Summary: You lost your vision at a young age due to an infection in your brain and you’ve coped with it well. You’re a successful professor at a local university, casually making your way down the hall when your friend and college Helen Cho introduces you to Bucky. You grow close over several months of late night coffee and the occasional stay in your apartment, but Bucky doesn’t want to tell you who he really is in fear of scaring you off. What happens when a miracle procedure might give you back your sight?
Warnings: light swearing, blind!reader (for most of it), bad editing sorry
A/N: Okay before you read this, I am not blind, I do not know anyone who is blind and therefore this is my BEST ATTEMPT to write from the perspective of someone who is visually impaired. Please don’t be too hard on this.
It’s amazing just how much of someone you can see when you can’t actually see them.
Your day started out like it always did; with the sound of your alarm blaring in your ear. You reached out to tap at your phone screen, one, two, three times until you finally hit the correct place that disabled the alarm.
The wind whistled outside and you heard the patter of rain outside of your small apartment. It must be horrible weather outside, you thought to yourself. You pulled the covers of your bed off of your body and sat up, dangling your feet over the edge of the mattress.
You propped yourself out of your bed’s compound, feeling along the wall to find the door so you could walk out of your bedroom. Once you’d managed to exit your room, you traced your hand along the walls of the hallways until your fingers caught on a doorway, you turned right.
Your life had been like this for as long as you could remember. You’d lost your sight when you about three years old due to a rare brain infection that the doctors caught a few days too late. It wasn’t all too troubling to you know, you were in your late twenties and had a wonderful job working as an assistant professor at a local university.
You were happy, every piece of your life seemed to be falling into place… Except of course for love.
You’d been single for so long you almost forgot what it was like to feel someone’s tight and loving embrace or how attached you can get to the smell of someone you love.
So many people had set you up on blind dates - and so many people had made the blind date joke - that every time a friend brought up a ‘wonderful guy’ they knew, you’d shut it down instantly. The blatant truth about every man you’d gone out with on those set ups was this; no one wanted to date the blind girl.
You’d all but given up as you attended friend’s weddings and baby showers, some of them. Perhaps you weren’t cut out for that kind of life, or at least that’s what you told yourself.
As you went through the motions of making coffee that you’d all but memorized, you felt the empty space of the base of your left ring finger and sighed heavily.
You drank your coffee in silence, your mind drifting off to the possible face of whoever Mr. Right might be, not that you’d ever see it for yourself.
When you made it back to your closet in your room, you peeled off your sleep shirt, feeling the hangers that hung in your closet for the braille lettering that told you what was hung there.
‘mom’s favourite dress’
That one you remembered the texture of, it was soft and lightweight but felt beautiful on. You decided that this would be perfect.
You put it on, walking back to your front door and feeling inside the drawers to grab for a pair of flats, which you found instantly by their feel.
You slipped them on and took your keys from the hook that you felt on your right, waiting for the familiar honk of a horn signifying your ride was here. When you heard the sound, you reached forward and grasped the cool metal of the door knob, twisting it and pulling it open, making sure to grab your long cane before you walked out.
“Hey, (Y/N)!” A voice, which you recognized as your co-professor, Helen Cho said.
“Hey!” You said as you felt the padlock for the keyhole, locking it and turning to walk down your porch towards the sound of the idling car.
You felt your cane hit the car lightly, so you felt along the smooth metal surface until you found the handle, opening it and getting inside.
The smell of the mint car air freshener hit your noise rather violently when you entered, but you got used to it after a while.
“Big day today.” Helen said as you began moving.
“Why’s that?” You asked.
“I managed to convince Banner to come and give a lecture on gamma rays.”
“Are you serious?” You gasped. You knew Helen worked for some high end clientele from time to time and only really took up the co prof job because she needed to be busy, but you didn’t know she had that much pull.
“Uh huh.” She said.
“Holy hell.” You mustered, “So we don’t even have to lecture today?”
“Nope, we push everything back for tomorrow.”
“It’s like a day off.” You laughed.
“And so, gamma radiation acts as an invasive form of…”
You had been zoning back in and out of Banner’s lecture, not that it really mattered anyways. It had been about a half hour so you excused yourself, taking your cane and making your way back out into the hallway to take a small walk to stretch your legs.
You’d made it about halfway down the familiar hallway when you heard a very unfamiliar voice accompanying that of Helen Cho.
“I know it’s hard for you being here, but I figured it would be good for you to meet her, I mean you’re perfect for each other- Oh, hello, (Y/N). Bored of the lecture already?” Helen’s voice said.
“Not that Banner isn’t a wonderful public speaker,” You mused, “But gamma radiation isn’t new for me. Nothing to learn really.”
“I figured as much,” She laughed, “Oh, this is-”
“Bucky.” The voice said.
Bucky had extended his hand shake yours but Helen nudged him and nodded down at the white cane you held in your hand and he understood, his face flushing bright red.
“Okay everyone, I’m blind not stupid.” You laughed, sensing what he’d done based on an immeasurable amount of experience and the awkward silence.
“It’s nice to meet you.” You said, extending your own hand out, which he took.
His hands were warm and rough and calloused, large palms and long fingers but comfortingly so.
“And you.” He replied, something along the lines of shock in his tone, but you shrugged it away.
“Well, I’ll let you to get back to it.” You said, quickly dismissing yourself and turning to walk back down the hall when Helen stopped you.
You turned back around.
“Bucky and I were going to go out for drinks later tonight, I figured you might want to join?”
You hesitated, social outings weren’t your thing, and Helen knew that.
“Or maybe just coffee?” She rephrased.
“Sure, if you want to meet at my place around 9?”
“God, you are such a nightowl.” Helen laughed.
“Yes or no, dearest, it’s not that hard.” You chided her.
“We’ll be there.”
“Alright, I’ll see you later. Nice meeting you Bucky.”
You finished your day quickly and thanked Helen when she dropped you back off at your apartment, ignoring the ‘wear something nice’ comment she made. You knew she was saying was ‘wear something nice because Bucky is going to be there’, but you didn’t say anything about it.
You didn’t know Bucky, you weren’t looking to impress him. If he turned out to be a great guy after tonight and you saw each other again, maybe you’d consider the whole ‘looking really good’ thing, but not yet. You didn’t want to put that much effort into an appearance that you couldn’t even appreciate yourself.
You made yourself a quick dinner. An aspect of your life that seemed to shock everyone around you was how well you coped independently. You were able to do almost everything by yourself based on muscle memory, hearing, scent, and a little intuition.
By the time you politely asked siri what time it was, it was around 8:30. You decided to change into a pair of jeans and a soft knit sweater, your favourite one.
You let your hair down from its fastened bun, loose curls hitting your face softly.
A sound of a car door slamming made you slowly make your way to the front door of your flat. You instantly noted that it wasn’t the same sound of slam as Helen’s car.
