So….. I saw an ask submitted by @fullmetaldonut to @thatsthat24 (aka Thomas Sanders one of my favorite YouTubers~~) about each of his sides having Keyblades….. I couldn’t help myself. I’m sorta sorry. In order it goes Logan (Logic), Anxiety, Patton (Morality), and Roman (Prince). I thought about flat coloring but… I like the lines. Continue reading for some of my thoughts on the blades

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spiritworldly  asked:

( whispers quietly ) eros & psyche ?

Aphrodite can’t get comfortable during her pregnancy. She’s always too hot, constantly sweating whether she’s in the in the oppressive heat at the bottom of the volcano, or in the icy air at the top of it. It makes no difference. No matter where she goes or what she does, she can’t find any relief. Hephaestus hovers over her, wringing his hands and leaning his head against her stomach. Her distended skin is too warm to the touch, and both of them can’t help but worry about their child that grows inside her.

They beg help from Artemis, who has no help to give them. “The child is healthy,” she tells them, mystified. “The mother is healthy, though pained. I can do nothing for you because there is nothing to be done.”

Time passes. The child is born. They call him Eros.

He burns.

~

He warms in Artemis’s hands as she cleans him and Aphrodite eagerly waits to be handed her son. Artemis cries out and has to put him down, blisters appearing on his hands. Aphrodite moves to pick him up, and she can stand his heat for longer, but after a few minutes he leaves a welt of burnt flesh against her chest. Hephaestus tries next, and manages to hold his son for a whole quarter of an hour before his skin is eaten away.

Artemis can do nothing. She insists there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s just how he is. Hephaestus crafts gloves of flexible metal so they can care for him – the babe’s fire reacts to the warmth of another person. Clothes and objects remain unburned. They go to Hermes, to Apollo, to Hestia, and none can help them. Hestia tries to hold the child. She is the keeper of celestial fire, which burns hotter than anything, yet she too comes away burned. “The celestial fire is of me, and so it cannot harm me,” she tells them regretfully, “Eros is not, and so he can.”

No one can help them.

Eros cries, constantly unhappy because he longs to be held and rocked, longs for the warmth of his parents but they can only give him snatches of affections, stolen moments before he burns them and they must retreat behind cool metal.

Aphrodite is desperate. She sneaks away to Mount Olympus, goes against her husband’s wishes and goes to Hera. She’s crying as she speaks, and Hera watches her with cool, impassive eyes. “There is nothing wrong with your son,” she says. “He is as he was made to be. If you cannot provide the care he needs, find someone who can.”

Aphrodite stares, betrayed. Hera has been kind to her in the past, was the one who helped her choose her husband when all of Olympus sought her hand. Aphrodite is a daughter of Zeus, but not of another woman, and so Hera hadn’t hated her.

Hera loses some of her sternness. “I have given you the answer you need, if not the one you wanted. Return to you child and husband.”

She goes.

She tells Hephaestus where she went, and instead of angry he becomes contemplative.

~

Ares is blood soaked and exhausted when his brother appears beside him in the middle of a battlefield. “Hephaestus,” he greets, startled, “Is something wrong?”

“I need your help,” says the man who had never once asked him for anything, “I know it hurts to leave, but–”

Ares shakes his head, “There will always be another war. What do you need?”

~

He can wield the lightning bolts of Zeus and he takes bathes in lava to soothe the ache of his muscles. Ares is not bothered by heat or flame because it passes through him, he manages to do these things because he absorbs their heat instead of being harmed by it.

He’s in his brother’s bed, holding his nephew, and Eros gives him a gap-toothed little grin from where he’s splaying out against his chest, skin against skin. “Cute kid,” he yawns. Hephaestus is on one side of him, and Aphrodite on the other.

Ares leeches most of the heat from Eros, so he’s cool enough to touch, so his parents can pat his back and kiss his forehead. “Thank you,” Hephaestus says, finally able to touch his son without consequence.

“Anytime,” Ares says, eyes sliding shut.

With his brother’s family curled around him, Ares finds enough calm to sleep.

~

When Eros is older, he learns to control it. He always runs hot, but by the time he’s gotten big enough that the cyclopses are constantly chasing him in fear of him getting into something he shouldn’t, he’s learned to regulate his temperature to the point he doesn’t burn anyone any more.

Or at least, he doesn’t burn any gods anymore. No matter how hard he tries, he’s too hot for any mortal to touch unharmed.

Before that, Ares spends every moment away from the battlefield with Eros that he can. He’s not always able to sleep, but he lies down with Eros on top him and with Aphrodite and Hephaestus on either side.

Rumors run rampant, like they always do. People say Eros is the product of a union between Ares and Aphrodite, they say that Aphrodite has been cheating on her husband since the moment they married.

“I’m sorry,” Ares says, face pinched.

Hephaestus smiles, and Ares relaxes. “You are only doing what I’ve asked of you. There’s nothing to apologize for.”

Ares can’t help but feel guilty anyway.

~

Eros grows, from a toddler to a man. He burns, a wide laughing mouth and eyes like the sun. When he’s declared the god of passion, no one is surprised.

He has the best features of both his parents, and is devastatingly beautiful, with a face that Helen herself would weep over. He is the son of the goddess of love and the god of craftsmanship, and passion is necessary for both.

Passion is many things. There is passion in love, and he goads many a shy couple into a desperate embrace. There is passion in war, and when the battlefield grows stilted and tired he joins his favorite uncle there and brings their energy to the fore. There is passion in academia, and Eros encourages many scholars who spend long nights seeking answers they may never find. There is passion in art, and he blesses uninspired artists to create their heart’s desire.

Passion is a quickening heartbeat, a want that must be sated, a determination to follow through. It is burning until you are nothing more than ash simply because the fire is too beautiful to put out.

Eros is a favorite among the gods, because so much of what he does benefits them. He quickens the pulse of a people, and they use that energy to do great deeds in the gods’ names.

He is beautiful and powerful and loved. He wants for nothing, until –

- until his mother sends him to help a village girl who has been praying to her for months.

Eros sees Psyche, and instantly knows the weight of love in his chest.

~

Psyche is beautiful.

She knows this, it is the one thing about herself that she knows. All her life people tell her this, when she’s a babbling baby and a little girl and a fully grown woman, it’s what people say to her.

Men come to her seeking her hand, crossing borders and monsters to end up at her door. “I have no dowry,” she tells them, “I cannot cook, I am a poor seamstress, I have never cleaned a home.”

“I do not care,” they all tell her, with their greedy eyes and their greedy hands, “You are beautiful.”

Her mother and aunts shooed her from the kitchen as a child, saying the steam would ruin her pretty hair, wouldn’t let her sew because the needles would harden her soft hands, didn’t want her to spend hours cleaning because the she was too lovely to mar with common dirt.

Other children wouldn’t play with her, including her sisters, and soon she ran from all her tutors whose gazes made her shoulders itch. The first time someone lays tribute at her feet, like she is some sort of goddess and not a simple village girl, she runs away and locks herself in her room.  

The tributes and prayers don’t stop, and she hates them. She only wants to be like everyone else, wants to read and cook and have friends. Every night she bundles up the gifts and tributes people give her sneaks away to the temple of Aphrodite. She lays these things where they belong, with the goddess of beauty and love. “Please,” she begs, every night, “please make it all stop, revered goddess. I can’t live this way.”

She does this, for years and years, but her prayers are never answered. She sinks lower and lower, feeling confined to her home like a prisoner since she can’t leave it without flowers being thrown at her feet or someone remarking on her figure and face. Her sisters will not speak to her, and her parents will not listen to her. She eats less and spends days languishing in bed, growing weaker and more tired by the day.

One day, after turning away yet another suitor and being turned away yet again when she tries to help her mother in the kitchen, she goes far out of the village, where no will find her, where no one will be able to remark on the beauty of her corpse.

She walks to the edge of a cliff, and takes a deep breath. “Lady Aphrodite,” she whispers, “let me be ugly in my next life.”

She jumps.

