Yuuri, Victor, Yurio and Otabek are in the Steven Universe #4 Comic!
“I just like YoI - the characters are great! Sometimes drawing backgrounds isn’t the most compelling, so I tend to add cameos. It makes it fun for me to draw, and it’s a cute little Easter egg for the people reading,” -Katy Farina, Illustrator of the comic.
Farina found the anime itself inspiring. “When it was airing I was feeling so discouraged and unmotivated. Watching Yūri work hard and learn to find confidence in himself inspired me to do the same. I think a lot of people can relate to that,” she shared. “Victor and Yūri’s relationship also - watching that develop and the nuance of their dynamic is really compelling. Yūri is definitely my fave though! Whenever I’m feeling like I can’t do something I think back to the series and his journey.” (source)
This further proves how ground-breaking YOI is. But we already know that. Let’s talk about VICTOR AND YUURI HOLDING HANDS AND YURIO DRAGGING A BORED LOOKING OTABEK. Because that’s cute af.
VICTOR: Let’s check out the food stands.
YUURI: Sure, honey.
YURIO: Come on, Beka. I saw an awesome arcade game over there.
Well it’s not a secret at this point that yes, fine, I read fan fiction >_> And some of it compels me to arting. Though this one was somewhat coerced. XD Not on MY part, I was the one doing the coercing because @claroquequiza ‘s fic Afterdrop is just. It’s really good. I demanded they tell me to art something. This is a scene from a not yet written portion of it so details may change once it’s actually done (no I didn’t ask for spoilers). And as it is with most things, I am reasonably satisfied, but I can’t shake the feeling that hrng, I could have done better. One of these days I’ll draw something that I just like and won’t pick at before I’m done with it. I’ll pick at it a few days later.
We all go into medicine with a strong desire to help people. Or at least, I hope we do. Somewhere inside, there’s a pride that what we do can make a difference. We tell ourselves that giving up our youth to studying and walking dark corridors armed with nothing more than a stethoscope and our wits, will be totally worth it because we’ll make a difference.
But it’s not that simple.
Every doctor has a secret; deep down, each one of us sometimes fears that we’re not really helping anybody. That what we do is insignificant. And that we are too, by extension.
If you wonder how doctors can feel like they don’t help anyone, it’s pretty simple. Real medicine isn’t like on TV. It’s not all action sequences and heroics. There’s a lot of paperwork, and sometimes a lot of doing things that it feels like nobody cares or appreciates. A lot of your decisions are made as part of a team, and quite often the individual part you play in any patient’s journey can feel, and be, quite small. So of course you minimise it further. I didn’t really do that much for Mrs Smith, you tell yourself. I barely did anything for Mr Jones, really. And it goes on. After all, it’s just everyday work for you and your colleagues.
Perhaps your seniors, team mates and even patients don’t really seem to notice how much effort you put in. At any rate, it never really seems to be enough. You’re always fire fighting, always dealing with less resources than you should have, and always apologising for not doing more, and not doing it sooner. Sometimes it feels like all you do is apologise. And sometimes it feels like you never know enough. And sometimes it feels like you can never do enough. It’s easy to feel like a tiny, insignificant pawn trapped in a colossal system far bigger than yourself.
But just at the moment when it feels like that the little flame is about to go out, something happens. A woman points you out to her husband and tells him you were there when they did CPR on him. You spotted the diagnosis your seniors nearly missed; you referred Mrs Smith to the right team and now we finally know how to help her. Your depressed patient meets you for their tenth appointment, but this time they haven’t needed a tissue once. They smile; you didn’t realise that the tiniest, tiniest smile could look so radiant. You hear back about Mr Jones’ operation; they got all the cancer. A patient’s mum thanks you for takng time to take bloods; their child is nonverbal, and finds hospital very stressful but your brief time with them was the first time in a long while that she felt her child was treated with respect. You get to see the kid who was brought in looking sick as a dog, skip out of the hospital because of the tiny little things that you did.
Why do I write here? Because I can’t shut up. But really, it’s because every so often, I hear a little voice that tells me ‘something you said helped me’, and whenever my own voice falters, I think of them. Why do I draw? Because I feel compelled to, of course, but why draw this? Because if even one person feels less alone, then imagine what kind of a contribution to the world it is. Perhaps it is only a small contribution, but I bet every person you do something for, even if it’s small and insignificant, will remember that action very differently than you do. We have a tendency to minimise the good we do, just as our fears make us amplify the bad.
Sometimes, I think of how amazing it is to be able to help someone in even the smallest way.
You don’t even need to be a doctor to do it, and sometimes even when you are a doctor, the moments when you feel you really helped people, weren’t the dramatic ones at all.
You just need to take a chance, any chance, to make someone feel better.
Nope, @seigiva can’t make my day voicing my ridiculous comic nonsense that many times and not run the risk of me reacting in the extreme. Twice the videos actually appeared on rough days at work so I was compelled. I actually played a few Overwatch rounds with him last week and he said something about being a real life Lucio so after that last video popped up, I knew what needed to be done.
What were ur thoughts on Kent that ngozi agreed w!!
ok this is gonna be really long because it was basically the Best
Day Of My Life, so. settle in kiddos.
(this is also very very heavily referenced from chat logs where I
talked about this the day after it happened and a couple of posts I
made / tags I wrote around that time. so even though all of this
happened like four months ago, I think it’s still reasonably
accurate. but obviously memories are flawed things etc)
so ok first of all ngozi is SO FUNNY AND NICE in person ahhhhh
I was wearing my kent parson jersey that I made!
…… but when I
first saw her table, I got super overwhelmed and nervous so I
like…… walked by really quickly without looking at her and just
did a lap around the dealer’s room??? so I could calm down??? haha oh my god
it was so awkward.
I was actually hoping she hadn’t
seen me but apparently she DID because later I was talking to someone
who’d been standing by her table when I walked by and APPARENTLY
she whispered, “PARSE JERSEEEEYYYY” when she saw me omfg
but anyway she was super friendly right away and asked me if she
could take pictures & wanted to know how I made my shirt / etc
etc. we talked for a minute and then (of course) she asked me,
“so, why do you like parse?”
and tbh…… I’m still not sure how I was this smooth but I
immediately said, in a Very Diplomatic Voice, “I like characters
who have a lot of room to grow.”
which made her laugh!!! she was like, “that’s refreshing!!
that’s a really great answer!!! a lot of people are just like, ‘I
like him because he’s an asshole!!‘”
WHICH SHE SAID MAKES HER REALLY SAD, GUYS.
…I think it makes her sad half because she doesn’t get why
someone would like a character just because they’re mean, but
also half because she doesn’t think of parse as an asshole? she
didn’t clarify explicitly, though…. she just expressed that she’s
sad and disappointed when people say stuff like that to her.
May I ask you what you really felt when you first heard that your work was going to be animated?
I was really surprised. I remember it was decided when the serialization wasn’t even a year old, so I felt kind of lost all of the sudden. Then I hurriedly started telling my friends and family the news about my work getting animated, and they were all happy for me, which is the moment that I finally had the realization that went something like “ah, this is great, I’m getting an anime”.
When and where did you hear about the news of the anime announcement?
I don’t remember it quite clearly now, I think it was when Vol 3 was about to come out. My editor mentioned it when he was talking about some other stuff. (Laughs) Every Friday we have a discussion, and I remember my editor was talking about the rankings when he said “Oh yeah, there’s news about the anime.”
What were the circumstances that gave birth to My Hero Academia?
My second series was axed really quickly after such a short time of serialization, and I was pretty depressed about things. I didn’t have the energy left to create new things in the manga medium, but I still needed to come up with one fast. So, I decided to add happy things and happy events that I had drawn in my previous works into this new series. Before, I was really happy drawing the one shot My Hero, so I wanted to make that the foundation and create something new from it. The stage my new series and My Hero is the same, so I decided to add a lot of the elements that have appeared in my previous works into it as well. From a certain point of view, this series is actually the accumulation of all my works from when I first started drawing.
When you’re drawing My Hero Academia, what are some things that you watch out for?
