she was willing to give up a lot in her life to stay with him which is pretty incredible

The Major Arcana as People You Meet In College

0. The Fool: The freshman. He’s fascinated by the fact he just entered college, plans on joining every club imaginable, and thinks he can handle 8AM classes. Still wears his lanyard around his neck.

I. The Magician:The one who actually has all their shit together, lives off of campus and works a real-person job. Probably works out too. You want to not like them for it but they’re too nice.

II. The High Priestess: She’s kinda quiet and reserved, but if you talk to her she’s really smart and knows a lot of fun random facts. The sweet one that unexpectedly knows a lot of fucked up shit and freaks your friends out at a party for a few minutes that one time.

III. The Empress: She’s a junior when you get to college, but she likes you a lot and shows you around. She’s a big help and tells you about local deals on food. Buys you alcohol for the party but then makes sure you stay safe when you’re drunk. Very attractive, probably gay.

IV. The Emperor: This guy is probably older than you, and tends to give really good advice when you have drama. Sometimes his male privilege goes really unchecked but he’s willing to learn and know better. Designated driver.

V. The Hierophant: Absolutely can’t cope with the fact that underage drinking is a real thing. Straight A’s, probably on some Student Government board or faculty-built club that encourages good student conduct. Kinda snobby so you don’t talk to them much, but their help in Physics class was the only reason you passed.

VI. The Lovers: You’ve never known these people to not be dating. They’re basically already married and you’re basically their first child. When The Fool comes around you get upgraded to Aunt or Uncle or something. They give good relationship advice.

VII. The Chariot: He’s friends with all the right people, gets away with outrageous antics and never gets in trouble. Always has tickets to that concert you want. Cocky with a heart of gold. Smooth af. Probably tries to ask you on a date.

VIII. Strength: Deals with way more shit than you do. Holds your arm so you don’t rip somebody’s neck out when that person tries to pick a fight. Says they’ll “deal with” the creeper who’s been stalking you. You have no idea what she said to them, but they never approach you again.

IX. The Hermit: The friend that everyone likes, wise beyond their years. Every time you invite them to hang out, they’re busy with homework or something else comes up, even though they’re legitimately not trying to avoid you. Meditates daily. Forgets about that huge campus event you go to every year.

X. The Wheel of Fortune: You meet in a class and hit it off really well. You guys are close for a while, and you learn some life lessons and gain some new interests or viewpoints. The new semester rolls around and they basically fall off the face of the map.

XI. Justice: The friend who almost got alcohol poisoning once and completely changed their life afterwards. They’re much more stable now and seem a lot happier. They invite you to a bonfire at some point.

XII. The Hanged Man: He’s kind of a weird guy, but in a way that you still like hanging out with him. Has drastically different views about the world than the rest of your friends, which leads to a lot of really in-depth, interesting discussions. You emerge from that friendship a lot smarter.

XIII. Death: The one that finally managed to convince you to drop that club, break up with that person, or quit that destructive habit. Their solution for everything seems to be hard cut offs, you’re both impressed and intimidated by it.

XIV. Temperance:The student tutor you finally go to in an hour of need. They manage to completely salvage your paper from the brink of despair in under an hour. You feel like you have been touched by an angel.

XV. The Devil:Invites you to his birthday party, which is by far the trashiest situation you ever experience. Meanwhile, he gets tanked, calls somebody a string of offensive slurs, then does a line of cocaine. You don’t speak anymore.

XVI. The Tower: They seem cool and all, you talk now and then but are still getting to know them. Then, you hear them say something INCREDIBLY problematic or hear down the grape vine about their old sexual assault charges. You can’t look at them the same way anymore and now just thinking about how you used to hang out leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

XVII. The Star: That faculty member you LOVE. She helps you build your schedule, helps you fix your grade in the class, and reminds you that some people aren’t so bad after all.

XVIII. The Moon: Things are pretty good. You have a solid relationship going with somebody, then this asshole shows up and now you have to rethink everything about your current relationship and if they’re really worth dumping someone over. You agonize over it, not knowing what you want, until it just kinda awkwardly blows over and you figure out they aren’t into your gender anyway.

XIX. The Sun: This person is the one always sharing mildly-political information on Facebook. Before you know it, you’re freshly passionate about the causes you care for the most, and still educated on the ones you don’t put as much energy into. You cared about these things before, but they’re the person that armed you with the knowledge you needed to actually have constructive dialogue about it.

XX. Judgement: Best friends with Justice, and is remodeling her entire life. You don’t hang out with her often so the next time you see her she has a new hobby, new major, new hairstyle, and has probably stopped talking to certain members of her family. It was tough but she seems better for it.

XXI. The World: Your person. They stick with you from year one to when you graduate. You complement each other really well. You still make healthy time for other people but they’re still your best friend. Eventually when you get older they’ll have a kid and name it after you probably.

The Journey - Part Three

Here comes the promised update!

Thank you @jia911 and @bluebelle18 for making it so much easier.

Previous Chapters are here:

Part One - Part Two 

Timeline for Part 3:

This one covers episodes 10x23 and 10x24.
Derek is going to DC and has handed over his practice and appointed Amelia to replace him. After apparently being on board, Meredith decides last minute that she doesn’t want to go (after Cristina gives her that “he’s dreamy, but you’re the sun” speech).
Owen is dealing with a crazy day and afters weeks hovering around, Cristina finally goes off to Zurich. Meanwhile, Amelia is debating with James on the phone nearly every day because she doesn’t want to go back to LA.


The Journey – Part Three 

Amelia paced back and forth in the living room of her brother’s house. She couldn’t believe how much her life had changed and in a matter of days.

When she’d come to Seattle, hoping to get her head straight, the neurosurgeon was kind of hoping the experience would reinforce her wish to stay in Los Angeles, marry James and build a family with him.

But none of that had happened.

As Derek moved back and forth between Seattle and DC, he had progressively referred his patients to her. Day after day, discussions with James over the phone had followed. Amelia slowly got seduced by the big hospital lifestyle until it suddenly clicked that the thing she’d been craving for when she’d left LA wasn’t exactly to start something new in her life, but rather to restart something she deeply cared about and hadn’t been able to focus on lately: her career and passion for surgery.

And Amelia couldn’t believe that the order of events were a coincidence. Just when she’d felt the urge to break up her engagement, knowing that despite loving her fiancé, she really didn’t need or want him in her life anymore, she had been offered the opportunity to stay in Seattle and give her career a full spin.

Amelia cared about James and even though they ultimately wanted the same things in life, it hurt to admit she didn’t want those things with him, or exactly at that very moment. He was a nice, generous person and she acknowledged how amazing he had been to her in a time of need but now, she felt ready to take on the world and explore other possibilities. Unfortunately, she didn’t see where he could fit in that new scenario.

Derek had decided to move to Washington and Amelia now had a big house and a big practice to take after. She secretly hoped that she would also get the job of head of Neuro that her brother was leaving vacant, but she knew it wasn’t very likely. To win the position, Amelia would have to be hired by Owen Hunt.

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Faust Arp

Originally posted by futuretage

“denial, denial, denial, denial”

House of Cards - Radiohead

(exo x reader)

(5.9k words)

WARNINGS: angst, cheating, swearing, slight smut, nudity, blood

A/N: y’all this was so hard to write!!!! sorry it took so long I was just wanting this ending to be perfect… I hope everyone has enjoyed reading this story and please give me feedback!! :)

first part   -   second part   -   third part    -  last part

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Klaine Valentines Challenge - “Come up to Meet You: Chapter 6/6 *COMPLETE* - Tell You I’m Sorry” (NC17)

Now that Kurt is getting better, Blaine wonders if staying together is the best thing for the man he loves. (2598 words)

Written for the @klainevalentines prompt “I Will” by The Beatles.

Chapter 1 - Come up to Meet You

Chapter 2 - Nobody Said It Was Easy

Chapter 3 - You Don’t Know How Lovely You Are

Chapter 4 - Tell Me Your Secrets, And Ask Me Your Questions

Chapter 5 - I Had to Find You, Tell You I Need You

Read on AO3.

“Hey, Blaine! Nice to see you back!”

“Hey, Maureen. How’s your afternoon been so far?” Blaine asks, approaching the nurse’s station with a brown paper bag in hand.