A buzzer went off and you pressed the button at the door, “Who is it?” You asked.
“It’s Bucky.” The voice answered, and you remembered him by the sound.
You liked his voice a lot, it was rough and a bit patchy, but low and smooth sounding somehow.
You unlocked your door and swung it open.
“Hi.” You greeted him, stepping to the side to allow him in.
“Helen sort of bailed.” He admitted, and you noticed that his voice still came from in front of you meaning he hadn’t entered in yet.
This was another schemed date attempt on Helen’s part and you only now figured it out. You mentally cursed yourself for not being wise enough to see through it.
“I just figured I’d swing by and tell you, you probably don’t want to spend the night with a total stranger.” You heard him take a few steps back.
“Well, who said that?” You asked, as if your words came out faster than you could process.
There was something about this man that you liked quite a lot, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it. He had an aura about him that you found relaxing.
“The coffee pot is already on, I won’t be able to drink it all by myself.” You said with a smile.
“Alright.” He replied and you felt the wind brush by you as his large frame made it’s way past you.
“Make yourself at home.” You said, moving back into the kitchen once you’d closed the door, “How do you take coffee?”
“Just black would be wonderful.” He said as you waited to hear him sit down on the couch, but no such sound came, “Can I help with anything?”
“Gosh no, sit your ass down.” You laughed, and were overjoyed to hear him do the same.
“Okay, okay.” He said, his footsteps moving back to the living room where he sat on the couch.
You poured the coffee into mugs and carried them out to where Bucky was, knowing he was on the couch. You handed one to him, slightly to the side but close enough that he could reach it, then made your way over to sit beside him.
“So since it’s now just the two of us, I suppose I should get to know you.” You said.
“Suppose so.” You felt him shift uncomfortably, which made you feel like you needed to back off ever so slightly.
“Unless of course you don’t want to.” You added.
“No, it’s alright. i just don’t usual talk much about myself.” He said.
Bucky wanted to open up to you, just like he wanted to open up to anyone, but you seemed incredibly sweet based on what he’d heard from Helen, and you seemed to not know his history quite yet, so he was unsure about the whole thing.
“Well, you can ask me things and I’ll answer, and if you feel alright with it, you can answer too.” You suggested, sipping your coffee.
“That’s great.” Bucky smiled at your compromise.
For nearly two hours, Bucky asked you a multitude of questions about yourself stemming from what your favorite food was all the way to how old you were when you went blind. After a while, he told you that he wanted you to ask him a few questions, so you asked him all about his childhood and where he grew up.
Brooklyn was a great place, he explained to you, full of really great people. You loved listening to the sound of his words when you knew a smile appeared on his face, it made everything sound sweeter from his lips.
You were beginning to really like Bucky, you felt a strong bond with him that you hadn’t felt in a long while, and you were enjoying every second of time you spent with him.
“Alright, can I ask you one more thing?” You inquired as a fit of laughter bubbled back down from your chest.
“What’s your favourite colour and why?”
“Hmm,” He pondered, “Blue. It’s really calming. Plus it matches my eyes.”
You nodded your head with a laugh, “I wish I knew what colours looked like.”
What you said nearly broke Bucky’s heart, he’d answered the question so nonchalantly.
“I thought you lost sight at three.” He said.
“I did, but even before then I was completely colour blind.”
“Oh,” He said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” You said, “I asked the question because it’s always interesting for me to hear what different people answer… I’ve always felt like I’d like blue as well.”
“Yeah?” He asked, “Why so?”
“Everyone always says it’s calming, or cool, or reminds them of the ocean. It sounds pretty.”
Bucky stared at you in amazement as a thoughtful smile played on your lips.
“Can I ask you something else?” He said.
“How do you recognize people?” He whispered.
“Most of it is by voices, or smells,” You explained, “And if I’m close with someone, I usually memorize their face.”
“Memorize their face?”
“Here, like this.” You said, setting your cup down and reaching your fingertips forward until they landed on his cheeks gently. Your one hand moved to his brow, the other down to his brush over his nose.
You noticed that he’d tensed when you’d first touched him, but seemed to relax a bit more as your moved you hands along him gingerly.
Your fingers brushed down the stubble that dotted his face, moving down to the strong jawline that lay beneath it. Your other hands moved to brush over his closed eyelids, feeling the long eyelashes under them. The thumb that rested by his jaw went to trace ever so gently along upper lip, then back along his lower. You couldn’t help but noticed the cool air pass by your thumb as he sucked in a breath at your touch.
He felt so handsome, and the conversations that you’d had over the past hour only made you more attracted to him.
“Keep your eyes closed and try to do the same to my face.” You suggested, breaking the silence.
In a moment, you felt one hand reach out and press to your cheek, a thumb tracing its way from your brow down to your nose and lips, resting on your bottom lip much like you had to him.
A sigh came from him as you pressed a small kiss to the pad of his thumb. He couldn’t quite comprehend how sweet you’d been with him, but he wasn’t going to question it not even for a second.
“You should try two hands.” You said, but Bucky looked down at the hand he wasn’t using, the ugly metal limb, and told you he could get by on just using one.
Your index finger made a trail from his chin down his throat and along his adam’s apple, which caused him to swallow rather hard. You knew the impact that you were having on him and it was something that you were proud of.
When your finger made it’s way back up to his lips, Bucky knew he was done for. You were possibly the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and feeling your touch like this was intoxicating.
“One more question.” He whispered.
“Okay.” You said, enjoying the way his lip felt as it moved under you thumb when he spoke.
“Can I please kiss you?”
This time, you didn’t reply with words, you simply leaned in and kissed him, your lips replacing the spot where your thumb had been. You had never kissed anyone quite like that before, so full of passion. It was as if Bucky was kissing you like he hadn’t been kissed in a long time, and like he worried he might never get the chance again.
When Bucky left that night, you pecked him on the lips again quickly, and he assured you that he’d be in touch.
mjjm xHe kept to his word, calling the next day and setting up another late night coffee date. It continued this was for a good few months, each other you getting together multiple times a week to talk, or listen to music, drinking various kinds of coffee all the while. There were times when he’d even stay the night.
The dangerous part of it all was that Bucky knew he was falling in love with you, but he still didn’t know how to tell you who he was. It scared him so badly because he knew you couldn’t love someone like him. A girl like you, with a beautiful heart who brought smiles to the faces of everyone she met, would never fall in love with him.
It was on one night when he was over at your place that he noticed you seemed different. He tried to shrug it off, to get you to laugh, but you wouldn’t.
Fearing the worst, he asked you what was wrong.
“There’s this trial,” You said, “A doctor called me saying I was eligible to be apart of it. They think they can reboot the part of my brain that causes my blindness. They think they can get me to see, again.” You said, your eyes filling with tears of an emotion Bucky couldn’t recognize.
“That’s great, doll!” He said, rubbing your shoulders.
