sometimes this game is easy to colour then other times really really hard

the no bullshit guide to getting your shit together: for the lazy student

Let’s be honest: time management and organization? They’re really hard. Sure, at first you might feel like you’ve gotten the hang of them, that you’re in control of your life. But how often have you fallen off the wagon? Procrastinated on one thing and the next moment, you’re behind in all your classes? I know that sometimes laziness feels like a part of who you are, but honestly, fuck that. Do you really want to give up your success for the disinterest of a moment?

If your answer is no (it better be no, or you really need to get your priorities straight), let’s get to it. 

STEP ONE: BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF

“This class doesn’t even matter.” “I don’t care about my grades.” “I can finish this the day before.” Sound familiar? You might feel great now, but when you’re staring down at your report card later, it’ll feel like you just got punched. 

This is a cliche, but the greatest obstacle to your success is yourself - especially the lies you tell yourself! Sit yourself down and be honest about what you need to improve on. Be as blunt as you can, but for god’s sake, don’t throw yourself a pity party! There’s no use agonizing over what you can’t change. Instead, set realistic, achievable goals, and make a game plan. Struggling with math? Go to extra help. Behind in all your classes? Stay in for a couple nights and actually work. 

STEP TWO: STOP WITH THE FANCY SHIT

Now you know what your goals are, but maybe you want some inspiration, so you log on to tumblr and are instantly bombarded by all these beautiful, well lit shots of the most gorgeous bullet journals, planners, and notes. Impressive, right? Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: they’re all useless! A simple phone planner works just as well, if not better, than a fancy agenda, because you’ll always have it on you, it’s not a hassle to carry around, and you don’t feel obligated to make it look pretty. 

Riddle me this, where are you going to find all this extra motivation to keep prettying up your bullet journal? To write all your notes in perfect, colour coded printing? There aren’t many times in life where taking the easy was out will actually benefit you, so take advantage! Stop wasting your time; get a phone planner and write your notes in your natural goddamn handwriting. 

STEP THREE: CLEAN YOUR ROOM

Yep, your entire room - not just your study space! This one can be put on the back burner for a bit if you’re on a really pressing deadline, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m notoriously messy, and if I don’t watch myself, I’d find myself in dirty-laundry-and-old-notes hell. A little bit of organized chaos is fine, I even encourage it! But try working when your desk is covered in mounds of paper and you have nowhere to put your laptop – it’s just not conducive to success. 

Keeping your entire room clean is a way to stave off stress, frustration, and even embarrassment, because nobody wants to show potential roommates how much of a mess they are. 

STEP FOUR: ACTUALLY WORK

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “actually work? Who does this girl think she is?” I’d probably think the same thing, except I’ve learned the valuable lesson of sucking it the hell up, and you will too. When you get home from work, grab a snack and work. When you have a free period, figure out what’s due and work. Stop reasoning yourself out of work: you’re not going to finish this later, and that will be on the test. There’s really not much to say about this one, because it’s the step that requires the most raw effort, and you’re really only going to find that within yourself. Tell yourself what’s at stake, and realize that, by setting the standard for your mediocrity now, you’re potentially trapping yourself in a cycle that will last for years. 

STEP FIVE: CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK

Maybe you’ve been on top of your shit for a day, a week, or even a month, and that’s really great. But then… you fail. You miss a deadline or you bomb a test. So what do you do now? Do you allow yourself to fall back into your old habits? Fuck no! Everyone fails, even that studyblr with those perfect bullet journal photos and a perpetually clean study space. I’m going to tell you something that’ll sound really strange: you should value your failures, especially if you worked hard to avoid them. What?! Be HAPPY about failing when I actually TRIED? Yeah, you heard me right. If you don’t know how to handle failure, then when you inevitably experience it, your reaction will be much worse. 

Failing hurts, and boy, I know how embarrassing it can be. But learning how to deal with failure, and especially how to keep trying after it happens, is an invaluable lesson. 

STEP SIX: TREAT. YO. SELF.

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you treat yourself after the most basic of tasks, because please. Treat yourself when you know you goddamn well deserve it. Remember that “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” If all you do is study and do your homework, then, pardon my french, your life sucks. If you don’t have friends, play a video game! Eat an entire jumbo chocolate bar! Indulge in whatever the fuck you want, you deserve it. I’m someone that has trouble prioritizing future benefits over immediate gratification, so by allowing myself little pleasures, I save myself from crashing and burning. 

Hope these tips helped, but remember to take them with a grain of salt - you’re you and I’m me, and different things work for different people. Good luck!

Da, da, da, daaaaaaaa…… that’s a little more dramatic than I had intended. I love all these wonderful Sai tutorials that get posted on here but I haven’t seen much attention payed to Sai’s Lineart tool which I can’t get enough of. I’m sure there probably are Lineart Layer tutorials out there - I just haven’t come across one so I’m just adding to the pile. The Lineart tool is so awesome it deserves any number of tutorials anyway. It’s so easy to use, it saves me so much time, and it offers so much control which I really love. Honestly, the tool is so easy to use that this is less of a tutorial and more of just a general encouragement to just whip it out and start playing with it. Yeah. So say we start with a simple line like this swirly-wirly thingy that I drew with the marker tool. Well, the first step would be to create a linework layer by clicking the linework layer button.

There we go. Now, a lineart layer in Sai is different from any other regular layer in Sai and it will bring up a completely new range of tools. I’m gonna briefly go through them but the best way to understand exactly what each does is to just try them out for yourself. There’s no substitute for experience or however the saying goes.

  • Pen - This is your freehand lineart tool and to best honest I don’t really use it that often. That’s just me personally. I have an expensive gaming rig that has all sorts of magic running under the hood but we all know that Sai’s memory management is pretty crappy and I don’t need the lag or crashes that come with this tool when working at a high DPI. You may have a different, entirely pleasant experience with this particular tool but for me, if I’m doing freehand inking, I’d much rather just use the regular Pencil tool.
  • Eraser - Kinda speaks for itself.
  • Weight - This one I do love. Say you’ve drawn a line - or a path as Sai calls it. With this tool you can adjust the thickness of the particular line by simply selecting the brush size and then clicking on the line.
  • Color - Same as Weight. Simply select your desired colour and then select the desired line you’d like to change. Very useful. For the aesthetic.
  • Edit - This one comes with its own subset of mini-tools that I’ll get into in a moment. But this is definitely a useful tool - for me it’s probably the most useful.
  • Pressure - This is the one that adds the character to your linework. I’ll explain further below.
  • SelPen - A selection tool. Pretty standard. Since the Lineart layer works in ‘Anchor’ points (which again, I’ll get in to further down below) I don’t really use this one.
  • SelErs - Selection Erase. Goes hand in hand with the SelPen. I can’t say that I personally use this one  much.
  • Curve & Line - The Curve and the Line tools are the cornerstones of the Linework layer. I’m explain both further down.

The Edit tool, as I mentioned, brings up its own list of sub-tools. And they definitely have their uses. Again, it’s best to play around with them to truly get a grasp of what they do but I’ll just run through them quickly before I get on with the main tutorial.

  • Select - For selecting anchor points of paths. Honestly, I don’t really use this one too much simply because hovering over a point or path and clicking will select it.
  • Move/Add - Now this one I use a lot. Moving an anchor will affect the curvature of your line if you’ve used the ‘Curve’ tool, or you can add curves to a straight line by clicking and dragging in between anchor points.
  • Delete CP/Curve - Kinda speaks for itself. It will delete an achor point in your line. Sometimes this can be useful for making your curves rounder if you’ve added too many points to it.
  • Deform Path - Again, kinda self explanatory. It will warp your line. I don’t really use this one myself but that’s not to say that it couldn’t have its uses.
  • Deform Anchor - See above.
  • Move Path - Instead of moving just an anchor or adjusting the curvature of your line you can move the entire line at once. Can be useful.
  • Duplicate Path - Does exactly what it says - creates a copy of your line. Haven’t found much use for this simply because I don’t particularly like copy/paste stuff in linework. Faults or differences add character.
  • Delete Path - deletes a line you’ve drawn independently of other lines on your linework layer. Can be useful as well.
  • Connect CPs - This is difficult to explain the benefits of. It’s one that should be experimented with. It basically joins lines together. I use it quite often. Just pick this option and drag from one anchor point to another to join them.
  • Pointed/Rounded - See the diagram below for this one. I find it very useful.

As you can see I used the Curve tool to draw a simple curve (left) and then I used the Pointed/Rounded tool to convert the curve into a point (right) by selecting the tool and then clicking on the anchor point at the height of the curve. I find it very useful. Anyway, back to our swirly-wirly thingy.

Because our swirly-wirly thingy is basically one long curve, I simply select the curve tool and start clicking. Starting at the centre point on one end, I click to add anchor points as I trace the shape of the object. Each point adjusts the curvature from the last point. It’s kinda hard to explain verbally or even visually but try it out and you’ll quickly see how it works.

Once I have a line over whatever I’m inking done I like to adjust the weight to suit my preferences. I like to work with thicker lines because they give more room to play around with weight. So to adjust the weight you click on the Weight tool, select a brush size and then click on your line. If only it were that simple in life.

Once I have a good weight selected I move on to the Pressure tool. The pressure tool gives you two options. Pressure for width and pressure for density. Width is like controlling the weight of the line at individual points and density controls the transparency. I don’t usually use the density option. As with traditional inking I prefer to denote depth, shadow, etc. with weight as you can see in the image above. To adjust the pressure, simply select the pressure tool and then select an anchor point. Click, hold and drag to the left to make the line thinner of more transparent and to the right to make the line thicker and more dense. As you drag, a percentage will appear over the anchor point you’ve selected. This can be useful for keeping things consistent.

That’s all well and good for curved lines but what about straight lines? That’s where the line tool comes in. It works exactly the same way except it won’t add a curvature to your anchor pints. Still very useful though. Especially when combined with the Weight and Pressure tools.

Here’s an example of one my drawings. It’s Dark Empress Kitana from Mortal Kombat. The one in red is the pencils which if converted to black would probably make a pretty good linework layer. I’m a firm believer in taking the time to clean up your sketch/pencils layer because it will dictate your entire drawing. The one below in black was done using Sai’s linework layer feature. Although not entirely.

As much as I love Sai’s linework layer, it can look a little too clean which is not great when you’re drawing people. Although, it’s all art so it’s all up to personal preferences and personal style. There’s no wrong way to do it. For me though, I prefer to do skin, facial features, hair, etc. by hand using Sai’s Pencil tool on a normal layer and reserve the Linework Layer for architecture, clothing or any non-organic substances. I inked Kitana’s eyes and eyebrows freehand ( or as freehand as you can be with Sai’s amazing stabilisers) but everything else such as her armour or her fan weapon thingy was done using the Curve and Line tools on the Linework Layer.