This series is the story of Izuku and All Might, and I plan to make their story the main focus of the plot line, and the “vertical axis” that runs through the main story. It’s actually not a really glorious story at all, as All Might grows weaker every day and Izuku gets injured every now and then. Even the victories in the story for the protagonists aren’t won straightforward and simple. If I keep drawing the story involving these two characters, I feel like the story would get darker and darker as time goes on. My own personality has the tendency to compel me to keep delving deeper and deeper into that. To avoid making the story too dark, I set up a “horizontal axis” to intersect the main story’s “vertical axis”, which is the “fun part”, also known as the Quirks to the heroes of the story, or side character characteristics. With the “horizontal axis”, it sort of mellows out the darker aspects of the “vertical axis”, so “enjoying the horizontal axis” is something that I insist upon, which is something that I watch out for. If I can make myself happier while drawing, then the story would seem that much brighter.
Is All Might the character in My Hero Academia that you like the most?
It would be wrong of me to say that I “like him the most”, as All Might is an absolute within this series, so there is no choice for me as I have to like him. His words are all very cautious, so I have to go over them repeatedly to decide his lines, which costs a lot of effort. So even though I like this character, as I draw him I need to keep reminding myself that “this is important!”. On the opposite end, Bakugou is somebody that I can relax to draw. I really like Otomo Katsuhiro sensei’s, Akira, and within this series there is a character called Tetsuo who, even though he’s a kid, is really strong. And he uses his power like a kid too. I really like that, so I decided to create a character like that in My Hero Academia, which is why mentally speaking, Bakugou is still like a child, though he has a really strong power. His way of fighting is also jumping and flying around, and when he actually fights he hollers and shouts. I’m really happy when I draw characters like that. However Bakugou’s words are all really rude, which might make readers feel unpleasant, though personally I like him.
From the start of the series until now, which parts of the story do you personally enjoy?
I enjoy them all actually. I really melded my feelings into the characters when drawing Izuku and Bakugou’s battle training. Also I needed to get a strong hold on the reader’s heart, as that part was the climax of that arc, so I really tried my best, which is something that I really like about it. I got a lot of positive reviews for that part too, which gave me some reassurance. Including this reassurance, this is probably one of the parts that made the most impression on me.
Indeed, that scene included some of the heavier aspects of Izuku and Bakugou’s relationship. And on the other side, Iida and Ochako were cheerfully having a conversation, which was a lot of fun to read. Is this the “vertical axis” and “horizontal axis” relationship you were talking about?
If there were only Izuku and Bakugou there, then sometimes things might turn out really scary, and Iida and Ochako can mediate their relationship by being there, slowly finding a balance point… that’s what I was thinking when I drew the scene. I’m touched that you’re able to see this.
Sensei, if you were to discover your own “Quirk”, what quirk do you think would be right for you?
I thought about that one already, and that is the “no need for sleep” Quirk. (laughs)
That’s very much like the style of a mangaka. (laughs)
I often fall asleep without meaning to. And once I fall asleep, I can’t wake up… If I were to use this quirk then I would use it normally, and this quirk might make people not feel tired at all.
What manga and anime did you enjoy as a child?
A manga that I enjoy is definitely Dragon Ball, and when I was young I always kept reading Dragon Ball. I kept reading the same volume. I think it was the place a little bit before the android, Cell, started the Cell Games? I don’t know why, but I kept rereading this volume. In terms of anime, there were a lot of anime that were on TV at 6 PM. I really liked Mashin Hero Wataru, rewatched that many times. I also dressed up as Zurugibe Shibaraku, which is a character from that show.
Do you have any influences from Dragon Ball?
My impression that strong characters are packed with muscles is probably because of Dragon Ball’s influence. I really like the body shape of Goku when he goes Super Saiyan, which might be where All Might’s concept came from.
A lot of people say that My Hero Academia is similar to American comics. Have you always enjoyed heroes from American comics?
Yeah. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was super impressive, and after watching that I started reading American comics from time to time and watching American hero movies. What I learned from them is that, American onomatopoeia and character lines are formatted differently from manga, which is something that i will keep in mind. When I read them I would notice : “Oh, so the sound effect of that fight is added here” . Other than that there are the darkness of the color black and the use of shades. Such as the balance of using full black, which I noticed when flipping through comics “Ah, so coloring this place black would have this kind of effect on the scene”. Even though I haven’t fully grasped the technique yet, I am still learning while I am working on my series.
So, Sensei, what heroes do you like?
Probably have to be Goku and Spiderman. To me, when mentioning heroes, these two are the ones that I think of. In Goku’s case, it’s the reassurance that everything is going to be fine he brings when arriving. Such as, on Namek, Goku was getting healed, and his friends are all beaten badly. When Goku finally recovered and walked out of the healing machine, that reassurance right there is what I’m talking about. Something like “Ah, everything is going to be fine”. When I first read it and saw it was really Goku who had arrived, I continued reading thinking the thought “gonna win”. (laughs) That reassurance is something that all of the other characters don’t have. I thought about it afterwards, and even though there are a variety of heroes, the hero model that is built up in my mind is built around the concept that the hero is somebody that brings reassurance. That’s why I think a hero to me is somebody that helps and brings reassurance to others. In Spiderman’s case the first experience I had with this character was the movie, in which there were a lot of scenes with him rescuing people, which I felt that was really cool. The moment he “saves somebody” is really awesome. Well, In Goku’s case it’s because he likes fighting that he fights so that’s a bit different. (laughs) You can say that Spider-Man and Goku are two different aspects of being a hero. Also, I recently watched the Anpanman movie. Anpanman is really cool, and even when Kabao kun was beaten badly by Baikinman’s robot henchmen, when Anpanman arrives everything was okay. After Anpanman arrived, everybody’s expression was something like “you’re finally here”. Everybody’s mood shifted to become more positive when only Anpanman arrived. That’s probably what it means to be a hero. Of course everybody has a different view on what it means to be a hero, and some people might say “heroes aren’t supposed to be like that”, though to me that’s what being a hero means, and that’s the aspect of heroism that I want to illustrate in My Hero Academia.
Next are some questions about the anime. Midoriya Izuku’s CV is Yamashita Daiki, who also did the radio drama before. What were your impressions on hearing his voice?
Actually, I never really thought much about Izuku’s voice, and when I heard it in the radio drama, I sort of naturally accepted it as: “Ah, so Izuku has that kind of voice”, so it’s hard for me to imagine somebody else other than Yamashita san doing Izuku’s voice.
You mentioned earlier that you really enjoy drawing Bakugou. What do you think of the voice of his CV, Okamoto Nobuhiko?
Ah, if it’s Katsuki, then his voice really captures the feeling the character. Like I said before, Katsuki is like Tetsuo from Akira, giving off characteristics of an antagonist, so he’s really like a child, like a little kid…And Okamoto san’s voice (even though me saying this won’t sound good to Okamoto san) is like a child, the very naughty type. The way he speaks also gives off a very middle schooler type feeling. (laughs) Okamoto san really brings out Katsuki’s characteristics, so this character belongs to Okamoto san and nobody else. Really fitting.
How about Uraraka Ochako’s CV, Sakura Ayane, and Iida Tenya’s CV, Ishikawa Kaito?
Sakura Ayane san’s Uraraka Ochako, is really cute. I’m really looking forward to her voice when she fights. About Ishikawa Kaito san’s Iida, I actually have some things that I’m not sure about myself about Iida’s character, and only after listening to his voice was I able to make a decision.
What about All Might’s CV, Miyake Kenta san?
When I heard Miyake san’s voice for All Might, It gave off a feeling that All Might is talking to Izuku while crouching down so that their eye levels are the same. All Might isn’t towering above, and after thinking about it over again it really is that way. Only heard a little of Miyake san’s All Might, and I feel that he’s got a good handle of this feeling, so I like Miyake san’s All Might.
What were your feelings when you saw for your very first time the animated My Hero Academia?
When I saw the PV last year, I felt something like “this is awesome!”. I can only say something normal people can say: “The characters are really moving”. I was working when I watched the PV with my editor. Naturally I started grinning. Because I didn’t want to be seen doing that by my editor, I kept my hand covered over my mouth. (laughs) Getting an anime is a dream I’ve always had for many years, and I’m really happy.
