[I’m not happy with how this turned out. I started writing like five different ideas for these prompts and restarted multiple times. But here it is, I’m sorry it’s so bad.]
4. You don’t need to protect me.
5. You can’t even look at me!
17. Come over here and make me.
28. Shut up. Just shut up.
Race was terrified. He
ran as the police broke up the newsies, escaping with only a black eye and a
cut about his eyebrow. He continued to run, far after the police had stopped
chasing him and newsies square was miles away. His legs burned and his heart pounded
in his chest. He ran across the bridge, leaving Manhattan behind. He didn’t
stop until the Brooklyn lodging house was in front of him. He pounded on the
door angrily until a younger newsie opened the door. He gasped at the sight of
Race. “I…who are you?” He gave Race a look that was vaguely familiar. Race
realized he was trying to impersonate Spot, give the same glare that terrified
anyone who got too close to it. In a different situation, Race might have found
it funny. “We ain’t got any time for trouble around here, alright?”
So I just did a post about how I manage my time and my daily schedule and such, and I felt like this part is really important and was getting lost in the minutiae of my day, so I made it a separate post. I was talking about various ways in which my life is not necessarily “normal”, like how I go to bed at 7:30, which people treat as one of my eccentricities, and rightly so. But while it is weird it speaks to the crux of my life philosophy, which I’ve spoken about before as regards dealing with anon hate:
My time and attention are finite resources and they have a value I can bestow where I wish. If something is not necessary to survive, does not solve a problem, or does not provide joy, I stop doing it.
I pay my bills and do my dishes and wash my clothes because you have to do those things. I engage in activism and try to stay current on the news because I believe I have a moral duty to contribute to society, and I run because it’s good for my heart and my body. I have friendships, engage in fandom, play the ukulele, write, go to concerts and movies and art galleries because it brings me joy to do so.
Going to bed early solves a problem for me: I wasn’t doing anything useful with that time anyway, I wasn’t enjoying myself or feeling happy. If I wasn’t getting any benefit from that time, how could I put it to better use? Sleeping is beneficial, so I tried that, and it worked; I get more sleep and I don’t miss anything I can’t catch up with. Work doesn’t make me especially happy or fulfill me in ways we could all wish, but that’s okay. Work is necessary to survive, so I do it. I don’t date much because I tried dating semi-recently and the promise of future joy did not outweigh the lack of joy that dating itself brought to my life; it was painful, ugly, and boring, and so I stopped doing it.
The dating thing may change in the future, if eventually the promise of a relationship becomes more enticing, but it’s an example of how the pursuit of happiness is non-standard, and you are allowed to weigh the cost against the payoff based on your own personal feelings, not on society’s dictates. Because it turns out when you are doing what makes you happy, when you feel joy, you could give two shits about what everyone else thinks should make you happy.
Sometimes, what brings me joy is sitting on the couch listening to a podcast I’ve already heard ten times and playing a stupid mindless flash game; I often catch myself thinking “I could be doing something more useful, something cooler, something more active” and remind myself “But this is making me happy, and it’s what I’m capable of doing right now.”
“Does this make me happy” or, if you’re struggling with happiness, “Does this calm and soothe me” is a great metric for what you should be doing in life when you are on your own time. It’s a good way to check in with yourself and lead yourself towards a more fulfilling life on your own terms.
If you are out at a bar with friends, stop and ask, does this make me happy? Because there is no way in which asking that does not help. If being at a bar doesn’t make you happy and if it’s the only time you see your friends, maybe it’s time for a change; you are now free to pursue something that will make you happy. If being at a bar doesn’t make you happy but your friends do, and this is one way to bond with them of many, then it’s a cost with a later benefit, and you’ve now become conscious that while you aren’t happy right this minute, you are paying into future joy. And if you like being out at a bar with friends and are having a good time, then you’ve reaffirmed to yourself that you are happy and this is where you want to be. And affirming that you are feeling joy is a great thing to do.
You don’t have to be happy all the time – but on your own time, when work and chores and the duties of the day are done, you should devote yourself to finding joy in whatever form that takes, be it a nap or a party or a date or your kids or, I don’t know, watching people make fake food on YouTube.
Believing that your time and attention have value and should only be bestowed on the worthy means coming to believe that you have value, which is so hard to do that I’ll take any shortcut I can get. Devoting your time time and attention only to what is necessary or what is pleasurable means learning a great deal about what you value, and I truly believe leads you to a more fulfilled life.
So when people ask me about time management, I have real tips and tricks to offer – but I think the most important think I can offer is the suggestion that whatever time you have, you should believe it has value because it is yours, and you should direct it appropriately.