“I know it is, I’m just terrified of the whole thing.” You admitted, “I’ve lived almost my whole life like this.”
“I know, darlin’, but there’s so much out there that you’re missin’.”
“Can I ask you another question?” You said.
“Of course you can.”
“Can you wait during the procedure? They told me if there was someone I wanted with me, they could wait there and come in afterwards.”
Bucky was shocked that you’d want him there, but he agreed with his whole heart, promising he’d take you there himself.
“I want you to be the first face I see.” You said with a smile.
Bucky had never heard anything so beautiful in his life, so he leaned in to kiss you with everything he had, unable to reply with words.
“I love you.” He blurted out.
You, shocked as anything, pulled away from him. Bucky knew he’d messed up.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t-” He began but you shushed him.
“I love you too.”
“What?” He asked.
“I love you too.” You repeated.
“(Y/N).” He whispered, pressing his lips back to yours again.
As happy as he was to hear it, he knew that he needed to tell you who he was. If he was going to lose you, then he needed to put himself through it now and not when you put the pieces together yourself.
“I need to tell you something.” He said between feverish kisses.
“Alright.” You said, still keeping up with the kissing.
“I’m not who you think I am.” He said, trying to slow you down.
“What does that mean?” You said, pressing another peck to his lips.
“I’m not- I did- I’m-”
“You’re James Buchanan Barnes, the Winter Soldier?” You deadpanned and Bucky’s jaw dropped, “C’mon, did you think I didn’t know? We met through Helen who doesn’t talk about it, but works with the Avengers, you never stand to my right which means you avoid touching me with your left side, and when you talk about your childhood, it’s painstakingly obvious that you didn’t grow up in the 90′s like most people my age.”
“I didn’t until the first night you stayed over.” You told him truthfully.
You squeezed his hand when you felt him shift uncomfortably at the memory. Bucky had a terrible nightmare when he’d slept on the couch of your flat one night, and you had to sprint out of your bed to wake him.
Managing to find him, you’d shaken his shoulder gently, pleading for him to wake up until you’d felt him jolt upright.
He asked your name and you explained to him that he’d had a nightmare. You’d instantly sensed his embarrassment as he apologized for waking you, but you were having none of it.
You knew him well enough at that point to know that he was all talk when he was trying to convince you he’d fall back asleep just fine. You told him to come sleep in your room, and he stammered out what sounded like a dismissal.
Eventually, after telling him you’d hold your breath until he agreed, he caved. You walked him back to your bed, where he laid next to you and held your hand all night.
Bucky might never tell you, but he got the best sleep of his life that night.
“You knew?” He asked again.
“Yes, and none of it means a damn thing to me.”
You kissed him again with a burning passion, tongues dancing against one another as opened mouths melded together.
He’d never felt love like this in his life, and neither had you.
“I’m really scared.” You said as you sat in the gurney of the hospital a few weeks after yours and Bucky’s love confession.
“I know, doll, but it’s gonna go great. I’ll be right there when you wake up.” You felt Bucky’s stubble rub against your cheek as he pressed a kiss to it.
“That is the only thing keeping me from losing my mind.” You mustered a small laugh.
You reached forward with both hands, silently asking him to hold them. You felt his right hand grasp your left, leaving your free hand empty.
“Buck…” You whispered, and he reluctantly held your other hand in his left.
You’d assured him that you liked the arm, it was cold and solid and you loved to press your hand to it and feel the plates rotate when he moved. You saw beauty in its mechanics.
“Is it bad that I’m nervous too?” Bucky asked.
“Not really, I will be seeing your face for the first time.”
“You’re not gonna call me ugly are you?”
You burst out laughing, “I know you’re not ugly.”
“Oh yeah? How so?”
“I’ve felt your face.”
“Huh, you can tell by that?” He asked.
“Oh, yes,” You replied, “You’re far from ugly.”
A small laugh passed his lips, and you felt your heart flutter. You loved his laugh so much that it had quickly become your favourite sound on the planet, right in front of the almost unnoticeable sound of the vibranium plates in his arm shifting about late at night when he shifted in his sleep.
“Ms. (Y/L/N)?” You heard the door open and shut closed as someone entered the room.
“Yes?” You asked.
“We’re ready for you now.”
Bucky kissed your forehead as you were wheeled into the operating room, holding your one hand tightly and whispering words of comfort until he was told that he couldn’t go any further with you.
“I love you.” You said, receiving a peck on the lips.
“I love you too.” He said back, “I’ll be waiting.”
“I’ll see you after.”
“Yes, you will.”
You felt his hand slowly retreat as they wheeled you into the room and strapped you down with IVs and God knows what else. When you felt a mask go over your face and you were instructed to count downwards from ten, you enjoyed your last few seconds of darkness before you went under.
When you woke you couldn’t see a thing, which alarmed you to an extent that is completely indescribable.
“Ms. (Y/L/N), you’re up.” A woman said, “The procedure was a success.”
“Doesn’t seem like it.”
“You have a wrap covering your eyes, we needed to shield them because they’re quiet fresh at the whole seeing thing, but you can take it off whenever you’re ready.” Her sweet voice said.
“I beg your pardon?” She asked.
“There’s a man named Bucky out there, can you send him in?”
Bucky was in the room within seconds of hearing his name being called, he knew it meant you were awake and that you were ready to see him.
He was ushered into the room and saw you sitting up in the bed, clad in a hospital gown, a white bandage wrapping around your eyes.
Upon hearing the door close, you called out to him, and he was by your side in an instant.
“Hey, doll.” He said, pressing kisses to every part of your face.
“Hi, Bucky.” You said.
You let out a loud sigh and paused for a moment before instructing him to sit down on the bed in front of you.
“May I?” He asked tentatively and you knew he must be talking about the wrap.
You nodded slowly and allowed him to unravel it until it was completely gone. Your eyes were still closed, but the light that had filtered in through your eyelids made you gasp slightly.
You weren’t ready to open your eyes, not yet. A wave of panic set in and you couldn’t help but feel tears begin to fall.
“Hey, it’s okay.” Bucky said, his fingers wiping away your crying, “This is all extremely overwhelming for you.”
“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” You cried.
Bucky bit his lip and tried his best to imagine what this could possibly feel like, but he could barely comprehend. Then he remembered the first night that he was over.
“Here.” He said, reaching for your hands and placing them on his face, “Feel for now until you want to see.”
You nodded furiously, trying to keep your hands from shaking profusely as your fingers mapped out the face that you knew so well.
You felt a flesh hand reach up and trace along your cheek. Bucky had closed his eyes and done the same thing as he had before, except this time after about a minute, he added the other hand, the cool metal of his fingers brushing along your lips.
“I love you.” You whispered, a desperate cry from your mouth.
“I love you too.”
You listened to his breathing, the sound that brought you comfort in the night when he slept next to you, and willed yourself to open your eyes.
