Self-Portrait Holding a Portrait of Her Sister (1715). Rosalba Carriera (Venetian, 1675-1757). Pastel on paper. Galleria degli Uffizi.
The artist’s self-portrait was commissioned by the house of Medici, in whose Florentine portrait gallery the already famous painter was to take her place. The friendly eyes are a little serious. She is placing a brush on the portrait of her sister Giovanna, the artist’s alter ego and housekeeper.
The attendance is at an all high of 1,235 people, a number that’ll likely only keep climbing as the fanfest goes on. Most, however, you’ll find in front of a podium, talking casually and apparently waiting for a speaker to arrive. That’s what one can only guess, given the layout of everything.
Then, she walks out. Red hairdye in stripes that are fading, glasses, and looking more like one of the ground than a public speaker. Regardless of appearance, she’s come out of the back and is taking her place at the podium, so opinions don’t really matter here. She’s the speaker and whatever news she’s about to deliver is bound to be important.
First, a few taps on the mic. The sound echoes around the convention hall and sounds dull; from a gentle roar not unlike that of the sea to the lapping of water in a pool. The crowd goes silent and- out of the corner of your eyes- you even see a few people in the background give pause.
The young woman looks over the crowd, over the sea of faces from her spot on stage, and seems to give a slight nod of approval. It’s only then that she breathes in, leaning close to the mic…..
“I may have been gone for weeks…but I still love Jaal Ama Darav.”
the princess stayed in the tower and read books about better girls, where their hands learned how to hold swords, where they rode in on horses. i gave her books as often as i could. she devoured them.
her princes saw her and pretended to be scared off by dragons. got too lost in the thicket. didn’t want to handle it.
“tell me what it’s like, out there,” she whispers to me for the millionth time. i take her from The Throne into her bed, tucking her in and making sure her feet are covered.
“boring without you” i say as always, “but i did bring back a great story.”
i tell her about how the stars change beyond the equator. how there are places it looks like there are twin suns. how the desert crawls into you but so does snow. i talk about the taste of fruit and promise to bring her back some. she falls asleep while i murmur about rivers, and then in the morning i bring her from bed to Throne, even though she can do it on her own. sometimes she likes help, is all, and i’m happy to give it.
she doesn’t want help getting dressed. the men come for me, blindfold masters i have almost befriended. the path we take away from her is always different, carefully manufactured so i don’t know exactly where she’s located. after all, a lady might get ideas about things.
they let me go in the queen’s room. i report findings, ask for fruit in the next week’s supplies, am told not to spoil the princess, that she must be kind and waifish and wanting when the prince comes. i spend an hour suggesting that fruit might turn the blood sweeter and am allowed six oranges.
in the next week, she marvels over them. turns them in her calloused hands. smells them. holds them until she can’t control her curiosity, devours them. i bring her books about rivers. i bring her books about deserts.
“when is our birthday?” she asks me tonight. i’m knitting her a scarf for it.
“soon,” i tell her, “i’ll come by.”
she rolls onto one side, looks up at me in the dimming light. “I’m glad they chose you to be mine,” she says, and i drop a stitch. my heart sings against the inside of my wrists. i blow out a candle so she can’t see the blush and i can’t see her lips. i know what she means, i say. i know what she means.
it’s twenty-three for both of us. i bring her a cake we both eat, her on her throne and me on the floor. i am in the middle of laughing when she falls silent in the still night. “nobody else ever comes for me,” she whispers. i say nothing.
we have more cake, we go to sleep. i don’t know if she knows i’m awake, but i hear her crying.
the men come, the men take me. the one that smells like cedar always laughs at my jokes. the queen half-hates me because i remind her of “that nasty thing” they forced on their daughter.
“the left wheel needs oil,” i mention, “she’s having trouble turning again.”
the queen’s nose goes up. she never reacts when i mention her daughter’s wheelchair by name - doesn’t find it funny we call it a throne, thinks it’s well enough to leave alone.
“well, she’ll have a prince in this next month coming for her,” says the queen, “i’ve arranged it all,” says the queen, “he’s … had the situation explained to him first this time. i thought it would be best,” says the queen. “we’re paying him…. quite a lot for his effort,” says the queen.
situation. she means that her daughter can’t walk very far. she means the situation of towers. i excuse myself. i find my girl books about turning down marriage. i’m not sure why. it’s all she’s ever wanted.
they blindfold me and take me. cedar laughs at my jokes. the sawdust one is here this time, even he chuckles at a few. we ride horses through places i’ll never see clearly.
“so according to the queen this is the last time i’m needed, huh?” i ask them as they walk me blindly up too many stairs for my girl to make it down, “i’m sorry i never made your acquaintance.”
cedar laughs. he takes off my blindfold and for a second, lets me see his face. “it’s been an honor,” he says, shaking my hand, “you’ve been a perfect lady.”
i spend the day with my princess pretending i am not peeling apart from my bones. i just want her to be happy. to get to come home.
it’s late. “do you think in a past life i was a mermaid?” she asks.
