temporary building

This is the extraordinary idea that shines through the entire Tanakh. God invests his hopes for the universe in this strange, refractory, cantankerous, ungrateful and sometimes degenerate creature called Homo sapiens, part dust of the earth, part breath of God, whose behavior disappoints and sometimes appalls him. Yet He never gives up. He tries with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, a string of judges and kings. He tries with women also, and here succeeds much better. They are more faithful, less violent, less obsessed with power. But He refuses to give up on men. He has His most passionate relationship with the prophets. They understand Him and become bearers of His word. Yet most of the prophets end up as disappointed with people as God is. The real subject of the Torah is not our faith in God, which is often faltering, but His unfailing faith in us. The Torah is not man’s book of God. It is God’s book of man. He spends a mere 34 verses describing His own creation of the universe, but more than 500 verses describing the Israelites’ creation of a tiny, temporary, portable building called the Mishkan, the Sanctuary. God never stops believing in us, loving us, and hoping for the best from us.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

All That You Are

request: hello! could you do an ani x reader x obi, reader is a jedi knight like them and is very passionate about stuff she likes (space, creatures, etc.) and she gets excited very easily and she always puts others before herself, blushes really easily and looooooves kids, especially helping those in need? and ani and obi are both in love with her but she’s really oblivious to it and they just find her adorable? i’d like to see a reader insert with my personality, so fluffy end with lots of love pls❤️❤️

a/n: Hi everyone! Before you read this one, I just want to make the small disclaimer that I’ve never written a polyamorous relationship before, nor have I ever really had contact with one in my life. So if it’s a little clunky, unrealistic, etc. I do apologize, I’ve done my best! I hope I can do this request, as well as the reader’s personality, justice! This one’s pretty long (around 5k words) and actually pretty sad, but it has a happy ending so I hope you’ll be happy with it!! Enjoy! - Eliza

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Bar Sinister (pt 2)

Summary: You make a deal with Negan to save your friend Daryl’s life. But when you can’t give Negan the child he wants, you ask Daryl to help make it happen.

Pairings: Daryl x Reader, some Negan x Reader

Chapter: 2/?

Word Count: 1,598

Warnings: Language, violence (the iron)

The heat of the furnace made what would otherwise be a cold storage room become suffocating. You were so close that the flames made your skin itch. Negan wanted you to have a front row view of what he was about to do to Daryl, who was bound to a chair in the centre of a circle. Negan was walking down the stairs, making some big speech about rules and civilization which you were ignoring because all that mattered right now was Daryl.

“I’m sorry,” you mouthed but his expression never changed. He was just staring right at you and as was often the case with Daryl, you had no idea what that look meant. All you knew was that you felt stripped of your skin, with Daryl’s eyes burning more than the itch that was crawling up your neck. If the heat was bothering Dwight, he didn’t let it show. Just stared into the fire while the iron started to glow orange.

“—this lovely lady swayed my heart.”

Suddenly Negan’s arm was around your shoulder, leading you into the circle. Daryl tried to pull against his bonds which only made Negan’s smile grow wider. “Who are you darling?”

“I’m Negan,” you answered, and Daryl stopped fighting.

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Have you ever imagined Pidge trying to kiss Allura?

Not for the first time, just in general.

Pidge being struck by the urge to kiss her tall alien girlfriend while she’s working but conflicted between this and potentially interrupting important business.

( “Important Business” being Allura studying human dating guides.)

Pidge homing in on Allura whenever she’s sitting down relaxing because this is her only chance to surprise kiss her.

Pidge building a temporary anti-gravity field generator so Allura doesn’t have to bend so much.

Pidge helpless but totally fine with Allura picking her up and showering her with kisses.

Pidge laying in bed with Allura going through the whole range of pecks to sucking the others face off to make up for lost time.

Jaylos Week - Rivals (Alternative)

A couple of months ago, I submitted my first piece of Jaylos Week, but I actually wrote three different shorts for Rivals. I originally went with my first attempt since I enjoyed it the most, but it was requested for me to post one of the other options. This was my second attempt at Rivals, so it is incomplete and not properly proof-read. Enjoy anyway!


A lot of people on the Isle call him a lady’s man, but Evie says that’s not true. Evie calls him an ‘anything with legs’ man’, which Jay can admit to. He appreciates pretty faces and cute asses and sly smiles.

And the dude on the other side of the table has all of those things. A sense of humor, a wicked wit and a personality too. Holy shit, who know Auradon would be so cool already?

The guy, Carlos, had run into him from behind and started apologizing before Jay could spin around and snap. He had been too busy fussing with his phone to notice Jay in the line in front of him. As soon as his eyes had fallen on the shiny electronic, Jay was planning a dozen different ways to snatch it and bolt, but Carlos offered to buy him something to apologize, which had worked perfectly since all Jay originally had come in for was a cup of actual coffee (instead of the caffeinated mud that was served on the Isle) to see what it was suppose to taste like and, without money, his idea was to grab the cup and run.

Maybe he didn’t get to satisfy his desire to steal something, but looking at the cute guy across the table, Jay is much happier with what he got instead.

“So, Jay,” Carlos starts and the way he says his name has his heart thrumming, “you’re not from this city, are you?”

He scoffs. “What? Of course I am. I was born and raised in…whatever city we’re in right now.” Carlos laughs at his obliviousness and just the noise makes Jay smile.

Still, he considers lying just to avoid trouble with Carlos. The first cool person he’s met since leaving the Isle, Jay has very high hopes of this continuing outside of coffee and cold sandwiches. But he has no shame of where he’s from and Jay won’t pretend differently. He’ll just be…vague. “Nah, I’m not from around here, I’m only here for a week.”

“You’re not the only one. This place is never this crowded,” Carlos gestures around them. “If I had notice how packed it was, I would have just picked somewhere else.”

Jay leans forward. If he’s reading the signs right, Carlos is interested in him too. “Well I’m glad you didn’t.” He winks.

Carlos stares at him for just a quick moment before a small grin and blush rise to his face. “Me too.” He offers softly.

“So, C, why is this place so packed?”

His grin widens at the nickname. “It’s for that giant tourney tournament. It’s a huge deal anywhere around Auradon Prep.” Carlos sighs.

