Sweet Distractions (Day 2: Valentine’s Chocolate)

So, this is kind of late, and I’m sorry! But better late than never, right? Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this!

This is for @carryon-valentines

Summary: Penny goes out of town. Simon misses her, so Baz tries to take Simon’s mind off her. (Forgive me, I’m bad at summaries.)

Word Count: 729 

Warnings: None. 

For once, Penny wasn’t going to be complaining about Simon and Baz’s flirting. That Valentine’s day she was going to be visiting Micah. Simon was upset that she was leaving, but she told him, “Just consider it a Valentine’s Day gift. You and Baz get the whole flat to yourselves! But stay out of my room.”

She left two days before Valentine’s Day, and for two days Simon was all alone in his flat.

It felt more like two years than two days when Valentine’s Day finally arrived. Penny wouldn’t be back until Friday, but Valentine’s Day meant Baz.

Simon had never been more excited to go out. They spent that Valentine’s Day at a fancy restaurant eating overpriced food and ignoring stares from people who either thought they were another adorable couple or a disgusting pair, and then at Simon’s flat getting drunk and trading kisses.

It was the best Valentine’s Day Simon had ever had. Baz’s flat wasn’t too far away from Simon’s, but Simon had still missed him nearly as much as he was missing Penny.

On Valentine’s Day, kisses and hugs had been enough to distract him from her absence, but now it was February 15th, and he missed Penny like crazy. Fortunately, February 15th was no ordinary day. It was the official start of discount chocolate sales. Baz didn’t like seeing Simon upset, so, as a distraction, he suggested they go out and buy chocolate. With little protest, Simon got up and they made their way to the store.

Baz and Simon both had a sweet tooth. Still, two shopping carts full of old Valentine’s Day chocolate was a little excessive. They settled on three bags, one of which they ate on their way back home.

Simon and Baz ate their remaining candy until they were stuffed. They eventually ended up on the couch cuddling, and Baz taking advantage of the fact that Penny wasn’t there to complain about their flirting.
“I love you more than cherry scones,” Simon whispered jokingly into Baz’s ear. Baz tried not to smile. “I’m glad,” he replied before kissing Simon’s cheek. “I didn’t want to be eaten.”

“Who said I wasn’t going to eat you?” Simon asked, tilting his head. Baz rolled his eyes. “Cannibalism is generally frowned upon, Snow. Besides, aren’t you full?”

Simon smirked before licking chocolate off Baz’s cheek. “Nope.”

Baz sighed. “Really?” he asked furrowing his eyebrows.

“You’re sweet,” Simon told him.

“No, you’re sweet, and it’s rubbing off on me,” Baz told him, as he wiped chocolate from the corner of Simon’s mouth with his thumb.

Simon squinted at him. “Only you can sound annoyed while complimenting someone.”

“Who said I was complimenting you,” Baz asked, raising an eyebrow. “That was a complaint. You’re sweetness is rubbing off and getting all over me. You’re ruining my image. No one wants to see a sweet, blood-sucking monster, Snow.”

Simon smiled. “Good thing you aren’t a monster then, huh?” he said before kissing Baz. Baz wanted to argue, he always did, but it was Valentine’s Day, or the day after anyway. It was an argument for another time. Instead, Baz kissed his boyfriend slowly and savored the warmth of his lips. Baz thought they tasted like chocolate and mint; he was sure his lips did as well. Simon’s sweetness really was rubbing off on him. Baz was thankful for that. Simon deserved all the sweetness that the world had to offer.

Simon pulled away slowly. His eyes were sleepy and full of everything Baz could ever ask for. Their lips were still so close, their noses were touching, and all Baz wanted was to kiss him again. Before he could, Simon asked, “Could you call me Simon today?”

Baz sighed. Simon. Simon, the boy of his dreams, didn’t hate him anymore. That on its own was incredible. But now he was holding Baz in his arms, looking into his eyes, and asking him to call him by his first name. Baz thought he might cry. He didn’t. If Simon wasn’t going to be sad about Penny, Baz wasn’t going to start crying about Simon’s name. His beautiful name.

Instead, he replied, “Your kisses are going to give me diabetes, Simon.”

“That’s more like it,” Simon said before kissing Baz again. It looked like kisses were going to be enough to distract Simon again after all.

greenchickennugget  asked:

Can you draw a birds eye view of the town Simon lives in? I think that'd be an amazing scenery shot for your comic considering we haven't really seen much of the town they live in yet. Anyways, I love you and your art 💕

Thats coming up soon actually! Like in the next chapter you’ll see the whole scope a little better

So dim that spotlight- tell me things like “I can’t take my eyes off of you”

I got great feedback on my last Rockstar AU and was even asked if I would write another, so I figured why not! The When Harry Met Sally fic is still happening but you’ll have to wait for the next bit. 