“Pretty good. No real complaints,” she says, smile widening when Blaine hands the bag over. She unrolls the top and takes a sniff of the freshly baked cronuts inside, the scent of sweet, warm pastry making her eyes twinkle and her stomach growl. “Better now, though. Three of us on shift haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast, and that was about eight hours ago.”

“Well, hopefully those will tide you guys over till you can take a break,” Blaine says, tapping out a cheerful rhythm on the counter with his index fingers.

“They will.” She cinches the bag at the top to keep the cronuts toasty. “Thank you so much, Blaine. You’re a life saver.”

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How Youth is Depicted in Battle Royale

Well, I promised that once I had my essay written, I’d upload it, and it’s all finished! Now, before you read, I just want to clarify a few things:

  • This is an essay written for an English class in college, so I had to go with some pretty boring topics IMO. The three things I chose to concentrate on were: Young people’s attitude towards the government, how ordinary things intensify in survival scenarios, and (losing of) morality.
  • Because the essay was going to be penalized if I went over a certain number of words, I had to leave out a lot. Forgive me for my lack of insight into certain characters (“You should’ve done X as an example!”), but I honestly had to cut out a lot.
  • Please note it's highly unlikely that my tutors ever read BR, so naturally I left out details, or I had to explain some pretty obvious things. 

Warnings out of the way, enjoy reading!

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anonymous asked:

For the supercorp headcannon let's get on with the angst: who has more nightmares? Who usually comforts who? How the Danvers and the Kents take a Luthor?

omg i am so excited i have so much angst in my soul and so much angst for these two lil nerds

  • SO i would say kara probably has more nightmares but lena generally has more intense ones??  
    • this isnt to say that kara’s are not fucking intense and terrible and usually involve, you know, the destruction of her planet, culture, family, etc, but she’s had them for what’s going on 10+ years and while she used to wake up screaming in the beginning (which, tbh, is a big reason why alex became so incredibly protective over her, even when she resented her existence, bc she was this little girl that was so far from a home that didnt even exist anymore and she was crying and scared and alex is a giant softie so of course she got up and got into kara’s bed, curled around her and stayed awake, vigilant until kara was asleep again, anyway that was off topic i just have a LOT of emotions about the danvers sisters)
      • but like its been years and so she’s sort of used to them??  and unless it’s particularly bad, she usually just wakes up a little shaken or sad but its manageable
        • that said, lena’s particularly attuned to kara bc kara often wont verbalize whats eating away at her??  she’s so used to putting on a brave face and closing off whatever anger or sadness or doubt she has and she wont saying anything so lena’s learned to catch onto the minutiae, the tiny shift of expression, the deep sadness in those blue eyes before its shoved back.  so she usually wakes up with kara, and even though she’s not always one hundred percent coherent she’s usually with it enough to figure out whats happening and pull kara against her, ground her, land a sleepy kiss to her cheek or temple
    • lena on the other hand, has not had 10+ years to adjust and the nightmares are a pretty recent development, often centered around thinking she’s got lex back on her side again only to have him kill her, or her have to kill him, or the worst yet, developed only after learning about supergirl, being somehow manipulated into killing kara herself (those are…..the Worst tbh).  she usually wakes up crying, though there have been a couple times when she’ll wake screaming and she’s so used to self soothing, to just shaking and rocking until she’s calm enough to get up and make herself some tea and down some ambien, its honestly a little bit of a shock the first time kara is around for one of these nights and she’s so worried about lena, sitting up in a blink of an eye and sort of–she doesn’t want to make it worse by holding her if she doesnt want to be touched and lena’s not really??  talking???  and kara doesnt know what to do, doesnt know how to make this better for her and she feels so incredibly helpless
      • in the end, she sort of just stays with her, just so she’s not alone until lena sort of collapses against her, crying so hard that she’s shaking and kara takes that as her cue so she wraps her arms around her and channels a lil alex and stays awake until lena’s calm, until she’s asleep again and then she stays awake past that, not sure what to do if it happens again
        • they talk about it the next morning, after lena’s cancelled her meetings and stumbles out looking like death and kara’s still got a worried look on her face even as she sets down a smiley face pancake in front of lena when she sits at the kitchen island
          • like……dont look at me bc im totally NOT crying over the thought of lena looking incredibly small, the smallest she’s ever seemed to kara, and her trying to explain what happened, trying to explain that they just happen sometimes and that kara shouldnt worry and kara like aggressively worrying and just asking what she can do to make it better when lena wakes up like that
  • a lot of the time its lena comforting kara, like she has a lot going on you know?  like she’s desperately trying to balance being supergirl with maintaining some semblance of a normal life and on top of that she’s constantly reminded of the fact that she is the only living being that still remembers krypton, that carries the history, the traditions, the culture, the language with her because while kal-el knows a bit here and there, he never lived it, never went to the festivals, never watched it die and there is no one that can relate to that, that can relate to the very specific pain of being 13 and watching everyone and everything you love die AND THEN not even being able to carry out the last thing your mother ever told you to do like kara carries so much guilt and she rarely vocalizes it and even then its never exactly about it, always by proxy, some sideways way of approaching it
    • she normally breaks down in front of alex, her go-to, her rock, but then alex is happy for once and kara can’t–kara won’t take that away from her, refuses to weigh her down with this when she knows she’s the reason it took this long for alex to look so free so she buries it deep and this goes on for months and then she has this one awful day where snapper is on her case about something that isn’t even in her control and she was looking forward to her date with lena that night when, of course, supergirl duty called and she cancelled and the alien’s just a fuckin jerk ok, just a jerk that liked to blow shit up and kara’s tired, she is, she just wants to feel okay for a little and she’s reached a point where she’s not sure if that means she wants to be kara zor-el or kara danvers but splitting the difference is hurting more and more each day and she just wants to feel okay
      • she flies to lena’s after the debrief at deo hq.  it’s nearly one and most of the lights are off when kara lands on the balcony but she also knows that lena’s first meeting isnt until the afternoon tomorrow and she also knows that she doesn’t think she can handle going back to her empty loft tonight
        • she also knows that when she doesnt stay the night, lena sleeps with her phone on the bed and lena actually picks up on the first ring which means she’s either still up working or has just finished and kara can barely tell her im on the balcony, it’s chilly, please come let me in and then she’s crying and lena doesn’t hang up, kara thinks, but then she’s at the top of the stairs, jogs down them and unlocks and slides the glass door open and then kara’s falling into her arms and lena holds her for a moment before she’s guiding her up the stairs and leaving her at the foot of her bed while she stacks her papers haphazardly and dumps them onto her dresser and later kara will think that that’s probably the biggest sign that lena cares for kara as much as kara cares for her, but then lena’s pulling back the covers and following kara when she climbs in, pulling her back against her chest and just letting her cry it out
          • i’m tired, she whispers later.  i’m just so tired.
          • then sleep, love, lena murmurs back.  i’m right here.
            • kara wakes up sometime long past when she should have.  lena’s still there, holding her, and she murmurs when kara starts to sit up i called snapper and told him that i’d offered you an exclusive on the new tablet we’re putting out, she yawns.  and that you’d be sitting in on meetings for the next week.
              • lena
              • you need a break
                • which, well, true
    • and this isnt to say that kara doesnt spend just as much time taking care of lena, but the way lena views it, she has a therapist that she pays good money to listen to her and, like, she can actually talk about things without any sort of cover story in a way that kara can’t outside a select group of people and lena is honestly just glad that she’s part of that select group and maybe that means she announces a couple of pieces of tech a little earlier than initially intended, it still fucks with apple pretty well
  • HOO BOY OH MAN OH GOD OKAY so the danvers handle it with relative grace, they really do; alex gives lena the shovel talk and, quite honestly, so does eliza, but kara’s happy and safe and that is their first and foremost worry, really, so when it becomes clear that lena is just as committed to that ideal, just as willing to prioritize kara’s well being, it’s easy enough to accept her.  it doesn’t hurt that she’s got the whole my parents never loved me! card to play, something that immediately wins over eliza ‘i’ve never met an orphan that i didnt want to mother’ danvers and lena and alex sort of bond haphazardly over That Lesbian Lifestyle and their shared drive to keep kara safe and happy
    • so while they’re wary for a bit and thoroughly vet lena, she’s eventually just kara’s girlfriend lena, rather than Lena Luthor, Sister to Lex Luthor, Daughter to Lionel and Lillian Luthor, which is???  honestly all lena’s wanted?????
    • THE KENTS ON THE OTHER HAND so honestly idk what history supergirl is working with for clark like are his parents even alive???  who knows but im going with no bc ive only ever seen man of steel and have never watched smallville and also dont care that much.  ANYWAY kara literally does not tell kal-el for the LONGEST time because she knows exactly how he’ll react and she’s not interested in having him talk down to her when she is, in fact, older than him and more than capable of making her own decisions and judging people based on merit, rather than surname.  but like…..he’s superman.  he finds out eventually.  probably by winn accidentally letting it slip (he then sends off abt fifteen thousand panicked texts to kara, all starting with IM SO SORRY HE’S JUST GOT THAT FACE AND I GOT DISTRACTED or something like it)
      • and then kara’s getting a pissed kal-el storming into catco and, well, he’s not yelling but he might as well be and kara’s eyes just about roll out of her head and she drags him up to the roof, where at least they won’t have an audience wondering why clark kent gives a shit about kara’s relationship and then kal-el’s yelling about The Luthor Family is Bad News Kara and kara’s like listen i Don’t Care (i mean, obviously she does; she knows what lex did and what that in turn did to kal-el but at the same time, he is perpetuating the same bullshit judge a book by its cover that kara has fought so hard against and he’s not even bothering to listen to her, just sort of assuming that that she will listen to him and break up with her girlfriend that she likes like a Lot, maybe even loves, and so honestly Fuck You Buddy) and it boils down to if you’re not willing to respect my ability to make autonomous decisions, then you can leave and kal-el’s like FINE and kara’s like FINE and he flies away and kara’s so angry and hurt that she spends the rest of the day in the deo training room (kryptonite off) punching everything she can
        • it is not fine at all bc while he’s got an entirely different experience from kara when it comes to krypton, he’s also the only tie she has left to her home, her family and it breaks her into too many pieces to count that he’s entirely unwilling to even consider judging lena for her own actions, or even to consider the fact that this is kara and she trusts lena with her life, her secret, and that should count for something.  lena’s particularly quiet during this time, turning it over in her head again and again, knowing exactly the weight that kara’s cousin carries for her, exactly how terrible this is for her, how it’s lena’s fault that kal-el’s not talking to kara
        • its a Bad Time, because then lena’s pulling away, putting distance where kara doesn’t want it out of guilt, but kara’s too upset to think anything but the worst and it culminates in what is actually their first fight (bc while they’ve had disagreements, disagreements have never ended with kara storming out in tears)
          • kara shows up at alex’s crying and alex’s first instinct is to murder lena luthor, her second is to hide the body, her third (and strongest) is to draw her sister into her arms and let her cry on her shoulder because everything’s just gone to shit and i dont know what to do alex, i dont know and alex’s heart is breaking and she stays with kara through the night and only leaves once her sister falls asleep, and only then to go to lena’s apartment and flashes her fbi forgery to be let up without question and then she’s banging on lena’s door shouting WHY IS KARA CRYING ON MY COUCH LUTHOR and lena answers the door looking wrecked, all red eyes and puffy face and its so obvious that she’s just as upset and alex, who will deny it vehemently if asked, has already developed a soft spot for her sister’s girlfriend, and it probably helps that lena’s first words to her are is kara alright?
          • so alex softens a little, enough to think rationally, to remember that lena is, by all evidence, absolutely whipped when it comes to kara and would never do anything to hurt her, so she asks what happened and lena looks like she doesn’t want to answer but this is alex, Super Intimidating DEO Agent And Also Sister To Supergirl/Kara Danvers and lena’s Lena Luthor, Billionaire and Survivor of Multiple Assassination Attempts, but she’s also incredibly sad and worried and scared that she’s ruined what was possibly the only good thing aside from her company so she tells alex everything and then alex is S E E T H I N G like what the fuck kent and she leaves lena, promising that talking to kara would be a good idea and calls kal-el and tells him he’s needed at the deo, to meet her in the training room
            • she greets him with a slap to the back of his head when he walks in like what the actual fuck kent, i get that you dont trust luthors, but you should trust kara of all people and his bullshit excuse gets lost somewhere in alex’s Big Sister yelling, like do you not understand how fucked up it is that you cut off the only person in the world that has any idea of what you go through just because you dont like who she’s dating and lena is not her brother, she’s not her mother or father either, she is her own person and i’m not sure if you remember, but your father in law built a death machine with the only purpose of using it to kill kara if he ever chose to, not sure if you remember that he tortured her aunt without need, not sure if you remember the hell he put kara through and you dont see her judging lois for that or cutting you off because of it and the mighty superman is reduced to a shaken ball of nerves by the end of it, suddenly realizing how shitty he was being
            • he gets to kara’s apartment just as lena does and then it’s as awkward and uncomfortable as it possibly could be and kara opens the door to find them locked in a staring match and then lena’s looking at kara and kara’s looking at lena and kal-el has to clear his throat to get them to even remember he’s there and even then just barely and he sort of mumbles out something about him being wrong, lena obviously cares about you and you care about her and im just going to butt my butt out now (at least that’s what kara garners from his stumbling attempts at an apology)
            • its never an easy topic, but its not like the kents and the danvers spend thanksgiving together or anything and it puts a strain on kara and kal-el’s relationship moving forward, something that trips lena up sometimes, makes her uncertain and worried and guilty and they struggle with that for quite some time, because lena knows that kara’s lost and doesn’t want her losing this, losing him too, just because of her; at the same time, kara’s reached a point of knowing that she’s damned either way, but even if its uncomfortable, she’s happy and lena’s happy and their friends are happy for them and that’s what matters