What do you expect the most from the anime?
Definitely the action parts. Like how the characters will move. I’ve received comments like “the action parts are really hard to understand” for this series, and only the anime can really show the outrageous action parts easily and effectively, so I hope the anime crew is able to do a really good job, I’m looking forward to it.
Action is Bone’s forte.
That’s right. That’s why I’m really looking forward to it…(laughs)
And last of all, please give a message for all of your readers.
Getting my work animated is really something way too extravagant for me, so I will keep on working hard so that I won’t be left behind in the dust by it, that’s how much I’m looking forward to the anime… My Hero Academia’s anime will probably become something really awesome, so for the original series, I won’t lose to the anime, will do my best to draw amazing stories with all my effort. Thank you all for your support!
Can i request a mini scenerio with Shinsou and Kirishima staying in their S/o house for the night and their female S/o suddenly confess to them?
This turned into a not-so-mini scenario. Enjoy~
Shinsou sighs as he watches the snow fall from his spot by the window. The ground is blanketed in a thick white sheet, covering everything. The world looks pure and clean underneath the blanket of shimmering ice like an untouched canvas. The fact that such an ugly world can appear to be so untainted is something that he finds quite beautiful. But it’s this same beauty that has trapped him in your house.
“Well, you aren’t gonna be leaving anytime soon,” you say, stepping into your room with the space heater in your hands.
He grunts in agreement, “Yeah, I can’t even see the mailboxes. How’re your parents?”
“They’re stuck at my grandma’s house and won’t be able to get back until the roads are cleared. So it’s just us for now.”
You set the heater down and plug it unto the wall. Crawling around on your knees, you bend over and fiddle with the little machine. Shinsou is still sitting on your bed with his arm resting against the ledge of the window as he watches you or, more specifically, tries not to ogle your ass. He looks away, feeling a light blush licking at his cheeks.
“There,” you say proudly as the heater hums with life.
You stand and walk over to your dresser. Shinsou swallows as he watches your form. Your top is clad in a skin-tight white camisole while loose gray sweatpants sit loosely on your hips. He tries to focus on any but your nipples poking through the thin fabric of your cami. Taking out a purple bandana, you wrap it around your hair and turn to him.
“Look, Toshi, we match,” you laugh, crawling into the bed next to him, “Do you want to watch a movie or something? The power’s not out so we don’t have to go to bed right now.”
Shinsou looks to the side, “Sure.”
Yes. Anything to distract him from how close you’re sitting to him. You look at him, but he isn’t looking at you. He’s flipping through the channels, and you just stare at his handsome profile, feeling your heart beat quicken. Your skin is so warm compared to the cold air of the room. Shinsou turns to look at you, feeling your eyes on him.
“Are you going to stare a hole my face or are we going to watch this movie?”
“Sorry … I … ” your eyes fall to his lips, “I can’t help it.”
He raises a perfect brow as his lips quirk into one of his crooked grins, “Can’t help it?”
You shake your head. You almost fell compelled to speak, “I can’t focus because you’re here. And …”
“And I … I really, really like you and … I don’t know why I’m telling you this but I can’t stop talking right now and my heart feels like it’s going to explode.”
You are rambling on as you close the space between you, inching closer and closer to him. You can’t stop talking. You can’t stop moving toward him. It’s almost as if something is drawing you toward him and pulling the words from your lips.
“So please stop me if this isn’t something. Stop me is this isn’t anything. Stop me before I ruin everything, but I really want to kiss you … I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long.”
Your eyes move away from his lips to look him in the eyes. He’s staring back at you with those intense eyes of his.
“Then do it.”
You nod and press your lips to his.
Kirishima looks up at the ceiling, listening to the rain pelt the shingles on the roof. He can even hear the trees groaning as they been under the combined forces of the wind and water. Lightning flashes, followed by the low growl of thunder in the distance.
“Looks like this storm isn’t letting up,” you say, “The radio says that the roads are starting to flood.”
“Are your parents alright?”
“The storm is so bad they had to get a hotel for the night, so it’s just us for the night,” you smile, handing Kirishima the extra blankets.
Kirishima grins at you, “No arguments here.”
You smile back and you sit on the couch next to him. You resume watching the movie with your friend as the house creaks under the pressure of the storm. You might have been scared if you were alone, but Kirishima, your Eiji, is here with you. Alone. His arm is wrapped around your shoulder, and he doesn’t look nervous or anxious … but you … you can’t help but to notice how good he smells.
Lightning cracks and thunders roars after it, demanding to be noticed. The entire house seems to shake and cower in fear. You jump, leaning into Kirishima as the electricity shuts off. Kirishima blushes. Your hand is clutching at his shirt and your leg has hiked up on his lap as your eyes nervously flicker around the room. You turn your head. Your nose bumps against his. You didn’t realize he was so close … but he doesn’t try to move away. You don’t move either. The silence between you is filled with by the sound of the rain and the howling wind. You slowly move forward. Your lips are brushing over his.
“Eiji … ” you whisper, “I … ”
Lightning illuminates the room. The sky rumbles as you open your mouth. You are saying something. Kirishima can feel you moving to form words as your lips ghost over his. But he can’t hear you. What are you saying? He doesn’t have time to dwell on it as you kiss him. Kirishima wraps his hand around yours, bringing your closer as he moves his lips against yours. He didn’t hear what you said, but he feels what you mean. He pulls away, just enough to mutter against your mouth.
“Me too,” he says.
Kirishima cups your face with his large hands and kisses you as lightning strikes and thunder rumbles.
I had to do it. Something compelled me to make this happen and by god i think i made something great! Here’s to the new pokemon coming out and to me never not finding an excuse to draw the warrior of sunlight.
PLEASE READ: Hello my beautiful readers! A lot of you have been requesting a book recommendation list and I have finally delivered! If you purchase any of these books using the links I’ve put in this post, I will receive a commission so I can continue to update my blog regularly, with no charge to you beautiful readers! Please reblog and share this post, and I will be forever grateful.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
The Hate U Give is a groundbreaking, thought-provoking debut novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, about a teen girl who is the only witness to her friend’s fatal shooting by a police officer.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor black neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does – or does not – say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.
Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her mother, Camille, the town’s tiara-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock, a woman who is trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, CeeCee’s long-lost great-aunt, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. There, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity—one that appears to be run entirely by strong, wacky women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons; to Tootie’s all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones; to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.
Realizing romantic heroes are a thing of the past, graduate student Eloise Kelly is determined to focus on her work. Her first stop: England, to finish her dissertation on the English spies of the Napoleonic Wars, like the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian.
But her greatest conquest is to reveal the most elusive spy of them all, the dashing Pink Carnation. As she does, she discovers something for the history books-a living, breathing hero all her very own…
Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Clara Cartwright, eighteen years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara’s father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care–and Clara is committed to the public asylum.
Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara’s story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother’s violent act? Piecing together Clara’s fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices–with shocking and unexpected results.
In regards to the Jade Holocaust theory. Won't this event cause an uproar among fans. People saying that the Whole Aegon plotline was a waste of time. What was the point of Arianne, JonCon and etc if everyone dies a firey death and didn't add anything to the story?
“Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths.” After all, I could just as easily ask what the point of Ned was, given that he didn’t make it past book one. I don’t get the idea that if you don’t make it to endgame, you “didn’t add anything to the story,” or indeed that making it to endgame automatically means you did add to the story. For me, that’s not the measuring stick at all. This is why Jon Connington matters:
I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.
This is why Doran and Arianne Martell matter:
The words still burned as bright as fire in her memory. “‘One day you will sit where I sit and rule all Dorne,’ you wrote him. Tell me, Father, when did you decide to disinherit me? Was it the day that Quentyn was born, or the day that I was born? What did I ever do to make you hate me so?” To her fury, there were tears in her eyes.
“I never hated you.” Prince Doran’s voice was parchment-thin, and full of grief. “Arianne, you do not understand.”