Your eyes fluttered open and an unpleasing light filtered in, but your main focus was on the face in front of you. His eyelashes were long against his cheeks as he held them closed, his jaw strong, lips plump.
A sharp cry came your mouth, your hands pulling away from his face as his eyes shot open to see you.
The intense colour of his eyes was something that took your breath away, you’d never experienced anything like it before. You decided that no matter what, that shade of blue would always be your favourite.
You began to sob, tight choking racking your chest as the overwhelming nature of seeing the man you love for the first time - and seeing much of anything at all - hit you hard.
Bucky pulled you into an embrace, holding you like his life depended on it. His heart was so full of love and care for you that he didn’t give a damn if your tears were soaking his shoulder.
Bucky held you for what felt like forever until your cries had softened. When you left, Bucky showed you every beautiful thing he could think of; fireworks, blossom trees, sunsets. He loved to see you light up when you saw something new.
He made a pact to show you every beautiful thing that the world could offer, but you assured him that the most beautiful thing you’d ever laid eyes on was him. And he’d shrug it off, but on the nights when you’d stay awake and stare at him, absorbing every little detail, you knew that it was absolutely the truth.
Bucky was amazed by you with or without your sight, because either way you loved him, either way you held him on the nights he couldn’t sleep, either way you were the one he’d run to if anything went wrong.
Either way, you were the only one who had ever taken the time to truly see him for who he was, and his heart beat for you and only you.
Warnings: Winter Soldier being triggered, Hydra jerks, violence, kissing, bad writing, ends with fluff.
Author’s Note: Hi there! I am working on requests but thought I would go ahead and post this that I wrote a while ago. This imagine was inspired by the song No Light, No Light by Florence + The Machine, which I love. I hope you like it! (This is basically un-edited by the way, sorry.) Sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors. Enjoy!
(All gif credit to owners. Also, I do not own any of the characters in this one-shot, only the story itself.)
Bright blue eyes.
One of the things you loved most about James Buchanan Barnes, your teammate that you were slowly falling in love with.
But that is not what you were seeing now.
It started out as a seemingly mundane mission. Get into the HYDRA base, retrieve intel, get out. Simple, right? Wrong!
“(Y/N), have you gotten to the intel yet,” asked Steve through the comms system.
“Not yet, Cap. I’m still tring to crack the firewall.”
“Well you better hurry,” Bucky interrupted, “I’m almost out of ammunition and it looks like these HYDRA goons will just keep coming.”
“Trying my best,” you huffed out.
While you were hacking the mainframe, Bucky managed to be seperated from his best friend. Steve was able to fight off the agents nearest him and made his way to you. As you were putting away the thumb drive full of information, Steve found his way to the computer room.
“Glad you finally made it, Stevie. Ready to leave?” you asked the captain.
“We’ve gotta find Buck first (Y/N),” Steve snapped at you, “We can’t leave without him.”
“Let’s find him then. We’ll stick together, check the east wing first. Maybe Barnes just got… Lost…” you trailed off as a dark presence made itself known. Steve noticed this and turned around from where he was standing facing you.
Standing before you was the Winter Soldier, an obvious difference from Bucky Barnes. The light in his beautiful eyes was gone, replaced by a darkness you had only seen once before. This is not Bucky, this is Winter.
oh goodness i can talk about these two forever, they started out as unlikely friends but ended up becoming that and more, and they helped each other grow as coordinators and jflsjfaghslfjs tHEY’RE BEAUTIFUL OKAY :’) ♡ the battle in “the unbeatable lightness of seeing” may have been their last one in the anime, but i believe it was only the beginning of much, much more ♡
i cannot believe that 19 of our own are dead and more are injured. i can’t believe that someone who only promotes love and positivity is being thrust into such a horrific situation. i can’t believe and i don’t understand why bad things happen to such beautiful lights in our world.
out of respect for everyone involved and for ariana herself, i’m going to put this blog on hold and i’m sorry if that sounds douchey it’s just the least that i can do, i don’t feel like it’s right or respectful to carry on as if nothing happened. i just need to respect the people who were lost. i love ariana so much and i hope she doesn’t blame herself for one second. i hope (edit: i KNOW) she can come back from this. she is such a strong and courageous woman, who i look up to so much.
and to the ones who were lost tonight, i hope you rest in peace you beautiful darlings. you will NEVER be forgotten. together we can fight evil, love can win over all, we have to. love is literally all we have.
aaaah sorry for taking a while w/ this, but how exactly did u take pics in cas? did u just edit the background out or??? aaah im so bad sorRY
it’s ok lovely! taking cas pics was by far the most straightforward way to take pics for me :-) you literally just zoom in/out as much as you want, take the pic with the ingame camera (the c key for me) and then i edited the background out with the magic wand tool in photoshop. for taking cas pics, i rely on these resources:
Derek and Stiles sit in an unmarked squad car on a routine stakeout hoping to catch the person who has been knocking over various warehouses around town. By the fourth uneventful hour, they’ve played nearly every game known to man in order to keep some semblance of sanity, when the speaker squawks.
“What about ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’ because you guys are killing me with your boredom. By the way, your push button is broken which means I’ve heard everything. I need to go bleach my ears after hearing Stiles’ enthusiastic rendition of ‘Hello’.” Scott’s voice echoes through the radio.
Stiles huffs at that, but what else do they have but time and sore asses, for the most unremarkable reasons, too. Shame.
“Alright how about….”
Derek closes his eyes as he attempts to drum up some names, fingers tapping thoughtfully on his thigh before opening his eyes, catching his reflection in the side mirror and smirking. “Scott, Parrish, and Me.”
Stiles snorts and turns so he’s facing Derek, “Really? That’s the best you’ve got?”
Derek shrugs up a shoulder and nods his head, urging Stiles on.
Stiles squints his eyes and nibbles on his lip as he mulls it over. Derek sighs, “This isn’t Jeopardy, Stiles.”
Stiles’ squint becomes a half-hearted glare. “Fine. Fuck Scott. No seriously, fuck you, bro. My singing is on point. Angels wept.” Stiles screeches into the radio.
“They’re not the only ones who wept. Just so you know I’m flipping you off so hard right now. Also the suspect in question was spotted in your vicinity. ETA on your location is 5 minutes.” Scott responds.
“Roger. Eyes wide open. Ok so on to Parrish. Hmmm. Kill Parrish mostly because I’m not even sure if that’s possible. Would he just come for himself then? You know because of the whole,” Stiles gestures to his body, mimicking being engulfed in flames, “Hellhound situation?”
Scott chokes out a laugh while Derek’s glare becomes contemplative before movement coming from the warehouse has him bounding out of the car with one hand on his walkie.
Pairing: John X AfricanAmerican!Reader Word Count: 3660 Warnings: Slavery, whipping.