This one took a weird turn. Enjoy!

The knocking was incessant. Again and again and again, the person on the other side of the door had proven they weren’t going away anytime soon, and honestly, Caroline didn’t blame them too much. The pounding on the door was only marginally louder than the sounds of the storm outside, between the thunder and the rain; she had no doubt that someone desperately needed shelter.

Locking the basement door securely behind her, she strode across the dimly lit living room and peered through the sheer curtains. It was dark, but she could see the silhouette of a man outside her front door, and a car on the street, probably broken down if she had to guess. Another round of knocking sounded and Caroline jumped back from the window, wondering if he had seen her. If he had, there was no getting rid of him now.

Deciding to bite the bullet, she marched over to the door, and after taking a deep breath, pulled it open, flicking on the porch light. She had guessed right; a man stood there, no older than mid-twenties, with dark rain-matted blonde curls and a handsome face, his fist still raised mid-knock. Lowering his hand, the stranger smiled a little sheepishly.

“Sorry for that,” he said, not sounding sorry at all, “but it’s a bit of a mess out here.”

He had a smooth English accent and a charming smile, two things Caroline would bet he knew how to use to his advantage. Leaning against the doorframe, she looked him up and down, trying to assess how much of a threat he was. “What happened to your car?” she asked finally.

“Engine trouble,” he replied easily. “Serves me right for not getting it checked out weeks ago.” He gave her another grin, and rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m Klaus, by the way,” he added, offering her his hand.

“Caroline.” Shaking his hand, Caroline wondered if giving her name was such a good idea. Then again, he didn’t seem like much of a threat…

“So, Caroline, any chance I could come inside for an hour or two?” he asked eagerly.

Letting a stranger into her house on a dark and stormy night was the stuff of horror movies, Caroline knew, but he was friendly and this was Mystic Falls, nothing ever happened. So with a small, silent nod, she pulled open the door and let Klaus inside.

“Thank you love,” Klaus said smoothly, slipping through the door and surveying her home. It was small but cozy, exactly the type of house you could find in every small town in America, complete with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed cheerleader, if the pictures on the mantle were anything to go by. Such a pretty thing…

“So why are you in Mystic Falls, Klaus?” asked Caroline, trying to break the awkward silence. He moved silently through her living room, hands clasped behind his back, his gait as smooth as a panther’s. Every now and then he paused at a picture of her, but finally turned to answer her.