I hope this tutorial has been useful. Or if not useful - then at least encouring to try out Sai’s linework layer. It’s such a robust feature that I don’t see get much attention and I can’t even begin to describe how much time it saves me or how much I adore it. If you have any questions (because I’m well aware how unsuited I am to writing tutorials - this is so damn rambly - sorry!) then feel free to drop me an ask here at keithbyrneart.

P.S, sorry about my handwriting in the stills. It’s gotten a lot messier these days.

elmer headcanon post

collab post with the loml @spotsies cuz they have the best fucking headcanons

  • elmer can’t keep a funny thought to himself. he’ll think of a good comeback and say it, no matter how inappropriate the context is. this has gotten him into trouble more than its worth
  • elmer doesn’t believe that anything is microwave unsafe. 
  • nothing.
  • half of the lodging houses spoons can be found in elmer’s room, and the others have given up on getting them back from him
  • he’s amazing at maths! he adores math puns because hes a generally really humorous person so it appeals to two of his interests
  • he helps the other newsies out with their accounting and money saving. 
  • he loves wearing odd socks. whenever he gets more socks he gleefully unmatches them. albert is stressed
  • elmer clicks pens and it annoys the shit out of other newsies
  • he also chews on any pencil you could give him
  • dont give him stationary
  • he eats paper
  • specifically, the papes bc he heard jack say they did one time.
  • him and smalls are like, sitting together tearing bits off and eating them one night and race is like what the fuck are you doing
  • he is distractable and zones out often. he never has much clue whats going on but he takes it in his stride! 
  • if he was an animal he’d be a duck
  • elmer said one morning “ wow this is a headline even i can sell! “ because he loves making a joke out of himself/being the butt of the joke, b/c he finds it hilarious, and it became a meme
  • he’s really interested in politics but super cynical of it and makes fun of it
  • he has a smile and a joke for anyone
  • hes not the best at advice but hes a great listener if he can stay on track
  • he has the beeeeest hugs 
  • when hes bored or stressed he twirls a lock of hair around a finger
  • he loves clinking sounds like the spoons so he carries his little bag of coins and shakes it when hes anxious for the ching ching ching and he taps his feet when hes anxious too, elmer is never still
  • elmer lives for fluffy blankets
  • he can also imitate a wide variety of animals like, scary accurate
  • spends an ungodly amount of time trying to lick his elbow and his nose.  hes SO SURE he can lick his elbow. he cant.  alberts creepy and doublejointed so he can, elmer is very jealous
  • he loves sweet food! hes not picky but its a treat
  • hates coffee, but drinks it with a SHITLOAD of sugar if he needs a wake me up
  • he has weirdly good posture
  • his mood is affected by the weather a lot 
  • he often has really vivid dreams about whatever was in the paper that day. he sleeptalks but never to the point whrre you can understand what hes saying
  • his favourite colour is blue, but he doesnt wear much of it
  • he sometimes puts coloured string around his finger to remember things,  but he can never remember what hes meant to be remembering
  • he tries to wear watches but always ends up taking them off because he hates how they feel on his wrist. nevertheless, whenever anyone asks him the time he says “time to get a watch!”
  • he loves documentaries, especially ones about conspiracy theories. he loves political conspiracy theories (and fights with albert about extraterrestrial ones)
  •  he mumbles times tables under his breath when hes really nervous- the repetitiveness and certainty calms him
  • he has his shoelaces triple tied because he trips over them really easy when they come undone so he does that to stop them 
  • he HATES the texture and taste of carbonated water with a passion
  • and he likes pigeons but sometimes their wings flapping unnerves him
  • his favourite kind of joke is shaggy dog stories. he’s good at getting people really invested in it and then laughs really hard at the end
  • he’s constantly laughing at his own jokes. like, sometimes he has to take a break because he says something so funny and just needs to leave the room and take a breath
  • hes terrible at hopscotch- but AMAZING at hand clapping games. one on one or in a group, hes just so good. the patterns come so easily to him
  • sometimes he waits for his ice cream to melt before eating it
  • he has so much fun making up secret handshakes but he never remembers them
  • in fact he’s generally pretty forgetful. he’s been known to forget vital things and have to have other newsies point it out to him. oftentimes he forgets to give context to stories he tells people and leaves them very confused
  • sometimes he waits for his ice cream to melt before eating it


anonymous asked:

heey! can i request a bullet scenario for daniel where you're sungwoos little sister and daniels been that brother's best friend that you've practically grown up with??

hey anon, thank you for the request and hope you enjoy!! ❤ also i spell sungwoo, ‘seongwoo’/’seongwu’ or i just say ong for simplicity sake so i wasnt sure if you meant ong or sungwoon so i went with ong haha, sorry if you meant sungwoon!! 

Kang Daniel - Brother’s bestfriend!AU

Originally posted by sungwhoon


  • You’ve known Daniel since you started primary school
  • He was two years above you, and became best buds with your older brother Seongwu
  • (So ongniel is science has been going strong since the ripe age of 5)
  • You were rather quiet and shy as a kid so you tried to hang round your brother a lot at school
  • because you and him are super close
  • but you became too dependent on him at school and struggled to make friends in your own year
  • so as much as Seongwu adores you as a younger sister, he wanted you to break away from him and his friends
  • but you got upset and cried because you didn’t want to be separated from them
  • and 7y/o Daniel tried to cheer you up by wiping away your tears and patting you on the head and giving you lollies
  • “please don’t cry y/n, it’s okay, you’ll still get to see me when I come to your house to play”
  • Looking back it was an experience that you are glad you went though, because you ended up meeting kids who are now some of your best friends
  • and you still saw Daniel whenever he came over to play with Seongwu
  • as you grew older you became more resilient and independent
  • but that didn’t stop you from being dragged along to things by Daniel and Ong
  • for example, they forced you to go to every soccer game of theirs to be their no. 1 supporter
  • and they’d make you wear face paint in the school colours and do all the chants
  • they even tried making a dance for you to copy and it consisted of popping and bboying and you were like omfg i caNNOT DO THIS

Keep reading

Library Games (Woozi Hogwarts AU Smut)

Summary: He was just a Slytherin and you were just a Ravenclaw. Except, not at all. He was unlike any Slytherin you’d ever seen before - unlike any Hogwarts had seen before. Your ready mind wanted desperately to figure him out, and it turns out that took unraveling him one (clothing) layer at a time. Smut. 

(AN: I had way too much fun writing this. It’s longer than my dick (8500 words long) and you may need to get some snacks or take a bathroom break before you start it. Harry Potter is my life and always will be and that’s clearly reflected here. The smut is kind of at the wayside but I tried really hard, so… please enjoy it? And of course, @livingthroughtheexperience has pointed out to me the real world logistics of having sex on a leather couch…but this is fanfic. -Tanisha<3) (Also smut warning) (also i’m SCREAMING BC that picture is perfect and i’m so glad i found it)

The idea of putting students in houses in the first place seemed strange to most. Other schools didn’t do it, so why did Hogwarts feel the need? Especially after the devastation of the war - the long, painful year it had taken to rebuild the school, the many lives that had been destroyed because of prejudice and the hunger for power - the house system seemed almost ludicrous, null in void. But the new Head Mistress, Minerva McGonagall insisted that the tradition was one of the core values that school was founded on and needed to be carried on if the students were to have a ‘proper learning experience’.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I have chronic fatigue as well. Do you have any tips on trying to manage it? I've done all the bs lifestyle changes, blah blah blah. But I would love to hear from someone who ACTUALLY has chronic fatigue. Any advice?

Advice for CFS sufferers from a CFS sufferer.

First things first I want to make it perfectly clear that everyone with CFS/ME is different and because of this things that work for me might not work for you or others. However, I’m going to give some advice based on things I do or things I wish I did.

Food and Drink

It is important to make sure you continue to eat and drink even when you are on your worst days. You may not feel a lot better when you’ve eaten but believe me you will feel worse if you do not eat. Food is important and so is hydration.

Microwave meals are a lifesaver. They may not be the most nutritious thing and they may not always be the nicest but it is always better to eat something than nothing. Microwave meals take next to no effort. Pull it out the freezer, pierce some plastic and away you go. And you can get such a variety of things. Please do not neglect your body.

If you do want to cook, be productive on your better days. Cook up things that you can freeze and come to easily. Things like tortilla based foods, pasta based meals, even rice can be cooked and frozen and recooked. This was pretty much what I lived on when I was at uni the first time because it saved so much energy which I rarely had at dinner time.

If you are in bed and struggling to get out keep a large drink by your bed. I have a cinema special edition cup that I got at a midnight screening once. It holds a litre and has a really long straw so I don’t have to worry about holding the heavy cup or even sitting up properly if you don’t want to or can’t. If you’re out and about carry a drink with you.

Coffee is useful but don’t rely on it too much. Coffee may give you an energy boost but most people even without a chronic illness feel a come down from coffee, imagine that come down with the addition of always being fatigued. I am guilty so much of over using coffee and it’s not good when the come down happens.

Clothes

It can be hard if you’re used to wearing clothes with a lot of buttons and zips and heals or what have you because dressing can be difficult and can take a lot of energy that you might not be able to spare. For me, hoodies, t-shirts and jogging bottoms are a must. They are easy to get in and out of and comfortable whether you are out and about or lounging inside.

The other thing is pyjamas. With CFS you’ll probably spend more time in your pyjamas that you did before you had CFS. Invest in cute pyjamas. Ones with your fandoms on or cute animals or whatever it is you’re into. If you’re in Britain Primark is great for cute pjs, I love them because they’re so cheap. Continuing the pj theme, you need to have pjs for warm and cold weather or warm and cold you. Sometimes it’s like 25oc outside and you will be freezing, sometimes it’s -5 and you’ll be boiling, so bear in mind that the temperature outside doesn’t necessarily correlate to the temperature of you. Fluffy socks are great too.

Personal Care.

If you have a bath and a shower at home, find out which you find easiest and do that. I personally find showering easier because while standing for long periods is difficult, I find that baths cause me to go lightheaded and feel really off. It is okay to go a few extra days without bathing/showering than you normally would. You may feel kinda off because of it but it’s not the end of the world and resting up is definitely more important than washing your hair.

On the subject of washing your hair, invest in dry shampoo. I’ve not used it but I’ve heard a lot of other spoonies talking about it and how useful it can be. If you’re struggling to bathe or shower but you want to do something, things like strip washing while sat on the toilet seat can be really helpful as well.

Mobility and Life Aids.