And this is why Aegon matters. What they add are layers to and angles on many of the Song’s central motifs: doomed hope, tragic ignorance, the bittersweet fall into knowledge, etc. They offer their perspectives, their hopes and fears, their stories. Now of course, GRRM has to ground those stories in the larger plot, which he has–Team Aegon is the culmination of the What Is Varys Up To mystery we’ve been exploring since the first book, they allow the Martell tragedy-cluster to reach its climax, and as GRRM himself told us in Dany V ACOK, mummer’s dragons are there to give the heroes (in this case, Dany) something to fight. In other words, the relevant characters are not only (IMO) compelling in and of themselves, but they’re being set up to enrich and progress the other story elements around them. They’re not random nor overkill.
For me, though, the movements of the plot are a framework you use to support and draw out what we really care about, which is what the story means, both intellectually and emotionally. It’s not that Luke blew up the Death Star. It’s that Luke, the character we know, blew up the Death Star, and that was the perfect thing for his story in ways both obvious and not that are enjoyable to dwell upon and talk about. Plot is structure, scaffolding, a means to an end, a vehicle (expertly constructed, one always hopes) for delivering thoughts and feels. No one loves a painting for its subject matter alone, and I don’t think you determine a character’s worth purely by what the wiki will tell you they contributed to the story. IMO the ultimate example of that in ASOIAF is Quentyn.
the most silly, random things always seems to be regarded as stronger “evidence” to a theory in my mind than anything actually trying to convince me via rational arguments. Like, I can read a very well-reasoned and understandable theory and get it but not believe it and have all these rationed arguments against it, but the thing that casts doubt on my convictions even a tiny bit is always something small and silly, like a one-liner joke or something
Like, the newest Crewniverse zine, which is mostly just silly and fun drawings. And there’s this one page with a drawing of Pearl and Boba Fett and my immediate first thought was “bounty hunters!” and then I was like “but Pearl isn’t a bounty hunter” and then I was like “wait a minute… maybe Pearl is a bounty hunter of sorts and she did shatter Pink Diamond :0!”
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still not behind the theory and it’s hardly compelling evidence, but like that silly drawing does more to make me contemplate the theory than any 20 page theory on it I’ve read on it. Like it’s gonna haunt me every time I think about it just like “yeah it doesn’t make enough sense to me to believe” and the doubt’s just gonna be “sure, but what about Boba Fett?” and I’ll be like “dang, got me there”
I write spells on the inside of my wrist
where no one can see them,
little pen marks smudging against
the early spring heat
and I like to think it is something about me
that draws you near when the cicadas sing
but we both know that there is nothing compelling
about the girl who doesn’t sleep,
I just make you feel a tad less lonely.
Though, I suppose companionable silence
holds a magic more powerful
than your lips pressed against my lips
whispering “Enchant me.”
henlo! don't feel stressed or compelled to have art posted frequently! we understand if you can't post art, there's no need to apologize! just know that no matter what we love and support you! ❤❤
Schools been hecka rough, haha! But really though I appreciate you guys being supportive and patient, I know I don’t post/ draw everyday like I used to, nonetheless I’m glad you all are giving me time. I’ll have something a bit meaningful and important to me by tomorrow, I’ve been working on it for a few hours and it looks pretty great, can’t wait to show you guys! You’re all the good ones, again, so many thanks for your patience and love while I kinda “disappear” in and out :,) ❤️
honestly, talon is SUCH an important character to me for many reasons. the main reason being that roleplaying with a talon brought me close to a wonderful and amazing person, who i am now in a happy relationship with and i moved in with last year. <3
not only that, but i have met some lovely people who drew talon fanart way back when, who i am still good friends with now! (i’m looking at you, grouch.)
so yeah. i felt compelled to draw something nice for talon. ;v; ♥
Inktober Day 20. Since today is my birthday, I wanted to draw something special and share a true story that happened to me when I was in elementary school. I was walking home one day on the usual route, and looked up to see what I thought was a white trash bag sitting in the middle of someone’s driveway. I don’t know what compelled me to stop, but I stopped and stared at it for several minutes. It seemed very out of place, I’d never seen a trash bag left in that driveway before. It was perfectly still. Then suddenly, it lifted its head; turns out it was some kind of big white dog, facing away from me, sitting motionless in the driveway except to lift its head for a moment, gaze up at the house nearby, and then put its head back down, resuming its motionlessness.
I was shocked! I honestly thought I was staring at a white trash bag. I didn’t approach it. I was scared of most things back then when I was by myself, so I watched it for a little longer, and then went on my way. I never saw something quite like it again.
What was it? Just a normal dog? A trash bag I manipulated with the power of my will? Or a white devil dog, said to appear outside the home of someone close to death? The answer isn’t important. What is important is what I drew for today: the moment I realized what I was looking at wasn’t what I thought it was.
They don’t talk about it in the morning. They don’t talk about anything really. Not before she leaves, not the dozens of times he doesn’t call her back, not for weeks, not for months. Three months.
He doesn’t visit, he doesn’t call, he never shows up and she wants to hate him. Wants to hate him because he’s the one who told her to leave, he’s the one who never even gave her a chance to say anything, he’s the one who refuses to call her back because he “doesn’t want it to be easier for the travelers to find him and Tom.“ The travelers who are now back in Mystic Falls and as far away from them as they could possibly be. Like they’ve got tracking devices on them or they’re monitoring her calls. Like their lives have suddenly become Mission Impossible.
She wants to hate him, she really does. She needs him now, maybe more than ever before, which if you think about is insane because she managed on her own for years. Without him. Perfectly fine. With her mom.
"Just a little bit further and we’ll be there.”
“You said that three times already,” Liz replies, taking a break and leaning against a tree. “Where are we going, anyway?”
“You’ll see.” Liz raises an eyebrow but follows her anyway. She knows she’d never actually get an answer out of Caroline, not once she’s made up her mind.
They come to a stop a few minutes later when they reach a clearing. There’s a small mat laid out on the ground with a picnic basket and a vase of lilies. “What’s all this?” She asks, staring at Caroline, mouth agape.
“These last few months have been… a lot.” Caroline sits down on the mat and opens the basket to empty its contents. “I just wanted to do something special for you. You deserve a break.”
Liz gives her a warm smile, eyes tearing up slowly. “Thank you.” She takes her daughters hand and pulls her in for a hug. Caroline rests her head on her shoulder and breathes her in. She smells like lavender, she always does, it’s been like that her whole life.
It’s good to know some things never change. ….
“What do you mean they’re gone?!” She nearly trips down the staircase.
“I mean they’re gone.” She can hear the smile in Bonnie’s voice, the joy, relief. Relief that they made it out of this, all of them, alive. “Damon and Elena have checked and re-checked almost five times now. They’re nowhere near Mystic Falls.”
“What does that mean?” She’s playing with the keychain on her car keys. It’s one Stefan had given her years ago; a snow globe of Mystic Falls, of all places. It was the first thing she looked for when she got back from Portland, found it buried in the back of her closet in a box with her old scrapbook. “Are they… dead?”
“I don’t know.”
“What if they’re in Portland, or… wherever Tom and Stefan are right now? What if they’ve found them?”
“Caroline, they’re safe.” She can hear the hesitation in Bonnie’s voice even as she’s talking. It’s not very reassuring. “The travelers are gone, okay? This is a good thing. We’re allowed to not worry for a minute or two.”
“Caroline, you need to relax, okay? They’re fine, I promise.” Bonnie says. “To be sure, I found a spell that might help me track them by tacking their magic.”
“If it tracks magic, won’t it just show vampires? Isn’t that going to screw up your whole witchy hijinks thing.” She asks, still twirling the snow globe around in her hand.
“The whole witchy hijinks thing will work. It’s specific to their magic.” Bonnie assures her. “I promise.” She pauses and takes in a hasty breath. ”They’re both going to be fine, Caroline.”
She nods slowly to herself like if she does it enough she’ll believe herself. “How does the spell work?”
“I’ll use something to link the spell to the travelers so that when I do it, it’ll only track them, no other magic forms.” It sounds easy enough.
“There’s just one problem.” Caroline reminds her. “We don’t have anything with a link to the travelers, except-“
“The blood of the Doppelgängers.”
