something me and simone would do when we meet during the summer

On Love’s Light Wings

Simon runs into Baz before 8th year begins. An unspoken truce is made that leads to Simon realizing he might not hate Baz after all.

As always many thanks to @eroticgropefest for the beta, I don’t know what I would do without her!

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] 


Baz

The first thing Snow did when we ran into each other by the lake was accuse me of following him. Which is moronic; my family owns this house and we’ve been coming here for years.

Usually I’d stay inside the house or by the lake reading and every summer I’d try to forget all about him. But now that he’s here I can’t stop thinking about anything else. It’s always him in my head, filling it with dreams and regret.

I figured that since he’s here I might as well make the most of it. I just want to be able to look at his stupid face during summer and I know that if I start to wander away he’ll follow me like he does at Watford. It will almost feel like we’re back in school and that nothing has changed.

The first few days he kept his distance, but he gave up soon after that. He started to follow me closer, asking stupid questions as we walked around; claiming that there’s nothing else to do here. So bloody predictable.

Simon

I don’t understand how we managed to spend the holidays in the same place. Baz keeps telling me that if anyone is plotting then it must be me because I’m the one that followed him here. I think he just likes to piss me off.

I tried to stay away from him, but I couldn’t. I was too curious to see what he does outside of Watford, so I stay hidden between the trees and watch him with his family in the morning.

After lunch Baz usually wanders around the lake or into the woods. In the first days that I started following him I tried to keep my distance so that he wouldn’t notice me. But he always did. So I gave up and started to follow him closer. I started to try and talk to him, first about random things; then about this place, and after that, about his family. Baz must be really bored too because after the first week his replies became more like he actually wanted to talk to me and he started to ask me some questions too.

Yesterday he told me to meet him sooner because he wanted to show me a place farther into the woods. So right after his family goes inside for lunch, I meet him and I notice that he’s carrying a backpack.

“What’s that for?” I ask him, pointing at it.

“Food,” he says –like it’s obvious and I’m a moron for asking,”what do you think I’d be carrying into the woods?” he adds, as he starts to walk.

Oh. Maybe I should have brought food too. And water. I didn’t really think that I should have come prepared to spend the whole afternoon in the woods.

When he notices that I’m not moving he stops and turns around. He must have realized what I was thinking because he adds, “don’t worry Snow. I packed enough for both of us.” And with that, he starts walking again.

I can’t help but grin. I like this side of Baz that isn’t a complete asshole.

It turns out what Baz wanted to show me was a small waterfall far into the woods, and it’s quite beautiful. The water falls into a some sort of natural pool that I’d love to step into.

Baz sits down under the shade of a tree and starts taking the food from his backpack, carefully putting everything on a beach towel that he also had in there. I realize that I’m starving when I look at the food. There’s sandwiches, fruit, and juices; everything looks amazing.

I sit down next to him and reach for a sandwich. Then something occurs to me and I stop. He wouldn’t go all the way out here just to poison me, would he?

When I notice him with his eyebrow raised at me, I decide to ignore all the doubts in my head. “Can I… Uhm … have one?” I ask.

“Of course” he replies, as he grabs one for himself.

I notice that he’s eating with his hand in front of his mouth but I’m not sure why. Does he always eat like this? It’s not like we eat at the same table in school for me to notice it but I decide not to comment anyway, he’s being nice for a change and I don’t want to ruin it.

When we finish the sandwiches it occurs to me that I’m having a picnic with Baz. I’ve never had a picnic outside of Watford before; especially not with Baz. I look at him and he’s a bit flushed–probably from the heat. He has his hair in a messy ponytail and some of the hair in front of his face has got loose. For some reason, looking at Baz makes me blush so I stop.

I decide to look at the water instead. It’s quite relaxing just sitting here enjoying the view. I feel like I could take a nap, but apparently Baz has other plans because he starts to take his shoes off.

“Come on Snow. You didn’t think I dragged you here just for the view, did you?” he tells me as he steps into the water and sits down on one of the big rocks so that he can put his feet in the water.

I decide to follow him, so I take my shoes and t-shirt off. As I step into the water, I pass him and keep walking until the water is by my waist. Then I let myself fall into the water. It feels so good; the cold water against my skin. I stay underwater for a few seconds before I feel the need to get up to breathe.

After I run my hands through my hair and face to get rid of the water I feel Baz looking at me, so I look up and tell him, “Are you going come here or do I need to make you?”

Then Baz get’s up, smirks at me, and takes his shirt off. He starts walking in my direction, not taking his eyes of me. I’ve never seen him shirtless before. I can’t seem to be able to look at anything else but him. Baz is… He’s gorgeous. And I knew it already, but somehow seeing him in here like this feels different. Like I’m really noticing him for the first time.

Then he passes me and starts swimming in the direction of where the water is falling. Once he reaches that zone, he climbs a few rocks and gets up right near the waterfall. Then he puts himself under the streams of falling water, closes his eyes and lets the water hit him. There’s a small smile on his face and he looks so relaxed. It’s one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen.


Baz

Snow changed after I took him to the waterfall. He became more relaxed around me. So I started to take him to every interesting little thing around here before I need to leave. Today I wanted to show him the biggest tree  here, it’s so tall and thick it must be one of the oldest trees I’ve ever seen.

I was so distracted thinking about him that I didn’t realize  I couldn’t hear Snow’s loud steps behind me, so I stopped.

For a few seconds there was no sound. Then I hear a loud noise coming from not too far away, so I start to run into that direction. I stop when I see the entrance to the cave that I passed a few moments before. Of course he had to go in.

That’s when I hear him cursing. He sounds like he’s in in pain, so I start to run inside.

As I feel myself falling I realize how stupid I was. In my rush to get to Snow I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings and fell in the same place that he did. Right on top of him.


(see my snowbaz fic masterlist)

Mason (Part Three) - Morgan Rielly

A/N: Part three is here! This is definitely going to be a mini series because there is so much I want to explore with this story! Thanks for all the supportive messages! It means a lot!

Requested: Yes/No

Characters: Morgan Rielly

Words: 4,853

Warnings: Language

[Part One] [Part Two]

Originally posted by phillymyers

Keep reading

The Ball

length: 1k!! Just like we promised!! :D

genre(s): Fluffy af

triggers/warnings: none!!

It’s 7th year, and Simon has found himself single during the holiday season after Agatha breaks up with him. Is he desperate enough for a date to the school’s annual Christmas Ball that he agrees to go with..Baz?

a/n: Here it is!! The fic we promised to write together (yes all seven of us!) when we reached 1000 followers just in time for us to hit 2000!!
We want to thank y’all so much for following and hope you love the library just as much as we do ^__^



One week before the ball…

Baz

It’s just a proposition. That’s all. It means nothing. (I’m lying to myself, of course.)

“You want me to do what now?” Snow’s standing there against the bedroom door staring at me, looking completely exasperated.

“Relax, Snow,” I say, “I just need you to act like my date.”

“Act like your date?” he repeats, as if I haven’t already stated it twice. “Why? What’s in it for you?”

“None of your business,” I say, propping my feet up on my desk. (I never do this, but it’s a power move.)

He frowns at me and crosses his arms. “Then what’s in it for me?”

“A chance to piss off the old families?”

“That’s not good enough.”

I sigh. “Fine, Snow. Do this for me and I won’t bother you for the rest of the time we’re spent as roommates.”

He seems to ponder this. “How will I know that you won’t break your promise?”

“I never go back on my word.”

“Fine. I’ll be your ‘date’ to the ball.” He sounds resigned, suspicious–which he has every right to be–and immediately leaves the room.


The day of the ball…

Simon

Baz and I are writing reports, and I keep turning around to look at him. He usually sits as far from me as possible but he’s right behind me and it’s distracting. His hair is falling in a wave in front of his face and it’s actually… quite beautiful.

The bell rings and he catches me in the hallway, slipping his cold hand into mine effortlessly.


An hour before the ball…

As I tie my tie for the third time, I sigh in frustration at the mirror. Why am I trying so hard? The date isn’t even real; it’s only to get Baz off my back. And It’s not like he cares what I look like. No one looks better than him in those suits anyway. (The tosser probably doesn’t even need to spell himself tidy.)

I give myself one last look before stepping away from my reflection. The tie looks decent, and I even parted my hair to one side, so it’s something.

“Are you ready to leave?” I ask near the bathroom door–Baz has been there for hours.

“No,” he half shouts so that I can hear him. “Can we meet there?”

I shrug, but then I remember that he can’t see me so I tell him, “fine. Whatever.”


At the ball…

Baz

By the time I arrive, the ball is just starting. (I am, indeed, quite punctual.) What’s surprising is the fact that Simon’s already stood by the door, waiting for me. He looks the most presentable I’ve ever seen him be–although Snow’s presentable and what society considers presentable are two different things.

His tie is crooked, and the suit is too tight around the shoulders.

(He looks good though. Really good.)

Simon

Baz walks up to me. He stares for a while, sighs, and shakes his head. (I, too, stare at him. He looks good. His suit looks expensive, and his tie is tied properly.)

“Snow, I hope your dancing skills aren’t too terrible. Surely you can handle a simple waltz,” he says, and I drag him out into the courtyard right as music begins playing.

“You’re starting with the wrong foot.”

“You’re stepping the wrong way,” I insist.

Snow.”

Baz

We’ve danced two songs before Snow speaks again.

“You look nice,” he says, and I blush. (How embarrassing.)

‘I suppose you don’t look too bad yourself,” I reply, and now it’s Snow’s turn to go red. His hand is warm on my shoulder, and it feels good. It feels more than good, really, and I’m starting to regret asking him to be my fake date. Now that I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to be with Simon Snow, I don’t want to let go.

Simon

I meant what I said. About Baz looking nice, I mean. He looks well fit with his green suit and red tie. Anyone else would look like a Christmas elf, but Baz pulls it off. There isn’t much Baz can’t pull off, really. He’s lucky like that.

Another song begins, and as Baz pulls me closer I almost forget this isn’t real.

Then, some things happen at the same time: As the distance between us closes, we keep dancing to the rhythm of the music; or rather, Baz keeps dancing and my feet keep moving aimlessly; I stumble over Baz’s foot, proving something we both should have seen coming – I definitely can’t handle a simple waltz; Baz wraps his arms around me, so I don’t fall. And I kiss him.

Baz

Snow has the talent to make me forget things. He makes me forget that I should hate him. That this is all fake and will be over soon.
That I should breathe.

Simon

There’s a list of things in my head I’ve always wanted to do to Baz. (And didn’t know.) Grab his hair. Kiss him. Hold him and not let go. Be his real boyfriend.

So I do them all.


One week later…

Baz

Merlin and Morgana, I’m living a charmed life. If I had known I would be stretched out with a glowing, very real Simon Snow curled against my chest, Watford would have been a breeze.

We’re in a corner of the garden where Mordelia can’t find us. (“But Baz! It’s not fair! Simon’s my new favourite brother!” she’d protested earlier.) The summer sun has worked its way through my bones, and I’m feeling strangely soft; content and happy all at once.

Simon’s curly head is tucked under my chin. I think he’s asleep; he ate so much lunch, I don’t see how he can’t have been rendered comatose. Crowley, I’m lucky.

“Hey, Baz.”

Not asleep, then. “Yeah?”

“Is there a Tesco’s nearby?”

I frown. “Why?”

Simon grins. “I want to make you sour cherry scones. Now that we’re boyfriends, and all.”

Merlin, I think, I’m in so deep.

Awestruck

A SnowBaz fic about camping for the Carry On Countdown

Simon had never been camping before, which was odd when he thought about it.  He’d often had someone to live with during the summer, but none of them were particularly “outdoorsy” folk.  Besides, camping with the people he’d lived with could never have compared to camping with his best friends, his real family.

           They were lying on the ground, all four of them, around the smouldering coals of what had been their campfire.  A thin trail of smoke still drifted into the sky, but it didn’t obscure the stars.  Simon heard Agatha yawn from the other side of the fire pit, and Penny shifted in the grass towards his left.  Simon almost shivered from the dew that was already forming all around them. Under normal circumstances he would have been cold, possibly too cold to enjoy the peace, the tranquility of the night.

           Except that tonight he lay beside Baz.  Very close, in fact.

           And for some reason, that thought was keeping Simon warm.

           “See any constellations, Pen?” he asked.

           “There’s Orion,” she pointed up at the sky.  Simon squinted.  They were all just stars, he couldn’t make out a particular shape.

           “Where?”

           “Over there,” came Baz’s soft voice, and he pointed the way that Penny did.  Simon tried to follow the line of Baz’s arm.

           “Those bright three?”

           “That’s the belt,” Penny replied.  “It you look up and a little to the right of the third star, you’ll see his bow.”

