As always for @svu-stories to make her smile!!! Part of the Charity Event Challenge suggested by @yourtropegirl!!! Enjoy, everyone!!!
“They’re not done.”
“I know. I can explain.”
“They’re ice cold!”
Tossing a towel to the floor, you sighed at the sight of the
bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese and charged past Derek in search
of the oven. The dial showed that it was set to 375 degrees, but you could
stick your arm in the stove without the threat of a burn. Falling
to your knees with no care as to whether you stained your crisp black slacks,
you peered behind the appliance and realized that the damned thing was unplugged.
“Heat makes food edible,” you groaned. “A fucking caveman
figured that much out when he clubbed his meal to death and shit his loin cloth
for two days straight with prehistoric salmonella. Because he didn’t build a
And it wasn’t just the appetizers. The crowned rack of lamb
looked as if it was still packed in ice, and your eyes shot daggers
at the staff as Derek simply scratched his head.
“I… the guy in charge said it just needed some time to warm
“Great! If we were hosting a breakfast benefit we’d be right
on schedule,” you scoffed. “But I’m pretty sure the invitation read dinner at
7:30. So unless every man, woman and child on the guest list is about to take
fashionably late to a new level, we are screwed with nothing to show for it!”
Which in some ways was the story of your life.
Kicking the stainless-steel counter, you winced in pain and
ignored Derek’s attempt to massage the moment. Not that you ever wanted to come
up short when it came to a gig. But of all nights… this event was designed
to raise funds for seniors in need of in-home caregivers. The cause was close
to Rafael’s heart for reasons that still made him toss and turn and bolt awake with
tears in his eyes. Soon he would arrive so that no other grandchild, present or
future, would ever have to wrestle with the idea of letting their loved one
down, and you wanted to put your best foot forward, to do right by the cause…
…and him above all
How the hell were you supposed to make that happen with uncooked
fare? Not to mention the cookies that were little more than slimy batter. Maybe
you could serve it with spoons and call it an innovation destined to take the
culinary world by storm. If everyone drank enough champagne and chased it with
tequila that might fly.
Who were you kidding? There wasn’t enough liquor in the
world to mask your gross incompetence.
“Ah the calm before the storm.”
Startled while you looked out a long window, you caught sight of Rafael sauntering towards you
in a sleek silver suit paired with a light blue tie. Of course he had to be the first to guest to show
up, and you shook your head when he clasped your arms and placed a quick kiss
of your brow.
“I know, I know,” he said. “Pay no attention to the goddess
working her magic behind the curtain.”
“When did I ever say—?”
“The first time was when you wagered you could cook a tuna
melt that would make me rethink the merits of fish and cheese,” he reminded
you, and a picture from the past filled your mind. He mentioned sandwiches after
you spent a lazy Sunday afternoon watching old movies and smiling as he told
you that he remembered the first time he saw Bette Davis in this one or Cary
Grant in another. Every viewing at his abuelita’s
knee. So sweet to imagine him as a little boy getting a grand education in old-fashioned
romance. And the quiet secret they shared, that wherever life took him, any
time he viewed frames made more beautiful by black and white, his abuelita would also be watching and
thinking of him.
How he had believed that she might accept the assisted
living facility simply because they promised movies and they could stay connected
“I wish you hadn’t said that,” you muttered.
Biting down on your lip and blinking back a few tears, you
turned towards the kitchen that might as well be a walk-in freezer and wondered
if there was some way that you could escape out the back. Because wherever that
sweet old woman was now, she wasn’t watching a movie. Only a farce that negated
your ability to fashion that simple tuna melt when a banquet was about to come
“What’s all this about?” he asked.
Stepping swiftly to cut you off at the pass, he centered his
palms on your shoulders. You avoided his eyes and focused on the fact that your
knees looked as if you had crawled through flour with not even a slice of bread
to show for your efforts.
“It’s already a disaster,” you said. “The food’s not ready.”
“Well I am early.”
“The oven was never turned on, Rafael! Cheese and crackers won’t bring the donations in. I… I wanted to get this right.
Why hadn’t you double checked? Better yet thrown in the
towel altogether and let someone else write the menu. Cracks in your facades
were showing from the moment the Georgia Peach passed on your cuisine, and soon
the word around town would be that you were all washed up.
He waited, tightening his grip until your reluctantly found
“I know what you’re going to say.”
