sometimes they veer off

Nightcap II - Tommy Shelby

Nightcap pt. 1 | pt. 2 - Tommy Shelby 

London was just what you expected it to be. Overwhelming and large. You’d sat through three meetings with Tommy and you were exhausted. Tommy was slow to speak but it seemed like no one else he did business with believed in talking slow. They all liked to talk at once and you were left with a page of jumbled shorthand that you had to decipher later. Which was what you were doing right now. Sitting alone in your room transcribing notes for Tommy to read later. You had organized the transcripts by conversation, trying to piece together the afternoon from scraps of shorthand.  

Tommy had invited you out to a club in London, suggesting that you might like some time to relax. You declined, wanting to get these papers done and not wanting to spend anymore time around Tommy. You had been anxious since you’d left Small Heath and it was only the first night in London. You were working on a third cup of tea when there was a knock on the door.  

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Clarice can’t sleep. She’s not the only one. 

I love Thunderblink, and I am sold on this ship. Also, I fully believe in the idea that John truly cares about everyone in the Mutant Underground. A LOT. Great leader guy.

Read on Ao3  |

It’s her first night out of the infirmary, but Clarice can’t sleep. It’s not like she has a roommate to keep her awake or anything, she has a room to herself, but the nightmares are back. They’ve been worse ever since she got sick. Sometimes she’s trapped, white walls closing in on her, crushing her limbs, pressing her to the floor, a collar tightening around her neck. Sometimes she’s back on the streets, her portals flickering out, useless as she runs from the shadows behind her.

The nightmares chase her out of bed and into the hall. Zingo follows her, close on her heels, her warm, fluffy presence making Clarice feel a little better, a little calmer. The dog had jumped onto the mattress when she went to bed that evening, but even the pup couldn’t keep the nightmares away. Still, she liked the company. Dogs are great like that, they love you no matter if you have purple hair, crazy green eyes, and pink marks and happened to cut their favorite toy in half. Which, you know, means dogs are about a thousand times better than humans.

No wonder the Mutant Underground has its very own dog.

She walks around the halls of the HQ and finds herself in one of the common areas. Everyone else is asleep or at least in their rooms, so she has the place to herself. Picking one of the comfiest couches that’s near a window, she flops down onto the cushions. Moonlight plays on her skin as Zingo hops up beside her, pressing against her side, her chin on Clarice’s lap.

She’s not a stranger to sleepless nights, but at least she’s safe here. It’s not a dark alley or a cell or under a bridge. Dust motes twirl in the moonlight, and she waves her hand, tossing them into a wild dance. She pets Zingo and closes her eyes, resting but not sleeping.

A noise catches her attention as someone steps into the common area, and Zingo’s ears perk up. Clarice sits up, her body protesting. She’s still sore from the other day, but she moves through it, not wanting to be caught sprawled out on the couch by another late-night wanderer. She’s ready for when she’ll get asked about why she’s still awake, ready to retort that it’s really none of their business.

She’s surprised when she sees that it’s one of the kids, the girl with butterfly wings. Riley? Yeah, Riley. The one John has a true soft spot for. She’s in PJ shorts and a tank top, slits cut in the back of the shirt so her wings can fit through.

“Hey, kid, you should be in bed. Aren’t you afraid of the dark?” Clarice says, relaxing a little. Kids aren’t as bad as adults.

But Riley doesn’t respond. Zingo whines and jumps off the couch, trotting over to the little girl. Clarice frowns and stands up, watching Riley. The girl’s dark eyes are unfocused and she’s moving slowly, lethargic.

“Kid?” Clarice says, walking toward the girl, “You okay?”

She reaches for Riley’s shoulder, but a hand wraps around her elbow and pulls her back. Clarice tries to whip around, prepared to fight, but then she realizes who grabbed her and stops. It would break her hand if she hit him anyways.

“Don’t,” John whispers, so close that his breath brushes her ear, “You’ll wake her up.”

“Are you part cat or something?” she whispers back, “I didn’t even hear you.”

“No, I’m a tracker, which is much better,” he says and then lets her go. He held her longer than he needed to, but Clarice doesn’t call him out on it.

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Taking the Bait

Summary: Reader is an exiled Asgardian Goddess, working with Thor and The Avengers. On a mission to seek out Loki, she finds herself torn between her well-guarded past and her hopes for the future.

Warning: My writing style can get a *little* smutty at times, and sometimes veers off into horror territory. This first part is kind of vanilla with a hint of possessiveness but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. There’s an allusion to unwanted sexual advances here that you may wish to be advised of.

Also, this is my first attempt at an x reader insert, so if I get the formatting wrong at any point, don’t spank me.

Part 1

Looking through the window of Avengers’ Mansion, across the roofs of Manhatten, you sighed. Your life on Asgard could not have been more different than your current existence here. Your name had been held in such high regard amongst the Asgardians but since you had come to Midgard, you had chosen the name Y/N. There were so few here that knew you by any other name and you had been so long in this realm that Y/N was who you were.

After untold years spent exploring this little planet, you had quite literally bumped into Thor, God of Thunder. You laughed to yourself at the memory.

“Something tickled you there, Y/N?” said Tony Stark, startling you a little. You hadn’t realised he was stood behind you but it seemed he had a knack for being wherever you were.
You smiled at his reflection in the glass.

“Just recalling an amusing tale, Tony.”

“Ooh! Do share!” he implored. A mischievous gleam in his eye, he broke away to sit down nearby.

“Perhaps another time…” you said as you turned your attention back to the landscape.