           “Wait, which third star?”

           “To the right.”

           “Oh, okay, I found it.”

           They went silent, everyone trying to open their eyes as wide as they could, take in all the stars at once through the treetops.

           Suddenly Agatha sat up.  “Did you see that?” she cried.

           “What?”

           “A shooting star!”

           “Where?” Simon’s gaze darted around the sky.

           “Well, it’s gone now,” Agatha sighed.

           “Don’t forget to make a wish,” Penny reminded her. Agatha wrapped her arms around her knees, still staring up at the sky.  She stayed that way for a while before eventually lying back down.  It must have been a good wish.

           “Don’t worry,” Penny said to no one in particular. “There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, we should have plenty of chances.”

           What should I wish for?

           Simon pushed the thought aside.  If he saw a shooting star, he would wish for whatever hit him first, whatever came to him at that moment.  He wouldn’t think.

           What would Baz wish for?

           That probably wasn’t a good thing to think about either. Every time Simon tried to figure Baz out, to solve the riddle that was his best friend, he just ended up with a headache.  

           It didn’t help that at this moment he was extremely aware.  Of Baz.  Of their proximity.  And he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why.

           “There!” Penny broke the silence.  “I saw one!”

           “Quick, wish!”  Agatha’s voice had a smile in it.  As beautiful as her smile was to see, it was even lovelier to hear.

           Funny how a few stars could turn them all into awestruck little kids.

           “I didn’t see that one either,” Simon pouted.

           “Pay attention!” Penny giggled.

           “You’ll see one,” Baz murmured, his voice close to Simon’s ear.  Simon’s heart picked up a little at the sound.  Now, why was it doing that?

           Simon stared up at the sky, his eyes searching, darting at any ghost of moment.  A bat flitted across the gap between the treetops, and Simon gasped.

           “That was a bat, Si,” Baz chuckled.

           “I know,” Simon shot back, but he was smiling sheepishly.

           Please call me Si again.

           And then a star fell across the sky, so bright it left a trail of silver, splitting the indigo night.

           All four of them gasped.

           “Tell me you all saw that,” Penny said in a reverent voice.

           “We did,” Baz breathed.

           “It was perfect,” came Agatha’s voice.            

           “Everyone wish,” Penny instructed.

           Simon closed his eyes.

           First thought, first thought…

           Baz.

           Simon’s eyes snapped open.  What?

           He looked over at Baz.

           The boy’s face was not three inches from his own, eyes closed and skin smooth.  Baz always seemed to be thinking, or worried about something, but right now his face was so peaceful that he almost seemed to be asleep.  He looked so genuinely… contented.  Like everything was right in the world.

           If that were true, he wouldn’t be wishing.

           Baz opened his eyes and Simon couldn’t look away. Even when Baz turned to meet Simon’s gaze, he stayed.  He couldn’t move.  He didn’t want to.

           Baz smiled shyly.

           Simon would have grinned.  He wanted to.  But he was awestruck.

           Without thinking, he reached over and took Baz’s cool fingers in his own.

           Baz’s smile fell away in surprise, and Simon’s heart was beyond racing.  It was flying.  It was soaring, arcing across the sky like that star.

           Oh.

           This is why.

           Baz.

           Simon grinned.  He moved closer to Baz and his head found the nook where Baz’s shoulder became his neck.  Baz sighed in a way that sounded like he had been holding his breath, like everything was finally falling into place.  Simon closed his eyes and the two of them simply breathed, together, like they had been made to fit each other that way.

           And though the stars kept raining down, Baz and Simon didn’t see any of them.

           It didn’t matter anyway.  Both their wishes were already coming true.

swim au

im on a fucking rolllllllllll 

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12

ao3

Keep reading

Punk!Simon, Meet Pastel!Baz

Trash Provided By: @the-crazy-book-lady and @cookiebania1209

Word Count: A bit over 7,500… I think?

**WARNING** This fanfiction DOES contain topics such as suicide and eating disorders. If you feel as though reading a fanfiction will trigger or upset you, we advise you don’t read this. Thank you!

BAZ POV

I walk into our room at Watford expecting to find a scratched, swany, abused Snow, so when I walk in to find someone else I find myself quickly becoming on guard and alarmed. I pull my wand out of my pocket and point it at the intruder’s turned away body. “Put your hands in the air and turn around slowly. Tell me what the fuck you think you’re doing in my room,” I say in my most controlling voice.

The intruder does as I say and turns around, but he’s not scared. In fact, he’s laughing. Once he turns around I’m in shock. I find not an intruder, but Simon-bloody-Snow. The thing is though, it’s not the Snow I remember. No, this Snow is all leather and piercings. He’s all broad shoulders and somehow bigger grins. I’m so in shock to a point to where I drop my wand. This only makes Snow laugh more.

“Why, hello there, Basilton!” He says cheerily. When he sees I’m too shocked to say anything, or even cringe at my bloody name, he gives me a small smirk and a raises his pierced eyebrow, turning around to finish unpacking. I stand there frozen for about what feels like an eternity before I move to my bed to unpack too. I keep stealing glances at him. He looks like a whole new person, and it’s really, really bad because I really, really like it.

Before I can even ask Snow answers. “You want to know why I changed, don’t you?” He asks. I make a small  noise of agreement. “Well, you see, I went to this foster home this summer, and this particular home was all boys, so you had to know how to, I guess, fight and look tough, causing me to change my getup a bit, and it turns out I love it. I eventually got my eyebrow, lip and ears pierced. So, anyway, I fell in love with this look, and I worked out a bit over the summer, and here we are now.”

I look over at him, and I really look. He  seems stronger and more himself than ever before. He looks happy and dangerous and I can tell you that I might have just fallen a little bit more for Snow. I didn’t even know that was possible. Crowley, this man is going to be the death of me.


SIMON POV

There was one other reason I changed that I hadn’t told Baz: I wanted to surprise him. He had always expected me to come back weak, to come back less than I already had been. I wanted to send Baz a message. I wanted to tell him that I was more than just some minion that the Mage could control whenever he needed something to get done.

What I saw the next day had me more shocked than I ever thought was possible.

Standing in the doorway of the bathroom was Baz, but everything about him was off. His hair was wavy and pulled up into a loose bun. He looked extremely feminine in a pastel pink jumper and light blue skinny jeans, which were ripped a bit at the knee. He wore large glasses that were pushed to the top of his head. I looked down at his hands. The nails were… baby pink?

It felt as though my jaw had dropped to the floor. Instead of his usual sneers, he gave me a small smile. Only then did I realize that his lips were coated with pink gloss. Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch was wearing makeup?

“My eyes are up here, Simon.”

I couldn’t bring myself to look up. It felt as though I was put under a spell- wait- was this part of a scheme? Was Baz plotting against me?

I was sure of it.


BAZ POV

“My eyes are up here, Simon,” I say with a smile. His eyes are still locked on my lips. I can’t help but start to feel a bit self conscious. I knew before I started school this year that I was going to change my look drastically. I’ve always liked these kinds of clothes. I wear them during the summer but never at Watford. I figured I would see what would happen if I dressed this way at here.

Snow is still staring at me, so I give him a small smile and bunch the ends of my

sweater’s arms into my hands. I sit on my bed and put on my baby blue Doc Martens and grab my book bag, giving Simon another quick smile before walking out the door and making my way to the great hall.

I walk into the great hall and it goes silent. I can’t help but give my usual, yet now less intimidating, sneer and move my way timidly to my usual seat. Dev and Niall look at me with wide eyes and I can’t help but send them a shy smile and small wave. I see Dev and Niall’s hands locked in a tight hold under the table. I smile. I always knew they were going to get together. I so ship them. I turn to my bag and get my book, opening it and flipping it to the right page, beginning to read. I smile to myself when they go back to talking. The room goes back to normal for about five minutes until  Simon walks in. This causes everyone to go silent yet again, but this time it takes much longer to go back to them chatting, most of said talking being about how Simon and I had changed our looks.


SIMON POV

I walked over to my usual seat to find Penny and Agatha waiting there for me already, ignoring the staring and the whispering around me. Instead of her usual smiles, Penny looks at me with a face of stone. “You can’t sit here anymore, Simon,” she says, her voice cracking a bit as she spoke. Her words were filled with seemingly forced anger.

“Penny,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. “What in the name of Merlin are you talking about?”

“It’s you, Simon.”

“What about me?”

“You’re dangerous, Simon. I should have listened to my mother when she lectured me about it years ago. Your power is growing. Being close to you is like being near an open flame. The only outcome in it’s path is death and destruction. I can’t risk myself, nor can I risk those that I love for you. I’m sorry.”

I always thought that I would be a sobbing mess in times like these, but no, I was pissed. I began to smell smoke as my face grew hot, but I ignored it, keeping my eyes on Penny. “This is how you treat me after years of friendship? Penny, you said you weren’t worried about getting hurt because you knew I would never hurt you. You trusted me!” She said nothing, only pissing me off further. “You know what? I’m done. Thank you for the wonderful explanation, Pen. See you around.” I turned around sharply, my vision nothing but deep, blood red. When it came back, though, I found myself in the arms of a pastel-sleeved stranger. Looking up, I realized it wasn’t a stranger at all, but a blushing Baz.

“What the bloody hell are you doing, Snow?” he asked, his words coming out quickly, falling on top of one another.

“I-” I started, but I couldn’t find any words to push out of my mouth at this very moment. I looked up at him, at his soft grey eyes, at his plump lips. I found my face getting warmer and my throat becoming dry.


BAZ POV

I was minding my business reading my book when I hear someone shout, “You know what? I’m done.” I look up to see Simon stalking away from his usual table and see Bunce crying into Wellbelove’s shoulder. I guessed that Simon was yelling at her. Next thing I know, Simon is in my lap. I can tell he doesn’t know where he is or what he is doing, but that doesn’t stop me from yelling, “What the bloody hell are you doing, Snow?” I said it a little too quickly for my liking, but what could I expect myself to do when the boy I have been crushing over for the last five years just took a seat in my lap?

“I-,” he starts, then he seems to notice where he is and he starts to blush. After a moment, he quickly sucks all of the emotion from his face and he smirks. Shrugging, he says, “I ditched those losers I used to call friends, thought maybe we could start over and be friends instead,” he said, his words showing no emotion

I look over at Dev and Niall with a pleading look on my face. Dev just shrugs, and I give them a ‘thanks a lot’ look and turn back to Simon. I think for a moment before giving him a small smile and saying, “Yeah, why the hell not? Snow, can you get out of my lap, though? You’re kinda heavy.”

He smirks as he slides off my lap and sits in the chair next to me instead. I look at him to find that he is staring at the food like it is a Chimera getting ready to attack. I ask, “Hey, Snow, you going to eat?”

He looks at me and shakes his head. “Nah, I’m not hungry.”

I look at him. He’s not hungry? That statement is so un-Simon like. This is a bit concerning, but I let it slide. I’m not going to say something unless I have to.


SIMON POV

I sat with Baz, Dev, and Niall until the bell rang, signalling that the first class of the day was about to begin. Throwing my bag over my shoulder, I made my way out the door, forcing myself to keep my gaze away from Penny and Agatha. The day went by painfully slow, and once the last class was over, I practically sprinted to the room. I must have looked like a madman to those walking past me. Luckily, Baz wasn’t in the room. He was probably still in his last class. My breath coming out erratically, I threw my shirt off and faced the mirror. The sight before me nearly brought me to tears. Everywhere I looked, it was all too big. My stomach was practically the size of Asia. My arms were thick and chubby like a small child’s, and don’t even get me started on my legs.

Everything was all stretchmarks and fat.

I was the definition of imperfection.

Suddenly, I heard keys jingle from the other side of the door. My heart dropping, I grabbed my shirt and flung myself into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me with a BANG. I heard a faint, ‘Simon?’ come from the room. At that very moment, I broke. The tears didn’t even build up; they just fell in large pools to the ground. I put my fist in my mouth, trying to stop the loud, ugly sounds coming out of my body.

I turned on the shower, desperately trying to tune out the sounds. I couldn’t let Baz see me like this. I couldn’t let him see that I was weak.

Baz would see me as nothing, and that would be enough to break me entirely.


BAZ POV

I make my way into our room and I see the bathroom door close with a BANG. I step inside and look around the room. Nothing seems to be wrong, and the only thing I see is Simon’s leather Jacket on his bed. I make my way over to the bathroom door, “ Simon?” I ask, and that’s when I start to hear it: sniffling and small sobs. He quickly turns on the shower so I can’t hear. Even then, though, I can still hear.

He is wailing, desperately gasping for air between every sob. I don’t know what to do, so I sit on the floor with my back against the door. I sit  there for a while just listening. I fall asleep right there on the floor listening to the sounds of the running water and crying.


