seeking solitude

TAROT CHEAT SHEET #1

MAJOR ARCANA

0. THE FOOL | blank slate, beginning, innocence
®* | reckless, negligence, unaware of consequences
1. THE MAGICIAN | willpower, manifestation of desires
® | trickery, illusions, lies, out of touch w/ truth
2. THE HIGH PRIESTESS | intuition, inner voice
® | repressed/unheard inner voice
3. THE EMPRESS | mother figure, nurture, earth/nature
® | smothering, dependence, needing to let go
4. THE EMPEROR | authority, structure, control, father figure
® | tyranny, too much control
5. THE HIEROPHANT | tradition, conformity, morality
® | rebellion, subversiveness, divergence
6. THE LOVERS | union, duality, choice, harmony
® | disharmony, loss of balance
7. THE CHARIOT | self-control & willpower leading to victory
® | loss of control, lack of direction
8. STRENGTH | bravery, inner understanding that radiates power
® | self-doubt, insecurity, weakness
9. THE HERMIT | solitude, contemplation, seeking inner truth
® | loneliness, isolation, disconnect w/ fellow humans
10. WHEEL OF FORTUNE | change, cycles, inevitability
® | bad luck, helplessness, series of bad events
11. JUSTICE | cause & effect, karmic retribution
® | unpunished misbehavior, unfair, turning a blind eye
12. THE HANGED MAN | willing sacrifice, release of control
® | stalling, needless sacrifice, waiting to no avail
13. DEATH | end, cyclical closure, metamorphosis
® | fear of change, stagnation, limbo, holding on
14. TEMPERANCE | moderation, balance, middle path
® | extremes, excess, lack of balance
15. THE DEVIL | materialism, destructive patterns, excess
® | freedom, release, restoring control
16. THE TOWER | sudden disaster, upheaval, collapse
® | delaying inevitable disaster, avoiding suffering that could lead to growth
17. THE STAR | hope, faith, guidance
® | faithlessness, lack of guidance, negative thoughts
18. THE MOON | unconscious, intuition, illusions, dreams
® | confusion, misinterpretation
19. THE SUN | success, clarity, positivity, conscious
® | negativity, depression, sadness, pessimism
20. JUDGEMENT | reckoning, honest evaluation of oneself
® | lack of self-awareness, self-loathing
21. THE WORLD | completion, wholeness, fulfillment
® | incompletion, no closure, nearing end of journey but something is missing

*® = reverse card meaning*® = reverse card meaning

Tarot Cheat Sheet #1 - Major Arcana

Tarot Cheat Sheet #2 - Wands

Tarot Cheat Sheet #3 - Cups

Tarot Cheat Sheet #4 - Swords

Tarot Cheat Sheet #5 - Pentacles

Sea Witchery: a Brief Overview

Originally posted by mermaids-luv

At the request of so many followers, I have decided to mock up a little bit of information on Sea Magick and Sea Witchery.  This is just a brief overview to give you some information when wanting to research or begin working with the ocean, storms, the tides, and the many creatures associated with the sea. 

However, I will caution you that the many sea creatures (especially the Merfolk) are not very forgiving creatures, thus they can be pretty tough to handle for beginner, baby witches.  It takes an experience sea hag to get them to cooperate properly, so keep this in mind when studying them.

Once again, this is a brief overview and introduction to my craft and path.  if you have any questions, you can direct them to me via PM or ASK.

Let’s get started!

WHAT IS A SEA WITCH?

Traditionally, sea witches are witches who appear among sailors or others involved in the seafaring trade. Sea witches use witchcraft related to the moon, tides, and the weather, and are believed to have complete control over the seas. Many sailors fell prey to the sea witches curse on ships and were finally delivered to the one who rules all.  In some folklore, sea witches are described as phantoms, ghosts,or in the form of a mermaid. These creatures would then have the power to control the fates of ships and seamen.

As the name implies, sea witches are believed to be able to control many aspects of nature relating to water, most commonly the ocean or sea. However, in more modern times, sea witches can also practice witchcraft on or near any source of water: lakes, rivers, bath tubs, or even simply a bowl of salt water.

In addition to their powers over water, sea witches could often control the wind. A common feature of many tales was a rope tied into three knots, which witches often sold to sailors to aid them on a voyage. Pulling the first knot could yield a gentle, southeasterly wind, while pulling two could generate a strong northerly wind.

Sea witches often improvise on what they have, rather than making purchases from a store or from another person. Common tools include clam, scallop, or oyster shells in place of bowls or cauldrons. Other items include seaweed, fishing net, shells, sea grass, driftwood, pieces of sea glass, and even sand.

Other types of titles they use are: sirens, water witches, storm witches, and sea hags.

DO SEA WITCHES HAVE CERTAIN PERSONALITY TRAITS?

Eh, there isn’t really a specific type of person the sea calls to, however I have met many sea witches that would be described as walking contradictions.  Much like the sea, we can be quite flexible, but also forceful.  Moods tend to fluctuate with the tides and lunar cycle.  Hags both enjoy and love music and poetry; are quite expressive with their emotions, but also don’t easily award entry into their hearts; and can easily win the attention of a crowd, but then seek solitude in the comfort of their own homes.  You would be hard-pressed to find a stagnant sea witch–they’ll always be on the move, searching and discovering.  However, be warned: if you fall in love with one you must understand that a sea hag’s heart belongs to the Sea first and foremost, forever and always, and it calls to them over the span of lifetimes.

WHERE DOES THEIR POWER COME FROM?

For the most part, sea witches draw their power directly from the source: the Ocean.  You’ll find that many of them, even landlocked sea hags, have trinkets from the shore and enjoy baths, storms, and the moonlight.  Of course, there are many different kinds of sea witches all over the world and it really just depends on what seafaring folk culture they subscribe to that determines their power source.

DO SEA WITCHES HAVE SPECIFIC DEITIES THEY WORSHIP?

I am not even lying–there are HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of water and sea deities that sea witches call upon for aid and worship.  Probably the most popular would be Poseidon, Neptune, Lir, Gong-Gong, Hapi, Sobek,  Agwé, Aegaeon, Delphin, the Gorgons, Samundra, Pariacaca, Watatsumi, Rongomai, Njord, Nix, and even Davey Jones.

One of the beauties of being a sea witch is that you can call on many ancient and powerful deities to aid you in your craft.  However, I do advise that you make sure that these deities do not come from a culture/religion/belief system that is closed.  You can check out a full list of water/sea/storm deities here.

WHAT ARE SOME TOOLS SEA WITCHES USE?