Song- SuperStar
Synopsis- Rockstar AU
Word Length- 792
TW- some very scandalous kissing (HOMOSEXUALITY IMPLIED)

Simon Snow couldn’t believe his luck. He could hear them in the next hotel room over. They weren’t using amps, so the music was quiet, but he was sure it was them. Simon had been listening to this band for nearly five years now, he was seeing them live the next day and they were separated by only one room. The band was called The ReDead. Their first album was screamo but they had matured into a more casual rock-punk-pop kind of things. Simon’s girlfriend Agatha hated them. She hadn’t wanted him to go. Birmingham was a few hours outside of their town and Simon had to stay there overnight. Agatha didn’t trust him to not hook up with any girls. That’s what Agatha was like, jealous and hated good music. But she was… comfortable. So he stayed. 

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A Long Conversation - The Dark Artifices

This is the (super super adorable) extra short story that’s included in the hardback/paperback first editions of Lady Midnight!  In case you got LM on ebook or audiobook and are missing out, here it is! (it catches up with the rest of the TMI characters up to the point where they arrive at the LA Institute.)

Clary looked around the Institute’s music room with a tired but gratified smile.  It was a hot New York summer night, the windows were flung open, and Magnus had magicked up icicles that sparkled down from the ceiling and cooled the space.  The room was filled with people Clary loved and cared about, and in her personal opinion it looked pretty good, considering she’d had to race to find somewhere in the Institute they could hold a party on about twenty-four hours’ notice.

There was really no reason not to smile.

Two days previously, Simon had showed up at the Institute, breathless and wild-eyed.  Jace and Clary had been in the training room, checking in on the new Institute tutor, Beatriz Mendoza, and some of the Conclave students.

“Simon!” Clay had exclaimed.  “I didn’t know you were in town.”

Simon was a graduate of Shadowhunter Academy, Clary’s parabatai, and a Recruiter, a job created by the Consul to help replenish the diminished ranks of Shadowhunters.  When likely candidates for Ascension were found, Simon would talk to them about what it meant to become a Shadowhunter after a mundane life.  It was a job that often took him away from New York, which was its downside; in the plus column, Simon seemed to truly enjoy helping scared mundanes with the Sight feel like they weren’t truly alone.

Not that Simon looked like a dependable voice of reassurance at the moment.  He looked like a tornado had hit him.

“I just proposed to Isabelle,” he announced.

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On 80 Days and Postcolonialism

Jules Verne was a French author credited as one of the forebears of science fiction. He wrote Around the World in 80 Days in 1873 at the pinnacle of the British empire. Even as a Frenchman, he associated strongly with England in its colonizing capacity. The entire book, though singularly obsessed with the ways of foreign cultures and driven by an earnest wanderlust, was placed squarely in an Orientalist and colonialist framework.

Orientalism is the belief that Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures are intrinsically, backward, exotic and dangerous in comparison to Western European culture. Edward Said is responsible for the term’s wide acceptance thanks to his book Orientalism which describes the process by which Orientalist theory was adopted to justify and bolster European colonialism of Arab lands post-Enlightenment.

The iOS game 80 Days by Inkle Studios written by Meg Jayanth seeks to take the parts of the book that resonate: wanderlust, a sense of danger, adventure, global culture and divest them from their original colonialist perspective. It seeks not merely to subvert and criticize the aims of the protagonists, who remain the white-male explorers of Verne’s imagining, but to craft a new, non-exoticised world from the framework Verne originally laid out.

Inkle does this in several ways. First, there’s a unifying effort made to join the various technologies of the world. The game wholeheartedly embraces science-fiction concepts alien to the original work. Vestiges of steampunk find their way into the story: robots, flying airships, submersible trains, cars, hydrofoils and much more convey you along your journey. Most importantly, every nation seems to have equal access to the technology regardless of its geography or historical context. In Bogota, a townswoman sneered incredulously when Passepartout (whom you play as) was surprised to see an automated version of Simon Bolivar in the town square. “Do you not have automata, where you are from?”

History has shown us that technology is often used as a weapon of colonization; more technologically advanced countries use the tools they selfishly hoard in order to subjugate the rest of the world. Verne is tacit in this by reinforcing the differences between Europe and the colonized world, referring often to Europe as the civilizing force and the rest of the world as the wild, untamed wilderness; ripe for adventure but absent of order, intelligence and development.

Another way Inkle’s 80 Days manages to flatten the distinction between Europe and the rest of the world is how it introduces the story. In Verne’s book, you don’t hear about the events of the journey until they reach Egypt and the Suez Canal (itself an example of an Orientalist project according to Edward Said). By Verne’s account, Europe isn’t deserving of comment. True Adventure can only be had in places outside and away from Western European life. To Verne, the Middle East, Asia and even America were no different than the center of the Earth or deep within the sea.