SIMON POV

I ended up falling asleep on the bathroom floor. Was it degrading? Yes. Would it keep me from seeing Baz? Also yes. When I looked up at my face, I sighed. It looked like I was either crying or was really, really stoned, and I couldn’t tell which was better. Taking a small cloth, I soaked it in cold water, wringing it out before rubbing it on my face. Raking my hands through my matted hair, I opened the door only to have Baz fall through the opening. He had been snoring softly, but now he was alert, his eyes squinting up at my wide ones. “Baz?” I asked, cursing internally when I heard my voice, which was hoarse from crying. “What are you doing?” His eyes had adjusted to the light by the time he responded.

“I think I should be asking you the same thing, Snow,” he said as he stood up, brushing his jeans off.

“I- I don’t want to talk about it, Baz,” I whispered, putting my head down. Gently, I pushed past him and picked out my clothes for the day: a plain white shirt, black ripped jeans, combat boots, and a worn leather jacket. After changing quickly, I was out the door, leaving Baz behind.


BAZ POV

After Snow leaves, I take a quick shower and change into a bright yellow jumper and a pair of worn blue jeans. I messily put my hair up and put on my yellow Doc Martens. I get my backpack and make my way to the great hall. I spot Simon at our table with his head down. I walk over to the table and sit down. Tapping him on the shoulder, I offer him a scone when he looks up. He only shakes his head and puts it back down. I give him a look of concern. Not once have I ever seen Simon Snow refuse a sour cherry scone.

We sit through breakfast in silence. Dev and Niall never showed up. They were probably off snogging somewhere. When the bell rings, Simon scurries out of the hall to our first class. We had most of  our classes together, and he developed a habit of sitting beside me during all of them. I noticed that he looked a bit pale and slightly ill. I asked him if he was okay on multiple occasions but he just waved me off, saving he was just feeling a bit under the weather.

When we get back to our room, Simon goes straight to his bed and falls asleep. This gives me some time to think. I quietly go over to him and open his bag. He doesn’t have any food to snack on in there like I hoped he would. This only confirms my growing suspicions that he’s not eating. I look a little further and see a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I didn’t know he smoked.

I then see a small journal and I take it out. I open it and see Simon’s messy handwriting. I looked up, making sure Simon was still sleeping. Taking a breath, I look back down and open to the first page.

As I read I start to see how truly broken Snow- Simon, is.  He wrote a passage that says,

Today I returned to Watford to find the people that I trusted the most had abandoned me. I can’t blame them. I am dangerous, just like Penelope had said. All I do is cause destruction. All I know how to do is kill. I am a monster. They don’t understand that it’s not my fault. I didn’t choose to be this way. I’m a mess. No one seems to see it, but I don’t like me. I don’t like who I am or how I look. They don’t get that I’m broken to the point where I can’t be fixed. I always thought that they loved me, that they were the only ones I could always count on to be there, but I guess I was wrong. Why should a broken mess like myself be loved? Why should a broken mess like myself have the privilege of eating? Why should a broken mess like myself live? I am in a nightmare and I can’t wake up… unless I put myself to sleep.

-Simon

I read it a couple of times to make sure my eyes aren’t playing some twisted trick on me. I don’t even realize I’m crying until I feel the tears streaming down my wet cheeks. I can’t believe someone so beautiful, so perfect, thinks that they are something less than they really are. All I know is that, from now on, I will make sure that he feels loved, and I will do all I can to keep Simon Snow alive.


SIMON POV

I woke to the sound of someone crying softly. Turning my head slightly, I squinted to see Baz sitting by my bag reading… my journal? That bloody–

“What the fuck, Simon?” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. “Why would you write such things?”

I pushed myself up and looked over to him, my throat tightening. “Because it’s the truth.”

He shook his head. “Simon, you are not a monster. You are bloody perfect inside and out. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to live, for snakes sake!”

I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I just shook my head. He seemed to take that as an answer, though, because he continued, his tone becoming more irritated, more desperate, with every word he spoke. “Why can’t you understand that you are worth loving? That you are worth it to me?”

Baz’s face was a pale shade of red, tears streaming down his face. Touching my face, I realized I was doing the same.

“Simon, I care-”

I sprang out of my bed and wrapped my arms around him, sobbing. He tensed up at first, but he eventually hugged me back, whispering something into my ear. I said the one thing on my mind.

“Thank you.” 


BAZ POV

I squeeze Simon as tightly as I can. I try my best to convince him that he is loved, that he deserves so much more than he has in this one hug. We are both crying and holding one another close, not wanting to let go. We stay like this for most of the night, but I felt as though I needed to ask him some questions so I pry Simon off of me a bit so I can see his face. “Simon? Why do you feel like you don’t deserve to eat?” I sounded so desperate, but I needed him to know that I want- no, I need- answers and that I care.

He just shrugs and holds me a little tighter, causing me to repeat myself. He sighs and eventually sits up to look at me “Because I don’t, Baz. I don’t like they way I look. I’m too fat. I don’t eat because, well, what’s the point in doing so if I can’t feel anything anymore, Baz? I am an empty shell. Why should I live when there is no point in doing so? All my life I have only ever had three friends, Penny, Agatha, and you. But two of those people have deemed me too dangerous to be around, and I know that you don’t actually like me. You just pity me and how fucking pathetic I am, Baz, so don’t tell me I have something to live for, ‘cause what do I have to live for? So I can be bossed around by the Mage? So I can be everyone’s bloody ‘Golden Boy’? So I can fight in a war that has nothing to do with me? So I can die trying to save everyone? No, Baz! Nobody wants me alive, they need me alive. They all need me alive so I can risk my life to save them while they all just sit there and watch. I give up! I don’t want this life. I don’t want to be here. All I want is love and peace, but apparently I’m asking the universe for too fucking much when I say that!”

By the time he is done talking, we are both sobbing messes again. I pull him to my chest and run my hands through his hair. “Simon, don’t ever say I don’t like you, because I love you. Have for about five years now. And don’t say you have nothing to live for. I know it may seem that way, but I promise you, it will get better.”

He doesn’t say anything, only holds me tighter. We fall asleep like that, holding each other, trying to keep ourselves together.


SIMON POV

I woke up in my bed, wrapped up in the warmth of my blankets. Pulling myself out of bed, I trudged into the bathroom to find Baz sitting on a fold-out stool, putting on eyeliner with precision. While he was dressed in his pajamas: an oversized shirt and trackies, I was still in my clothes from the day before. “Good morning,” he said, applying some lipstick. Finally, he looked up at me, and, Merlin, was he stunning. His hair fell to his shoulders in soft waves, his makeup soft and elegant. He was beautiful– wait, what?

Baz stood up, putting the stool away and telling me the bathroom was all mine. As he left, I closed and locked the door behind myself, trying to ignore my previous thoughts. Splashing my face with cold water, I tried to tame my hair, which I, of course, failed miserably at. Sighing, I left the bathroom to see that Baz had already left to the great hall. Throwing on my clothes carelessly, I left to meet up with Baz.


BAZ POV

Simon shows up at the table a couple of minutes after I sit down. He smiles at me and I give him a small smile back. I hesitantly take his hand in mine and squeeze it. His smile grows a little and so does mine. He squeezes back and the drops his head onto my shoulder. My smile grows and I find myself resting my head on his. After a few minutes of this I lift my head and whisper into his ear, “Can you please eat for me? I’m only eating if you eat. Please? Simon, I’m worried about you.”

He sighs and says, “Honestly, don’t know if I can, but I’ll try. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a full meal.” I give him an encouraging smile, and he gives one back. He shakily grabs two scones and gives one to me. I take it from him, and take a deep breath before biting into it. I quickly cover my mouth with my hand so no one can see my fangs. When I’m done I look over at Simon and say, “Your turn,” and he timidly brings the scone up to his lips and slowly eats the scone. I receive a shy smile from him when he’s done before he starts to look pale and gets up and runs out of the great hall with his hand over his mouth. My heart dropping, I quickly get our bags and chase after him. 


SIMON POV

Swinging open the stall door, I retched into the bowl, vomit hitting the bottom of the toilet. Someone was behind me in a moment, pulling the curls away from my sweating forehead with their cold hand. When I finished, I looked back to see Baz wearing a concerned expression. “We can try again another time, Simon,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. I nodded and he led us to our room so I could clean myself up.

I felt pathetic. How can I not do something as simple as holding down a few bites of a bloody scone anymore? Forcing my emotion down, I wore a face of stone. Baz took my hand into his as though everything was normal, which I appreciated to no end. When we got to our room, Baz sat on my bed to wait for me to come back from the bathroom, where I brushed my teeth and cleaned my face. I looked at myself in the mirror.

“You’re a fucking disaster, Simon,” I whispered to myself, vision becoming blurry with tears. “You screwed yourself up and now you can’t even do tasks as simple as eating a fucking piece of food. Way to go, you bloody idiot.”

Swallowing, I raked my wet hands through my sweaty hair, making my way out of the bathroom.

Breathe, I told myself. Just breathe


PENNY POV

I’m talking to Agatha when I hear a chair scratching the floor. I look up and the next thing I know I see Simon running out of the hall, hand clasped over his mouth. A few seconds later I see Baz chasing after him with both of their bookbags. When I see Baz’s face I know something isn’t right. I make a mental note to see if he’s okay later.

Neither Baz nor Simon are in class today, and that just makes my uneasiness grow. When the bell rings, I go straight up to the Mummers House where the two live.When I get up to their room, I put my ear up to the door. I hear Baz talking to Simon in hushed whispers. I try to make out what he is saying and I hear, “ …need help! Not being able to hold down food is really fucking bad, Simon. You need to go to the hospital. You need to talk to someone. You need to do something! You are going to die if you keep this up, Simon.”

I then hear Simon say, “Baz, we have been over this. I don’t want to live. This way, I just won’t have to put in any effort in ending it all.”

I gasp. I feel tears start to gather in my eyes. I can’t believe Simon of all people would say such a thing. I feel so guilty for leaving him to deal with this alone. I can’t hold it in anymore, and the tears start to fall. Then, I realize that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t leave him completely alone. He at least has Baz.

“That’s the thing, Simon. By doing this, you are putting effort into killing yourself.”

Moments later, I hear loud footsteps from the other side of the door and it swings open, revealing a pissed off Baz. Once he sees me his face turns into one of shock. His eyes then become cold and narrow. “What are you doing here? You have no right to be here, Bunce. I could- no- I should turn you in, you know.”

“I know, but I saw you guys run out at breakfast this morning, then you guys weren’t in class. I got worried about Simon, so I came to check in to see if he was okay,” I say just above a whisper, my voice hoarse from crying, “but now I know you’re fine, but he isn’t. Can I please talk to him? Please?” I practically beg.

From behind Baz, Simon asks, “Baz, who’s there? No one ever comes to visit us. Is it Dev and Niall?” He comes up behind Baz and ducks underneath his arm. When he sees me he lets out a soft gasp and takes a step back. Baz immediately puts his arm around Simon’s waist protectively. “Penny,” he whispers.

I give him a guilty smile and dry my eyes. “Hey Simon, how are you?” It feels like an idiotic question to ask.

His eyes harden and he sneers at me, his lip piercing standing out against his pale lips. “I was doing okay until you showed up. What do you want, Penelope?” His words are like a slap to the face, but I know that I deserve it.

“I- I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You know, after you ran out of the Great Hall this morning at breakfast. Then I heard you guys talking just now and I want to tell you tha-”

I get cut off before I can even finish.

“You know what Bunce? I think you should forget what you heard just now and leave me alone. Why do you care if I die or not anyway? I’m causing less destruction knowing you don’t give a shit. I would be doing the world a favor. No more Simon-is-a-danger-to-all-of-us- Snow. Now, if you excuse us,” And with that, Simon slams the door in my face. Fresh tears begin to stream down my face once again.

I run all the way to Agatha’s dorm and let myself in. She looks at me once then was by my side giving me a hug. When I settle down she asks, “ Penny! Where were you, and why are you crying?

“I was just going to check on Simon because of this morning, but I found out that he hasn’t been doing too well. He was talking to Baz when I got there, so I listened to what they were saying through the door,” I gasp for breath, trying not to start crying again, “Simon has developed an eating disorder and he was running out of the hall this morning because he tried to eat and couldn’t keep it down. And then-oh, yeah- he also wants to kill himself.”

Agatha and I both stare at one another, and before we know it, we are both sobbing. After what felt like an eternity, we pull ourselves together and start discussing a plan to get our friend back before he seriously hurts himself. The one thing that we both agreed on right away was that we needed to talk to Baz, and we were going to do anything it would take to get him to listen to us.

Anything at all.