*TAKES A DEEP BREATH*

Water (salt, fresh, or storm), sand, sea shells and cockles, sea glass, driftwood, ship wood, compasses, maps, mirrors, bowls and chalices, sea weed, sea grass, fish and fish bones, coral, telescopes, sand dollars, pearls, bath salts/bombs/goodies, sea salt, linen, umbrellas and mops, windchimes, ropes, weather vanes, and blood are just some of the few tools we use in our practice.

TELL US ABOUT MERMAIDS!

The Mer or Merfolk are probably one of the more popular topics when it comes to sea witchery.  I get questions all the time like “DO YOU TALK TO MERMAIDS?” or “HOW CAN I GET A MERMAID TO BEFRIEND ME?” or “AREN’T MERMAIDS JUST THE COOLEST?”

The Merfolk are an integral part of sea witch culture, but they aren’t the end all be all when it comes to water spirits/fae/demons/entities.  There are so many to work with and all have interesting backstories.  But let’s talk about the Merfolk for a moment…

Depending to what you school you subscribe to, the Merfolk (also known as mermaids) could be fae, demon, or simply water spirits.  Some believe that  the Merfolk are a species of kithain (also known as changeling or fae.) Ancient and unknowable, the Merfolk pose something of a problem to both fae and human alike. The arrogance of the mer is tempered only by their truly alien natures.  The Merfolk claim that they are the sole legacy of the Tuatha De Danann, the oldest fae on Earth, dreamed long before any human ever set foot on land. When curious people ask how this could be, the merfolk are disconcertingly vague and ambiguous.

As I have stated before on the blog, the Merfolk are certainly an odd lot. The product of a totally alien mindset, the mer are simultaneously deadly, serious and playful, highly ritualized and completely free spirited, repressed and yet libidinous as a drunken prom date. The first thing one will notice about a mer is his incredible arrogance. Of course, as far as they are concerned, they have every right to be arrogant. After all, in their minds, they do rule the world.

Other mythologies tell us that mermaids are the bane of seamen.  These half-fish, half-women lured countless sailors to their deaths. Breathtakingly beautiful humans from their torso-upwards, their lower bodies where those of fish, complete with scales. Men find their songs irresistible and follow them willingly into the sea. Mermaids can be caught and held in exchange for the wishes they grant. The males of the species, Mermen, are regarded as vicious creatures who raised storms for the purpose of sinking men’s ships.  Occasionally they are successfully courted by human men. The offspring of such pairings are often granted great powers in healing by their mothers.

In short, mermaids are extremely beautiful, temperamental, powerful, and dangerous.  They are not to be confused with Sirens, either, and find contempt at the very accusation.  I will probably go into more detail about Merfolk magic in a different post.

WHAT ARE OTHER WATER SPIRITS THAT WE CAN WORK WITH?

Again, like the deities, there are so many different kinds of water spirits and this topic in of itself could be an entire article.  So, here is a brief list and some traits about my favorites…

SIRENS

In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on some small islands called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the “flowery” island of Anthemoessa was somewhere tucked in a cape, with rocky shores and cliffsides.

Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women’s heads, bird feathers and scaly feet. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments, especially harps.

UNDINES

These are the elemental spirits of water. Their magic centers upon this element, whose course and function they can control. Undines exist within the water itself and cannot be seen with normal human vision. Their homes are typically within the coral caves in lakes or upon the banks of rivers, though smaller undines may choose to live under lily pads. Their appearance is similar to human beings in most cases, with the exception of those living in smaller streams or ponds. Undine clothing is shimmery, reflecting all the colors of water though green is typically the predominant color.Every body of water is home to undines, from ocean waves, to rocky pools, to marshlands, to rivers, to lakes and ponds. Even waterfalls and fountains have an undine living in their midst.

SELKIES

The shapeshifting selkies, who are also known as silkies or roane (Gaelic for seal), occupy the seas surrounding the Orkney and Shetland isles. The exact nature of their undersea world is uncertain, though some believe it to be encased in giant air bubbles. Their true forms are those of faeries or humans, though they take the form of large seals when traveling the through the oceans. In particular: great seals and grey seals are said to take human forms. Older tales tell that selkies are only able to take on human forms on certain nights of the year, such as Midsummer’s Eve or All Hallows.

Occasionally they encounter humankind, sometimes becoming their mates. A human male may take a selkie female as his wife if he finds her seal skin on the beach and hides it from her. In the end she always recovers the skin and returns to the sea, though she may return occasionally to watch over her human family from the safety of the waves.

A human woman may bear the child of a selkie male if she weeps seven tears or seven drops of blood in the nighttime sea. Such relationships are rarely lasting. Seven years hence, the selkie would return for his child, offering the mother a fee for nursing her own babe.

BEANSIDHE/BANSHEE

One of the most dreaded and best known of the Irish faeries is the Banshee, properly named the Beansidhe literally, “woman fairy.” The Irish have many names for her (perhaps they feared invocation of her true name may invoke her presence?) They included: Washer of the Shrouds, Washer at the Banks, Washer at the Ford and the Little Washer of Sorrow. The Scottish called her Cointeach, literally “one who keens.” To the cornish she was Cyhiraeth and to the Welsh either Cyoerraeth or Gwrach y Rhibyn, which translates as “Hag of the Dribble” (to the Welsh she sometimes appear as a male). In Brittany her name is Eur-Cunnere Noe.

The Beansidhe is an extremely beautiful faery, possessing long, flowing hair, red eyes (due to continuous weeping) and light complexions. They typically donn green dresses with gray cloaks. Their wailing foretells of a death nearby, though it never causes such a death (which is why they are wrongly feared.) 

As her other names might suggest, she frequently appears as a washerwoman at the banks of streams. In these cases, she is called the Bean Nighe (pronounced “ben-neeyah”). The clothing she washed takes different forms depending upon the legend. Sometimes it is burial shrouds, others it is the bloodstained clothing of those who will soon die. This particular version of the Bean Sidhe is Scottish in origin and unlike the Irish version, she is extremely ugly, sometimes described as having a single nostril, one large buck tooth, webbed feet and extremely long breasts, which she must throw over her shoulders to prevent them getting in the way of her washing . Her long stringy hair is partially covered with a hood and a white gown or shroud is her main wardrobe. The skin of the Beansidhe is often wet and slimy as if she had just been pulled from a moss covered lake. They are rumored to be the ghosts of women who died in childbirth and will continue to wash until the day they should have died. The keening music of Irish wakes, called caoine, is said to have been derived from the wails of the Beansidhe.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS?

The Sea giveth and the Sea taketh away.  The sea is both mother and reaper, passionate and cold, serene and turbulent, loving and cruel, generous and vicious.  And if you meet a sea witch, you’ll know this to be true:

Neither chains of steel, nor chains of love, can keep her from the Sea.