“Just passing through,” he replied with a shrug, “it’s a charming town; I’ve heard there’s lots to do here.”

“Oh really?” asked Caroline skeptically, “Because I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never heard anyone say that there’s ‘lots’ to do.”

Klaus smirked, but wondered internally if he hadn’t made a slight mistake in picking this particular house. Caroline was young and pretty, but she was sharp, and the way she was looking at him told him that she was no fool.  As he moved through the room, she mirrored him subtly, matching every step he took. Her suspicious gaze didn’t falter for a second, as if she expected him to pull a knife on her at any moment.

“You can relax, sweetheart,” he said with a chuckle, holding up his hands in mock surrender. “I promise I’m not a serial killer.”

“Sorry,” she said with a tiny smile, “Guess I’m on edge tonight.”

He smiled in return, one hand going behind him and outlining the blade of the knife he had tucked into the back of his belt. Poor little thing. If only she knew she had a right to be afraid.

“So, where are you going?” Caroline asked after another moment of silence.

“Nowhere in particular,” said Klaus, taking a seat on one of the couches, “I’m drifting at the moment.” ‘And killing when I fancy it,’ is what he doesn’t add, but the girl now sitting opposite him narrows her eyes, as if she knows exactly what his unspoken words are.

“Were you expecting company?” he asked as a way to quickly change the subject. Caroline’s face scrunched up in confusion until she realized the dining table was still set with two plates of pasta, a thin stream of smoke coming off the recently blown out candles.

“My boyfriend, actually, we were supposed to celebrate our anniversary.”

Klaus noticed the way her face hardened, her voice went flat. “I take it the storm threw a wrench in your plans?”

She snorted ungraciously. “I wish. I found out he was cheating on me.”

“My condolences.”

“Whatever, he was a jerk,” she mumbled to herself.

“For what it’s worth, Caroline, anyone who’d betray you is worthless,” he said silkily, leaning forward. “I’m sure you’ll find better men worth your time.”

“Oh?” Instead of falling for the line, she simply leant back in her seat and raised an eyebrow.

“You’re beautiful, smart,” said Klaus, his smile widening, “and clearly generous, to take in a poor old stranger like me.”

“Clearly,” said Caroline, finally returning his smile.

She was beautiful when she smiled, Klaus realized, and for the first time in a while, he didn’t feel the familiar impulse to play God, to end a life for sport. But still he saw a game, just a different kind, with a challenging opponent to keep him occupied. Caroline had a sharp mind and a pretty face, but no idea of who she was up against, and he wondered how far he could take the game before the night ended – or he was forced into drastic measures.

“So Caroline, tell me, what do Mystic Falls residents do for fun?”

She rolled her eyes, “Like I said, there’s nothing to do here.”

“Well then, we’ll just have to make our own fun, won’t we?” Another suggestive smirk and he knew he had her squirming in her seat, a blush on her pretty cheeks.

Literally every warning sign flashed in Caroline’s mind, but a small, petty part of her liked the attention and there was no denying he was incredibly hot. Between the accent, dimples and her recent discovery of just how big of a douchebag Tyler was, she was halfway considering revenge-sex, if a bigger part of her didn’t know what a ridiculously bad idea that could be, given the circumstances.

The two fell into a heavy silence, Klaus keeping his gaze intent on the blonde, and Caroline searched for something more to say. “So, you should take your car over to Ike’s on Main Street once the storm dies down,” she said idly, “he’ll be able to fix it up in a few hours.”

“I’m sure I’ll be able to take care of it myself,” Klaus replied carefully, taking care to steer her away from that line of thought. Car detailing would have to wait until the body in the back could be taken care of. Not that pretty little Caroline needed to know that part, of course.

“Yeah, well if you want – ” Her advice was cut short by the ringing of the phone, and she jumped up to get it, darting a look at Klaus.

“Hello?”

Hey sweetie, the storm’s keeping us pretty busy at the station, so it doesn’t look like I’ll be home any time soon.”

“Oh, no problem Mom,” said Caroline, not surprised at the news.

Caroline, are you going to be okay by yourself all night?”

“Mom, it’s just a storm,” she said, rolling eyes. Liz Forbes was a good person, but this was not the first all-nighter she pulled, and Caroline was more than used to spending time alone. She snuck a quick glance at Klaus, wondering if she should tell her mom about her houseguest, but then she would jump to the worst conclusion, probably give a lecture, she might even come home to check on her…and that would just cause problems.

Listen Caroline, stay inside tonight, okay?”

There was something weird about her mom’s voice; she was on edge, much more than usual. “Mom, is everything okay?”

“Look, I don’t want to worry you…”

“Just tell me what it is, Mom,” said Caroline, exasperated. She looked over at her guest, but Klaus was simply watching her with a lazy smile which she returned.

We found some signs of an attack just outside of town.”

“Like…an animal attack?” asked Caroline.

Not likely. But we don’t know who it was or what happened, just that there was a lot of blood.”

“Oh wow…well, good luck Mom.”

One more thing, did Tyler come over?”

“Our dinner didn’t go as planned, he left a while ago,” said Caroline tersely, not willing to go into details.

Well, if you do talk to him, tell him to call home, Carol can’t get a hold of him.”

“Sure thing Mom.” A few more goodbyes and Caroline hung up, turning back to Klaus and taking the seat next to him. “Sorry about that, my Mom was just checking up on me.”

“I suppose I’ll have to explain myself to her soon then?” he asked, taking care to keep his tone light.

“Nah, she’s out investigating some attack in the storm, she’s the town sheriff.” Klaus didn’t seem too nervous that her mom was a police official, but then, he didn’t seem like the type to let a lot get to him. He was too sure of himself, too cocky – she wondered if it meant he was dangerous.

“Well, I hope it’s nothing too serious,” he said, inching a little closer. “Wouldn’t want to break the town’s boring streak.”

“No, wouldn’t want that,” Caroline replied, suddenly regretting her decision to sit so close to him. The warning signs were flashing in her head again, telling her that he could be a serious threat, but that panty-dropping smirk was back and the scent of his cologne was going to her head.

“So, tell me something about yourself,” she said, settling back against the sofa and tucking her legs under her.

“There’s not much to tell, sweetheart,” he said, rolling the endearment off his tongue with ease. “Just a foreigner visiting family around here.”

Caroline pulled back, the suspicion in her eyes back tenfold. “I thought you were just passing through?”

Klaus cursed internally, wondering how he got so distracted by a pretty face that he made his first slip-up in years. “That’s what I meant,” he said quickly, “I’m just visiting family for a few days before I’m on my way.”

“Where do they live?”

“Near here.”

“There’s no other town ‘near here’ and there aren’t any British people living in Mystic Falls,” Caroline shot back. If small town life was good for anything, it was calling the bluffs of anyone passing through, and she didn’t give a damn how hot he was, this stranger was full of shit.

“You’re sharp Caroline,” said Klaus leaning back. She knew he was a lying bastard, that much was obvious. What was less clear was whether or not he’d have to resort to more extreme measures if she decided to open her pretty mouth and run to her mother. The knife which he had so recently done work with dug into his back, and he could see it so clearly in his head, the way he would pull out the blade, lean across and swipe it against the smooth column of her throat. It would take seconds. It would be easy.

And yet, he remained still.

“So what now, love?” he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

Caroline got up slowly, quickly looking over to the basement door, and then back at the stranger who had risen with her. They stood in a heavy silence, neither willing to break first until a loud knock on the door jolted them both out of their stand-off.

Taking a deep breath, Caroline walked towards the front door, opening it just enough to fit her body through the crack, the storm still raging outside. Matt Donovan stood on her porch, and Caroline felt a pang of affection for her apple-pie wholesome ex-boyfriend, who was the polar opposite of the man whose heavy stare she could feel on the back of her neck.

“Hey Care, are you doing okay?” Matt watched her worriedly, and Caroline mustered up a smile.

“I’m good, what’s up? Why are you here?”

“Listen, I probably should’ve called or something, but I was out getting some supplies so I thought I’d swing by and make sure you were okay – and I needed to see if Tyler was here.”

“Nope, sorry,” said Caroline, bristling at the mention of Tyler, but Matt’s face fell and he looked distinctly nervous.

