You immediately froze on the spot, acutely aware of
Baekhyun’s arms wrapped around your shoulders and your face buried against his
broad chest. So many thoughts were running through your head: happiness at
seeing your best friend for the first time; apprehension at the secret you held
from him; not to mention flustered to be back in his arms and pressed up
against his body.
His hand sliding down your back brought you back to reality
and made you step back out of his hold. “What are you doing here?” you
stammered nervously, tucking your hair behind your ear.
The first thing I always keep in mind when writing Jon is that he has a background in psychology, specifically that he’s a psychiatrist. I know it sounds odd to keep that in mind first considering that there are hundreds of other concepts that I could think of or consider but there is a very good reason: Jon’s background in psychology is why he’s so observant and so unnerving. When writing, my two best judges of character are Ivy and Jon, and in Jon it is largely because he is good at reading people, too good. Though I scrapped the idea I had a fanfic where Ivy remarked that Jon looks at people like he knows all of the secrets they don’t want him to know, and that, not the fear gas, not his demented mind, is what’s so terrifying.
The second thing I keep in mind is related to his appearance. Jon grew up in an environment where he was overtly repressed. He wasn’t allowed to make his own decisions, choose his own clothes or hair, and had almost no bodily autonomy. This is a large portion of the reason I think he favors comfortable, grunge-style clothes, keeps his hair in such an untamed state, and tattoos his skin, he has the choice to do what he wants after years of not being allowed, so he’s going to do it.
The third thing is something I think is extremely important when considering any Rogue: Jon is mentally ill. He is not a monster, which is one of those things I rag on the comics for demonizing or ignoring outright, he is a mentally ill person. This is a hard factor to portray and despite my own experiences with mental illness I still have trouble with writing Jon’s mental illness, and regularly fret that I’m not portraying it accurately, but I’m always keeping it in mind when I write.
A fourth important concept I keep in mind is a personal aesthetic and style choice. When I write Jon, I’m most often concerned with keeping his appearance unnerving, while still granting that he is not that outlandish-looking. This is why, as I’ve mentioned several times, Jon in my works doesn’t look like he does in most other books. Because of how my aesthetic for unnerving things developed, I tend to find porcelain dolls a lot creepier than most things, and thus largely based Jon’s general appearance on the concept of resembling one. This is also a large contributor to Jon’s use of nursery rhymes and lullabies as a general theme, it merges the concept of a creepy possessed doll with the usual innocence dolls are supposed to reflect: childhood. I keep this in mind because it’s a large portion of how people react to Jon in this universe, He is not strange or bizarre in that he looks weird, in fact, he doesn’t look weird at all, but the fact that he looks like a porcelain doll is unnerving because it almost looks fake. Also I dare you to imagine any porcelain doll making Jon’s exaggerated expressions and tell me it doesn’t freak you the fuck out.
The fourth most important is where I’m going to be totally honest and say that writing Jon makes me uncomfortable sometimes because of this: Jon is an abuse survivor, and I keep this in mind because childhood abuse is not something you walk away from, no abuse is something you walk away from, it’s with you your entire life and having to convince yourself that you are worthy of love and respect after going through something like what Jon went through is not easy, and I hold onto that when I write Jon because this is why his calm is so easily tipped, but it’s not because he has a short temper, it’s because he’s afraid. When he’s threatened, he panics, he freezes, he talks tough about being the master of fear and not fearing anything, but in reality he’s afraid of not being worth the time or effort to help, to be shown a shred of compassion, and thinks he isn’t because it has been beaten into him that he isn’t, his fears are right, he’s worthless. So when someone comes forwards and treats him with the compassion he’s been told he doesn’t deserve, he’s afraid and confused and becomes hostile because he doesn’t want to be wrong, because that means he’s still afraid.