How to Master a Stellium

The key to master a stellium is to over-correct until you’re comfortable with expressing traits opposite of what comes to you naturally. 

If you’re terrified of being alone, you should spend as much time by yourself as possible. If you find it natural to put yourself first, you should try prioritizing other people as much as possible. If you hate leaving your house, you really should get out more. 

Think of a scale weighted heavily on one side. You have to consciously, painstakingly add mass to the other end- hypothetical mass equivalent to that of celestial bodies- to find some semblance of balance. 

1st house: focus on other people, develop relationships, practice selflessness and empathy, look at the world from someone else’s eyes, look at other people as you would look at yourself, try hiding your emotions and intentions

2nd house: dig deeper, practice spirituality, detach from the world and your possessions as much as possible, rebel against tradition, practice generosity, don’t indulge vanity

3rd house: hold your tongue, listen, speak as little as possible, treat your siblings well, objectively revise your writing, don’t place excessive importance on grades

4th house: leave home, break from your family, detach from your emotions, acknowledge and dismiss your paranoid insecurities, be as direct as possible

5th house: shine the spotlight on other people, do community service and volunteer work, find a group of friends, avoid casual dating/sex, manage your ego and desire for attention

6th house: focus on the spiritual and subconscious, break your routine, prioritize your soul over your body, break rules, try drugs, avoid judging people, be more impulsive, get your nerves under control

7th house: seek solitude, be as independent as possible, put yourself first, practice selfishness, ignore others’ opinions, embrace your flaws, befriend your enemies

8th house: approach life practically, practice fiscal responsibility, avoid passion/jealousy, control obsessive tendencies, be careful when dealing with the occult/supernatural

9th house: spend more time at home, avoid drinking, gambling, and superficial friendships, try to be more responsible, practice thinking logically instead of philosophically, be careful when dealing with religion

10th house: develop hobbies and friendships, spend more time with family, stop caring so much about your reputation, aim to please yourself and do what you want rather than trying to prove something to the world

11th house: develop individuality, don’t let tie your identity to groups, think for yourself, don’t do things just because “it’s the norm,” spend less time on social media, stop trying so hard to fit in

12th house: stay grounded, do menial chores, take care of your body, make a conscious effort to eat healthy, shower daily, and exercise, infuse logical observation with emotional intuition 

Medieval porpoise 'grave' on Channel island puzzles archaeologists

Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.

The team believe the marine animal found on the island of Chapelle Dom Hue, off the west coast of Guernsey, was buried in the 14th century.

When they first spotted the carefully cut plot they were convinced it was a grave and would hold human remains, but they were taken aback when they dug further and unearthed the skull and other body parts of a porpoise.

Quite why the porpoise was buried so carefully on the island, which is thought to have been used by monks seeking solitude, is a mystery. 

Porpoises were eaten in medieval times but it would have been easier to dispose of the remains in the sea, which is only 10 metres from the site. Read more.

The only drawback about being down here in the rolling hills of neverland living out my days like I’m the level-headed female lead in a victorian period drama seeking solitude on the rainy moor (truly, my ideal lifestyle) is not having Osiris with me. I drew this little sketch of him to fill the temporary void. 
(graphite and charcoal pencil on toned tan sketch paper)

Self-Care Guide & Helpful Tips for INTJ “The Mastermind”

Functions: Ni-Te-Fi-Se

Strengths

  • Quick, imaginative and strategic mind
  • High self-confidence
  • Independent & decisive
  • Hard-working & determined
  • Open-minded
  • Jack-of-all-Trades

Weaknesses

  • Arrogant
  • Judgmental
  • Overly analytical
  • Loathe highly structured environments
  • Clueless in romance

Turn-on = Uniqueness

Turn-off = Small-mindedness

What stresses INTJ out

  • Being in an environment that doesn’t appreciate their skills, visions, or ideas.
  • Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
  • Too much noise or sensory input.
  • Working with those they see as lazy, incompetent, or ignorant.
  • Having to pay attention to too many details at once.
  • Being in unfamiliar environments.
  • Having their well-settled plans disrupted.
  • Too much focus on the here-and-now.
  • Not being able to use their intuition to envision the future.

How to help an INTJ experiencing stress

  • Give them space, and time alone to process their thoughts and feelings.
  • Reduce sensory stimulation like noise, TV, radio, or bright lights.
  • Let them express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Understand that they may be irrational.
  • Don’t give them advice. This will only make them feel worse.
  • Give them a break from responsibilities.
  • Encourage them to get enough sleep at night.
  • Help them lighten their schedule, or cancel unnecessary activities.
  • After some time of solitude, encourage them to get a change of scenery by going outdoors.


How INTJ handle Grief

  • Need to be left alone to grieve
  • Writing and drawing are good for processing the pain

How INTJ handle Guilt

  • Accept their mistakes
  • Learn and improve for the future

What INTJ are like when Sad

  • Apathetic towards things they usually love
  • Seek solitude in their room

What INTJ need after a Bad Day

  • A good book to read and the day to themselves to re-charge

What INTJ do when Angry

  • Decides the person they’re mad at is incompetent and ices them out.

What INTJ Should do Instead

  • Let the other person know that they’ve upset them but that they’d like to hear their side of the situation and to determine a solution to the conflict.

What INTJ Struggle with

  • Talking to people they dislike

What INTJ are Hard on themselves for…

  • Not feeling like they’ve done enough
  • Need for being up-to-date with EVERYTHING

INTJ’s Purpose in Life is

  • Be objective in a sea of subjectivity

What INTJ need to know

  • Not everything in this world has a logical answer. It is okay to accept emotion without logic.

What INTJ should never forget

  • You help us understand things that we otherwise could not and we appreciate you for your unique intellect. We also appreciate your helpful advice, which seems to lend a     unique perspective.

Sometimes things are great! Sometimes… they’re really, really not. This is my personal plan for fixing everything when I don’t know what to do, and I thought other people might find it helpful. If you identify with this sentiment, but don’t think this is the right way for you to work on the problems you’re facing, that’s totally fine, and sometimes these aren’t things to work through by yourself.

This is what works for me, but really consider what your goals are and consider this as less of a how-to and more of possible framework to figure out where you want to go. A lot of this also refers to managing things within my apartment that aren’t super applicable if you aren’t the one responsible for your own groceries say. Use what’s useful and skip what’s not. You’ve got this.

Step One: Breathe, baby. This probably feels awful, whatever’s going on. Icky maybe. And that’s something that should change, but before the visible problems can shift, take a look at how you’re taking care of yourself right now. This step is the reset button - just a beginner’s step in areas that are central and maybe stressing you out. Stop the cycle of whatever was throwing you off.