“Oh?” he challenged. “Then tell me.”
You released a heavy sigh.
“That it’s not a big deal. That I can still fix it. God, I
swear sometimes you must get so sick of telling me that I’m not a failure.”
Because it wasn’t just the meal. It was the fact that your
application to adopt a child had yet to give Jingles a playmate. Even the kitty
cat seemed down these days.
“I don’t think I can get sick of that,” he started.
“Wow,” you said, pulling away from him and finally meeting
his eyes. “What’s that? Just haven’t
said it out loud? Has it been playing over and over again in the dreams you don’t share with me?”
Maybe that was a low blow, but you were too tired to care
and ready to leave Derek holding the ladle and passing off pink bacon and lamb as
fine food when Rafael seized your waist and buried his head in your hair.
“I can’t get sick of it because I would never say that to you,” he murmured. “Don’t you know that?”
“Yes,” you meekly replied.
“I didn’t quite catch—.”
“Yes,” you repeated, your voice a little louder as you sank
into his chest and found his fingers, locking your hands in his as your head
came to rest in the crook of his neck.
“I wouldn’t care if you brought out a bowl of chips tonight,
mi amor. I just want you with me so I
can keep it together.”
His voice hitched on the last word, and you looked up to see
him fighting back a few tears. Softly stroking his face, your sense memory took
over. On the nights when he sobbed and woke with a start, kicking himself for
the idea that he had let his grandmother down, you cradled him until his head came to rest
in your lap, combing your fingers through his rumpled locks until he found
sleep, hoping that some higher power could answer the smallest of prayers and
bring him sweet dreams.
“I’m here,” you assured him, instantly rethinking the idea
of running away. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Thank you,” he said, lightly kissing your lips. “I need you. Forever.”
He fell into your arms, and you rubbed his back, wondering
what his abuelita would do with a
busted oven and guests already en route. You’d heard the stories of other ovens
on the fritz. Rafael left in the other woman’s care, Lucia sick in bed on account of being
smacked around when she’d fashioned an amazing dinner for a man who needed no
excuse to form a fist. Abuelita rarely
ventured out of her railroad apartment, but the woman worked wonders and always
found ways to make little Rafael smile.
“I think I know what to do.”
Kissing him again, you started to run back to the kitchen
when you whipped your head over your shoulders, stretching to the tips of your
toes to claim his mouth and caress his cheeks.
“You’re really okay with chips?” you asked.
“I told you. I just want you with me.”
“Give me twenty minutes, and I’m all yours.”
The kitchen was in chaos, the oven finally plugged in as you ordered
Derek to make a run to the convenience store on the corner.
“But they charge an arm and a leg for—”
“I’m about to be on a roll! Do not argue with me.”
He came back in record time with rippled potato chips and
peanuts. Add that to the chips of the chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch
variety, the cookies forgotten. Melting the sweets in a sauce pan and adding
the salted savories so you could pour the concoction into a muffin tin, you
peeked out to see the other guests arriving. At least there was an open bar, and Rafael saw you and
rushed to your side.
“Do I even get a hint?” he asked.
“No. Not until it’s ready.”
Suddenly you were thankful for the chill. Derek was doing
his best to right the lamb so that there would be something in the way of a
“We’re starting with dessert?” he asked, wiping away a few
beads of sweat as you smiled at your surprise.
“We’re improvising. It’s what she would have done.”
Arranging the treats on a silver tray, you took a deep
breath and returned to the main room flooded with guests. Rafael was in the
midst of a deep conversation with a couple and their daughter.
“I know,” he said. “If I had it to over I would have hired
people around the clock.”
“But the cost is—”
“That’s why we’re here.”
He looked so sad again, smaller, and you cleared your
throat. Fighting to still your trembling hands around the edges of the tray,
you saw his eyes light up when you presented your grand idea and spoke slowly.
“I… I wan to thank you all for coming. Dinner is delayed. But tonight, I was reminded why we’re all here. We want to make this… every
day a little brighter.”
You focused on nothing and no one but Rafael.
“See my… my husband knows how to do that. Because he learned
from the best. And he lives those lessons every day. So in her honor… in his…
these are Abuelita’sAppetizers.”