Edward Nygma/The Riddler
I’ll be honest, the first thing I turn to when writing Ed is that he’s a showoff, because he is, but it’s always with purpose. Ed is a showoff, but his narcissism and smugness are a front, he’s overcompensating. Ed and Jon have in common the fact that they have been told all their lives that they aren’t worth anything, that they aren’t deserving of love or kindness. Jon’s response is to accept this and by proxy gets upset when people tear apart this worldview. Ed rejects the notion of not being worth love or compassion and seeks to prove himself right by acting like he’s worthy of everyone’s love and respect without really giving any of his own.
The second thing I keep in mind is that Ed is fixated on riddles and puzzles. I consider this an important aspect because it should be the first thing Ed thinks of when he can’t think of anything else. When panicked, uneasy, nervous, or flustered, Ed will repeat riddles like a mantra. I’ve been using this to work on the use of Ed’s OCD, which I will admit I do not portray very well because I don’t want to do it incorrectly or offensively.
The third thing I consider when writing Ed is a personal preference, and that is that Ed is conventionally handsome. This is a common thread in a lot of Edward’s stories, which is part of the reason I like using it so much. This is in small part because I enjoy the concept of someone so smart and so, dare I say it, dorky being conventionally attractive. It also serves as a fair contrast between Ed and his two closest friends: Jon and Jervis. Jon is unsettling while Jervis is childlike, and Ed, as a contrast, is conventionally handsome.
The fourth consideration I keep in mind is also a personal preference, and that is that Ed is smart, but primarily book smart, socially and emotionally, he is a child. I do this in small part because while Bruce has openly admitted that Ed is one of the smartest rogues in the gallery, Ed is still an abrasive, disrespectful jerk. I’m sure he wants to make friends, but ends up annoying most people.
Nursey hates sleep, he always has, though he’s never really known why - perhaps it’s the feeling of vulnerability, or maybe it has something to do with an early need to be competitive. He remembers when he was little, all of the kids in his neighborhood would hang out, maybe steal a couple of Mountain Dews from the fridge, and meet up in an ominous part of town, pretending they were cool and edgy. Each kid would take their turn bragging about how bad their nights went; it ranged from falling asleep at five am and waking an hour later to their parents fighting as they did the chores. Even as a child, Nursey had found these games pretentious, but he took part in them nontheless.
As time had gone by, things didn’t change. They moved from bored little kids to troublesome preteens, trading off the Mountain Dew for a spare beer and every once in a while a cigarette. It was a young age to start, and they’d all been warned about the consequences, but that didn’t stop any of them. At this point, their little games were starting to become less of a fantasy and more of a reality - thirteen year olds pulling all nighters on a Tuesday just to finish an essay or cram for a test, fifteen year olds cradling their younger siblings as their parents slurred and screamed a room over. They no longer bragged about it, instead choosing the silent acknowledgement. Every time they would meet up, one kid or another had some sort of bruise or cut, and nobody dared ask whether it was from another pointless ‘fight’ with their parent, or if it was gifted as a badge in a rumble. Instead, they just drank.
Needs became habits, and soon, it was a rare occasion that Derek got more than four hours of sleep. Sometimes, he imagined sinking into his expensive water bed, allowing the noise and the crying and the shattering glass from a room over to be silenced by the soft lapping of water against his skin, slowly filling his lungs until he no longer floated. But then he remembered his grandmother saying, as she always did, that there were people that had it worse. There were people that didnt get the two story house and the built in pool. Others who weren’t able to have three meals a day, or weren’t able to afford going to a prestigious private school.
Instead of sinking, Derek lied there, thinking endlessly, always trying to make the best with what he had. He’d take the terrible, cutting words and twist them into a lullaby, rhyming in rhythm to the yells of his sister. He’d stay up until the sun rose, and even past then, just writing everything down, as if the sharp curvature of his pencil upon the paper could comfort him, bring him peace with every stroke. He began neglecting meeting up with his friends, instead settling for the quiet comfort of his desk and his pencil. Nobody questioned his absence. Nobody wondered why animated, passionate, loud Derek Nurse was now so… chill. Nobody have a second glance to the dark circles that became more prominent by the day.