~

Eros sees her falling, and bids Zephyr to save her. She is caught gently by the wind. However, she’s so weak and malnourished that the shock of not falling to her death causes her to pass into unconsciousness. He wishes he could have save her himself, that he could take her in his arms now and cradler her close to his chest.

But he burns.

If he touched her, he would harm her, so he will not.

“Take her to my home,” he says, conflicted because he has no interest in growing into either Zeus or Poseidon. But he cannot touch her, so it’s not the same. “I’ll be along shortly.”

Zephyr carries her away, far into the distance.

This is not what his mother intended when she sent him here, but he can’t leave Psyche among the mortals. If she tried to kill herself once, she’ll do it again, and then where will he be?

Eros feels heavy with love, and he does not know this girl, he does not know how this is possible unless it has been arranged by the Fates. Psyche is a beautiful girl, but he is a god. He is the son of the goddess of beauty and every other goddess he knows is comparable in the grace of their form and face. Beautiful mortals do not tempt him.

He has other things to attend to, so he puts aside the problem of Psyche so he can go convince a young noble lady to kiss the baker’s daughter.

~

Psyche wakes up, which she wasn’t expecting. What’s more, she’s not in pain. She’s being carefully deposited on soft grass by a being she can’t see. “Where am I?” she cries. She doesn’t think this is the afterlife. She’s on top of a large mountain, and a large, gorgeous home with marble columns sits on the edge.

There is an edge. She can still jump. She takes one hesitant step closer when a strong gust of wind pushes her back and something like a voice says, This is the home of a god, do not desecrate this place with your blood.

“Okay,” she says, a mixture of relief and fear clogging her throat, “Can I – can I go inside? It’s cold out here.”

The wind pushes her towards the home, so she takes that as permission.

It’s all marble and gold and fur, perfectly decorated and with many rooms and interesting things. But Psyche finds the bedroom, and in between the long journey outside of her village and the adrenaline of being caught by the wind and brought here, she’s exhausted. She climbs onto the soft bed without thinking, and is asleep the moment her head touches the pillow.

~

The moon is high in the sky by the time Eros returns home. He steps inside, and doesn’t light any of the torches out of fear of startling the girl. He finds her in his own bedroom, and only has a moment to stare at her silhouette against his white blankets before she’s stirring, pushing herself up looking around the room. Her eyes aren’t as good as his, so she can’t even see the outlines of objects. To her, it is complete darkness. “Who’s there?” she demands, voice scratchy from sleep, “What do you want?”

“I am a friend,” he says, not saying his name. He knows the impression mortals have of him, and the last thing she needs to hear is that he’s the god of passion while she lies helpless before him in his bed. “The wind brought you here because you threw yourself from the cliff face. Why would you do that?”

She sits up and pulls her knees to her chest. “I don’t want to talk to about it.”

He sighs, but doesn’t push. “I’m not here to make you do anything you don’t want to do.”

“What are you here to do?” she asks, “Why am I here?”

She sounds sad, and scared, and he wishes he could touch her. He wishes he could take her hands and kiss her forehead, but he can’t, not without hurting her. “I think it would be best if you stayed with me, for a while. Until you no longer find cliffs so tempting. I have a beautiful home, and am often gone while attending to my duties, so feel free to make full use of it.”

“What do you get out of it?” she demands.

He smiles, wry, and knows she cannot see it. “I suppose I could use a housekeeper.”

He meant it as a joke, but she perks up at the words. “A housekeeper? Really?”

“If you like,” he says, although there are nature sprites who tend to his home for him if necessary. “I apologize, we’ve been speaking in the dark this whole time. I’ll light the lanterns.”

He moves to do so, a flicker of flame already appearing on his fingertips when she screams, “NO! DON’T!”

Eros freezes. “Psyche?”

“You can’t look at me,” she says desperately, “Please. Not – not ever. If you saw me, you wouldn’t be so nice to me. I – I want you to be nice to me. Don’t light the lanterns.”

“Never?” he asks, and he’s already seen her from afar, he knows what she looks like. But it sounds as if she’s seconds away from away from crying, and it seems like it would only be a cruelty to tell her this now.

“Never,” she says, “please. Please.”

Staying away from home during the day is a small thing, what with his parent’s volcano always open to him, and he can see well enough in the darkness that he’s not in any danger of tripping over his own feet. “Very well, Psyche. If that’s what you want. We will only meet in darkness, and I shall never see your face.”

~

Psyche takes his offhand comment about housekeeping seriously. She’s never cleaned before, but she’s seen it done, it’s simple if not easy. The first time her hands blister and crack she can’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. She spends her days cleaning, and at first that takes up all her time. She’s unpracticed, and slow, and she falls into the same bed utterly exhausted. It leaves her no time to dwell on the life she left behind, or the hollow ache below her breastbone.

It’s hard work, and it leaves her ravenous. Before, she ate almost nothing and slept most of the day away. She doesn’t do that here, can’t, has more of an appetite than she’s had since she was a child. Nymphs bring food to the home, fruits and vegetables, bread and cheese and meat. At first she makes only simple meals, but as the cleaning takes less and less time she finds herself trying more things. Cooking is harder to get the hang of than cleaning.

Her friend comes to her at night, slipping into her room. She always knows when he’s there, even if she’s deep in sleep, and will wake up to speak to him. Psyche never leaves the bed, and he never comes from across the room. She sits up and listens to his voice, of the people he saw and things he did. She tells him the same, even though at first she thinks he does not care. But he does, because he asks her questions and compliments her on polishing the floors until they shine. One night after a particularly bad failure, the first thing he does is ask, “Did you try and burn down my kitchen, Psyche?”

He’s laughing, so she throws a pillow at him, and is satisfied by the dull thud of it hitting true and his laughter growing louder. “If I had tried I would have succeeded, and you would have come home to an ash pile.”

“Then I’m pleased by your restraint,” he says, and she scowls at him even though he can’t see it. “What was that horrible smell supposed to me?”

“Lamb,” she says, sighing. “I don’t think I’m a very good cook.”

“Perhaps not. Why don’t you try doing something else? What else do you enjoy?” he asks.

She sits cross legged on the bed and frowns. “I don’t know,” she says finally, “I’m a poor artist and a worse singer. I have no eye for needlework. I like knowing things, but I’m not a fan of learning. I – I like cleaning. I like using my hands.”

“Focus on what you like. Try to do some things with your hands. The garden could use some looking after,” he suggests.

“I do have to eat,” she points out, “I might as well learn to cook.”

He snorts. “Spare both yourself and my kitchen. Don’t worry about that. Worry about the mint that’s taking over the rose bushes.”

She doesn’t know what he means until she gets up the next morning and finds a day’s worth of food waiting for her, already made and much tastier than anything she’s managed. Next to it is a book on gardening.

This, she has a knack for. It is a god’s garden, so it has always been beautiful, but under her hands it becomes even more so, flourishing and vibrant under her attentions. She plants flowers that bloom and glow at night, so that her friend may walk through the garden and be greeted by something that doesn’t slumber.

Her hands are calloused and hard, and dirt gets stuck under fingernails. Her hair is a sweaty mess and breaking at the ends, and her skin is tanned in patches, her arms and the back of neck darker than her stomach and thighs. Freckles pop up in unexpected places, on her wrists and shoulders, a single one slightly off center of her sternum.

She has never felt more beautiful.

Psyche is stronger now, food and hard work having thickened her waist and brightened her eyes. She does not fall asleep exhausted each night, but instead sits up waiting for her friend to visit her, eagerly listening to his adventures of the day and telling him of all the things she did, of the new plants she’s trying to grow and how the shrubbery is stubbornly growing in uneven heightd.

“My hands are all rough,” she tells him one night, like it’s a secret.

He doesn’t understand. “Have you tried rubbing olive oil in them?”

She laughs, and gets to her feet, confident she knows the room well enough that she won’t stumble or fall and walking towards his voice. “No, it’s a good thing, it’s never happened before. See?”

