sea whips

Mediterranean Mermaid Lovers 🌊 ❤ 🌊
عاش من شافك (”Meeting you revived me” - used to express longing and affection to loved ones after a long time of not seeing them)

*deep intake of breath*

This took me a month to complete. (┛`д´)┛ For some reason I decided I would base the design of each mermaid off of real Mediterranean species as much as possible…. even though I did bend that rule quite a few times. (`∇´)

Greek Mermaid

Body: Exocoetus volitans (Blue Flying Fish)
Headband: Black pearls

Moroccan Mermaid

Body: Sparisoma cretense (Mediterranean Parrotfish)
Hijab: Caulerpa taxifolia (a type of seaweed–which I made red instead of green)
Hair ornaments: Echinaster sepositus (Red Sea Star/Starfish) and white pearls
Bodice: Paramuricea clavata (Violescent Sea-Whip, a type of coral)
Bra: Paracentrotus lividus (Purple Sea Urchin (but dead))
Sleeve: Sabella spallanzanii (Mediterranean Fanworm)

‘We are rewriting the textbooks’: first dives to Amazon coral reef stun scientists

There is a flickering, bright glimmer of sky as the two-person submarine descends beneath the muddy equatorial waters to a place no human has ever seen – a vast, complex coral reef at the mouth of the world’s greatest river.

Thirty metres under the murky plume of the sediment-heavy Amazon, the sub enters a darker, richer world. A school of curious remora fish approaches the two-tonne machine. Crabs and starfish loom in its eerie lights. A metre-long amberjack swims past, then a two-metre ray.

At a depth of 80 metres, the pilot pauses to record large mounds of coral covered in rainbow-coloured pygmy angelfish, wrasses and parrotfish. There are sponges 30ft long.                     

At 120 metres the sub settles on the nearly level ocean floor in a field of soft coral, sea whips and fans. The pilot manoeuvres its remote cameras to within inches of the reef wall. It consists mainly of sponges and colourful rhodolith beds – masses of coral-like red algae – which are formed by chemical synthesis and thrive in the low light.

Most of the world’s shallow reefs are in trouble due to bleaching, climate change and fishing, but this one is pristine. Its wall is full of minute grooves and cracks, each hole and fissure home to something alive. Small, brave crabs approach the sub and raise their claws as if to defend themselves against this alien monster.

There are four Brazilian oceanographers, ecologists and marine scientists taking turns to dive in the sub from the Greenpeace boat Esperanza. For them, the chance to observe the reef, which they and others discovered three years ago after dredging brought up corals, is as thrilling as winning the World Cup.

Last year, based on chemical analysis of the plume and measurements of oxygen levels, they estimated the reef to be about 600 miles long, to cover 3,600 square miles, and be about 30 to 120 metres deep. They thought it was biologically relatively impoverished compared to other equatorial reefs, but nevertheless they recorded more than 60 species of sponge, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters, stars and other reef life.

The Amazon reef: ‘a mega biome, a major ecological community of plants and animals with its own endemic species’. Photograph: Greenpeace

Bloom (2/?)

The story of Captain Swan’s pregnancy, told in many parts. Affectionately nicknamed “The Happiest Pregnancy Ever.”

In this chapter, Henry and Hook discuss brotherhood. Many, many thanks to @unfolded73 for the beta!

[Chapter 1] 

You can also read on AO3!

Chapter 2: Brotherhood

There were few things that made Killian happier than spending the afternoon on the open seas, the wind whipping through his hair, and the smell of salt in the air. He was grateful Storybrooke was a seaside town, allowing him to set out whenever he pleased. Though the pirate in him bristled at having to keep permits and licenses on him at all times, he worked with the law now – Deputy Sheriff Jones, what a title! – and reminded him that he couldn’t enforce the law if he was also breaking it. Killian supposed it was a small price to pay for the happiness he was feeling now. He had a home, a family, and a child on the way. It was everything he thought he would never have.

He wished Liam could see him now.

He was comforted by knowing that his older brother was in a better place now, unburdened by his own unfinished business. However, he wished that he could show Liam how his life had turned out, that he had finally done something right and had carried out the hero’s journey that they both so wanted many years ago.

I hope you’re proud, brother, he thought wistfully.