So, now, as Nursey lays up in bed with a million analogies for simplicities whirling through his mind, he wonders why he doesn’t like sleep. The arm slung across his chest haphazardly brings his gaze down to the tufts of ginger hair that brush gently across his cheek, accompanied only by the gentle feeling of two hearts beating out of time. A gentle smile spreads it’s way across Derek’s tired face, his eyes straining against the dim lighting to individualize each freckle littered across the form of the bodye slung over him.
Perhaps this is why he hates sleep so much, Nursey thought, tenderly nuzzling his nose into the amber locks; he doesn’t want to miss a single moment.
In the dark hours of the night, things can be easily missed. The faint ticking of a grandfather clock that’s off of time, friends snoring from downstairs rooms, a gentle breeze causing the curtains to blow out in a flourish of red and silver, which in turn slid a barely visible veneer across the moonlight. If one was sleeping, one might not hear the groaning of old wood upon wood, almost eerily comforting in its own way, or even the padding of socked feet down the stairs, presumably to fetch a glass of water.
No, Nursey doesn’t like sleep, and he assumes that he never will. And who, after all, would want to?
The second installment of the cuddle meme because I am addicted to the new x-men crew. Like, oh my Levi. So, no adieu. Quicksilver.
WAIT! STOP! THERE IS SWEARING AND APOCALYPSE SPOILERS AHEAD! DONT SAY I DIDNT WARN YOU!
I. How do you cuddle? –Peter like, never slows down long enough to cuddle. Sometimes but not often. When his leg was broken though, he was so fucking clingy and cuddly all the time. He would lean into you kinda casually and you would bury your face in his neck because he smells like the god damned wind.
II. Who is more affectionate?
–Peter. Speedy kisses like, all the time.
III. PDA? –Both of you! Holding hands, kisses, arms on the waist, you name it. Peter is cheesy.
IV. Who needs more reassurance? –You! Peter is a ball of confidence and not to mention handsome. Bit he wouldn’t dream of anyone but you.
V. Favourite places to kiss?
–You love kissing Pete’s nose because it’s super cute and he likes kissing the pads of your fingers on the off chance you do cuddle.
VI. Favourite Feature? –You love Peter’s hair, like is that shit even real? It’s like, really soft. Peter loves your smile. Cliche, yes, nut cute nonetheless.
V. Favourite place to go together? –Concerts! All the time! But you won’t ever make the mistake of letting him buy steal a energy drink again.
VIII. Who gets jealous?
–You! You’ll pout and he’ll laugh and then give you a passionate kiss in front of whoever.
IX. Comforting things you do for each other?
–Pete will play with your hands, tracing patterns and lines. You’ll simply pull him into a hug and softly sing some of the songs he likes.
X. Who was more nervous about meeting the other’s family?
–Him, you had met his mother and sister before. He was like super nervous.
XI. How did said family react?
–They loved him! After they got past the silver, they laughed at his jokes and he and your mother shared some music interests.
XII. Reactions when one of them comes home from a long mission or trip?
–Pete immediately speeds off to find you and there are lots of hugs and ‘I missed you’s as well as several angry “Get a room"s.
XIII. Who brings up children?
–You do, and it totally freaks him out. He stumbles and freezes cause he doesn’t think he deserves you. You sometimes just bring it up to laugh at his reaction because it’s cute when he blushes.
XIV. Who would sing to your children?
–You would, nursery rhymes and lullabies. He would stand in the door with that adorable grin and just watch.
XV. Who said 'I love you’ first? –Peter did. Then he sped off because you froze up and didn’t say anything. You spent an hour trying to track him down (Jean helped.) And then you pulled him into a very long kiss before saying it back.