She reaches out and he shouts, “No! Don’t touch me–”

It’s too late, her hand has already blindly grabbed onto his arm. She lets go, “I’m sorry! I didn’t know–”

“We have to get you to Hermes, before the burns get too bad,” he says urgently.

Now she’s the one who doesn’t understand. “What burns?”

He quiets. “You’re not hurt?”

She flexes her hand, mystified. “No. Should I be?”

“I – everyone else always was,” he says.

“I’m not everyone else,” she says confidently, and takes another step closer. She grabs onto his arm again, fumbling until she can hold his hand in hers. He flinches, but doesn’t pull away from her. “See, I’m fine.”

Carefully, and oh so slowly, he curls an arm around her waist and pulls her forward until she’s flush against his chest and full lips press against her forehead. “I’m – I’m glad.”

He’s not just talking about her not being burned. She feels such a surge of affection for him in this moment, and being held in his arms she realizes something. She loves him, this man she’s never seen and doesn’t truly know. He’s kind and funny and has given her back a life she hadn’t known she’d lost. He’s never touched her or coveted her, and even now in his arms there’s nothing lecherous or uncomfortable about his touch.

That might change, if he saw her. If he knew how she looked, he might forget about the rest of her, and to lose his affection and regard now would kill her as surely as that fall from the cliff would have.

But he does not need to see her to touch her.

She shifts enough so that he raises his head, and gathers her courage. She presses their lips together, lightly at first, then less lightly when he returns it. “Come to bed,” she says, when they part, dizzy with emotions she’s never had before.

“Are you sure?” he asks, voice rough.

She’s never been more sure of anything in her life.

“Yes.”

~

That’s her life now, her days filled with cleaning and gardening and her nights with her friend, her now lover. He’s never told her his name, and she doesn’t want to ask. He doesn’t see her and she doesn’t know his name. It seems better that way, more fair. She falls asleep in his arms every night, and he’s gone by the time she wakes, gone before the first ray of sunlight creeps through the window.

He loves her. It’s obvious, so incredibly obvious that she’s ashamed she didn’t notice before. He let her sleep in his bed even before they were sleeping together, gave over his home to her and requested nothing in return, listens to her and laughs with her. He loves her, and she loves him, and it’s time she trusted him.

She’s wide awake when he comes to her, greeting her with a kiss. He notices her stiffness and pulls back. “Is something wrong?”

“I think it’s time you saw my face,” she’s shaking, and she can’t stop it. She loves him and is terrified his love for her will change when he sees her.

She sits up in bed, and he kneels in front of her on the floor, holding her hands in his. “Psyche, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. It’s okay.”

She shakes her head, “No. I love you, and – and we should be together in the light of day, our love is too big to fit in this room anymore.”

He kisses her wrist and says, “Whatever you like.”

How will she live without this love? Hopefully she won’t have to find out. She reaches for a lantern and sets it in her lap, lighting it with careful fingers. A soft glow fills the room, and she squeezes her eyes shut, waiting.

A finger touches a spot on her sternum, then her shoulders, her neck, her cheeks, then the tip of her nose. “You have freckles,” he says, “I like them.”

She opens her eyes. Her lover is smiling at her, and he’s gorgeous, every bit as pretty as she is with dark eyes and even darker skin. Most importantly, he’s looking at her like a person, with love and affection. Not with something blank and othering like so many people have looked at her before, not like she’s an object or an art piece.

The tidal wave of relief is so great that she’s weak with it. She realizes her mistake a second later when the lantern slips out of her hands, spilling hot oil.

Her lover reacts faster than any mortal man could, pushing her out of the way and catching the lantern at an awkward angle, so most of the burning oil spills down his arms and chest. “No!” Psyche cries.

He looks down at his blistering skin with fascination, “That’s never happened before.” He winces, and clenches his hands as the burns spread along his body, as his skin cracks and bleeds.

“Lie down!” Psyche cries, grabbing the sheets and trying to mop up the oil, trying to stop it from spreading. “What were you thinking? You should have let it fall on me!”

It’s burning more than hot oil should, and she’s sobbing as tries to stop it. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he says, voice slurring as his eyes slide shut. “I would never let anything hurt you.”

“No!” she grabs his shoulders and shakes him, “Wake up! You have to wake up!”

He doesn’t respond. Psyche thinks back, frantic, to when he thought he had burned her when they first touched, to the person he said they needed. “HERMES!” she screams, “HERMES! A GOD NEEDS YOU!”

There’s a flash of light, and the messenger god of healing and is in front of them. “Eros,” he says, dropping down beside him and not looking at Psyche at all. “What happened to you?”

He touches his chest, and then they’re both gone.

Psyche is left alone crying next to an oil soaked sheet.

~

Hermes takes Eros to his parents, both of whom drop everything to come to his side. “What happened?” Hephaestus demands.

Hermes concentrates on containing the burns before they can spread any further. He can worry about healing them alter. “He dropped oil on himself.”

“He’s a god,” Aphrodite snaps, “no oil can harm him. Even if it could, it wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Hermes shoots them both a grin, “It seems like your boy’s fallen in love. Only true love could cool him enough to burn him, only true love could hurt him like this.”

It’s at that moment that Eros gasps awake. He reaches out, and Aphrodite takes his hand. “Mom,” he says, eye wide, “please, go to my house, there’s a girl there–”

“Did she do this to you?” she asks dangerously.

“It was an accident. I pushed her out of the way, I didn’t know I would burn,” he moans in pain, then grits his teeth against it. “Mom, please. Please go to her.”

She looks to Hermes, who’s busy mixing a salve. He doesn’t look up at her as he says, “Your son will be fine. I’ll take care of the burns.”

Hephaestus meets her gaze and gives a sharp nod. “Go, I’ll stay with him.”

Aphrodite doesn’t want to leave him, but gives in and does as her son asks of her.

~

She shows up just in time to stop the mortal girl from hurling herself from the mountain side. “What do you think you’re doing?” she snaps, and takes a moment to register that it’s the village girl she sent Eros to help so long ago. This wasn’t what she’d had in mind.

Her red eyes and tear soaked face does more to sooth Aphrodite’s temper than any excuses she could have given. “He’s dead,” she sobs, “I love him, and he’s gone, and there’s no reason for me to live any longer. Please, let me die.”

Aphrodite sees the glow of love on her, and knows the girl’s affection for her son is true. “He is not dead,” she hesitates and adds, “yet.”

True love has started wars and left all involved nothing but dust and regret. Her son deserved more than that. A love must not only be true – it must be pure.

“If you wish for him to live, you must help me,” she says.

Psyche prostrates herself before her, “Anything! I’ll do anything!”

Aphrodite moves them to warehouse full of mixed grains. “You must sort these before dawn. Barley is necessary for a poultice that will heal my son. Hurry.”

~

Psyche looks at all of them and despairs. But her lover needs her. Eros needs her.

She gets to work.

The night is halfway gone and she’s not even a tenth of the way complete. There’s no hope, her love will die, and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. She gives in, and is sobbing in the middle of the warehouse when she feels a tickling sensation on her hand. She looks down to see a small ant. “Why are you crying?” the ant asks.

“I need to sort all these grains, and I cannot do it,” she says, sniffling. “My lover needs the barely to heal.”

The ant considers this. “I will help you,” it declares, “and in return you must allow me to take all the beans from this store.”

“They are not mine to give,” Psyche says regretfully, “so I cannot accept your help.”

“Then your lover will die,” the ant says callously, and leaves.

She looks at the unsorted pile of grains. Not if she can help it.

Psyche shoves up her sleeves and gets back to work.

~

Aphrodite shows up, and Psyche is still working. She’s gotten through three quarters of the grains, and Aphrodite is impressed. She did not think she would manage to get through even half. The girl clearly hasn’t slept, and even now doesn’t pause in her work. “Lady,” she says, “I’m not done yet.”

“That is enough,” Aphrodite says, looking at the sizable pile of barley. She produces a glass bottle and puts it in front of her. “To stave of death while we make the poultice, we need water from the river Styx. There is a spout on top of my son’s mountain. You must collect this water and return it to me.”