Draco still can’t believe his luck. He doesn’t know what he did to deserve this. In fact, considering everything he’s done in the past, he doesn’t deserve any of this. Yet, here he is, three years after the war, happy and content. At least theoretically.
Like most nights, Draco clutches his blanket and stares at the ceiling. Sleeping has been difficult. Not because of the nightmares. They’re not completely gone, but it’s much better now. No, it’s because his chest won’t stop hurting.
He slowly turns his head to gaze at the sleeping man beside him. Draco flinches as his heart gives another painful squeeze. He stretches out his hand and carefully buries it in the mop of black curls, relishing the softness. Harry makes a pleased sound in his sleep and his lips curl up ever so slightly. Draco presses his own lips into a tight line.
Sometimes he feels like his heart is going to burst from all the happiness he feels. It’s like his body can’t cope with it, because it doesn’t know how. He’s never felt like this before. But most importantly, he doesn’t deserve this beautiful and kind man, sleeping next to him.
He still doesn’t understand what made Harry want to go out with him. He even initiated it. And now they’re living together. Draco still has a hard time showing his feelings. How can he be open about it, when he’s so conflicted and doesn’t even know what to feel most of the time? It’s hard to just accept the happiness and the way Harry seems to love him so freely.
Draco thought about ending it numerous times. Harry could do so much better than him. Not that he would ever admit that out loud, but it’s true, Draco thinks sadly. But he is far too selfish to give up on Harry.
When Draco brushes his fingers against Harry’s cheek, the other man stirs and knits his brows together.
“Can’t sleep?” he mumbles without opening his eyes.
Draco smiles at him.
“It’s okay,” he whispers. “Sorry for waking you.”
Harry takes Draco’s hand and interlaces their fingers. He scoots over to him and buries his face in the crook of Draco’s neck. He inhales deeply and lets out a contented sigh.
Draco feels that familiar squeeze in his chest again. He wraps his arm around Harry and plants a kiss on his hair. In this moment, he vows something to himself. Not a day will go by without him trying to make this beautiful man in his arms as happy as possible. He will do everything in his power to show Harry how grateful he is that Harry chose him, for loving him, for making him want to be a better man. But how?
On the outside, he’s still as haughty and snarky as ever, but his friends keep telling him he’s changed. For the better.
He apologised to Granger and Weasley, but he knows he can do better and he’s determined to do so. Not only for Harry’s sake, but also his own.
And that’s when Draco realises, the only way he can make his boyfriend truly happy, is by being happy himself.
It won’t be easy. He can’t just stop feeling guilty and undeserving. But he hopes he will get there someday. He can’t erase what happened in the past, but what happens in the future, that is up to him. He’s grateful he even got the chance at having a future, let alone with Harry.
So yes, Draco thinks again, he will do everything he can to make Harry happy. And that, apparently, starts with him admitting he is truly happy himself.
In the new Beauty And The Beast Gaston is a hero who saved the town. He, according to the filmmakers, comes from a military background and his vanity comes from the love and praise that the village gives him. He and Lefou have, again, according to the filmmakers, a friendship in this film that has spawned over a couple of years and have a ‘married couple’ vibe and not an ‘abused foolish follower’ vibe. At first, I was against it being Lefou who is gay but after doing some actual research I saw that apparently the man Lefou loves in Gaston is the hero of the village, and apparently there is no abuse in their friendship in this movie, so Lefou isn’t falling for an abusive man. The filmmakers have said that Lefou is questioning his feelings when Gaston begins to turn evil after not getting Belle, the one thing he wants, and Lefou is seeing someone becoming corrupt and apparently Lefou will be a fully fledged three dimensional character with an arc. And apparently at the end of the film will have an 'exclusively gay moment’. I hope this means he gets a happy ending away from Gaston and will not be seen as 'the fool’. The director (Bill Condon) and actor playing Gaston (Luke Evans) are gay so I hope that they are really thinking about how this will be presented. I’m not going to judge this until it comes out because it could turn out to be the push Disney needs to get more LGBTQ+ characters. Yes, Lefou is not ideal but it’s what they’ve gone with and I hope he’s represented in a healthy, correct and respectful way which, from what I’ve read, is the exact root they are going for. I’m gay and I know how it feels to love someone who is straight but I also know that you know move on from that and create a better ending for yourself, which I hope they do with Lefou.
John: Canonballs in IMMEDIATELY, he is yelling and he is fucking excited move out of the way this boy is coming through!! Also, because he has a breath aspect I am 413% certain that he can stay underwater for indefinite amounts of time and you can bet your ass he’s going around grabbing people’s feet to freak them out. He and Terezi have a contest to see who can make the most people jump, I will not say who wins I will only say that it is unfortunate for everyone involved. He and Dave are an unstoppable chicken team, they have never lost and will do Whatever It Takes to make sure that remains true.