This is a really big one: Do not be afraid to use aids. Do not be afraid or ashamed to use anything that might help you. Whether this is a walking stick, a wheelchair or anything else, you are allowed to use it. You are disabled enough, you are ill enough. I’ve known people with chronic illnesses who have been afraid to get mobility aids because they are young, because people are more ill than you or whatever reason. It’s bullshit, okay. I don’t care if people think you don’t need it. If you feel like you need it and it will help you then you have every right to get it.

I don’t use a great amount of mobility aids but I have recently brought a walking stick and it has honestly made the world of difference for me. It’s lengthened how long I can walk for, how long I can be upright, how I can be out. I put off getting it for a long time for the reason above and it’s stupid because it helps. If you can be helped by getting one, do so.

This goes for everything. This does for anything that can help you. Things that are generally advertised towards older people are not solely for them. You are never too young for an illness, you are never too young to need something.

Entertainment

This is a bit of a lighter note but when you’re in a place where you can’t go out or you can’t go out for very long, life can get really really boring. If you don’t have the energy to do a lot you need to find things that you can do will you are stuck at home. I have a few things to recommend but there really whatever you can manage is great

1.       Netflix. TV and DVDs are great but Netflix is a life saver for me. There is a lot more on there, it’s very easy to find something new to watch whatever mood you are in.

2.       Audiobooks. Getting a subscription to Audible was a wonderful decision for me. I love reading so much but I don’t always have the energy to follow the words or even hold a book, so having an audiobook means I can still get the entertainment of books without having to put so much of the effort into it.

3.       Crafts. If you’re able to do things with your arms without getting achy, I definitely recommend some sort of craft. I make things out of felt, but drawing, sewing, decoupage, writing, colouring books, anything really to keep your brain stimulated.

4.       Phone Games. You have next to no energy but you’re too awake to actually sleep, phone games are wonderful. They take little energy and little concentration.

5.       The Internet. I wish I had known how great the internet is for spoonies when I was first diagnosed. God, it is wonderful.

Like I said, there are more, there are so many more. These are just a few I use.

Medication and the Medical Profession

Every spoonie to ever spoon knows that the medical profession is an endless cause of frustration. You’ll regularly go to your doctors and be told that you just need to pace yourself or that it’s mental health related or this or that and what they are really saying underneath all of this is ‘we know jack shit about this illness’. It is important to find a doctor who believes you, unfortunately there are still a large number of medical professionals who don’t believe in CFS and it fucking sucks. Find a doctor who believes you, who listens to you and who at least tries to help even when there isn’t anything they can do. You have every right to change doctors if the one you had is more harming than helping. Remember that.

Get doctors to check for other things. Don’t allow them to put everything down to the CFS. A lot of the time it will be. A lot of the time you will find that there is not logical explanation and you’re going to have to get used to that. But sometimes there will be other things as well. I was anaemic while also having CFS and iron tablets made the world of difference to me. I was on iron tablets for two years and my iron has finally normalised.

If you suffer from brain fog, before going to the doctors make a note of what you wanted to talk about. It can be in depth or it can literally just be bullet points to trigger your memory when you get there. If you are worried you’re going to forget what the doctor has said to you, ask them to write some things down for you. They should be willing to do so.

If you have medication, do whatever it takes to remember to actually take it when you’re supposed to. I use a pill organiser so I know whether or not I have taken them each night. I find I have to check twice that I have filled it properly, brain fog can honestly be a problem with this. But pill organisers are definitely useful. Alarms are another thing that is useful. If you have to take something the same time each day set an alarm that says ‘tablets’ or something like that so you remember it.

Painkillers are your friend. See if you can get them on a prescription because you will probably end up taking them regularly. You will often find that they don’t help or only scratch the survive of the pain, but believe me it is better than nothing at all.

I hugely recommend keeping certain things in your house. I have a drawer of my bedside cabinet that has my prescriptions and other related things in it. Keep in painkillers, heat pads, cool pads, a first aid kit, lip balm, and probably some other things that I can’t think of right now.

Emotions

Having an illness like CFS messes with your mentally as well as physically. This is partly because of the effects of the actual symptoms and partly because of other people’s reaction to you. People suck when it comes to illnesses and disabilities. Being diagnosed with CFS is a life sentence that often comes along with losing friends and family members, it often means having to stop studying or stop working. It is a complete shape up of your life. It’s the knowledge that this may or may not get better and if it gets better again it may just as tell get worse again.

Whatever you are feeling is okay. You are allowed to be angry, you are allowed to sad, you’re allowed to be frustrated. There is no correct way to feel about your illness or the way you are being treated because of it. You are not doing anything wrong if you’re so angry you just want to scream at everyone. You are not doing anything wrong if you just want to cry and cry. People will spout a load of shit about positive thinking but it is unhealthy to be positive all the time and if you are upset or angry or whatever you are allowed to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be feeling that way.

Out and About

You are likely to miscalculate the number of spoons you have. This can go either way but you are very much more likely to overestimate. Don’t let your illness stop you from doing things if you feel like you can do them. But on the flip side don’t do things when you are too ill because you feel like you should be. Sometimes you will go out thinking you can deal with a day of action and you after a couple of hours you will find that you actually you really don’t. It is hard, almost impossible to properly calculate spoons.

1.     Take your Mobility Aids. There is a change you won’t need it but it is 100% better to carry it with you and not need it than to need it and not have it with you.

2.       Rest along the way if you need to. Whether this is leaning against a shop window because holy hell suddenly the world is spinning to fast, whether it’s stopping by a café because getting a drink and/or a snack will give you an excuse to sit down for, well, as long as you need really, or whatever it is but listen to your body and give it the rests it needs.

3.     If you need to leave something early do so. Is it frustrating? Does it make you feel anti-social and boring? Yes and yes. But if you cannot manage what you have organised even if you are part way through it and you need to leave do so.

4.     Have a back-up plan for getting home. Now this is something I don’t do and really wish I did. Say one of your friends is the designated driver and you are on a day out and suddenly you don’t have the energy to go on but you also don’t want to ruin the rest of your friends’ day. Have another way to get home: someone who can pick you up, public transport, whatever but have a way.

Other People

People can suck. We all know this anyone but having an illness like CFS you learn a whole new way in which people suck. And you learn, sometimes, that it’s not stranger that suck all the time, sometimes it’s your closest friends. I’m very lucky now because I have friends who do their utmost to understand and help in any way that they can but I haven’t always been so lucky. I was thirteen when I was diagnosed and I was off school was seven weeks before any of my friends got in contact with me. People don’t always bother with people who aren’t around anymore and it’s really sucky but it happens. It hurts, it hurts a lot, but I promise you there are better people out there. You will find people who care about you whether you are healthy or ill or whatever else.

Family and friends won’t always believe you. People will make comments about how you are exaggerating, how you are lazy, how you need to just push through. They will tell you’re making their life difficult because of your illness, etc, etc. There is no end to abled-peoples insensitive comments. I’m sorry but the only thing you can really do here is learn to let it go over your head. It will take time but eventually you’ll learn that you are the one in your body, you are the one who know what its really like and that you are not a burden, you are not a problem, you’re just a person who is ill.

Everyone and their aunt has a ‘cure’ for you. Everyone knows someone who suffered from it and if you just ‘try yoga’, ‘cut out gluten’, ‘change your diet’ you will be better again. It’s bullshit. It is a chronic illness and chronic illnesses mean there is not a cure. People are insensitive as I have said. Ignore them the best you can and focus on the things that you know to help or hinder. Once again, you are the one in your body after all.

Self-Care.

This is probably the most important part of all of this and it encompasses pretty much all of the headings. Looking after yourself is the most important thing. You need to put yourself first, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can for your health, for your well-being. If this means sometimes you just put on clean pjs and go back to bed, then you do that. If this means laying in a bath until the water is almost cold, do it. If it means lying on the sofa with a blanket and a teddy and a cup of tea do it. If it means pushing yourself a bit too much one day and dealing with the consequences for a week then do it. You deserve to put yourself first!

There is probably a lot more I could say but I think this is long enough already. I really hope this helps lovely and that it wasn’t too intense to read. If you want me to talk about any specific subject either in more detail or something that I haven’t touched on at all please feel free to message me again. Hope you’re having a less than terrible day. Love and spoons. xxx

ignitesthestars  asked:

your choice of starblaster crew, how many cycles of dying in front of each other does it take to become numb?

The first thing most people see when they look at Magnus is all his outside stuff: big dude, kinda scary looking maybe, probably would fuck you up if he wanted to.

Magnus usually tries extra hard to get you to forget all that, mostly by crying a lot, and adopting all the small woodland creatures he can, until Taako laughs himself silly when the governing council or whatever of the latest plane asks if they could chat maybe without your bodyguard glowering at us from the corner?

Here’s the thing though: it is really hard sometimes, caring that is.

It’s something around the fiftieth time they’ve done this whole song and dance (he hadn’t started counting, not yet), and he and Lucretia are out in the woods, tracking down some rare birds she wanted to get a record of in her journals. It’s just them—Davenport’s trying to fix the ship so they can take off a little faster this time, Taako and Lup have been spending the last few cycles playing some sort of game of bad cooking chicken (no pun intended) and are holed up in a kitchen flinging truly horrendous dishes at each other, Barry’s doing some nerd shit Magnus doesn’t really want to try and understand, and Merle’s off trying to talk to John—so, hey, what the heck else is there to do but beat around some bushes and see some birds?

It isn’t supposed to be a hard cycle. They had the Light already. The trees looked a bit funny, maybe, coming here, bark and branches and leaves all in various shades of reddish orange, but Lucretia said it was probably mostly aesthetic. Everything was going fine.

Neither of them had expected the fifty foot wall of flames that would shoot up around the clearing they stepped into. Magnus hadn’t expected Lucretia to be caught in the blaze.

He stands, still holding onto the journal she’d given to him for safekeeper earlier on, blinking.

Lucretia’s gone.

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#236 - For emmernems & anonymous x2

Filling the prompts “…the idea of Van and his gf/wife/etc etc not being able to have kids. Like they’re trying for a baby but it’s just not happening and BAM! TESTTUBE BABY 2.0! They try IVF and the miracle of baby McCann is born, a quite literal mini Van.” from @emmernems and “it’s modern day and reader casually sings lyrics to Van from his songs that relate to their situation.”  and “reader is super into health and fitness and is a total gym bunny?”

Note: Shout out to @simpaticoswift - the most beautiful test tube baby ever.


Each store bought pregnancy test was discarded in the public trash can on the corner of your street. There was no use in both you and Van having constantly shattered hearts. The stupid plastic sticks all said the same thing, like a tragic groundhog day. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe dozens of them were wrong. Maybe every brand you had purchased over the course of a whole year and a bit were dead wrong.