Psyche’s shoulder’s slump, but she doesn’t hesitate when she takes the glass bottle. “I will do it.”

~

Psyche calls for the wind, begging it to take her to the top of the mountain. If the lady wishes, it says. She’s lifted into the air, and brought there. She’s freezing, and it’s hard to breath in the cold air. Dragons sit on either side of the spout, snapping their jaws at her. “Please!” she calls out, “I need the water of the river Styx! I act in the name of Aphrodite.”

They hiss and spit fire at her, and she clings to the side, trying to avoid the flames. “We are not commanded by the Lady Aphrodite,” a child’s voice says, and Psyche looks up to see a girl with black skin and grey hair looking down at her from the back of one of the dragons.

“Please,” Psyche says, “Lady Styx, grant me some of your river. Eros need it to live.”

Styx frowns, and says, “This is not a water which brings life.”

“Please,” she repeats, “I swear no harm will be done in your name, I swear my intentions are honest.”

The child goddess sighs and says, “Come and get it then. If my dragons’ flames pass through you, then you speak the truth, and may have some of my river. If you lie, then I shall see you again in the underworld.”

Psyche nods and walks forward, not breaking eye contact with the child goddess. The dragons screech and flame roars towards her and then – it goes through her. She reaches the top of the mountain safely. She holds out the glass bottle.

Styx laughs and fill it for her. “Happy travels,” she says, right before pushing her off the mountain. Zephyr catches her halfway down, and it takes several seconds for Psyche to stop screaming.

Zephyr deposits her back on the ground, and Aphrodite appears before her. Psyche hands over the bottle.

Aphrodite undoes it and pours the water out, and the grass dies wherever it falls. “It’s too late,” she says, and Psyche’s heart is in her throat, “the only thing left to do is to go to Persephone and beg a spark of life from her.” She slashes her hand down, and opening into the underworld appears. “Persephone will not grant any request of mine. You must go.”

She barely finished speaking when Psyche throws herself through the portal.

~

Aphrodite stares at the place where the girl stood, stunned. Hermes appears beside her. “Your son is well and only sleeps,” he says, “Isn’t this a bit unnecessary?”

“My son has a heart that will never stray. She must prove herself worthy of it,” Aphrodite answers.

Hermes stares, “You will petition Zeus for her?”

“If she proves herself worthy,” she says, then looks at the place where she poured out the incalculably dangerous water of the river Styx. “She’s doing quite well, so far.”

~

Psyche stumbles as she goes through the portal and falls on her knees. This ends up being rather lucky, as it’s taken her to the throne room of the palace of the underworld. Not only is Persephone there, but so is Hades and a god she thinks might be Thanatos. Both Persephone and Thanatos throw Hades narrow eyed looks, which he ignores. “Miss Psyche,” he says, “we’ve been expecting you.”

“Have we,” Persephone says dryly.

Psyche shuffles forward until she’s kneeling in front of Persephone and presses her forehead to the cool obsidian floor. “Lady Goddess,” she says, “I beg a spark of life from you.”

Persephone rises from her throne, and circles her with slow measured steps, her face blank and cold. “I’ve seen you garden,” she says finally, “you have quite a talent with plants.”

“Thank you, Lady,” she says.

Persephone crouches and grabs her chin, jerking up her chin to get a good look at her. “Well, aren’t you a pretty little thing,” she murmurs. “I will give you a spark of life. In return, you must give me your beauty.”

“Take it,” Psyche begs, elated the price is so small, “I don’t want it, I’ve never wanted it. All I want is Eros.”

Her coldness melts away, and the goddess of life and death shakes her head, a small smile curled around the corner of her lips. “He chose well,” she says.

Psyche doesn’t understand until there’s another rip in the air, and her lover steps through. He looks healthy, alive and well. “Eros!” she cries, forgetting her place and standing in the presence of the king and queen of the dead. Before she can kneel once more, Eros runs to her and picks her up in his arms, raising her into the air and spinning her.

“I was so worried about you,” he says, kissing her, then kissing her tears away.

“I thought you were dying!” she says, running her hands over his chest and shoulders and nearly falling in relief when the skin there is whole and unburned.

He winces and kisses her once more, “My mother – I asked her to help you, not test you. I’m sorry.”

“You should be grateful,” Hades says, and they both turn to face him. “Psyche has proven herself, and Aphrodite intends to contest Zeus so that she may stay by your side for eternity.” He smiles, “If Aphrodite is unsuccessful, come to me. I will do what I can.”

They both bow to him, and then are gone in the next moment.

~

Aphrodite goes to Hephaestus, “You are his son, Zeus would want the request to come from you.”

“You are his daughter,” he shoots back, even as he paces.

She sighs, “I was born of his blood and sea foam. It is not the same, and you know it.”

Hephaestus gives a grudging nod. Neither of them are favorites among Olympus, so he goes to someone who is.

Ares looks at him consideringly. “You should ask Mom yourself. Father will do as she says.”  

“Hera hates me,” Hephaestus snaps. “She will reject my son’s request if I’m the one to present it.”

Ares grabs the back of his brother’s neck, pulling them together until their foreheads touch. Some tension gradually bleeds out of Hephaestus. “Try, for me,” Ares says. “If she denies you, I will ask her, and she will not deny me.”

Hephaestus goes to Mount Olympus when Zeus is gone and kneels before Hera. He looks up, and can’t help but think that Ares is right – they have her eyes. Eros has her eyes too. “My son has fallen in love with a mortal girl whom he wishes to marry. I petition you to allow her to become immortal.”

He’s braced for anything, shoulders hunched. Her laughter, her scorn, for her to throw him from Mount Olympus like she did when he was freshly born. “Would this make you happy?” she asks.

He blinks, mouth open. Is this some other cruel trick, to force him to admit it’s something he wants only so she can take greater pleasure in denying him? “Yes,” he says, because it’s true. It will make Eros happy, and when his son is happy, he is happy.

“Very well,” Hera says coolly. “We will have the wedding on Mount Olympus, and once they exchange vows she will become like us.”

He stares, frozen in shock. He didn’t expect it to be that easy. He’s never heard of anyone requesting anything from Hera and just getting it besides Ares.

“Was there anything else?” she asks.

Hephaestus shakes his head, “No, my queen. Thank you.”

He’s gone before she has a chance to respond, before she has a chance to change her mind.

~

Eros and Psyche’s marriage is the event of the century. Gods great and small show up for it, even Hades is convinced to leave his realm to attend.

They pledge their lives to each other, and Hera officiates as the goddess of marriage. Once they swear their loyalty to one another, she takes a small square of ambrosia and hand feeds it to Psyche. She swallows it in two bites, and when she’s finished she glows with her new status as an immortal.

Eros grabs Psyche and dips her.

When he kisses her, the gods’ cheering is loud enough that it causes thunder storms all across earth.

gods and monsters series, part xix

read more of the gods and monsters series here

Princess Kaguya of the Moon

so while i was in japan i stumbled upon a pop up alien and space museum/art gallery (if you can’t find a thing in tokyo, it probably doesn’t exist) and there were these gorgeous feudal paintings of the tale of the bamboo cutter and it’s a very good story but

what if

it went

a little

differently?

kaguya is the princess of the moon. she is a young child, gangly thin limbs and a plump mouth permanently set in a stubborn pout. she is a beautiful child, even by the moon’s standards, with her cold opal eyes and hair the same deep black as the void of space. she is an unruly, irritable child. she runs from the priestesses who attempt to teach her her duties, and steps on the feet of little princes from far away stars that her parents parade in front of her. she can’t be soothed by sweets, by soft toys, by pretty songs. she is a being of constant want, and nothing in the whole of space seems to satisfy her.

kaguya does not love the moon as she should. she does not find beauty in it’s silvery, iridescent ground, nor in the pools beneath its surface that glint like mercury. she finds her citizens stuffy and annoying, and all the people from the stars think they’re better than them just because they shine a little brighter. it makes kaguya cross – the sun shines brightest of all, and the only beings that still reside on it is a great monster of a dragon that no one dares cross.

the priestesses try to entice her to learn this portion of her duties at least, but she runs from them and plugs her ears and does not listen. there are times when the sun and moon cross paths, and when they do the great dragon of the sun attempts to gobble them up whole. it is only by praying to the god tsukuyomi and erecting a barrier that the royal family can protect their home from the sun dragon.

it is kaguya’s most sacred duty, and she has no interest in it.

she’s simultaneously bored by her home and insulted when others find it lacking, and this contrary rational might be distressing to the logic of an adult, but kaguya is not an adult. she is a child, and being contrary is her prerogative.

she is walking through in the courtyard behind a palace when a shooting star passes her by, then circles back again. it’s s such a little thing, it must have been traveling for a very long time, because it’s burned down so it’s only about half as big as kaguya. this means the star is very old. “child,” the falling star says, voice ancient and crackling, “why are you sad?”