Dave: Is just chillin, he cares more about keeping his shades dry than swimming around. He will go hard as hell in Marco Polo tho, if you thought he was too cool to jump at the nearest person faster than the speed of light you were wrong buddy he will do what it takes to WIN. Also, when he is the Marco he will (unfairly) target Karkat. This is frustrating. “I’m not even being that loud” Karkat protests for the umpteenth time Dave tags him. “Bullshit” everyone else says, but there’s still a rule that Dave can’t tag Karkat more than five times in a row because really Dave we know you love hearing him yell but Enough Please.
Karkat: Is Bad At Marco Polo. He is so loud. My son. Please. Is very hesitant to get into the water at first bc he’s sensitive to the cold and would rather angrily sweat than deal with the initial shock of getting in. Dave will patiently chill nearby until Karkat is ready, or Dave decides that Karkat is ready in which he will absolutely drag him in. Karkat does not know how to swim so he won’t go past the shallow end, and considering how short he is, uh, that’s not very much of the pool. Dave has to carry him sometimes which he complains about A Lot but secretly kind of likes it whoops. Karkat and Sollux are the shittiest chicken team, Karkat is too afraid of falling in to have any sort of effective strategy and Sollux is like “Karkat just push him” and sort of plows into the other team which just leads to Karkat screeching and nothing gets done.
Roxy: LOVES SWIMMING WITH HER FRIENDS!!! Real people?? That she’s hanging out with?? And you KNOW she’s excited to wear that cute as fuck bikini she alchemized months ago ‘just in case’ ;) ;) ;). After years of knowing Jane and her silly prankster shenanigans, John will absolutely not get the drop on her no sir, he tries to grab her foot she will raise that leg and pull the boy out of the water and give him the Mom Look™. This is war. John will not win. She loves being with Jane and Roxy and her boys!! She is just full of so much love it’s incredible. She deserves this so much.
Calliope: Doesn’t know much about swimming or why humans (and trolls ish) find it so enjoyable, but Roxy is excited so she is too! Interestingly enough, cherubs Do Not Float. Roxy is waving a nervous Callie into the pool and she’s coming down the ladder and once it gets to her chin everyone expects her to do something but no, she makes it to the bottom of the pool and just walks like normal over to where Roxy is. The water level comes up to just below her nose and she has to tilt her head back to speak. “Like this?” She asks excitedly, ‘uh,,, yeah,,,like that’ everyone responds nervously, giving big smiles and thumbs up because they don’t want to disappoint her.
Jade: A master swimmer, she and Jake grew up on an island in the middle of the goddamn pacific my girl knows how to GO. No one realized how fucking ripped Jade was. Jade is ripped as heck. She’s got back and shoulder muscles like an absolute goddess and everyone is like holy shit? Jade? Have you been benching pumpkins all these years? She likes chilling with Jane and Roxy and Calliope because she has been longing for some gals to hang with forever. Not that she doesn’t love Rose, she does, it’s just, they have such differing personalities and anyways it’s kind of hard being around her and Kanaya bc they’re so cute it makes your teeth hurt.
Rose: She and Kanaya have matching floppy sun hats, they love laying out in the sun because Kanaya is a little nervous around water thanks to a certain sea-dweller *cough* eridan *cough*. Rose doesn’t mind, her swimsuits are more for show than swim anyways. She’s got some really cool and intricate goth-y ones and some nice lighthearted pastel ones, an orange and yellow fancy one-piece and a frilly lavender one. Rose has a new appreciation for sunlight but still religiously applies sunscreen because a home girl may be immortal, but fuck if she is gonna deal with any nasty sunburns after defeating the fucking embodiment of evil.
Kanaya: As previously stated, very nervous around water, but so so happy to be in the sun?? It’s not as bright as the one on Alternia which is fine because that means her troll friends can enjoy it too, but she’s literally just so happy to be around people that enjoy the sun the way she does because she’s felt wrong and different about it for years and she finally found someone that understands her ahhshshsjs. She designs all of Rose’s swimsuits and loves seeing her wear them. When it gets dark out, she likes to turn on the glow a little and all these cute little furry wingbeasts will flock to her?? “Those are moths” Rose tells her. “These are my children now” Kanaya pats Rose’s arm, they’re her children too because that’s how human marriage works she’s pretty sure
Dirk: Is so awkward oh my godddd, a little uncomfortable in his body actually? This boy might have muscle but he is all arms and legs and doesn’t know what to do with them because he’s never fuckifnfnfn been around people before. Doesn’t say “Marco” during Marco Polo, he just listens. Breath too loud? You’re tagged. Splash a little? Tagged. Move? Tagged. He’s never Marco for more than two minutes because he’s so in tune with his reflexes that no one even stands a chance. With Jake on his shoulders, they make a decent chicken team, but they’re too worried about each other to be effective. “You okay up there?” He wants to make sure. Someone is tipping Jake over oh no get him off my shoulders is he okay, oh he’s fine, yes I know how the game works Roxy, no Rose why don’t you get in the pool and do a better job before you come for me like that. Rose and Kanaya, in an extremely rare occurrence, do get in for a round of chicken. They beat Dirk and Jake almost immediately. They return to the deck. This never happened and we don’t speak of it.