In the beginning, neither of you were worried. But fear set in in you first, then Van. He’d watch you from the other side of the room pretending you really did care about the positioning of throw pillows and that all the jars in the fridge faced forward. He’d bite his nails and huff to himself, before escaping the sad to have a smoke alone outside. 

Nobody wanted to be the one to bring it up, make it real. Van was a true optimist and you knew he’d just keep hoping and trying before he was willing to admit that his family dream wasn’t going to pan out like all his others. You were simply terrified.

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anonymous asked:

How about College AU with the RFA and Minor Trio? Like what their major would be, roommate, stuff like that

I don’t know much about collage majors, so I’m sorry if you were looking for specifics. Also I wasn’t sure if you wanted a MC to be included or not, but I included them anyway. The RFA isn’t running by the way. 

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Overcome (’95 Line Hogwarts AU Foursome Smut) (Part 3/?)

Summary: The after math of crazy night in the Hufflepuff common room has Jeonghan looking back on what (seemed) to be some much simpler times in his life. You, however, are trying to keep your head out of all the nonsense. But some amazing or terrible advice from a good friend and Seungcheol dangling his terribly amazing self in front of you makes things go downhill very, very quickly. Hogwarts AU. (Light) Smut.

(A/N: first of all, everyone on this blog is so sweet it’s giving me a toothache. your support, and your love and caring is probably the only motivation i had to really finish this. i love writing this and i love how it turned out, but it was so long and strenuous, you guys really helped me to the finish line. the whole ‘making out with your friend and it’s not gay’ thing is mildly inspired by Glee, cause yeah, i used to watch that back in my day, and yeah Britney and Santana was my shit. a couple of warnings: gayness, (despite the chapter title) mild gay sex, boy on boy kissing, a lot of fluff, very, very mild daddy kink, a little bit of angst. so if you’re not comfortable with any of that, please don’t read. also, whooo it finally has a title. the title is inspired by the Nu'est song because i love that song so so much, and that song is about magic and shit, but it’s also about love. and i just love the word overcome as a title because i feel like they all overcome so much to be with each other in the story. okay, enough crap, on with the reading. -Tanisha<3)  

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 

Part 3: Obliviate 

It was coming up on the second full week since the incident in the Hufflepuff common room, and Jeonghan was a mess. A nervous wreck, that is to say. Being left on the couch with his own cum in his pants and yours still wet on his fingers had been like a dream, but what came after the both of you did made it more like a nightmare. When people say you’re not supposed to fuck your friends, this is exactly what they mean.

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Design Trivia from The World of PL! (On Flora, Eyes and Focus)

Phew. Here we are - the most ‘controversial’ female PL character, aside from Emmy. But we’re not here to discuss Flora’s age. Let’s talk about her design. 

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nonsensephrase  asked:

I have a lot of trouble getting into games like Pillars and Baldur's Gate, but I realllllly want to give them a fair shot. What's your favorite build for the PC in PoE/Do you have any tips for a fun playthrough?

I had a lot of trouble getting in to the isometric CRPGs too, actually :p (and I STILL can’t stick with Planescape Torment after all this time). I do have a few quick thoughts before I get on my bus, tho:

- Mess with ALL the game settings, and especially the difficulty, until you find what you like. Things like when you can access your stash, how many camping sets you can carry, how many hints you get in the dialogue trees, and when the game will auto-pause for combat can change the flow and immersion of the game substantially. (I even play on colourblind mode just because i like the UI colours better :p )

- learn to love and repeatedly smash these 3 keys: the quicksave key, the space bar to pause during combat (you might end up doing that every few seconds in hard fights - these games are far more about strategy than speed) and TAB. Press tab always. Tab highlights interactable objects, so it’ll light up chests and doors and save a lot of frustration \o/

-Pillars in particular is great because you can really experiment with combat. Any class can use any kind of weapon effectively (im serious. Greatsword rogue is viable. So is priest with Gun). On lower difficulties (I’d say normal and below) even your stats are very negotiable. I would only suggest boosting either perception or intelligence quite high (16-18) to open some good conversation options (don’t listen to the game when it says resolve is your conversation stat. There are some options at 14 resolve that are nice, otherwise perception and/or intelligence are better. The game lies!!! :o ). It’s very easy to boost your base stats in easier difficulties, too - lots of equipment does that :)

- on that class building note, I personally really like playing characters with magic (Druid, priest, chanter, and cipher are all classes I’ve mained and all are fun) because it keeps combat interesting and you can do different things in every situation \o/ plus you get a good tank boy very early on who will protect u and hit things for u :)

- unlike BG2 or other isometric games where it is VERY possible to fail, it’s quite hard to make Pillars unwinnable. What that means is you can really, really roleplay without fear. If you wanna know how to enjoy Pillars best, I would recommend building a character, really getting to know them, and playing THEIR story. Go full D&D!! :D I loved Pillars twice as much once I really, really got to know my Watchers and even made a few bad-but-in-character choices for them.

-hoard things. You have so much space in your stash. Hoard shitty weapons. Sell them all. Become trillionaire.

- get ur Mercers, Aloth + Eder, for they are good boys. Also get Sagani, who is Mom, and Kana, who is a cinnamon roll. Those are my fav party members, but honestly all of them are fun :p unfortunately the only priest (the best healer by far) is a diiiiick, but he’s also pretty interesting, so enjoy your party bros and talk to them a bunch c: (it’s sometimes easy to miss, but if you look at the companions’ portraits on the bottom left after important events in game, they might have little balloon icons indicating they want to talk to u. Sometimes they’ll also make a comment to hint that they wanna talk)

That’s all I’ve got! Time for brekkist - I hope you enjoy Pillars!!

Fred Weasley X Reader – Joke’s on You

Description – You’re the sole producer of the twins’ products in school, this leads to some feelings for one of the red-headed miscreants.

A/N – I’ve had this one in my head for ages so I finally bloody wrote it. Also, since we have the golden trio I figure that the twins plus the reader makes the impish trio.

Warnings – None.

Rating – T


Detention in first year. It was where you first met the troublesome twins, Fred and George Weasley. You were in for breaking an enchanted vase which Peeves the poltergeist was actually responsible for. The twins were in for setting off an entire bag’s worth of dung bombs. After that long detention polishing the school’s broomsticks, the three of you had become close friends and you were often included in the twins’ antics and misdeeds.

During fifth year when the twins started their designs for various practical jokes you accidentally found the blueprints that they had hidden from prying eyes. Fred and George discovered you pouring over the plans whilst muttering comments on practicality as well as design and functionality. From there on Fred and George watched you closely until they learned that you had a talent for potions, charms, and enchantments, something they didn’t know before because the three of you didn’t have classes together due to your different timetables; it was then that you became the sole producer of prototypes for what would later be known as Weasley’s Wizard Wares.

One day, after a particularly nasty lesson with Professor Snape you headed straight to the secret chamber the twins had discovered, where you did most of your work. It was a bland square room lit by torches, there were no windows or doors, the only entrance was through a wall which opened by tapping a certain brick on it. The only items in the room were a bubbling cauldron in the centre, a table for potion ingredients and schematics, and three different coloured beanbags so the three of you didn’t have to sit on the cold flagstones.

While you awaited your next lesson, you tested your fifth attempt at a potion that would allow people to walk on walls and ceilings; the other four attempts had led to a severely bloody nose from the blood rush to the head, you were now trying to change the person’s gravitational pull to fix that.

The wall to your left opened, allowing the twins’ entry, “Hey (Y/N),” they greeted in unison.

“Chaps,” you nodded, adding powdered mandrake root to the gloopy pink liquid in front of you.

“We heard Snape from upstairs,” Fred commented.

“Yep, sounds like he was giving you lot a real earful,” George concluded.

“Oh yeah,” you agreed, “He suspects that someone’s stealing from his private potions stores. I mean, I am but that’s not the point, the man’s completely paranoid.”

“Agreed, still, as long as our darling little brother and his friends are around-“ “-he shouldn’t pay too much attention to us,” they reasoned.

“True, Snape really does have it out for Harry, poor sod.”

“Anyway, we don’t have long here-“ “-so how’s the potion going?”

They leaned over the cauldron with a grimace.

“Alright so far. I was thinking that once it’s perfected we should sell them as sweets, hard boiled ones would be more appetizing but soft ones would be more practical if someone needs to use this quickly; besides, it’s way too thick to drink. I’ve masked the taste with strawberry, I’m working on other flavours but no citrus because citrus seems to make it explode for some reason. As for now, I’m working on the whole nose bleed issue.”

“What about the duration?” George asked, referring to the fact that the potions’ timing seemed to be random, sometimes you would only get to the ceiling and fall whereas other times you would be stuck for an hour or so; you had received a few nasty injuries from the falls you’d had, including a cracked rib and a concussion that Madam Pomfrey thankfully didn’t question.

“Solved. Each draught now provides 30 minutes of ceiling time which can be stopped with an antidote I’ve figured out, it’s the clear potion in the blue vial on the table there if you want to test it later.”

“Brilliant,” Fred and George marvelled, with a familiar glint in their eyes.

After a few more questions Fred began, “Sorry to love you and leave you (Y/N) but-”

“-We have transfiguration followed by potions,” George finished.

“Not to worry though, we’ll get Snape off your back-” “-Somehow.”

“Alright my lads. Go. Raise hell,” you waved them away.

“And to think,” they laughed, “Our mother thinks you’re a good influence.”

Fred moved to the table, making a few last-minute adjustments to the plans. George took the opportunity to move close to you and whisper, “Is it time yet?”

You flushed red, once again he was trying to push you into asking out Fred who you had a long-time crush on. You shook your head frantically, George rolled his eyes and joined Fred at the wall just in time for it to open.


George had been thinking through his plan to get you and Fred together all afternoon. He knew that you wouldn’t make the first move and although Fred usually would he simply didn’t know he had a crush on you; Fred had convinced himself that his feelings towards you were of amiable descent but George saw the way he would glance at you when he thought you weren’t looking.

George’s first plan had been to impersonate Fred, then set up a secret meeting by the lake. He knew however, that you could tell them apart most of the time. The second plan was a weak love potion that would edge the two of you to confess your feelings and then wear off but after he’d seen the effects in the common room on one of the girls he decided to steer clear of it.

Finally, George came up with the perfect plan which he put into plan on the evening during a game of exploding snap in the Gryffindor common room; it was such a simple plan that he briefly wondered why he hadn’t thought of it sooner.

“(Y/N) is really great with those potions, don’t you think?” George began cunningly.

“Yeah, thank God (s)he actually pays attention in class,” Fred agreed, upon playing his next card.

George hummed, then spoke in a hushed tone, “You know who else thinks (s)he’s great? Jay Fletchley.”