Keep reading

MINI PUMPKIN PIES

Yield: 2 dozen

The things you’ll need

Ingredients

Dough
  • 2 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • ½ cup butter flavored shortening, chilled
  • ½ cup salted butter, chilled
  • 6 tablespoon buttermilk
Pumpkin Filling
  • 6 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Decoration
  • Egg wash
  • Pastry brush
  • Decorating bag fitted with a #849 tip
  • Cinnamon for decoration
Equipment
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mini tart pan
  • Plastic wrap
  • Round cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet tray lined with parchment
  • Two medium mixing bowls
  • Hand mixer
  • Two rubber spatulas
  • Small ice cream scoop

Let’s get started!


Dough
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt.
  2. Add cubed butter and shortening and work between fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in ice-cold buttermilk. Work in the buttermilk to form a dough.
  3. Form the dough into two discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours to set.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl use a hand mixer to combine cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition and scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add pumpkin, spices, salt and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  4. When dough is set, roll out to 1/8 an inch thick and cut circles out using the round cookie cutter. Line dough rounds into each tart pan.
  5. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust then brush egg wash on the tops of each cup. Scoop filling into each pie cavity almost to the top, almost 2 tablespoons.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to fully cool before adding topping.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff. Scoop into a decorating bag attached with a #849 tip.
  8. Sprinkle each pie with a bit of cinnamon. Ta-da! Mini pumpkin pies!

lisas999  asked:

For the Cherik prompts, perhaps a continuation of that lovely ficlet you wrote, it was an arranged marriage with influences of the swan princess :D

[Aaaaah dude I am so sorry this took 1,000 years to write - I have a whole universe in my head with these boys and its hard to pick which part to write - but it’s finally done! A continuation of this fic, but I feel like it can also be read as a standalone.]

Salty sea air whips at Charles’ face and hair, cloak fluttering in the wind as he stands next to his father, staring out across the waves at the approaching ship. It’s been ages since he accompanied his father to the docks. He goes on his own frequently enough, or with Logan and Moira to guard him anyway, but that’s always just to enjoy the market and to talk with his people as if he were one of them. Official business rarely happens by the sea: it freezes over for a good chunk of the year, and the roads through the plains are more passable even when frost sets in. It’s easier to just do business in the shelter of the palace. In fact, the last time Charles was here with his father must have been when they arrived home from their annual trip to Genosha. Charles’ stomach flips at the thought – it usually does whenever he thinks of Erik – and he shifts minutely, making sure to keep his expression serene even as his insides dance energetically.

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Intention - Shay Cormac x Fem!Reader (Part 1)

A/N: I’m pretty sure this was a request from @bunnyyumyum (you probably don’t remember sending it…it took me forever to get to and I’m sorry )about Templar!reader leaving England for America and joining the Colonial Rite. Shay shows her around NY and ends up catching feelings…but reader is not going to make it easy as you’ll see in this first part.

I’m not very confident about this one but maybe you’ll all like it more than I do.

Also this was supposed to be out for Shay Patrick’s Day but I suck and its late.

Words: 3,171
Warnings: None. Unless you need a warning for a very drunk and flirty Hickey lol.

This was the hundredth time in a few weeks that you had regretted getting on this ship to New York. Another stormy night had you holding on for dear life and trying to keep your dinner down.

Keep reading

“There it is, Yuuri. Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.”

Victor’s breath is warm, so warm, caressing the side of his face as the sea breeze whips around them. Yuuri swallows and chances a backwards glance at Hasetsu.

“Hey,” Victor says softly, squeezing his hand. “Never growing up, right?”

His eyes are impossibly bright, shining far more brilliantly than the star up ahead, and it tugs at Yuuri. Everything about Victor tugs at Yuuri. Pulls him farther away from home, literally, as they soar through the sky towards a neverland where they can be together forever.

He squeezes back. “Take me home.”

History part 2: Greece and Rome

(Part 1)

Ok, this is a further effort to remember what S told me happened in history, before the fun is ruined by the various spoilers in popular culture, S enthusiastically trying to educate me, and the powerful combination of those two (S enthusiastically encouraging me to watch 300 with him and play Greek-history-based Civ IV scenarios). The rest of this post is history as I vaguely recall it from some conversations in recent weeks, now with added Civ IV and 300 so probably wrong.

I.