Everyone moved as if they were walking under water,
surveying the strange sweets and sharing a few confused glances before tucking
in. For one second your still feared that it would be a bust, but as soon as
your attempt at Cuban lunch candies hit their tongues, far more than the chocolate
melted. The room was awash in smiles and stories of similar treats courtesy of
other abuelitas, of nonnas and jaddahs. Like the best food, like the movies that were meant to tie
an invisible string from Rafael to his grandmother through the whirlpool that
was infinity, the dead came back to life, assuring the survivors that no one
was to blame, that fate had worked its course and they understood. It wasn’t as
if they were looking down from above; they were in the air to make everyone
remember, to know that no one ever really left if the recipe was right and all
souls stayed strong.
Your tray was almost empty when Rafael guided you into a
quiet corner, his face unreadable until you touched his cheek and let his tears
stream between your fingers.
“She would be… she is
so proud of you, Rafael,” you said. “Lots of love here tonight.”
Ever so slowly, his lips curled into a smile, and he kissed
you, his tongue sweet with memories, his grin broad with the idea of tomorrow as he ended the kiss but
still held your hands.
“Thank you,” he said. “For never letting me down.”
@distinct-dottiness DaiSuga 6 is right here! I’ll see if I can get to 11 later, but for now here is IwaOi ^^ Most of this will be under the cut because of my inability to keep things short!
1. Made the first move
Oikawa, technically, but it’s not anything grand or surprising, it’s more of a mutual admission of what they both know is there, and haven’t felt pressured to define or rush into. They already spend most of their free time together. Already hold hands when they’re alone, and call each other first when they need to talk about something, or not talk, and have the right person being quiet with them. They’re sitting on Iwaizumi’s floor on a lazy Sunday afternoon, ostensibly watching a movie, but mostly just leaning against each other and enjoying being together. Iwaizumi asks if Oikawa is staying over that night, and Oikawa jokes that people will start to talk if they keep spending the night in each other’s beds. When Iwaizumi just laughs, Oikawa says, “I wouldn’t mind, though. If people thought we were together.” Iwaizumi looks over at him. Their shoulders are touching and their fingers are already laced together, and Oikawa just looks back at him and doesn’t try to act like it was a joke. Iwaizumi is quiet for a moment, then he says, “We are, aren’t we?” and Oikawa blushes a little and nods, and they don’t kiss yet, but they know they’ll get there.
Yeah, ATPM is one of the first “Super Serious” movies I ever watched. If my memory is correct, it was a WBFF Sunday Afternoon movie. As a young presidential dork, and someone who’s been fascinated with the organism of Richard Nixon since he was in short pants, it was right up my alley. I’ve seen it a dozen times or so, but admittedly, I haven’t seen it since 2005.
ATPM is great. It’s so great that people’s memory of Watergate is informed by that and “I’m not a crook.” Honestly whenever I think about former post editor Ben Bradlee, Jason Robard’s face is the first image that comes up (Which is spectacular because Ben Bradlee’s face has tremendous amounts of character). It’s also a good movie about the business of reporting. It’s not perfect, and there’s a lot of “Hollywood glamour” (I’m of the opinion that the actual business of journalism is essentially unfilmable), but there’s also a lot of tedious busywork, cold calling, rolodex flipping, and street work, which is important in a movie about a newspaper trying to decipher a complicated conspiracy.
I’ve got to watch it again though, its been a minute.
All time favourite movie: Calamity Jane. I love Doris Day. She makes me smile, she makes me content, she makes me think of the world in bright sunny colours. I love the soundtrack to this movie and it’s classic girl falls in love with the right boy eventually trope. It’s a Sunday afternoon, hot chocolate movie.
Movie that makes you feel inspired: I saw Hidden Figures recently and that was such an inspirational and motivational movie. You just want to flip the bird at authority and do it anyway. So why don’t we?
Movie that scares you: I used to watch a lot of horror but not so much any more. I remember finding The Rainbow and the Serpent pretty chilling back in the day.
Movie that makes you cry: Love Actually. I laugh and cry at different storylines every time.
Movie that comforts you: I rewatch Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars A New Hope, Jaws and Grease often.
Movie you dislike: Never liked the Matrix movies and the Batman movies.
Movie you hate that everyone likes: Titanic. I hated this movie with a passion. Three hours of my life wasted.
Movie you love that everyone hates: Probably a Doris Day musical that annoys everyone…but she is a goddess and can do no wrong.
First movie you remember watching in theatre: Escape to Witch Mountain with my mum and brother and it was epic. Watched the remake as an adult and it was crap.