SIMON POV

As soon as I closed the bathroom door behind me, Baz was on his feet, pushing me onto my bed. He sat on his bed before he began to speak. “I don’t know what to do, Simon,” he said, burying his face into his sweater-covered palms. “You can’t go on like this.”

I don’t know what to say. Hell, I don’t have anything to say. Instead of using words, I simply shrug once, looking down at my palms. This apparently pissed Baz off to no end, because he began to shout. “You need help! Not being able to hold down food is really fucking bad, Simon. You need to go to the hospital. You need to talk to someone. You need to do something! You are going to die if you keep this up, Simon.”

I couldn’t help but shout right back at him, my tone filled with emotion. “Baz, we have been over this. I don’t want to live. This way, I just won’t have to put in any effort in ending it all.”

Baz stops, then. His eyes are filled with tears, but they never fall. He swallowed- hard- and began to speak again. “That’s the thing, Simon. By doing this, you are putting effort into killing yourself.”

Abruptly, he pushed himself off of the bed. It was at this very moment that I realized I fucked up.


BAZ POV

I can’t stay here. If I do, I’m going to start crying, and that is something I refuse to do in front of Simon. I don’t understand why he wants to die, why can’t he just get help. I open the door, but as I’m about to walk out I find a crying Bunce at our door. I yell at her and threaten to tell on her like a bloody child. She tells me she overheard Simon and I talking, and is begging to talk to him.

Right at that moment, Simon comes and stands in front of me. “Penny,” he says in the most heartbroken voice I have ever heard. He steps back, and I instinctively put my arm around his waist, trying to give him comfort. He then masks his emotion, and all but tells Bunce that it would be better for her if he were dead. He then slams the door into her face, and breaks out of my embrace. He goes to his bag and pulls out a cigarette, and lights it. He goes over to the window and opens it.

He watches Bunce run off with a expression full of self-hatred and pleasure at making her cry. I am so unnerved by this behavior that I can’t even bring myself to speak. Once I sit on my bed and let myself think, I open my mouth. “Simon, I don’t know how to help you. Why can’t you see that you are so much more than a person who causes catastrophe everywhere you go? Why don’t you see you are loved? Bunce would not have come up here if she didn’t care. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t care. You have people you care and love for you Simon. I love you, why can’t you see that? I am bloody in love with you, and seeing you like this is killing me inside. I don’t want to see you die. I care about you too damn much.” I’m screaming and crying by the time I am done with my speech.

He doesn’t talk for the rest of the night. He just sits there staring off into space binging on his bloody cigarettes. I don’t have time to deal with him right now. I need to think.


SIMON POV

I wake up, and everything feels grey.

I feel completely numb.

It feels as though I am frozen, unable to get out of my bed.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, I realize I’m late for class.

I can’t bring myself to give a fuck, however.

I close my eyes again, my vision, my thoughts, everything, all fading into nothing.


BAZ POV

As I get out of bed, I look over at Simon. His skin is pale, his face lifeless. He’s motionless to a point to where I begin to wonder if he’s breathing. I quickly go over to take his pulse. When I feel his heartbeat, I let out a breath of relief. I don’t know how to help him. He doesn’t look well, so I let him sleep.

After getting ready, I head down to the great hall for breakfast. I see Dev and Niall are already at our table. When I sit down, they look up. I force the smallest of smiles and turn to my book. They study my tired features for a second before going back to discussing their date last night.

Around mid lunch, I feel a timid tap on my shoulder. I look up and sneer at the sight before me. Bunce and Wellbelove are standing there, nervous expressions etched across their faces.

“May I ask why you’re bothering me?” I ask with a hint of malice in my voice.

Bunce straightens up and glares at me. “I am here to ask, what the bloody hell is going on with Simon? Why does he not want to live anymore? We’re worried, Baz. Is there anything we can do to help him?”

I look up at her and give her a once over. I could use some help, but from the people who did a lot to make him feel this way? I don’t know. I can feel Dev and Niall looking on with shocked eyes, and only then do I realize they didn’t know about Simon.

I sigh and give in to her. “I don’t understand it myself, to be honest. All I know is that he doesn’t want to be a ‘monster’, as he put it. He doesn’t want to fight anymore. He said he was ‘done’. You guys helping would be great. I don’t know- I don’t know how to help him on my own. He smoked three packs of cigarettes last night, then went to bed without talking once. When I woke up this morning, he looked so lifeless, Bunce. I had to take his pulse just to make sure he was alive. I’m worried. After what Simon said, I feel like I’m the only one who would care if he does manage to kill himself, which is starting to seem more likely these days.”

Their expressions are unreadable. Bunce stands up straight and asks in the most insistent tone she can muster, “What can we do?”  


SIMON POV

I’m

F

A

L

L

I

N

G.


BAZ POV

When I get back to the room, Snow is still a sleeping, pale mass on his bed. I go over and shake his shoulders. I’m greeted with dull blue eyes and a half-hearted scowl.

“Simon,” I whisper, giving him a look of concern. “Did you sleep all day?”

He looks around the room, seemingly lost. When he finally locks his eyes on my face, he gave a weak nod and closes his eyes again. I sigh. I knew that things were only getting worse. It seems as though he doesn’t even know where he was. After making sure he was okay, I leave for supper.


SIMON POV

It felt as though it took all of my strength to move myself so that I was looking up at the ceiling. I frowned when black spots clouded my vision, my head beginning to stir. I closed my eyes, ignoring the throbbing in my head. I forced myself to get up.

Today was the day.


BAZ POV

When I get back from dinner, the room is different. The lights are dimmed and there are a multitude of candles lit around the room. In the background, I recognize Into My Arms by Nick Cave. It’s one of Fiona’s favorites. I look around the room until my eyes settle on Simon Snow, who’s clad in a grey suite and a warm smile.

I can’t help but send him a smile back as I walk toward him. “What’s all of this?” He just shrugs and holds a hand out toward me.

“I felt like dancing, so I got up. I was wondering if you maybe wanted to dance with me?”

I take his outstretched hand, making myself not think about this about his sudden change in mood. I meet his eyes and whisper, “I would love to.”

With that, his arms encircle my waist, my arms around his neck. We start twirling around the room. It was just the two of us in our own little world. We were in a world where Simon wasn’t suicidal or had an extreme eating disorder. We were in a world where I wasn’t a vampire. We were in a world where we weren’t supposed to kill one another for a war we have no business being the center of. We were just two normal teenage boys, slowly falling for one another, being…

Happy.

And damn, does happiness feel good.

SIMON POV

As I twirled around the room with Baz, I ignored the black spots beginning to cloud my vision once again. Looking down, I blinked a few times until it stopped before I looked back up into the beautiful eyes that I have found to become the reason why I am still here.

Alive.

I studied his face, how happy, how carefree he was. It broke my heart knowing that, in the end, all I was going to do was disappoint him.

I can hold off disappointment just a while longer, can’t I?

“Baz…” I whisper, eyes flickering toward his lips. “Baz. You’re… You’re alive. So, so alive-”

“Simon…” he says.

And then I kiss him.

It was a quick kiss, nothing more than a peck, but, Merlin, it felt like so much more.

“Why’d you do that?”

Smiling, I shrugged. “I just wanted to, I guess.”

I had expected him to get annoyed with that answer, but, instead, he just pulled me against him and kissed me again, this one lasting much longer, filled with more passion than I ever thought possible. After, I buried my face into his shoulder to hide my tears. I wasn’t crying because I knew I was going to die. No, I was crying because I knew what my death would do to Baz.

I had to do this, though.

For once, I needed to have control of something in my life… even if that meant ending it.


BAZ POV

I feel light-headed. Simon Snow, the man of my dreams, just kissed me. I can’t help the grin that was bound to slit my face. I’m still trying to figure out if this is a dream, but that kiss felt too damn real not to be.

We were still moving around the room, holding one another as though we were tied by the hands. Simon has had his face tucked into my shoulder for the past few minutes.

After, we push our beds together and get settled in. Simon holds himself above me, making me reach up to kiss him.

I did.

I’d cross every line for him.

Because you’re weak, I couldn’t help but think to myself.

I smile into his kisses and pull him down so he’s laying in my arms. He quickly tucks his head into my neck. I close my eyes and take the plunge. “I love you, Simon,” I whisper. He stiffens for a moment before relaxing.

“I love you, too, Baz.” He winds our fingers together and gives me a small kiss. I’m almost asleep when he begins to speak again. He must have thought I was fully asleep. “…And that’s why I’m sorry I have to do this to you.”


SIMON POV

The exact moment I heard Baz’s soft snores below me, I, as quickly as I could, got out of bed. I hesitated before opening the door. I looked back, making sure my note was on the bed where I had been laying. “I am so, so sorry, Baz,” I whispered.

And then I was gone.


BAZ POV

As soon as the door was closes, my eyes snap open and I jump out of bed. I spotted the piece of paper on the bed. I pick it up and begin to read.

Baz,

Merlin, Baz, how do you start these? I have absolutely no clue. I’ll make this as short as possible. Baz, I need you to know something extremely important. None of this is your fault. This is all my doing, and no one else’s. This is what I want. I need this. Please, Baz, if you really, really love me, don’t stop me. I love you. So, so much. I’m so sorry I’m doing this, but there’s nothing that can stop me. I give up, Baz, and that’s okay. I’m tired.

I need to rest now.

Love,

Simon

I can’t stop the tears from escaping. I scan the bottom of the note and find more. 

P.S. Please let Penny and Agatha know that I forgive them. This isn’t their fault, either. I love you all. Please carry on without me. That’s the thing about life, Baz. You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Promise me.

Once I take in the words, I run out the door and to the Cloisters. I bang on Penny’s door. Trixie, Penny’s roommate, answers. I push past her and shove the note in Penny’s hands. When she finishes reading, she’s crying, too. We both run up to Agatha’s room. Penny woke Agatha up and made her read the note. We don’t do as much as look at one another before we begin to run, trying to find Simon and stop him from doing something so… so bloody stupid.


SIMON POV

I ended up on the roof of the White Chapel, looking down at the ground, so far away beneath me. I felt myself freeze when I saw three figures sprinting my way. My heart practically beating out of my chest, I held my ground as they got closer. One of the figures turned out to be Baz. He was shouting at me, but I didn’t pay attention to a word he said. Then, in a haste, he pulled his wand out and began casting a spell. I couldn’t stop myself as tears streamed down my face.

I jumped.


BAZ POV  

“On love’s light-”

I stop cold. I feel my heart begin to break piece by piece as I watch him hit the ground. I can’t tear my eyes away from the mass of body parts that was once a living Simon Snow. My Simon Snow, damn it! I watch as Penny and Agatha rush over to him. I knew he was gone when Penny fell to her knees and started screaming. I stumble my way to them. When I get there, I drop down to my knees and watch as a pool of blood slowly begins to spread around his head. Even the strong scent of his blood can’t make my fangs make an appearance.

I can’t hold it in any longer. I start sobbing into Penny’s shoulder. When she began to embrace me, I can’t be sure, but I can’t bring myself to care. We all sit there sobbing trying to figure out how this could have happened to us, to Simon. Eventually, people start to come outside to see what’s going on. They all stare in shock, some crying, some simply stopping dead in their tracks. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I look up to see Dev and Niall crouching beside me. I find myself crying even harder when they pull me into them. I grab at their clothes, trying to ground myself. All I can bring myself to think is, I can’t carry on Simon, not without you.

In that moment, there is only one thing I’m sure of: I am a broken man.


BAZ POV

The next week, Simon had been buried in the middle of the courtyard. Instead of placing a headstone, the Mage had the fucking nerve to place a bench with ‘In loving memory of Simon Snow’ engraved into it. He deserved so much better, damn it. One day, I snapped. Sitting in front of the bench, tears falling down my face, I lit a cigarette. Taking a shaky breath, I placed my hand on the bench. “I love you so much, Simon. I can’t be here alone. I can’t- I can’t be here without you with me.”

With that, I pushed the cigarette into my palm and I- well.

I burned.

The only thing left behind was a note that read:

I’m coming, Simon.

Surprise!

Synopsis: It’s Simon’s 19th birthday and Penelope wants to throw him a surprise party. She decides to have Baz take him out for a few drinks to get them out of the way. A truce for one night just before summer, Snow and Baz get to finally know each other after living together for almost a year. College!AU For the Simon’s b-day fic project by @sncwbaz

Rating: T

Pairing: Simon Snow/Baz Pitch


June 19th

Baz POV

“Please Baz”

“You’re absurd if you think I or Snow will go along with this Bunce”

“You’ll find a way to persuade him, you always do.”

I raise an eyebrow in response.

“It’s his birthday Baz. I just want him to have a nice day.”