“almost definitely,” i tell her.
it’s quiet for a while after. “what if,” she whispers, “i don’t want to leave?”
i sit up and look at her from across the room.
“it’s just,” she says, “i have you here and all the books i need and nobody makes me walk too long and i don’t feel like… like i’m wrong here.”
i want to tell her she’s never been wrong. that she’s always fit into my heart like a puzzle piece. that, more importantly, the leadership i see in her glows like a fire - that, no matter her body, she’s always been kind and gentle and smart and sweet. a princess that could bring a nation to her feet and do so lovingly.
“it will be okay,” i say, “there’s more fruit to discover.”
she doesn’t say anything. i think i’ve ruined something by accident, but i don’t know what. i don’t really sleep. i don’t say anything when the men come take me.
the world outside without her is boring. no mermaids. i put my hand in a river once a day, just thinking about her.
two weeks later i am awoken by my name, and a voice i recognize perfectly. cedar stands above me in the darkness. “i know two things in this world,” he says to me, “and one of them is about love.”
this time we make the trip without blindfolds. i see the squalor they keep her in. i see the waste surrounding her castle, the terrible place she’s in. rage fuels my footsteps even when they start flagging.
the prince is already there. he has dropped her twice, cedar tells me. i am already running up the stairs even though i can barely breathe. i hear her crying through the door and i don’t need to get ready - the fire that starts in me burns so brightly.
i roar inside. turn dragon and beat back prince with girl made rage. the bruises on her body turn me into giant snake. i eat the man alive, or at least i chase him from the place, never to be seen again. later i will hear a rumor about a demon that stole the princess from him.
she cries into my arms. i take her down every single stair. i hear her murmur her thanks into my hair and then i kiss her, because i can’t handle it, because i have places to show her and she has my heart to lead.
my house isn’t much but it’s near a river. she likes putting her hands into it. i take her places when she is able, and otherwise i bring the places back. we read books together. cedar no longer works for the queen, but he’d rather live with the man of sawdust making tiny wooden figurines.
i lie in bed next to her, stroking her soft hair. “do you think i was a centaur in a past life?” she asks.
“definitely,” i tell her, and kiss her, gently. she holds my face and pulls herself closer to me.
“will i be a good queen? i mean, in this life?”
“i’m certain of it,” i reply. i can hear the truth ring in it. the bone-deep certainty.
she’s quiet for a moment. “you saved me,” she whispers, “and usually we’d end up married. but…”
i don’t know how to answer that. i feel ice down my spine suddenly.
“i’m not demanding, is all,” her voice shakes, “i’m asking this time. for you to choose me. for me to be yours, i mean. and for you to be mine. permanently.”
the next birthday we celebrate, we are both queens.
Ok so everything about overwatch is gearing up for Fareeha Amari to take her rightful place as hero of this lore. Sure we see genji, winston, and tracer but they’re barely holding it together. Meanwhile you have Fareeha Amari with connections to 2 of talons agents. First is the personal one with widowmaker & what happened to her mother. Then there’s Doomfist attacking Helix. All these talon encounters directly push Fareeha towards taking action.
Stop being cowards blizzard make Fareeha Amari the main character of Overwatch. She’s the hero we deserve
The thing is, Stiles is pretty sure he can’t afford to breathe the air in New York City, let alone rent an apartment there. But it’s also been his lifelong dream to go to NYU, same as his mom, and he’s just gotten his acceptance letter in the mail along with a hefty scholarship offer. So he has a bit of a conundrum on his hands.
Enter Derek, who has a (relatively) dirt cheap apartment in Queens.
Okay, so Derek calls it an “apartment.” Stiles calls it an “attic closet.”
It’s nothing but a narrow bed, a foot or so of walking space between that and the wall, and a lone shelf by the door to hold the microwave and all of Derek’s possessions that can’t fit under the bed. There’s not even enough room to open the door all the way; the edge of the door hits the edge of the bed, and then you have to shimmy into the room.
The sad thing is that Stiles can’t even afford that.
He can, however, afford half of it.
“So you’re going to share a bed,” Scott says, looking concerned.
“Yes,” Stiles says.
“No,” Derek says at the same time.
Scott looks more concerned.
Stiles sighs. “Okay, so it’s like this. Derek’s going to be doing the whole normal person schedule, up at the buttcrack of dawn” (Derek rolls his eyes) “and out working and studying and stuff all day and back in bed asleep by 11 pm, and I’m going to be taking all evening classes and working the night shift!”
“We won’t actually ever be in the same place at the same time,” Derek clarifies. “He gets it during the day; I get it at night.”