We left off sometime early in Greece’s history (let’s say 450BC), when the Persians were a large and successful military force to the East who had never lost a war. At this time Greece was pretty interesting. The people in Athens and around were a group called something like Iberians, and they had many especially clever people who did things like philosophy and political innovation, of a calibre that gets them remembered today. Greece was a democracy, which I think was unique. 

Sparta (near Athens, to the West) was populated by Spartans, who were terrifying warriors whose main interest in life was being terrifying warriors. Sparta was a very small city relative to others around—it had maybe a few thousand people while other big cities were hundreds of thousands. But everyone was scared of them because each Spartan was such a devastating military asset.

Persia decided to take over Greece, so they sent in a small army, figuring that would be plenty. The Athenians were worried about this, and went to ask the Spartans for help. 

The Spartans agreed that Persia coming to conquer everyone was troubling, and at any other time they would have helped, but they were having an important festival for like a month, so they couldn’t right now. In their defense, work-life balance is hard.

So the other Greeks went and fought off the Persian army themselves. And they won! I think because they had an excellent general or something. But this was pretty surprising to the never-before-defeated Persians. The battle was at Marathon, and when they won, a guy ran as fast as he could back to Athens to give them the good news. He dropped dead from exhaustion upon arrival, because he ran really fast, and Athens was however many miles away a modern marathon is long (26 maybe? —one of those numbers that is vastly bigger than it seems to be possible to run, empirically). For some reason this made people at the time think running that far was a good idea, and so they commemorated his feat by starting the athletic event, the marathon. 

The Persians were not permanently discouraged, and returned with a larger military force. Again it seems the Spartans were busy with the same festival, which was unfortunate since they really liked being great warriors so much, and totally would have thrashed the Persians in a moment if they weren’t already fully booked with all these festivities. 

This time 300 Spartans decided to fight though, and went up North to head off the Persian army, joined by another small army of ‘Thespians’ from a place called Thespius or something. This stand was sort of ridiculous seeming, because the Persian army was really, really big. Probably like tens of thousands of troops. However, as depicted in the movie 300, the Spartans were very manly, and very well trained warriors, and they had very cutting edge military technology—for instance the idea of standing close together with your shields so that your shield defends the people next to you. The Thespians (as a society) were very good actors, and inspiration for the modern word ‘thespian’. As far as I know they were not inspiration for fear in the hearts of their enemies, so while there were more of them than Spartans, they do not seem to have been a main factor in this military action. (Though note that Spartans and Thespians alike are now represented to us by actors, presumably because actors are more convincingly warrior-like than actual warriors, so maybe the Thespians were pretty scary, but everyone just assumed they were especially Spartan-seeming Spartans).

A key fact in the Greek side’s favor was that they were defending a narrow gap. So as long as they didn’t get too tired, it would always be however many people fit face to face in the gap, meeting face to face. Plus however many arrows or whatnot could be hurled over the top of the frontline. The Persians said that the number of arrows would be enough to blot out the sun, to which some Spartan, probably the king, who might have been called Peleponides II or something, famously responded that they would then fight in the shade. 

So, the Spartans did astonishingly well, and killed heaps of Persian soldiers, and were eventually defeated not by being worn down by the massive Persian army, but because a Greek traitor showed the Persians a route around that didn’t involve dealing with Spartans.

The Athenians meanwhile had emptied Athens onto a small nearby island, figuring that they couldn’t beat the Persian army, but they might be able to defeat the Persian navy, given that they had a pretty good navy themselves. So they were going to let the Persians take the mainland, but defend this island, and then maybe work their way back again from there. The Persian army did come down into Athens, though weakened by the 300 Spartans, and then by the whole Spartan military when it was done with the festival. But the Athenian navy won the seas, leaving the Persians in Athens without the water-based supply lines that they relied on, back to most of Persia. So having come so far, Persia had to retreat home, and Athens went back to Athens, and all was more or less ok modulo lots of deaths, and Greece remembered ‘that time we beat the Persians’ with fondness for a long time. 

II.

Greece was happy and successful for about a hundred years, roughly between 450-350BC. 

There were lots of famous philosophers, including what we would now think of as scientists. For instance, Democritus invented atoms. Someone, maybe also Democritus, came up with the notion that at a tiny scale something must be random, which also seems impressive (unless its just that someone believed every random thing possible in the ancient past, and we primarily remember the winners). 

