping on the loose stone and gravel that littered the floor of the Bone Plains. Looking back over his shoulder to see how closely they were followed, he tossed out, “Because it’s fun!”

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I want more grounder music. More songs like Take a Life With Me. Songs about love and loss, of myths and legends. I want songs about heroes and their battles; songs about Lexa. I want instruments forged from scrap metal and leather. Instruments salvaged from pre-war caches; some of which are used as designed and others repurposed to wonderful effect.

I want grounders dancing. Men dancing with men to flaunt their prowess on and off the battlefield. I want men dancing with men to fall in love and women doing exactly the same. I want grounders of all traits and clans, dancing to music that echoes and pounds inside them.

Give me grounders dancing around fire pits in the dead of night, with nothing but ale and off-key singing as accompaniment. Give me huge festivals where the music is so loud it can be heard across the seas. Show me the graceful turns and intricate footwork that only the best warriors can master. Bring the mountains down with the foot stamping in the aftermath of battle.

Show me a celebration of alliance. Show me Clarke on the outskirts of a great hall, trying to hide, mesmerised by all the dancing figures. This is not the music of the ark, or the symphonies of her ancestors the mountain men lauded so much. This music is life. It’s in her blood and making demands she doesn’t know how to assuage.

There’s a pattern to some of the madness. Grounders dance in groups and some as partners. They spin circles around each other and tattoo the flagstones with their boots. Some look locked in combat, with others showcasing that grounders love as fiercely as they fight.

But recognising the pattern and making the movements are two entirely disparate concepts. Clarke says as much when Titus asks if she’s going to join the celebration meant to honour Wanheda and her people. But curiosity does get the better of her; gaze flickering to Lexa on her throne.

Does the Commander dance? Is she like the lithe warriors whose steps would dizzy the butterflies? Or is she the kind for big and bold, and raucous singing along? Somewhere in between?

Titus raises his glass with the hall when a new chant begins that tells the story of the first grounder wars. Whether the wine or the music, or wicked mischief, a knowing smile plays around his mouth. He looks at Clarke and – barely loud enough to be heard above the descant – says, “You have seen my Heda fight, no?”

And soon she gets to see Lexa dance. Clarke is watching the footwork of a broad-backed warrior so intently, trying to shuffle her feet to the same, when Lexa is abruptly by her side. Lexa’s pupils are wide in the low light and a faint sheen of sweet has gathered at her hairline. The ‘no’ on Clarke’s lips dies before she can breathe it. Lexa has pulled her onto the dance floor. Someone has taken her drink and it’s just the two of them trapped in the press of exuberance.

Lexa can dance. Clarke can’t. She stumbles and stops and steps on Lexa’s feet often enough to be sure she’s caused lingering damage. But Lexa is eminently patient and smiling. The smile alone is enough for Clarke to persevere, even though she knows her friends are laughing at her somewhere.

The steps don’t get easier but Clarke gets steadier. It helps that Lexa’s hands are at her waist and her shoulders and low on her hips. She tucks in behind Clarke to show her how to twist one way and move her feet the other. Their dresses whirl to mad effect around their ankles. Lexa’s dress has even slipped away from one shoulder. She spins away to draw Clarke with her and Clarke is helpless but to follow.

When the humming-bird tremors of instruments fade away, Clarke stumbles to a stop in Lexa’s arms. Her hair is falling free of its intricate braid work. Her cheeks are flushed red and her mouth is open to draw rapid breaths. There’s an evanescent moment to wonder at the smile so clear in her eyes, before the drums start.

This music, Clarke can move to. This was the music her genes knew without question. She can stamp her feet and clap her hands, and lose herself in the journey back to her origins. The room is rocking off its axis with the circles they turn. But with Lexa as her fixed point on the horizon, she isn’t going to fall off the edge of the world. Or so she thinks.

Clarke was not raised among the rivers and trees like Lexa; her cousins were the stars and galaxies. She knows what happens when two bodies with immense gravitational force get too close. Light leaves the room. They’re swallowed by a vacuum where all she can hear is Lexa’s laboured breath. They’re at the event horizon of stars about to go nova. A single electron out of orbit and Clarke knows she’ll be beyond the point of no return.

Lexa saying her name pushes her too far. The slope of her shoulder and the way her ribcage expands and contracts is too much: her soft skin over lean muscle, the scent of her sweat, and her inescapable aura. All too much.

Never enough.

Somewhere between the drum beats, she yanks Lexa into a kiss that is too much teeth and too much heart. She’s going to die if she stops. If she doesn’t get her hands in Lexa’s hair and her body tucked in close, she’s going to cease to exist. If she doesn’t kiss Lexa like the world is ending, she’ll end up as one of those stars that never becomes anything more than a brief phenomenon, one soon forgotten.

Clarke isn’t ashamed of the whimper of protest that leaves the back of her throat when the kiss ends. Nor that it’s heard by the entire – now silent – hall. She’s too mesmerised by Lexa blushing to care about the grounders all hollering and whistling; or her mother’s stunned face in her periphery.

The music starts again and Lexa stumbles through the steps right along with Clarke. She’s so turned around that she gives up on the dancing entirely, drags Clarke to a secluded corner, and gets to learning the steps to an entirely new dance. And Clarke is happy to let her. She’s pretty sure she can teach Lexa a thing or two in this dance.