“Yeah, except we have no idea where Tom and Stefan are right now. Unless… Is there still some of Stefan’s blood stored in the hospital?”
“No, but it’s fine. We got some of Stefan’s last night.” Her keys slip out of her hands onto the ground.
“You saw Stefan?” She’s lucid enough to be slightly embarrassed at how her voice cracks at the end.
“No, no he compelled a guy on a train to Virginia.”
She bends down to pick up the keys. “So we’re just compelling humans for nothing now? How are you okay with that?”
“I’m not, Care, trust me. It’s just safer– for all of us– if they don’t come back yet.”
She’s biting her tongue now. “Yeah, you’re right.”
Bonnie sighs. “How’s your mom?”
“She’s doing a lot better, the doctors are pretty confident in the chemo so far.” She draws a breath, listens for something, anything. She thinks she hears a whispered “hmmm, good” but she’s not sure. “Bon, I have to go but call me if anything changes, okay? Or if you need my help with anything.”
“Thanks.” She says, sighing. “Bye.” ….
The doctors eventually give up. There’s really only so many things modern medicine can do before it stops doing anything except hurting her, and apparently curing cancer is not one of them. The chemo isn’t much help either. It drains her mom, leaves her feeling empty, and ends up barely making an impact.
Caroline can still remember when her mom caught her and Bonnie lying in her old treehouse. When they promised each other they’d marry one another someday because boys were such jerks. A boy she’d been crushing on that year had found out why her parents were getting divorced and thought up some really ‘colorful’ names for her. All the kids in school joined in.
She remembers her mom stopping at his house the next day after school, remembers her going in to talk for a while and coming out with a satisfied smile on her face. She remembers never even hearing his voice again.
Her mom, Sheriff Forbes, defender of Mystic Falls, a true hero. She’s always been her role model. Always. Even when they fought. She’s always been someone Caroline could look up to– could look for.
She’s always been here.
“So it’s decided?” Caroline says, rubbing her eyes with the hem of her sweater. Her skin feels raw. “Just like that? You’re going to die?”
“Sweetheart, it’s not that simple.” Liz reaches for her hand and pulls her into a hug, brushing her fingers through her blond hair.
“I know,” Caroline whispers into her shoulder, trying to hold back the fresh tears threatening to fall. “God, I know I just…”
“I know.” Liz smiles, presses a kiss to Caroline’s cheek. “I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”
“I promise.” ….
“Stefan?” She’s never felt so nervous in her entire life. She’s not sure why. It’s Stefan, for God’s sake. Stefan, her best friend, who she can be her insecure neurotic control freak-y self in front of, who she can always be honest with. The same Stefan that hasn’t called or texted or so much as breathed in her direction for the last 3 months. She shouldn’t feel anxious if anything she should be furious. Or just hang up. He’s silent for so long, she wonders if he’s even listening. “I can hear you breathing, and if you called to tell me you’re a jerk, then you’re wasting your time because I already know that.”
“That’s not why I called.” He says, she hears him shuffling around. “Look, something came up.”
“You’re not even going to say hi first?”
“Caroline, you need to get down to Portland.” He speaks louder, clearer, like if she doesn’t hear him that’s it.
“What’s going on?” There are at least a hundred thoughts running through her head. “Are you okay? Is Tom?”
“No, the uh… it’s the travelers-”
“They found you?” She can feel her heart palpitations increasing. The room is spinning and she feels like she’s going to be sick. “You guys need to move. Now. I’ll f-”
“Caroline!” It’s louder still. “They have him.” He pauses, takes in a deep breath, and she waits silently for him to say out loud what she’s just realized. “They have Tom.” ….
“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” She meets him halfway at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Bonnie did a locator spell while she was driving up here and she’s just found Tom.
“Yeah. These are the directions Bonnie gave.” It’s all he‘s said the entire drive. Including the time he almost ran over a lady crossing the street. Eventually she gives up, she wants to say more though; wants to ask how he is, wants to yell at him for not calling her for three months, wants to ask what the hell he was talking about three months ago and if that’s why he’s been avoiding her, ignoring her, cutting her off completely? Was he about to say what she thought he was, that he has feelings for her?
She hasn’t allowed herself to really think about it at all over the past few months. She’s managed to distract herself with making sure her mom is comfortable and making sure Tom is safe… she’s been keeping all thoughts of Stefan and all feelings she may or may not have for him (and vice versa apparently) filed under anger. Because, honestly, all she can think is how could he? How could he start something like that? Go into a conversation with her, basically blurt out that he might have feelings for her and then not bring it up again for weeks? What the hell is she supposed to do with that? She’s with Tom.
Being here with him and knowing how he feels has been clawing at her for the past four hours. Even though she knows she’s being irrational. Because even if what she thought he said was true, it’s been 3 months. A lot can change in 3 months. Not that his maybe feelings would change anything. She’s with Tom.
“So how’s your mom?” She sighs and turns to him, her head already spinning. She thinks about it for a minute.
“Better.” He doesn’t seem satisfied with her answer, she can feel him watching her for a good minute or two before he eventually nods and sits back into his seat.
“Good, that’s uh, that’s really good.”
“We’re almost there.” It’s just past midnight when they finally pull off of the highway. He’s still barely said anything and they’ve been in the car for hours. It’s making her blood boil. It’s the only thing she can think about other than how much she’s missed him.
They’ve been through so much together and these past few months she’s just missed him a lot. She’s about to tell him that before she’s distracted by the moonlight reflecting off of his face and back on to the window. It reminds her of their prom night.
She’s outside watching the picture show she’d spent almost the entire year putting together when he joins her. “Hey.”
“You okay?” He hands her a drink, moves his thumb over the rim of his paper cup. “What’s going on?”
She’s not sure what makes her say it, she’s just staring at the pictures and at him, and she realizes he looks different in this light. Less tired and more… young. He looks good. Really good. “I wish we could stay here forever.”
He gives her a pointed look, watches her nervously take a sip of her punch. “Mystic falls or the dance? Because I’m going to have to oppose to both of them.”
She laughs at that and he follows suit. “No.. no I mean here. Together.” She sighs. “You know, you, me, Elena, Bonnie, Matt…”
She sucks in a deep breath, wipes her eye before tears can even think of falling. “Hmm.” He offers her a reassuring smile. “God, we’ve already lost so many people. We need each other…” she runs a hand through her hair. “Do I sound crazy? I need to move on eventually right?”
He shakes his head. “Caroline, you’re not crazy. I think you sound perfectly normal. Dare I say, right even.”
She punches his shoulder and laughs her caramel laugh again. “It’s okay to want to hold on.” He continues. “You’re supposed to. The people you care about are all that’s important. But I think, no matter what happens, whether we’re all together or separated, we’re still always going to be a part of each other. I mean I’ve been alive for over 160 years and I’ve only ever been at my best when I remember the people I’ve lost, the ones who gave up their lives trying to protect me and the ones who are the most important to me.”
She smiles, takes his hand in hers and feels calmer already. “Thanks, Stefan, and I hope I make it on that list one day.”
“We’re almost there.” She says and Stefan nods. Caroline sighs turning to face him as he focuses on the road in front of them. “So you’re just avoiding me now?” It sounds harsh. Good.
“What?” He turns his head for a minute, stares at her like she’s gone insane and then turns back to the road.
“I said are you just going to keep ignoring me?” She repeats firmly. “I mean if I knew you were going to be like this, I’d have driven up myself.” He’s still staring at her confused.
“Caroline, I’m not avoiding you.” He says hesitantly. “I need to focus right now and I wasn’t sure whether or not you wanted to talk to me.”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“I.. You said.. Just forget it.” He shakes his hand, taps his hands on the steering wheel rhythmically as they start picking up speed “Just… I’m not ignoring you, okay? I’m sitting right here.”
“I don’t… What do you want me to say?” He sounds frustrates, it just makes her even angrier. He has no right to be mad at her right now.
“Anything.” She screams. “God, You haven’t said anything. I haven’t seen you in three months. I needed you and you didn’t even call… not once.”
“It was for your safety.” He says, but he can’t meet her eyes.
“That’s a load of crap. We both know that’s not the reason!”
“What does that mean?” She doesn’t answer.