“What are you looking for out there?” Chimed Clint as he collapsed into a seat near Thor. The other Avengers were all sprawled out over the various pieces of furniture in the living room. Tired, yet still wired, you were all unwinding after completing another mission. Music played softly from somewhere. Natasha and Bruce were deep in a hushed conversation at the other side of the room. Tony Stark was sat closest to you, smiling a small, if lascivious grin.

“I’m just taking in the view, Barton.”

You sighed again.

Thor had brought you to The Avengers some months ago with the goal of using your powers to find Loki. He and the others felt sure the God of Lies was here in Midgard, working on something but they had exhausted every avenue of investigation. Thor was certain that you held the key to finding his brother. You shared his confidence. After all, with your history together, Loki would be easy to flush out, given the right incentive of course.

You had been biding your time though. Every strategy had ran through your mind since your arrival. You had originally thought that simply dropping the enchantment which shielded you, might have drawn him out. With it in place there was no way Loki could find you, but you realised that it would take more than just becoming visible to get you on his radar, as it were.
Perhaps if you were to feign enough danger, it would bring him to you but no. He had begrudgingly rushed to your aid in the past, insisting you took time training your magical reserves. ‘Let the Lady fend for herself,’ drawled Loki’s voice in your mind. He had taught you well enough, you were sure and would know better than to think you helpless.

Of course, there was one perfect plan that you were sure would guarantee your King would rush to your side. However, for it to work there was a choice you must make.

So for now, you maintained the spell as you had done for so long.

Your focus snapped onto your own reflection in the window pane. You were still clearly of Asgard despite your many years in this realm. Your long (Y/H/C) flowed around your shoulders and despite your S.H.I.E.L.D issued combat gear, you held yourself with a poise to rival even Frigga.
Here you were though, watching The Avengers, day & night. At first, only Thor had spent much time with you but slowly you had gained their trust.
Talented in Asgardian magic, you made quite a show of helping the Avengers just enough that your loyalty became unquestioned. You fought alongside them, noting their strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, Thor was most impressive in battle. You knew him of old and after each mission you often found yourself in his company, sharing stories of Asgard and laughing at the exploits of the Midgardians around you.

You turned your back to the window. You had had enough of the view, at least for now. You would seek the company of your fellow God, yes. That would lift your mood.
You motioned to sit near Thor but before you could get to him Tony leapt up and swept you into his arms.

“Shall we dance, m’Lady?” he trilled in an exaggerated Shakespearean voice.

“I doubt I know how…” you giggled in spite of yourself.

Thor looked over from his seat by Clint and clenched his jaw as Tony spun you on the spot for moment before tipping you backwards. You threw your long (Y/H/C) back, exposing the soft skin of your neck. Tony pulled you back into his embrace and together you swayed to the music.

“Ohh” he purred as his lips grazed your neck, “It’s just a little dance. Where’s the harm in that?”

You felt an uneasy sensation in your stomach as his hands moved up your back. You stiffened a little. Not now. You couldn’t allow this.

“Thank you… um.” you said quietly as you pulled yourself away from him and moved toward where Thor sat glaring. Tony blithely waltzed his way over to the bar.

“Drinks?” Tony said waving a decanter in one hand, a number of crystal cut tumblers between his fingers on the other hand. There were nods all round. Except Dr Banner, of course. He simply shook his head and returned to his conversation with Natasha.

You took your seat next to Thor and smiled warmly at him. “What make you of today’s adventure?”

Thor weakly returned the smile though he still glanced toward Stark - as he was pouring out a round for everyone. You shifted in your seat, making it clear you were still awaiting his thoughts on today’s mission.

“A great success, I would say…” he began brightly but his focus on Tony betrayed his distracted mood. Clint and Steve both barely roused from their thoughts to mumble an agreement before Tony thrust glasses into their hands.

“Well… I for one… think that today…” he handed out the rest of the glasses, keeping hold of yours and his own, “…today we really saw something beautiful.” He looked into your eyes as he placed the glass in your hand. “Breathtakingly beautiful.” he said deliberately. “We saw,” he continued as he straightened up and moved towards his seat, “…we saw the future of our brilliant team, working together and kicking some bad guy ass.” He paused to sip his whisky. “Under my fantastic leadership, of course.” he said as he dropped into his seat. This was met with groans and eye rolls all around but you couldn’t help but laugh.

Tony raised his glass in toast and said, “To the Team - To us!”

Everyone joined the toast. Tony turned the music up and looked over to you. You tried your best not to return his gaze and turned your attention back to Thor. The atmosphere was congenial, if a little laboured at first.

Since taking a little to drink, the group seemed to relax a little more, their conversations somewhat easier …but Thor still appeared distracted.

Part 2

@by-lines , @sagekoooon, @aqswdefrgthzjukilop

Military mondays: Last stand at Camarón 

As suggested by: @when-a-bagel-is-a-bagel

The last stand of camaron is one of the foreign legions greatest momments. Although not immortalised in cinema like rorkes drift and nor was it as grand as the battle of Thermopolaye. The Battle of Camaron is one of the greatest and least known last stands in history.

The year is 1863 and french forces have arrived in mexico, for 2 years they have fought in the dust and sweat of Mexico. They are but inches away from taking the capital. They lay siege to pueblo in the march of that year. They needed supplies, 3 million francs were sent in a convoy guarded by 62 french foreign legionairres and 3 officers. Commanded by captain jean danjou. Who had lost his hand almost a decade ago due to a musket explosion, and now wore a wooden prosthetic. Only 6 miles north of them was colonel fransisco milans volunteer regiments, of over 2000 infantry and 800 mexican cavalry. Milan chooses to go after the supply train. 