I sigh, only Bunce would come up with a plan as utterly ridiculous as this.

“You just have to take him out for a few hours while we set up a party for him here. It’s nothing major, a few drinks, I’ll pay if you want! We just need to get him out for a while.”

It’s Simon Snow’s birthday in two days and Penelope Bunce has come up with the brilliant idea of throwing him a surprise party in our apartment.

There are only five things you need to know about the tragedy that is Simon Snow;

1: He’s obsessed with food (like really obsessed, it’s all he thinks about)

2: Due to unfortunate, mandatory housing arrangements, he and I live together

3: He’s studying to be a teacher because he is practically a child himself (though he will deny it)

4: He despises me because I accidently pushed him down the stairs on moving day at the start of the year.

5: I’m hopelessly in love with him.

We were assigned to live together at the start of the year and it’s only gone downhill since then.

The first few months were torture.

Living with the drop dead gorgeous student with blonde curls and piecing blue eyes that made my breath catch was bad enough but said student was also the greatest idiot I had ever met.

He got crumbs all over our tiny apartment, he was always hogging the T.V. by watching sci-fi shows with his best friend Penelope with the big frizzy red hair and purple glasses and he never knew when to shut up.

Simon Snow could talk for days on end and never pause to take a breath. And most of what he says is utter nonsense but nobody calls him out on it. Well, nobody except me.

He’s also a hypocrite. Because while he doesn’t care that his chatter all day disturbs me, the minute I got out my violin and practised, he started complaining about the noise.

Though I suppose I had been playing at two in the morning but in my defence how was I supposed to sleep knowing that Snow was sleeping half naked on the other side of my bedroom wall?

Of course I couldn’t tell him that so I told him I was stressed about school.

He actually had the nerve to narrow those perfect blonde eyebrows of his and ask if I wanted to talk about it.

I told him he needed to stop acting like his annoying ex girlfriend Agatha and keep out of my business.

He stormed back into his room in a huff and I almost continued playing just to rile him up further.

But I didn’t.

Because that night when he stormed into my room, his eyes filled with exhaustion and rage, his hair tussled from sleep and so much of his glistening brown skin on show was the night that I finally accepted that I was quickly falling in love with him.

“Why don’t you take him out and I’ll help set up the party?” I suggest “Snow’s much more likely to agree to go out with you than with me.”

‘Because he’s straight.’ I remind myself 'And even if he weren’t, you’re the last person he’d want to be with.’

Bunce avoids my eyes, “I thought of that but our friends weren’t sure…”

I roll my eyes, “Your friends are afraid to be alone with me? Really? Just what rumours are Snow and you spreading about me?”

Bunce huffs, “You aren’t exactly subtle about your hatred for Simon, Baz. Plus you know I can never lie to him. I know you can so please? Just this one day, do something nice for him.”

Bunce is unfortuantly right.

If I can lie about my feelings for him for all these months then I should be able to hide his surprise party from him for a few hours.

Summer holidays start in two weeks anyway and I’ll be free of the -oh so perfect- Simon Snow for two whole months.

“Fine” I say, keeping the edge in my tone so Bunce knows that I’m not one bit happy about this.

Bunce’s eyes widen with joy and surprise and she grins madly,

“Oh thank you, thank you! You’re doing me a massive favour Baz! I won’t forget this.”

“You better not” I mutter but she doesn’t seem to be listening to me anymore

“Would you be able to take him out around 7? We should have everything sorted by 9 so could you be back by then? Oh this is amazing, he’ll love it!”

Penelope is already halfway out the door and is looking around my apartment and murmuring about where to put what.

“Sure Bunce.”

“You’re a star Baz! See you then!”

And then the door slams closed. I wince and wonder what on earth I’ve gotten myself into.

Keep reading

Heartbreak Made Me A Killer (Part 3)

Christmas Calendar 2016 » December the 3rd:
Heartbreak Made Me A Killer (Part 3)

Pairing: Y/N/Vampire!Michael

Rating: All

Request: Yes

Previous Parts: | 1 | 2 |

Summary: The college life is difficult to enjoy when your vampire of a ex-boyfriend comes back from his weeks of killing spree and tries to make your life miserable after breaking his black heart into pieces.

”Please do tell me again why you’re following me around like a dog?”

Michael rolled his eyes deeply by your question, avoiding bumping into the many people on the hallway and looked down at you with a tired expression.

“Haven’t I already told you-,”

“I don’t need protection.” You stated, focusing ahead of you to avoid looking up at him. Your books were tightly embraced in your arms and you could feel the more you spoke with each other the more you grew annoyed with the whole situation.

Keep reading

Too Close to the Sun

This is the intro to what I plan to be a chaptered AU fic. I’m actually really happy with how this turned out and hope you all are too!

Simon

“Don’t forget, this is your senior year, there’s no room for failure here. You’ve got to push yourself a little harder and reach your goal.”
“I know Dad.”
“Simon I want you to take this seriously.”
“Dad I…yeah, I’ll take it seriously.”
“Simon?”
“I promise sir.”
“That’s my boy.”
Simon felt guilty for the relief that was triggered when his father’s car rolled out of the parking lot, but he couldn’t help it. Simon’s father was an intense man, always more concerned with his son’s performance than his actual existence. Simon chose to believe that his father, deep down, cared more than he let on. But sometimes he doubted it.
Last year Simon had stressed himself out helping at his father’s firm and running the mock trial duties on campus. Sometimes he wished he could join the art club with Penny, or maybe the fashion club with Agatha, but he knew his father would kill him if he did. Once again he would push himself to his limit, just to get the smallest hint of approval from his dad. He hated that about himself, but didn’t see any way to change it.
He met Agatha at the steps to Watford High, feeling the uncomfortable mix of happiness and awkwardness that was always present with her lately. Their break up hadn’t been bad they just needed different things. Simon had been sick with guilt when she had admitted that she had hid her aromantic part of her from him just to make him feel better. Now they were friends, but he still felt horrible about it.
“Simon we’re going to be late!”
He shrugged, “Ms. Petty won’t mind.”
She rolled her eyes. “Only because she spends the first fifteen minutes of class crying about the state of this world.”
He smirked. “She cares about the environment, I think it’s sweet.”
Agatha didn’t answer; instead she just dragged him faster to class. When they entered the room Simon’s eyes fell helplessly to Baz, Baz with his cool friends and restrained demeanor. Baz was the smartest guy in school without being made fun of for it, rich too, and always seemed like he emanated powerful dark energy. The kids at school flocked to him, but his hostility put most people at a distance, leaving half the student body hating him and the other half pining after them. Simon had always fell more in line with the hater side, but since the news of Baz’s mother’s death this summer, Simon couldn’t help but feel a slight pang of sympathy.
Sympathy or not though, Simon knew it was a stupid thing to stare at Baz. For one, Baz hated him. Like seriously hated him. Once during an argument Baz had pushed him down the stairs. Sometimes it even looked as if he was about to spit on him too, but Baz was probably too high class for that. Also though, Baz just made him feel uncomfortable and a little inferior. He had warm bronze skin, smooth and un-freckled, nothing like Simon’s. He also had the most amazing hair in school, a little too long and black silk. On top of everything else, he was taller than Simon, by just a bit.
At that moment Baz’s cool grey eyes swung to meet Simon’s gaze, they looked colder than they had last May, and more importantly, deadly.
“Enjoying the view Snow? May as well take a picture, I’m sure it would liven up your diary.”
That was the thing Simon hated about being at a fancy prep school. All the kids were well groomed beyond compare. They might not all be rich like Baz, but they weren’t on scholarship like Simon. Even the other scholarship kids looked down at Simon because they knew they were smarter than him. It made his stomach hurt when they spoke with such clarity and confidence. He could barely manage a stressful conversation even if he tried.
“Shut up Baz.”
Simon wanted to take a seat but knew to wait in the front of the class instead. Ebb, who preferred to be called by her first name instead of her last because she frowned on power relations in the school system, always insisted on changing the seating chart every year. This made little sense to Simon since the AP Literature course always had the same group of kids, but Ebb didn’t exactly operate on logic.
She stumbled into the classroom then, her short blonde hair in disarray and droopy brown sweater tucked awkwardly in what Simon could only assume was her hiked up underwear. Her brown skirt looked a bit frumpy but her smile was bright and her eyes shined happily under her glasses.
“Hiya class! I’ll seat you in a moment.”
She took out a crumpled paper and began to call out names. Penny would have been in this class today, but she wouldn’t be back from America for a few days. Micah’s birthday happened to fall into her dad’s research time in America, so she lucked out on missing a few days of classes.
Once Ebb got to the back of the room, she finally called Simon’s name. He smiled gratefully, knowing Ebb had placed him there so he wouldn’t get called on so frequently. Once he settled he realized with a feeling of sickness that he was seated next to Baz. Baz had never sat next to him in class before, and there were in the back. He was going to make Simon’s life a living hell.
Baz looked unenthused himself at the situation and sneered at Simon.
“Great, you’re probably going to forget your book everyday. I’m not sharing.”

Baz

The truth was, if Simon Snow wanted to borrow anything, Baz would have let him. Baz, whether he liked to admit or not, was helplessly in love with Simon. He had spent years trying to push it down, angry that his mother wanted to help her lawyer friend out by allowing Snow into the school.
Simon Snow did everything for everyone, which was part of why Baz fell in love with him. Snow frequently helped mend any broken heart, dry any fallen tear, and fought with all his might to protect people he felt were being victimized. He didn’t do anything for Baz of course. But Baz couldn’t really blame him for that.
The other part of why Baz fell in love was more complicated and Baz didn’t like to think about it. It was as if something outside of him was constantly pulling him towards Snow, tugging at his belly until he got too close to him. He would usually say something nasty or actually fight Simon to push the feeling away, but nothing really worked.
Baz was not very happy about being seated next to Simon, mostly because he wanted it so damn badly. The problem was that life usually worked that way. It gave you exactly what you wanted, but with a thousand cuts to match. Of course he wanted to sit next to Snow, but it also meant having a front row seat to the Baz Is Awful Show hosted by yours truly Simon fucking Snow.
Baz knew he acted like a git, that maybe if he wasn’t constantly torturing Snow he might not get dagger glares from him all the time. But he still acted that way because…well because being stared at like that was better than being ignored.
“Fuck off Baz, you know, I thought maybe we could end high school without ripping into each other all the time. Guess not.”
Baz snorted. “You’d never give it up Snow, you love to hate me.”
He stared at Baz. “Actually I don’t.”
Baz felt warm for a moment, but fought it. “No? Aren’t you gloating over the fact that your father is defending my mother’s murderer? Seems kind of messed up.”
Simon’s eyes swiveled to the front of the room. “Don’t say it so loud.”
Baz made a noise of disgust. “You think I’m going to shield her from what her brother did? To my mother?
Simon’s face went hard. “No I don’t think so. You’ve made it clear over the years that you’re pretty fucking ruthless. It wasn’t for her benefit by the way. I was trying to help you.”
Me?
“Yes you. Do you want the whole class asking you questions? Trying to push for some gossip? Pushing Ebb to the point where she gets defensive?”
Baz swallowed. “No.”
Simon breathed out angrily. “Of course not. But that didn’t cross your mind did it? Bloody Simon Snow out for me again. You know what Baz? You’re the one that always bullies me, not the other way around.”
Baz felt funny, and spoke without thinking. “I’m sorry.”
Simon’s mouth dropped open. Not fair Baz thought, focusing too long on his pink bottom lip.
What?
Baz huffed in annoyance. “I said I was sorry and I won’t say it again.”
Snow looked down. “Thanks.”
Class was brought to order, and everyone was asked to take out their copies of Hamlet. Snow looked a little confused and slid his copy of The Great Gatsby back into his bag.
Baz rolled his eyes. “That’s the second book on the syllabus you idiot.”
Simon said nothing, he just blushed, obviously too embarrassed to speak. Baz’s heart twisted.
“Do you really not have your book?”
Simon shook his head.
“Fine, we can share. For today only.”
Simon looked up, with a million questions in his blue eyes. There was something there, in the depths of his eyes, that made Baz’s heart skip a bit. It was almost like Simon was looking at him in the way he did in Baz’s intricate fantasies he spun late at night. But no Baz thought bitterly that’s not possible. Best to stick to what is. Without looking at Simon he pushed their desks together and scrunched up close to read the book. Under the desks, their knees touched, and Baz felt those tiny cuts again. Always get what you want, but never how you wanted it.

Re-evaluating the 6 album deal

It appears that Zayn’s debut solo album still has deep connections to Syco. This had led many to speculate that this album will fulfill 1D’s 6-album deal.