“Damn – his mom’s freaking out, no one’s been able to reach him since the storm started.” It was more than that though, because this was not the first storm Mystic Falls had seen, and not the first one that a teenager hadn’t decided to sit out somewhere until cellphones were working again.

“Spit it out Matt, what’s wrong?” asked Caroline, a little annoyed. She heard Klaus take a few steps closer and wondered, briefly, if she should say something about him, but she had a gut feeling that it would be a very bad idea.

Matt shifted his weight between his feet, before finally talking again. “Look, Care, when I was at the hardware store, some of your mom’s deputies were picking up emergency supplies and I heard them talking on their radios…they think someone’s been killed.”

“My mom said something like that to me; but she just said there was a lot of blood –”

“There was an insane amount. I heard them say that no one could survive that much blood loss, they definitely think it was a murder.”

Caroline just managed to hold in a groan. Of course it was a murder. And what were  the chances that the murderer was in her house?

“Not a word, sweetheart.”

Klaus’ whispered order would be much easier to ignore if it wasn’t for the cold knife digging into the back of her throat.  

“Care, you okay?”

It was so tempting to try and run, but Matt was in front of her with his baby-blue eyes and Caroline knew there was no way she could risk him getting into her house that night. “I’m fine Matty,” she said slowly, just barely managing a tense smile. Another lightning strike lit up the sky and for a second Klaus’ shadow fell across her, but Matt was more concerned with the increasing downpour and he turned back with an apologetic smile.

“So you’re good for the night?”

She nodded quickly and Matt turned to leave before noticing the dark sedan that had been pulled over on the other side of the road and he turned back. “Who’s car is that?” he called out over the roar of thunder.

The knife dug deeper into her neck, sharp and cold against her skin, the message coming across loud and clear. “No idea,” she replied with a shrug.

Accepting her answer, Matt jogged back to his truck, none to the wiser to the danger he was almost in. The cold steel still bit into her flesh, but she didn’t feel the  telltale warm trickle of blood so Caroline assumed Klaus was holding off, showing her some measure of restraint.

“Easy does it love,” Klaus said slowly, waiting for the truck to drive off before tugging her by the arm in a swift, practiced movement, kicking the front door shut and whirling her body around so that her back met wood, the knife against her jugular and his body pressed against hers to prevent her from moving too fast.

“What did you do?” Caroline asked.

Klaus would give her this; there was no fear in her voice. It was flat, almost disturbingly so, as if she had more important things to worry about and the man with a knife against her throat was just a hindrance to overcome. “Nothing you want to know about,” he said with a grin, but she just pursed her lips a little tighter.

“Did your car really break down?” she asked, pressing for an explanation.

Klaus chuckled, amused by her curiosity under the circumstances. “Do you know what? It really did. I suppose there’s a lesson in here for you.”

She didn’t laugh, didn’t cry, and just stared him down bravely before speaking again. “What are you going to do to me?”

“You haven’t figured it out love?” Klaus asked quietly, his fingers tightening on his knife, shifting so that he pressed her further into the door, internally commiserating that he would never feel her like this under more favourable circumstances.

“If you wanted me dead, you would’ve done it already,” Caroline said simply, tilting her chin up, not showing an inch of fear.

His smirk dropped, only for a moment when he wondered if he had indeed showed his hand to the pretty blonde bird. He could’ve just sliced her open then and there, but he held off, reasoning his restraint had everything to do with the evidence he might leave behind and nothing to do with the faint thought of what her lips might taste like.

But whatever lurid fantasies he had been entertaining ten minutes ago would have to go up in smoke, the fact remained that he couldn’t just leave her be, she knew far too much. Curling his hand tightly around her arm he jerked her away from the door and quickly scanned the room, coming to rest on a door in a side hallway. He had absolutely no clue what was behind it, only that the second his eyes landed on the door was when Caroline started struggling in earnest, and he realized she wanted to stay away from that room by any means.

“What’s wrong love,” he asked, keeping her restrained with some effort, “what’s down there?”

She said nothing, and his grip on her arm tightened until he was sure he’d mar her flawless skin. “It’s just the basement,” she finally admitted through gritted teeth.

Just a basement, but the perfect place to keep someone captive while he cleaned the place up and decided what the hell he was going to do with her, and if Caroline was as smart as he thought she was, she had come to the same conclusion. She certainly put up a bloody fight as he dragged her over to the door, unlocking it as she fought him even harder, trying to unbalance him but he was having none of it.

“Give it up sweetheart, you’re not the first I’ve fought,” he bit out as he kicked open the basement’s door.

Caroline gave up her fight but stared him down fearlessly, darting a glance at the cement stairs, leading downwards. “Let me go, now,” she demanded authoritatively, “you’re not going to kill me.”

Klaus was impressed, truly. She had impressed him, and he found himself fantasizing a scenario where he let this pretty bird live and dragged her into underworld where he lived, just see how well she fought his demons and whether she remained so brave and strong. “You’re getting ahead of yourself sweetheart,” he said, once more tightening his grip and pushing her forward down the stairs, “the night’s not over yet.”

Slowly, they descended the stairs, arriving at the bottom with no incident, though he did notice Caroline had gone very tense underneath his grip. “Turn on the light,” he ordered, leaning forward and letting his breath wash over her ear.

For a long moment, she did nothing. Then, she lifted her free arm, and flicked the light switch.

First there were plain concrete walls and a few cardboard boxes along the walls. A light bulb dangling from the ceiling just barely illuminated the small, cold space.  It was Spartan, overall, nothing of note.

Nothing of course, except for the boy taped to the chair in the middle.

He was almost definitely a teenager, dressed in a football jersey and leather jacket, short dark hair clotted with blood from where he’d been hit over the head. His head lolled to the side, out cold, while duct tape trapped his ankles, torso, wrists and covered his mouth firmly. Klaus stared at the boy for one long moment, before finally turning back to the cheerleader in his grip.

Caroline looked back at him stoically. Then, she simply shrugged.

“Well, I did say he was cheating on me.”

xxx

The storm had finally passed but the earth was still damp, the clean fresh scent of the rain surrounding the two of them as they stood in the forest. Neither said a word but kept at their work, one pile of dirt after the other, until the deep grave was fully covered.

“Did you know who she was?” Caroline asked, breaking the heavy silence.

“I never do,” replied Klaus lightly, leaning on his shovel as he shot her a wink.

“Her name was Hayley. Would you believe she was the slut Tyler was sleeping with?”

“What are the chances?”

Caroline didn’t answer his question, but tilted her head to the side, regarding him for a moment. “What now?” she asked quietly, and to her credit she still didn’t look scared, simply contemplative.

“Now we part ways,” said Klaus, rolling down his sleeves.

“That’s it?” She almost sounded a little dissatisfied.

“Why,” he asked, “Were you hoping for more?”

He meant it jokingly but Caroline simply smiled and walked towards him, curling her small hands around his jacket and pulling him down, meeting his lips and kissing him hard, which Klaus was more than happy to return. Settling his hands on her hips he finally got the answer to his question, and realized that she tasted like peppermints, sweet and sharp, and he just barely registered that it’s a taste he likes very much before she pulled away, a spark in her eyes.

“I need to go home,” Caroline said, already striding past him, but stopped a few feet away, turning back. “Let me know if you’re ever passing through!” she called out and then turned her back, blonde curls dancing after her.

It took a moment for Klaus to realize that there was a smile on his face, and he gave the freshly turned earth one final pat down, finishing his work while his mind danced with images of  smooth skin, blue eyes, and pretty little birds who were too smart for any cage. 

anonymous asked:

what are your favourite kabby moments and why?

Thank you nonnie, well, I’ve been going through another aggressive Kabby cycle of late so you either have very good timing or very bad, I’m not entirely sure which. You also didn’t specify a number of scenes…Which may have been a very bad thing as well because I’m unlikely ever to shut up…But I think you all expect this of me now anyway so without further ado:

1)- 1x05 ‘Thank You’ or that moment where Marcus isn’t as much of a dick as we first thought (and also look at the way he looks at her)

This one is actually quite early on (shipping from the start people) but I think it’s really important for both Kabby and Marcus as well because it’s that sort of, it’s not that he doesn’t want her play with Raven to fail out of spite and he definitely doesn’t want to proceed with this culling; he does want her plan to work, he wants Earth to be survivable, he wants that option and he’s taken steps to ensure that, if by some miracle it does work, he’s got people to report to him the second she gets through so they can stop this.