“What do you mean? Did (s)he help him again or something?”

Jay Fletchley was a particularly unremarkable lad who was often bullied by the other students; in such cases, you always came to his aid, ending the bullying with your mere presence.

“Not really but I did hear that he’s going to ask (Y/N) out.”

The desired effect was instantaneous, Fred pushed himself up with a huffy, “WHAT?! (S)he would never date someone as dull and boring as that- that-”

“Where are you going?” George asked, hiding a smile as Fred left for the portrait hole; his jerky strides completely opposed his usual calm demeanour.

“To find (Y/N).”

George ran into Harry’s dormitory, borrowing the Marauder’s Map, all the while thinking how easy it had been to fool his brother.


You were just leaving the library after studying anti-gravity enchantments on brooms when you were faced with a furious Fred Weasley; the tips of his ears had turned red, much like his father’s did when embarrassed.

It was highly unusual to see one twin without the other, you worried about whether they’d gotten into an argument so you threw out a cautious, “Hi Fred, are you alright?”

Fred didn’t know how you could act so normal right now, but then again he didn’t know why he was so angry, surely you would have found a date eventually so why should it matter now? He couldn’t think past the point of Jay’s hands crawling over you, it left him demanding his next question in an unpleasant growl, “Did Jay Fletchley ask you out?”

“What?” you were abashed by the unusual question, “Why-”

“Did you say yes?”

“Fred, I really have no idea what you’re banging on about.”

“So… he hasn’t asked you out?” Fred swallowed thickly, suddenly nervous at how to proceed.

“No and there has been no indication that he’s going to either. Fred, Jay is aromantic, he told me so last year when some idiots were bullying him. What’s brought this on anyway? Why’re you acting so weird?”

“I um…” Fred paused for a moment while everything clicked into place, he tried desperately to look casual and failing when he croaked, “Gooutwithme.”

“What?” your brow creased.

Fred forced himself to take a calming breath, “(Y/N), I hadn’t really thought about this too much until tonight but you’re amazing, please will you go out with me.”

The two of you stood in silence while you pondered what to say. Fred wished he could have made an eloquent speech about how much you meant to him rather than fumbling awkwardly like he had. You didn’t need to think about your answer, you knew quite clearly how you felt, and yet, you couldn’t find the right words with which to communicate it. Instead of the words you longed for you slipped your hand into Fred’s which was warm and clammy, then you kissed his cheek, an act that made him turn as red as his hair.

“Brilliant,” he muttered.

“Brilliant,” you agreed.

Asa Butterfield’s interview for “Boys by Girls”

Do you cry?

Yes, when the time calls for it, like when I die in a vídeo game. No, that was a joke, I want to clarify that, haha. I don’t know what makes me cry, sad shit. I’d say I’m definitely in touch with my emotions and quite emotionally connected, but I think that growing up as a guy you tend to supress certain emotions for whatever reason. Whether it is to impress people or to show that you’re a tough guy, which a lot of people put on. Although I do cry a lot less than I used too, I used to be such a wimp when I was a kid. Like when you lose your favourite lego brick, that’s devastating. That will bring tears to your eyes.

Who is Asa?

I think that’s na interesting question, because I had quite a diferente upbringing. I’ve had to be more mature and have proper conversations with adults since I was thirteen years old. There is definitely that parto f me which is confident and good at talking to people. There is also a part of me, that is quite a quiet person. I’m very content in not saying much and just enjoying whatever situation I’m in; playing vídeo games and hanging out with my mates, which are two very opposing sides. The first impression I give people is that I am quite talkative and a sort of funny guy, but in reality I’m totally not. I”m a lot more boring, placid and easy going. I’m very contente going with the flow and chillaxing.

You have played such a variety of roles; from Ender Wiggin leading the fight against na alien racen in “Ender’s Game”, angsty teenager in “Tem Thousand Saints” and a math progidy in “X+Y”. You seem to make good choices.

Whenver I’m picking a role I look for characters that are going to be challenging or diferente to what I have done before, otherwise you’re not really pushing youself as an actor. For “Ender’s Game”, conveying his understanding of the situation they were in, being so ahead of his peers, was a challenge. I loved working with Gavin Hood, the diretor, to figure out the best way to represent that. Then “X+Y” was probably the most challenging role. Firstly it was a person who was on the autistic spectrum, which was something I didn’t know much about before the film, so it was na educational experience for me. Everyone on the spectrum are slightly diferente, so I had to figure out how to portray my character, Nathan- how he would speak and observe the world. For him it was all about mathematical patterns and colour. It was quite demanding physically, because I had to totally change myself in the way I walked. When you take on a role, even if it is subtle change you adopt, you have to start stripping back all the things you would naturally do. You need to get rid of all that, so it’s just a blank slate in which you can start to create this new character and the way he speaks and Works. It was a really interesting experience.

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Monster High Concept:

So, there’s a myth that often runs alongside the Medusa mythology, that her gaze can turn you to stone… unless she bites you, in whichcase her venom is a temporary preventative.

So maybe, Deuce’s venom glands finally come in… and maybe he wants to see if he can make this work like his Mumster does; tries it out on Cleo first, then takes off his glasses with incredible trepidation.

And for the first time in their entire relationship, Cleo can gaze directly into his eyes, without turning into a temporary monument. She doesn’t say anything; that GREEN is just… it’s like-… they’re so-… she can’t think of a comparison, they’re just mesmerising. 

For a moment, Deuce thinks he might have just accidentally turned his ghoulfiend into a non-stone statue by mistake… but then she blinks, and smiles.

“I have the perfect outfit to go with those eyes…” Cleo says, and Deuce knows everything is fine. At least, until she frowns and his heart drops in concern. She puts a considering finger to her lips as the Princess of Ancient Egypt muses, “Of corpse, if you wanted to fang out at school or with our fiends like this, then…”

The sentence trails off, and Deuce blinks in realisation.

Oh.

Oh… this was going to take a lot of hexplaining.

-

And so it did.

But his close ghoul, boo and non-bitenary fiends were pretty cool with it; the most common point of negotiation was when and where they tested it out.

He was pretty certain the creatures thought something was up (the Fa-Cruelty were willing to turn a blind eye to many things, but they weren’t oblivious), but none really stopped them or intervened in ‘whatever crazy thing that one group of students had going on this week’. They were used to shit going don in their fiendship group, and wanted no part of it… as long as the school wasn’t directly in danger.

Mainly it was a case of trial and error; all the different monster types had different tolerances, and that meant he had to top it up at different times (although, the other alternative was spending one day a month biting people, so perhaps it was easier on his jaw this way -Deuce couldn’t wait until the snakes got their venom sacks, so they could take some of the responsibility). 

It meant a lot of people got stoned at random intervals in the first term of shieldless-Deuce. One minute they were talking, and the next… he had to wait a few hours/days to apologise. 

Ghoulia had literally made him a schedule for it. That ghoul was just the best, sometimes. 

Cleo loved flaunting him about without his glasses; and she doubly-enjoyed the part wherein anyone not in their (from her perspective, ‘hand-picked’) group of friends, immediately turned to stone as they strode by. While a handful of students waved back or greeted them, unafraid to look a Gorgon undead-in-the-eyes, for the first time in his unlife.

-

Para-naturally, there were some queries… as to why certain students were coming home with… what several misguided parents had termed ‘hickeys’ at the juncture of neck and shoulder. A spot Ghoulia had calculated as most effective, with least ongoing impairment of the area (for example, biting someone on the hand meant they had a wound that would pull everytime they moved, wrote, or lifted something). But Cleo was a persuasive talker; and got most of them out of epic groundings.

Sure, there were a few mix-ups…

The wrong day. Maybe you were busy and circled the wrong date in your diary pre-Ghoulia’s-schedule… things happen.

Not realising the hybrids needed sightly more than normal monsters was awkward.

Venom wearing off a day too early. Testing phases were always difficult for everybody.

Side-effects from the initial bite weren’t great… a few caught monster colds while their immune systems tried to work out if it was fiend or foe.

Discovering that if there’s two people in a body, you have to bite both of them… but preferably not at the same time… or a DJ will appear as you’re biting their alter ego (bc they forgot about the musical timer on their icoffin set to go off before music), and assume something entirely more kinky is happening… (much to Cleo’s eternal amusement). Deuce just KNEW Holt was going to send him something ridiculous for next Valentine’s Day… he would never let this go. 

The importance of finding a toothpaste that works for you. Seriously, showering aside, not everyone tastes great… it took DAYS to get the taste of certain monsters out of his mouth… 

Working out who couldn’t be immunised ‘traditionally’, like Frankie. 
Unfortunately, she couldn’t get wet, and her ‘circulatory system’ amounted to a very complex bioelectric system woven throughout her patchwork body. Poison couldn’t be injected; but she could certainly benefit from a venom-infused poisonberry milkshake. She told Deuce it tasted somewhere between sweet-and-sour, like poisonberries, and she liked it. He really wasn’t sure where to go with that… but thanked her anyway.

That sometimes monsters have their own poisons, and it makes you unwell in exchange. So you both end up with colds, during exam week. Venus kept trying to apologise, and so did Deuce; but it basically ended up that the pair sat in sick bay passing each other tissues most of the day until their parents could come and get them.

If you try to help out a werewolf, werekat or something else with fur… have dental floss in your locker. Or it wasn’t ever coming out. And shedding season was the worst.

Sometimes waiting for them to come to you and ask is easier, and less awkweird than trying to explain why you want to basically bite/poison someone.

You can’t get complacent when it comes to casketball… sure, 95% of your teammates are immune, but if you don’t put on your goggles… there won’t BE a game. An easy win, but not an ethical one. 

- - - 

Still, it works out well. 

And there’s something about not having to hide all the time; not having to be hyperaware of whether or not you’re wearing something over your eyes. Not having that momentary jolt in your chest as you startle and think, “Oh no, am I wearing glasses?” because you’ve grown so accustomed to having them on, they don’t feel like a separate part of you anymore. 

For the most part, it’s gone. That anxiety.

Sure, it’s not an entirely flawless system. The effect is temporary for now; and things do go wrong on occasion… but, in a way it kind of is perfect.

The constant stress of wearing protective goggles is gone.

He can relax around fiends, even fall asleep and not be concerned about waking up and accidentally blasting someone because his glasses fell off…

Cleo can look him in the eyes, and whisper how they remind her of rare gemstones ancient royalty had had sent to her during the De Nile’s reign, of calm oceans she sailed on in centuries past, of the strange green of this country… when all she had grown up seeing was endless desert and oppulent temples. Of how they were her new favourite colour, and she would never tire of it… 

And, the way he can look at the world around him, and the monsters in it whom he cared for, as they really were. No darkened tint, no distorted image… just things as they were meant to be. It was so odd, and comforting all at once. 

