she begins tomorrow!

Children of War: Chapter Three

Summary: Minato thinks the girl from Uzushio is beautiful. He wants to tell her that she’s brave and fierce and he would like to be her friend. There are many things Minato would like to say to Uzumaki Kushina, but any time he looks in her direction she just glares back and asks what he’s staring at.

Rating: Mature

Chapter: 1 | 2


Except for her guards, Kushina’s grand, old house is empty when she comes home from school, hitai-ate in hand. She graduated today, and tomorrow she begins her life as a Konoha shinobi. She remembers what Mito told her—that she doesn’t have to give up Whirlpool to make herself at home in the Leaf—but even after three years, this village remains foreign to her in so many of the ways that matter.

Kushina writes a letter to her family, telling them that she is a full-fledged ninja now. No doubt her parents and older brothers will write back, congratulating her and sending their love. But she would trade a thousand ink and paper promises for one hug from her father, one fond kiss on the cheek from Okaasan. There’s no point in wishing for things she’ll never have, though, so Kushina cooks a simple dinner for herself and goes to bed.

The next day, she meets her new teacher, Kato Dan, and learns that her genin squadmates are Kitano Haruki and Uchiha Ando.

She and Ando almost ruin their first mission by fighting each other when they’re supposed to be taking down the bandits that have been hassling small villages in the south. After three days of staking out one little town after another, they finally caught up with the robbers, but then Ando said she should, “keep her stupid ass out of the way,” and Kushina couldn’t take that lying down. Dan-sensei isn’t the sort to yell, but the look of disappointment he gives them is more than enough to make her feel ashamed.

Once they get back to Konoha, she approaches Ando. “I’m sorry,” she says, and the words are a struggle to voice. “I shouldn’t have hit you.”

“You’re right, you shouldn’t have,” he says, every inch the superior bastard she knows him to be.

“Nevermind, I take it back,” Kushina says, and she pushes him in the chest. “Bother me again and I’ll knock you into next week, Uchiha.”

Ando is too proud to show fear or hesitation, but he doesn’t say anything back, and his silence is victory enough for Kushina.

The next few weeks are a mess of missions, doing all kinds of work that she never imagined a Konoha ninja would be paid to perform. Farming, catching cats, pulling weeds. Uzushio shinobi would never stoop so low as to take such work, no matter how well paid for the services rendered, and when Kushina announces this, Ando says, “Why don’t you go back to Whirlpool then? Nobody here would miss you.”

I would if I could, she thinks, but the Hokage won’t even let her return to Uzushio for a visit. She’s too valuable and too vulnerable, he says, but all Kushina hears is No.

She feels bad for poor, quiet Haruki, always trying to stay out of her fights with Ando. Dan tells them he’ll have them stripped of their genin rank if they don’t stop behaving so shamefully. Kushina doubts her sensei means that, but she makes an effort not to further provoke Ando just the same. She means to be a great shinobi, to serve her village faithfully and well, and she can’t do that if she keeps letting the Uchiha boy get under her skin.

“I hate him,” she tells Mikoto. “He’s such a brat.”

They’re sitting on the roof of a weapons shop, eating sweet dango.

“My aunt Airi spoils him,” Mikoto says, rolling her eyes. “Ando was a late in life baby, and she treats him like he’s made of gold.”

“Does his father spoil him too?” Kushina asks.

Mikoto shakes her head. “Reiko, my uncle, was killed on a mission in Lightning Country. I was six or seven that year, so Ando must have been about the same.”

Kushina doesn’t like to hear this. It makes her feel sorry for the boy she hates, and carrying those two feelings at once is confusing.

“Did you know him?” she asks.

Mikoto nods. “Some. He was a nice man with salt-and-pepper hair, and he carved toys for the little kids in our clan. I still have a wooden horse he made me.”

She can hear the sadness in her friend’s voice, grief lurking beneath wistful memory. The Uchiha are a close clan, and it seems to Kushina that hurting any one of their kin hurts them all.

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For Alex, castlefanfics, because I promised her a scene based on the bed scene in ‘The Proposal’ to go with the first two parts, so here it is. (Part 1, Part 2).
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The bonfire is great. They all tell stories, some about every cousin, every aunt and uncle. One specific one is his favorite, one about Kate as a rebellious teen who tried to sneak out her window to go to a party and ended up twisting her ankle when she landed, only to have locked herself outside the house. While one of Kate’s cousins told the story, her cheeks burned red, illuminated by the flicker of firelight, and that was his favorite part.

She spends the evening sitting in a lawn chair, legs crossed, leaning forward. Engaged and happy. Sipping at her glass of wine. Laughing and having fun like he’s never actually seen her do before. She’s beautiful, the flicker of fire flashing in her eyes, the glow of the evening surrounding her. Starlight is disguised by the fire, but when she looks up, her eyes grow wide with amazement at the view, a view you can never get in New York City.

It’s reached the early hours of the morning when they decide to turn in for the night. Most of Kate’s cousins are drunk, but she’s limited herself to one glass of wine. A couple of the boys stay behind to put the fire out while everyone else walks back to the house, couples breaking off from the ground, Grandma Ruth yawning.

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In between having my two children (now 16 and 12) I had an abortion. Newly divorced and struggling to make ends meet for myself and my young son, I knew that I was not equipped to provide for TWO children on my own. Plain and simply, my allegiance was to my child, and not to the group of cells within me with the potential to become a child. I had to make sure that my firstborn would be okay, first and foremost. Years later, when I was in a more stable place and able to hold our head above water, I found out I was pregnant again. I felt confident in my ability to add another child to my household and keep everyone afloat, so I excitedly continued the pregnancy. 