Jake: Is bad at Marco Polo, he’s an amazing swimmer but he’s not…quiet. After growing up on that island, fighting and swimming, Jake is also Ripped as Heck. Dirk blushes his fucking ass off the first time he sees Jake shirtless. Jake acts all clueless like oh? What’s wrong Dirk? Is something the matter? But he knows exactly what he’s doing and if he’s subtly flexing in front of him, well. That can’t be helped. He may suck during chicken with Dirk, but with Jade on his shoulders? Hoo boy, they give Dave and John a run for their money. He is also John’s favorite to grab the feet of because his reactions are always so over the top with his phrasing. “Horsefeathers!” He grabs at his foot in panic because his first thought is it was one of the monsters from his island, then he sees it was just John who is laughing his ass off because, horse feathers? Really? “I say,” Jake huffs indignantly even though he’s smiling now. “Warn a fellow!”
Jane: Looks rockin’ in her swimsuits because she’s wearing the whole high waisted pinup style ones and?? She’s super gorgeous? Roxy makes sure to tell her that every five seconds just in case she forgets. She and Roxy make a decent chicken team, usually they’re laughing so hard by the end of it that whoever was on top can’t do anything and they fall off because they don’t care about winning they’re just having such a good time. She and Roxy take turns carrying Callie around when the water gets too deep, not that Callie needs to be above the water per se as she seems to have no trouble breathing, but it just makes everyone a little more comfortable and anyways Callie loves it.
Terezi: Killer at Marco Polo for obvious reasons, sometimes she gets tagged on purpose just to show off how quickly she can find people. The only person she’s never been able to get is John, he uses his windy powers to obscure his scent so she can’t “see” him. He is her Marco Polo white whale. One day, John, one day. She and Vriska are terrifying during chicken, Vriska will plow full speed towards the opposing team and Terezi is ready to Throw Hands. The most intense games are between them and John and Dave, both John and Terezi are on top and they fuckin battle it out so hard that Dave and even Vriska start to get nervous on the bottom.
Sollux: Says the water feels slimy. “No shit,” Karkat tells him. “It’s water you fucking shitstain.” Sollux cheats during chicken by using his psiionics to keep Karkat on his shoulders which only makes Karkat mad because he’s terrified of falling in and holy shit Sollux I don’t care what you think your powers are doing I’m gonna fall in fuck fuck fuck. “No I got you” Sollux assures him. He does not. Karkat is not got. Oh well. Sollux mostly likes chilling on inner tubes, plural. He has a blue one and a red one because he’s too tall to fit in just one. “Get a bigger inner tube” Karkat complains. “Perhaps get one of those long, recliner like ones?” Kanaya suggests. No. Sollux will use two inner tubes. He will make the sacrifice of comfort for his aesthetic.
His sophomore year, Bitty starts vanishing from 6-9 every Wednesday night and comes back to the Haus looking really happy. Jack notices (of course he does) and awkwardly brings it up (on one of their not dates for coffee) and it turns out Bitty is going to one of the school’s (many, many) LGBTQAI+ group meetings and is like “PLEASE do not tell the boys about this, let me have this one thing” so Jack is like “of course” and totally doesn’t notice how even more people are waving to Bitty when they walk to class, or how Bitty seems to be getting even MORE texts, like, all the time.
(He definitely doesn’t hear Bitty arriving home verrrrry late one night and ending up humming all smiley to himself while he cooks breakfast the next morning, a hickey not quite hidden by his collar.)
One Saturday night Jack gets a phone call, and it’s Bitty, and he sounds furious and wants to know if Jack can please pick him up RIGHT NOW, so Jack goes to get him.
“How is a demon like a writing desk? Yeah I‘m not sure, either. But maybe you can find out when you join Bendy the Dancing Demon, and Alice Angel in the wacky world of Wonderland!”
Well, here it is! Time to enter the point of no return. And by that, I mean present my entry to the fanart contest. Even if I don’t win, I’m kinda happy with how this turned out. Bendy was fighting me on the pose the entire time, so I’m happy I was finally able to get it looking right.
(Please do not copy,reproduce, or post on other websites without my permission.)