“What do you mean by ‘huge deal’?”

“It’s all anyone will talk about for the next week. Most people can’t even breathe without saying ‘tourney’.”

Oh fuck. The first time in years anyone was allowed to leave the Isle, Jay knew his team’s presence would be a big deal, but he didn’t think about how important the actual tournament is. It was covered every year on TV. On the Isle, Tourney was just a way to get out aggression, fight, tackle and run. No one actually gave a damn.

Thankfully, with a roll of his eyes, Carlos saves him before Jay can figure out a way out of this. “So I’m already tired of that subject. I want to hear more about you.” He leans forward and sips his coffee, eyeing Jay like a piece of candy.

Oh yeah. Carlos is definitely interested.

When he’s back in their temporary dorm building, Mal is looking at him the way she looks at laughing children and rainbows – with absolute disgust

“What are you so happy about?” She sneers.

“What do you mean?”

Mal puts a hand on her hips and narrows her eyes. “I saw you walking up with a dopey grin on your face and you’ve been gone for almost two hours. That’s not how you look when you steal something good.”

He pauses; Jay hadn’t realized he had been smiling, but he definitely was and he still is. It’s been a while since he felt like this. Hell, has he ever felt like this? “I just met someone cool in town today.”

Mal looks more disgusted with him than any laughing child or colorful rainbow. “You’re joking.”

Oh Evil, she always takes thing too seriously. “Nope.” Jay hops up on a lumpy couch – still better than anything that’s on the Isle. “We sat and had coffee like a proper Auradon date.” He throws that last part in just to irritate her.

“It was a date?”

“Well, we really just kind o-.”

“What’s next? A fairytale wedding and happily ever after?”

Jay scoffs. “No. We’re just meeting up again tomorrow.”

Mal hops up next to him. “And what are you expecting to get out of this? You’re gonna try and bed this poor Auradon kid in a week?”

That hadn’t even crossed his mind. Not the sex part – because Jay had thought about that every time Carlos licked his bottom lip – but the idea of only fucking him. Every other person on the island was a onetime deal only. Whether Jay just found them cute and flirty or they had something he needed a distraction to steal, once they had fooled around, Jay didn’t talk to them anymore.

He…doesn’t want that with Carlos. It hadn’t even occurred to him. He likes the other guy, he wants to talk to Carlos more and hear some of his dorky jokes and see his face light up when he spoke about the newest updates on smart phone (whatever the hell those were). Jay has no intention of falling in love and finding true happiness or whatever bullshit Auradon sprouts. But it would be nice to just chill with Carlos for a while instead of immediately screwing around.

That’s weird.

“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe I just want someone new to talk to.”

“Evie and I are no longer up to your standards?” Mal dryly asks.

He snickers. “I’m just hanging out with him for now. No plan right now.”

“Whatever. Go grab the rest of the team, we’re meeting the Auradon Assholes in 15.”

All thoughts of Carlos left his mind when Mal mentioned those fuckers. The Auradon Knights (no shit, their original name was Auradon Princes until they realized how fucking stupid that sounded) are a bunch of stuck up prats in Jay’s mind.

The goodie-goodies have held the tourney championship four years running and love to boast about it at every opportunity. They are arrogant, hot headed and dicks.  (The only person Jay hates more than any Auradon Knight was Prince Aladdin. Jerk.)

The annual tourney tournament was covered by the news every year and it was one of the few programs that was featured on the Isle. Jay studied them just to mock them with Mal, while Evie genuinely enjoyed the excitement and cheers. The Auradon Knights were weak, but their opponents were always weaker. They fluff themselves for the camera and dance after their easy goals. They are pompous, show-boating and spoilt.

Everything Jay hates.

Jay, as captain, leads his tourney team. Granted, they weren’t much, which is why they never qualified for the tournament before. But after San Fransokyo’s Heroes had three valuable players break bones and the New York Avengers had half their players on steroids, the Isle Raiders were the next option.

Mal, close behind, leads the rest of the fearleaders. She’s captain of their intimidation squad, her entire purpose is to threaten and belittle the opposing teams and throwing them off their game. Evie, next to Mal, designs their outfits and cheers.

Prince Chad Charming (and, yes, every time he introduces himself, he includes Prince) meets them on the field and Prince, soon-to-be-king Ben is beside him, smiling like some friendly asshole.

“Welcome!” Ben steps forward broadly. “To Auradon Prep. We’re very excited to have you all here with us this year and we look forward to playing you.” He reaches to shake Jay’s hand and he’s civil enough to at least do that.

“Ditto.”

Ben falters, as if he expected more from Jay, but he doesn’t continue. “Uh, please, let me introduce my team. Chad here is our co-captain. We have Aziz” who looks like Jay, if Jay were a complete tool, “and Doug,” whose glasses take up half his face. “Back here are…”

It’s not so much names as stances and confidence levels Jay commits to memory. Doug is avoiding eye contact, he’s nervous. Charming has his nose so far in the air, his neck is about to snap; he’s too confident.

Distantly, Jay can hear Mal and Auradon’s head cheerleaders (Aubrey?) exchanging verbal blows and he doesn’t bother hiding his laugh when he hears a faint “I just can’t believe your mother spent all those years on beauty sleep and her only child looks like…well, you.”

Ben finishes with his teammates’ names, as if Jay was actually listening to it at all, and a grand sweep of his arms. “Well, that’s everyone on the team. Please don’t hesitate to ask any of us any questions you-.”

“Oh, wait. Here comes Carlos,” Chad points out. “I think he was doing something in the science lab.”

Jay pauses at the name. No, there is no way that the one person he actually connected with here is a part of these assholes.

“Of course, our mascot! He’s not on the team, but he’s very near and dear to all of us,” Ben announces. “Carlos, come join us!”

The mascot jogs across the field, with familiar black and white hair and red shorts, and Jay sighs.

“Fuck.”

April Showers Bring What Again?

“On the one hand, shopping is dependable: You can do it alone, if you lose your heart to something that is wrong for you, you can return it; it’s instant gratification and yet something you buy may well last for years.” Judith Krantz

*

When his powers had first manifested Jackson Overland had not in his wildest dreams imagined they would lead him here.