One guy (probably called Herodotus) discovered recording history, and he spent a lot of time carefully talking to various people about what had happened in the past and writing it down. Apparently the distinction between true statements and made up statements implicit in this agenda was novel, and some of his interviewees do not seem to have grasped it well. Some of these histories are very interesting, especially if interpreted as non-fiction.

He wrote about Xerxes trying to cross a narrow sea way up North where it was necessary to let the Persian army across. First Xerxes made a bridge out of boats, and everyone was happily jumping boat to boat, but then the wind moved the boats and out of bridge-alignment, so Xerxes whipped the sea into submission and then they continued. 

He wrote about Darius’ ascent to leader via horse neighing contest, described previously.

He wrote about some other things I forget. Oh, one was probably the fate of King Croesus. This story took place earlier, before Persia attacked Greece. Croesus was extremely rich. I think he was the son of King Midas, who at much personal cost had discovered how to turn all kinds of things into gold. Or possibly Croesus had a good economy for some other reason. Anyway, he was worried about the Persians, who were getting to be a big empire to his East, and he had a bunch of money, so like a good rationalist he set out to determine whether any of the oracles around were really oracular. To do this, he did the weirdest thing he could think of —some series of wrapping disgusting things in other things and boiling them in things and eating it. Let’s say he took the heart of a lamb and wrapped it in pig skin and then boiled it and sliced it and wrapped the slices in leaves and then ate the pieces. And then he went to the oracles in turn, and gave them some money, and said “guess what I just did?” Most of them got it wrong, but the Oracle of Delphi was like “you took the heart of a lamb, and wrapped it in pig skin…”, so he gave her money and asked what would happen if he went to war with the Persians. She said that if he went to war, he would destroy a great empire. He hadn’t heard about cryptic prophesies with double meanings yet, because he was in possibly the first story about them, so he went to war, and this destroyed his great empire. The end.

Socrates was another still-famous philosopher from that time in Greece. His fame was more for his style of clarifying questions than any particular discovery, so he was more like a modern philosopher than a scientist. His student Plato famously wrote a lot about Socrates, making him very much like a modern philosopher. He also wrote about what an ideal republic would be like, in a book that is still well known, though I think mostly famous for being a very early work of political philosophy, rather than for not embodying terrible ideas for how to run a country. His student Aristotle was famous for all sorts of philosophy and science. 

Toward the end of Greece’s golden age, Macedonia (to the North of Athens and Sparta) controlled a lot of Greece, under the reign of Philip. Philip hired Aristotle to teach his son, Alexander. When Alexander became leader, he decided to take over Persia in revenge for the earlier attacks. Persia was still doing well enough that this was an insane plan. But in an astonishing turn of events ascribed sometimes to Alexander’s training in science and philosophy and reason, and sometimes to his biological father being a major god who his extremely creepy mother had an affair with one time, he succeeded in conquering everything as far as India in about a decade. India was probably unappealing because it had elephants and such in it, and he had had about enough anyway. He went back to somewhere near Egypt, and had some other plans (maybe to have a thriving society of reason and peace?) but died of malaria within a decade.

There were some endearing stories about Alexander the Great, during his life. One time a philosopher studying astronomy told him that there were other worlds out in the stars, and he sat down and cried. When asked why, he said that there were so many worlds out there and he hadn’t even conquered one.

He met another philosopher called Diogenes the cynic, who was an early thinker on social status, and had decided to live without any. Appreciating the breadth of status’ infiltration into life, Diogenes forwent all sorts of things that are marks of status, such as sobriety and hygiene. Alexander approached him in the gutter one day with great respect, said he really liked his work, and if he wasn’t busy with being Alexander the Great, he would like to do what Diogenes was doing. Diogenes said no he wouldn’t, or he would do it now. Alexander was like ‘yeah, good point’. 

(Incidentally, to the modern eye this looks like Diogenes had discovered countersignaling. Our best understanding probably agrees with Diogenes: not being a drunkard covered in your own urine is often for status. However, if a person is sufficiently high status that they are unlikely to be considered low status even when pissed on and pissed—for instance because they are also a renowned philosopher—then they can actually mark themselves as higher status by conspicuously setting out to look low status and failing. 