And I think this is a really big moment for Marcus in season 1, for the audience as well because it’s hard to get out of the knowledge that you have. You know as an audience that the ground is survivable, you know that Raven made it, you know that Abby’s right and Marcus is wrong which makes what he’s doing seriously hard to swallow but from his point of view he doesn’t know that. Abby is very much best case hope and Marcus is very much worst case planning here; he’s not a lunatic on a power trip, he’s just trying to do the best that he can for his people.

And I think that very genuine little ‘thank you’ that she gives him (and the way that she looks at him, mustn’t forget that, never going to be over that) is her sort of realising that fact at the same point we do and looking at him a little bit differently and I think it’s just really nice to see that these two, who are so often at loggerheads, so often opposed and arguing and fighting because they have such different viewpoints and ideals on how to get things done, are literally standing side-by-side in this scene and  I think it just really reinforces that they do have this common ground; they both want the same thing. He’s not bad and she’s not good so to speak, they just have different ways of going about things, but they’re united by this common goal and that becomes a really strong tie for them in later seasons so I enjoy this foundation work.

2)- I don’t care if the world is literally crumbling around my ears I am going to crawl through this tiny cramped little tunnel and save your stupid self Take 1 Marcus edition 1x11

Also known as that one scene that catapulted me from hmm, I like this, to otp fuck me and send help.

There are many things that I enjoy in this world, I am a person with simple pleasures, tea, a good book, a big slab of chocolate, and the smile that lights up Marcus Kane’s face when he holds Abby Griffin in his arms in that one scene in 1x11 and realises that she’s not dead. I don’t know if it was scripted for him to look like he’d just seen the damn sun after ten years encased underground or if it was an acting choice by Ian (goddammit Ian) but whatever it was, it delighted the life out of me so here we are.  

The physical contact in that scene is also really interesting as well, I think pretty much from the moment that his torch lights upon her and he runs to her and turns her over to wake her up, there really isn’t a moment at all where he’s not touching her in some way, either cupping her cheeks in his hands or helping guiding her down towards him or just flat out snuggling (I love that, I really do, the world is falling apart around them but we must take time out for Abby recovery cuddles, it’s wonderful) and I just really love the way she just slumps down with her head on his chest and it’s just a real sense of safety that she gets from him, he’s found her, he’s there with her, everything’s going to be alright now and she knows that there with him and it just, yeah there’s a lot there, it’s a fairly small little beat but damn if it didn’t ruin my life and make me into what I am today.

3)- ‘There has to be another way’ Take 1 - 1x13 

There is /so much/ to unpack in this scene and so much that I love about it and you know, you’re never getting an abridged version of anything with me so on we go.

The possessive little arm seatbelt of hers just ruins me okay, it really ruins me, just, he hasn’t even managed to untangle himself or stand up yet but she already knows exactly what he’s thinking and she also already knows that it’s not something she’s just willing to sit back and meekly watch happen and so the arm comes out and he gets glowered at and yes Marcus but what exactly do you think that you’re doing here? Because it’s not happening.

And I think that one of the more interesting things about this is that she never actually takes her hand away? If you watch that scene, all the way through his line about someone having to stay behind and all through her next line she shoots at Sinclair, the arm stays very, very firmly in place, reaching across his body and trying to keep him there and stop him rising. The only time that she actually takes it away is when he makes her? It’s hard to see (dammit) but I think it’s pretty obvious that just before his ‘salvation comes at a price’ line you can see him curl his fingers around the hand that’s still outstretched to him and just sort of, it’s a very nice physical way of telling her to let go of this, she can’t win every fight, there isn’t always another way, sometimes someone has to sacrifice themselves/suffer so that everyone else can get what they need.

Then we come to that little line that ‘there has to be another way’ which is just, incredibly important in this scene and spoken by Abby. It’s been her mantra the whole season, wanting to find another way around the culling, she has half a hundred suggestions at one point, she’s desperate for them to give the 100 more time to make contact and stop them going through with this and it’s a sentiment that carries into the next season but most interestingly it’s Marcus who really carries it through. That little beat in 2x03 with the grounder ‘there’s got to be a better way’ definitely echoes her and he repeats those very words of hers in the season 2 finale (but I’ll sob more about this later I just want to draw attention to another point of this meta to come, namely parallels between these two)

But yes, the point there was that this has been Abby’s mantra all season; but a lot of the time it’s been directed /against/ him. He has been the one she has been saying find another way to, but now they’ve come to the point that he wants to sacrifice himself but she’s saying this for him now, to try and save him. And this time, he’s right, someone does have to stay behind, and he’s decided that it has to be him and just, there isn’t another line of dialogue exchanged between them in that scene after that and the silent communication that we get between the two of them is amazing.

Her desperate, pleading look towards him just before he stands up and his half-placating, half-insistent and impatient look back as she silently says don’t do this, don’t leave him, and him just, this is his choice, he has to do this and god her face when he stands up and makes it absolutely clear that he’s going through with it is soul destroying.

And then, to cap it all, we have the final nail in the coffin of every Kabby shipper barely keeping it together and the hand hoooolding which is just, okay who decided this was an okay thing to do to me I mean really. But I think there’s a lot of symbolism in that, I think it’s both, something of a resolution for their earlier arc, a certain coming together (made more poignant when they become the first two to step out onto the ground together and an idea of coming at this a little more united than they were before) but I think it’s also a lot about acceptance? She’s accepting his choice here, his decision, she doesn’t want him to do this, in fact she’s jus actively tried to prevent him from doing so, but he has to.

And there’s a certain feeling of their earlier arcs all wrapped up in this because he wants to make the sacrifice play, a clear echo to the culling, put the needs of the many before the needs of the few (in this case himself) and she wants to find another way, a way that they can all survive, a way that they can all get through this but someone has to stay behind. He listened to her, he waited to see if Sinclair could give them other options this time, but there weren’t any, so he went on ahead with this and I think that hand holding is a nicely little way of binding up their arc and yes, they have their differences, but I think there is that sense that they can come together, they can work together, they can present a united front, and ironic as it is when he’s about to stay behind, it’s the idea that they can get through this together, with a little bit of both of their mentalities and just, I don’t know, I’ve gone on too long about this already.

(much) more under the cut! 

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Truth Is, I Don't Really Have A Place To Go - Chapter 1

A/N: I COULDN’T HELP MYSELF PUBLISHING THIS NOW I’M SORRY HERE YOU GO so yeah a lot of you are probably aware this is the story of Blackwood told by Phil, in his POV. I’ll just kinda ~leave this chapter here~ to see how everything works out and whether you guys like it or not so yeah here you go I hope you like it!!

Summary: Phil Lester comes from a colourful background. As colourful as the pattern of bruises regularly given to him by his drunken stepfather, or the raucous language his friends shout down empty streets after late night parties. But when Phil’s mother decides she can’t handle looking after him anymore, he finds himself being thrown out of his old home of late nights, no rules and recklessness, into a private boarding school of uniforms, schoolbooks and strict regulations. Is this really what Phil will have to call home for the next 5 years? Is there anyone with the power strong enough to give Phil a sense of belonging, for the first time in his life?

((ok that was WAY too long))

——————————————-

And I’m alone, again.
With him.
I huddle under the grubby, crumpled sheets, trying to make myself seem as small and as unnoticeable as possible. Maybe if I try as hard as I can, and if he’s drunk enough, he just might not notice I’m here.
I lay in my own silence, the only audible sound being every deep, uneven breath I draw in.
I know he’s home. I’d heard the front door shutting, and the sound of his deep voice loudly penetrating the quietness of the night throughout the house, and halfway down the street, for that matter. And the house isn’t big, either. In fact, it’s really small, so he can’t have exactly gone far. But I couldn’t hear his voice, anymore. The drunken shouting had stopped a few minutes ago.
Maybe he’d gone back out again, with Mum. Maybe this meant I was safe for a few hours. Making the least noise I could possibly manage along with my skilled tiptoeing, I gradually made my way over to the bedroom door, and opened it a fraction, peeping my head out of the tiny crack into the hallway.