At most he had figured he’d be transferred to a cold storage facility, or a cryogenic stasis unit. He had eagerly registered his elemental ability with the goal of a higher wage and better benefits for himself and his family. Maybe move somewhere out of the lower city levels, somewhere high. An apartment with a view that didn’t include the next building’s wall and waste storage.

Now he was opening his own store.

His, not a franchise location, not a corporate office, not a temporary crisis building. All his.

He looked at his twenty employees, his employees, gathered at the entrance, the sliding glass doors polished to invisibility, and couldn’t feel his face for the amount he was grinning.

“Tomorrow is opening day.” he said, though the countdown on the tack board behind him had been saying so since this morning, “and I can say that I have never had a team work like you. I know it’s not what most of you were hired for, but you all came through as a team and did an absolutely fantastic job putting this store together.”

They didn’t share his joy, he knew. They were hourly employees, with lives and responsibilities of their own, and this was just a job, but he didn’t blame them for that. Thirty years ago working in the factories he had been the same, two years and three months ago when he had handed in his resignation as the manager of a small unit in the Department of Climate Control he had been the same. Just another clock punching, hour counting, putting in the work for someone else employee. Until he had finally struck out on his own.

“I know there have been setbacks, the tropical department’s humidifier is still being unruly,(an understatement) and the glacier dispensers haven’t come off the truck (even though they were due two weeks ago), but I want you all to know how proud I am of you. We came in this morning with a lot of work still ahead of us, but I can say that this store is as ready as we can make it.” And it was, from the perfectly zoned shelves to the spotlessly cleaned floors. Each and every corner of his store was the physical manifestation of his dreams. “So go home and get a good night’s sleep, because at nine am I want all of you back here for the grand opening.”

They cheered, and it felt like a stadium of people applauding. It felt like the end of the movie, when the hero won the game, and the team rushed together in shared glee.

As he watched them file out, heard the whisper quiet shh of his doors, he imagined every day like this.

Though he hoped the anxiety would dampen over time. He pressed a hand to his stomach that was cramped and aching from his constant worry. If this went on he’d have another ulcer in no time, and hadn’t he left the DCC because it had been stressing him? The bureaucracy, the politics, the smug smothering presence of those in power? He had hated it all, but what he had loathed the most was sorting through file after file of weather requests. Simple target storms that could have taken him five minutes to create, but his hands had been tied. A farming town in a mild drought, a conservation under fire threat, a mountain resort without snow that month.

But they were short staffed, and his job involved too much time and resource management. Budget cuts and politics ruled in his old job, a drought kept people dependent on municipal water, the Forestry services were confined to natural weather unless under extreme circumstances, and of course the fact that government resources could not be used to aid private businesses.

Denial after denial after denial had weighed on his heart. They were not natural disasters or difficult jobs, nothing that should have been banned. They were simply not important enough for the government weather service to waste time on. But Jack, who had sat in an office after spending thirty years climbing his way up trying to find a way around that red tape, who had chafed under the constant reminder that he and those under him were nothing but a ‘government resource’ to those in power, who had always always remembered the years in the factories as an ungifted, an unwanted unusable uneducated drone good for nothing but building magical devices for those greater than himself, they were important to him. He had wanted nothing so much as he had wanted to find a way to help them.

Now he had.

Jack smiled as he picked up one of the snowglobes from the display, his personal favourite. An instant snow day. With the proper tools any weather pattern could be seeded, and Jack had spent the past thirty years studying how to do it.

His life in the factory had paid off. Very few magical people bothered making their own things these days, that was the job of the ungifted, whose lack of talents made it near impossible to contaminate or sabotage the tools. For the first twenty-seven years of his life he had been trained on how to create things of a magical nature without any knowledge of the magic itself.

Then suddenly he had gifts, talents, a rare and intimate connection to the weather. His ability to radiate cold, not dispel heat or transfer it, but to physically devour the energy around him and use it to fuel his gifts made him one of the best weather witches in the country, possibly the world. Few could create as he did, and fewer bothered to.

Replacing the globe he began to close up for the night. He had a little under seven hours before he had to be back and preparing the store for his employees to arrive.

Grand opening. His belly did little flips at the thought. Would people buy? He hoped they would, he hoped he had finally solved the problem everyone was facing with their weather system. The monopoly of power centralized in the hands of the government, and the dependence on said government for fair skies.

As he lowered the gates in front of his wide windows he thought of what the world would be like now that anyone could have a little storm of their own. The problems it would solve, the pranks it would inspire. How soon until someone broke a rainshower over a wedding? How long would it take before kids unleashed snowdays on school grounds? He couldn’t wait to find out.

Just as he was shutting off the lights and heading to the upper level and his own living space the bell at the back buzzed aggressively through the dark store.

Irritation slashed through the nerves. The sign clearly said closed. The banner over the store had the exact date for their opening. They had handed out fliers all week with the information of when they would be opening and at what time. Still, still he had dealt with people walking into the store all day as they had been trying to work. He had had to set up a door guard for just that purpose, like a fucking Walmart greeter.

The bell continues to buzz like a pissed off bee as he stomped back down the stairs and to the doors. His nerves were beyond strained,and while he hated to give any kind of poor impression to a potential customer he was not, currently, at work. He was at home, and the store was closed. Right now, he was just another person, and he was very very tired.

Taking his nametag with its MANAGER title off and smacking it down on the greeting booth with glee he unlocked the beloved glass doors and shoved one open. It offered no resistance, all debris vacuumed from it’s slot.. “What?” he demanded.

A large creature of indeterminate species cut an imposing figure against the parking lot flood lights and he had the sudden realisation that answering the door in the middle of the night was a very good way to get robbed.

Then the upper part split and, aside from the quick hysterical horror that it was the jaws of a monster opening to eat him, he realised the person was not in fact a towering eight foot tall beast but a moderately sized Pooka.

“Ye got a Humidifier need fixin?” The alien asked. It was.. It was not a voice Jack would identify as Pookan.

“You’re late.” Jack straightened, hoping he hadn’t gawked. “I put in the request two months ago, Opening Day is tomorrow.”

“The unit ye got here is registered in D.C. ye wanna explain how it got to Pennsylvania?”