I like to start with the executive function stuff. There might be a lot you feel like you have a lot to do - it’s been a while since things have been good about notes on all those readings, right? But unless there’s something absolutely 100% immediate and pressing, this first:

  • Drink some water. Wash your water bottle or a cup you like to drink from. Just one dish. The rest of them can wait just a little bit longer. Keep remembering to drink water. You’ll feel better.
  • How’s your room? Can you do some laundry? Get some things in the trash? Make your bed? Start with a single task that will get some things off the floor, but doesn’t feel scary. Leave the rest of it. You can fix it later.
  • When was the last time you ate something? Has it been a while? If there’s something at home, good. Eat that. If there isn’t, go pick something up from somewhere you feel safe. Worry about vegetables later. Eat anything right now.
  • Find somewhere you feel comfortable. Pick something acheivable. Do that thing. Whatever you’re ready for. Nothing scary. Nothing heavy. Spend some doing enough work that you feel like you’re being productive again; like you’ve finished something because you have! Then come back. Do you feel better?

In the interest of space, the rest is under the cut. :)

Keep reading

“1940″ Chapter 2.5

(banner by the lovely @tiostyles​)

The one where you fall in love with a soldier named Alex

Read Chapter One here // Chapter Two here


Hazel Eyes

June 1938

London, England

With the turn of the calendar page, the city seemed to come to life. Instead of a dull and boring day inside your father’s store, a steady stream of smiling customers walked about the aisles. The air was warm enough to leave the door propped open with an old milk crate, and you played the radio a bit louder than normal. Swing music jived throughout the store, echoing off of the tall ceilings and their copper tiles. It was a delicate detail your father had insisted upon, you recalled from your childhood. Those damn ceiling tiles nearly drove your Mum mad, them being so fragile it took hours to manage a single row. They weren’t nearly as shiny now, growing a bit muted with age. All the same, you found yourself staring up at them every so often, tracing over the lace-like designs in them with your tired eyes when the activity came to a lull.

You kept a careful eye on the front door, anxiously awaiting Alex’s daily stop in. There was a special spot you kept just for him under the counter, always choosing a paper with the least amount of ink splotches and a few tins of biscuits. It was a neat stack, being one of your top priorities in the store.

Hours passed by, but he’d yet to show. He’d been in each day before that, so it was odd that he’d been absent this far into the day. While the chatter was abundant amongst those shopping in the store, it did little to keep your attention and even less to ease your worries about where Alex was. It wasn’t uncommon for you to get caught up in your own mind, creating situations that likely didn’t happen. Where was he?

“Y/n!” a voice called out excitedly. Turning to face the commotion, it took a moment for your eyes to register who it was.

“Hazel?” your eyes grew wide, “Is that really you?”

The girl nearly ran at you, smiled bright on her face, “Yes, you knob! M’back – finally.”

“What on earth are you doing here?” Your brain spun as you tried to figure out just how long it had been since the two of you were last together – it had to of been years.

Hazel combed through her curly hair, a nervous mannerism of hers, as she began to speak:

“Mum and Dad wanted to move back home, I suppose,” she started, “Berlin wasn’t what they’d thought it to be anymore and decided to come back,” Hazel then moved in closer to you, nervously checking around her shoulders before continuing, “And tha’ Hilter man is somethin’ scary, I’ll tell you tha’ much.”

The confused look on your face must’ve been pretty prominent, as she laughed heartily at your expression, “Have you not heard?”

You hesitated, feeling as though this was something you should have already known, “No…”

“Well,” she huffed a sigh, “He’s mad. Gone absolutely mad. Had all of these rallies and speeches, saying rather powerful and intimidating things. Lots of people love ‘im, go outta their way to see him.”

“Was it hard to leave?”

“No, we packed quickly and caught a train back out,” she shrugged her shoulders, “Don’t even know if the flat sold. M’father didn’t even tell the university he’d be leaving.”

You simply shook your head, looking down at the counter in front of you. The grooves near the edge were a perfect track for your nervous hands to trace over, running through the smooth and worn away parts of the wood.

“M’glad you’re back, nonetheless. Always wanted you to move back – the second you left, I was begging Mum to let me move to Germany with your family.”

Hazel offered up a warm grin in your direction, “It’s good to be back too, I have –,” the clearing of someone’s throat cut her off.

A gentleman was standing a few feet from the counter, hanging an awkward distance from your conversation. He had a few items in his hands – a copy of the paper, a small tin of biscuits, and a box of matches. There was something oddly familiar about him…

In your staring, the two of you met eyes, his being the same searing jade color as Alex’s.

“Can I help you, sir?” you called in his direction, then turning to Hazel, “Give me a moment and I”ll see if my Dad can come and mind the store for me, okay?”

She nodded, stepping back and milled around near the baking supplies, keeping a close eye on you. Hazel was quick to notice the way your posture changed around this man, and she cheekily smirked as she watched the two of you interact.

“How are you today, sir?” you asked happily, false emotion coating your tone.

His voice was rough, “Not too bad, m’lady,” he answered with a wink and placed his purchases on the surface before you. A silence hung around the two of you as you pressed down the buttons of the register, “Say, are you y/n?”

You looked up with curious eyes, “That would be me.”

“Thought so,” he nodded his head, “M’boy Alex talks wonders of you.”

“Oh,” your eyes grew wide, “You’re Mr. Mason?”

He chuckled, offering his hand in your direction, “Yes, ma’am.”

“I’ve been so rude, I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself earlier,” the words stumbled over your tongue, coming out in a rushed fashion, “Y/n Hughes, nice to finally meet you.”

Mr. Mason took your hand and shook firmly, a handshake of a business man. A smile began to pull at the corner of his mouth, “Nice to meet you as well, y/n.”

“How is he? Alex, I mean,” you asked rather eagerly, “He’s usually in the store by now…”

“He’s not well today, came down with the chills last night.”

“Oh,” you nodded your head, “Send him my regards, will you?”

“Of course,” Mr. Mason assured you, picking up the paper and few boxes from the counter, “Have a nice afternoon, y/n.”

You waved him off, cheeks turning red as you scanned the store to find Hazel smirking at you from afar. She giggled as she walked over, shaking her head like she knew you were hiding a secret from her.

“Does this mean my little y/n has a boy?” she sang at you, not minding her volume one bit, “Y/n and Alex, sittin’ in a tree, K-I—,”

“Hush!” you shot her a glare, thanking the good Lord above that Mr. Mason had already left the store, “You’re just as foolish as I remember,” you whispered at her.

She paused for a moment, biting at her lip and deciding how to continue, “So what’s his name?”

You groaned and came around the other side of the counter, “Let’s go fetch my father and then I’ll catch you up,” she squealed and followed you up the stairs to your family’s flat.