The french foreign legion was only 30 years old. It had yet to achieve its truly legendary status. The legion was a part of the french army comprised of french nationals willing to serve. All a mans past crimes where overlooked and he was given a clean slate. Not only french men served. But British, spanish, polish, algerian, brazilian, portugese, german, russian, turkish. 

07:00: The escort arrives at an old spanish hacienda, an abandoned stable and a ranch. Surrounded by walls, with a gate. They begin to prepare the morning coffee, as dawn approaches the cry to arms goes up, the company scrambles to its feet and mans the haciendas ten foot walls. The mexican cavalry has appeared on the hill. 

09:00: The mexican reinforcements arrive and rally. they numbered around 600 light cavalry. Danjou wanted to draw the main force away from the convoy. So he made his stand. He orders his men to form a hollow defensive square. The cavalry was met with volleys of bullets. The horses throw off their riders after being stung by bayonets, some horses simply would not charge the square of bayonets and veered off into nowhere. Sometime later milan arrives with 200 lancers 

hoping to intimidate the mexican fighters, captain Danjou marched on Milans regiments, and fought a hard battle to hold off the mexican lancers, The mexicans fought like savages and wave after wave kept coming after volleys of fire. The attackers retreated. The company is now down to 47 men. 

11:00:  Milán sends one of his captains to negoiate surrender, saying  “you will be needlessly slaughtered.” Danjou replied that he had plenty of ammunition and shall continue to fight”. Captain Danjou makes his men swear an oath to the fight to the death on his own wooden hand. The mexicans promptly charged the western gate of the hacienda. Where Danjou is cut down in the first minutes. Second lieutenant Vilain assumes command. A huge force appears over the horizon, the french believe its a relief force, but infact its Milans infantry. 

14:00: Now confident he can win, milan launches an all out attack, causualties mount on both sides but the company lacks food and water, they are also hit hard by the intense heat of the climate. The attack is repulsed, but the ammo stores are running dry. They are offered yet another chance to surrender. An brazilian sergeant in the legion replies “Merde” or figuratively “Go to hell”. However the legion is down to 32 men.

14:30  Lieutenant Vilain is shot dead. Lieutenant Maudet is the only commisioned officer remaining and he assumes the command. The men now were pushed back to the stable, some fought on the rooftops, Only 20 fighting men remain.

17:30: The ranch roof had been burnt away and all men now fight in the abandoned stable. A third surrender offer was made. The legion respectfully refused. The legion is down to 12 men. 

18:00: During the next wave. Corporals Everiste Burg, Karl Magnin and Heinrich Pinzinger, plus fusiliers Leon Gorski and Hippolyte Kunnasseg were captured. The Legion is down to 5 men. Lieutenant Maudet is badly wounded and the ammo has run out. They Feebly attempt one last bayonet charge, 1 man is killed outright, 4 are surrounded, one leaps infront of lieutenant maudet, but is ripped apart by mexicans. Lieutenant maudet accepts surrender if they leave him his arms and equipment, and gives Maudet treatment for his wounds. 

When the trio is brought to Milán, he asked, "Is this all of them? Is this all of the men who are left?” Then, he proclaimed in shock and amazement 

“These are not men! They are demons!

Lieutenant Maudet died from his wounds and Captain Danjou’s wooden hand was brought back to the foreign legions headquarters, and placed in the   Legion Museum of Memory. Where it resides today.

 The French foreign legion had rightfully achieved its place as one of the finest armies in the world and now numbers at 7000 members today. The french won the siege and the supplies reached their destination, but they pulled out of mexico 4 years later. 

If you have any ideas for what I should post for next military monday, it can be anything, a battle, a leader, an idea, a concept or tactic, a military unit or formation. Do not hesitate to send in your suggestions, either by message or comment.

Forever remember the 65 demons of camaron

anonymous asked:

What series addresses how te DCU has changed? And where can we find te explanation of hypertime that Barry explained?

Superman, Action Comics, Flash, Batman, Detective Comics, and Wonder Woman.  They all provide bits and pieces of Mr. Oz and his blue friend.  Most notably Superman Reborn and The Button.  

Barry Allen didn’t explain Hypertime, he mentioned it, confirming that it exists once again.  Hypertime originated in the 90s.  Writers Mark Waid and Grant Morrison came up with a way of explaining canon.  Every single story is canon.  Even if it contradicts.  The reasoning is that timelines are like trickling rivers that sometimes intersect and mesh together, but sometimes they veer off from each other and become very different.  This way comics have a good reason they are so inconsistent.  The best explanation can be found in Mark Waid’s The Kingdom (a sequel to Kingdom Come).  Also the “Walter West” storyline in 90′s Flash comics.

apprendere  asked:

Hey, you may have talked about this before, (if so, then oops, sorry for repeating questions) but, what's your writing process like? Especially regarding planning or outlining stories

You’re so adorable, thinking I do real planning and outlining. :D Mostly when I’m doing my own writing, I just start at the beginning and go. (…Usually. Sometimes not. For instance, Stark Naked Science had a structure that suggested itself fairly early on, so I adapted the plot to fit that structure. Branches of Pine also sort of forcibly organized itself, because it was structured around various winter holidays.)

But I actually don’t write that many long and complicated fics on my own. Most of my longer fics have been written with @tisfan. And that’s more of a process.