XVI. Pet Names?
–He calls you the usual like Babe, Hun, and such. You call him a multitude of speed themed things. Road Runner, Speedy Gonzalez…
XVII. Origins of said pet names.
–Do you even need to ask?
XVIII. Who’s the clumsiest?
–Peter. Mostly he just blows things down when he’s running though.
XIX. Who gives the silent treatment?
–He does mostly. When you’ve been talking to Kurt or Hank really often. You’ll get him to sit down long enough to explain that it was for a project and he would give you a flower as an apology.
XX. Who makes sure the other eats?
–Peter, because there’s no way he forgets to eat. And there’s always Twinkies present so he doesn’t really have to remind you.
XXI. Couple’s song? –Sweet Dreams. Eurythmics.
XXII. Who asked the other out?
–He did. In roses. Across the lawn of the school. For everyone to see.
XXIII. Sleeping arrangements? –Peter sleeps all the time, but when you do manage to get him into a bed it’s complicated. He moves even in his sleep. Sometimes he even ends up in the floor. It’s a mess.
XXIV. Who is constantly giving gifts? –The crazy fast klepto of course! Nothing super valuable, baked goods and such. The occasional tee-shirt.
XXV. Who’s a better student? –Imma go with Peter. Mostly cause he’s on time.
XXVI. Who cries at movies?
–Pshhh! What are you talking about? You guys totally did not cry during 'I am Legend.’ What are you thinking! Silly reader!
XXVII. Who gets scared at horror movies?
–Peter. And he’ll get so nervous he starts vibrating.
–You both do but yours are more often. Peter will turn on the lights, and you two will play music until you fall asleep or the sun comes up, whichever comes first.
XXIX. Sad headcannon?
–You lost contact during a mission and Charles couldn’t find you with Cerebra so they assumed the worst. Peter was devastated. He ran for hours, only stopping when the tears cause him to crash.
XXX. Apology/Happy Headcannon?
–You didn’t die, you just went off the telepathic radar in a way. It was imperative that no one knew that you were alive. After your mission was completed you got to the school asap. You 'told’ Charles not to say anything. You found Peter sulking in the kitchen. No one was paying attention so you simply walked up and put a hand on his shoulder. His face had never gone from annoyed to shocked to happy crying so fast. He wasn’t even quite sure you were really until he spun you around. There was of course, the"Where were you"s and the "I missed you"s as you stood there embracing each other. You were both crying, it was a great big fucking tear-fest. You gave him several mixtape you had made because you missed him so much and, I kid you not, he proposed. Right there in the middle of the damn kitchen. Of course you said yes. There were more tears and you didn’t leave each other’s side for days!
I’m loathe to add any commentary (which is surprisingly reserved for me) to this haunting, beautiful rendition, because holy frijoles! Goldberrry, you have once again blown me away with your mad skills. *cries softly, hugs you, covers your shoulder in snot and tears* You. Are. Stupendous. You bring my wriggling mass of rhymes to life, and this lullaby wouldn’t hurt my heart so much if it weren’t for you. I don’t know whether to thank you or kiss you, you ahh YOU.
And since this will be squeezed into The Seventh and Last, and because she is just a fantastic human being to know, I gotta thank Miss Dets as well. Just… ALL HER EMOTIONALLY STIRRING DWARVISH SONGS.The Iron Hills for me, the Iron Hills for me, theironhillsformeforme I may be a queen, but she’s QUEEN OF THOSE FEELS!
(It kinda devolves into a bona fide headcanon after this. Totally unapologetic).
Random Carmilla headcanon: Carmilla loves nursery rhymes and lullabies. She's memorized thousands of them from hundreds of different cultures, in dozens of languages, and has even made up a ton of her own. This love not only comes from the memories of her nurse maid from when she was human, but also because, when her voice was too raw from screaming, those were the only things she could think to sing to herself during all those years in the dark.
While they were fleeing Silas she’d find herself instinctively humming them quietly while Laura was having trouble sleeping.