“i am not sad,” she answers, but as soon as she says that she knows it’s a lie, and tears prick at her eyes. “i am always lonely, though i am surrounded by people. i am always bored, though there are many things to entertain me. i am always angry, though there is nothing wrong. i am sad because i am a piece that does not fit.”

“maybe you are simply a piece that belongs to a different puzzle,” the falling star says, “come, climb onto me, and i will i take you somewhere new.”

“will it be better?” she asks.

if a falling star could shrug this one would, but it can’t so it doesn’t. “it will be different.”

different sounds better to kaguya. she agrees, not bothering to say goodbye to her parents or her people, does not take one last look at the beauty of the moon’s surface. instead she climbs onto the falling star, her skin thick enough that she does not feel its burn, and rides it all the way down, until it is a star no longer and only a falling rock, until she goes tumbling onto a whole new planet, and as she falls she thinks that this new planet looks very green.

~

there is an old man called taketori no okina. he lives alone in a great bamboo field, and every day he wakes up at dawn and cuts bamboo until dusk, then he goes home and eats and sleeps and wakes up in the morning to do it all again. when he was a young man, taketori no okina fell in love with a samurai who had laughter lines around his mouth and strong hands, who taught him how to wield blades with a strength and skill that could cut down the strongest soldiers. but taketori no okina only uses it to harvest bamboo. the samurai was engaged to the daughter of a respectable family, and so he left. he left his village not long after the samurai, unable to be there alone in the place where they used to be together.  taketori no okina’s heart was so full of love for his samurai that he could not bear to love another, and so he never did.

he is awoken in the middle of the night by a bang that shakes his home and nearly deafens him. he stumbles outside, and a couple miles into his field he sees smoke. he goes running for it, concerns about fire and war – they’re in a time of peace now, but they weren’t always – rushing through his mind as he stumbles through. when he reaches the source, it’s to find his bamboo flattened in a ten foot wide circle and a little girl lying in the center. he falls to his knees beside her and carefully picks her up, cradling her in his arms. she’s pale, like she doesn’t spend enough time in the sun, and has long black hair. her thin chest rises and falls with her deep breaths, and he is relieved that she’s alive. “little girl,” he says, “you must wake up and tell me if you are all right.”

she opens her eyes, two pearls set in her delicate face. “i am well,” she says, and smiles at him. she curls into him, setting her head against his chest, “you are warm. i will stay with you, for you are warm and have a kind face.”

she falls asleep once more, a hand clutching something laying across her stomach and her other hand fisted into his robe. taketori no okina looks at this little girl and feels his heart expand, until it’s straining against his rib cage. he loves his samurai as much as he always has, but now his heart is bigger. it’s made room so he can fill it with love for this little girl, and so he does.

he carries her to his home and settles her into his bed. it’s a small bed, meant only for one, and she is a little thing, but he does not wish to crowd her, so takes the floor. tomorrow he will build her a bed and take her to market and show her the hot springs near the mountain. for now he falls asleep listening to her soft breathing with a smile.

the next morning he wakes up to her sitting on the floor by his side, running her fingers over a pockmarked stone. “what is that?”

“it is all that is left of my friend. she was once a great star but she fell, as all great stars must. she carried me here because i was sad. but now i am sad that she is gone.”

“that’s all right,” taketori no okina says, and she blinks down at him. no one had ever told her that it was okay that she was sad before. “she was very special, so we must put her in a very special place.”

he gets up and builds a ledge across the window with a platform just big enough for the stone to fit. he lifts her up so that she can set what’s left of her friend on it herself. “now she can see you and sky she came from at the same time, and you will always be able to see her.”

“she cannot see anything anymore,” she says, but she likes the idea of it, the sentiment. she feels less sad at her loss now, although she can’t say why, since nothing has changed.

once he has set her back on her feet she looks up at him and says, “i am kaguya. what shall i call you?”

“they call me taketori no okina,” he pushes a lock of her dark hair behind her ear, “you may call me whatever you like.”

she wrinkles her nose at that name. it is too long, and too formal. if she is to call him that, then he might as well call her princess kaguya, and she might as well not have left the moon at all. “i will call you oyaji,” she declares, and it’s not a term she’d used even with her father on the moon, but for this old man who built her a shelf and carried her home and had large, rough hands that touch her gently, she thinks it fits.

~

kaguya quite likes the new planet and her new father. he is man who’s spent a lifetime working and doing little else. he has a tidy savings that he cheerfully depletes on her; he buys her colorful kimonos for her to wear when he walks her to market, and functional kosodes for the days she spends playing in the river and darting through the bamboo forests. he tells her stories at night, of his samurai, of the emperor, and when he exhausts his reservoir of stories about this land, he tells her the tales of other ones – the fire-rats of china, the buddha of india, and when he even those run out he tells her of dragons, of a magical island called horai.

she loves these stories, and she loves him. there are days when she is sad and cross, and on those days oyaji kisses her forehead and tucks the blanket around her shoulder and brings her something spicy from the market for dinner. oyaji just lets her be sad or angry when she wants to be, and because of that kaguya finds that now she gets sad less and less, that more often than not she’s …. happy.

she notices the special care oyaji takes when he talks of samurai, and sees the strength and power in his limbs when he cuts bamboo, and decides she would like to be strong like the samurai in his stories, like oyaji is himself. so she asks and asks, and he’s worried that it’s too dangerous for her. but oyaji loves her like she’s his own flesh and blood, and is unable to deny her anything.

kaguya grows up. she grows up on stories of far off lands and magic, she grows up on warm, simple food made by someone who loves her, she grows up learning to wield blades with the same brute efficiency as oyaji. kaguya grows up beautiful. her skin is darker now that she dances in the sun’s rays, her hair is long and fine, and her eyes are as they’ve always been – pale and beautiful, small versions of the moon she was born on. she moves with a steadied grace that only a deadly woman can master and has the whipcord strength of body from days working in the bamboo fields alongside her father, but all the delicate features of the princess she was born as.

they were left alone when she was a child, when oyaji took her hand and guided her to meat stalls and cloth sellers and bought sparkly combs for her to wear in her hair. but kaguya is a child no longer. she is a young woman, and tales of her beauty spread far and wide. just as when she was a child and princes from far off stars came to court her, now princes come from far off lands. as a child she stepped on their feet, and as a woman she wishes to take her shiny blades and cut them from navel to neck. but she is not a princess here, she is the poor daughter of a poor bamboo cutter, and must act accordingly. she can’t go slicing up arrogant suitors who believe they are entitled to her, no matter how much she would like to.

the most persistent are five princes from lands far from here. she requests a betrothal gift from each of them, and says she will marry the first to return.

from the first prince, she requests the stone begging bowl of buddha.

from the second prince, she requests a jeweled branch from horai.

from the third prince, she requests a fire-rat robe.

from the fourth prince, she requests a cowry shell born of swallows.

from the fifth prince, she requests a colored jewel from a dragon’s neck.

off they go to fulfill her impossible requests, and kaguya rests easy knowing that they will not return, or if they do they will return empty handed.

but this is not the end.