If true, knowing that Simon had the contractual ability to convert the final 1D album (referred to as a +1, usually a live, greatest hits or Christmas album), into a solo album for one of the members leads me to re-evaluate if this was Simon’s intention all along. 

By converting the final album, he would be able to secure one of the boys as a solo act, which would have more longevity than 1D. He also might escape paying out the completion bonuses if 1D stayed together and completed all 6 albums. If this was Simon’s plan all along, it’s reasonable to assume that his initial target for the +1 solo album was Harry. So let’s walk through the timeline.

Disclaimer: This focuses mainly on Harry, Zayn, and the band. I believe it holds up from that gaze. There are likely some salient points about Louis’ image over the past year that also support this, but given the shitshow that is babygate, I’m not going to touch on it too much here. Maybe I’ll give it an addendum. 

Disclaimer #2: This is purely speculation, mixed with some facts and some opinion. Be nice, I apologize for any inaccuracies, etc.

Anyway…

Keep reading

Q&A - Benedict Cumberbatch: fanboy, photobomber, award-circuit rider.

Benedict Cumberbatch is chasing the sun. Fresh off an island vacation with fiancée Sophie Hunter and just out of a steam at the Parker Palm Spring’s sauna, Cumberbatch is moving his patio chair clockwise around a firepit on a chilly January afternoon. “There’s no shame today,” says Cumberbatch, clad in gray sweatpants and a vintage Pink Floyd T-shirt. “I’m going back to England, where it’s like the Arctic Circle. I need to store up the sun now, otherwise I’ll get rickets by the time I step off the plane.”

Cumberbatch has landed in Palm Springs along with the rest of the cast of “The Imitation Game” to accept an ensemble award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The movie, a look at the life of Alan Turing, the Cambridge genius who led the team that cracked the Enigma code that Nazi Germany used to encrypt its radio transmissions during World War II, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and recently won eight Oscar nominations, including nods for best picture and for Cumberbatch’s lead turn.

We moved right alongwith the 38-year-old actor as he shifted his chair to account for the dying light and spoke about his eventful journey between Toronto and Palm Springs.

You look a lot more relaxed than when I saw you last in Toronto.

It was a really steep incline toward Christmas, just crazy, finishing “Richard III” [which will be featured in the BBC’s “The Hollow Crown” series], getting ready for the holidays, moving around seeing different families. That was a big induction this Christmas. A whole new world opens up. And then we were able to just breathe, be in the present tense, be in one place, just relaxing and … [Cumberbatch leans forward and drops his voice to an excited whisper]. That’s Robert Duvall! Wow! [Duvall, also in Palm Springs for the festival, walks by on a path about 20 yards away.]

I’ve never met an actor who doesn’t idolize him. Have you ever met him?

He’s one of the masters. I haven’t met him. I’d love to.

Maybe tonight at the gala?

As a fanboy, yeah, to just touch the hem of the garment. But at the same time, to get a meaningful moment, you need to be away from the circus. That’s why I’ve enjoyed the acting roundtables I’ve done in this roar. You get to have a free-flowing conversation about acting stuff.

Have you learned anything from those conversations?

Well, you have that moment where you meet your heroes and, initially, they’re just something “other.” And then the common ground of what we do for a living erases that. The best thing about the job is that it breaks down class and age and sex and race and transcends those things. You’re never one person. You’re always part of a team.

That’s why I love this award we’re getting tonight. It’s a great excuse for us to get together and have a giggle. [Looking around the expansive grounds.]Put us in a place with a cricket pitch over there and a fire pit right here. Later tonight, we can get a bit feral. Maybe burn some notes like we did at the end of “The Imitation Game.”

Invite Robert Duvall to join you …

Absolutely. He will be right here, presiding over the proceedings, calmly steering things.

Just going by the way you photobombed U2 with that impressive leap at last year’s Oscars, you seem to enjoy these events.

The Oscars were really good fun. And, yes, I leapt and bound all over the place.

Which you blame on Ellen DeGeneres, right?

And vodka.

That seems to be a running thing with you when you do something silly …

I’m drunk. That’s not actually true. I wish I could blame the evils of alcohol and say, “Kids: Don’t go there.” But that … happens when I’m sober. It would have happened. And I say “drunk,” but I had a little slurp of a tiny miniature. It was just the high of the whole thing. A friend of mine did literally say, “Get a photo of U2 if you can.” Not with them. Just of them. And I thought, “I don’t have my camera phone and I’m not going to ask for a selfie with U2.”

You showed some impressive height on that leap.

White boy can jump.

U2 attended this event last year. Everyone ignored the movie stars and went straight for Bono.

Does rock star trump movie star? Well, unless they’re selling tickets for Hamlet faster than a Beyonce and Jay Z tour. [Cumberbatch’s upcoming, summer 12-week “Hamlet” run in London sold out instantly.] But, by and large, yes.

But I’m still thinking about what I learned in those roundtable conversations. The fundamental thing I learned was how many actors said there’s not a singular way of approaching the job, which is a relief to me. The first person who told me that was Meryl Streep. We were making “August: Osage County” and I said, “I hate to do this but it’s an opportunity to talk about your process. How do you start? You’ve got the depression, the alcoholism, the cancer, the grief, so many states. It’s so richly comic and deeply upsetting at the same time.” And she went [Cumberbatch does a dead-on Streep impersonation], “I don’t really have a singular approach. I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I’ve done if I had one way of working. Sometimes it’s outside in, sometimes it’s inside out.” And I thought, “Oh god. I adore her!”

What about practical advice for negotiating Hollywood? What’s the best you’ve heard?

“Always take Fountain.” Wasn’t it Bette Davis who said that? That’s come in handy many times. Because the traffic on Sunset … forget it.

That’s it?

I’ve been chugging away in my career 10 years. That helps you prepare for the exposure. And there are things now which make it easier to escape the obsession with self. If you have someone you love and you’re devoted to them and it’s a proper devotional love — as I do in my life — there’s nothing better than that tonic. First of all, you have your world between you and that person. But also, being devoted to that person takes you away from yourself. There’s someone more important. Not that that’s a reason to be in a relationship, but it’s a very healthy byproduct of it when you’re doing such an obsessional job as acting can be.

Paul Thomas Anderson recently said that having kids helps too. With them, you realize you’ve already done your best work, so it frees you to be a little looser with your day job.

I salute that principle 100 … no not more than 100%. I’m not Simon Cowell. [Cumberbatch breaks into a Cowell impersonation] “One hundred and fifty percent!” There’s no such thing. I get very nerdy every time he does that on “The X Factor.” He’s brilliant and I completely endorse every thing he does … except for the math part.

You once said your greatest regret was not being a dad by the age of 32. Why 32?

When I was growing up, I had a weird obsession with 32 being the mark of adulthood and that was part of what I thought that might mean, naively. It was just a hunch about a number. I was always a bit of an old soul. I wasn’t really interested in being young. I mean, I wasn’t eccentric.

But I’m glad it didn’t happen. Things happen for a reason. And I’m definitely with the right person for that. So no regrets … [Actor David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma,” approaches.] David! How are you? The back of your head is everywhere. As I was driving in last night, I kept seeing it all over the place.

Oyelowo: I’ve got one of the most famous backs of heads in history. But you … Richard III, Hamlet, Sherlock … are there three of you? You’re setting the bar too high. It’s hard keeping up with you.

Cumberbatch: What I fear, if the work gets diluted, people will go, “Well, he just took on too much.” But, to be honest, I just can’t turn down those opportunities.

Oyelowo: Somehow, I don’t think people are going to be saying, “He spread himself too thin.” [The two talk a bit more before Oyelowo takes his leave. I tell Cumberbatch, who hasn’t yet seen “Selma,” that some have said the movie isn’t fair to President Lyndon Johnson. “The Imitation Game” has also caught flak, with a few critics saying the movie should have shown Turing’s sexuality on screen.]

How do you balance legacy and storytelling in fact-based movies like yours and “Selma”?

You can’t do one without the other. The argument with ours, that you don’t see him being sexually active, upset me because we weren’t shy of it. I’m not interested in the vanity of a character or my own vanity as an actor. The idea that for a second I would want to do that or the film would do that is perverse.

The whole structure of the film is about showing a man who had a life that wasn’t allowed. So, what, you need to prove that he was gay by seeing him be with a man? Whether it was something we needed to see because it was very much a part of his life is another argument, but I would argue that in our paradigm, it just would have looked really stuck in for good measure; it would have looked distasteful.

There could be another movie made about that aspect of his life.

There are so many movies to be made of this story. We have only two hours. It packs quite a punch, our film. At one moment, it’s war-espionage thriller, the next moment a tragic story of a man wronged by an intolerant society, the next moment a celebration of someone who’s different.

Everyone has a version of the story they want to see and I completely respect that. And, obviously, they are going to have to respect me being defensive about it because I’m in the thick of it, trying to be fair and uncompromising in my portrayal of this great man.

January 29th 2015, Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times

(x)

6

New Alex interview with The Guardian Guide (October 1-7, 2016)!

Alexander Skarsgård: ‘I still wake up shivering in the foetal position’

He’s equally at home in The Legend Of Tarzan as he is a twisted cop in War On Everyone. So why is the sweary Swede having an existential crisis?

by Kevin EG Perry

Afew years ago, Alexander Skarsgård turned up at a Hammarby football match in Stockholm noticeably… what’s a polite way of putting this? Worse for wear? “I was shitfaced,” says Skarsgård. “I went up in front of the crowd and started doing this chant. Someone put it on YouTube. I’m very drunk, going: ‘You fucking cunts, listen to me!’ I thought: ‘This is real embarrassing.’”

During the bleak hangover that followed, the 40-year-old Swedish actor thought he might have torpedoed a career that had just seen him get the part of Tarzan in this summer’s blockbuster. In fact it made him an even more perfect fit for the role. “Warner Bros had said they needed someone primal and animalistic,” he says. “So my agent sent them the video, saying: ‘Isn’t this motherfucker primal enough for you?’”

Another one of the half-million people who watched it was John Michael McDonagh, writer-director of The Guard and Calvary, who was on the lookout for a hard-drinking detective for his pitch-black buddy comedy War On Everyone. “He saw the video and went: ‘That’s the guy,’” says Skarsgård. “It got me the job. The moral of the story is: Make a fool of yourself and people will love you. Remember that, kids.”

When we meet around midday in the lobby of the Hotel Normandy during the Deauville American film festival, it seems he’s taken his own lesson to heart. The previous night he was so smashed that he invaded the DJ booth at War On Everyone’s afterparty and proved that while you can take the man out of Sweden… “I played strictly Abba,” he says. “When in doubt, Lay All Your Love On Me. We closed that place down.”

As he concertinas himself into the back of a people carrier for the two-hour drive to Charles de Gaulle airport, sheltering his eyes behind dark shades, it’s somehow reassuring to know that savage hangovers afflict even movie stars who’ve been blessed with the sort of face that led Ben Stiller to cast him in Zoolander so he could ask him: “Did you ever think there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good-looking?”

Skarsgård has been figuring out an answer to that ever since. He starred as a brooding, topless vampire in HBO’s True Blood, which ran for seven years until 2014, and made him a pin-up and earned him a legion of fans who’d approach wanting nothing more than to get bitten. (He never did. You bite one fan…) Simultaneously, the show’s success gave him the opportunity to play odd parts in indie films that didn’t trade on his looks. In coming-of-age-in-the-70s film The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, he was the mustachioed creep who slept with his girlfriend’s daughter; in Melancholia’s dreamlike apocalypse he was an earnest, cuckolded newlywed; and in next year’s Duncan Jones-directed Mute he’ll play a silent Amish character. “It’s not about wanting to show I’m versatile,” he explains. “It’s just feeling that excitement of not knowing who a character is but figuring it out and finding him.”

Yet he was back with his pecs out this summer for The Legend Of Tarzan, a blockbuster that, like many in 2016, struggled at the box office. He says he was drawn in by the character’s search for a place in the world and impressed by Harry Potter director David Yates’s ability to make a £140m film feel “intimate”. But it was in some ways a change of scale. “I work mostly in independent movies so the scope of Tarzan was definitely different,” Skarsgård says. “I didn’t feel pressured [by the box office demands] though. It wasn’t like: ‘Oh fuck, this is a big movie.’ It was an incredible experience, but it was also nine months of just gym, work and bed. I didn’t have a sip of alcohol. It was robotic.”

Which explains the appeal of War On Everyone, a film in which he both downs and takes shots in every direction. Skarsgård plays Terry, a perma-drunk, Glen Campbell-obsessed, unapologetically corrupt detective partnered with the lightning-witted Bob, played by The Martian’s Michael Peña. It’s the old bad cop/worse cop routine, but laced with fierce cleverness. Where Shane Black’s The Nice Guys were bumbling dunces, McDonagh’s pair trade wisecracks peppered with esoteric references to everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to realist painter Andrew Wyeth.