***

After surprising your family with the return of your childhood friend, the two of you found yourselves at the oak tree in the park near your flat. It had been the meeting place for both of you as children, often running there directly after school. You’d first stop to drop your books off at home and pick a snack up from Mum, but wasted no time in spending the afternoon with each other. The oak tree was a place to tell stories, share secrets – it was your place.

And it only felt right to catch Hazel up on the past nine years of your life there.

She’d moved away when the both of you were eleven years old, having just celebrated her birthday and eager to spend the whole summer with you. Her father, a professor in Literature, wasn’t happy with his job in London and moved his family to Germany instead. The move hadn’t done well with you – you’d begged your mother to let you move to Germany as well, Hazel having been your truest and most honest friend.

Once she’d left, the oak tree became a place to seek solitude at, away from your family, away from school, and away from the reminders that Hazel was no longer there with you.

Now, the two of you sat, backs up against the sturdy base of the tree, looking out over the small park.

“So,” Hazel eagerly turned to you once you both were finished reminiscing over how much the park had changed, “How did you two meet?!”

“You’re going to laugh,” you prefaced the story, “But it was just working in the store.”

She scoffed next to you, raising her eye brows in a way that said ‘you’ve got to be joking’.

“Honest!”

“You’ve lived here your whole life, and you finally meet a boy in your father’s store?”

You roll your eyes in her direction, “He’s a real gentleman, promise. Says he works for his father and took me out dancing a while back.”

“Ooh, a date?” Hazel grew excited at the thought, “Well, what did you wear? When did he pick you up? Did he—,”

“No we didn’t kiss,” you started, only to be cut off again.

“He didn’t ki—,”

“Hazel!” you interrupted her and waited for her to settle back against the tree.

“Keep going.”

“No, he didn’t kiss me. Asked me if he could… You could tell he really wanted to. I wouldn’t have minded,” Hazel whooped at that comment, “But he’s a gentleman. I know it.”

The both of you sat in silence for a moment, mulling over just how much things have changed back in this small neighborhood of London.

“Can’t believe little y/n has a boy!”

You leaned back against the trunk, looking up into the leaves, “I can’t quite believe it either.”


This was a short one, I know. There will be more coming shortly!

Feedback is always welcome ; let me know what you think!

Writing Loners

(Want more? Check out my Writing tag!)

Final Fantasy XIV is an online video game that I occasionally dabble in that recently announced that players will be able to play as the “Samurai” class. 

As Final Fantasy XIV is home to a fairly congested roleplaying community, I fully predict such samurai characters to fully engage in hamfisted concepts like bushido, honour, and “the way of the sword” with about as much subtlety as a fifty-ton bomb demolishing a high rise apartment complex in a fiery apocalypse, complete with screaming children and unfortunate escapees leaping from windows.

In equal measure, I fully expect such characters to be “loners with dark pasts”, “seeking atonement”, or desiring solitude for completely arbitrary and laughable reasons.

Now perhaps this is just my cynicism, but I’ve seen many a trainwreck wherein a character is less “lone noble ronin wandering the country and rescuing peasants” and more “sword-wielding sociopath inexplicably killing random people who have very justified intentions”.

This post was written to try to stem that tide.

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Medieval porpoise ‘grave’ on Channel island puzzles archaeologists 

Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.

The team believe the marine animal found on the island of Chapelle Dom Hue, off the west coast of Guernsey, was buried in the 14th century.

When they first spotted the carefully cut plot they were convinced it was a grave and would hold human remains, but they were taken aback when they dug further and unearthed the skull and other body parts of a porpoise.

Quite why the porpoise was buried so carefully on the island, which is thought to have been used by monks seeking solitude, is a mystery.

Porpoises were eaten in medieval times but it would have been easier to dispose of the remains in the sea, which is only 10 metres from the site.

Philip de Jersey, a States of Guernsey archaeologist, said: “If they had eaten it or killed it for the blubber, why take the trouble to bury it? Some effort was made to create a neat hole.”

De Jersey said it was possible that a monk hid the body of the porpoise because he was not supposed to have it, or that the body was placed in the hole in salt to preserve it.

“It may have been packed in salt and then for some reason they didn’t come back to it.”

Another intriguing theory is that the animal had some sort of religious significance to the people who used the island. “The dolphin has a strong significance in Christianity but I’ve not come across anything like this before,” said De Jersey. “It’s the slightly wacky kind of thing that you might get in the iron age but not in medieval times.”

Dr Phil De Jersey, right, and Mike Deane alongside the skeleton of a medieval porpoise. Photograph: Guernsey Press / SWNS.com

2

Boruto episode 17 & Shippuden Ending 14: Utakata Hanabi by Supercell

When the two of us looked up at the suddenly risen fireworks
I secretly stole a glance of your face watching them in a trance…

Been pondering on this for a while, but when we learned that Sakura’s “first” two-and-a-half minute “date” with Sasuke took place by the ocean-side, could it possibly have been something like the brief flash back in the ending of Shippuden 14?

In other words, it wasn’t a planned “official” or formal date (in keeping with Sasuke’s tendency to be unpracticed and perhaps unfamiliar with these things) but rather, it was a sentimental, private moment that happened to come about between them. It just sorta…happened by chance. And maybe it is presumed to not be “memorable” for Sasuke because, his mind (especially when younger) was not geared toward romantic relationships and dating – although, this is not to say it wasn’t special for Sakura and perhaps a moment of content / peace for Sasuke, too. Maybe, it is only in retrospect where one might dub it a “first date”. 

Let’s also remember that it is Ino who ascribed the term “date” in the Boruto scene, and we know she certainly has the personality, mind, and interest for dates, relationships, and romance. You know how she’s uniquely able to “interpret” Sai’s awkward approach of wanting to know her more as basically asking her out? (So adorable I must add!) Anyway, Ino is the one who is able to give labels to things and ideas related to romance and meaning that other people aren’t able or comfortable doing themselves. And yes, of course Sakura has this capacity too (it’s why she’s surprised at Ino yet knew exactly what she was referring to), but her original personality is more shy when it comes to romance compared to Ino. I’m sure she desired a “date” in the full sense of the term with Sasuke or at least thought how nice it would be just to be with him but, more importantly, she learned long ago that this kind of approach- or fooling around in any way -doesn’t work on Sasuke:

The logic of a maturing girl learning from thee errors of her ways says that she wouldn’t take this kind of approach toward him again so as not to offend or “annoy” him, particularly as her feelings for him transitioned from infatuation to genuine and caring love..