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Person of Interest 'If-Then-Else' Analysis and Review

Hoo, buddy.  That was a hell of an episode.  With enough nail-biting turns to make even seasoned PoI viewers hold their breath through the better part of this episode, this was what we had all been waiting for.  Season 4 has been a constant ratcheting-up of the tension, and this was the episode that finally set a light to that fuse and blew everything apart.  And it was a beautiful thing, both in terms of some of my favorite cinematography yet from this show, and in terms of character and story.  This is PoI at its finest, playing with reality, time, and perception to deliver a powerhouse of an action piece with lovely character moments scattered throughout.  Come on in to hear what I think about ‘If-Then-Else’.

 

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anonymous asked:

could it be possible for the diamonds to follow the chinese elements instead of western?

Is that the system that goes earth/water/wood/metal/fire rather than earth/air/water/fire?

Because I think that does fit pretty well. Gonna turn this post into a bit of a refresher on an older post/blabbing about the Diamonds and their respective elements.

“Earth” would be covered by the nature of the Gems themselves; they are stone, they come from the ground. So that leaves water, wood, fire, and metal.

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Jade, Karkat, and Serious Grudges

Ok, cranky meta #3, now with actual chatlogs.

I have seen enough stuff in the Jade tag suggesting that she and Karkat are the best of friends to annoy me. They have the potential to be good friends. I could even see them working paleways, maybe. I don’t mean to attack anyone who likes them as friends or as a couple. But these posts tend to ignore some pretty obvious grievances on her part. (Sorry Jade, it’s the repression getting you again.) I’m going to point some of those out, so that if you are considering them hanging out, you can remember these issues and work with them to create what at the end of the day should be a healthier and more thoughtful dynamic. 

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I'm sick of Newsroom character-bashing masquerading as feminist criticism.

alt title: why I love and adore MacKenzie McHale and think she’s basically the greatest thing since ever. - a very long and incoherent post in response to two articles I read on the internet a while ago that made me angry.

Recently I had an epiphany. The problem I have with the buzz about Sorkin’s “women problem” in The Newsroom: it’s so character-based and thus, so anti-woman. 

As for Sorkin and his body of work, well. He sometimes (often) has a paternalistic bordering on completely patronizing way of writing. There are certain themes that warrant absolute close scrutiny, and the way he treats gender in his work is one of them. But I hate the way the characters in The Newsroom bear the burden of an entire career’s worth of subtle sexism. Sorkin clearly doesn’t understand “why we need feminism” but at least in The Newsroom it’s not his female characters saying so.

(I’m reminded of Mac and Don’s Night Out – as I like to call it – when she says there’s a stigma about women drinking alone. Don calls her out on it, and that’s clearly Sorkin’s writing. But Mac still says it. The character talks back to the creator. She transcends him.)

So here it is: Aaron Sorkin does have a “woman problem”, and it’s probably the same woman problem every middle aged white guy has. So no, I don’t think The Newsroom has any more of a woman problem than anything else on HBO’s line up produced by middle aged white men. (Which, to be clear, is most of it.) It’s not even more than the problems with Sorkin’s other work.

And I know there were criticisms of The West Wing too, and completely deserved vicious criticisms of The Social Network. But there weren’t as many and they weren’t as loud as the criticisms of The Newsroom.  Just Google it and you’ll find scathing indictment after scathing indictment and you know what?

I’m sick of reading them. I’m drawing the line. Because the critiques are sexist. That’s what’s bothering me. Sorkin never claimed to be a feminist, the people writing these critiques do and as they do they buy into a whole slew of anti-woman cultural stereotypes. It’s unbelievably ironic.

It’s not “Sorkin makes all these narrative decisions that are sexist” it’s [insert hateful comments about female characters here.]

(I am in no way using hateful lightly. The things said about Maggie, most of them by women, are hateful.) 

Because why do we hate these characters? They’re “shrill” and “neurotic” and “incompetent” and “emotional.” So who’s a chauvinist now?

(I’m not saying women can’t criticize other women and that feminists can’t criticize women but when the language we use sounds suspiciously like the language the dominant culture uses we need to take a step back.)

Here are my least favourite examples of missing-the-point criticism that to me, borders on sexism:

When you’ve got a setup where women exist to serve men’s needs, as they do in The Newsroom, you don’t just end up with the kind of sexist mess that Sorkin has here, where women are neurotic, tech-incompetent emotional morons who snap into professionalism just in time to make the men they bolster look good.  [x]

(I’ve read this quote several times and I still think there’s something structurally flawed about the language but we can roll with the general principle.)

Firstly, fuck off. Mac does not exist to make Will look good … she’s Don Quixote, Will’s her horse. (I will resist the entirely obvious riding joke.)

Am I reading this all wrong? I know he’s the face of it, but she produces the news, she does all the work, she makes it all happen. And I know, someone’s going to pipe up and say that’s stereotypically considered “women’s work” (which it’s not actually, the figures on gender equity in senior positions in journalism are, as you’d expect based on the rest of the media, fucking appalling) … but fuck you for buying those stereotypes. It’s not women’s work, and stop undervaluing it just because you perceive that it is.

Mac is the impetus, Mac is the visionary, Mac is the momentum, she’s the one who pushes, she drives the entire narrative, even if the focus isn’t on her. 

(The rest of these quotes come from here, I believe.)

We’re supposed to believe that MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) covered conflicts in the Middle East and won multiple awards for her work, yet she doesn’t understand how email works?

If I have to talk about that fucking e-mail thing one more time. It’s a joke and a plot device, and it’s a completely relatable situation.  (One of the other, stupidest things I’ve ever read on the subject is that “a woman has to be taught e-mail by a man” … Neal’s the FUCKING TECH GUY. He’s teaching the entire staff how to use the new e-mail system because he’s the tech head. I do that at my job, it’s not gender based. It’s knowledge based and character driven. Sure, Neal’s character could have been a woman. But it’s a pretty abstract criticism. And by-the-by the asterisk system sounds stupid as fuck so.)

It’s not about the fact that she doesn’t “know how e-mail works” it’s about accidentally sending an e-mail to the wrong mailing list. IRL people – MEN – do this too!

MacKenzie’s entire speech to Olivia Munn’s Sloan Sabbith — asking her to come on “News Night” because of her shapely legs—is equally cringe-inducing; here MacKenzie not only reinforces a predatory male gaze but condones it as necessary, even in the realm of “serious news.” 

See I’ve always read that scene as an older, more senior woman giving a younger woman a hand up in an unforgiving business. Just like Mac does for Maggie. Actually, just like Mac does for everyone. She lets Neal pitch Bigfoot and Maggie pitch Africa, and she wants to grow these people.

I think that’s missed in the criticisms of her not being “good at her job” … like “it’s ridiculous that she knows nothing about economics” (it’s really not, my straw poll says if you’ve never reported economic news and you studied media/communications/political science/European literature/creative writing etc. at uni because you wanted to be a journalist then it’s entirely plausible you know nothing about economics, another straw poll, who here would be comfortable speaking on the subject of economics next Tuesday?) … I think what’s missed is her job is putting everything together, it’s finding the team – graphics producers, reporters, experts, the film editors, the tech guy – and putting the show together.

And that’s what she’s good at. She reads people (in the pilot she notices all the little details about Maggie, she never trusts Dantana even though there’s no real reason why), she has the entire show in her head. Every time there’s some fuck up she’s already halfway to fixing it. (2.01, 1.08.)

And as for “Sloan says men”:

Sloan doesn’t say “men” she says “my professors” so also fuck you for assuming women aren’t professors of economics. There are female faculty members at Duke and Columbia. (AND YES, I DID CHECK.)

[Let’s side track from Mac for a moment to talk about this:

Not a spoiler, but next week Maggie says something to Will that even she acknowledges is “inappropriate” and “insubordinate.”

And Will doesn’t care! And actually takes her dressing down on board. Will’s being sorta a douche bag (not the first or last time this will happen), someone else in the show (usually a female character) calls him out, he feels bad about it and usually apologises.]

MacKenzie and Sloan “bond” over their shared manicurist

Because women who like “girlie things” are less than human. 