Jack’s irritation doubled and he swallowed the sarcastic insult because of fucking course the paperwork hadn’t been updated, why had he expected anything else from the Government. “Its a decommissioned unit.” He explained, with Pooka it was important to be to the point. They had, as he had quickly learned, no sense of humor. “I requested it as part of my retirement package when I left the DCC.” It had been the only thing he wanted, and he had still plucked his way through a tangled knitting basket’s worth of red tape to get it. Just because something was sitting in a junk storage somewhere didn’t mean the government was going to give it away. The Government’s livelihood depended on them being the only one to have something. Only the legal assurance that he wouldn’t be using it to form his own vigilante weather service made them let go.

“Come in.” He sighed and stepped back to let the alien through the doorway, closing and locking up behind them. “Its this way.” He led the Pooka through the departments, weaving past the displays and around the aisles. It was tantamount, he knew, that no customer be able to reach their goal immediately. There had to be some form of meandering, some light browsing, otherwise the store invited bankruptcy. Impulse buys lined every fixture, the cheapest of their items, anything under $20, and things he believed would catch the eye. As he walked he flipped through his mental plans for each aisle entrance fixture. He had a department for seasonal events of course, but it was important to put that holiday in the mind of the more focused shopper. Someone just coming in for a garden storm wouldn’t think of the approaching halloween, so one needed to have the fog charms out on full display.

“Quite the place ye got here.” The Pooka’s comment was unnerving. Jack had never met a Pooka who volunteered an opinion in anything but dry facts. His experience was that they prefered not to interact at all, and simply be left to their work. Jack had braced himself for being dismissed as a distraction as soon as they arrived to the unit.

“Its ah, its pretty great yeah. I’m happy with it.” He said, and ran a hand along a shelf full of sunshowers. They looked like fist sized golden marbles with a twist of blue at the center. The slide of his fingers across the display had them humming, the familiars within them singing like crystal at the presence of their creator.

“Quite the bunch of familiars ye got here, must’ve taken an army to make ‘em.”

“Hmm? No.” Jack informed as he opened the barricade that separated the aisles from the employee station within the department. “Its time consuming, but I make them myself.”

“Ye made all these?” The Pooka looked alarmed. “It must’ve taken ye YEARS.”

“Oh it did, two full years, but it was worth it.” Jack picked up one of the waiting crystals with his familiar inside, too parched to be anything but a little scout yet, but with the right amount of water it could become any storm he wished. Working with the DCC he had created an endless amount of them, sending them out into the world like sheepdogs to herd storms towards the assignment, after he had always simply let them free, he had never had the heart to cannibalize them as others had done, but over the years he had learned that he was the exception.

“T-TWO YEARS?” The Pooka sputtered, and that was a unique experience, watching a member of the unflappable Pookan race gape at him wordless. “How are ye not in a COMA?” he demanded.

“I’m a weather mage,” Jack explained, as he had done a thousand times before, “ but my talents are cold creation.”

“Ye can’t.. Ye can’t create cold.” The Pooka explained, like the frustrated teachers who had tried to guide him in the ways of magic after developing his talents so late in age.

“I can. The energy in the matter around me feeds my magic, instead of taking it from myself, and makes everything cold.” He had never taken it to an extreme, the world they lived in was teeming with ways for magic users to replenish themselves, so he had never proven if he could reach absolute zero, but he didn’t doubt he that could. “This is the unit, we rewired it and changed out the crystals, even replaced most of the outer panels, but it’s still not functioning.” Jack put his hand against the flat stone box, looking to the untrained eye like any other green granite counter.

Jack had paid his supplier North a fortune in high compression ice to get his hands on that much green granite. Witches loved nothing more than aesthetic.

The Pooka was studying him in a familiar way, Pooka were frequently giving him the side eye at the DCC as they went about with their many inventions, they were not permitted to interact with the local populace, and often didn’t care to, working only with the planet’s governing forces. Trading their magical technologies for resources only Earth could provide. They had always given Jack the creeps, with their rigid speech and severe faces, he had never been able to reconcile their personalities with their far too adorable appearance.

They also had an uncompromising dislike for the mentioning of their resemblance to Earth rabbits. Which Jack couldn’t make sense of.

If Jack had looked at all like something adorable on an alien planet he would milk it for all it was worth. That was grade A bartering material there. But he didn’t expect a race that sneered at all things emotive to understand the importance of such a bartering chip.

“Well, lets start her up and see what the problem is.” The Pooka said after moments of uncomfortable silence. He bent down on his haunches, his long legs perfectly made for squatting peeked out from under his green coat and Jack realized the alien probably wasn’t wearing any pants, at least not the loose floor length ones he associated with them.

The sight of the delicate black pattern against soft grey fur caught his eye. He had never seen a Pooka out of their strict military dress robes, but this one was in nothing but a long green trench coat, he knew from offhanded rumor that they had clan markings magically dyed into their fur, but had only seen what was prominently displayed on their foreheads.

The panels, easily six inches thick and a literal pain in Jack’s back to take apart slide aside easily under the Pooka’s hands, claws ticking musically against the granite. “Everything seems t’be working proper like, ye did a good job restoring it. What seems off?”

“Its not that it isn’t working as it should, its not working the way I want it to.” Jack explained, passing his familiar between his hands. “Its a life support system for familiars.”

“Yeah, in extreme circumstances. Its supposed ta collect the atoms and humidify the air even if there is little t’no water present. Not exactly life support though.”

“You’ve never been in a forest fire.” Jack countered. “Normally our familiars herd storm systems, or collect water vapors and create systems if there are none, the humidifier can take water fed into it and replenish a system, and as such any weather or other water based familiar. My problem is that it should be able to transfer that humidity to a dormant familiar, just as a water spirit can be sealed away in an item, but every time I try nothing happens. I can’t figure out what’s blocking the machine from storing the humidity.” Jack sighed and leaned over the top of the granite counter, rolling his familiar between his hands. “Its a pain to keep dunking them in the fountain to gather the water I need for the storms, and its costly. Water is not cheap, even for a weather witch. I can’t rely on the air around my customers’ location, many of them are buying storms because there IS none around them, and I can’t guarantee a familiar will herd for a customer without me there. Too far out and they tend to drift off by themselves.”