Most of the time, it starts in chat:

tisfan: So I had an idea.
me: Oh no.
tisfan: What if [literally anything here]?
me: Oh, that would cause so much trouble. [Character] would be like [reaction].
tisfan: omg yes. And then [another character] would [different reaction].
[This continues for anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.]
me: …Okay I’m making a doc.

And then I make a googledoc and invite Tis to join it as a co-author (or she makes the doc and invites me) and at that point, depending on the specific idea in question and its complexity and whether it’s an established ‘verse or a new one and, idk, the alignment of the planets or something, we have a couple of different processes.

(Putting the rest of this under a cut, because it got long and also because there might be spoilers for readers who aren’t caught up on all the fic yet. The stuff that is spoiler-y for things that haven’t been POSTED yet have been redacted.)

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I frequently underestimate the power of helping a dog get over fear by putting them together with a non-reactive dog.

Daenerys struggles with unidentifiable objects. Once she has gotten to know them she’s fine, but if it’s brand new, she is not a fan.

Enter Memory. Memory will approach anything and everything with gusto. Especially if treats are involved. For example, we got her used to umbrellas by opening a big one and tossing treats first under it, and then flipping it upside down and tossing treats inside it.

Daenerys didn’t want to approach it at all, not even for treats, but when we released Memory and she plowed straight for the treats, Daenerys immediately followed suit and started trying to eat the treats before Memory could get to them.

I’ve been able to take advantage of this in numerous different scenarios. Memory is so excited about new things, and Daenerys reads her reaction and responds accordingly. Hopefully as we continue to introduce bizarre new things to Daenerys, she will eventually learn that new things are great and exciting.

Taking the Bait - Pt3

Summary: Reader is an exiled Asgardian Goddess, working with Thor and The Avengers. On a mission to seek out Loki, she finds herself torn between her well-guarded past and her hopes for the future.

Warning: My writing style can get a *little* smutty at times, and sometimes veers off into horror territory. But we’re not ready for that yet… This part features kissing but nothing too steamy.

This is my first attempt at an x reader, so if you like it - let me know!

Part 2

The argument with Thor had made your decision for you. Something about Tony Stark had clicked into place.
Somewhere between the dancing and the yelling in Thor’s face, you’d realised that Tony was going to be more useful than he could imagine. Maybe it was because he was so similar to Byrnjar, an Asgardian warrior and former suitor of yours. The two shared the same cockiness. Same mannerisms. Same dance moves. It drove you to distraction and more importantly, you knew it would have done the same to Loki.

Watching Tony try his best to impress you with his claims of victory had, at first, been mildly amusing. Indeed, the way he followed you around, occasionally chancing his luck had proven that he had potential but that night, that night he had shown his true worth. He had proven that he was going to be the one.

For the next week, you allowed yourself to linger alone in his company when the opportunity presented itself. You didn’t move away as swiftly when his hand brushed your own. When he complimented you, you smiled sweetly. You made sure to have an ‘out’ at all times though. You couldn’t allow him to control this, what needed to happen must occur on your terms. Or else the plan would fail.
You also made sure that Thor saw nothing awry. You would bring Loki to him as instructed, but the God of Thunder would not like your plan, this you knew. As far as he and the rest of the team were concerned, you were entirely focused on your role with them - the argument of that night forgotten.


It was late. The Mansion had been still for hours but you couldn’t sleep. Instead, you paced through the kitchens. The air around you crackling with power. Far too distracted to notice, your magic flowed from you in golden slips of light, unseen. The memories of stolen moments filled your mind. His touch. The heat of his body as he stood by you, his breath on your neck. You shuddered a little.

There was only one who you longed to touch you in that way and right now, you were hidden from him.

“You might want to get that under control, Y/N.” said Tony as he appeared by the kitchen island. Dodging stray flecks of magic, he sat down.


He nodded his head to the large pot of water boiling over onto the hob.

“Ah no!” you said, running over to the stove as the air cleared. Frantically, you turned off the heat and made to move the pot by grasping the pan handles.

“Y/N, I wouldn’t-…” Tony said, leaping to his feet.

You let out a cry as the heat of the pan burnt your unprotected fingers. It clattered to the floor.

Tony ran over, guiding you to the sink as you pulled your fingers to your mouth. “Nope. Definitely wouldn’t do that.” he rumbled as he nudged the tap on and took your already raw looking hands. You gasped as the cold water hit your tender skin. He stood behind you, holding your fingers under the stream of water as you apologised and muttered curses under your breath.

For a brief moment, you were sure he had buried his face into your hair. You frowned and tried to focus on the cooling water.

Stroking your arm, he moved away from you and bent to pick up the pan. “No. Leave that to me, please.” you said over your shoulder, reaching for a cloth and bundling your hands together.

“Too late.” he said, standing up with the pan in his gloved hands and placing it onto the swiftly cooling stove.

“What were you doing in here anyway?” he asked as he grabbed another cloth and began blotting the water from the floor.

“Making breakfast…” you replied, cradling your hands before you.

“At 3:30am?” Tony asked, looking up at you and cocking his head to one side.

“Err… yes?” you replied, not nearly as confidently as you had hoped.

“… Okaaaaay.” he said slowly.
He rooted though the cupboards until he found somewhere to stash the soaked cloth. “There.” he swept his foot over the now clean floor and smiled at you. Walking back towards the stove he said, “Now. Let me get you fixed up.”

“Too late.” you said as golden threads of light pulled from the folds of cloth wrapping your hands. The glow subsided and he watched you unwrap your hands, placing the cloth to one side. Then you leant against the counter, wiggling your healed fingers gently and touching them to your lips.