“Because we can’t stand each other,” Stiles adds, in case Scott is thinking of getting his hopes up that this whole roommates thing is going to be some kind of bromance.
windy days where the trees blow and bells chime and villagers comment about being swept away
sunflowers! water lillies!
more ways to group things like the fruit baskets such as bouquets of flowers
keep all your tools on a tool belt that takes up one slot
being able to choose where villagers live or bring back something like the signposts
more conversations+replies! Just more things for villagers to say in general i’m tired of the same thing every day
letter system that recognizes key phrases/words and has villagers reply to it (like if you say “how are you” they would respond, if you write something mean they would get upset and not just thank you lol)
DAILY MAYOR DUTIES
duck villagers like the rain as well as frogs (i think ducks like rain?? not entirely sure tho)
meet villagers at the café, museum, beach, etc for a date sort of thing, like instead of meeting at your house meet at the café.
bring back constellations, or at least be able to tell Celeste she’s adorable again I miss flirting with her.
become friends with npc like u do with sable/ once you become good enough friends they get their pictures (ik u can get some special character pics but I want blathers and the able sisters and pete etc etc) at a certain level they can pop into your house uninvited
be able to send kk slider fanmail/ send mail to other npcs
a way to plant grass. Please.
fruit bushes, berries and things like that
MORE FLESHED OUT VILLAGER PERSONALITIES. I want villagers to be mean to me again and yell at me!! villagers that are cold at first and then build up a friendship with them! I want this more than anything else on the list tbh
christmas lights on houses and buildings!!
a main street similar to the one in HHD with more shops!
basically everything from HHD: furniture outside, furniture closer together you can squeeze through, middle slots for items on tables, villagers holding items like ice cream, ceiling decorations and curtains and windows oh my, possibly furniture outside but with a limit
resize things as a form of customization
ability to turn furniture in more directions
a big hide and seek competition like the fishing tourney where you have to find every villager or something?
give isabelle time off! Maybe a new character that takes her place when she’s on break, like phyllis in the post office
when isabelle has time off (sundays? Lunch time?) u can see her roaming around town
more colors/options for pwp, like the police station has two options. different color scheme choices for the campsite, café, any pwp could have multiple color choices basically
brewster stores gyroids again I loved seeing him geek out over them
something (like thanksgiving) where you can gather certain food, fish, other things, bring to a piece of kitchen furniture and make them into a food to bring to your villagers or sell (ex: gather a bunch of apples and make a pie) maybe a grocery store to go along with this? And you could buy exotic fruit from that store as well?
more stories like able sisters+tom nook, maybe blathers and brewsters gay lovestory or something
buy different styles of fish tanks and bug boxes, a big tank for a lot of fish, ability to throw fish food in
a new way to make paths instead of patterns with options for cobblestone, brick, asphalt, and sidewalk materials
in your encyclopedia an icon that shows if you’ve donated it to the museum
ability to rotate pwps/houses
more animations, for example Jock villagers can jog around town
library pwp with a new uptight librarian character that likes you because you’re so quiet
pwp on beaches+ ones made specifically for it like beach umbrellas
villagers contribute to museum and donate more to Pwp
areas away from the village you could travel to and explore, similar to the island, like woods, a winter world, maybe even some sort of planet you could unlock! Each have a few villagers or npcs living there, like the islanders in older games
Feel free to reblog and add any more of your own ideas or tag your favs :)
Summary: Y/N has lived next to Peter since the 3rd grade and since has fallen hard for him, but Y/N doesn’t know he’s fallen just as hard.
Word count: 2,145
Songs: Midnight City by M83, Uh huh by Julia Michaels
A/N: This is my first Imagine ever so I’m sorry for the grammar mistakes and if i messed up the point of view a little bit, I’m practicing and heres my first go at it! I hope you guys enjoy it! Also its not a concrete idea yet but i might make more parts to this
“Hey, MJ does Peter ever talk about me?” you ask staring across the lunch room at the boy you’ve had a crush on ever since you laid eyes on him in the 3rd grade. You hear Michelle sigh and close her book “Y/N just go over there and talk to him.” your eyes widen at your best friend for suggesting such a thing. “I can’t just go over there and talk to him without cause, plus..” you sigh sinking further into your seat at the lunch table “he likes Liz, remember?” Just before Michelle can get a word in about your lack of confidence towards guys, the bell rings signaling the end of lunch and beginning of the five minuet passing period to the next class.
You quickly gather your things heading out of the lunchroom and to your next class, gym.
“Hey, Y/N wait up!” you hear the familiar voice of Liz speak as everyone makes their way out of the locker rooms and into the main gym. You falter in your walk just a little hearing Liz say your name, you haven’t ever really been friends or even acquaintances with her since knowing that Peter has a crush on the girl. “Yes?” you smile as she slows her pace next to you “I’m having a party tomorrow night at my place, do you wanna come?” your mind goes blank for a minuet, Liz is asking me to her party? what? “I already asked Michelle if she could come and she said you were free so i thought i’d ask.” Liz practically read your mind, so Michelle is to blame, she’s gonna pay. “Yea, sure I’ll come, it sounds fun.” She smiles before she runs off ahead of you. “Hey Flash,” You hear her shout before she vanishes into the crowd of teenagers.