Not wearing his glasses made him feel open; like he had nothing to hide from those around him… and it was amazing.

Even if there was that one occasion where Clair and Chad from New Salem High (the Normie school across the way) had walked in, caught him (back-turned thankfully) topping up Clad’s immunity for the month (Draculaura waiting patiently for her turn), and totally got the wrong impression.
[The impression he got from the laughing-so-hard-he-could-barely-talk Jackson later on, was that the pair’s train of thoughts weren’t far off Holt’s original ideas about what was happening… and they wanted to know how Deuce got away with the ‘freaky kinky shit’ at school like that. And they would like to get in on it, please.]

-

Not to mention…

Deuce had a sneaking feeling his(s) mother knew what he had been up to at Monster High, (as he’d found a Handy-hints to Gorgon Venom guidebook on his bed a few weeks after they started testing how long each dose would work on other monster types -written in what looked suspiciously like her handwriting), but so far all Medusa had done in response was throw her son a collection of knowing looks everytime he came through the door, trying not to look like he’d hastily shoved his sunnies back on between Cleo’s limoscream and the front door.

-

But, in the end… all the difficult, awkweird, and downright frustrating parts of the trial-and-error stages… paid off. 

Deuce Gorgon was completely content with the results; even if they weren’t always entirely positive. After all, he could look the monsters he cared about in the eye, and not be afraid that… that this time they might not de-stone.  

And that was all that mattered.

standing on their ashes

summary: they fall asleep in the same bed and dan wakes up alone, and they meet in the kitchen and laugh over coffee and unspoken watchfires and pretend, because that’s what they do best.

(written for this quote prompt: it’s hard to get over him when you’re underneath him. and sometimes break-ups aren’t clean and aren’t messy but are somewhere in-between, and when things aren’t defined it’s harder to get over them.) 

note: precisely 1.5k of angsty post break-up fic, only not exactly.  also read on ao3.

 

-

 

It only ever happens at night.

Maybe it’s the darkness, or maybe it’s because humans are less defined at night, less sharp and more blurred around the edges, boundaries smudging with the colours of the background.

Dan doesn’t know where the boundaries are at night. He’s not sure he cares.

They eat dinner and everything is okay and they watch television and everything is okay and the room grows dark when the show ends and then they’re kissing, and they pretend everything is okay because it’s easier that way, easier than admitting it’s really not.

They fall asleep in the same bed and Dan wakes up alone, and they meet in the kitchen and laugh over coffee and unspoken watchfires and pretend, because that’s what they do best.

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Treadmill Chronicles

2.1 k of shitty teenager Nurseydex high school/gym AU 

!! thank you for asking because AUs are my bread and butter. tbh, my top pick was middle school math competition AU but tumblr deleted my draft of it like 5 times so i took it as a sign that today isn’t the day for that. have this instead!


They meet at the gym, because Treadmill Guy (TG) is always using Will’s favourite treadmill, and it pisses him off. He’s been the only person under 65 in the gym on Saturday mornings for like, at least 3 years, and he works out with a bunch of leering old ladies in the same room in order to use the equipment he wants to use, so he deserves that treadmill, goddammit.

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MAKING ME WEAK (ZIALL)

Prompt: For your next one would you like to do a mafia au where Zayn is like the youngest boss and he’s dating young innocent college student Niall?

Word Count: 7,918

Warnings: violence, drugs, smut, fluff, tears and heartbreak, happy endings

———

There was a difference between gang and mafia.

And when people didn’t understand that there was a mother fucking difference, Zayn gets angry, because he doesn’t own a fucking gang, he is the leader of the Malik mafia.

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045. 5SOS: Nostalgia - Sons

LUKE

He would breathe when they landed in Pearson International, but for now Luke’s eyes were fully dilated and focused on getting his young family from point A to point B. He had never known stress until he was responsible for three very small kids in an airport. He had a twin boy on each side of him, just reach knee high level, as their little legs slowed his speed down due to their bumbling states. March, under his Thing 2 hat worn backwards, was concentrating on the floor of La Guardia, kicking up his tiny red Chuck Taylor’s and twisting his hips with his dad’s wrist cranking whichever way he semi-turned. It was Miles who was really slowing them down though. If Luke needed to, he could tell March to gallop and weave the energetic boy through the crowds of travelers headed in every which way. Miles was taking everything in, his eyes growing wider with every pillar passed, his head turning as another bright coloured suitcase wheeled by him, smelling all the different fast food scents and boldly staring at the different characters collected throughout the large airport.

Luke glanced down to the boy with his Thing 1 cap on properly, sighing as he was just about to tell him to pick up the pace. He noticed with bent brows that Miles kept bringing his empty hand to his mouth, pushing his lips out with a smack, and then sending his palm through the air. He couldn’t figure out what his kid was doing until Miles began to wave between blowing kisses.

“Bye New York….” He tried to say, waving and blowing another kiss while trying to see between people and out the airport windows. “Bye! Bye New ‘Ork!” Internally, Luke chuckled and let it tickle at his throat. Miles was always so sensitive to things, sweet in his approach to life unlike March who only wanted to bulldoze through people, places, and things. If he couldn’t break it, March was bored. Miles was gentle and seemed to be empathetic. He could sit beside his Uncle Mike after a heated fight with his wife and pat his back with sweet taps of his tiny sticky hands! he could see another kid at the playground bruise their knees and feel the burn on his own skin. He was an innocent and Luke knew the world was going to find breaking him down easily. March didn’t care. Penny sometimes cared. Miles cared about everything all at once. He kissed a whole State goodbye the way he kissed his grandma after staying with her for the weekend, “Bye lady. Bye man. Bye lady, bye lady…” He kept blowing kisses and mumbling vibrantly as people oblivious to him hurried by to reach their gates and catch their flights.

“Miles, can we pick it up a bit?” Luke waited to ask, a little sorry about interrupting a moment so cute.

The little boy’s head dipped back, setting his eyes, that made him look just like Luke had as a toddler, on him even under the red beak of his hat, “Okay, Daddy…” Miles nodded, taking direction well, and turning his kissing hand into a fist as if it would help him run.

Penelope and her mother were still within sight, Penelope’s rainbow sneakers easy to find whenever Luke watched the ground, even with the boards of people between them.

Once they reached Gate 31B, Luke released the hands of his twin boys and set them both running. March headed straight for his mother as she sat on a leather spot, bent over to find all the boarding passes and passports in her Mary Poppins bag not the floor. Luke nodded at Calum sighting two rows to their left, Daphne fast asleep on his lap as he held a Rolling Stone magazine over her head, his longtime girlfriend playing a racing game on her phone right by their side.

Miles had headed straight for the window, sticking his hands open against it and staring with wild intrigue at the airplanes outside and other traffic. Quietly, the little boy was mumbling more sweet goodbyes.

Shuffling a loaded backpack off of his shoulders, Luke tried to keep an eye on everyone at once. He took a second to adjust his messy blond hair before heading over to Miles, still mumbling against the window.

“What do you see, buddy?” Crouching down behind his son and trying to see his profile clearly, Luke quizzed. There was concern sometimes that the twins never received any solo attention as they came into the world together and spent every second with one another though more and more Miles was getting more alone time with his family since March was starting to become a regular in the time out corner. One very drunk night when all the kids were asleep, Ashton suggested through hiccups that they all make serious efforts to spend one on one time with every kid every day that they were all together, even if it was just a couple minutes. It was difficult, but Luke really did try, “You see all the airplanes?” Luke asked as he held back a laugh at how cute it was to hear his little boy saying goodbye to each plane he could see and even the airport employees in neon orange vests out on the tarmac.

Miles was good at his core. He had the body of an Adonis that he worked hard for, but underneath his rock hard structure, he was just a sweet little boy. His heart was pure and Luke had realized after Miles’s shared his sexuality with his father that that meant he had twice the opportunities to have his heart broken. Luke no longer let the thought of a girl being selfish with his son’s generosity sit at the top of his concerns, now he had to wonder if a boy would also take Miles’s kindness for granted and toss his feelings into the ocean.

Before running downstairs to finish a load of darks, Luke’s wife rattled off to Luke the plans of their children tonight. Penelope couldn’t Skype from school as she was packing for a weekend in Saint-Etienne with her roommate whom she had become fast friends with, March was patrolling the pier for innocent trouble with some of his friends, and Miles had a date. Quickly, his wife went to finish her laundry, leaving Luke unable to focus on his program as his mind reeled about all three kids at once, but mostly Miles.

He spotted his son dressed in his usual clean cut attire rounding the bottom of the stairs, in a hurry and smiling vibrantly, and Luke took it as a cue to rise up from the leather sectional, leaving his drink behind, and watch him slip on his dress shoes. Before he even got a look at his son’s face, he was greeted with an overwhelming wave of cologne.

“You smell like you’re trying to impress someone.” Holding an arm up to his face to block out the strong scent, Luke mentioned.

“I’m going out.” Miles was down on the floor, pulling at the leather tongue of his black shoes and trying to weasel his square foot in.

“Date?”

“Yep. Can I take the Sedan?” He knew he should have asked earlier, but his Dad had come home late and it slipped his mind. Miles wasn’t crazy enough to ask for the keys to Mustang. It was his dad’s forth and favorite child after all.

“If you fill it up after , yeah.” Luke walked around Miles on the floor to reach the row of hanging coats, reaching into the pocket of his favorite leather jacket and removing his fob, finding the right keys for Miles. “Lana or Taylor?” He asked casually, deeply interested.

Briefly, behind closed lips, Miles just chuckled and shook his head. His dad did not know how to be subtle, but he always tried.

“Would’t you like to know?” Finally, the two Hemmings men caught one another’s gaze, exchanging sly smiles. “Thanks.” Miles snatched the keys that hung off of his Dad’s fourth finger as he jumped up in one smooth motion. He practically ran through the door on his way out, moving so quickly and only stopping in his tracks when his Dad called out his first name. “Yeah?” Miles turned completely, facing his Dad dead on. He watched Luke’s face contort from fearful to soft in just a few seconds.

“Just be smart.” He shrugged at the end of his warning, trying to be nonchalant, but Luke worried about Miles. He could be as weak as he was strong and he was very strong.


CALUM

Calum was not quite used to March’s new role in his life yet. He had known March his entire sixteen years of existence, but the teenager felt a lot like a stranger to him now. Maybe even more akin to an intruder in his previously peaceful home.

He couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand for longer than a few minutes at a time before checking out the window again, watching his daughter sitting on the front lawn behind two discarded bicycles and right beside Luke’s prankster son, a boy Calum had discovered had been contaminating his darling Daphne with kissing and grabbing only a week ago.