Last movie you watched: Beauty and The Beast - loved it.
Favourite genre: I guess I love a movie that has a good plot, strong characters and is well directed. Genre is irrelevant.
Favourite animated movie: Ice Age or Shrek
Favourite Disney movie: Winnie the Pooh
Favourite movie musical: Haha, we get back to Calamity Jane again (and all Doris Day musicals). I also love Grease but am not a huge fan of many others.
Favourite horror movie: Jaws
Favourite drama: Shawshank Redemption
Favourite comedy: The Life of Brian
Favourite sci-fi/ fantasy: Star Wars A New Hope
Favourite documentary: Michael Jackson’s This is It
Favourite sequel: The Empire Strikes Back
Favourite director: Steven Spielberg
Favourite actress/actor: Doris Day! I also love Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Tom Hanks, Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Daniel Craig, Morgan Freeman.
A line of dialogue that’s stuck with you from any movie: Jaws: You’re going to need a bigger boat Love Actually: Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus? Daisy: Duh! Star Wars: Help me Obi Wan Kenobe, you’re my only hope Life of Brian: He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy
A line of dialogue you dislike from any movie: FTF: I have, I did, it’s done. IWTB: But I can tell you I won’t be coming home tonight.
Which books/reading materials have shaped your life views and/or drawing style? Which would you recommend everyone read and why?
So I’ll probably merge these questions here.
Hellboy from Mike Mignola. I didn’t grow up on Jack Kirby but my Jack Kirby is Mignola. The figures. The compositions. The gothic storytelling. The gradual approach to simplified lines. Design. Colors. The dark humor. It’s shaped a good portion of the stuff I enjoy comic-wise and beyond. It was super formative as an 18 year-old with baggy clothes in a new city who naively thought he was patient enough to be an animator (at the time).
Tekkonkinkreet from Taiyo Matsumoto. It was the first manga I saw that look so different than the others I’d been exposed to. Now I see some of the crossover between French and Japanese comics (I’ve only recently gotten into him, but Edmond Baudoin is good if you like Taiyo). His rough imperfectly perfectly drawings felt alive and I think I’ve absorbed his storytelling into my subconscious. I want to
Anything by Alex Toth. Apparently a big influence on Mignola(?) and when I got put on to him Frank Santoro I was thinking “I’ve been doing some stuff like this” and the love affair with his work was instant. I still have to start tracking down books, so right now it’s actually more of a crush.
A friend put me on to Haruki Murakami’s stuff. I read After the Quake and then checked out more of his stuff. I always liked what is considered magical realism before I knew it was a genre (I pretty much love every Charlie Kaufman film) and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle left me feeling like “Yo, I want to make something this dope one day.”
Michael Deforge’s work was my reentry back into comics. I remember thinking “You can make comics like this?” and my brains been racing every since. So yea. It more so validated all the ideas in my head that I thought were weird, not good for comics, etc. etc.
I actually think I’m a lot more influenced in certain ways by film. I didn’t buy a lot of books as a kid, but I watched a lot of TV and Sunday afternoon movies, but that’s for a different question (someone ask it!)
My poor Angela Pleasant was in a flirty mood after having spent her sunday afternoon at watching romance movies on TV. She wanted to do something romantic, so I sent her to the park, in the hope she would chat with a boy of her age. She was all enthusiast for the first minutes, but we both soon realized that, even if the park was crowded, there was no teen around. Though I made sure to have created some in the townies, but 1) the ones I’ve created never show up, 2) it’s impossible to say if a Sim is a teen or not, so among the ones I haven’t created, well, I might just not recognize them as teen… I wish we could have at least a "Ask about age” question…
So, embarrassed to be surrounded only by adults, Angela made her homework. And the more adults there was around her, the deeper she was in her book. :p
PS about Tags: From now, I’ll tag all my gameplay posts “ATS4 gameplay” for Sims 4, “ATS3 gameplay” for Sims 3, and “ATS1 gameplay” for Sims 1. I don’t think I have ever posted pictures of my Sims 2 gameplay on Tumblr. So, if you follow me only for my CC updates, you can blacklist these tags. :)
“Fate is not a straight road. There are many forks in it. You have the
free will to choose which one you take, but sometimes it will bend
around and bring you straight back to that same stubborn fate.” | Odd Thomas (2013)