Keep reading

There is no friend as loyal as a book. - Ernest Hemingway

I wonder why each little bird has a someone to sing to

i got a few requests for a companion piece to the gifts of beauty and song, my retold sleeping beauty fairytale, so here you go

so maleficent is the good fairy here, right, and the three fairies are the bad ones, so like fae do they each appear to be what they’re not. and aurora, given fae gifts and raised by fae, is nearly fae herself. maleficent knows that only an elf could hope to sway a fae heart, because elves are impervious to their glamour. maleficent kidnaps the young prince philip, and brings him to the elven realm. she tries to bargain a prince for a prince, but the king is unswayed. a human prince, he declared, is only worth an elvish servant, so that’s what she gets.

maleficent takes the servant and puts him in philip’s place, gives him that name, and watches as the servant elf is made a prince among mortals, watches as he eventually captures aurora’s heart, and saves her from her living death. watches as the elf servant turned prince becomes a king, as the almost-fae princess aurora becomes queen, and their two kingdoms become one and they rule the land of men together.

this, of course, begs the question – what happens to our dear human philip?

he is not the first child that has been bargained away to the elves, and elf queen thalia settles the young boy on her hip and raises an eyebrow at her husband, waiting. the child awakens by degrees, until he’s clutching her neck and blinking at the gathered elves. thalia is only grateful that he hasn’t started screaming, like so many of his kind do.

normally the children that are bargained to them are put to work in the castle, where they’re safe, where their clumsiness and their ignorance and their mistakes will be glossed over, where she and the king will ensure they will be politely ignored rather than harassed. they’ve lost a servant boy, and so she’s sure a servant boy is what this young human is meant to become.

except a woman of the court steps forward, and she’s old, old enough that it shows, that her curly hair has gone silver and wrinkles are etched deep in her face. lady ember is older than the forests they reside in, is older than her grandmother, than her great grandmother. everyone’s lost track of her exact age, but she’s the oldest elf in village. thalia likes her – she and lady ember have skin of the same dark shade. thalia hopes that if she is to live long enough, she and lady ember would look alike.

“i would like the child,” she says, eyes like amber, and for the moment she appears younger than she ever has. there’s something eager in her, and it brings a life to her that thalia hasn’t seen in a long time.

thalia looks to her husband, and king celedor gives a minuscule twitch to his lip which is an equivalent to a shrug. she sets the young human on the ground, and ember holds out a single hand. the child looks behind him, then in front him, and takes cautious steps forward. he steps until he can take her hand, his own looking small and pale in hers. “it’s been a long time since i was able raise a child,” ember says, “i would like to do so again. will you come home with me?”

and thalia understands. elf children take many hundreds of year to mature, and ember would not risk dying on a child before it could take care of itself. but humans are candles that burn at both ends – hot, and fast. within a decade or two the child in front of them will be able to survive on his own, will not need lady ember to coddle him for centuries.

he nods, and finally opens his mouth to say, “i am philip.”

“hello philip,” lady ember smiles, “i am lady ember of the mother tree. now you are lord philip of the ember tree.”

they are elves. they don’t do something as gauche as gasp, but the sentiment comes out just the same. celedor’s mouth drops open a millimeter and thalia’s right index finger twitches. raise a human child like a beloved pet they could all understand – but to adopt one, to truly adopt one that she’d just met and didn’t know and bequeath to him the estate and title the noble name of the mother tree?

lady ember leads her new son away, and the gathered elves can do nothing but stare.

~

prince elion – eli, to everyone who doesn’t want the prince of the elves nursing a personal grudge against them – comes home in the dead of night, when he can slip past the guards and the fawning people on the street and sneak into the royal quarters.

“mother,” he greets as he enters the library. his father sleeps early, but his mother doesn’t go to bed until nearly dawn. he kneels by her side, and she runs a hand through his hair, tugging the leather tie off when it gets in her way. his mass of dark curly hair tumbles around his head, and as he shakes it out leaves other debris fall out. thalia sighs, but doesn’t remark on it.

“your hunt went well?” she asks, although she knows the answer. eli is one of the best hunters in the kingdom, and his hunting parties – comprised of the strongest and best among the noble families – are notoriously profitable.

he grins, teeth extra white against his skin, “of course, mother. did anything interesting happen while i was away?”

“the faerie maleficent came and bargained away a human prince,” she says, “she wanted you in return. your father gave her a servant boy instead.”

eli laughs, too loud and boisterous, in a way he would never allow himself to laugh around his father or his subjects.

~

philip thinks perhaps he should be screaming, or crying, or causing some sort of fuss about this new life and this old woman who insists she’s his mother now. but he’s never had a mother before, and this new place is beautiful. they live in palace carved out of an enormous tree – the mother tree that their name comes from – and philip is given a lot more freedom as an elf lordling than he was as a prince.

he hopes the boy who took his place is nice to his father, and doesn’t mind long evenings with only the servants for company. being a prince can be very lonely. he knows from experience.

ember gives him rooms and toys, but warns him that he has a lot of work ahead of him. as a human, he’s at a severe disadvantage here at the elf court. elves are faster than humans, stronger and smarter and wiser. “it sounds to me,” philip says, “that maybe they’re just older. if i had hundreds of years, I could be all those things too.” ember’s eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles, and he returns it.

philip knows hard work. he was set to rule a whole nation, was set to lead whole armies. he knows training and learning and patience. learning to become an elf lord seems like it will be a lot easier than being a human king.

lady ember and her servants are harsh, but fair. in their home, in the mother tree, he is a pampered lord. out of it, however – he acquires many scars from training, from falling and failing. ember and her staff run him ragged into the ground, because he must be able to keep up with elves.

they have hundreds and hundreds of years to practice, to become strong and smart and fast. philip doesn’t have that long, so his mother forces him to do more, train harder, learn faster than would be expected of any elf.

so he learns. the first time he beats his trainer at an archery competition, he feels a swell of pride like nothing he’s felt before. as he inches his way to the level of his teachers, and then surpasses them, the feeling stays.

they’ve always been kind to him. but as his skill grows, they come to respect him, and that’s far more valuable.

~

eli hears of the human that lady ember of the mother tree took as her own – of course he does, it’s all anyone can talk about. but he doesn’t actually get a chance to see the boy, because lady ember keeps him safe on her lands, in her tree that none of them dare trespass on. so he assumes, like many, that she keeps him coddled and safe, away from those who would seek him harm, away from a world that would seek him harm.

then, two decades from when she gave young philip her name, lady ember finds him at court. she tilts her head, and he bows. he may be higher in rank, but he was raised to respect his elders, and lady ember is certainly that. “prince eli,” she says, “your next hunt is coming up, isn’t it?”

“yes, my lady,” he answers, wondering if she has a request. he doesn’t mind tracking down a certain type of meat or pelt for her – he likes the challenge, and likes lady ember.

she smiles at him, and for some reason he feels as if he’s staring into the jaws of a dragon. “excellent. might my son join you? he grows bored of hunting on his own.”

the last thing in the world eli wants to do is keep an eye on a bumbling, spoiled human. but this human is also the lord of the mother tree, and he can think of no response that wouldn’t bring his mother’s wrath down on his head. “of course, lady ember.”