After Alexander the Great died, his empire was divided between four generals, but none of them were especially great, so they didn’t prosper that much. One of them was called Ptolmy, and he was a forebear of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt later. 

III.

That was around 350 BC. Around that time, before about 200BC, the Roman Empire was getting to be a big thing, centered around Rome in Italy. There is a myth about how Rome was founded that involve Romulus and Remus setting out to start a new great city, then having a fight about what to call it, and then Romulus killing Remus, and that is why we have Rome rather than Reme. This was before humanity had discovered ‘picking your battles’. 

Rome was a democracy early on. I’m not sure how this related to Athens being a democracy. There were a bunch of wars, probably just with everyone around the edges. At some point young general Julius Caesar and another more experienced general who had made his money from the first fire department, and another rich guy teamed up to do some military conquest, going off in different directions with a bunch of Roman military. Caesar took Gaul—roughly the region of modern France—which proved him more impressive than expected. He also took lots of other things, like the British Isles, which belonged to the Angles and the Saxons. The rich guy died. I can’t remember what the other general did, except after a while worried that Julius Caesar might take over Rome. Generals weren’t allowed to bring their armies into Rome for this reason. Caesar did, and took it over. 

The other Roman Senators promptly murdered Caesar, including his friend Brutus (depending on how you want to assign blame for stabbing people who are already thoroughly stabbed). This prompted Caesar to say ‘et tu Brutus?’, which is for some reason really famous.

In spite of Caesar’s murder, the democracy was over for a bit, because it was unclear whether it should go back to the democracy or to the next in line after Caesar, and the latter won. There were some other Caesars, such as Augustus Caesar. There some other Emperors, such as Nero (who was bad and somehow caused Rome to burn) and Caligula (who went crazy and married a horse) and Claudius (who was a nerd and one of the few people in this part of the story not intent on killing everyone around).

At some point Rome had some war with the Carthaginians, who lived across the sea in much of Northern Africa. The Carthaginians were descended from the Phoenicians, who had lived somewhere near Lebanon a thousand years or so earlier, and invented the first alphabet. Usually the war happened across the sea, but a Carthaginian general called Hannibal took a whole lot of Elephants all the way around through Spain and Europe to attack from the North. I remember that this caused surprise, but I forget whether it had further geopolitical implications.

In around 400AD, the climate was cooler and many smaller groups of people living in the Northern parts of Europe tried to move South-Westish to improve their situation. These people spoke strange languages, so their speech was summarized as ‘bar bar’, which was the Roman equivalent of ‘bla bla bla’. So they were called ‘barbarians’. If we had been there, we might have called them ‘blablarians’. 

Gotland is a lovely island in Sweden, that was the original home of the Goths, one successful group of barbarians. They moved to the South and took a chunk of central Europe—roughly Germany. They separated into the Ostrogoths (East Goths) and the Vizigoths (West Goths) and took more things in their respective directions. 

Some other barbarians were the Vandals, who modern vandalism is named after. There were also the Gauls, and the Angles and the Saxons, though I’m not sure how they fared after Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and Britain. And possibly the Celts were considered barbarians. 

The Western part of the Roman Empire including Rome was taken over by barbarians in the 400s and 500s. Constantine was was the last Rome-based Roman emperor. He moved the capital to the Eastern city of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. Constantinople stood at the point where two land masses nearly touch, dividing two seas (The Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea). So every journey by land or water was funneled through this one point. It was a naturally powerful city. The Empire came to be known as the Byzantine Empire, or as the Eastern Roman Empire, and lasted for another thousand years or so, centered in Constantinople. 

[LISTEN]