“Have you always been able to do… er, that?” Tony asked, placing the pan into the sink and gesturing with his hands in what he clearly thought was a ‘magical’ way.

“Yes and no.” you replied with a raised brow. “We Asgardians hold power from our birth but some have more skill than others… Of course, the right teacher helps.”

Tony sighed deeply as he leaned on the counter beside you. “…And Loki taught you?”

“A little.” you smiled to yourself.

Tony shifted until his folded arm brushed against yours and asked inquisitively, “So Y/N, what did happen to get you wrapped up in the wizarding world of Loki then? Did you lose a bet at a fair maiden’s slumber party?”

You tilted your head as you looked into his eyes. “How do you think one ends up …entangled with the God of Lies?”

Tony shrugged.

“He tricked me.”

“So you ran?”

“Not so much, no.”

He was looking at you in such an odd way. You could see there was a pity there, as though you were trapped somewhere unreachable. However, you sensed his longing for you as it flowed from him in waves.

‘Time to shift gears,’ you thought.

“Be not mistaken.” You spoke softly now. “I chose to be with Loki. I thought that, maybe I could save him from himself.”

You ran a hand down Tony’s arm, pretending to brush away some stray fluff. “I soon learnt how wrong I was and perhaps he was …unworthy after all.”

Never had you spoken of Loki in that way and your heart pounded as the words fell from your mouth. You prayed your heartbeat would not betray you. This was the moment to instigate your plan, you knew it!

“Unworthy.” Tony repeated, more to himself if anything. As he moved closer toward you he spoke lowly, “Y/N, I think I know a man worthy of you.”

He took your hands in his as he pulled you towards him. A soft “Mmm?” purred from your lips as you raised your face. He was closing in on you now, you could feel his breath on your skin.

Your heart thudded against your chest. Surely he could feel that too?

His hands traced lightly up to your shoulders. Then on to your neck, caressing your skin until he held your face in both hands. His face hovered unsettlingly close to you. You saw him smile to himself. ‘Finally’ he thought, as he closed his eyes and pressed his lips against yours.

If Tony Stark had opened his eyes, even for a moment, he would have seen a soft golden light enveloping your body. The glow shimmered against your skin, batheing you head-to-toe. You opened your eyes for the briefest of moments and with that, the glow vanished.

At the other end of the world, Loki of Jotunheim - Rightful King of Asgard, God of Mischief and Father of Lies - gave a low growl.

Part 4

@by-lines @sagekoooon @aqswdefrgthzjukilop

anonymous asked:

I've heard one theory that Undertaker's scars came from some kind of demonic attacks that has happened to him, and that he might be or has gone through a demon's possession. According to a few fanfictions, who knows where the writers get their information from.

I’ve previously heard/read the idea that he’s actually a demon inside a reaper “skin suit”, explaining the stitches/scars and his black nails. But….

Fanfic writers come up with interesting ideas, but they can really veer off from canon. Sometimes a fanfic will become so popular that parts of it get absorbed by the fandom into “fanon”. That’s why there are people out there convinced that Undertaker’s name is Adrian Crevan… or that Phipps named his chicken Emily, Cecily, or something else (there’s no known canon name). It’s why a lot of people think we already have a canon birthday for Lizzie (we don’t).

I think the best evidence is in favor of something traumatic happening to him while on reaper duty, like being attacked by cinematic records. But even the evidence I’ve found to support this idea is a bit weak… for now.

Well…looking at it in the cold light of day (and not the crazy 2am feels) Chapter 5 of Crumbling Facade is definitely finished. At 7.2k.

But I’m probably gonna need to wait a couple of weeks until my beta is finished with her finals before it goes online, cos I really need to talk it out. Maintaining consistency with Draco’s motives and thoughts, while also writing his own journey of self-discovery and associated changing thought pattern, while also writing his constant loss of control around Harry and abandonment of his own plans and resulting contradictive behaviour, is so hard. Such a fine line between nailing that and coming off way too inconsistent with charactersation!

I definitely need to tweak some small details from Restraint to make it work sometimes. I worry I’m gonna veer off at some point and take it in a different direction lol

This story might be too ambitious for me lol given that I have to plan for and try and maintain this consistency while writing and posting a chapter at a time, instead of binge writing the whole thing and fixing all that stuff later.

Regardless, it’s a really satisfying feeling to finish a chapter and it definitely improved my mood!!

End combative fic reviews 2k16

Posting this on tumblr is preaching to the choir, but I’m half hurt and half annoyed so y’all get to read it anyway. Sorry, friends–and thanks for being wonderful.

Have you ever heard, “Before you speak, THINK: Is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, kind?” Let’s apply that to fic reviews.

True. Not much to say here. I don’t often run into reviews that contain erroneous information. Although if you’re going to rant about how the author got a bit of canon wrong, maybe make sure you’re actually right.

Helpful. If you’re making a suggestion, is it actually one the author can use? I can tell you right now that rare is the occurrence of an author rewriting a chapter based on feedback. I’ve done it once in 14 years of writing fic. Which means usually, those comments are not helpful.

Inspiring. Does your review make the author want to keep writing, or does it make them want to completely ditch an archive altogether because they are sick of getting snarky feedback? Just a thought.