“Alright, well i think he’s a war criminal now but these are state required so lets get to work .” The gym teacher spoke after the video of Captain America ended waving his hand for everyone to get down from the bleachers and take their places on the mats.
You finally spot Michelle in the crowd of teenagers and grabbed ahold of her arm before she could lay on a mat. “Hey could we be partners?” You ask letting go of your bestie laying on the mat, “Mind if we take this mat next to you guys?” A voice that made your heartstrings tingle spoke, you quickly turn your head to see Peter laying down and getting ready to go his first sit-up. “No-not at all.” you blush and turn on your other side to come face to face with a book “Michelle” You groan louder than intended, “We’re suppose to be doing sit-ups.” You grab the book tilting it away from her face, Michelle sighs and turns on her back pushing her book up and down from her face “There happy, I’m exercising now.” She mumbled making you laugh slightly.
“Hey what about Spider-Man?” You sit up and whip your head around to the bleachers where a certain group of popular girls were sitting, “What about him Liz? You got a crush?” a friend of hers teased, “Well I mean yes he’s pretty hot but he’s also a hero you can’t leave him out.” You could see a slight pink shade her cheeks after she spoke.
“Hey, uh Peter knows Spider-Man!” Ned practically yelled from the mat next to you, what? how does Peter know Spider-Man? I mean maybe he got saved by him? But what? You were pulled from your thoughts when Peter spoke, “Well Uh we-wel yes i do, because of the Stark internship i have but i’m not suppose to talk about it.” Peter spoke through gritted teeth when he ended his sentence. “Wait Penis Parker knows Spider-Man? And has a Stark internship? Wow this is too good, what other lies ya got?” Flash finally joined the conversation. You sighed and turned your attention back to laying down and staring at the ceiling till the end of the period.
“Well if you know him so well why don’t you invite him to Liz’s party tomorrow night?” Flash asked sarcasm clear in his voice, “Wait-wait Liz is having a party?” You perked up again at the sound of Peter’s slightly hurt voice. “Yeah, tomorrow night, my parents are out of town, you and Ned are more than welcome to come and you don’t gotta bring Spider-Man.” You could practically hear the smile in Peters voice when he replied “No-No yeah I’d love to come.” You rolled your eyes and tried to drown out the rest of the conversation.
“Okay, see ya tomorrow.” Liz spoke before the bell rang, finally. You make your way back to the locker room and change out of the gym uniform and into your regular clothes.
Well tomorrow night should be interesting, I wonder if Peter really knows Spider-Man you smile at the thought, that’d be fucking awesome.
Michelle and you took the bus together after school planning on having a sleepover and carpooling to Liz’s party the next day. “I can’t believe you already said i would go without asking me.” you lightly punch Michelle on the arm while getting ready for bed. “Hey what better things do you have going on tomorrow, staring at peter though the peep hole of your apartment again?” Michelle teased, you gasped and placed your hand on your heart pretending to be hurt by the comment. “Michelle that is an important activity and I cannot miss it.” You dramatically said and plopped down onto your bed for the night, the couch. Michelle and you always sleep on her couch for sleepovers, its big enough and comfy as hell.
“Oh whatever Y/N.” she groaned taking her place on the couch and turning on the tv. Within minuets your eyes start to get heavy, you finally give into the sleep tugging at you and fall asleep.
“Thanks for the ride!” you shout at Michelle’s dad before Michelle slams the car door shut. MJ and you start towards the front door already hearing the loud music coming from inside. “Michelle are you sure about this?” You ask grabbing her arm forcing her to stop and look at you “Look Y/N, when are you ever gonna do something like this ever again. Plus, its all apart of the high school experience.” She shrugged making her way to the front door and inside with you trailing behind her.
You were immediately greeted by Liz and shown the way to the kitchen “incase you need something to drink” Liz told you leaving you and focused her attention back onto the party. “Ok so now I Just wait for something to happen?” you spoke to yourself as you grabbed a red solo cup and filled it with water from the fridge. You made your way out of the kitchen and to the couch in the living room, where did MJ go? I’m like the only other person besides Liz she knows here so where - your thoughts were interrupted when your eyes met with the chocolatey eyes of the boy you’ve been waiting for all night.
You smile towards Peter earning a grin back from him before his attention was sent somewhere else, probably Flash shouting “wheres your friend Spider-man? I don’t see him..” You rolled your eyes and made your way over to the duo standing in the middle of the hallway, “Hey hey guys,” you nervously spoke “Finally made it.” you smiled over at Ned, his attention on the rest of the party and not you. “Yeah we got-” Peter got interrupted by a shout from the family room “If you wanna play a game come to the family room now!” you felt a hand wrap around your arm before you could protest you were in the family room seated next to Liz, Peter diagonally across from you with ned next to him and Michelle on your other side.
