she understands why chuck feels this way

LLSHP 8 - The Nest

Arc1: [Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7]

Arc2: [Chapter 8] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10 - Moonstruck (TBD)]

[Brief note about School Term] [other LLSHP AU stuff] [YohaMaRuby concept arts] [ChikaYouRiko concept arts] [KanaDiaMari concept arts] [Hogwarts Staff]

[FFN link] [Pixiv Link]


A/N: I’ve successfully kept up with the update schedule, yay (✧∀✧)/! A longer chapter than I expected, but action and stuff do eat up the word count XD; I’m still slowly editing Arc1 so the FFN uploads are still behind… Anyhoo, thanks for reading and any feedback is appreciated as always!
Words: 8,014

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Gotta Catch ‘em All

Derek works in a smaller neighborhood branch of his town’s public library system. Author events, book signings, lectures: they’re nearly always at Central, which means Derek’s days tend to pass pretty quietly. He likes it that way. He likes being off the radar, able to slip in hours of reading on the slowest days. 

There’s enough to keep him busy, of course, and to keep his branch open. The neighborhood’s mostly made up of older folks - there’s a big senior living center a couple blocks away, and an assortment of small businesses that make it feel like a miniature town all to itself. Derek loves it. 

He can walk to work - it’s a longish walk, true, but it’s Northern California, so the weather’s nearly always pleasant - and swing by the grocery store on the way home. Pick up a Redbox, if he’s feeling drawn to any of the posters on the side of the kiosk. Choose some fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market pop-up shop, and a nice bottle of Chardonnay from the wine shop; drinking alone isn’t sad if you take the time to cook a nice dinner to go with it, he thinks. He’d argue the point if he had anyone to argue it with. 

He’s gotten to know a lot of people in the neighborhood, to the extent that he wants to. The library has a steady stream of seniors browsing through the books and bringing stacks of DVDs to the counter. There are a lot of BBC series and Criterion Collections stocked on his shelves, but he’s particularly fond of Marta, who loves superhero movies and always stops by the desk to debate with Derek when she returns her latest; and Chuck, who’s at least 80 years old and picks out every musical he can find, humming bits of the choruses on his way out the door. 

Derek frequently helps both of them put in hold requests for movies to be transferred over from the other, larger branches. He does a lot of that: helping his patrons find what they’re looking for. Even guiding them through their technology woes, sometimes, although many of the elderly women who cycle through the library text more often, and more rapidly, than he does - his phone’s always on silent at work, but the screen usually remains dark, anyway.

There’s a large enough population of grandkids to keep the children’s section fairly large and well-stocked, and Derek spends a decent amount of time reshelving scattered piles of picture books and maintaining order in the chaos that erupts each time a crowd of children storms through. The kids call him Mister Hale, have their own library cards that they proudly produce, and insist on carrying their own books and putting them up on the counter themselves

Derek installed a sturdy step stool early on, so he could see more than tufts of hair and bright little eyes staring over the counter, little arms stretched overhead to hand over their books to be scanned.

The teen section is the smallest. He keeps some graphic novels and bestsellers on hand, but there’s little point in curating a full collection, when the high school’s downtown, and that population spends all its time at Central or the branch on Maple - on the east side of town, near the Walmart and the movie theater and the bowling alley.

He’s happy, most days. He’s finally stopped looking over his shoulder, or flinching when people speak to him. The ladies he sees on his walks smile at him and call him Derek, or dear (which he doesn’t mind), or sweetie (which he does, but he tries not to let it show), but they only pass the time, as they would with any of their other friends. They don’t brazenly check him out, or try to pinch his ass, or stroke sharp fingers over his biceps, or make him feel dirty and used and wrong.

It took time to get past that. But he’s there now, he thinks. He feels safe. A little anonymous, in a nice way. Settled into a life that’s got enough variety to keep it interesting, and enough routine to give him stability.

Until the day a guy in a ratty old hoodie stops outside the library, taking pictures through the windows.

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beverllarke  asked:

1. I have a question about Gossip Girl. It's a show that my teenage self loved very much and shipped (rightfully or not) Derena and Chair. I didn't particularly see the chemistry of Dair, but it's relative. However, you said that Dair is more profound than Chair. I might agree on that. But what would you say about Derena vs. Dair? Because sure, the show screwed with Derena in weird ways, but in season 1, when they started dating, I felt like Dan was the love of Serena's life. She grew so much

“I have a question about Gossip Girl. It’s a show that my teenage self loved very much and shipped (rightfully or not) Derena and Chair. I didn’t particularly see the chemistry of Dair, but it’s relative. However, you said that Dair is more profound than Chair. I might agree on that. But what would you say about Derena vs. Dair? Because sure, the show screwed with Derena in weird ways, but in season 1, when they started dating, I felt like Dan was the love of Serena’s life. She grew so much being around him. And I don’t know, maybe my impression is wrong, but I felt like he was just as much in love with her. That, had it not been for all the ridiculous drama, they’d have had a much more meaningful relationship. They didn’t like the same stuff like Dair, but they did open up to each other, especially Serena (it was really hard for her). And I just disliked the fact that Blair knew Serena still had feelings for Dan, B for Chuck, yet she chose to go after Dan… It’s all messed up.“

First of all, I will be the first one to say that I shipped Chair for the first two seasons and the first one to say that Leighton and Ed had outstanding chemistry, like it’s a fact. One of my favourite moments between them and in GG is when Blair tells Chuck she loves him and he looks at her so pained and says it doesn’t mean anything to him and the way Blair closes her eyes as he walks away, I was just like, I feel you, girl. So I understand why people ship Chair even though I resolutely do not. And with Derena. Penn and Blake had great chemistry too, which made for some pretty intense scenes between Dan and Serena … when he shows up to the cotillion is also one of my favourite scenes and when they dance in season 1 and Serena tells him he can let go of her since the photographer’s away and he says “I don’t want to…” like I love that moment.

But.

Derena and Chair to me, are high school romances and my issue with Gossip Girl is that the show seemed too afraid to let these characters grow up and shift dynamics. I do think that Dan and Serena were great together. For a time. When Dan and Serena were together it was the first time she really understood her privilege and what came with it and it was the first time she met a genuine person and they had the intensity that comes with first loves, with experiencing what it’s like to truly care about another person for the first time in your life and that’s wonderful and sweet and so so significant but they didn’t grow from that moment. They didn’t become mature adults with each other, every time they were together, it was back to high school, back to Serena being pigheaded about her privilege and Dan being resentful and judgemental, back to Dan just waiting for Serena to make up her mind and take into account other people’s time and feelings and him just ready to rescue her whenever she did something that inevitably gets her in trouble so I don’t see their relationship as meaningful past high school. And with Dair … they spoke about *real* things and experienced *real* things and they were grownups together, as adults Dan and Blair are the people who complement each other the most and they make each other better people instead of reduce one another to pettiness like Derena and Chair did. So, that’s my opinion on that :)