“Forget it.” She unbuckles her seat belt.
“Not now.” She says, pointing to the building just beside them. “We’re here.” …
The first thing she sees when they walk into the warehouse is blood. Lots of it. Everywhere. She lets herself think the worst.
“Over here!” She follows Stefan’s voice to the next room where Tom is lying on a metal bench. He’s bleeding. There is so much blood. Everywhere.
She’s suddenly intensely aware of the fact that she’s a vampire. She can feel her senses heightening, and the metallic taste of blood fill her senses, on the tip of her tongue. “Hey… hey,” Stefan says slowly, he walks towards her and places both of his hands on her shoulders, turns her around. “You need to focus, okay? Breathe… “
“I can’t. I can’t the blood… it’s” she covers her face with her hands.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Stefan assures her, gently pulling her hands down. “Caroline, you’re fine. Just breathe.” She does. Slowly. In and out.
She rushes over to Tom and slowly tears at the skin on her palm, pressing it to his lips. “Just drink.” She whispers. He looks incredibly pale.
“You okay?” Stefan asks.
“Yeah, I’m good.” She says. “Are they gone?”
“I’m not sure.” He picks up his pace, moves around the room, tries to get a better view of the place.
“Just go, I’ll come find you in a minute,” Caroline says as the wounds on Tom’s hands start to disappear.
“No, it’s fine. Stay with him. I’ll be back.” ….
“You sure you’re okay?” Caroline says, pressing a hand to his forehead and examining him. “I’m pretty sure we should get you to a hospital just in case.”
“Caroline, relax.” He takes her hands in his, pretends he doesn’t see the way her breath hitches in her throat, pretends his doesn’t either. “I’m fine.”
“You lost a lot of blood.” She says. Again.
“And I survived.” Tom smiles, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “Thanks to you.”
“I’ve missed you.” She whispers, voice even lower than usual. The tiny vein on her head is popping out and it’s all he can do to ignore it. It’s adorable.
“I’ve missed you too.” He says, wraps his arms around her waist. She leans up on her toes and presses her lips into his. She’s an even better kisser than he remembers. It hasn’t even been that long, so he’s not exactly sure why he feels like he’s just gotten his first breath of air in the longest time. He can feel a smile forming on her lips and he’s almost certain his expression matches hers to a T. “Hmmm.” He says, grinning. “I’ve really missed you.”
She laughs and her cheeks turn a soft pink, eyes gleaming before she takes a breath and her laughter dies down. “What about you?” He asks suddenly. “You feeling okay? How’s your mom?”
“Honestly?” He nods. “She’s not doing much better. She’s already given up on the treatment and me… I don’t think there’s anything to be done.”
He pushes a fallen strand of hair behind her ear, pulls her towards him and wraps his arms around her. “I’m sorry.” He says, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
She leans into his chest, breathes him in. He still smells of blood. She didn’t even think of bringing a change of clothes, for any of them. She didn’t really think about anything other than getting him back.
“I’ve really missed you.” He brushes off a tear sliding down her cheek with the back of his thumb. She looks up to meet his eyes and he leans down, kisses her slowly, till her entire body goes numb. It’s reassuring and she’s missed him and missed being around him and everything about him.
“There’s no one here.” They both jerk at the sound Stefan’s voice, and Caroline reluctantly pulls away, wipes at her eyes with the sleeve of her sweater. She can feel both of their eyes following her as she makes her way around the car to the passenger side.
“You guys okay?” Stefan says, cautiously approaching them.
“Yeah,” Caroline says, calmer than he’d expected. “Yeah, we’re good.”
“Did you find anything?” Tom asks.
“They’re gone.” He sighs, climbing into the car and slamming the door shut. “All of them. There’s no one here, but they left everything behind.”
She shakes her head. “We’ll find them, don’t worry.”
“What else?” Tom says, eyes trained on Stefan. He’s not even blinking.
“What?” Caroline asks, turns to face Stefan. “What is it?”
“Damon and Elena might have a plan.”
“They found a spell in one of Bonnie’s old grimoires.” He pauses. “It’s a darker magic than Bonnie’s used to but she thinks she can pull it off.”
“Stefan, what is it?”
“She has to stop my heart.” He turns his head to look at Tom, turns back to her. “Elena’s too.” ….
“They’re insane.” She tells Tom. They’re waiting at a gas station for Stefan while he grabs some coffees from the Quick Stop.
She hears him stop behind her right after she says it, turns to face him. “You’re insane.” She spits out. “This is insane.”
He should’ve known this was coming, he’d been expecting it the entire drive to Mystic Falls. They were just a few miles outside of Whitmore, which is much further than he’d expected her to go without saying anything. Still, it catches him off guard. “Bonnie’s spell will stop whatever they’re planning.” He says, trying to convince himself as much as her.
“I don’t care.”
“It’ll only last for a few minutes,” He starts, opening his door, but she doesn’t blink. “No doppelgänger, no spells. All their magic or anti-magic or whatever it is will be undone.”
“I don’t care.”
“At the very least it will buy us some time to come up with a better plan.”
She laughs, it’s thick and cold. “So we’re risking your life, Elena’s life, Bonnie’s life.. everything. Just to come up with a better plan?”
“No. Let me finish.” She taps her foot rhythmically on the cobbled sidewalk. “I’m not letting all of you risk your lives just because we can’t think of something better. It’s stupid and reckless.”
“This is the only way we’ve got.” He says. “Are you really okay with letting the travelers passenger themselves into everyone in this town one by one?” When she doesn’t answer he nods. “That’s what I thought”.
“There’s no way Damon agreed to this.” It’s all she can come up with. He wouldn’t. Not when Elena is involved, not when Stefan is, not to something like this.
“He did.” He sighs, leaving out the part about just how reluctant he was.
“You’re actually serious.” She says, mouth forming an ‘o’ as her hands fall to her sides. “You’re seriously doing this.”
“Caroline I’m really sorry if you don’t agree with it, but I already told Bonnie yes.”
“Then why’d you even bother telling me?”
“I thought you should know.” He can’t meet her eyes.
“What about Tom?” She asks, avoiding his gaze just as much. “Would he need to…”
“No, just the two of us is enough.” He assures her. “Besides, Bonnie’s not sure if this spell would even work on him. He’s a human.”
“So it is dangerous?”
“We’re going to be fine, Caroline. Trust me.” ….
“I can’t believe they’re going through with this.” She says, waves her hands around frantically. Furiously. “They’re officially insane.” Bonnie’s already started the spell, so there’s no point in complaining now. She heard Bonnie start chanting a while ago and she still hasn’t stopped.
“You should go in there,” Tom says. “They need you, and I know you want to be there for them.”
She’s still wary. “Why won’t you?”
“I’m scared.” She sighs, covers her face with her hands and takes a deep breath, putting he hands back to her side. “If this doesn’t… If it doesn’t work, they could actually die. And there’s no turning into a vampire or anything else mythical, they’re really gone.”
He takes her hands in his. “Look, do you trust Elena and Stefan?”
“Do you trust Bonnie?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then why don’t you trust that she would never do anything like this if she weren’t one hundred percent sure it would work?” She sighs in relief, nods her head. <i>You’re right.</i> “Just go in there. They won’t even notice you, they’re unconscious. And Bonnie could use the support.”
“Fine.” She leans up, presses a hasty kiss on his cheek. “You wanna come with me?”
“Thanks, but for as many times as all of this magic has saved my life, I’m still getting used it and it kind of scares the crap out of me.”
She rolls her eyes, cracking a smile, and makes her way into the crypt. …
Everything’s going great, so far. Bonnie’s just about done and the spell looks like it’s working already. It’s good.
She knows it. She’s thinking it’s insane when Liv storms in, screaming. “You need to stop your spell now.” She says, Luke standing behind her idly.
Caroline’s in front of them as quickly as she can. Bonnie keeps chanting. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“You have no idea what you’re doing,” Liv tells Bonnie, ignoring her completely. “You’re playing right into his hand.”
“What? He who?” Caroline asks.
“Stop!” Luke screams, and Bonnie keeps going.