Necessary. And this is the exception to the rule about not commenting on the contents of a certain chapter. Sometimes–rare, once in a blue moon moments– an author will seriously veer off-base in how they are portraying the character. If you truly believe that they have made a grievous error, then yes, it might be necessary to point it out. But this is RARE. Again, I think that I have seen one occurrence of an author changing the course of a story because of feedback like this. And the reviewer only had the impact they did because they managed to be…

Kind. If you want to offer criticism, be constructive. Do not rail at an author. Do not yell at them for not updating in what you consider to be a timely manner. (Keep in mind, you don’t know what else is going on in their life that has kept them from that fic.) Do not use their story as an opportunity to rant about all similar stories. (”Just once I’d like to see a story like this where…” Then write it yourself. That’s what I do.)

Really, I love 98% of my reviewers. Maybe 99%. But sometimes that other 1-2% threatens to ruin it for everyone.

ETA: I’ve written a second post now on what to do when you read a Problematic ™ fanfic.

Taking the Bait - Pt2

Summary: Reader is an exiled Asgardian Goddess, working with Thor and The Avengers. On a mission to seek out Loki, she finds herself torn between her well-guarded past and her hopes for the future.

Warning: My writing style can get a *little* smutty at times, and sometimes veers off into horror territory. This part is pretty much pure angst with a side of bad grammar though.

Don’t forget - this is my first attempt at an x reader insert, so if I get the formatting wrong at any point, just forgive me already.

Part 1

Throughout the evening, you had tried to engage Thor with tales of ancient battle and stories of new adventures. You had even tried to share an amusing tale of your many failed culinary exploits. The other Avengers laughed and shared their own stories but still Thor kept his focus elsewhere. He glowered slightly as you laughed, nudging his elbow, trying to bring him into your conversation with Tony. Something about the Man in a Tin Can was obviously bugging the God of Thunder. But what exactly?

You gave up.

If your fellow Asgardian had no interest in your company tonight, then you would absorb yourself with something else. The tumbler in your hand would make a fine start, you decided.
You took another sip of the aged whisky and leaned back into your chair. Resting your head back and closing your eyes.

As the chatter around you moved onto other subjects, Thor leaned in closely and unheard by the others he muttered darkly, “Take care who’s company you keep… Princess.”

You raised your eyebrows. “Who? Stark?” you half-chuckled, “He is harmless…”

“He seemed a little too familiar earlier.” the God continued.

“Too familiar, I see…” you echoed. Turning your face to him you said, “I can dance with whomsoever I choose to… Prince.” You spoke a little louder than you had intended.
A moment passed as you brought your temper under control. A little more quietly you uttered, “Your concern is noted.” Yet still annoyance bristled under your skin.

With a soft insistence in his voice Thor said “I merely think you would be best placed focusing on… other things.”

“What? Am I to have no enjoyment whilst I am here?” You retorted.

“Of course you are, but-…”

“But what? No leisure?!” You pushed on, raising your voice a little more.

“I speak as your fr-…”

“Am I not my own person?” You were standing now, bending slightly as you berated, “Have I no right to choose my company here?” The others were looking on but you didn’t care. You could feel the heat in your cheeks as Thor rose to meet you.

“Of course, you have every right!” Thor remonstrated “You are no prisoner!” he paused, “…but you allow yourself to be distracted from your purpose!” You could see he was restraining himself from raising his voice further. You were far too close to the God’s face now you thought, but you were too fired up to back down. Tony had risen and stood a little way from you both, watching the back and forth.
You had nearly forgotten you had an audience.

“My purpose?!” You nearly laughed. “My purpose! Pray tell, Prince of Asgard! What is my great purpose?!” You yelled.

Thor’s vehemence overran him. “You were brought here to FIND MY BROTHER!” he boomed, making the room shake a little.

You stepped away from him. “…No, not find. Not find.” you repeated as you turned from the God towards your quarters. You made to leave but stopped, your fury spilling into hot tears. “I am under no illusion that you brought me here as nothing more than… BAIT!” You spat the word with an anger that surprised even you.

“HAH!” Thor scoffed as he turned you to face him, holding your shoulders. “Some bait!” he yelled, his face reddening. “If my brother cares so much for you why has he not sought you by now!”
You opened your mouth to fire back at him but the look in his eye stopped you in your tracks. You sighed as Thor’s last words hit you.

‘…why has he not sought you…’

Inhaling deeply, you closed your eyes for a moment. You should have explained before. You owed them all that much.

You opened your eyes and sighed.
“…Loki cannot see me…” you said meekly, as your eyes met Thor’s.

The energy of the room shifted immediately. Thor released his grasp on your arms but kept his eyes trained on yours. Seconds passed as you carefully considered your words.

“After… what happened…” you looked meaningfully at Thor, who immediately looked away and made to return to his seat. The look didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the team but they allowed you to continue, uninterrupted. “I felt that it were best if I were to keep my distance from him. From Loki, I mean… Lest the vexation continue for another age.”

At this, Tony mouthed the word ‘vexation’ as he slowly sat in the chair nearest your feet. After a moment he said “Wait. Wait a minute. You said ‘Loki cannot see me.’ You mean to say…”

“I cursed myself… That is… long ago, I cast a powerful enchantment upon myself. One which I daresay even Loki will not be able to break.” you said, smiling bitterly. “While the spell holds, Loki can not perceive me. Even if I were stood before him, he would have no awareness of my presence and would simply walk straight by.” You lifted your hand to your neck, feeling suddenly exposed as the others looked on.

“Could this… enchantment be used on others?” asked Steve, intrigued.

“Yes. I have hidden in this way a number of times but never for this long. I have been led to believe that were he to experience my presence, it would feel akin to… Deja Vu, I believe it is called?”

Tony nodded and considered for a moment before saying, “Y/N… How long have you been hiding from Loki?”