Anyway, honestly, I can see it happening this way very naturally for Sasuke and Sakura: Rather than being forceful, Sakura was perhaps wistful but non-expectant. Maybe she was strolling alongside the beach on the night of a summer festival as the song says, reflecting on him or life in general  By happenstance, she sees Sasuke there also, perhaps seeking solitude or trying to get away from Naruto. Who knows, maybe then, sharp-eyed Ino took notice. Doubtful Sasuke and Sakura said much, but then then the fireworks display started, and glimpsing a look of content amazement on Sasuke’s face (who’s so accustomed to being cold, aloof and serious) was more than enough to delight her – even if afterward he then left without hardly a word. Meanwhile, Sasuke simply didn’t mind her presence. But, i like to imagine him saying something like “its cold out. We/you should go back.” so she doesn’t catch cold! ♥

Okay, or maybe i’m completely overthinking things and it went down more like this:

Naruto Shippuden episode 306

XD

What do you guys think?

Castiel Imagine

Imagine: Trying to comfort Castiel after he has a fight with Dean.

(not my GIF)

You emerged from your room into an unusual sort of silence. You knew the boys were back from their latest adventure because Sam’s text announcing there was hot pizza in the kitchen had just woken you from a nap. Yet, somehow the bunker still seemed too quiet. Grabbing your fluffy robe from the door to stave off the chilly atmosphere, you ambled onward to the kitchen.

“Hey Y/N,” Sam greeted you with a grin over his laptop screen, “sorry I woke you.” He motioned at his hair with a wince, signaling you to check your own.

Feeling your hair, you discovered an epic case of bed head and smiled gratefully, “Don’t be, thanks.” Idly combing your fingers through your locks to tame the mess, your eyes fell upon Dean. He sat rigidly in the chair, arms crossed, brooding over half-eaten slice of pizza and bottle of beer. You glanced around the periphery of the small room – finding no sign of the blue-eyed angel you’d grown especially fond of this last year of calling the bunker home, innocently asking, “Where’s Cas?”

Sam grimaced at your words, bracing his shoulders as if for impact.

Dean’s green eyes narrowed darkly. He shrugged apathetically, voice edged in fresh anger, “Wherever the hell he wants to be, probably figuring out new ways to jam the letter I into team.”

A frown crept over your lips. A brief glance at Sam confirmed the situation – the angel and the elder Winchester were bickering, again. You now understood the strange feeling in the air. You pointed at the floor, mouthing the words to Sam, “Is Cas here?”

Sam nodded.

You exhaled a sigh of relief - the last time Cas had disappeared for weeks, failing to respond to your calls to check in. Only when you sent out a desperate prayer asking for help on a hunt, explaining Sam and Dean were otherwise indisposed and you were alone, did he make contact. He helped you with that case, and stayed by your side for a string of others. Afterward he tagged along back to the bunker with you, and things between he and Dean had been copacetic for a time.

Knowing exactly where you would find an angel seeking solitude in the bunker, you spun on your heel and marched down the hall. Descending into the storage room slash dungeon, you found him sitting on the floor, slumped against the wall, blue eyes sullen.

He didn’t stir at your presence.

You stepped closer, fuzzy-socked toes nudging the hem of his trench coat, “May I?”

His chin bobbed almost imperceptibly.

You dropped to the floor beside him, taking a deep breath and scooting nearer until your shoulder barely touched his. You sat in shared silence, knowing no words could fix what he was going through – it was between him and Dean. But you weren’t there to talk about it.

At first, the angel didn’t understand why you picked up his hand.

Slowly turning it over in yours, you delicately traced the rough-hewn lines of his palm, pausing to study the smallness of your own hand in comparison. Your heart ticked faster, emboldened by the sensation of his warm skin against your own.

He observed your actions with a casual indifference.

When he didn’t pull away, you interlaced your fingers through his, drawing his hand to your lap and clasping his palm tight. You stared hopefully at the line of his jaw, his expression remaining unreadable.

Bit by bit, his vessel responded to the comforting gesture, tenseness easing from his muscles, glimmering blue eyes flashing curiously over your intertwined hands. Gradually, his focus shifted to peer searchingly into your eyes.

You met his questioning gaze. Smiling reassuringly, you reached your free hand out to brush a dark curl behind his ear, your fingers curling to caress his stubbly cheek, “You are not alone, Castiel.”

His eyes welled at your simple sentiment, heart soaring with the novelty of a new emotion. He squeezed your hand back, a small smile stirring in his solemn features, the light returning to his eyes. For all the concepts which confounded the fallen angel, one notion blazed with sudden clarity – love.

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So You Want to Write an Autistic Character Part I: Sensory Integration Dysfunction and What to Do About It

Writing autistic characters is hard.  It’s a little like walking through a house with a wet cloth tied around your face.  You might feel the walls with your hands, and find the edges of stairs and carpets with your toes, and thus manage to make it out with all things intact; but only the owner of the house can see where you’re going, and only they can tell you where to put your feet.  In making your character autistic, you are writing about an experience you will never fully share.

Should that scare you?  Put you off from writing about your autistic character?  Heck no!  But, like anything else worth doing, it will take time, effort and a fair bit of perspective-tweaking.  So to get you started, I want to talk about something that will have a huge impact on the way your character experiences the world – something many people overlook when writing autistic characters.  That thing is called sensory integration dysfunction (SID) or sensory processing disorder (SPD).

Here’s the thing, neurotypical writers: you will never know what SID feels like.  But it’ll be a lot easier to navigate that house if you know the layout first, so let me break it down for you.

What It Is:  The best way I can describe SID is through analogy.  The way I was told, every human being is a cup into which sensory information pours: all the sights, sounds, tastes, touches and smells we experience from day to day.  For a neurotypical person, that cup is exactly the right size to hold all the information that flows in.  For those of us with SID, it’s not that easy.  Under-stimulated people have cups that are too big, and tend to seek out stimulation in order to keep their cups full.  Over-stimulated people have cups that are too small, and our cups are constantly overflowing.  Most people with SID are a little of both, as we may seek out certain types of stimulation (certain textures or sounds) and avoid others. 

My cup, as it happens, is a little too small.  I am constantly shying away from sensations that bother me: the sound of cardboard scraping, the light pressure of people’s hands touching me, the chaotic sounds of a loud and busy environment.  I seek solitude, not always because I am introverted, but because I simply cannot stand the textures and sounds and touches of other people.  Yet in some ways my cup is never full enough – I am always seeking heavy pressure, tight hugs, and things that I can wrap up in, such as weighted blankets.