A/N: Slavery is a really sensitive subject and I mean no offense to anyone and I am not implying I know how bad it was but I know that it is a really powerful and difficult topic. Also, I didn’t really read over and edit so sorry for typos!
The boat rocked as you swayed along with it. The lower hold filled with other miserable passengers. Light skins on the top side enjoyed simple pleasures that you were stripped of. Every day you among others were forced to dance or work to keep in shape so you could be sold. You were stripped of your home, your family, your friends…everything. Captured and now taken to America who was, at the time, rebelling against Britain. Your sullen expression matched those of your fellow passengers, even as someone in the crow’s nest signaled the sign of land.
“I bet this place is no better,” the stranger next to you mumbled.
“Yeah,” you agreed.
Maybe one or two hours later you and others were rounded up and moved onto land. Bound by itchy ropes you traveled for days till you arrived at the market. You were thrown into a pen with other women. Men encircled the pen, examining you and calling them out to inspect them further. You backed your way into the crowd.
“Mr. Laurens sir?” The man who brought you greeted a stout man.
“Please call me Henry,” he responded.
The man nodded and gestured to the group you were in. “Don’t you own a trading post?”
“Yes I do, ‘Austin and Laurens’ but I’m here today to purchase.” He circled the holding pen. “I don’t think it’s fair to buy from your own company, even if it is the most successful,” Henry smirked.
The other man nodded and stepped back so Henry could scan through the crowds of women. The sign that displayed your starting price hung loosely around your neck as he called you from the crowds. The trader brought you out and threatened you to behave.
Henry walked circles around you, he pat you down checking your physicality. He opened your mouth and checked your teeth, your eyes were scanned and your spine traced for deformities. “She looks healthy and fit. Five hundred sixty?”
“How about six hundred?” The trader bargained.
You were taken by the rope tied around your hands as the sign was removed from your neck. A blank expression stayed put on your face as you were lead to his wagon and tied to it with three other slaves.
The sun beat down as you walked behind the wagon to the Laurens estate. A grand colonial house overlooked rice fields by the dozen. Multiple slaves worked in the fields that swelled with water. Planting rice stalks into the ground and stirring the mud to hold the stalk.
The carriage came to a stop and you were untied. An overseer came to where you and three others stood. You were assigned to the household, where you would cook, clean, and attend to the missus of the house, and so you did.
Two weeks passed and you became situated caring for the younger children and completing daily tasks for the household. You sighed dismissively and carried the wet laundry to the hanging wire. As you clipped dripping cotton to the string the wind blew across your skin, allowing for some comfort in the heavy sun. Clipping the last skirt into place you stepped back and watched the workers from the fields return.
Down by the river you sat with your hands crossed in your lap. The sun hid behind the horizon and the water rippled as you skipped pebbles. You didn’t really talk much, you were a silent worker and enjoyed the moments of peace at the end of the day. The rest of the slaves danced and sang by their cabin. You sat in solitude by the river in which the water for the rice fields came.
You thought about your home, Kenya. There you were called Akilah which meant intelligent. Now that you were here the Americans called you Y/N, which you didn’t mind, it was a beautiful name.
“Hello?” Your thoughts were interrupted and you sprung to your feet. The master’s eldest son smiled at you.
You curtsied as you were instructed, and bowed your head. He took a step towards you and you tensed. He noticed your shift in posture and stopped a few paces in front of you. “I didn’t mean to scare you, sorry.”
Your head tilted at his apology. You simply nodded and waited for some kind of order or something. “Did you need something, sir?” The heavy African accent showing through.
“No, I just wanted to see why you were over here alone and not dancing with the others,” he said.
You raised your head and looked back at the river. “I just prefer to be down here, sir.”
“My name is John,” He said extending his hand.
Staring at his hand you nodded and his expression fell. “I know sir.”
His face lightened again. “I mean you can call me John.”
“You folk just call me Y/N so that is what I go by,” your hands folded over your stomach.
“Okay. Um, whatcha doin’?” He gestured towards the river and walked awkwardly towards it.
You stayed silent, John huffed and turned around to you again. “Okay, I don’t think of you as property, that’s just stupid. You’re as human as I am! I just want to be your friend.”
His head hung as he spoke, a small smile graced your features after his confession. “I haven’t smiled since I’ve been here…” He looked up and smiled back at you. “Thank you… John.”
“I don’t really believe in ‘owning’ people,” he said using air quotations.
“It’s weird being here. How different this place is compared to Africa,” you said looking at your surroundings.
“What’s it like there?”
He turned to the river and watched it flow softly over the rocks. You crouched down and fiddled with a smooth stone. Swinging your arm back and slinging it into the river it bounced on the water. John smiled fondly at you and attempted to do the same.
The rest of the evening you skipped rocks with John and told him about Kenya. You told him stories of your adventures as a child and how you would always sneak down to the waterhole at dusk to skip rocks.
Since that day, John visited you while you worked and sat with you at the end of the day. You denied your growing affections for him. He would never love someone who was enslaved, You told yourself countless times.
As you worked in the kitchen to clean up after dinner, one of the smaller children, Martha, came running in. “Y/N! James won’t leave me alone!” James followed his sister’s steps into the kitchen.
“Out, out, out!” An older woman everyone called “mama” raised her voice at the children.
You picked little Martha up and held James’ hand as you escorted them out of the kitchen. Martha leaned her head on your shoulder as you balanced her on your hip and James gripped your finger. You laid Martha down in bed and tucked her in. James settled himself on the other side of the shared room.
Martha’s small voice stopped you as you began to walk out the door. “Y/N? Can you sing to me?”
“Yeah Y/N! Sing please!” James pipped in.
You smiled softly at their pleas and walked back into the room. Situating yourself on the end Martha’s bed you watched the little girl tuck herself further in the sheets. You smiled fondly and began singing a lullaby your mother sang to you as a child.
“Thula thul, thula baba, thula sana…” Martha’s eyes fluttered shut and James shifted in his bed. “Thul’ubab uzobuya, ekuseni. Thula thul, thula baba…” you stood and backed out of the room. Reaching behind you, you found the doorknob and continued backward singing the last few chords. “Ubuye le khaya–”
Your back collided with a sturdy chest as you took a final step back. A sharp intake of breath reached your lungs as hands held your shoulders. You closed the door and turned around to face John. “H–Hello…”
He smiled reassuringly at you. “That was beautiful, your singing.”
A small blush came to your face and you looked down realizing how close you were to him. “Thank you.”
He slipped his soft hands from your shoulders to your rough ones. You brought your face up as he caressed the inside of your palms with his thumbs. A red glow marked his freckles as he looked down to your hands. John looked you straight in the eyes and opened his mouth to say something. Footsteps came down the hall and you two broke apart, you turning to leave and John heading the other way.
Walking down the stairs to the basement, which doubled as sleeping quarters for the workers of the house, all attention turned to you and your late arrival.