I think that’s the heart of the matter, Mo: In SorkinLand, men act (nobly!) and women support (comically!). And even though MacKenzie claims to “own” Will for that one hour, five nights a week, he is so punitive that he’s willing to sacrifice a sizable amount of his paycheck in order to be able to fire her every week.

Mac owns will 100% of the time and we all know it. She tells him what he should do and what she thinks of what he’s doing all the time. And even when he ignores her instructions he just sits there are takes it. It’s good that you’re seeing the therapist, don’t put Sarah Palin on my show, you’re an idiot for being upset about being pulled from 9/11: I love you the staff love you, isn’t that enough. Call your father. If you ever get hospitalized again I will beat you.

Actually on re-watch it’s hilarious to me how much Mac is just his wife and he just lets her be.

She also doesn’t obsess over him. This annoys me. At least no more than he obsesses over her. It also annoys me when people talk about Mac still loving Will like it’s problematic that she hasn’t just ~moved on~ … relationships are complicated. We’ve all stayed when we should have left and left when we should have stayed, and had regrets, or wanted do-overs. There’s no set time period for getting over someone, if the faucet’s still on you can’t turn it off.

Besides he’s not over her either. Arguably less so than she is. Mac moves forward in her life, she does things, she ACTS (nobly, if you believe that journalists in war zones are noble but that’s … an entirely separate ethical conversation, which we can totally have, I have a Sontag quote to throw atcha). Will just throws himself a three year pity party. 

(PS Total headcanon that she teases him a lot about the three million dollars worth of various things she could’ve had if he wasn’t such an idiot about it.)

the assertion that Will would want to hold this over MacKenzie, to punish her for her sexual misconduct, is troubling on so many levels, whether you are a male or female viewer

Literally the point of their entire arc sort of kind of is that the show doesn’t condone this aspect of his behavior. And yes, Mac does start off carrying around a lot of guilt, but even in the second episode she’s already saying it’s only 98%, that he plays some role in what happened too.

And at the beginning of the show she does have an incredibly idealistic view of who Will is; he calls her Dulcinea in The Greater Fool but I think the reverse is actually true. She does idolise Will. Over the course of the show that changes (and I actually think that it’s only when that changes that they can finally be together again but that’s parenthetical.)

Over the course of the show you see her coming to realise that he’s not the person she’s built him up to be in her head. But it’s actually pretty much a genderswap of The Dulcinea Effect, which hardly ever happens. And again, it’s one of the ways in which Mac’s character behaves in a way that’s not stereotypically “feminine” … I’m thinking of her relationship with Brian, that she’s the one who cheated and the one who moved on and Will was the one who … well, pined. 

(The cheating has always been a really fascinating facet of her character to me: she says she’d been with Will for a year, which is long enough that I don’t think many people would be able to dress it up as anything other than outright infidelity - of the I am doing something that I know is wrong kind, it’s four months so this is not some oops I slipped and fell situation, that’s … repeatedly making the same mistake. And it’s clear from what Brian says that he thought they were having some kind of relationship, Will says she was sending him lovey dovey e-mails … what’s going on in her head here? Again, this isn’t the usual way women having affairs is written either: she’s not in love with Brian, actually she says this is when she realises she’s in love with Will but that’s gotta be a little empty when it’s four months. I mean come on, I am the patron saint of being unsure of things but that’s a long time to be fucking your way to certainty in your actual relationship with your ex.) 

I guess that’s what I love the most: Mac’s subversive in very subtle ways, she’s not a “strong female character”, a male archetype that happens to be a woman. It’s way more complicated than that.

I think she’s unafraid to be vulnerable, to be an optimist. She’s unapologetic and doesn’t fucking care if you like it. And yeah, she’s a bit elitist and probably an intellectual/otherwise snob, and she’s far, far from perfect.

But she fucking owns at her job. She’s phenomenal in the pilot. And every time something goes wrong in the control room she’s immediately in control of the situation, knows what to do, has a Plan B and Plan C in her head immediately. 

And yes, she loses her shit sometimes (everyone on this show loses their shit sometimes), but everyone still respects her, no one questions her authority.   

Sometimes she even, gasp, makes mistakes. Big mistakes! But she’s not incompetent.

To me that makes her real, and more than that it makes her comforting. Because where are these perfect women who’ve never accidentally sent an e-mail to the wrong mailing list (this literally happened to me the other day) who hasn’t knocked over something important in a meeting (also kind of happened to me this morning), who hasn’t cried into a glass of wine over their ex/some mistake they made/a hard day at work (…you’re gonna see a trend here), who hasn’t lost their shit about something going wrong at the office? 

Is it just me? If it is at least it’s me and MacKenzie McHale. Who’s still successful and smart and people in her life still think so even though she also does all of those things.

Mary and Sherlock and the undoing (or not) of TSoT

There are a lot of things about HLV I’m still working through, but there is one thing I keep seeing that I’m pretty sure I disagree with, so I’m going to throw out my counter-reading and see what y'all think.

In untangling the spatial and medical logistics of Mary shooting Sherlock, I’ve noticed, the people who are touching on the emotional dimension of that scene mostly seem to be taking for granted (whatever they then do with it next) that Mary’s evident affection for Sherlock from the first two episodes is either part of the facade or at least much shallower than we thought - or else is a point of flat-out inconsistency: that there’s no way to put together her demonstrations of warmth and intimacy surrounding the wedding with shooting Sherlock in HLV. And I completely disagree.

Here’s my thing about this, and let me preface this by saying that I have not yet rewatched the episode and can barely stay grounded for ten minutes in what I feel about it, let alone what I think. (excited to keep reading? okay, good.)

So Mary had this other life, which she has for reasons to which we are not privy (on which: argh, but let’s set that aside for now).  Whatever her motivations for getting out of that game, which I can only imagine predates her relationship with John Watson, her new life is centered on him. What she has with him is, I think we are given to believe, what she really wanted.

Now, we are all vulnerable to change and loss, especially when we build our happiness on others. but Mary, who knows how easily people can be taken out of life, is no doubt more keenly and consistently aware of this fact than most of us; and as someone who (probably) went undercover, and who has tried to remake her entire life in earnest, she also has no illusions about how the lives that we have made for ourselves can be pulled down around us.  I read philosophy that teaches me this, and I have trouble sleeping; I cannot even imagine what it would be like to carry it around as knowledge gleaned first-hand from experience.

So, given that context, it makes sense to me that Mary would be willing to shoot* Sherlock to preserve John, whom she clearly loves very deeply and who is the bedrock of her new life, her new self, on which everything else rests. Because, without the bedrock that is her relationship with John, she does’t have ANYTHING: not her comfortable intimacy with Sherlock, not her job as a nurse, not her house in the suburbs where she’s friends with the neighbors, not the self who meaningfully inhabits any of those roles.  

I’m not even sure that I think this makes her more selfish than other characters.  I don’t say this to minimize Sherlock’s sacrifice(s) for John, which I think are incredible and are clearly funded by a profound and selfless love.  But I get little shades of Cyrano de Bergerac off of Sherlock’s sacrifice: in giving everything up, I still have my panache.  Sherlock’s never much cared what the world thinks, but the way he sees himself has always been very important to him, and he is, in the second half of s3 at least, happy (for at least some values of “happy”) to see himself as having made sacrifices for John’s happiness and well-being. Mary’s life experiences, whatever we think of them, however we value them (WHATEVER THEY ARE, but anyhow, I do think we have enough of a general picture to know this) have made her into a person who cannot buy into this kind of narrative about herself.  She has learned that identity is not permanently inscribed anywhere.  If she loses John, there is nothing of value to her that she gets to hold onto.

Anyone with Mary’s training and experience would be very familiar with choosing - and very quickly - the “least worst” option: preserve the primary object, at whatever (sometimes very real and significant) cost.  That’s what I see her doing when she shoots Sherlock.

*or even to kill, although my relationship to all the complicated evidence is that, in a show where Sherlock’s perspective is paramount, if he thinks she wasn’t shooting to kill then she wasn’t. In my world, it isn’t on the same spectrum of possibility as putting someone on hold or otherwise trying to buy time for later explanation, but I am willing ftm to believe that it is for her.