“Wait.” The Pooka held up a paw, and Jack was surprised to see the little pads of skin on the tips were black instead of pink like his nose. “Yer telling me that this machine, hand made by Pooka to create vapor into the AIR to create life supplying storms for undeveloped planets, and ye want t’use it like yer refilling water bottles?”

Jack had expected irritation from a Pooka, they were almost religiously strict about how their technologies were allowed to be used, and any kind of adaptation was considered an insult. This one though, seemed like he was trying to talk around a mouthful of laughter.

“I’d hardly call my familiars ‘water bottles’.” Jack said cooly, staring down his nose at the smirking alien. It was an act he could only do while the creature was hunched over, since he barely reached halfway past five foot himself.

“Ye want t’just lob those little crystal balls o’yers into this box and fill em up with water.” That was unmistakably a cackle. Was this Pooka mad? Had the DCC, in retaliation for his retirement, sent him the one malfunctioning Pooka in the whole damn galaxy?

“Is that a problem?” Jack asked, smiling with far too much teeth.

“Not one bit.” The Pooka said, and unbuttoned his coat to reveal nothing but a leather strap underneath. The sight of so much fur openly displayed on the normally prudish species had Jack jolting back embarrassed.

“W-what are y-” he stammered.

“M’gonna modify it some.” The Pooka explained, tugging his strap over his head and opening the pack. He began pulling out small items that Jack recognized as tools of their trade, it was the only thing aside from the ears that were comfortably familiar about this encounter.

They had sent him the crazy nudist of the species. He was going to absolutely ruin that department. He was going to make them so obsolete the Politicians would be clamoring to underfund them and absorb them back into the EPA. He was going to turn the whole damn planet into a paradise just to spite them.

“These older gen models were built t’be gifts.” The Pooka explained as he set to work taking the humidifier apart. “To keep them from being abused as a source of water for only those in power, or a weapon to storm out an enemy, they were outfitted with a few failsafes. One being that they can’t create water themselves, only add vapor into the air for natural storms to form.” he pulled out several of the crystals powering the object and set them aside, reaching in deeper to delicately wiggle out the panel holding the fist sized created lapis Jack had received as a gift from his mother for his thirtieth birthday. He held his breath around his objection, his mother had few years left, and it had taken her most of what she lived to buy that for him. Savings that she had scraped to send him to a technical trade school he would never see. “We just need to bypass those little restrictions.”

“And then I can use it on my familiars?”

“When I’m done with it, ye can use it for yer own personal lake.”

Jack made a pleased sound in his throat and leaned back, grinning. The Pooka’s ears swiveled in his direction, but he remained elbow deep in the device. “So,” Jack asked before the silence could extend farther, “I didn’t catch your name?”

The Pooka ears flicked in what Jack recognized as irritation, like he was being harassed by an ear obsessed fly. It was a reaction he often got when chatting with Pooka, and he signed, resigned to being dismissed after all.

“Bunnymund.” The alien mumbled. “E. Aster Bunnymund.”

Jack gawked. He couldn’t help it. Bunnymund. THE Bunnymund. The Pooka’s, Bunnymund’s, (BUNNYMUND’S oh gods he was going to have a panic attack) ears flinched like they wanted to lay flat but stayed erect through force of will. Jack realized he was probably making an absolute fool of himself as he stared but BUNNYMUND, the actual FOUNDER of the planet, the Pooka who had terraformed Earth and the closest thing they had to a living God was in his store TOUCHING HIS THINGS.

Oh gods he’d snapped at him. He’d actually told Bunnymund, creator of continents, that he was late. He was going to die of humiliation.

He wanted to apologize, he wanted to shower Bunnymund in gratitude for fixing the device HE INVENTED and bypassing what was probably his own failsafes so Jack could use it to- Oh god Bunnymund had called them waterbottles. He wanted to die. He was going to burn the store down and kill himself.

Instead he blurted out “Why are you naked?” in a voice that didn’t even crack.

Something that embarrassing should not have come that casually from his mouth.

Bunnymund’s ears perked up stiff in his direction. “Ah.. I run.”

“You… run?” that made … no sense.

“Underground mate, I have me tunnels. Gets me everywhere, but they’re a bit cramped, ye follow?”

“You run.” Jack repeated, his imagination conjuring the image of the Pooka running full tilt like a rabbit in a tunnel. He couldn’t help it, he laughed. It was long and gasping, and Bunnymund looked severely pissed off, he couldn’t stop. He’d try, but as soon as he saw the Pooka’s face he’d laugh again. “You.. on all fours.. and naked!”

“Oi!” Bunnymund stood up, insult in every tense quivering muscle and bristled tuft of fur, but Jack just slid down, back to the shelf of his familiars, and laughed until he couldn’t breath.

It had been a long day.

He fully expected Bunnymund to collect his things and storm off, leaving Jack with a half dismantled Humidifier, but the Pooka seemed to deflate as Jack calmed down.

“S’not that funny.” Bunnymund mumbled.

“Have you SEEN your species?” Jack choked out from behind he breathless grinning. His stomach had cramped again, but he wasn’t sick with nerves this time so he didn’t care. He did need to pee now though.

“Course I have.” Bunnymund said tersely. “Bunch of a-holes.”

Jack gaped at him all over again, then cackled.

“Don’t start that again.” Bunnymund warned.

“I can’t help it.” Jack grinned. “My hero is a crazy swearing Australian and fixing my box, naked. I’m having the BEST dream.”

“Ye have bizarre dreams there mate.”

“You’re in one.” Jack informed him. “What does that make you?”

“A crazy naked Australian?”

Jack laughed again. “okay, no more.” He begged. “I need to pee. I can’t laugh more.”

“Thanks for sharing.” Bunnymund crouched back and started work on the Humidifier again.

“You’re welcome.” He chirped.

Bunnymund grunted, but didn’t reply. Probably afraid Jack would go crazy with laughter again and piss himself.

Jack just sat cross-legged and watched. Bunnymund was much more animated than the Pooka he normally interacted with in the DCC, more interesting. His ears moved, instead of staying focused on his work Bunnymund seemed to be listening to his own thoughts, they displayed more emotion, frustration or interest as he attempted to recreate his invention, and they turned towards Jack often. He would frown, his whiskers vibrating, but his eyes stayed on his work.