“My friend, what has got you all flustered?” A girl called Emily asked in a heavy Swahili accent.
“Nothing…” you said quietly and moved to set up your cot.
“I bet it’s the master’s son, John Laurens,” someone suggested, drawing out the name that gave you butterflies.
You scoffed and tried your best to hide your blush. “Now what made you think that?”
“Oh I don’t know,” she continued swinging a rag in her hand. “It’s not like you spend time together every evening and you don’t smile and blush when you see each other. No, nothing like that.”
“Is not him.”
“Okay tell us!” Someone plead.
You laid down and crossed your arms. “No.”
“Ah-ha! She admitted!”
Mama walked over to your cot and sat at the edge as everyone else gathered around your bed. From young and old, all curious to know your relation to the master’s son.
You sat up and folded your hands in your lap. “Well…” you told them the whole story of how he met you and what y'all did by the river. What you didn’t mention was the encounter a few minutes ago. “That’s it, now go to bed!”
Everyone stood and moved to their own cots to sleep. You sighed and pulled the thin blanket over your body. As you settled into the cot you smiled to yourself and fell asleep.
A cry rang out from inside the house. You jumped to your feet and rushed up the stairs. It was the youngest of the Laurens family, Mary. Running down the hall and rushing into the nursery and prayed that the missus wasn’t woken.
“Shh… shh…” you cooed leaning over the crib to silent the baby. You reached your hand down and rubbed her soft cheek. Mary leaned into your hand on instinct and quieted. “Just a nightmare.”
The door opened behind you and your stomach dropped. The missus, Elenor, stood before you, angry. “Come here girl,” she grabbed a rawhide whip and dragged you outside.
“No!” You screamed as she tossed you outside. You fell to your knees and the missus coiled her arm. “She had a nagmerrie!” You yelled, resorting to your native language.
“Shut up,” she released the hide and it scored across your back, ripping the back of your dress and welting the flesh. A strangled scream left your throat when it made contact.
You forced your eyes shut and prepared for another blow. “STOP!” A voice boomed.
Elenor turned around as you cowered on the ground. Angry conversations went on as you struggled to your feet and stared at John arguing with his mother. He snatched the whip from her and she stormed inside.
John looked back at you and dropped the weapon. He came to your side looking at you with fear in his eyes, not really sure how to help. Your breaths were short and ragged as you shook from the pain, John softly moved his arm around your shoulder and lead you back into the house.
“Shh… you’ll be okay,” he soothed. John lead you through the house to his room. He opened the door and set you on the bed, it was the softest thing you’ve sat on. John ran out of the room and came back with a rag and some water.
You hissed as he pat the wet rag against the red mark. “Sorry,” he mumbled. He continued his work and you gritted your teeth in pain. John placed a blanket over your shoulders to cover the tear in your top.
He stood and moved to his desk where he sat down with a sigh. “Are you okay?”
“It feels better,” you gave him a weak smile. “Thanks.”
A silence fell between the two of you. You were a slave here, owned by this guy’s father yet he treated you like a person. Why? “W–why did you do that?”
He looked up at you, confusion and another emotion that you couldn’t quite place laced his eyes. “I woke up to Mary crying and then I heard footsteps going down the hall and the door opening. When I went to see what was happening I heard the whip and ran outside. My mom was gonna–”
“That’s how you knew what was happening,” you interrupted. “Why did you help me?”
“Because you’re just as human as I am and you shouldn’t be treated any different!” He said.
You were slightly taken aback at his outburst, but you understood. “Okay, well thank you. Good night.”
You stood and walked out of his room, the blanket still around your shoulders. The silence lingered in the air as you turned and stepped back into the sleeping quarters again. You smiled thankfully when you saw no one was awake. Laying on your stomach you drew the blanket closer, taking in John’s scent.
The next few days you and John didn’t talk much. It stuck to simple “hi’s” and “bye’s”, which hurt a lot more than it should have. The whip mark began to scar over and hurt less. The missus scowled every time she passed you, muttering under her breath. You explained to your fellow workers how you got whipped and left out the “john part”.
Just like every night, you sat by the river enveloped in your thoughts. This time your watched the dancers and listened to the songs that were native to you. You smiled as you watched the children dance around the fire as the adults chanted. You jumped as a hand was placed on your shoulder.
“John?” You said looking up at him.
“Hi…” he said sheepishly. “Can we talk?”
“Of course,” he extended his hand and helped you up.
He walked closer to where you normally sit, where it was quieter and farther away from everyone. “So how’s that healing?” He gestured to your back.
“I could live without it,” you said letting out a small chuckle.
He nodded and smiled. “The thing I wanted to say was… sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten mad that night and you deserve to know why I acted that way,” he took a deep breath.
“I just needed time to think it over and–well here goes nothing,” he shrugged.
“John?” You said again, very confused.
“Y/N, I–I think I’m in love with you and that scares me half to death…” he looked down at the grass and shifted shyly.
You gawked at him, unsure what to say. He looked up at you and scoffed, turning around and facing the river. “I know it’s wrong to love you and you probably don’t think the same way. God, I must look like a fool standing here,” he picked up a stone and tossed it into the river.
“I know you don’t feel the same way. I mean you can’t, right?” He said without looking back. Picking up another stone and clenching it in his fist he stared at the ground.
You walked the length between you and took his hand in yours. He released the stone and it fell to the ground as he looked at you. John turned his body to face you as you took his other hand as well. “I–I think I’m in love with you…too.”
John’s face brightened, he stepped closer to you his hands resting on the small of your back. He leaned forward inches from your face. “Can I?” He asked his eyes flickering between your eyes and your lips.
You nodded slowly as he closed the distance between the two of you. You felt him smiled into the kiss holding you closer. Leaning into his grasp you smiled after you parted. Finally, you thought. Then your smile wavered as you realized what this would mean. “John?”
His face flooded with concern and realization as you rested your head on his chest. “What are we going to do? We can’t be together here, it’s forbidden.”
John’s silence told you he was debating; deep in thought. “I have a friend in the North, Alexander Hamilton, he could help.”
“Are you saying–”
“That we run away? Yeah,” He said firmly.
You looked back at the dancers and the children, this was the life you knew now. Maybe you could start another one somewhere else…with John. “It’s going to be really risky. A long journey as well.”
“When we get there, I’ll work to free you. So you can be considered your own person,” he explained. “Then we’ll figure it out from there.”
You nodded and sighed deeply, as he kissed the top of your head.
You packed your few belongings in secret. Journeying to the kitchen you slipped in a few supplies and met John outside the house, by the river. “Ready?”
“We–we just walk away? That simple?” You said disbelievingly.
“It won’t be that easy, slave hunters will come looking for you.” John sighed deeply. “?
My dad will issue a search party with a price. Things like that but we’ll get there.” He reassured.