“Stop trying to strangle him with your mind.” Michael grumbled, his attention on the guitar on his lap, the one Calum had abandoned tuning, "He’s a good kid.“

"Yeah, he’s good, he’s great,” Calum spoke in monotone. He had always liked March as he was mischievous and amusing. He practically thought of him as a son sometimes, but that was before he caught him taking mental snapshots of his daughter’s serpentine hips. “Why can’t he go cover someone else’s daughter in saliva?” Disgust sounding in the form of a huff, Calum asked while glaring out the living room bay windows at the two teenagers simply talking in the yard as the sun began to sink behind the roof of the house before them.

“You’re ridiculous.”

“We’ll see how you feel when your kids start dating.” Calum scoffed in response.

“Iden is way too anxious to approach people and I don’t want to know what Emmeline gets up to.” Everyone agreed that it was a miracle Michael hadn’t had a heart attack yet, his two children carrying enough drama between them to host a collection of fast paced reality shows.

“You don’t think it’s strange? Daphne and March?”

Calum could’t even count how many times in total someone had to separate the two children from one another back in the day. March was always being carried away from her as he favored shoving the little Hood girl into puddles, mud, or just onto the jagged pavement of arena parking lots. He pulled her hair and put dirt in her mouth with a proud smile worn like a badge of honor.

“I think,” Annoyed, Michael lifted his head from his lap and sighed, “I think Daffy is a really sweet girl,” to say the least, “and March is smart enough to want that.” March had accomplished plenty of dumb stunts in his short life so far, but the boy was intelligent, more intelligent than he let people know. When Calum arrived home, the two kids just jumping off their bikes, he overheard March offering to help Daphne with her homework, telling her he didn’t mind and that he could show her a trick to remember the elements for her science quiz. Still, March remained on a probationary period with Calum for now until he proved himself to be more than the horny sixteen year old that Calum chalked him up as.

“Papa, where’d he go?” Bouncing in her father’s arm, head right above his shoulder as she sat at his side, Daphne asked. Calum had to hold her up off the floor through the whole journey around Toy’s R Us. It seemed every time he put Daphne down, March took it as an invitation to wound her.

They were there on a mission. It was supposed to be a quick in and out. Calum was going to find all the seashell and beach themed party accessories for Penelope’s sixth birthday and then they would be on their way. He hadn’t wanted to bring in any kids, but Daphne began to sniffle in her car seat when he started to leave the Hummer without her, kicking out her legs as if him leaving for, even for a few minutes, caused unreal pain in her tiny heart. Miles was asleep in his spot, so Calum’s girlfriend opted to stay in the passenger seat while March insisted that he join too because he knew what his sister would like for her birthday and he promised to be good and listen.

“Did we lose him again?” As her father didn’t so much as glance at her after her first question, Daphne tried another. This was not the first time March had from away from someone, Luke had once bought a wrist leash to use with his son, but March had managed to escape it’s confines behind the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. March was a runner, but in large department stores, he multitasked as a hider.


“We did not lose him.” Frustrated focused in his words, Calum muttered mechanically while stalking through Toy’s R Us briskly, head glancing down each aisle, “We’re playing.” He lied to her, worried she might let it slip to Luke or his wife when they returned that Calum had momentarily lost their son in the large shop. He was walking in the direction of the elevator, figuring that he might have to call it quits on his hunt and tell customer service that he had, in fact, lost a child.

“Can I play too?” Innocent as always, Daphne whispered.

“No.”

Daphne accepted the answer, her father’s tone making it plain that there was was no negotiating though she usually just took the words of her parents as bible and carried on without so much as 'boo’ leaving her lips. Her large eyes feasted on the array of colored toy boxes as Calum turned to the escalator, heading down it at light speed. She kept her focus on the bright pink colored boxes, Barbie dolls, and any plush toy she could see, remembering her own was back in the car in her seat with a half eaten box of organic animal crackers.

Calum had abandoned his plastic blue shopping basket of tropical party goodies as soon as March took off for the second time, after Calum had found him hiding in a rack of superhero t-shirts. His sole focus now was getting into the head of his opponent. What aisle would he be most interested in if he was March Hemmings? What shelf of toys would he crawl and hide behind if he was March Hemmings? What would March Hemmings do?

Behind a woman returning a battery operated toy that 'just didn’t work’ without her receipt, Calum impatiently waited to talk to the fifteen year old boy behind the customer service in his Toys R Us vest. His eyes blinked around him, head turning at any sudden sounds of laughter or rubber soles screeching against the floor, any noise that March could make. Daphne was growing restless in her father’s arms, his fingers curling into her chubby thighs as she grumbled to try and look over his head, everything around her interesting.

“Hi, uh, this is sort of embarrassing…” Before the woman in front of him was even gone from the counter, Calum had stepped forward and began, prefacing by making his annoyance plain. “I’ve lost a little boy, I was hoping you could…”

“Is it your son?” The clerk interrupted, clarifying as he picked up the phone by the side of his large black register.

“No. He’s my friend’s son. He’s about her size…” Calum tilted his head to his side to make note of Daphne. “Well, no, he’s larger…” Daphne was a mere pea compared to most children her age. “But he’s got blond hair, blue eyes…”

“But he’s your friend’s son?”

“Yes. March. His name is March. Is there, like, a code blue or red or…rainbow that you could call? Page someone?” Calum had skipped the shitty part time job phase, going straight into a professional music career instead. He didn’t know how it all worked.

“Well, is your friend with you? We need to have a family member. It’s just policy, sir.” The clerk showed little concern, but went by the rules he signed to when given his bright blue vest. For safety reasons, he couldn’t bring someone a child just because they asked. It had to be a family member or appointed guardian.

“Well, I’m an Uncle, kind of. An honorary uncle.” Sighing, Calum’s voice was sharp with the sales boy as he pulled on Daphne, trying to bring her back down off of his shoulder as she was growing restless and treating him like her own personal jungle gym. “He is my best friend’s son. I just brought him with us to pick up some things. He ran away.”

“I understand, sir, but I have to follow policy. Could you call your friend?”
Calum’s eyes enlarged with frustration. He could feel hot air rushing out of his nostrils as he glared at the teenager behind the desk. It had been a long time since he wanted to play the, 'Do you know who I am?’ card. He even debated pulling out his cell phone solely to Google 5 Seconds of Summer and prove that he was not some preying pedophile looking for a little boy for dinner, but March Hemming’s uncle/godfather/guardian.

“Look, I am in a rush and I - ” Calum stopped himself to grumble and tend to his daughter. “Daphne, you’re squirming.” He scolded in a short breath. Usually when she was like this, which wasn’t too often, he would laugh and call her a 'squirmy worm’, but Calum was feeling stress in every inch of his bones. “So, you want me to call my friend to ask him to come down so you can find his son in your store?” Knowing that he wouldn’t prove any point, Calum tried before collecting Daphne in both his hands and firmly putting her down on the ground in front of his tapping sneaker clad feet. Sometimes, when she had apparent ants in her pants, she just wanted to dance around. “You do realize how inconvenient that is?” He knew this was his fault, not the cashier’s, but right now, Calum just wanted to unleash his stress. He opened his mouth to ask again for the kid to just help him find March when a primal shout was heard coming from his left.

It all happened so fast. A blur of dirty blond hair and a red Mickey Mouse t-shirt rushed around before a large smack shook the ground and Calum looked down to see Daphne pinned, the wind knocked out of her, and March laughing triumphantly as he had once again conquered his favorite victim. Calum could not believe it. Literally all it took get March Hemmings’s focus and attention was putting down his daughter like sacrificial catnip.

Calum excused himself from Michael for just a second, swearing under his breath that he had a real reason for walking downstairs and into his garage and that he wasn’t just doing so to interrupt his daughter and her boyfriend. He stayed silent on the top step, watching from the white door and remembering the two kids when they were little. They had grown up together, just months apart, sharing everything from stroller rides to concert boxes together and now kisses. Even if he could remember them as cute little kids, the kissing, the fingertips on each other’s waists, and sly glances with coy smiles would take some getting used to for Calum who took parenting a lot more seriously than he ever took the job he was paid to do.

It was one of the strangest reflexes of his life, but as he spied March’s fingers tangle through his daughter’s long hair, just a second after taking off his beanie to pull it down over Daphne’s head and eyes, Calum felt flames ignite in his stomach. He reached to his side and just as March was leaning to kiss his daughter, fingers wrapping around her hand in the grass, Calum sprayed the two of them with his hose projecting cold water through the air. A scream rarely heard outside of a horror movie leaped from Daphne’s throat as March pulled away, their spines both curving forward to escape the chill.

“Dad!” Daphne turned and breathed out her version of a yelp at him, looking over her frozen shoulder to see him standing in the open garage with the hose, still trickling water, in his hand. He looked cross yet she could tell he was pleased with himself.

Calum eyeballed March, earning a nervous look back before he had to look down on himself, staring into his legs in the grass. That was all it took for Calum to know he had made his point, no words, just the eyes of a man who had blueprints to build a force field around his little girl since her first breath of life sixteen years ago. Happily, Calum headed back inside and felt ready to work.

MICHAEL

During his daughter’s first full year of life, Michael did not sleep. He was sure at some point or another he passed out on a couch or crashed on a bed like a cut down evergreen would fall in the forest, but Emmeline was all lungs and always woke him up. Even when he could make her giggle with a funny face or pretending to hurt himself with a spatula or drumstick, it was loud. Iden had been the opposite. He slept the night and waited patiently in his crib for one of his parents to tend to him.
With his wife visiting her family along with Emmeline for the weekend, Michael had taken over the entire bed, star-fishing in the center and sleeping soundly in only his boxers throughout the night.

Michael stretched slowly as he woke up with his face angled into the pillow, drool dry down the corner of his mouth. He couldn’t remember the days of not waking up to screams whether it was girls outside his hotel room or Emmeline in her crib giving them a run for their money. He turned over onto his bare back, groggily aiming his unfocused stare to the mirrored ceiling and then heard happy jumbles of noise. It had slipped his mind for a second, the baby monitor he had placed on his nightstand before going to sleep. They never seemed to need it with Iden, but used it religiously just in case.

Yawning as he walked with pigeon toes form his room to his son’s nursery, Michael contemplated what he and the baby boy could do all weekend. Surely, his mother would have them over for dinner and childless Calum would come over and join them for a day of television of late night viewing of Carlito’s Way.