1. Dans la brume - César Cui [The Orphanage of Keramzin]
2. Berceuse “Dors petet gars” - César Cui [Alina Starkov]
3
. Kastchei’s Enchanted Garden - Stravinski [The Darkling]
4.
In The Steppes of Central Asia - Borodin [Malyen Oretsev]
5. Dance of the Oprichniki - Prokofiev [The Grisha]
6. Night on Bald Mountain - Mussorgsky [The Unsea]
7.
The Firebird: Infernal Dance of All Kasthchei Subjects - Stravinski [Volcra]
8. The Swan - Prokofiev [The Sun Summoner]
9. March of the Young Ivan - Prokofiev [The Little Palace]
10.
Waltz of the Flowers - Tchaikovsky [The Grand Palace]
11.
The Temptress - Prokofiev [Genya]
12. String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op 122: Elegie - Shostakovich [Baghra]
13.
Swan Lake Op. 20 Scene Moderato - Tchaikovsky [The Morozova Stag]
14.
Jazz Suite No.1 Foxtrot - Shostakovich [Sturmhold]
15.
Jazz Suite No.2 Waltz II - Shostakovich [Nikolai Lantsov]
16.
Korol’ Lir: Overture - Balakirev [The Sea Whip]
17.
Uvertyura na temi tryokh russkikh pesen - Balakirev [The Firebird]
18.
Danila In Search of the Flower - Prokofiev [Heartrenders]
19. String Quartet No.2 in D: Notturno - Borodin [Healers]
20.
Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky-Korsakov [Squallers]
21.
The Snow Maiden Introduction - Rimsky-Korsakov [Tidemakers]
22.
The Holy Fool - Prokofiev [Inferni]
23.
The Nutcracker: March - Tchaikovsky [Durast]
24.
Dance of the Swans: Allegro - Tchaikovsky [Alkemi]
25. The Sleeping Beauty Waltz - Tchaikovsky [Tailors]
26. The Lark - Glinka [Sankt Ilya]
27.
Vocalise Op 34, No 14 - Rachmaninoff [Aleksander Morozova]

Package Deal

Seth Clearwater imagine requested by casismyguardianangel! “Could I get Seth/Imprint!Reader please? They’re hanging out & Seth just starts tickling her & after a while he kisses her, & just when they start getting into it the pack comes in & starts teasing him that he can’t leave her alone? Love the blog!” Hope you like it!

It was difficult to be beside Seth and feel the full weight of the clouds looming overhead; he was the human incarnation of sunlight, of fire. His warmth radiated through his palms and over your skin like smooth stones warmed by the afternoon’s heat, his smile tore through the overcast skies above, banishing the oncoming rain… if only for a little while. His skin was drenched in golden light as the sun set over the silvery waters, bursting forth through the clouds as it descended over the sea. The storming breeze blew the easy scent of salt over your cheeks in course waves, stirring strands of hair about your face, tendrils brushing against Seth’s exposed shoulder, his eyes catching yours at the contact. He was practically glowing beneath the sun’s shimmering light, his eyes sparkling with mischievous humour as he caught a straying strand of hair between his index finger and thumb. He reached behind your ear, tucking the hair back into place, his lips pressing gently to your cheek. What little gooseflesh you had accumulated from the passing breeze was banished by Seth’s delectable heat, his kiss spreading through to your fingertips and toes. To him, it could have been the silliest, flimsiest, farthest from concrete gesture in the world, but to you… to you, it was everything. You sighed, resting your head against his shoulder, his arm winding around your waist in response. Easy.

It was simple being with Seth, especially after he’d decided to clue you in on why he suddenly spent his limited free-time walking beside you like a hulking shadow. Before, he was merely a force of childish joy, ever-present in your life, always eager and more than willing to brighten your day. You had your arguments and your reconciliations, your disagreements and fervent like-mindedness, but he was never… he was never this intense. After he phased, once his hair had been shorn and his temperature rose… well, once he came bouncing back to brighten your day, his world and yours became perfectly aligned. It was as if he was made to be your protector. His presence was limited now, what with his duties to the pack interfering with how frequently he could superglue himself to your hip, but what little time he spent bipedal, he spent with you. He was a presence glowing like embers, the flames of his companionship lapping around you gloriously. Just today, he’d slipped away from his rounds long enough to knock on your door and drag you down to First Beach, all but throwing you over his shoulder (it’s not like the weight of another human was much of a strain for him anymore, he made that very clear) as you struggled to keep up with his excited pace. He oftentimes forgot you were only human. He lead you to the bluffs overlooking the pebbles leading up to the shoreline, patting a relatively reed-free plot of sandy earth, beckoning you to join him. Your feet dangled over the ledge, your heels occasionally touching back against the wall of sand that held you over the shore.