“Alright,” you heard Liz speak next to you “what game should we play.” a couple of hands flew up in the air and some people shouted suggestions. “How about Seven Minuets In Heaven?!” one voice shouted louder than the others, you looked over at Liz to see she was already ginning with a bottle being handed to her. “Seven Minuets In Heaven it is.” She quickly snapped her head over at you “Y/N, you spin first.” she shoved the bottle into your hand.
“No-no I’m really fine-” you didnt get to finish when you felt a sharp pain in your side from Michelle, your head spun to her side giving her a “what the hell!” look and receiving a shrug in response. You sucked in a breath, all apart of the high school experience right? you tried to reason with yourself. You put the bottle on its side on the ground and spun it, your heat begins beating faster and faster as it comes to a slow down. The bottle finally comes to a stop and your eyes rake up to where it landed, Peter Parker.
You gulped waiting for his reaction as people around him whopped for him but he just sat there eyes wide. “come one you too!” Liz sounded so gleeful and lightly shoved my shoulder for me to get up. Peter must’ve took that as a hint as well and stood up “Wher-uh What closet should we go to?” Peter asked clearing his voice. “the one right at the top of the stairs, we’ll make sure no one goes in.” Liz smiled at Peter and you while you made your way up the stairs. Oh god, what am i going to do, what if he doesn’t want to do anything with me? what if he kisses me and I’m not a good kisser or my breathe stinks- you were ripped out of your thoughts as the closet door was closed and Peter and you were left in the dark.
“uh we-we don’t have to do anything.” you whispered barely audible as you watched Peter set a timer on his phone for seven minuets. “Wh-why don’t we ask each other questions?” Peter asked making a blush creep onto your face, thank god this closet is dark and peters phone light is horrible. “sure-e” you nervously stutter, “you first.” you poke his chest earning a small laugh from him. “Okay, is it true that you have a 4.0 grade average?” You couldn’t help the laugh that escaped your lips, “What?” Peter asked you could hear the confusion in his voice, “thats the question you wanna ask?” you placed your hand on Peters arm, what am I doing? I’m movign way too fast, “Is that bad?” Peter moved closer to you making you back up into the wall of the closet, your smile fading and a deeper bush replacing it. “uh-no no, I’d just rather not answer it.” You spoke truthfully, “alright,” you could see the smile form on peters face as he inched closer to you.
“your turn.” he whispered making your breath hitch in your throat, he’s so close, if i just move forward slightly i’d finally have my first kiss and with the guy of my dreams, you thought. “you got a question yet?” Peters smile started fading looking into your eyes, “uh- yes, did you really make your own computer?” your eyes scanned peters, he’s so close you can see his beautiful brown ombre iris’s, dark brown to a slightly lighter brown. Your breath hitched in your throat again as Peter flashed his eyes down to your lips for a split second. You start to lean into him, closer and closer to his face when your lips just barely graze each other and then Peters phone goes off.
He jumped back slightly from the sudden noise and looked down at his phone, “Has it already been seven minuets?” You laugh slightly feeling embarrassed for getting so intimate with Peter. “No..” he paused looking up from his phone and into your eyes “But i gotta, I’m really sorry Y/N, I gotta go.” He shook his head slightly before opening the closet and leaving you behind. you stood there shocked, not able to move. Peter and I almost kissed was all you could think as a deep blush crept back onto your face.
You exited the closet and went to see if you could find him at the party anywhere. you got a few weird looks after asking some people if they saw him anywhere but no one could help, not even Ned knew where Peter went.
“Well it’s too bad, we didn’t even get to see his ‘friend’ Spider-Man.” Flash spoke sarcastically to you, you just turned around to go look for MJ and tell her about what had happened, how you almost kissed your life long crush and how he almost kissed you back.
How The AD Reveal Should Have Gone (Alex's Backstory)
When Alex left her adopted home, she begged/borrowed/stealed/etc enough money to get to the states in order to find her real parents. During this time, she met Wren, and he became infatuated with her. This was 2 years before Ali disappeared.
Alex, at first, thought Jessica was Mary. She visited the DiLaurentis household and explained who she was and the horrible life she had endured. Jessica played the part of Mary, internally freaking out about the amount of chaos Alex’s reveal would undoubtedly cause. She put Alex up in a hotel room while she asked her to be patient as she got up the nerve to explain to her family about Alex’s existence.
At this point, Alex was not aware that she was a twin, let alone that her twin lived next door to her “Mom”.
Jessica immediately went to Peter, and the two of them devised a plan. Jessica would use her authority on the board at Radley to commit Alex as someone with multiple personality. Peter, being genetically related, signed Alex in as “Bethany Young”. They used Alex’s true back story (one which Alex originally had no problem agreeing to) as proof that she had a mental break, complete with accent.
Once Alex/Bethany was in Radley, Jessica kept tabs on her, and after the mind numbing drugs kicked in, would occasionally take Alex/Bethany on outtings. This is when she would insist Alex call her “Aunt Jessica”. This was also why Jessica had told Ali you can “never turn your back on a Hastings”, because she was well aware that she could never share her knowledge of Alex’s existence, and if Ali had ever seen Alex, she would think she was Spencer.