You nodded and pulled John into a hug. “You don’t have to do this.”
“Yes… I do,” he said firmly, wrapping his arms around you. Taking your hand in his he lead you around the town to unsettled woodlands.
Days passed and you traveled at night, hiding and resting during the day. You both were exhausted but had hope for how far you’ve come. John explained how you were only a few miles from the northern boundary.
Something was off with John, you knew y'all had to be on high alert but he seemed more aware. Hidden in a deep part of the woods John sat up staring into the array of trees as you rested your head on a satchel.
He twitched a the chirp of a bird and stiffened. “John?”
He grunted in acknowledgment and continued looking around for any sign of movement. “Why are you so paranoid? We’re almost there. Just–”
“Sh,” he hushed quickly. He moved to a crouching position and whipped his head back and forth. Using two fingers he signaled to the west. You turned your gaze to his signal and saw it.
Three men and three horses, no dogs thankfully. They were advancing on your location. “They are looking for escaped slaves,” John said.
You nodded your dark skin blending in the shadows. “There’s a dip over there, just before the river.” You said quietly.
John nodded and grabbed your hand, moving to the location you pointed out. Tossing your bags into a nearby tree and rushed you to the dip.
“What was that?” One of the hunters called out.
You whimpered fear wracking your body. John laid stomach down against the bank and pulled you down in the same position. He slid his arm over your shoulders, you looked at him and saw him looking above the bank for the hunters. With a small gasp, he rushed his head down and pulled you close to his chest. Footsteps neared your location and you began shaking underneath John. Eyes closed you listened to the men’s conversations.
“I swore I saw something run over here.” One said.
“Maybe you’re just tired Joe, come on. We’ll stop at the next town and let you rest.” The other said.
“Come on,” the third said moving to grab his fellow hunter.
As the footsteps retreated you released the breath you were holding. John lifted his head above the dip and watched them, making sure they were far enough away. Leaving your side and stood and cautiously gathered yalls things. You stood and John handed you your stuff and busied himself with his.
“John…” you began.
He grunted in acknowledgment to let you know he was listening. “John you can’t keep doing this.”
He stopped and looked up at you. “What do you mean?” he asked, standing straight.
“You can’t keep helping me, we almost got caught and I know what they’d do to me but I fear what they’d do to you,” you explained.
“Hey,” he said quietly, placing a hand on your shoulders and the other under your chin making you look up at him. “Don’t worry about that, I’m going to take care of you okay?”
Tears lined your eyes, “Okay…” you whispered as he pulled you into a hug and kissed your temple.
“We’re almost there, come on.”
Your footsteps became heavy as you trudged, breath labored and knees weak. John was just the same, except he was taking longer strides (john you can’t get there any faster by taking bigger steps—i beg to differ, my love, I can get anywhere faster with bigger steps). After a few more moments, you heard a gasp from in front of you.
A small, unbelieving chuckle escaped John’s mouth. “We did it!” He exclaimed.
You came to his side and he slipped his arm around your waist. “We did it,” he said quieter.
You nodded and leaned into John. He turned and faced you, leaning down he planted a firm and passionate kiss on your lips. Full of joy and hope you continued on to find Alexander Hamilton and gain your rights as a free African American.
Hello, next year (if God wills) I want to be more organized and be a sort of a studyblr, but honestly I don't know how to start. Do you have any tips for a beginner and should I like go all minaml, I don't know if you know what I mean, like should I but those cute supllies. ANY TIPS you have would be helpful. Hope this is not much to ask haha. God bless you and thank you in advance :)
Well, first you don’t need to buy cute supplies. I started with what I already had and I seriously didn’t care much about having cute pens etc as long as they were good. Just buy things you really like and/or are interested. I discovered the mildliners through the community and I bought them because I liked the colours (I love them except for the pastel pack). Same thing for the muji black gel pen, I had the chance to try it and I fell in love. (but I don’t think I’ll buy the other colours because I already have other pens).
Don’t feel pressured, just be yourself. You don’t have to stick to a certain “style”, it’s natural to change.
And you can also try to take photos with good lighting (cause other wise it’s hard for people to see) (and no it doesn’t mean super white pics because tbh that’s only achievable with editing xD). Some people like to use the same filter/editing style (like me), but it’s up to you.
And that’s pretty much what came into my mind. Sorry if it isn’t much ;u; I’m just so bad at tumblr, Instagram is more my comfort zone xD
*I hate writing Shu in a bad light so don’t be surprised if I end up turning this out nicely*
You had worked extra hours today and was tired. Walking in through the sakamaki mansion you discover how quiet it was. Not too long ago a new bride had been brought in. You felt sorry for her but her appearance annoyed you. She was blonde, busty and had bright blue eyes. You bit your lip hard, she looked like a female Shu.
You knew either she would die soon or give in and be a bride to one of the brothers.
You sighed and finally turned down the corridor to your room. As soon as you’ll get in you’ll have his arms to fall into and forget how tired you are.
You paused outside the door, did you hear something? Sounded like faint moans…Laito had hold of the new girl did he?
You shake it off and open the door, smiling excited to see him.
You had been terribly wrong, you felt an awful cold chill start in your spine that worked its way up and your whole body froze.
'Shu…’ You gasp.
He looked up at you, surprise and fear on his face. The girl beneath him rolled over and covered herself with the bed sheets…your bedsheets.
Your heart was beating fast, though you couldn’t breathe. You backed away not wanting to see their naked bodies anymore.
Tears flooded your eyes and you ran.
When you reach the rose gazebo outside you collapse and let out the heartbreak.
'Y/N!’ He called but you ignored him, he kneels beside you, dressed but still smelling of her. 'I-i..’
Shu didn’t know what to say, he had been an idiot he knew that, but at the time he was his old teasing self. The vampire in him wanted to play and lure this girl.
But when you walked in and he saw your face he knew he had broken his own heart as well as yours.
'Just leave me alone..’ You sob. 'Why Shu..?!’ You were angry and he backed off. He would give you space and explain later.
You finally stopped crying and took a deep breath.
The mansion was cold and silent again as you walk in. You had been driven crazy by this place. By the brothers. By him. By Shu.
The girl walked past you, she froze and sighed.
'Y/N I’m sorry. But Shu.. he is the only one here that seems sane. He’s handsome and looks so lonely sometimes. I just found..comfort in him.’
You scowl. Who the hell does she think she is?!
'He is mine!’ You roar at her.
'He..he doesn’t have to be!’ She bravely countered.
You were angry, madly angry.
Shu appeared behind you, he puts a hand on your shoulder.
'Y/N I am completely yours.’ He says. You sigh. Of course he is. You didn’t spend the past two years chasing, and looking after him when he was lazy for nothing!
'I know.’ You say darkly, 'You’ll have to apologise everyday.’
'I will! I will! I promise!’ He agrees desperately.