With his arm around you, you’d never felt more secure. The bluffs could have given way and dumped you both onto the stones below, but somehow you knew Seth would keep you grounded. If you were to fall, you wouldn’t suffer a single scratch. That was in the contract, you supposed, when it came to imprinting. Eternal best friend, cheerful companion, shoulder to lean on when the world threatened to swallow you… Seth wouldn’t let anything hurt you, no questions or doubts in your mind. Even now, he sheltered you from the wind, his body (now heavily muscled) shielding yours from the worst of the off-sea breeze as it whipped around his side of the sandy hill. Your cheek burned still with the borrowed heat of Seth’s quick kiss, your skin blazing crimson from the contact. He’d never been one to shy away from the more intimate side of friendship, be it a lingering embrace, holding hands as you climbed over the forest’s carnage left after a storm, or even stealing a kiss on the cheek when he thought you were in a good enough mood not to chase him down for making the attempt. Lately, though, his every action seemed heavier, as if there was a weight to his movements that he fought to conceal from you. Protector or not, he maintained his mannerisms, but his change in structure had come paired with a noticeable difference. It wasn’t just in the way he moved, his eagerness to see you… it was in his hand as it clasped your waist, his head as it tilted towards yours on his shoulder, and it was in his kiss. It wasn’t the mischievous sort of peck he used to snag when the two of you were on the edge of an argument. It was far more.

“Y/n? You still alive in there?” Seth chuckled, waving his unoccupied hand before your face, his movement blocking out the sun in bursts of darkness and blinding light. When you lifted your face, disoriented, his laughter amplified. “You went glassy behind the eyes for a second. Thought I lost you,” he jested, his smile widening when you heaved your weight through his body, knocking him off-balance for a mere second. You knew he was humouring you, but it was satisfying nonetheless. “There she is,” he mumbled, his voice low on the wind and punctuated with softened laughter. “Just checking.” You rolled your eyes, leaning into his side much gentler this time around, allowing him to support your weight, his arm snaking back around your waist. You snuggled closer to him, inhaling the sweet scent of saltwater and cedar as it lifted from his skin, your eyes closing with contentment.

“I’m allowed to zone out for a while, Seth. Doesn’t mean I’m never coming back, just that my attention is somewhere else.” Seth huffed a sigh, his breath short and tainted by humour. You smiled at his dramatized reaction to your comment, the joking injury in his movement pulling your lips up at the corners. You buried your smile in the smooth expanse of his shoulder, your lips brushing against the warmth of his skin. He exhaled once more, shifting his weight until he could manage to clasp both of his hands around your waist, pulling you into his side.

“Never thought I’d have to fight with a beach for your attention,” he whispered, his voice springy with playfulness. You prepared your retort, but before you could speak, Seth was turning into you, abandoning the beauty of the sunset to focus on your face, his hands now clasped around your back. It was not uncomfortable, being close to him, but there was a warmth radiating from his eyes that had your nerves buzzing with anticipation. He sucked the air through his teeth, nodding his head in what appeared to be acceptance, his eyes closing as if wounded by his situation before they snapped open, locking on yours. “I’ll take the challenge.” He gave you but a second’s notice before he pounced, his hands spreading to either side of your body, finding purchase on your waist and over your ribs, activating your pressure points and fluttering over the skin his movement exposed. Your initial shriek of surprise soon melted into laughter as Seth’s hands tickled over your body, his devilish grin consuming your view, his eyes sparkling as your giggles filtered through the air. You collapsed in on yourself, your spine pressing into the stiffness of the reeds as you fought to defend your abdomen from Seth’s ruthless attacks. Your knees pressed upward to divide your bodies, but Seth quickly shifted his hips and blocked your last line of defense, his torso curling over yours as his hands moved like feathers over your exposed skin. You twisted and contorted to get away from him, your eyes watering from the force of your laughter, his own soon joining with yours, forming a joyful melody in the space above your heads.