As a writer, you will have to know your character well enough to tell what types of stimulation they seek out and which they shun, as it will affect the way they move through and perceive their world.  Which brings me to my next point:

Not Everyone Is Bothered By The Same Things.  Humans have more than one sense, and for those of us with sensory integration dysfunction, certain senses can weigh more heavily than others.  My “worst” senses in terms of SID are my senses of touch and hearing.  I can’t stand light touch, such as people tapping my shoulder, loose clothes fluttering on my skin, or dangling earrings moving around in my ears; I hate whining, scraping noises such as packing peanuts, cardboard boxes opening, or the sound of my teeth biting into an apple.  I can pick up on noises that many people don’t, and even regular noises are twice as loud and painful to me as they are to most.  For example: at the Albertson’s near my house, there’s a Starbucks outlet with different lighting than the rest of the store and I can hear the electric hum whenever I get close.  I always stay away from the counter because the humming sound of the lights pierces my ears.  My parents can never hear it.

But I am not the same as your character, who is not the same as the next person with autism, who is not the same as your autistic friend, who is not the same as the author of that autobiography on Asperger’s Syndrome you read while researching.  Different things bother us, and in different ways.  I have never been able to describe the sensation I get when people touch me, except that it’s a tingling, vulnerable feeling that I react to the same way I react to pain: with cringes, flinching and turning away.  I’ve never felt it as actual pain, but I tell people it’s like pain because it’s easier to explain.  Meanwhile, a friend of mine who is autistic does feel light pressure as pain, something I’d not considered was possible until very recently.  The realm of SID is vast and complex, and even autistic people need to do their research on other autistic people.  There is no universal “sensory experience” we all share, and the last thing we want to do is make our autistic characters all feel the same things.

So How Do I Put It In Writing?  There are thousands of ways your character’s sensory issues can peek through in your writing; to find them, you have to get down on the ground with your character and let them point the world out to you.  A wool blanket isn’t just a wool blanket – it’s an unshaved beard that can feel either soft or scratchy, comfortable or disgusting.  A sidewalk isn’t just a sidewalk – it’s a gritty, rocky surface that demands to have fingers run over it.  A creaky car door isn’t just a creaky car door – it’s a sharp needle digging into your ear.  Define for yourself the highlights of what bothers your character – is it smell?  Sound?  Touch?  All or none of the above? – and then let them tour you around.

In my current novel project, my protagonist has undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome and Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and those traits constantly influence her mood and her state of being.  In chapter one, she gets out of a van after carpooling over 300 miles with a rowdy, high-energy family.  In writing that scene, I knew she would be more than just exhausted – her nerves would be fried.  So I picked out a handful of sensory “focal points” from her environment and exaggerated them.  My character’s “major” senses are smell and touch, so I added some scratchy blankets to the van and made the family she hitchhiked with smokers.  By the time she stepped off the bus at her destination, with all that cigarette smoke clinging to her clothes and the memory of those scratchy blankets on her skin, she was on the brink of going into sensory overload – in fact, she had a meltdown in the very next scene and hid in a public bathroom stall for two hours.  Sensory meltdowns are common for those with SID on our bad days and are a big aspect of life, so I’ll be doing a full article on writing about them later this week.

In the end, you will never know exactly how your autistic character feels with sensory integration dysfunction.  But with research and a little perspective-tweaking, you can get readers – and yourself – to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the world from your character’s point of view.  Research and observation are your best friends here.  Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the world around you, because for many of us with SID, that’s what the world is like.

Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2, which will cover sensory overload, meltdowns, and stimming – and, of course, how best to utilize them in writing your autistic character.  As always, good luck and keep writing!

 – Senga

REDIAL

TODODEKU WEEK: DAY 6

MEMORIES

“Everybody has a secret world inside of them… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”

AO3

SEQUEL TO “BROKEN TELEPHONE


Twenty years.

It had been twenty years since Todoroki Shouto died.

It had been twenty years since Izuku received Shouto’s last phone call, on a pretty spring day where the sun was gleaming and the sky was brilliant, where Shouto had left the house, claiming he would go out on a run and come back home as soon as possible.

It had been twenty years since Shouto went missing for several hours, much longer than “a little late”, and, concerned, Izuku had prowled the streets, trying to find where his fiancé had gone.

It had been twenty years since he’d tapped into location services, knowing Shouto’s phone would have still been on, and had been confused when it lead him to the isolated part of the city, within a long-abandoned construction site.

It had been twenty years since Izuku found Shouto’s body, pale and covered in blood, a metal beam sticking out of his stomach and a cracked, bloody phone by his head.

It had been twenty years since Izuku held Shouto’s corpse in his arms, sobbing, crying, and cursing, holding Shouto’s cold left hand tightly and desperately clutching onto the silver, bloody engagement ring he had given to Shouto so long ago.

It had been twenty years since Izuku lost his world, and, consequentially, lost himself.

As of this year, Izuku reached forty-two years and ten months, the title of Number One Hero under his belt while being renown as one of the most self-destructive heroes. He was a workaholic, constantly taking down as many villains as possible per day, and rarely took time off for himself. His old teachers, classmates, and mother had constantly expressed concern for his mental state, begging for Izuku to take more time off for himself—to see a therapist and do something other than fight and fight and fight

And today… today is Shouto’s twentieth death anniversary.

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A Simple Teaching

‘It is hard to be born as a human being and hard to live the life of one. It is even harder to hear the path and harder still to awake, to rise, and to follow.

Yet the teaching is simple: “Cease to do evil, learn to do good. And purify your mind.

Hurt none by word or deed. Be moderate in your eating. Live in inner solitude. And seek the deepest consciousness.”

This is the teaching.’

- Dhammapada, in The Buddha Speaks, A book of guidance from the Buddhist scriptures edited by Anne Bancroft.

To Love Somebody

Characters: CastielXReader, ft. Sam and Dean Winchester

Word Count: 3242

A/N: Castiel wants to demonstrate his love for the reader but doesn’t know how. Cue up the most adorable, awkward angel ever as he tries and repeatedly fails to show you his love. Inspired by Castiel’s utterly innocent Websummons app search in episode 12.19 of “how to fix a truck” (no spoilers) – because, you know, the internet has all the answers to life’s complex problems! Pure unadulterated Fluffy Fluff (yes, with capital Fs ‘cause Fluff is capital).


Castiel meandered aimlessly into the library, deep in contemplation, stopped up short by the edge of the glassy smooth mahogany table where Sam and Dean sat steeped in a heap of dusty lore books and Men of Letters file boxes researching the latest case.

The angel had been off his game for days – quieter than usual, less helpful, more vague, seeking solitude in the lesser used domains of the bunker, thoughts wandering again and again to the image of you he held in his mind’s eye. He’d always felt more protective toward you than to other humans, even the Winchesters - your injuries and anguish wounding him in a manner he did not understand. And like the sun, you were the brightest object in any room. He found himself perpetually staring at you, into you - the radiant warmth of your soul pleasantly tugging against his celestial being as he fought the urge to gravitate closer, his grace sparking, flaring, and blazing through his vessel like a wildfire in your company. In your absence, he still sensed and craved this all-consuming burn – the very thought of you enough to stir a tingle of heat and longing within his vessel.