Keep reading

on self-diagnosing

when i was about 14, i went to a mental health service and was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. i got put on antidepressants that didn’t work and went to a few therapists that didn’t help me. my parents wasted hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars getting me treated for disorders that were not my true problem.

when i was 21, i went through the hardest break-up of my life. i went to a counselor who didn’t diagnose me at all - she talked to me like she didn’t care what my mental health issues were and that’s when i realized it doesn’t matter what your diagnosis is, as long as you’re getting treated for the problems that lie in front of you.

last year, when i was 21/22, i experienced a few bpd episodes. on new years, i got someone i was barely friends with to drive me over 30 minutes to my ex’s house to punch him in the face over something stupid. i couldn’t believe how manic it made me feel - i felt totally on top of the world. until the next day where the guilt swallowed me alive and i was stuck in yet another bout of depression. a couple months later, i found myself breaking down in the college stairwell over drama with another boy, calling my parents and telling them i was going to kill myself after he blocked me. they had to come pick me up because they didn’t think i would be okay if i drove.

i didn’t understand what was up with these symptoms. why did all of my depression stem from my relationships? why did i want to fling myself off of a bridge after the smallest disagreement? i was more than depressed - i was angry. i was so, so angry. for as long as i can remember, i’d cycle through the worst emotions followed by mania followed by the worst emotions. but it happened so fast, i could barely remember it by the time i got a chance to tell anyone.

i got back into therapy, into medication. i got put on a different antidepressant. i told my doctor, “you don’t understand. i have bouts of anger. do you have anything for that?” she prescribed me an anxiety medication for panic attacks.

the point is doctors do what they can to treat you. they don’t know what is going to help. they’re stumbling around blindly until they find something that works. they don’t truly know what’s going on in your head. they try to diagnose you on your first appointment at a mental health service and if you don’t portray all of your symptoms perfectly, you WILL get an incorrect diagnosis.

i never did my own research. i fed into the lie that psychiatrists/psychologists will do anything in their power to give you a correct diagnosis. i never self-diagnosed until i heard about bpd. luckily, i was already going to a psychiatrist when i heard about it, so i brought it up to him. he said, “huh, yeah, you’re probably right. that does sound like your symptoms” and prescribed me an anti-psychotic. still no diagnosis.

let me reiterate: i could have been getting the help i needed for YEARS, and i didn’t, because though i went through quite a few therapists and psychiatrists, none of them could figure out my diagnosis. it took the couple of “bpd freak-outs” i had for someone to take me seriously. for someone to finally say, “you have a lot of bipolar symptoms…” still not the right diagnosis, but it was getting closer, at least. if i didn’t have those freak-outs, i can guarantee you i still wouldn’t even have a “huh, yeah.” because in the world of psychiatrists (and a lot of times people who are anti self-diagnosis), your symptoms don’t matter until you have the worst possible symptoms, until your symptoms are outward, and that’s unfair and ridiculous.

so this is where the line gets blurred. to those who are anti self-diagnosis: am i allowed to say i have bpd because my psychiatrist told me i did but didn’t officially diagnose me? i ultimately stopped going to a psychiatrist and therapy because i spent another thousand dollars (out of my own pocket this time) to diagnose myself and i didn’t agree with the medication i was on. should i go back for one appointment just to satisfy your need for me to be officially diagnosed?

thinking back on the counselor i had when i was 21, i realized that the diagnosis doesn’t matter. but nobody takes you seriously unless you have a diagnosis and this is what’s wrong, not the fact that people self-diagnose. maybe if people took the symptoms seriously, people wouldn’t find the need to self-diagnose. maybe if mental illness wasn’t this exclusive club, people would feel more comfortable talking about their symptoms, even if they’re less drastic than yours are.

the point is this: somebody self-diagnosing doesn’t affect you. the only reason people knock people for self-diagnosing is because they want to feel powerful and elite. congratulations - you have an official diagnosis. i have three if you count adhd. but my most important number four diagnosis is being left untreated and tumblr has helped me get though a lot of my bpd-related issues and to that, i am thankful. because the resources are always going to be more important than the diagnosis and i am happy that those who self-diagnose are getting the resources they need.

7

I feel bad for Yukio and I know a bunch of people hate him/ are starting to dislike him due to how he’s been acting throughout the manga, but this chapter makes me sad for him, Rin and Shiemi. 

a few spoilers are below the cut for those who have not read the chapter

He reads and finds out all the stuff Ryuji and lighting find out but he’s not satisfied with it probably because it wasn’t really what he was looking for. He didn’t get the information on his mother he thought he would, just the experiments the order was doing. This causing him to realize the the Illuminati and True cross are equally fucked up organizations. 

I cant imagine being in his shoes right now. Starting at such a young age the training and emotional toll he endured for an organization he thought was preventing people like the Illuminati from doing corrupt stuff is just as bad, but more secretive about it.

His whole life dedicated to protecting others and helping in the fight against demons and protecting his brother Rin, being one of the sons of Satan, who inherited his powers and having his line always on that thin line of foe or friend for the True Cross. I can imagine my stress levels being through the roof if the only person I can truly say is blood, is always on the verge of being executed in a blink of an eye. 

Even at the very beginning of his training for the True Cross we see that Shiro (vaguely) says “Hey how about joining the fight and getting to protect your big bro” 

Which the hatred for rin developed.

Rin never had to stress about exams and physical training to meet the Order’s requirments to become an exorcist. Rin didn’t have that great of a childhood but his bullying wasn’t as great of a burden that Yukio endured. Yukio early on had the idea that “You are your brother’s protector” so even at the end of the Impure King battle the anger and violence towards Rin is kinda acceptical. Yes Rin help defeat the Impure King and he managed to finally get his Powers under control, but Yukio is looking at it almost through the Order’s eyes. Beat one big demon but who’s to say he won’t be conviced by Lucifer and join them? Can we truly trust him and risk his powers be used against us? Maybe seeing how great his powers are scare the True Cross and they rather dispose of him and never take that risk of him turning against them. 

Yukio is so burried in multiple responsibilities, being a exorcist, going to high school, teaching exorcism classes, he probably is trying to get all the Meisters titles like Shiro and above all that the constant watching over Rin and the rest of the Exwires (mostly Rin). 

With all of this we get to see and understand why he feels so lonely. He didn’t get to go out and get into trouble and do what kids do. He probably had some free time but you have to think about how Yukio always had those responsibilities at the back of his head. He never really got to be innocent and live freely, he always had a goal to reach. 

So going to Shiemi when he has no where else to go, her being the one person who I truly believe brings peace to him, it’s sad that he can’t even count her as a friend. He met her through his training cause of the shop that her mother runs and he tells her “ Just for a little”. Then goes to confess his loneliness. 

He knows that Shiemi isn’t the best with giving advice, but he still tells her. I doubt he was really looking for her to say some wise words to help him, I think he just wanted some affection, just someone who he knows won’t really pry him for answers on his recent behaviour. Just someone who will let him try to shut out his mind for just a second. Which she does until she tries to comfort him by telling him that her and Rin are there for him. With the recent build up of self hatred and hatred towards his brother he quickly snaps out of his depressed state and snaps at her.