Jack didn’t mind the silence, unlike the other Pooka Bunnymund didn’t creep him out at all, and he was very nice to look at. Like a very pretty rabbit, with all his fur on display and fluffed up from his previous agitation Jack had the very powerful urge to reach out and touch him.

But even with an eccentric Pooka, that was a good way to get your hand chomped off at the wrist.

He signed, it would be nice though.

Bunnymund’s ears turned towards him and he held out a paw, surprising Jack. Fuck, had he spoken out loud? Did Bunnymund… was he going to let him touch him?

“Ball.” he demanded.

“What?” Jack flinched at the green glare that earned him, but clued in. “Oh, here,” he passed Bunnymund the familiar still in his hands.

Bunnymund set the granite panels back into place and stood, slapping one of the premade plastic sheets Jack had next to the device onto the counter he placed the crystal in the center of the inked design and began to mutter the humidifier’s incantation.

There was no glow, no noise or surge of magic. The air simply got heavier with moisture, like breathing too long in a confined space. Then Jack’s familiar began to hum, and in a snap, like a crack of electricity, the moisture was gone and in the center of the crystal was a thick twisting band of blue.

“Ha! Nice!” Jack scooped it up and surveyed the globe, searching out his weather spirit for any signs of discomfort. It seemed happy, less thirsty, and eager to get out and play. His familiars were always very friendly.

“Wow, this is awesome. I can’t believe it worked. Which spell did you use?” Jack leaned over to study the template. Whistling when he recognized the fire suppressant spell he had crafted for drought seasons. “That’s a powerful spell, a good strong soaker storm,” and not a template he intended for general sale. Custom order only. Too bad, he disliked when a powerful spirit had to sit for too long, they got irritable. But a forest wasn’t likely to complain about a thunderstorm. “You okay?”

“S’fine.” Bunnymund’s eyes slid sideways, not meeting his gaze. The spell wasn’t as exhausting without creating the familiar, but it still took a good chunk of power, and Jack doubted Bunnymund could grab it from the air the way he did. “No worries mate, its not my first time.”

“Okay.” Jack let it go, magic users tended to get irritable if you babied them, especially if you did something that would knock them on their ass and looked fresh as a daisy the way Jack always did. Egos were abundant among the gifted, so he didn’t push.

“I’ll buy it.” Bunnymund declared, and Jack looked back at him.

“Excuse me?”

“Its for sale right?” Bunnymund demanded, and why did he look so pissed off? Didn’t it work? Wasn’t this a success? “I’ll buy it.”

“Um.. yeah but.. are you sure? It’s a pretty big storm. Not criticising, I should have had that template stored, but do you have the room for it?”

“I live in Australia mate. Got a whole continent.”

Jack held the crystal closer. “You’re sure?”

“Is it for sale or not? Blimey.” the Pooka snapped, and Jack had a good view of teeth.

“Y-yes.” He looked between Bunnymund and the familiar, trying to decode the suddenly tense situation. “Here, this way.”

Jack led the way back towards the registers, mind retracing the last few minutes. He knew he’d probably irritated the Pooka when he laughed, but the guy had settled down and got back to work after. Why, if he was so pissed off, did he want to buy a storm? Did he want to smash it in the store and cause chaos? Surely someone as old and powerful as Bunnymund knew Jack’s familiar wouldn’t act out while Jack was there to command it. So.. why?

Jack waved a hand over the register, his sapphire ring activating the device without prompting.

“If ye have them set for runes, why the key cards?” Bunnymund asked, indicating to the employee cardswipe.

“I have ungifted employees.” Jack explained as he calculated the price based on his estimate of the square footage it would cover. “I don’t discriminate based on talents.”

“Progressive of ya.”

“Not really. My family is ungifted, I’m an anomaly.”

“That why ye let yer hair go white?”

Jack paused in wrapping and tugged on the hair at his ear self-consciously. It had silvered in his late forties and he had, like others, dyed it to maintain the image of eternal youth. But after leaving the DCC he hadn’t really bothered. Why should he, when his mom and baby sister were struggling with their mortality and he hadn’t changed a day beyond his awakening.

His cells, taking energy from the world around him, simply did not age.

“Yes.” He answered simply and changed the subject. “This large a storm will be $350, American.”

Bunnymund tugged a wallet out from the pocket of the coat slung over his arm and handed Jack a credit card. Normally Pooka paid in gold or silver, but what about Bunnymund had been normal anyway?

Jack handed the Pooka his card back as well as the glossy blue paper bag with his familiar, Bunnymund’s familiar now. “Thanks for fixing my box.” Jack tried to salvage at least some part of the conversation. “You’ll get most of your money back when you bill me.”

“No charge mate. Its in my contract.” Bunnymund gruffed.

Jack was left pondering that as he unlocked the cage, and then the glass doors to let the Pooka go. “Well, thank you, regardless. I probably shouldn’t have charged you for the storm then.”

“She’s aces.” Bunnymund walked past him.

Well, if that’s how it was, then that’s how it was. It wasn’t to first brush off from a Pooka he’d gotten. But…

“Actually, there is somethin.”

“Yes?” Jack looked up eagerly. In the beat of a heart Bunnymund had a fistfull of Jack’s shirt and Jack had a face full of… face.

He blinked rapidly, mind trying to process the sudden position he was in. Bunnymund was.. They were. Were they kissing? They were. They were absolutely kissing.

Bunnymund pulled back and grinned wickedly at him. “Revenge,” he explained, “for laughing at me.”

“Oh.” Jack said stupidly brain numb.

“Sweet dreams mate.” With a tap of his foot he disappeared down a hole in the ground and Jack was left staring blankly at the the the…the WEED growing out of his freshly laid concrete.

He reached up to touch his lips, but missed and ended up brushing his cheek instead. It didn’t matter, an entire side of his face tingled from the kiss, the fur against his nose and cheek, the way every time he blinked his eyelash had brushed against Bunnymund’s face, the feel of.. Of of of.. the feel of..

Jack closed the door mechanically, shutting the cage and locking it and turning off the lights. Mind still… minding…. with thoughts and junk.