“Get out.” Caroline insists. “Now!” Before she can see what’s happening, Liv is saying something and then there’s a piece of wood flying in the air. It tears into 3 separate shards and goes directly towards Bonnie, Stefan, and Elena. “Stop!” It comes out more like a whimper. Barely audible.
Bonnie’s candles go out and Liv and Luke are gone. ….
“What the hell did you do?” She yells, comes to a halt right in front of them.
“We just saved your friends lives,” Luke tells her, inches closer to Liv. “You’re welcome.”
“Your boyfriends fine by the way.” Liv interrupts. She turns around and Tom’s lying on the ground in front of Stefan’s car. She thinks she stutters out a “what did you do to him?” but she feels paralyzed.
“He’s just asleep,” Liv says maliciously, she can’t tell if she’s being honest.
“Well, you won,” Caroline says, raising her hands in surrender. “You hurt us, we’re broken. Are you happy?” They’re both silent. “Please just leave them alone. All of them.”
“Like he said, we saved them. You too.” Luke starts to walk away, gesturing for her to follow. “You think this is over? You of all people should prepare yourself. This is only the beginning.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play with magic you can’t understand.” ….
When she gets back inside, Elena’s sitting up slowly while Bonnie is reluctantly drinking Damon’s blood. Stefan is still unconscious.
“What’s wrong?” Caroline asks, getting to his side as fast as she can. “Why isn’t he up?”
“In a minute, Blondie.” Damon snaps. “Need to fix witchy over here so she can fix Stefan.”
“Damon he’s desiccating !” Elena shouts and Caroline takes a step back. She feels sick. She can’t even look at him, his skin is turning grey and she wants to reach forward, to do something to scream, but she feels sick and paralyzed. “I think the stake is in his heart.”
Damon looks just as sick. No, more. “Help!” Elena screams it’s deafening. He rushes over to Stefan’s side and plunges a hand into his chest.
Caroline turns around. She can’t watch this. She can’t breathe, she can’t even think straight. She can, however, smell Bonnie’s blood pooled around her from here and that tiny voice in her head that sounds a lot like Stefan is not piping up, not telling her to stop. She thinks she won’t.
“It’s out.” She hears Elena sigh, thinks she’s talking to her but she can’t be sure. Not until she hears his heartbeat. It’s barely there. She wouldn’t even hear it if it weren’t out of sync with the rest of theirs. His slips back into consciousness slowly and manages to sit up. “Did it work?” He splutters. Elena laughs and wraps her arms around him, Damon gives him a pat on his shoulder while Bonnie watches them from across the room.
She feels sick. She doesn’t realize she’s moving until she feels her feet carrying her past the door and into the open air. …
“Where were you, Damon?” It comes out broken, a sob. She’s just tired.
“Sabrina the teenage bitch snapped my neck.” He comes to a stop beside her, leans his head against the door frame. “I was out cold. Did she say what she wanted?”
“She said she was here to help.”
She rolls her eyes. “Yeah well, it’s all I got from them. I was pretty distracted by all of my friends being on the brink of death. I needed to get back inside, I wasn’t going to wait for her to give me the long version.”
“Hey,” He presses a hand to her elbow, she can see his eyes soften, this is new territory. “I’m not blaming you.” The way he says it is very un-Damon like.
“Good.” She says. “Because I’m not blaming you either.” She lets out a sigh. “How’s Tom?”
“Bonnie managed to get him up.” He pauses, she can feel him staring. “Stefan’s fine, by the way.” She doesn’t say anything. “You mad at him or something?”
“Or something.” She doesn’t have the energy to argue with him right now. Especially about this. “Hurt, mostly. But I’ll get over it.” She pulls at the fraying cotton on her sweater. “I just missed him. A lot. He’s my best friend.”
“He missed you too,” Damon assures her, offers her a small smile.
It helps. ….
He’s not sure what he’s been doing for all this time. Why he’s been doing it. And if he wasn’t sure before, when he could’ve pretended he didn’t know better and Caroline spent three months being mad at him, he definitely isn’t sure now that he’s just heard that’s the exact opposite of what happened.
He considers waiting, giving her a little more time to cool down, space to breathe before he’s apologizing for everything he’s done all at once, but he’s waited long enough. Too long already.
“Hey.” She’s sitting on the steps outside, waiting. She looks tired. She has since he saw her a few days ago, all the time.
“Hey.” She offers him a smile. God, he can’t believe he’s taken this long to finally talk to her. He can’t believe he’s gone this long without seeing her smile. It feels like he’s been deprived. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m good.” He sighs, sits down beside her. He watches her rub the palms of her hands together and shakes his head. “No, uh, actually. I’m an idiot.”
She gives him questioning look.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call.” He says, blurts it out. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I… you’re my best friend, Caroline, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me. I just… I was scared things would be different between us. I didn’t want them to be.”
She swallows, takes a deep breath even as her eyes soften, searches for something in his. He can feel her eyes on him, can’t bear to meet them. “Why would they?…” She smiles again. “They’re not.” He presses a hand to her knee and looks up at her.
“So we’re okay?”
“Yeah.” She takes his hand. “We’ve always been okay.”
He gives her hand a gentle squeeze. “Let’s go home then.” ….
It finally feels like it is, home. Finally. They’re all together. They manage to find a routine, a new normal, to get settled in pretty quickly.
Tom gets a job at Whitmore Med school. It’s part-time and he’d honestly prefer to be in an ambulance than in hallways filled with drunk students needing a stomach pump. Still, it’s good. Stefan is back at the boarding house, and she’s at back in school, staying in a small apartment building close to campus with her mom. It’s smaller than what they’re used to but it means she can be back home at a moments notice and it’s closer to her doctors. She’s considered dropping out of Whitmore entirely but her mom threatened to stay someplace else if it affected her education.
It’s good. It is.
Right up until it isn’t.
“They tried to kill Elena.” She feels sick. Again.
She doesn’t even bother asking who, why. She knows, she’s been waiting for the other shoe to drop for weeks. “When?”
“Last night,” Bonnie says, she can hear her shaky breath. “Whatever they did it… it stripped her of her vampirism, she was human again, drowning.” She lets out a sigh, Caroline thinks she hears a sob but doesn’t say anything. “Damon got there in time, stopped the spell. Caroline, they’re not going to stop, you know they won’t. Not until they get what they want.”
“What they want is the doppelgängers. So what do we do?”
“I need you to be bait.”
“I’m in.” She knows Bonnie would never bring this to her if they weren’t desperate. No ways she’s letting everyone else sacrifice themselves, no way she’s putting their lives in any more danger. “Whatever it takes.” ….
He doesn’t eavesdrop. It’s not his thing, never has been. Especially not like this, but it’s not really his fault.
He’s putting away some things, taking out weapons for their preposterous plan while Bonnie gives Caroline one last rundown of the plan. He’s going over to ask how much vervain they could really need (these aren’t even vampires) when he hears his name. Still, he thinks they’re talking to him and he’s about to respond until he hears her.
“Bonnie, can we not..” She says, let’s out an exasperated sigh. He can picture Bonnie rolling her eyes.
“I just think this is something you need to talk about, if not with him then… talk to me, Care.” He inches closer to the room, tries to find a clearer spot. “What happened?”
Caroline sighs. “He… he said… I don’t even know what he said. I mean I know what I think he said, but… that can’t be what he said.”
“Because I can’t deal with that.”
“Because!” She snaps. “Because I cant, okay. I don’t even… Stefan doesn’t have feelings for me, Bonnie.” Oh. He starts to back away slowly, suddenly feeling like he’s violating something. He can’t…
“Just forget about whatever Stefan said or didn’t say for a second,” Bonnie suggests, he hears her move away, further into the room. “What about you? Do you have feelings for him?”
He doesn’t stick around long enough to hear her answer. ….
“Be safe, okay?” Tom says anxiously. He’s insisted on walking her to her car, before she heads off to Whitmore, to make sure the travelers are there. To make sure they haven’t left town already. Because at this point, that would honestly be worse.
“Always.” She says with a small smile, rolls her eyes and shakes her head a little.