You paused as you considered just how long it had been since that day. How could you explain aeons to them? How could they understand the great expanse but also just how little time had passed since Loki held you? Knew you?
How long had you been missing from his universe?

You held your breath a moment and said, “Too long.”

Part 3

@by @sagekoooon @aqswdefrgthzjukilop

R.I.P. Grayson (but Long Live Nightwing)

One of the many joys of recent DC Comics, for me at least, has been the ongoing Grayson series, focusing on the secret agent/spying adventures of Dick Grayson, former circus acrobat, former Robin, former Nightwing, and all-around Good Guy and Handsome man. Now that the series has ended, with the character being transferred to a new Nightwing series, it is time to look back on how great that series was and how much fun it was to watch Dick Grayson be a smiling, butt-kicking, and great butt-having secret agent, punching the bad guys and saying one-liners.

Since I read this series from almost the very start, it always struck me as puzzling when readers complained about the universally “grim and glum” tone of DC’s New 52. Yes, there was a similar Serious Business attitude to many of the main books, from Green Arrow to Green Lantern to Batman to maybe even Superman, but there were always titles like Grayson to lighten the mood. That is one of the greatest strengths of the character, that he can be saving the world from mad scientists or reincarnated Nazi warlords and still find ways to find joy in his life. He is able to forge intimate and fulfilling relationships with his friends and coworkers (gasp!). Even throughout all of his identity changes and fake deaths (or near-deaths), his friendship with Batman remains genuine and warm, important to both men and one of the most mature relationships in all of comics. Some of the best moments of the Grayson series was when Batman and Dick just called each other on their Super Secret communication devices to commiserate on their adventures and to give each other advice. It takes the form of two boys calling each other on walkie-talkies from their bedrooms, a moment of mid-20th Century Americana wedged between gigantic explosions and evil plots involving worldwide hypnotism.

Grayson is obviously not just Superhero Bros bro-ing out in their rooms. Part of the wonder in the book is the amazing and inventive action depicted by artist Mikel Janin. His fight sequences are thrilling, the impacts and explosions have legitimate force behind them, and the reader can believe that the characters feel real pain as a result. His character designs are gorgeous to look at, which is appropriate since every character is almost mystified by the pinnacle of male muscular beauty that is Dick Grayson. Looking at the images in the comic, while occasionally veering off into uncomfortable or exploitive territory, is sometimes akin to gazing at classical sculpture. Grayson, and many of his spy allies and adversaries, seem to have stepped off from an ancient Greek or Roman plinth, depicting a hero of myth. Dick Grayson is the reason Michelangelo’s David looks so concerned and self-conscious. So yeah, it’s a nice book to look at.  

In addition to the appeal of the visuals on aesthetic grounds, the stylistic elements incorporated into the book made the art even more dynamic. Any series in which a handsome spy working for a secret international intelligence organization flouts authority and embarks upon globetrotting, globe-saving adventures is going to be compared to James Bond. Grayson embraced this with aplomb and injected Bondian spy archetypes and even 1960s art allusions, including images modeled after James Bond opening titles sequences used to form the very panels telling Grayson’s story. Dick Grayson looks great in a tux, and he looks even better when punching some bad guy in the face while inside a panel shaped liked a woman holding a gun. 

As fun to read as the book always was, there were actual emotions at play in the actions of these characters. *Spoilers Ahead* One of the most heartwarming moments in all of New 52 occurred when Grayson and several of his Bat family members were reunited after months of thinking Grayson dead. Of course, there were tempers flared and accusations over a lack of trust (Grayson could have dropped a hint to, say, Barbara Gordon that the love of her life up until that point was not dead), but the reunion with Damian Wayne, his battle-brother and current Robin might be one of the most adorable pages I have ever read. For Damian, a character that was bred to be a killing machine, to embrace his brother Robin with all the heart and love of a genetic sibling is a testament to how far both characters have come… since they have tried to kill each other a couple times. Just as Batman pulled Dick Grayson out of the abyss was Grayson’s parents died, just as Grayson provides a bright light to lead Bruce Wayne out of his own darkness, Grayson was able to lead the Bat family in guiding Damian to humanity. Together, these characters have made each other complete and the culmination of this story is more satisfying that any action set-piece or explosion. 

Yes, the series does lose its footing when writers Tom King, Tim Seeley, and artist Mikel Janin all leave the book for post-DC Rebirth projects and the purgatory of “before the big event” that permeated the entire DC line made its presence known in the series. However, Grayson does manage to end on a satisfying note and everything leading up to it was an amazing synergy of spy fiction, superheroics, male bonding, and gorgeous visuals. Readers owe it to themselves to pick this series up in collections. It will makes you love Robin, James Bond, and saving the world all over again.

Alex Yanes- “Sometimes the only way to veer off a path of self-destruction is to set out on a road of creation and self-discovery. When I was at my darkest point, it was my art that planted a seed of hope and allowed me to see all the color in the world. As an artist, creating different pieces of art is the one thing I have complete control over and the one thing that lets me give back. My love of art began at a very young age when I discovered I loved to build things and draw cartoons. Because I was the only one of my friends who could draw, it gave me a sense of individuality and purpose. Using reclaimed wood, I even built a treehouse and skate ramps, which taught me how to take something and make it new again. Despite all the warnings from people who told me that I would never make it as an artist because all artist starve, I have made it, and making art for a living is the one thing that I cherish above all others. My hope is that my art and my style convey that lighthearted freedom I encountered as a youth and that my work inspires people to overcome their own adversities.”