Imma break this up with other posts so yea stay tuned if ya want

@what-the-flug
The idea of mad! Flug came from that beauty! Try checking out their blog before reading! :D
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“Flug!!” Snarled the annoyed voice.
The anxious scientist made his way towards his boss, tripping on his feet along the way.
“S-sorry sir! W-what is-” Dr. Flug pauses midsentence to gasp. There in Black Hat’s arms was a knocked out super hero. A wide grin stretches across the scientist’s hidden face.
“We’ve brought in another one. 5.0.5 managed to grab him after destroying half the city. The hero knocked right out after he was used as a chew toy.” Sneered Black Hat. The demon dropped the hero to Dr. Flug’s feet.
“Do… Whatever you do with those heroes. I’m surprised you manage to keep them quiet wherever you put them.” Muttered Black Hat, walking off. As soon as he laid his eyes on the unconscious hero, a million thoughts ran through his head on what he’d do. Flug immediately began dragging the body away. Dragging the body was easy for him, picking it or lifting it up long distances was another. He could only pick them up short distances. Enough to make it from the lab to a trash can out back that later burned trash periodically. I mean, what else was he gonna do with corpses? Leave them to rot and stink? He was evil, but he was not trashy, no. Flug dragged the body into the lab, and behind his desk. He glanced around, making sure he wasn’t followed. As soon as he saw the coast was clear he opened a small patch on the floor, tossing the body down, before climbing down himself. The room was dark, dimly lit by a light in the middle of the room, which shined above a glass dome over a large pit. Where Flug kept heroes to rot. He tossed the hero he had been given into the pit from a small opening in the dome before sealing it shut as he always did. He studied the hero, mumbling noted out loud.
“Hero appears to be.. Cumulus. Abilities include controlling the amount of water in the air along with weather to a small extent.” He searches around the table he had beside the pit, finding a needle beside a multitude of blood samples from different heroes from the past. He tied a small cord around his body before hopping down into the pit holding a remote and a small needle. He gets on his knees beside the sleeping hero, poking her skin with the small sharp object. As he did this, the hero squirmed with discomfort.
“Hey! Hey. Hey, sshh. It’s all fine. Doc just needs a bit of blood is all. Then we can poke you and cut you and potentially zap you until you make your way to the little gates down below!” Dr. Flug giggled softly. His voice wad smooth as silk and clear as day a polar opposite to him outside the room. He pulls the needle away, with a considerable amount of blood in the needle, the blood a grayish hue. He sighs, getting up. “Too bad too. You were such a cool hero.” Dr. Flug sighs.
As he begins walking back, the hero shoots up with loud gasp, snapping her neck towards the villain.
“you.” She spat. “Where am I!?” She raises her hand, shards of ice forming in the air at rapid speed as Flug presses a button on the remote. As the shards fly towards him, the rope around his waist pulls him swiftly out of the pit, missing the shards just barely! He slams the pit’s opening shut and giggled frantically.
“Hahaha! You almost got me there you little hero, you!!” Dr. Flug cackles. The hero stands up. “where am I!? Let me go you bastard!!” She snarls. Dr. Flug ignored her, setting the blood sample inside a vial labeled the hero’s name, setting it right along side others.
“interesting note to add! Not only can you affect the water levels in the air, you can also change temperature as well! You’re blood could make a great freeze ray!! Ohh, how exciting!” He grins.
“Let. Me. OUT!!” Roared Cumulus, shooting a multitude of ice shards at the ice. The loud thud of the ice’s impact against the seal made Flug jump with surprise. “it’s no use doll!! Impenetrable!” Sang Dr. Flug. Cumulus snarls. “So- so what!? You gonna test me? You gonna torture me? Brain wash me? Control me!?” The hero growls out. Flug taps his chin. “you know. Giving the villain, the person with the upper hand, options is not a good move. However! I will happily accept torture!!” Cheered Flug. He presses a button on the table and arms flung out the side of the pit, grabbing the hero’s arms and legs. Flug hops down yet again with the remote, walking up to the hero who’s now unable to move. She squirms and tugs at the arms trying to break free, alas it was no use. Dr. Flug walks up to her, reaching his hand out. The girl immediately flinched making Flug laugh. He lightly grabs her chin, looking closely at her face. The girl shakes her head, snapping forward to bite his fingers. “You won’t get shit out of me.” She spat. Dr. Flug chuckles slowly, his laugh chilling and dark, unlike his normal self. “Oh sweetie. What do you think I’m torturing you for? Go on. Guess.” He eggs her on.
“Info? Weaknesses? Any villain would be stupid not to want that.” She scoffs. “Not necessarily now! A smart villain tortures for info because he lacks it without others to give him the info. A GOOD villain tortures for fun because he already has all the info he needs.” Dr. Flug grins.
“What? So you’re torturing me without reason? How stupid!” Cumulus cackles.
“See now you’re learning! Evading me from my true goals! Good! Good! But you know, the thing is. When you have a reason, once that reason is reached, you no longer have a reason to hurt! Its a stopping point for pain. A way out for heroes,”
He grips her chin rougher than before, making her unable to shake him off, “See, I don’t want that way out for you. You’re trapped here. No matter. What. You. Do!” Dr. Flug spins himself, harshly kicking her dead in the face making Cumulus let out a choked roar in pain. Flug spins back around to face her, punching her on the opposite side of her face, knocking out a tooth. She spits blood onto the doctor. “Fuck. You.” She pants. “Aww! No thanks.” He hissed, running back and kicking her in the stomach. She yells scratchily, doubling over in pain, gasping for air as she hack up blood. Her body falls weak. She’d have fallen on all fours had if not been for the arms holding her in place. Flug punched her face upward, staring her dead in the eye.
“Go on now. Do something about this. Drown me, freeze me, stab me with a weak little shard!” Dr. Flug teased.
She growls and Dr. Flug bounced out of the way and as he looks away the hero lets out a scream as he hears the sound of sharpness puncturing flesh. He spins around on his heel seeing she had accidentally stabbed her self in the stomach with her own ice shard. “Ohh! That works EVERY time! You heroes are SO gullible!” Dr. Flug smiles. She feels blood dripping from the ice. “S-so you gonna k-kill me huh?” Cumulus coughed. “Damn. Here I though I’d die by a successful villain.” She chuckles weakly. “Oh but honey. I am a successful villain. The disappearance of Unit, Mr Frost, Jubilee, oh what’s his name uhh, Storm clock? Yeah that’s it.” Dr. Flug lists. “Pfft. Idiot. Everyone knows it was Black Hat who killed them.” Cumulus scoffs. Dr. Flug stiffens, before walking closer. He put his hand on the ice shard, pushing it inward making her scream. “He. Did. NOT. A good villain does not boast. A good villain. Does not get caught. A good villain. Is not. That fucking. DEMON!!” Dr. Flug roars. He clicks another button on his remote, tossing it in the air. The metal shifts and reforms and by the time it hits Dr. Flug’s palm, it’s already a destabilizer ray.
“Black Hat. Is no. Villain. He is just a cocky. Arrogant. Self absorbed. Fuck.” Flug growls past gritted teeth. Cumulus grins. “Damn. You must really hate him.” She sighs. “Yeah well he pays the money and brings in the heroes like you I get to play with.” Flug sighs, twiddling with the ray in his hand. “So. What are you gonna-” “God damn it. All this Black Hat talk has ruined the mood. You’re not fun anymore.” He pouts. He repositions his body, shooting the hero straight in the head, blood splattering across Dr. Flug’s bag and the ground. He sighs, as the arms around the girl let go and retract into the walls letting the hero’s body fall limp on the floor with a loud thud. Flug shakes his head. “These new toys get worse and worse.” Flug sighs. He digs out a key from his pockets, unlocking a hatch on the wall before dumping the hero’s dead body into the chute to slide out into the garbage. He switched his ray back into the remote, pulling himself out the pit without a care. He showed no pity, no remorse. Like a good villain. He switched out his clothes and bag for a cleaner pair before turning to head back up. As he turns, he stops dead in his tracks, staring at a wide-eyed, trembling, whimpering Dementia. Flug sighs. “How much did you see you little cretin?” He snarls. Dementia’s voice was barely above a whisper. “a-all..” She whispers. Dr. Flug shakes his head, walking up to Dementia. He switches his remote to the ray, the device making an intimidating hum as he slowly held it up under Dementia’s chin, raising her head up making her whimper with fear. “You do not speak. Of what you saw in this room. Black Hat does not know and he never will. Understood.” Dr. Flug growls. “Y-yes.” She whispers. Dr. Flug puts away the ray, patting her head. “Good pet.” He says calmly. As he walks to leave Dementia halts him. “W-wait! I-I just have one question.” She stutters out. Dr. Flug turns around, tilting his head. “why don’t you ever act like this in front of the rest? Wouldn’t black hat.. Y'know. Like it?” She asks. Flug shakes his head.
“If a person has a double life, it is to protect the people in the primary life. People have faces. Different ways to act under different situations. No one is sane when no one is looking, Dementia. Besides. Don’t you think if I acted this way for you all, I would have shot that demon in the head by now?” Dr. Flug replies. “Come now. You have your jobs and I have mine.” He smiles. They get out of the room, and Flug shuts the door against the floor. As soon they get out, they hear black hat aggressively calling out for Flug.
“FLUG!! WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU!??” he screeches. Flug sighs, looking over at the scarred girl beside him.
“remember. No telling~.” He winks. He takes a deep breathe before running for the door. “C-coming boss! O-oh gosh!!” He calls out, flustered.