His hands slowed then, smoothing over your waist before falling to the sun-baked grasses around you, your body heaving beneath him form the exertion of your defense. You caught your breath slowly, inhaling in quick bursts as you recovered. A single tear broke from the outermost corner of your eye to fall towards your temple. Seth’s expression shifted, his brow furrowing slightly as the sandy pad of his thumb lifted to your face, swiping the tear from its track, his palm molding to your cheek within the same heartbeat. Your cheeks glowed beneath him, both from your previous activity as well as from the heat building in your tightening chest. You watched Seth’s eyes darken as you’d never seen them before, a resolution setting like concrete somewhere far behind his irises. His tongue darted over his lips, his eyes shifting to stare down at your own, and he bent his face to yours. His lips pressed softly to your mouth, your world fuzzing at the edges before you had the sense to close your eyes. He enveloped you in warmth, his torso bending to meet yours as the combination of his lips and hands pulled your body from the earth. His hands secured you to his chest, your arms winding around his neck, your fingers trailing over the newly shorn hair at the back of his head. He broke from you then, his eyes glowing warmly, his lips parting over a victorious smile. You laughed aloud, your heart beating through the bones holding it in your chest, your hand smoothing over the wide plane of his cheekbone.

“Where did that come from?” you inquired, your voice breathy. Seth barely moved, save for the expansion of his already full-to-bursting joyful smile.

“Comes with the package,” he whispered, his lips already set to reunite with yours. Your hands cupped his cheeks, angling his face to mold to your own, his teeth nipping along your bottom lip as you clung to each other, heat flooding your brain as the sunlight flashed on the backdrop of your eyelids. You twisted in his arms, your lips parting from his to press to the curve of his jaw, his hands clenching as they roamed your back, his lips chasing yours until you were together once more. Even as absorbed as you were within Seth’s embrace, you couldn’t ignore the sound of yelling behind you. You pulled from his hold on you, turning around to address the shouting only to find the majority of the pack bursting from the edge of the forest, their mouths upturned at the sight of their brother locked at the lips with his imprint.

“Jesus, Seth, let the poor girl breathe,” Jared chuckled, his eyes rolling as Seth ran his hands through his hair, his eyes screaming apologies to yours.

“Relax, he’ll learn soon enough. You’ve gotta come up for air every now and then. Just like swimming,” Paul added, jogging closer to clap Seth on the back, winking in your direction. “Proud of you, little man.” Seth huffed at his pack-mate’s jokes, his eyes expectant on Jacob as he approached. He merely gave him a pat on the shoulder, noticeably gentler, averting his eyes as he continued on his way. They were gone as quickly as they had come, but they’d done their damage to the scene. Seth met your eyes with a sheepish embarrassment that lifted the laughter from your chest, your hand running through the short strands of his hair. He joined you, allowing you to climb into his lap and rest against his chest, your eyes on the last rays of sun as they dove beneath the surface of the ocean, his arms spreading warmth along your back. You rested, surrounded by fire and salt and cedar, until the world was no longer light.

Steven Universe Quick Asks 01

I have a new format I want to try. Most of my answers to asks are usually long format, but it does take me a while to get to them. @whoneedsausername2016​​ started this shotgun-answer format by assuring me they were fine with short answers. There are questions that I definitely would like to answer, and there’s a little less pressure to answer them in entire posts when there’s more of them at a time. 

It’s a good format for questions that are a little lighter or more related to head canons. Also, for points of clarification and speculation. I’m not sure how many would be interested in this format, but I had a lot of fun doing it, so here’s the first set of answers from the Q&A format, with questions from @whoneedsausername2016​. I found these questions interesting and worth sharing and was granted permission to post them :)

1. Did Jasper think it was honourable to capture the corrupted gems and use them as her own army, with the thought that she would be giving them another chance to serve the Diamonds?

Answer: Personally, I don’t think so. When she was talking about the corrupted gems, she was also talking about how Homeworld had a system and an order that needed to be upheld. That these gems were already “rejected” at that point meant, at least from her perspective, there was no such thing as redemption. After all, for Jasper, what mattered was what you are, not what you can be. That’s why she’s so hard on Amethyst. To Jasper, there’s no way someone like Amethyst could ever meet Homeworld standards. Being corrupted means that the gems can no longer be the quartzes they’re supposed to be. For Jasper, it’s more an inability to see how people can be strong in different ways, or that the Homeworld standard doesn’t have to be the only standard. As such, getting the corrupted gems and using them as her beast army was more a way to reaffirm that these gems couldn’t have the same level of “respect” afforded to them as uncorrupted gems. She wasn’t really looking at them as fellow quartzes in the first place, rather she saw them as former quartzes. They were just steps in Jasper’s plan to take down the Crystal Gems. In other words, she no longer recognized them as gems, as individuals.

2. Why wasn’t Jasper hydrophobic after the whole Malachite incident?

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