The girl gasps. 'I’m nothing?!’
Shu looks at her blankly.
'After the blood you took and the secrets I told you! It was pointless?!’
You sigh, 'I’ve heard enough’
Shu nods and leads you away. But the girl follows you to the top of the stairs.
'Shu!’ She cries desperately.
She pushes past you and clings onto his arms.
He manages to shake her off which gives you a perfect chance to push her over the stair rail.
You hear her scream and a bone crushing smack on the hard floor.
Shu looks at you shocked.
'Problem solved.’ You smile darkly and walk past. 'Coming to bed Shu?’
He looks over the banister and nods slowly. For that one moment Shu had a twinkle of fear in his eyes.
'I’m coming, my love…’ He follows you instantly.
What's going on with the Siamdang drama? I decided to skip since I've been burned by SSH dramas before, so I have no idea what's been going on.
Hoo boy, So, pretty much:
1. SBS thought they had a guaranteed hit on their hands with Lee Young Ae’s big comeback drama. Up until shortly before it aired, it was always meant to be a weekend drama, and while it got pushed back once or twice, the earlier possible slots were for the weekend. Then someone went “hey, we have a guaranteed, no chance of failure drama, why are we making it a weekend drama instead of primetime?” So they moved it to the Wednesday/Thursday slot without taking into account that, well, it was meant to be a WEEKEND drama, and not only do weekend dramas have a different vibe from primetime dramas, but viewers also have different expectations. If it had been a weekend show, there would have still been some problems, but I do believe that it would had had the ratings-or close to-that it was expected to have.
2. Even though Lee Young Ae apparently didn’t want to rely on nostalgia too much, SBS really really did, and played up the nostalgia in marketting, and in the show itself. On paper, it makes PERFECT sense why she’d go with it. It’s set in the same time period as Dae Jang Geum and the characters are familiar but not identical, it featured a character who rarely (never?) appears in sageuks, a romance between a couple in their late 30s, and a rather unusual and somewhat original spin on things. It isn’t the first series to combine modern and historical parts (and it should be noted that filming finished long before Goblin or Chicago Typewriter, which also feature reincarnation and historical and modern timelines, were ever announced) but it’s still an uncommon approach. Unfortunately, SBS opted too much for the nostalgia. Nods and homages to LYA’s previous iconic works are natural and expected, but SBS decided that people who liked LYA in an early 2000s drama wanted to watch her in an early 2000s drama in 2017. Personally speaking, while there were some not-great sageuk parts early on, it worked for me. It didn’t work for a lot of people because…well, even if you liked something 14 years ago you don’t WANT something that hasn’t progressed in those 14 years.
3. The series was hyped as a sageuk with bits of modern plot, and marketing really built up the nostalgia. In reality, the series was always meant to be roughly evenly split between the modern and historical plotlines. Unsurprisingly, when fans got something VERY different from what they’d been promised (the first episode was mostly modern parts, the second was half modern, half snippets from different points in the sageuk plotline) they reacted pretty loudly. SBS reacted by being SBS and making drastic edits. It should be noted that the ratings didn’t fall below what’s normally considered decent until AFTER the major edits took place. Most of the editing was removing large chunks of the modern parts. Unfortunately, it was constructed for the two plotlines to feed into and support each other. The sageuk plotline was perfectly decent on its own, but was obviously lacking something, and that something was the bulk of the complementary plotline in the present. As a result, while we’ll likely get resolution for the sageuk plotline, they cut so much from the modern plotline that I don’t see how they can fully resolve and explain everything in the final episode.
4. I’m not completely up to speed on this part, but it was apparently also expected to do well internationally, like Moon Lovers did, but the China ban pretty much killed that.
5. It’s SBS doing a sageuk? I mean, don’t get me wrong, more often than not, sageuk that doesn’t get stellar ratings sails through SBS unscathed. But then…well, they pretty much did the same thing to Moon Lovers with the heavy edits that made things a mess and did more harm than good, but at least they didn’t do so many edits that they dumped 2 entire episodes worth of plot. Then there’s poor Ja Myung Go, which had the misfortune of competing with Queen Seon Deok (and another really popular drama that QSD replaced early in its run, tough I forget that drama’s name) to which it bore some similarities. The ratings Ja Myung Go pulled in were low, but not actually terrible, but it was meant to be 50 episodes and they cut it to 39. IMO, having to condense the last 20 episodes into 9 episodes (and I can’t recall if they even had that much forewarning) pretty much ruined it. I loved that show despite not caring for the male lead at all, or being very invested in the romance, until the final handful of episodes, which I thought went downhill fast, and the ending pretty much ruined it for me. (Tragic is one thing, but I thought that went OTT with the tragedy, and actively ignored Ja Myung’s agency to have the tragedy, but that’s another rant.) SBS seems a little more trigger happy and panicky if their really hyped dramas don’t immediately perform as expected, and both Saimdang and Moon Lovers probably would have fared better in ratings if someone hadn’t hit the panic button and sent the editing department into a frenzy.
I mean, I’ve spent half the run of the show going “MBC wouldn’t have done this to us.” (I mean, in general, MBC seems more willing to stick with sageuks and let them do their thing even when they only have average ratings.) Sure, we would have had even more Dae Jang Geum shoutouts, but at least they would have given the show a proper chance.
6. I honestly have no idea if this is a factor, and I touched on it in a post last week, but Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People has been…not a sleeper hit, but it’s a show pulling in good ratings and a lot of acclaim despite relatively little promotion. MBC kinda threw it out there and it took off was better than the overlapping and way more hyped sageuks from SBS and KBS. But Rebel is, IMO, a truly revolutionary and progressive show in a lot of ways. Even if you don’t see it as revolutionary or progressive, there’s no denying that it deals with and addresses things other sageuks usually don’t, and is very different from what we’re used to in a lot of ways. At the same time, you have Saimdang relying on tried and true tropes for the sageuk, and steadily losing a lot of what set it apart thanks to SBS edits. A lot of people I know (as in, all of them that I can think of) who initially watched Saimdang but couldn’t get into it DO watch and love Rebel. Whether or not this holds true for Korean viewers, I don’t know.
I mean, I’m biased. People who follow me who don’t watch kdramas, or even those who do but don’t watched Rebel, are probably sick and tired of me talking about it. Someone out there probably isn’t reading this post purely because I post so many walls of text about the show that they have every possible version of the title plugged into tumblrsavior. Unless it goes south in the last few episodes, I’m going to say that Rebel is probably one of the best shows I’ve watched in the last few years, while Saimdang is pretty much my most anticipated drama of the last two years. Aside from the first few episodes, Saimdang did not live up to my expectations, though I do still like it for the show it is.
End rant. Sorry, you probably didn’t expect a reply anywhere near this long, but ti’s one of the things that gets me going these days. My friends in Line have put up with a lot of this from me lately.