Then he was struggling to get it all open again because if he left the flower there it was sure to get trampled by his employees on their way to work.

heartlikethunder  asked:

How do you tackle two characters who are meant to fall in love at the end of the story or are already falling in love when one character is prejudice against a group of people and the other character is nurturing and consider of that group and thus does not support the prejudice?

Thanks for your question dear!  This sounds like an interesting romantic plot (i.e. a romance that doesn’t cling to the stereotypical girl-likes-boy, boy-has-mean-girlfriend, girl-gets-boy) and that gets you 1000 brownie pts!

Originally posted by distinguidos

Sorry.  I had to express my gratitude.

Okay, so what you’re dealing with seems to come back to one common issue in romantic writing – especially modern-day writing.  It’s the paradox of Love Before Intimacy.  By intimacy, I mean to say, “an intimate knowledge of each other’s thoughts, feelings, goals, and ideals.”  This is especially common in romantic situations driven by sexual desire, mutual benefit (arranged marriage), or necessity (unplanned pregnancy).  Why does this happen?

Friendships are built on similar interests and values, typically, while romantic relationships develop from (sometimes unwanted) physical attraction and emotional attachment between two people.  “Falling in love” can be a sudden progression; it can happen before the people involved really know each other.  Then a single future conversation can create intense conflict, as the two people realize they’re actually quite different.  This is one of the main reasons for the higher divorce rate in the world today!

So how do you write two characters into this situation?   What are the possible outcomes of this situation?


Love Before Intimacy (and How to Resolve It)

Firstly, I’m going to address the basic question of Love Before Intimacy situations: how do these characters arrive at the problem?  How do they realistically fall in love despite their different beliefs or habits?

The first thing you need to do is determine how important this conflict is to your characters.  This is vital to the timeline of your story.  If the conflict is superficial (e.g. one is messy while the other is neat) then it could be that your characters noticed these traits before committing to each other, and they didn’t care.  But if it’s a fundamental conflict (e.g. politics, morals, ethics, etc.) then it’s not so easily avoided.  So when do your characters discover this conflict of opinion?

  1. When they meet – in which case you’ll need to develop a strong emotional and physical attraction between the two characters.  For someone to overlook a fundamental “flaw” in another person, they have to be driven by something strong.  It could be a shared experience that connects them – perhaps emotional codependence.  Maybe the characters use each other as an “escape” from their living situations.  One way or another, there has to be something stronger than their moral compass that pushes these two people together – and it can’t just be the sex.  I mean, it can start out as just the sex, but it can’t always just be the sex.
  2. When they’ve fallen in love – This is a very different situation.  Once two people have truly fallen in love with each other, small disagreements are easily overlooked – and big problems are either avoided or discussed sporadically over time.  Understand that once an emotional attachment has formed, it’s hard to look at someone’s opinions objectively.  This can cause Character A to look at Character B and think, “I know they’re wrong, but maybe it’s not so bad.  Maybe they have a point somehow.”  Bad morals or ideas can be rationalized; conflict can be buried or handled passive-aggressively.  In this “honeymoon period”, a person’s innate desire is to keep the relationship alive – no matter the cost.
  3. When they’ve made a commitment – the ultimate disaster.  Once the honeymoon period has worn off and two characters no longer see each other through rose-colored glasses, moral conflicts are nothing to be brushed under the rug.  The two have become comfortable with each other, enough that they are more willing to be honest.  This is where fights (and often insults to the other person’s intelligence, empathy, heart, and mind) can become powerful and escalated.  Also recognize that once the honeymoon has faded, a person is less likely to be willing to change themselves for their partner.  This, in turn, can be interpreted as a loss of respect or love for each other – and then things can start to spiral.

So clearly, the later you introduce the conflict to the relationship, the more difficult it is to resolve.  It’s important to think about the timeline of this issue, in order to write your characters realistically.


So Now, What?

Once you’ve determined when the conflict arises and how your characters feel about it, you have to think about the resolution.  What are the possible outcomes, and what do they say about your morals and opinions as the writer?

I’m going to create my own example for this post, involving two characters I’ll name Jack and Jill.  Here is their story:

Jack and Jill have just moved into their new house, which is located in front of deep woods.  These woods are full of spiders.  Jack is scared of spiders and kills them upon sight.  Jill loves spiders and always releases them outdoors.  One day, Jill witnesses Jack kill a spider, and she’s furious with him.  Jack argues that he’s afraid of spiders, and they could be poisonous.  Jill argues that she loves them, and they are living creatures.  They cannot convince each other and reach a stalemate.  What do they do?

(I know this is kind of a silly example, but I wanted to keep away from any pressing issues that might offend my followers.)

So let’s assess the situation at hand: Jack and Jill have moved into a house together, meaning they are at a point of commitment.  Judging from Jill’s anger with him, not only are they out of the honeymoon phase, but this is an issue that is very important to Jill.  She loves spiders, which is an emotional driver – and beyond that, she argues about the state of a spider’s right to life.  But it also seems important to Jack, who is driven by another strong emotion: fear.  His poison argument suggests that he doesn’t value the life of a spider as equal to the life of a human.  This creates an emotional and moral dilemma.

There are a few different resolutions to Jack and Jill’s conflict:

  • Mutual Compromise (both surrender partially) – This kind of conflict resolution is best suited for situations which have no clear right or wrong.  This means that both arguments, on either side, maintain an equal level of moral and logical validity.  When Character A can’t convince Character B of something fundamental to their morals, they have to compromise – to make some kind agreement that satisfies both parties partially.  The disagreement may still remain, but the conflict should cease.

In the example: Neither Jack nor Jill change their opinion on the spider’s life.  They decide to have their house assessed for cracks in the insulation, so that they can minimize the spiders altogether – keeping them away for Jack, and keeping them safe for Jill.

  • One-Way Compromise (one surrenders) – A.K.A. the Beat ‘Em situation.  In this resolution, neither of your characters’ opinions change, but for the good of the relationship, Character B surrenders to Character A.  This solution can sometimes be temporary, building resentment in the relationship.  But in other instances, it can work out, and may be the only compromise that works – either because Character A is more emotionally attached to their argument, or because Character B is a more passive person.  A manipulative person can make one-way compromise seem like mutual compromise, but it’s important to know the difference.  Character B could also play it off as a mutual solution (below), which could lead to more conflict in the future.