There were a few times that Alex/Bethany was able to escape.
(photo credit to PLL Theories)
The first time was Ian’s Halloween party. While there, she overheard Noel talk about his and Ali’s plan to scare the girls. At this point, she hadn’t yet seen Spencer. Alex had fuly intended to severely hurt/kill Ali in that abandoned house, though Ali was stronger that she thought. Once the girls were freed from the locked room, Alex finally saw Spencer and she seethed with rage. She realized the true reason behind Jessica betraying her, and instead of leaving town, as she had originally planned, she opted to go back to Radley and devise a new plan.
Before she did, she befriended Ian, who was a member of the NAT club. At that point, she both flirted with Ian, as well as paid him with money provided by Wren, and convinced him to film Alison and her friends. He didn’t understand why “Spencer” wanted to be filmed, though Alex incorporated it as part of her flirting, telling Ian she wanted to see how Ian saw her in his eyes.
Alex’s first priority, however, was still hurting Ali. Alex/Bethany would never forgive Jessica for having her wrongly commited. She starts writing to Ali, although when Ali visits Radley to see her, Alex has her roommate(Kimberly Brown) pretend to be “Bethany”. Ali, being the mean girl she was at the time, enjoys playing with her new toy.
When Ali begins to get “A” messages (from Mona), she begins to wonder if it isn’t Bethany sending them. She antagonizes Alex/Bethany through letters and “visits”, making things even worse than the already are. At the same time, Ali isn’t completely certain that “Bethany” is behind the threats, so after receiving the lipstick note on the mirror, she devies a plan to either expose Bethany or have her take her place.
Ali drops of an exact duplicate of her outfit at Radley, with a note for Bethany to escape and come meet her so they can finally work things out. Ali figures she and Bethany can either hash things out for good, or that if someone is trying to kill her, having Bethany run around dressed as she is hedges her bets a little bit in case it is someone else threatening her.
At this point, Alison believes that the other Liars are innocent, and not the ones leaving messages. That said, she can not have them in her way for all that is about to go down that night. So, she drugs them.
Meanwhile, Jessica receives a phone call that Alex/Bethany has escaped. She freaks out, and forbids Alison from leaving the house at all.
Spencer and Ali argue. Ali walks back towards her house and Spencer walks towards the woods/house. Melissa hears heard the argument between Ali and Spencer, as do the girls (Aria, Hanna, and Emily), in a drug induced haze. The girls arrive in the bushes in time to see someone dressed like Ali, hit Alison. Mrs. D also sees Alex hit Ali from the window. Mrs. D rushes from the house as Alex runs away. The girls, again drugged, begin to chase Ali’s assailant.
Mrs. D, believing Ali dead, buries her. Mrs. Grunwald pulls Ali from the grave. The girls, chasing Alex through the woods, finally lap back around to the gazebo area and attack Alex. As they begin to attack her, they start to hallucinate that it is Alison, and finally stop. They leave Alex’s lifelss body in the gazebo area, and Melissa stumbles across it. Seeing only the clothes and hair, Melissa thinks Spencer killed Ali, and buries her to hide the evidence.
At this point, Alex’s roommate, Kimberly Brown, who had escaped from Radley with Alex, leaves their meeting spot and comes looking for Alex to figure out what is taking so long. She sees Melissa burying Alex, and as soon as Melissa leaves, she digs out the grave and saves Alex.
As it turns out, this was the worst mistake Kimberly could have made. Alex, now set on burning down everything to do with Spencer, and the other liars, kills Kimberly Brown on the spot, switches clothes with her, and buries Kimberly in the grave. That way, when her body is found, no one will expect she is alive and able to exact revenge. At this point, Alex still believes she has killed Alison.
Mona sees Ali walking along the road, sends her out of town. Ali knows for sure that someone is out to kill her, and that her Mom buried her without hesitation. There is no reason to stay.
Alex then spends the next year devising a plan to get revenge on the liars for trying to kill her. She enlists Wren to start dating Melissa, to get his way into the Hastings trust, and to learn more about Spencer. As it turns out, Wren starts falling for Spencer, which only makes Alex hate Spencer more.
She starts communicating (electronically) with Mona, Lucas, and Jenna, who she learned from the NAT tapes had hated Ali as much as she did, as was also picked on by the liars. When Aria returns to Rosewood, Alex gently nudges Mona to start sending A messages to the girls again. She tells Mona that she will be an outcast agin, now that the Liars will be together again. In essence, she sets Mona free on the girls to torture them, knowing at some point she will escalate the game to her own level.
When she notices the DiLaurentis house is sold, and that workers start to dig around the gazebo area, she knows she will need to get ahold of that body to switch around medical records. “Bethany Young” has to remain dead, or Jessica and/or Peter might start searching for her. She pays off some cops and people in the morgue and is able to alter paperwork, and steal the body.