Verne also describes a route that, at least while on the Asian continent, adheres generally to the shadow of English hegemony and empire. They visit India and Hong Kong, both under English rule. And it’s with a noticeable change of tone whenever they refer to an independent nation. Usually it is with fear at what kind of dangerous savagery (not yet quelled by English military force) might possibly await.

Inkle, on the other hand, starts you off in France and allows you to travel to a wide variety of locations ignored by the book. This allows you to see Europe as just another place full of adventure and danger. Neutering Europe by ignoring it in the text only places it above and separate from the locations where Verne’s story takes place. This is central to colonialist thought. Even though it may seem unflattering to cast Europe as a place of little interest to an adventurer it’s actually much more belittling to other nations to exist solely as a savage backdrop for an adventurer’s story, devoid of a normal safe and functioning society (as is implied to be Europe’s status quo).

Characters are often left unnamed in the source text. Passepartout and Verne hire a nameless “Parsee guide” to help them transverse the forests of India. They are not complete characters but props, to facilitate the narrative - too foreign to be given descriptors other than their religious and cultural signifiers. In 80 Days every character has a name and a story. Giving a character a back story may take effort, but neglecting to even name characters which drive forward the plot’s momentum gives you a good idea of the relative lack of importance of non-European characters in Verne’s account.

Inkle’s 80 Days allows players to empathize with the people they meet and be changed by the journey. Any good story contains an element of change, whether it’s change registered in the character herself or the world around them. After Verne’s heroes finish their adventure, they are remarkably unchanged. The only difference is Fogg’s acquisition of an Indian bride, who he saved from death. His white savior role elides perfectly with his western detachment: his one departure from aloof gentlemanliness was to save the virtue of a defenseless women against “crazed fanatics” Meanwhile, my Fogg slept on streets, embroiled his valet in fist fights and mutinies, dealt and received insult in turn and even admitted a closeted romantic attraction to his valet on the brink of death. A much more deep and colorful character, even when wrapped in the cold veneer of an Englishman.

I think Inkle’s adaptation of the source text is a great example for how we can draw from historical narratives without being shackled by the perspective of the author or the time in which the work was written in. It puts the lie to flippant claims of “historical authenticity” when faced with complaints around lack of diversity in a period piece. While 80 Days exists in a fantastical universe, with science fiction tropes littering the surface, the backbone is quite true to many of the themes of the original. It remains an explorer’s tale, full of near-escapes, risky maneuvers and flirtatious conversations with mysterious strangers. Except in Inkle’s post-colonialist version, you aren’t eurocentric totems of civility wading into the mucky depths of third world depravity - instead you’re simply tourists, sampling the culture of a world that doesn’t care whether or not you’re impressed with its many accomplishments, and that goes on whether you’ve gotten to experience it or not.

pileofsith suggested people participate in this as she did, so songs for my url:

  • R ussian Literature - Maxïmo Park
  • U s - Regina Spektor
  • G et Me Away From Here, I’m Dying - Belle & Sebastian
  • E very Weekday - Camera Obscura
  • S ongs From the Wood - Jethro Tull
  • S mackwater Jack - Carol King
  • _
  • N ever Look Away - Vienna Teng
  • O hio - Over the Rhine
  • M y Little Town - Simon & Garfunkel
  • E ngine Driver - The Decemberists

[ @xmxphisto ♡ for a starter ]

Visiting a friend in the town saloon, Simon came across something he didn’t expect to see here ever again. Just there, in the middle of the room among the gambling tabels and the showgirls, were a famillar and yet older face from a few years back. A small chuckle left him as he psuhed off the bar and headed in the direction of the smaller man. “Well would you look at that.” He grinned. “The boy actually survived his bullies and grew up. Are you here to conduct business right under my nose or are you here for the show, boy?”

Lost in Transition: Astro City Vol. 3 #16

Hi, I’m Charlotte. I’m a lifelong comics fan and last year, I admitted to myself that I was transgender.

Like everyone else, I have been influenced by the content of things I read, see and play, and have unknowingly internalized their intentional (and not so intentional) messages. In this occasional series, I’m going to be going over comics that feature people like me, or close to being like me, and look them over with a fresh set of eyes.

Obviously, I’m no expert, as new to this as I am, but I feel I might have something worth saying. Join me, as I find my way out of being lost in transition.

Astro City #16

Kurt Busiek: Writer

Brent Eric Anderson: Artist

Alex Ross: Cover

John G. Roshell & Jimmy Betancourt of Comicraft: Lettering & Design

Wendy Broom & Alex Sinclain: Color art

Kristy Quinn: Editor

Jessica Chen: Assistant Editor

Shelly Bond: Executive Editor

Overall Verdict: Just About Perfect

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