Three days ago, Castiel decided what he was feeling for you could be nothing short of love itself. And now that he had named it, he was bursting at the seams to tell you. Yet his burgeoning love remained tempered with fear you would not return his feelings. He could not confess it outright, could not compromise your friendship - he would rather remain your friend than risk pushing you out of reach and be damned to exist alone in the dark forever remembering what it was like to be bathed in the reflective light of your soul.

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Flashmom: Origin

Barry Allen X Reader

AN: The flashmom origin story

Words: 1115


You face Diana with your shoulders squared, and a determined glint in your eyes. It had been nearly three years since you had seen your sister. You watch the surprise bloom on her face.

Quicker than you can comprehend, her arms are around you, her face buried in your hair. She had always been a bit taller than you, had always teased you about it; how you were the little sister, despite the fact that you were nearly a hundred years older.

Your own arms wrap around her and you whisper, “Hello little sister.”

She pulls away and smiles at you, “How are you here? How do you know Flash?”

Your eyes slide to Barry as he walks out from the back room, dressed in his everyday clothes. You smile, “I’ve known Barry for years.”

Her smile falters, “I don’t understand.”

Taking her hand, you lead her out of the room and into the back garden. You allow her a moment to adjust. You watch as she smiles, and walks around the garden. The plants had taken over the entire yard, having bloomed brilliantly. When she pauses at a flower native to Themyscira you say, “It’s one of the only things I brought from home.”

She doesn’t look at you, as understanding dawns on her. “Your mother grieved for you. She believes you to be dead. All of our sisters believe you to be dead.”

You close your eyes and think of your home land for a moment. You had been only a child when you and your mother had moved to Themyscira, after the war with man had ended and the amazons had been freed. It had been a wonderland to your young eyes. A land filled with people who had cared for you. A land where you were safe, and you knew it.

You had been the youngest of the Amazons, until Diana had been born from Clay. By that time, you were a grown woman. But at a hundred and five years old, you were still seen as a child, and by the time Diana was fifty she was your best friend. The two of you had trained together, and learned together. You had been best friends, and you had honestly thought your life could not be any better, and then you had met Barry.

Thousands of years had passed by that time, and you had found the strange man on the far shores of the Island. A place where your sisters rarely went. A place you went to seek solitude. He had been near death, and to this day you still don’t understand what moved you to save him, but you had.

It had taken several days to nurse him back to consciousness, and another two weeks to nurse him back to full health. In that time you had been returned occasionally to the city, and interacted with your sisters, before making your way back to him, with the necessary supplies.

Some part of you had expected him to attack you, or try and hurt you. Instead he had simply smiled at you, and enquired about your home. You had found yourself fascinated by the man.

He didn’t return to man’s world right away. He stayed for another week before he left. When he left you had found yourself missing him. Longing for him. You did your best to stay positive, and happy in front of your sisters. In private however your heart hurt.

Still, you made appoint to interact with your friends, and your family. You participated in the plays, sparred with Diana, and read in the afternoons. You made a point of living.

You returned to your secluded spot a year after you had met the man. The remnants of his stay were met with a loving fondness and a slight ache in your heart. You were so caught up in your memories, that the moment the hand landed on your shoulder, you were startled into action.

If Barry Allen had not been the fastest man alive, he very well would have been dead. You were more than a little surprised to see him again, or that he had even found his way back to the island. You had ended up meeting him once every thirty days. Eventually you had come to love him, and after a year, you asked him to take you with him, and he had.

Barry had taken you to his home. The two of you lived in a small apartment in Central City, where Barry worked as a CSI, and you spent the days learning all you could about man’s world. You took classes on the computer. Caitlin and Cisco also taught you. Iris took you to different museums.

You spent the nights with Barry. Sometimes the two of you would curl in front of the fire, other times you would sit in Star Labs and come up with different strategies. Then there were the date nights. Barry insisted on them, and to be completely honest you loved them. The two of you would go out and eat, and dance, and live.

More often than not bouts of homesickness would hit you. You would think of your mother, and your sisters, and Diana. More often than not you would try and push those thoughts to the side, and focus on your life now. More often than not you failed.

Now, looking at Diana, you can’t help but wonder if you had made the right decision. “Did you think about us?” She finally asks.

You smile, “Of course. This garden is dedication to that. To our home.”

“You left without a word. We feared you had been captured, or …”

“Taken my own life?”

“Among other things.”

“I’m sorry Diana, but my heart led me off the island. Like your own did.”

Diana simply sighs, “Now we must return.”

You stare at her “We?”

“Themyscira is in danger. Our sisters need our help, and you were always good with a bow.”

“Diana, my life is here.”

Her hands land on your shoulders, “Y/N our sisters, our family is in trouble, Aries is trying to escape.”

Your eyes slide to Barry who is looking at you through the window, and you understand. You had known about Diana from the moment she had joined the League. He had befriended her, and welcomed her. And you had no doubts that at the mention of the possible destruction of your homeland, he had brought Diana here to request your help. And more importantly, for you to convince her to let the League help.

Looking her in the eyes you set accept this new challenge.

Consider Me In Stillness

The first hazy days that Damen couldn’t recall well…

(Set Post-Kings Rising, after Damen’s ‘flesh wound’ lol. POV alternates between Damen and Laurent after every ‘+’ starting and ending with Damen’s.)


Consciousness came and went.

Mostly the latter. It was highly inconvenient.

Vision, when he possessed it, was blurry, fleeting splotches of haloed light and nothing more. His hearing was muffled, as if everyone speaking stood on the opposite side of a thick barricade between Damen and awakening.

The rest was filled with blackness, pain in his abdomen that oscillated between throbbing and searing, unrelenting dizziness.

Laurent had mentioned there was a lot of blood.

+

Laurent stood covered in the blood of Damianos of Akielos.

It would taste a lie to suggest he had never envisioned it, never longed to watch the life drain from him by his own hand, at a time and place not so far removed, in fact. Now, and forevermore, the concept was abhorrent, sickening. To lose him, Laurent carefully acknowledged, would be his ultimate undoing, a blow from which he would not recover.

The repetition was compartmentalized, yet ceaseless.

He must live. He must live. He must live.

There were matters more pressing than those of his heart, ones that deserved the full force of his focus. He saw to them methodically, though the thought remained constant and driving, a background noise to which he operated.

Clear the way for Paschal. He must live.

Secure Ios. He must live.

Ready for resistance. He must live.

He must live.

Damianos of Akielos must live.

+

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