She noticed Jessica and Charlotte together, and eventually figures out how Charlotte fits in to the story. When she first approahces Charlotte, Charlotte does not believe her. She thinks it is Spencer trying to figure out where Ali is, if Ali is alive, and that she still wants to find her and hurt her. Once Alex gains Charlotte’s trust, and Charlotte realizes how awful Ali was to Alex, Charlotte becomes a double agent, though doesn’t immediately tell Alex that Ali is still alive. (Alex is still wondering what happened to Ali’s body)
Alex tries to burn the girls to death in the lodge fire, and that is the night she realizes Ali is still alive. However Ali goes immediately back into hiding. Alex then spends Season 4 trying to find Ali, and using the Liars to do so. It is Alex that kills Mrs. D, and Mary takes the fall for her (as she did for Spencer with Eliot) Once Alex heard thought Mona (via Shana) that the girls found Ali, Alex knew that Mrs. D that had to die, because Alex couldn’t have Mrs. D spilling the secret that Spencer had a twin.
Alex has also realized that Charlotte had been lying to her about Ali, and that is why Charlotte agrees to “take the fall” as Big A- to protect Alex. Season 5 up to Charlotte’s reveal is about laying the groundwork to have Charlotte take the fall with everything wrong done towards the girls. At this point, Alex is mostly done with revenge, and just wants to live her life out with Wren, Mary, and eventually Charlotte (once she is released).
Then Charlotte is killed, and Alex is denied her family. She thinks one of the Liars did it, though doesn’t know which one. She enlists the help of Mary, Eliot (Charlotte’s true love), and Wren to help figure out who killed Charlotte.
Then… Alex starts to fall for Toby. While Alex had never really been jeaous of Spencer’s life before (I mean, who would with Peter as a father?), she did start to covet Toby. There were two problems here- Yvonne and Wren. Alex believed she could deal with Wren, though Yvonne would have to go. Therefore, she set up the car accident, and while Toby was knocked out (and before help arrived) further injured Yvonne so that her injuries were mortal.
Next, she had to convince Wren that she would kill Spencer, and take over her life, allowing her to be with Toby. This met with more resistance than she expected, and she eventually killed Wren, worried that he would tip Spencer off. Alex knows she is playing the long game with this, and uses Aria and Ezra’s wedding (with Toby’s return) as her in to fully take over as Spencer and work toward getting Toby back.
As for Mary, it could go either way as to whether she knew Alex’s ultimate plan to take over as Spencer until the very end. I am going to say that until Spencer was kidnapped, Mary did not know, and by then, it was too late.
That 'its lexa' scene killed me, like, clarke looks like she's about to break into pieces....
That scene is as brief as it’s impactful and excruciating. For Clarke, it’s the climax of an emotional journey she had to endure throughout the whole episode and it’s raw to watch and experience and it just leaves me so heartbroken for her.
From the beginning of the episode, we see her being emotionally hammered down again and again and again: Jasper telling her she deserves to die, ALIE!Raven bringing up all her ghosts and making her feel even guiltier about Lexa’s death, Jasper again rejecting her apology. She has her walls up, hasn’t let them down since Lexa’s death, but It’s evident that this all weighs down on her heavily. What makes her especially fragile in this episode is that she has no chance for escapism. Ever since Lexa died, Clarke has kept herself busy/distracted with things she must do, right? First, it’s making sure Aden wins the Conclave and that he honors Lexa’s wish of having Skaikru join the Coalition and being protected. She literally rejects Aden’s offer of having a private moment with Lexa’s body.
She can’t do that, she can’t deal with that pain just yet, it’s too fresh and overwhelming. Having that moment would mean having to process Lexa’s death, having to embrace grief, which she’s not ready to do. Her only option is to ignore it, to hide from it.
After Ontari kills Aden and all the Natblida, Clarke’s focus shifts to making sure Ontari doesn’t become Commander, taking the Flame to Luna and protecting the Flame with her life. It’s her drive throughout 3B. There’s an interesting single-mindedness that characterizes her throughout the rest of the season. She needs to focus on this mission, there is little room for anything else. If she stopped, even for a minute, her feelings would be impossible to avoid. It’s a defense mechanism. She shuts the door on grief and clings to what she has: a distraction (the never-ending list of concerns she has to deal with), a hopeless hope that not everything is lost (the Flame).
But then we get to 311.
It’s a peculiar kind of episode, for most of its runtime taking place in a closed environment. But not only that: in this episode, for a long time the characters are forced to stall. There are few exceptions (Octavia and Monty), but for almost the whole episode we are stuck at Niylah’s trading post with the characters, who are racking their brains as they try to find a solution to save Raven, and waiting. Because there is nowhere to rush to, nothing they can do. Nothing Clarke can do. Even when they devise a plan to try and fry the chip, it’s someone else who has to go out and find what they need to carry out the task, not her. She is, quite simply, stuck. Not only physically, but she is stuck with her thoughts and her feelings. And that has consequences of course.