Title: Good Vibes

I’m convinced that sometime in the beginning of 2016 we veered off and became the weird alternate reality that characters sometimes travel to in sci fi, where things are just a little bit different and catch the protagonists off guard.

“Bowie AND Prince died? The Cubs won the World Series!? WHO is running for president?!!??!”

you were wondering where all the emotionless kamukura stuff came from a while back so here you go

Ah, I had a feeling this would come up eventually after the release of the official translation. Maybe not to me, specifically, but it was sure to crop up somewhere along the line. So I think I’ll write just one more DR meta and wrap up that sector of my life, because there really isn’t anything left I can say that I haven’t already.

I’ll keep this brief: Junko lied.

Junko is neither truthful nor a liar most of the time; she’s just unreliable. There was, however, one point in the first game wherein she did, in fact, spin a web of lies to get what she wanted.

The same thing is happening here.

We know that Kamukura does have emotions, because he was explicitly stated to have fallen into despair, and what is despair? An emotion. You cannot fall into despair if you are incapable of feeling emotion. He didn’t just join because he was directionless, he wasn’t just doing it for funsies. He, like the rest of SHSL Despair, was in despair.

Furthermore, what, exactly, is happening here? Junko’s endgame is to have the survivors choose to graduate, thus granting her control over the minds and bodies of the comatose kids, turning them into Junklones. Everyone at this point is despairing and unsure of what choice to make. Hinata, especially, is in turmoil, because he knows that if he chooses the shutdown he might not wake up himself, he might wake up as Kamukura, and he doesn’t want that. He's terrified.

And Junko is playing off that.

She’s trying to make waking up as Kamukura sound like the worst possible thing in order to incite enough despair in Hinata for him to choose to graduate and remain himself at the cost of his friends, because she knows that if even one person chooses to graduate, the shutdown can’t happen. You need at least half of the original number of people (16) in order to perform the shutdown, and with the five survivors plus the detective trio, that puts them right at the minimum.

She's lying to get what she wants, just like she lied throughout the fifth chapter in the first game in order to get Kirigiri on the chopping block and out of her way.

Junko will do whatever it takes to get what she wants, and while most of the time being unreliable–if not borderline honest, at times–tends to get that done, sometimes she has to veer off-course to achieve her endgame.

Junko lied.

Canon & the Nature of Shipping

I’ve been having thinky thoughts on the nature of shipping the last few days, and realized that they each have a commonality to them.  So I thought I could maybe connect them into one post.  

Before S3 aired, my focus on the show was entirely on Reichenbach and Moriarty.  It wasn’t until a day or so after HLV, when I started thinking about Molly’s involvement in the narrative, that I actively started shipping particular characters (rather than just enjoying what crossed my path.)  So watching the episodes and having ships “confirmed” to any extent is a new experience for me.  Hell, in any fandom I’ve been active in, I’ve never shipped any characters together, so the whole thing is new.  And the dynamics of all that have been swirling in my brain.

An anon asked me recently if I thought Sherlock continuing his relationship with Irene killed the possibility of Sherlolly happening.  I should have responded with “Are you kidding????  This opens the floodgates!”  Before S4, Sherlock was “The Virgin.”  He had no entanglements, none at all.  Now it’s canon that he’s involved with Irene.  Which confirms things we didn’t have before: he’s interested in romance (to some extent); he’s interested in women (to some extent).  Where Sherlock was completely closed off and unattainable before, now the possibility exists.  That began the moment that moan went off.  Yes, this confirms Adlock, and that could be the “period” to Sherlock’s romance; or this could be a set-up for something to happen with Molly.  They need to show that Sherlock is capable of feeling emotionally attached to someone, and Irene is a logical stepping stone. She shared a powerful attachment to Sherlock but is (currently) unattainable (you know, being dead and all.)  And then you get John’s Speech.  Narratively Sherlock could move quite smoothly over to Molly.  So something else becoming canon is not necessarily the end of your ship.

Which makes me think about things “becoming canon.”  It’s not always a positive thing.

Think about John’s assault on Sherlock in the morgue.  That narrative arc, and that scene in particular, has torpedoed the jlock ship for many people.  They’re finding it hard to reconcile that level of violence with the romance they have in their heads (with good reason.)  That ultimately won’t be a problem for most fans because John will get to have his redemptive arc; it’s already begun.  But a secondary character like Molly doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time, and if something negative happens with her, she doesn’t get as much of a chance to overcome it (think of the slaps in HLV.)  Less screen time also reduces the chances of something happening to/with the character that would be upsetting or contrary.  If the content doesn’t go in the direction you want it, you end up crushed.  So it’s the old “no news is good news” concept.

But it does suck that Molly isn’t in much of these first two episodes.  Not only is it disappointing to not see our favorite character, we’re not given a whole lot of new material with which to work in our fics and art and meta.  However, though I would always rather have more Molly, this is second best.  

Another positive is that we still have a completely open slate from which to work.  Think of how many amazing works we have about Sherlock coming to visit Molly during his two years “dead”: how many would have been abandoned if they turned out to be not canon-compliant?  How many avenues would have not been explored because it wasn’t how it happened on-screen?  You can do anything you want until something becomes canon, and sometimes that’s the more creatively rich field.  (Yes, you can still veer off from canon, but I would imagine it reduces the number of works considerably.)

Almost all of the Sherlolly shippers I follow claim that they don’t need Sherlolly to become canon, and I believe them.  I’m one of them.  I’ve learned that “Canon” doesn’t make the ship float.  The characters do that, by having a connection in some way; and the fans do that, by recognizing that connection and running with it.  That’s all you need to sail your ship.