“I’m serious.” He says, his thumbs gently caressing the back of her hands. “You like to go rushing into things. I mean you’re brave, insanely brave, actually, it’s one of the things I love about you, but.. be careful okay?”
She freezes, takes a moment to catch her breath and then meets his eyes. “What did you say?”
“Be careful.” He grins sheepishly, bounces up and down on his heels.
“I love you, Caroline.” She bites her lip, flashes him the warmest smile he’s ever seen.
Caroline moves her head closer to him. He stands frozen, both from fear and excitement. She leans in, so her forehead rests against his, closes her eyes. Even through the sound of her own shaky breath, she can hear his, slow and uneven. "For the record,” she says, barely above a whisper. He presses a kiss to her lips. Exhilarating. “I love you too.” …
“You ready for this?” Stefan turns to see Damon walk in, eagerly takes the drink from his hand.
He shakes his head. “Not really.”
“You sure you’re okay?” Damon asks cautiously, shoving his hands into his pockets.
“Damon if you have something to say just say it.” He snaps. “I’m too tired to figure out what the hell you’re trying to say.”
“You and Caroline.” He says. This again. He’d really appreciate it if just once no one brought this up. “How’d you mess that one up?”
He feels his blood boiling. “I told her I liked her.” Damon waits, stares at him expectantly. <i>And?/i> “In Portland, before she left for Mystic Falls.”
“Oh.” Damon rubs a thumb over his forehead, tries to process.
“I didn’t actually say that I had feelings for her, it never got that far.” Damon looks like he’s about to burst out laughing.
If he has anything to say about it, he doesn’t. “Here.” He says, passing his still full glass over to Stefan. “I think you need this way more than I do.” ….
“Can you explain to me again why we’re at a dance?” She rolls her eyes. In her defense, she has explained it to him almost 3 times in the past thirty minutes. It’s just a little hard for him to focus when she’s dressed like <i>that</i>. His fingers are rhythmically tapping on the bare skin of her back, a little tactic he’d devised to distract himself from getting distracted by her. Needless to say it wasn’t working very well.
“You’re not even listening!” She exclaims, coming to a stop in the middle of the ballroom.
“I’m sorry.” He apologizes, tries to really focus this time. Really. “One last time. Please.”
She sighs. “Fine.” Lifts her hand back to the back of his neck and rests her arm on his shoulder. <i>Focus.</i> “As I’ve said the last 3 times, for some reason Liv is on the planning committee for the dances and when I asked a cheerleader on the committee she said Liv had insisted on having this dance <i>tonight</i> and every idea they’d gotten for the dance was courtesy of her. Including, the idea to invite some lovely alumni from the neighboring town… Mystic Falls.”
“We sure she isn’t just a very committed party planner?” She glares at him, takes his hand and slowly leads him off the dance floor, towards the bar. “I’ll take that as a no.”
“Thanks.” She bites.
He smirks back at her. She wants to slap him. “What?”
“Did you really compel a cheerleader?” He bites back a laugh.
She rolls her eyes, taking a sip of her cocktail. “Oh shut up.”
“So you want to talk about the fact that you had a costume prepared for this dance; the one we only decided we were going to this morning?”
“Nope.” She says, popping the ‘p’. “‘Cause then I’d have to admit that while you and Tom were running for your lives, I was costume shopping and planning on going to dances and finding the perfect outfit which I’m not even sure this one is anymore.” She sighs.
“Caroline. “ He says hesitantly.
“Don’t be.” He tells her, places a hand on top of hers. “You don’t need to feel bad. You shouldn’t. Not for living your life.”
“While you were running for yours.”
“It wasn’t that dramatic.” He laughs, she flashes him a bright smile and empties her glass in one sip, shakes her head at the burn.
“You were in danger.” She corrects.
“Barely.” Her eyes are burning holes into his skin.
“Well, I’m glad I did.” He offers. “I missed you.” He smiles. “A lot.”
“Me too.” She gulps and he cheeks go pink, smiling at him, “I missed you.” She subtly points to the entrance behind him where Liv and a group people he recognizes as some travelers walk in. He takes her hand slowly, pulls her towards him and moves to the center of the room. She laughs, as he twirls her around abruptly.
“It is by the way.” He whispers. They’re moving left to right, back and forth, it’s nice moving in sync with her for once. He likes how fast they manage to find a rhythm.
“The perfect outfit.” He still can’t focus on anything else. ….
They wait all night. For the other shoe to drop, for a chance to finally end this, for something.
Just drinking, dancing, more drinking and even more dancing. He’s never felt so intoxicated in his entire life, add that to the fact that he’s been gawking at his best friend all night and it’s you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster.
“Well, that was a complete waste.” She says. Her throat is dry and raspy, it makes her voice sound like honey. It’s too much.
“Tell me about it.” He’s starting again; she’s sitting on a bench and her feet are still tapping to the music in the ballroom. It’s extremely loud.
“At least I get to tell all the girls in school I danced with Stefan Salvatore all night.” She smiles, tugs at his hand to pull herself up. She climbed out of her heels about an hour ago and now they’re just swinging around in her hands. “Everyone’s going to be so jealous.”
“Haha, very funny.”
“I’m not kidding.” She assures him, leads the way to her apartment building. ”You’re like a legend. Every girl had a crush on you.” She pauses, watches his laughter die down. Involuntarily meets his eyes and can’t seem to shake his gaze.
He smiles again after a minute. “Even Bonnie?”
She rolls her eyes “Are you kidding? Especially Bonnie!” Her laughter is infectious. He comes to a stop as they reach her building and he’s not focusing on the fact that she still hasn’t let go of his hand. Not at all. “I really had fun tonight, Stefan. I know that wasn’t the plan, but…”
“I didn’t realize how much I missed you being around all the time.” She says, clears her throat and turns away for a second.
“I can’t tell if that’s a compliment or a complaint.” He laughs.
“Both.” She fishes her keys out of her purse. “I’m really glad you’re back.”
“Me too.” She smiles as he brushes a strand of hair out of her face, tucks it behind her ear. She’s suddenly very aware of her hand in his, her heart pounding. “Listen, Caroline…” she can tell it’s coming before he starts. She’s not ready to hear it (again) ”What I said… the night you left Portland, I just wanted-“
“I’m sorry,” she says, tears on her cheek suddenly crystal clear in the moonlight. “I can’t do this right now.” She says walking into the building and away from him. ….
“Caroline, slow down!” He yells. She’s pretty sure he’s just woken up half of the building. She can hear him getting closer, should probably run into her apartment, lock the door and not come out for a week but her feet are killing her and her blood alcohol level is abnormally high. He catches up to her eventually, clutches her wrist and turns her around. Her eyes are still wet and there’s a small mascara smudge under her eyelashes.
“Stefan… don’t.” She pleads. “I’m still with Tom. I… I’m”
“Good, I want you to be happy, I just..” He turns around, ready to leave. “I just need to say it. Just once. Please.” She wants to stop him, slap him, scream.
“I like you, Caroline.” She wants to scream. “I really really like you.” He sucks in a deep breath. “I know the timing is horrible and the place and everything about it, I just… I need you to know.”
“Stefan, please stop.” She says it’s calmer than he’d expected. Then again, she’s not exactly saying what he’d expected her to say either.
“I do.” He says, firmly. “I like you.”
“You keep saying that, but ever since Portland you haven’t been able to have an actual conversation with me. You barely look at me. You won’t even talk to me. I know it’s hard being back here, with Damon… and Elena but I just needed to know why. I let myself think it was because of what you said to me. That it was because of me. Because then it was my fault..“ she sighs, wipes the back of her hand over her eyes until the skin looks almost raw. “How could you do that, if you like me? Even if you didn’t.”
"I do.” He repeats. “It’s not your fault.”
“Do you know how insane this sounds? Are you even hearing yourself? Stefan, you’re.” His hand is on her hip before she knows what’s happening and he’s pulling her closer, crashing into her. She inhales sharply. He brushes his lips against hers, slowly, his hands on her cheeks and hers around his neck. He doesn’t pull away until she gasps for air.
“I’m sorry.” He whispers as she stares at him, still speechless. “I… I almost died so many times and I missed you and I just.. I really needed to do that. I’m sorry.”