Their cocaine-fuelled romp takes them through an Albuquerque inexplicably peopled with Quaker bank robbers and burqa-wearing tennis players as the duo go in search of a missing million dollars and that most evil villain of all: a member of the English upper class. It’s wildly irreverent, the tone set by an opening scene in which the pair try to knock down a mime (to see if he’ll make a sound). Likewise, McDonagh’s script lives up to its name by making puckish jokes on any subject you care to think of. Skarsgård, hunching his lean frame into a stoop, relishes it.

“It’s so un-PC, it’s so me,” says Skarsgård. “You could tell John didn’t give a fuck about anything, which I found refreshing in a script. I’d read a couple of comedies but nothing that was fun or intelligent enough. When I got this script and it was dark and twisted and weird and completely out there, I was excited.” And besides, he adds, “[John is] a beautiful soul, which helps when you insult everyone.”

He even sees some similarities between his dirty detective and the king of the swingers. “As with Tarzan, there’s dichotomy in the character between being a civilised man and a beast. That’s something we can all relate to. We live in a civilised society, but 12 hours ago we were beasts dancing to Abba.”

Skarsgård has spent his life caught between different worlds: blockbusters and indies, Sweden and the States. During his bohemian upbringing he wanted to be like his friends’ dads who wore suits and drove Saabs. When Skarsgård was 20, his own father Stellan found international fame in Lars von Trier’s Breaking The Waves, and they would go on to appear together for Von Trier in Melancholia. However, when Alexander was growing up his father was simply an eccentric thespian with a penchant for walking around nude. “He was a weird Bergman actor. A 12-year-old kid doesn’t give a fuck about that,” says Skarsgård. “He’d be walking around naked or wearing weird Moroccan robes. As a teenager you’re just like: ‘Come on, dad!’”

The young Skarsgård’s first taste of fame was his own. His appearance at the age of 12 in TV film The Dog That Smiled made him a child star, but he soon found he hated the attention and quit acting. “I was desperate to be normal and blend in,” he says. He saw his chance at a life on the straight-and-narrow by enrolling in the Swedish military at 19, “unheard of” in his family. “That was my way to rebel,” he says.

Afterwards, still in search of himself, he decided to head to university in the UK. But he swerved London to find a more authentic British experience, and enrolled at Leeds Met. “It doesn’t get more British than a northern, working-class town,” he says. “There was a club called the Majestic where they had student nights and it was a pound a pint. We lived in Headingley, near the pubs on the Otley Run. Uni was a bullshit excuse for being there. I was studying British culture. I loved it.”

Deciding at 20 that he may have been a little hasty quitting acting, it was while visiting Stellan in LA that he won his small part in Zoolander – at his first Hollywood audition – but it was a false dawn. It would be another seven years before he got a major role, and he spent the time in between shuttling between theatres and coffee shops. When he was cast in David Simon and Ed Burns’s Iraq miniseries Generation Kill, he spent a month convinced he was about to be sacked. “It was only after four or five weeks I realised they weren’t going to recast,” he says. “Before that all I could think about was how much it would cost them to reshoot the big fight scenes after they fired me.”

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling – although a little hard to believe from a handsome, 6ft 4in movie star. “That shit doesn’t change,” he assures me. “I felt like that on Tarzan. I was on set thinking: ‘When is the director going to come over and say: Dude, you can go home. We’ve got Tarzan here now.’ That was 10 years after Generation Kill.”

Alexander Skarsgård, then: just like the rest of us. Fond of a pub crawl, obnoxious at sporting events, constantly waiting for that tap on the shoulder telling him the jig is up. So life is still pretty much the same when you’re really, really, really ridiculously good-looking?

“I mean, fuck, I still wake up shivering in the foetal position,” he says. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I get. Getting drunk on someone else’s dime listening to Abba is brilliant, but my life is still shit. I’m still agonising. What the fuck am I doing with my life? Where do I belong? Who gives a fuck? Let me assure you, it doesn’t get any better.”

War On Everyone is in cinemas from Friday

Sources:  Article:  TheGuardian.com (x), Photos:  Originals:  Filip Van Roe / eyevine (x, x)

LA Times Q&A

Benedict Cumberbatch is chasing the sun. Fresh off an island vacation with fiancée Sophie Hunter and just out of a steam at the Parker Palm Spring’s sauna, Cumberbatch is moving his patio chair clockwise around a firepit on a chilly January afternoon. “There’s no shame today,” says Cumberbatch, clad in gray sweatpants and a vintage Pink Floyd T-shirt. “I’m going back to England, where it’s like the Arctic Circle. I need to store up the sun now, otherwise I’ll get rickets by the time I step off the plane.”

Cumberbatch has landed in Palm Springs along with the rest of the cast of “The Imitation Game” to accept an ensemble award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The movie, a look at the life of Alan Turing, the Cambridge genius who led the team that cracked the Enigma code that Nazi Germany used to encrypt its radio transmissions during World War II, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and recently won eight Oscar nominations, including nods for best picture and for Cumberbatch’s lead turn.

We moved right alongwith the 38-year-old actor as he shifted his chair to account for the dying light and spoke about his eventful journey between Toronto and Palm Springs.

You look a lot more relaxed than when I saw you last in Toronto.

It was a really steep incline toward Christmas, just crazy, finishing “Richard III” [which will be featured in the BBC’s “The Hollow Crown” series], getting ready for the holidays, moving around seeing different families. That was a big induction this Christmas. A whole new world opens up. And then we were able to just breathe, be in the present tense, be in one place, just relaxing and … [Cumberbatch leans forward and drops his voice to an excited whisper]. That’s Robert Duvall! Wow! [Duvall, also in Palm Springs for the festival, walks by on a path about 20 yards away.]

I’ve never met an actor who doesn’t idolize him. Have you ever met him?

He’s one of the masters. I haven’t met him. I’d love to.

Maybe tonight at the gala?

As a fanboy, yeah, to just touch the hem of the garment. But at the same time, to get a meaningful moment, you need to be away from the circus. That’s why I’ve enjoyed the acting roundtables I’ve done in this roar. You get to have a free-flowing conversation about acting stuff.

Have you learned anything from those conversations?

Well, you have that moment where you meet your heroes and, initially, they’re just something “other.” And then the common ground of what we do for a living erases that. The best thing about the job is that it breaks down class and age and sex and race and transcends those things. You’re never one person. You’re always part of a team.
That’s why I love this award we’re getting tonight. It’s a great excuse for us to get together and have a giggle. [Looking around the expansive grounds.]Put us in a place with a cricket pitch over there and a fire pit right here. Later tonight, we can get a bit feral. Maybe burn some notes like we did at the end of “The Imitation Game.”

Invite Robert Duvall to join you …

Absolutely. He will be right here, presiding over the proceedings, calmly steering things.

Just going by the way you photobombed U2 with that impressive leap at last year’s Oscars, you seem to enjoy these events.

The Oscars were really good fun. And, yes, I leapt and bound all over the place.

Which you blame on Ellen DeGeneres, right?

And vodka.

That seems to be a running thing with you when you do something silly …

I’m drunk. That’s not actually true. I wish I could blame the evils of alcohol and say, “Kids: Don’t go there.” But that … happens when I’m sober. It would have happened. And I say “drunk,” but I had a little slurp of a tiny miniature. It was just the high of the whole thing. A friend of mine did literally say, “Get a photo of U2 if you can.” Not with them. Just of them. And I thought, “I don’t have my camera phone and I’m not going to ask for a selfie with U2.”

You showed some impressive height on that leap.

White boy can jump.

U2 attended this event last year. Everyone ignored the movie stars and went straight for Bono.

Does rock star trump movie star? Well, unless they’re selling tickets for Hamlet faster than a Beyonce and Jay Z tour. [Cumberbatch’s upcoming, summer 12-week “Hamlet” run in London sold out instantly.] But, by and large, yes.
But I’m still thinking about what I learned in those roundtable conversations. The fundamental thing I learned was how many actors said there’s not a singular way of approaching the job, which is a relief to me. The first person who told me that was Meryl Streep. We were making “August: Osage County” and I said, “I hate to do this but it’s an opportunity to talk about your process. How do you start? You’ve got the depression, the alcoholism, the cancer, the grief, so many states. It’s so richly comic and deeply upsetting at the same time.” And she went [Cumberbatch does a dead-on Streep impersonation], “I don’t really have a singular approach. I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I’ve done if I had one way of working. Sometimes it’s outside in, sometimes it’s inside out.” And I thought, “Oh god. I adore her!”

What about practical advice for negotiating Hollywood? What’s the best you’ve heard?

“Always take Fountain.” Wasn’t it Bette Davis who said that? That’s come in handy many times. Because the traffic on Sunset … forget it.

That’s it?

I’ve been chugging away in my career 10 years. That helps you prepare for the exposure. And there are things now which make it easier to escape the obsession with self. If you have someone you love and you’re devoted to them and it’s a proper devotional love — as I do in my life — there’s nothing better than that tonic. First of all, you have your world between you and that person. But also, being devoted to that person takes you away from yourself. There’s someone more important. Not that that’s a reason to be in a relationship, but it’s a very healthy byproduct of it when you’re doing such an obsessional job as acting can be.

Paul Thomas Anderson recently said that having kids helps too. With them, you realize you’ve already done your best work, so it frees you to be a little looser with your day job.

I salute that principle 100 … no not more than 100%. I’m not Simon Cowell. [Cumberbatch breaks into a Cowell impersonation] “One hundred and fifty percent!” There’s no such thing. I get very nerdy every time he does that on “The X Factor.” He’s brilliant and I completely endorse every thing he does … except for the math part.

You once said your greatest regret was not being a dad by the age of 32. Why 32?

When I was growing up, I had a weird obsession with 32 being the mark of adulthood and that was part of what I thought that might mean, naively. It was just a hunch about a number. I was always a bit of an old soul. I wasn’t really interested in being young. I mean, I wasn’t eccentric.
But I’m glad it didn’t happen. Things happen for a reason. And I’m definitely with the right person for that. So no regrets … [Actor David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma,” approaches.] David! How are you? The back of your head is everywhere. As I was driving in last night, I kept seeing it all over the place.

Oyelowo: I’ve got one of the most famous backs of heads in history. But you … Richard III, Hamlet, Sherlock … are there three of you? You’re setting the bar too high. It’s hard keeping up with you.

Cumberbatch: What I fear, if the work gets diluted, people will go, “Well, he just took on too much.” But, to be honest, I just can’t turn down those opportunities.

Oyelowo: Somehow, I don’t think people are going to be saying, “He spread himself too thin.” [The two talk a bit more before Oyelowo takes his leave. I tell Cumberbatch, who hasn’t yet seen “Selma,” that some have said the movie isn’t fair to President Lyndon Johnson. “The Imitation Game” has also caught flak, with a few critics saying the movie should have shown Turing’s sexuality on screen.]

How do you balance legacy and storytelling in fact-based movies like yours and “Selma”?

You can’t do one without the other. The argument with ours, that you don’t see him being sexually active, upset me because we weren’t shy of it. I’m not interested in the vanity of a character or my own vanity as an actor. The idea that for a second I would want to do that or the film would do that is perverse.
The whole structure of the film is about showing a man who had a life that wasn’t allowed. So, what, you need to prove that he was gay by seeing him be with a man? Whether it was something we needed to see because it was very much a part of his life is another argument, but I would argue that in our paradigm, it just would have looked really stuck in for good measure; it would have looked distasteful.

There could be another movie made about that aspect of his life.

There are so many movies to be made of this story. We have only two hours. It packs quite a punch, our film. At one moment, it’s war-espionage thriller, the next moment a tragic story of a man wronged by an intolerant society, the next moment a celebration of someone who’s different.
Everyone has a version of the story they want to see and I completely respect that. And, obviously, they are going to have to respect me being defensive about it because I’m in the thick of it, trying to be fair and uncompromising in my portrayal of this great man.

espn.go.com
#ConcernedStudent1950: How protest started, spread, rocked Missouri
Grad student Jonathan Butler was prepared to die to bring change to Missouri. With help from the football team, he lived to see his hunger strike succeed. Here's how it happened.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – He penned his will on an autumn day, his 25-year-old life summed up by his three most coveted possessions. Jonathan Butler had a laptop, a stack of books and a backpack. He bequeathed each of the items to his friends.

Butler had spent more than a quarter of his life as a student at the University of Missouri, a Midwestern campus with a student population that is 77 percent white. And deep inside, he was reaching his breaking point. He’d been called the N-word, had his health benefits cut and witnessed overt acts of discrimination throughout the campus. Those acts seemed to escalate in the year since the Ferguson riots.