My life is amazing now and my children are beyond what I could have ever expected. My son is a junior in high school with his sights set on college in Germany and later, being a published author and a professor of humanities. My daughter is a straight A student, incredibly driven, and on her way to a successful career in ballet and was accepted into the Joffrey Academy, where she begins tomorrow. Because I made the choices I did, I have been able to create a strong space for them to grow and receive the support they need to fulfill their potential.  

I regret nothing and if I had it to do over, I’d choose exactly the same way knowing what I know now. I support every woman in making her choices and trust her to know what will work best for her. 

On the Shores of Loch Katrine (15/15)

AN:  Wellp, here we are. Thank you guys so much for your patience–it really means a lot to me. Thank you guys for your encouragement, especially amid the reviewer drama. I hope you guys like it!

Belle could hear the staff whispering in the hall as she packed her suitcase.  Mrs. Potts was telling them to mind their own business and if they wanted to keep their jobs, that the kitchen had better be spotless. 

She turned her attention back to her packing, carefully wrapping her gold dress in tissue paper.  It made her stomach turn to look at it—the dress she’d worn to the gala, before their first night together.  Perhaps she could sell it when she returned home.

“Mrs. Gold?” Mrs. Potts tentatively stepped into the room. “Is there anything I can do for you, dear? A cup of tea perhaps?”

“No thank you,” Belle attempted a smile. “I’ll be all right.”

“Oh, Mrs. Gold,” Mrs. Potts said sorrowfully. “Forgive me for speaking out of turn, but—we’re so dreadfully sorry that you’re leaving.”

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Big News- Welcome to our New Mod!

Well, this has been a secret project in the works for some time, so it is my pleasure to let you all know that we’ve added a new mod to our gang here.

She’s really nervous and excited to be with us, so I ask that you all treat her just as well as you treat the rest of us!

We’re really excited about our new team member, and she works so well with us that I think she’ll work just as well with the rest of you.

She will begin working tomorrow, but we wanted to introduce her by what you can call her so you can address any questions you have to her.

Without further ado, our new mod is…

Enoby Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way!

We’re so excited to add her to our team, and we hope you are too!

xf fic: the art of forgetting

Title: The Art of Forgetting
Author: dashakay
Pairing: Mulder/Scully
Rating: Teen and up
Word Count: 990
Timeline: Post-IWTB, pre-revival.
Summary: In the harsh light of the bathroom, she stares at her face in the mirror, counting new lines and wrinkles. When she was younger, it never occurred to her that someday she’d be fifty years old, gray stubbornly creeping through the red despite her stylist’s best efforts.
Note: All my thanks to @scienceandmysticism for prompting me to write something non-fluffy, and to my whole squad who patiently listened to me moan about writer’s block.

*

“Another day, another dollar,” Scully mumbles as she climbs out of bed to the shrieking accompaniment of her alarm.

At this time of year, it’s still dark when the alarm goes off. It’s dark in her apartment as she showers, makes coffee, dresses, and puts on her makeup. Dark and quiet, as if all of Washington D.C. is asleep except for her.

She has to fight the urge to climb back into bed, to throw the duvet over her head and doze until the sun finally sneaks through the bedroom windows. It would be so easy to ignore her duties and responsibilities and sleep through it all.

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Treatment

For my second secret santa, musingofmychoosing! she prompted doctor!gold and nurse!belle. I hope you like this! :DD

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The first of September saw this semester’s new med students arriving for orientation at Storybrooke General, and subsequently saw Dr. Gold in the break room, where he was certainly not hiding. He was eating his sandwich from Granny’s, and if he happened to have stashed more than one food item in the communal fridge so that he could come eat throughout the day, it was a coincidence.

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Flare 2

For history and backstory, I point you to amatterofcomplication’s master post on this fired-up AU. Also to part 1, which, in posting, I forgot to mention deathtodickens’s crazy sweet doodle, so I do so here, with apology. (It is exceptionally adorable. Also, adorable in an exceptional way.)

Flare 2

People drift into the bookstore, drift out. Some buy, some don’t. Some ask Helena about authors, titles, “what are eight-year-olds into?” Helena puts books in bags, wraps a restored Wharton to be shipped to Toronto, says “Harry Potter, yes, still.” She glances occasionally at the flyer describing the lost kitten… no, the found kitten.

She had considered not putting it up at all, because she knew that every time she saw it, she would think of Lt. Myka Bering and the firehouse. But if she had thrown it away, it would have loomed even larger, as something she had thrown away because she could not bear to look at it. So she had decided to find out whether she could bear it.

So far… so far, she can. She can be cold to it, can ice up just a bit when she looks in its direction, and then a bit more when her eyes find the instructions regarding whom to call at Firehouse 13.

She can think about Myka Bering, a little, with less coldness. She didn’t know Myka at all well, before; Myka had not yet become a fully integrated part of the firehouse by the time… all right. All right. Think just about Myka Bering, then, think about how she’d knocked over the display of animals, the horror on her face, and then how the horror had been replaced by avidity at the sight of the Forster. Helena has never before seen anyone look like that when confronted with the middle tome of a three-volume biography of Charles Dickens published in the 1870s, of that much she is certain.

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