As I said before, we see Clarke getting progressively closer and closer to her breaking point. She first snaps after the continuous hits at her heart by ALIE!Raven, when she reminds her of all the people that died because of her. That it’s not really Clarke’s fault is irrelevant, Clarke feels that guilt and bears it constantly, and in a moment as tense and delicate as that one, it brings her to lash out. What’s interesting to me is that it’s not an immediate reaction. ALIE!Raven first uses Wells, Charlotte, and Finn and while clearly still affected, Clarke recognizes ALIE!Raven’s strategy and manages to mostly ignore her. But then, she mentions Lexa, and Clarke’s reaction is entirely different. (x)
It’s so different from her previous strained attempts at ignoring what is being said to her that even ALIE notices it, with that head tilt she does when she’s learning something new. Clarke here doesn’t even try to pretend she’s not affected by Lexa’s mention. She directly goes and tells ALIE!Raven to shut up. She looks up the second she hears Lexa’s name, her glare is deadly, her words are seething. She doesn’t wanna hear this, she can’t hear this. Also! This isn’t the first time someone told her she was responsible for Lexa’s death, with Titus telling her he pulled the trigger but it was her fault. You can bet that had a great impact on Clarke and made her only more sensitive to ALIE!Raven’s words.
And the comment about her father’s death is the last straw. So we get her lashing out and literally trying to gag Raven so she doesn’t have to hear this any longer.
The heartbreaking thing is that she pretty much gets no respite. Bellamy takes her place in the room with Raven, but Jasper is immediately there to remind her about Mt Weather and how she killed all those people and Maya. She’s literally on the verge of tears when he rejects her apology and roughly pushes past her.
All this shows she is incredibly close to reaching her limit. All that tension and pain and guilt is like a fire simmering inside her, a fire she has no way to cool down because as I said, she is deprived of almost any distraction. She spends the episode being reminded of what she did and most importantly, of what, who, she lost.
So when Jasper grabs the Flame and is ready to destroy it, Clarke’s walls shatter. Faced with the possibility of losing yet another thing extremely important to her, she has no way of shutting down her pain and grief any longer. (x)
She panics when she realizes what Jasper is about to do. She is frantic in trying to get the Flame back, desperation is written all over her. The possibility of losing the one part of Lexa she has left propels forward that fire of pain and grief. Lexa is gone, this is all she has left of her, and she can’t bear to lose that too. All her restraint, her imposed control over her emotions, is useless in this brief moment. And so…
She doesn’t use logic to try to stop Jasper, it’s her heart here begging him to not take Lexa from her. It’s raw, it’s charged with every emotion ranging from despair to heartbreak, it’s harrowing. For this brief moment, Clarke is stripped down, emotionally bare and vulnerable. She doesn’t avoid her grief, she embraces it. She even arrives to relive details of the moment Lexa died.
Oh, and that “I’m not–” she says immediately after, right before pausing and figuring out how to save Raven. That breaks my heart because I can’t help but wonder what she was going to say. “I’m not making this up… I’m not lying… I’m not crazy.” She needs Jasper to believe her because otherwise, she is going to lose that part of Lexa she still has, however small. The fact that her reaction is so intense and heart-wrenching is only a proof of just how much she loves Lexa and of how much pain and sorrow her death caused to Clarke.
And when eventually Jasper gives the Flame back to her, Clarke treats it like something incredibly precious. She cradles it in her hands, she brings it close to her chest, almost protectively, she keeps her eyes set on it, she is extremely careful in putting it back in the case. She takes her time with everything and if you look at the scene, you can see that from the moment she gets the Flame back to when she places it back in the case, it’s almost like it’s just Clarke and the Flame. She focuses only on that. She’s still got it, she can still hold on to it, to Lexa. And it’s a thin consolation, yes. It’s probably more painful than relieving, because the Flame is at the end of the day a reminder that Lexa is dead and Clarke lost her.
Clarke is grieving and she should be allowed to go through every stage of her grief, but unfortunately, that is not the case with her. Everything she is feeling is written on her face, every unresolved, painful emotion tied to Lexa’s death. But the moment is gone, and with one last look, she collects herself as best as she can and she goes back to her mission. (x)
To me, this is one of the things that make this entire scene even more devastating. We get a glimpse at the enormity of the pain that Clarke is feeling, we see every visceral emotion she is hiding behind her mask of stoicism, but she isn’t allowed to properly deal with it, and thus, to heal.
Anyway, I made myself sad. To cut it short, the main point of all this is that Clarke loved Lexa immensely and this scene proves it.
Just imagine Sherlock ambushing Molly for a cuddle because his mind is racing so much and he can’t take it. Cuddling with Molly, burying his head in that space between her shoulder and neck, enveloping his arms around her waist, tangling his legs with hers, blocking the world by sinking in her comfortable embrace - he had discovered that this is how he could let his mind calm down.
Imagine Molly running her hands in his curls, soothing away tangles, knots, confusion and pain.