Every stand Butler tried to take yielded few, if any, results. On Oct. 10, Butler and his activist group Concerned Student 1950 staged a protest at the homecoming parade, blocking the convertible that carried Tim Wolfe, president of the Missouri university system. The driver revved his engine, and Wolfe eventually rode away without addressing the protesters’ concerns. (Wolfe later met with the group, but didn’t agree to any of their demands.)

Feeling frustrated, Butler, in an interview Tuesday with ESPN.com, said he started reading up on the hunger strikes staged by Cesar Chavez and Dick Gregory. He saw how they helped impact change and decided to embark on one himself. Butler, a graduate student, was convinced Missouri would do nothing and ultimately he would die.

He held off on telling his friends about the hunger strike because he knew they would worry. Butler is the type of guy who gets something in his head and doesn’t back down. When he was in high school, he was an unimpressive offensive lineman who had one final year to make varsity. So what did he do? He trained all summer, transformed his 5-foot-8 body into a rock-solid 240-pound beast and helped lead his Omaha Central High School team to a Nebraska state championship.

The situation at Missouri also motivated and consumed Butler. “For me,” he said, “it was like, ‘What else do I have to do to prove to you that I’m a human? That as a constituent of this university that I deserve to be heard and deserve to be respected?’”

Butler composed a letter to the Missouri board of curators, the school’s governing body, vowing that he would not consume food or nutritional sustenance until Wolfe was removed from office. It was Nov. 2, and a campus was about to be turned upside down.

Monday, Nov. 2

At 3 a.m., Butler knows he can’t put off the news any longer. He tells the members of Concerned Student 1950, a name derived from the first year black students were admitted to Missouri, that his hunger strike will start in six hours, and that he will call for the president’s ouster. But why Tim Wolfe? He had only been president since 2012 and wasn’t exactly perceived as a villain around campus. One person who knows Butler later wonders whether he’s taking a page from the book “Rules for Radicals,” which implores the reader to go after people and not institutions. “People,” the book notes, “hurt faster than institutions.”

Butler will later say that he hasn’t read the book. He doesn’t know Wolfe, who is 57, a former IBM executive and white. He demands Wolfe’s removal because Butler believes he was tone deaf in responding to the concerns of marginalized students. Butler compares Wolfe to an athletic director of a major football program. If the team struggles and keeps losing, the coach is at fault, and the athletic director is to blame, too.

Wolfe’s inaction during the homecoming parade may have been a catalyst, but several incidents on campus led up to that moment. In September, student body president Payton Head was walking down the street when a truck full of young people yelled the N-word at him. A few weeks later, members of the Legion of Black Collegians (the official black student government at Missouri) had racial slurs hurled at them. Then late last month, a swastika drawn in feces was found in a residence hall on campus.

When Butler announces his strike, members of Concerned Student 1950 want to do something to draw more attention to his plight: The more supporters and the more media, they figure, the better the chance they have for the school administration to act.

His friends spend $75 on a tent to pitch in the grass at Carnahan Quadrangle, near the student recreation center. They fill the tent with water and granola bars and other supplies. Six students sleep in the tent the first night.

“We have a chance to be an inconvenience to the university,” Marshall Allen would say later, explaining the group’s strategy. “Because being out there on the quad, we’re inconveniencing their public relations. To have people and visitors come through and see us camped out, you’re going to have to engage us to figure out why we’re camped out there.”

Allen serves as security guard that first night. He snores and keeps everyone up. Butler does not stay at the camp. He wants to keep his strength up.

The group, which has 11 original members, is very protective of each other to the point of almost being combative. It creates an interesting tug-of-war between wanting their message to get out to the public and carrying an enormous distrust for the media. Signs are placed in the grass ordering reporters and outsiders to stay away.

A member of Concerned Student 1950 later says that one of the reasons they put up the signs is to keep people from taking pictures of them when they’re crying.

“One of the biggest things I learned this week is to have faith,” she says. “Just to have faith and believe that whatever you believe in will come to fruition. We kept working, but we had those moments where we were like, 'You know what? Let me go cry, and then I’m going to go back and start working again.’ I prayed more this week than I probably prayed this entire semester.”

Wednesday, Nov. 4

The number of tents has grown. Concerned Student 1950 has been holding nightly prayer vigils, and more students are joining in. Butler spends part of the day at the camp. He is greeted by former Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam, who made news last year when he publicly came out as being gay.

Sam brings Butler some water. Though he says he never experienced racism in his time as a player at Mizzou, Sam feels compelled to stop by and lend his support for Butler.

J'Mon Moore, a sophomore wide receiver for the Tigers, also visits Butler. Moore later tells reporters that he was driving by the quad, spotted the tents and wanted to learn more. He meets Butler, goes home and talks to his roommate, safety Anthony Sherrils, and then they consult with senior captain Ian Simon and defensive end Charles Harris.

Word starts to spread throughout the team, and it surprises Butler. He didn’t know any of the football players before last week, aside from watching them on TV.

By Wednesday, the effects of the hunger strike are starting to take their toll on Butler’s body. He will eventually become weak, lethargic and short of breath.

Back in Omaha, Butler’s old coach at Central reads on the Internet that a Jonathan Butler is staging a hunger strike. Jay Ball turns to his assistant coaches and asks, “Is that our Jonathan Butler?” They find a photo of the man in Missouri and learn that, yes, it is their J.B.

Ball isn’t surprised that Butler has staged the hunger strike. “This guy has some serious mental toughness,” Ball said. “I saw it when he was 17 years old.”

Friday, Nov. 6

There are now roughly 20 tents in the quad, and hundreds of people are stopping by to lend their support. Syed Ejaz, who is running for Missouri Student Association president, decides to camp out for a night. He is accompanied by members of his campaign staff. It is three days from the start of the election.

The ground is wet from Thursday night’s downpour, and the temperature drops to 38 degrees. Wind whips through the campsite. To pass the time, the group plays a game called Two Truths and a Lie. The students sit in a circle, introduce themselves and say three things about themselves. The others figure out which one is a lie. They wrap themselves in blankets and huddle close together, black and white.

Ejaz is uncomfortable in the cold, but he calls the night inspiring. He feels as if he is part of something bigger.

“This has been bubbling for a long time,” Ejaz later says. “I think what Jonathan is doing is heroic, it’s brave, it’s inspiring. It’s very courageous. And the fact that he’s effectively putting his life on the line for this … it’s very powerful.”

Saturday, Nov. 7

A group of black football players meets Butler at a location on campus that he declines to disclose. He can’t remember everything that happened that day. He says he was in an exhaustive state. He can’t recall his emotions or reactions to things.

He thinks there were about 30 football players at the meeting. They had heard about the hunger strike and want to know why he is doing it. He gives them his story. He tells them he has encountered racism since arriving on campus in 2008. He talks about his acquaintance Sasha Menu Courey, a biracial former Mizzou swimmer who, according to a 2014 ESPN investigation, was allegedly sexually assaulted by one or more Missouri football players in 2010 and took her own life a year later.

Butler talks about mental-health and academic services and his wish that everyone were treated equally and received the same care. By the end of the conversation, the players are so moved they tell Butler they are going to stage a walkout.

Butler shakes their hands. Some of them pray together. He has no idea what kind of an impact the meeting will have.

One of the players calls Tigers coach Gary Pinkel to inform him of their plan.

That night, Sherrils tweets a statement that is also sent out by the Legion of Black Collegians that says athletes of color on the team “will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

Sunday, Nov. 8

By midnight, Missouri’s 4-5 football team is the biggest story in the country. News outlets swoop into Columbia, and Butler’s phone is ringing nonstop.

On Sunday morning, Pinkel sends out a tweet. “The Mizzou Family stands as one,” it states. “We are united. We are behind our players.”

The school releases a statement that the team won’t practice until Butler ends his hunger strike. As reporters arrive on campus Sunday night, members of Concerned Student 1950 get nervous. They tell them to keep their distance. At 10 p.m., at least 100 students gather in a circle for prayer. A man in the center shouts, “Do not talk to the media!”

Monday, Nov. 9

Eric Wichmann, a senior studying information technology, is up until 1:30 in the morning studying for class. But by 9 a.m., he discovers that his classes probably won’t be held. Students and faculty are staging a walkout, and the gathering in the quad mushrooms into a mass of humanity.

Mallory Scanlan, a business management major, is standing by Wichmann and taking in the swarm of people. Scanlan agrees with Butler that changes need to happen at Missouri. Last week, she was in the student center eating lunch when a group of black students stormed in carrying bullhorns. They blocked the exits, she says, and demanded that the students listen to them.

She said one man approached her, looked at her Macbook and her clothing and barked, “White privilege,” to her. Scanlon teared up. She is at Mizzou on a biracial scholarship.

“It’s sad to say that it gets this big because the football team did it,” she says. “But because they did it, our school came together, and that’s the only good thing that’s come out of this so far. Our school has come together as one.”

Wichmann tells Scanlan that he’s all for people expressing their opinion, but he doesn’t understand what good getting rid of the president will do. Will the person they hire next do any better? Can Wolfe be held responsible for the actions and opinions of 35,000 students?

Within the hour, Wichmann’s concerns don’t matter. At around 10 a.m., Wolfe announces his resignation at a meeting of the school’s governing board in a cramped conference room inside the Old Alumni Center, not far from the football complex. Wolfe makes his announcement right after the meeting is called to order and before the board members go into closed session.

Toward the end of his announcement, Wolfe mentions his daughter, and his voice starts to break. He says she pointed out a biblical passage to him the night before, Psalm 46:1. He reads that passage and punctuates his remarks with this: “Please use my resignation to heal, not to hate.”

With Wolfe still in attendance, the board members go into closed session for more than six hours. By the end of the day, chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is out, too. “I sincerely wish it was different, but events are such that the best course of action for the university at this time is for me to resign,” Loftin says in a release from the UM system. He is reassigned to a new role overseeing renovation of the school’s research facilities.

Back at the quad, the students fill the grass and chant and sing. Members of Concerned Student 1950 grab bullhorns. Hundreds of students form a massive circle to keep the media away.

Butler emerges for a few minutes to join in the celebration. Then he goes to the hospital to get checked. His hunger strike is over after a week. His first meal, he later says, is an IV.

Butler’s hunger strike was over, but tents remained up at the site of the protest on Monday night.

A news conference for the football team scheduled for 3:30 p.m. starts 15 minutes late. When Pinkel finally emerges, he says his motivations were simple. He wanted a young man to eat and to live.

“I knew from the jump that Coach Pinkel was going to support us,” wide receiver Moore tells reporters afterward. “Coach Pinkel supports his players. We’re all his sons. I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that he was going to stand against us. There’s no way he would have done that.”

The protesters leave their tents up in the quad. They plan to stay there for another night. They want to celebrate.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

The football team does not want to talk about its boycott anymore. The players slip back into their fall routine and get ready for a Saturday game against BYU.

One of the team’s leaders declines to talk via text. He says the players decided as a team not to do interviews. He says they want to give the protesters the biggest platform so their voices can be heard.

For once in his life, everyone wants to hear what Butler has to say. It’s an unusual position for a man who was known as quiet and humble during his high school days. Butler grew up not wanting for anything. His father is an executive at Union Pacific; his mother helped found Joy of Life Ministries in Omaha. They were in Columbia on Monday to take care of their son, and whisked him away from the crowds in a white Mercedes.

“The football team stepping in. … If that wouldn’t have happened, the school truly wouldn’t have responded until after I passed.”

But by Tuesday morning, his parents are gone, and Butler is flanked by members of his group. He emerges from a car around 5 a.m. The hospital bracelet he was wearing the day before is no longer visible, and he’s bundled in a coat. He is hesitant to do interviews, but he knows he needs to get his message out.

When this whole thing started, Butler never imagined that one 25-year-old grad student could stop an entire college football team, albeit for a couple of days, or put fear in the minds of college administrators.

Butler said he was prepared to die. Whether a college football team saved him may never be known.

“I know how corrupt the system is, and I know how much they don’t value black lives,” he says.

“The football team stepping in. … If that wouldn’t have happened, the school truly wouldn’t have responded until after I passed.”

Butler walks to his car as the sun rises. By the end of the day, the university will announce the appointment of an interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. Chuck Henson will begin work immediately, the university says. But by nighttime, there are threats of violence toward black students on social media and more tension. Butler has no plans of backing down.

“We need to look at what’s next,” he says. “It’s more than Tim Wolfe.

"So much has to happen on campus.”

ESPN’s Nicole Noren and John Barr contributed to this report.


A much more believable source on Mizzou than Clay Travis’s pathetic excuse of “journalism.”

h/t: Elizabeth Merrill at ESPN.com