As soon as he pushed open the door ajar to it’s frame, Michael lost all his exhaustion as a smile took full control of his face. He couldn’t help, but laugh when he saw his little boy trying to stand up, bouncing on his knees with his diaper clad butt beneath his striped pajama pants making a perfect pillow for him to fall over on. Chubby Iden was giggling at the sight of his Dad and clapping his hands in front of his protruding belly. His lips smacked together as his hands rose and Michael knew that if his son could do more than make random noises, he would be demanding to go 'Up, Daddy’.

“Why are you always happy in the mornings?” Michael yawned through his own smile, walking the four steps to the crib and reaching in to pick up his bouncy boy. “We must not be related.” He joked before holding Iden up completely and examining his butt, knowing without having to inhale deeply that he needed a changing before anything else could happen that morning.

Even while on the changing table being handled with the less than gentle and fluid maneuvers of his father’s clumsy hands, Iden was all giggles, jetting out his arms and legs as if he just had to jiggle.

Michael popped his tongue out of his tight lips, shooting it down at Iden and sucked it in before kissing his temple, pulling him back up as he was changed and back in his stretchy pajama pants, ready for a day with Dad.

“It’s just you and me today, man. You’re going to be my partner in crime.” Michael poked his stomach as he carried his son out of his room with him held down at his hip, mimicking the way his wife often carried the chubby baby. Michael had errands, a meeting with the label, and a lot of television he felt behind on planned for the day and Iden had no intention of interrupting with anything other than a smile all day. He was sweet and seemed as happy as he dad did to just sleep, eat, and listen to the radio.

He wasn’t looking at him, eyes facing the bowl of chicken noodle soup covered in crushed crackers that he had barely touched with the silver spoon in his hand. Still, Iden’s brown eyes were destroying his father’s soul with their overwhelming sadness. Michael legs were shaking, causing the feeling of a small earthquake underneath the kitchen table as he sat across from his son, watching him with his hands in front of his mouth.

Michael was trying to go over every piece of Iden’s life that he was present for, even the stories he was told from his parents and wife when he was away, looking for that one moment where Iden went from docile and elated to religiously depressed? He doubted a single moment existed, but he wanted to know for sure, in case, there was one single reason why his son had his sister’s hemp bracelets on to cover up aggravated scars on his wrists and why he ate even less than an abandoned baby bird.

“I’m done.” Iden simply put down the spoon that he had been stirring the warm soup around with, letting it clank loudly against the edge, and pushed out his chair to leave the table, looking forward to returning to his bedroom where he could watch Star Wars or work on an oil paining for Emmeline’s upcoming birthday.

“You have had, like, two spoonfuls.” Michael had counted, taking to treating his son like he was five and not fifteen since finding him in the bathtub, in and out of consciousness.

“I’m not hungry.” The three words he used like a catchphrase grumbled out of Iden’s dry lips as he stood up from the table, taking the bowl beneath the sweater paws he made out of his black Henley sleeves to carry it over to the counter and pour down the sink.

“Did you have breakfast?” Michael stood up after him, just like a reflex, being as annoying to his kid as he used to accuse his own parents as being.

“Yeah.” Iden lied.

“What did you have?”

“I don’t know…” He grumbled while letting the soup slide slowly down the faucet, noodles moving like molasses from the bowl to the sink. “Cereal.” He made up off the top of his head, internally wishing that he could weave up a story the way Emmeline could. His sister required no time or effort to come up with a tale so captivating that no one questioned whether or not she was full of shit.

Michael’s exhale drew hot from his throat as he gripped one side of his waist, irritation obvious in the way he groaned and watched Iden begin to drag his sock covered feet across the kitchen tiles. He knew that Iden would just lock himself in his room for the rest of the weekend if he didn’t interfere. Michael had to go away come Monday morning and wouldn’t be around for two weeks, he had to face things now, but instead of approaching things from a helpful place made of good intentions, he just reacted. His frustration spiked and he simply behaved without thinking things through first.

“Am I a shitty Dad?!” He shouted at the back of Iden’s head, eyes flashing up to the brown clean cut hair on his son’s head, seeking refuge from the red scars that he nearly caught a glimpse of as his son was passing him by.

“No…” Iden looked to his side, eyeing Michael with a squint that suggested that his Dad might be insane.

“Your mom and I are trying so hard, we’ve always been good to you…we encourage you, we give you and your sister everything you guys want, why are you so Hellbent on destroying yourself!?” Michael always thought he understood depression. He was no strange to feeling things too deeply himself, but up until he had Iden to look out for, he really hadn’t been as exposed to the mental illness as he thought he had been. He felt lost and helpless now, but still willing to do absolutely anything to make Iden feel better. All he wanted to do was scream at the teenager to do just that, to just feel better, but he knew it wasn’t that simple. It wasn’t a switch he could flick on and off at his own discretion. “What is going on!?” Always confused when he was with Iden these days, Michael held his hands open to the ceiling and panted.

At first, Iden just used his blank stare to answer his father, opening up his eyes on him and watching as his face stretched in and out with distress, “I’m sorry this is hard on you.” Finally, he spoke back with an answer so monotone that it left his mouth with his lips barely having to move. Iden rolled his eyes once he was facing away from his Dad, knowing full well that nothing enraged his father like that simply gesture, and headed to the stairs to go up to his room.

“I’m just trying to understand, Iden! I want to help.” Michael stalked out of the kitchen, following Iden to the bottom step. “You don’t make it very easy. You just shut everyone out!” He shouted, almost lecturing Iden by accident as he kept on up the stairs.

“Right.” Iden grumbled as he passed his sister who was rushing down, taking the stairs by two in a sunflower themed maxi dress that had once been her mother’s when she was a teenager. “This is my fault.” Iden shot right down at his Dad before going up to his room and cranking the sounds of his favorite heavy metal band up a minute after the door was closed.

With wide, but relaxed eyes, Emmeline watched her Dad grip at his blond hair, his fingers curling around the edges and pulling the way her fists used to when she was a baby and he wore it in a bright shade of firetruck red. Under his breath, Michael was cursing himself and the situation out, wishing to do nothing more than his son was, find refuge in angry music. He stalked back into the kitchen as Emmeline dug her feet into purple leather sneakers.

From the door, she could still hear her father vaguely swearing and making grumpy conversation with himself so she sauntered over and popped her head around the kitchen wall, watching him go from the sink to the fridge to grab a cold beer for himself.

“Would giving me money to go shopping with friends help your distress at all?” Emmeline couldn’t help, but laugh as she asked. She was as serious as she was kidding.

Under slanted eyebrows, Michael shot her a glare made up of all the vexation inside of him before decompressing into his center and begrudgingly reaching into the pocket of his black pants with his free hand, removing his wallet and sliding out his credit card for her.


ASHTON

It was the picture seen around the world, favorited over 25,000 times and retweeted even more. A small infant Connor strapped to his father’s chest, blond curls twirling around his peasized head hidden under large blue headphones, while Ashton played the drums in a makeshift basement studio. From the band account, the caption had been simple, 'New member in 5SOS’, but it took on a life all it’s own: even spawning it’s own Twitter account with constant hilarious messages posted.

Connor almost had no choice, but to go into music. He was born with rhythm throughout his bones. He loved to dance before he could pick himself up onto his own feet, he learned how to speak through listening to the songs Ashton played on repeat while sitting in his car seat, mumbling back what he heard to the best of his ability.

“Daddy,” From his car seat, Connor began while squinting his eyes together and watching the trees pass by in a fury of bright green out the window. It was just him and his Dad, Molly freshly dropped off at her mother’s work studio. Ashton had decided with his wife after Connor was born that was important each kid have alone time with them every so often even if all Ashton was going to do was take Connor to the studio with him. Connor liked to be around all the instruments and his Uncles anyway. “I need to…to…” He breathed out while trying not to be distracted by the spring leaves around him. “I need to buy an a-reena…” He expressed.

Behind the wheel, stopping at the end of the street, Ashton just chuckled.

“Well, you’ll have to save up for a while. They’re expensive.” He glanced at his son in the mirror, watching as Connor drew a circle mindlessly against the car window with one finger.

“No!” He shook his head furiously, blond hair messy and brushing in every direction against his face. “No. I’m gonna go to L….A. And I will sing…two songs.” He held up his index and middle finger just in case his father was looking and didn’t know how many two was. “And they’ll pay me.” Connor had it all figured out from a few days of listening to his father on the phone with different managers, working out deals for his own music.

Ashton couldn’t contain himself and burst out laughing as he drove, turning down the radio dial to more effectively listen to his son’s plans as if a career in music was that simple. More often than not, Connor very seriously said the cutest things and Ashton almost wished he had a camera constantly on his kid to catch them. He still watched the video of his son playing one of his made up songs on his rainbow xlyphone while sitting at the tour bus table even though it was filmed five months ago. It never failed to make him smile - even on the bad days.

“Daddy, put on the VooVoo Voll song.” He tried, reaching for his toes poking out of his sandals with his strapped in arms, waiting for Ashton to do just that since it was the one he knew all of the words to.

He was trying to keep some distance now, watching his fifteen year old fill the room with eager hands and anxious eyes. Connor’s EP that he recorded all on his own in the bathroom in their basement (despite Ashton having a home studio) had collected a large amount of attention quickly and he was invited to the Gibson guitar factory for a personal tour and recorded jam session. Ashton wanted to explode out of Dad mode and take on the 1959 Believer Burst that was watching him from it’s corner, but instead he kept his proud smile and focus on Connor’s backside as he listened intently to the guide they were set up with, asking questions about the make as he was handed a custom acoustic to play, a left handed one chosen just for the occasion.

“I’ll be right back. Just going to see how set up is coming…” The man pointed with one thumb popped over his shoulder, nodding at Connor’s intrigue and then heading to his left where their lounge room was being properly wired for Connor’s first recorded jam session, well, professional one.

Before Ashton could walk further in, Connor was spinning around, fingers nervously fiddling strings, and stared at his Dad with eyes a bizarre combination of excited and terrified. Ashton knew the expression well having worn it for the better half of his life so far. He wore it throughout most of his first shows, then his first stadium shows, then his first headlining shoes, and when Molly was born and then Connor a few years later.

“Don’t be nervous.” Ashton shook his head at his boy, knowing exactly what he was thinking, and putting both hands over his shoulders. “It’s going to be awesome.”


“It’s just real now…” At the back of his throat, Connor laughed. “I was always just messing around in the basement and now people think I’m a musician.” He really couldn’t believe it. He had been thinking about it since he was a kid, singing at 5 Seconds of Summer sound checks, and Connor always knew he could make it happen, but now it was happening. People were buying his songs online, people were quoting his lyrics, and listening to his music like it was more than just noise he had heard in his head.


Truthfully, Ashton couldn’t believe it either, but Connor had always been blowing him away with a musical ability that far surpassed his own. It all seemed to come so natural to the teenager, born with music inside of him just like an organ.