In this example: Neither Jack nor Jill change their opinion on the spider’s life.  Jack decides that, because Jill cares so much about the spiders, he will not kill them anymore.  He might continue to fear spiders forever, or he might become less afraid of them with time.  But he makes the decision for Jill’s sake – not for the spiders’ sake.

  • Mutual Solution (a shared opinion is reached) – And this is the Join ‘Em situation.  Here, Character A and Character B wind up resolving the issue by dissolving the issue – one or both of their arguments changes the other’s opinion, until they both arrive at the same conclusion.  It may be that one character realizes they were wrong all along; it may be that the final answer lies somewhere between their two opinions.  Either way, this is usually the healthiest (and most difficult to attain) conflict resolution to reach.

In this example: Jill decides that because they live so close to the woods, these spiders could actually be poisonous.  She agrees with Jack that she values their lives more than a spider’s, so they have the house sprayed – killing the existing spiders, and preventing more spiders from coming.  She does not feel guilty about this, because Jack’s arguments have changed her viewpoint.  Both Jack and Jill are content with this resolution.

And of course, there is the unfortunate fourth outcome of No Resolution, in which the two characters cannot reconcile their differences and either live on in disagreement and possible harbored resentment, or decide to part ways.  This can be a poignant sad-ending that emphasizes the relativity of the issue at hand, raising the question: if one or both of them were open to changing their minds, would they have been happy together?

I won’t put Jack and Jill through that, though.  They deserve a happy ending ♥

Originally posted by fairytale-christmas


I hope this helps you get started on that story, friend!  If I’ve grossly misinterpreted your question, hit me up again and I’ll do better, I swear!  Thanks as always for asking :)  Happy writing!


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

Anytime i have to conjugate verbs in Japanese, I’m suddenly back in the 34c temporary building that was there for as long as I could remember with my old sensei peering over my shoulder correcting my grammar and making veiled threats that I shouldn’t be making jokes if I’m 6 exercises behind.

thetimeisgrey  asked:

Can you post something about Cob houses or Earthbag architecture, I would love to learn more about the technic and possible locations where to visit such constructions. Thank you - Anais

Sota Construction Corporate Headquarters in Pittsburgh, featuring cob walls.

According to Wikipedia: Cob, cobb or clom (in Wales) is a natural building material made from subsoil, water, some kind of fibrous organic material (typically straw), and sometimes lime. The contents of subsoil naturally varies and if it does not contain the right mixture it can be modified with sand or clay.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

you tagged that last post mentioning airport magic, could you talk more about that? I'd already kind of noticed funky energies in airports but I'd love to learn more, sounds super interesting!

I decided that I wasn’t going to get too specific about this. I will say that I you can write things down on paper and throw them away on a layover and that people are generally too worried about getting where they are going to pay attention to me building temporary shrines out of garbage or drawing sigils on napkins at an airport bar. Airports are liminal spaces, they are great for daydreaming, journaling, even meditating if that’s your thing. I also like to try out glamours in airports. You can be anything to anyone in an airport because you will all be gone to other places soon. How can you use that in your magic?

noted.

These niggas are so temporary. One day they’re on you and the next they’re on someone else. One day they act like they need you and the next they begin treating you like you need them. One thing I’ve learned in these past few months is to not focus on men, but on your goals. Because truth be told, your accolades can never wake up one morning and tell you that they don’t want you anymore. Work on building yourself rather then building temporary relationships with temporary people.

anonymous asked:

Pre series AU where Kate runs into Castle after Jim has injured her while drunk.

It had been an accident.

The words circle through her head on a loop as she locks the front door behind her and presses her back to the hardwood, closing her eyes and breathing past the pain flaring from her jaw, spreading through her throbbing bottom lip. 

It had been an accident.

Her father is asleep now, passed out on the couch after she picked him up off the floor, swept the glass of the broken bottle into the dustpan after taking a punch from his knuckles. 

He hadn’t recognized her when she had come to check on him after her last training class of the day. She was on her way to becoming a police officer, mere days from graduating the academy top of her class, and even though he hadn’t approved of the decision to begin with, part of her had hoped for her father to be sober when she gave him the good news.

She had found him slumped at the table, a bottle of scotch and a too large glass clutched in his hand instead. Kate had sighed at the sight and approached him, calling out a greeting that startled him before he slurred her name, started going on about her mother, like always.

It angered her most times, to witness her father’s form of coping, and in a fit of impulsive irritation, she had tried to snatch the full glass from his grasp.

It had been an accident.

Kate pushes away from the door and starts down the depressing hallway of her dad’s new - and hopefully temporary - apartment building. She keeps her head down on her walk back to her own place, training her eyes straight ahead until she’s safely inside the elevator of her building.

She digs her key from her coat pocket, prepared to slip into her apartment and tend to the aching section of her face, when someone says her name.

“Kate?”

Oh no. No, he can’t be here, not now, not-

“I hope you don’t mind that I stopped by, I know you had a big exam today and I thought a celebratory dinner might be…”

Richard Castle’s sentence trails as she lifts her head to see him, letting him see her. 

It takes him a mere second before he drops the large bag of takeout and comes for her.

“What happened to your lip?” he demands, soft but insistent as his hands hover at her jaw, the warmth of his palms emanating onto her skin. “Your jaw? Did - did he hit you?”

Rick knows about her mother, he knows about her father too, practically has her personal tragedy memorized. She hadn’t told him she was stopping by her dad’s on the way home. She didn’t have to.

Castle takes the key from her limp fingers, replacing the metal with his hand, guiding her forward into her own apartment, grabbing the disheveled takeout bag on the way in.

Her bottom lip is starting to swell, the taste of dried blood seeping into her mouth, and her jaw hurts, almost too much to speak, let alone explain.

She nearly startles when a burst of cold touches her skin, but Castle places a gentle hand to her shoulder, drawing her eyes back to him, to the dark storm clouds of his gaze.

“Alexis?” she gets out, her voice scraping raw along her larynx.

“Slumber party at Paige’s for the weekend,” he murmurs, holding the bag of frozen peas to her jaw with one hand and cradling her cheek with the other, brushing his thumb beneath her eye.

The tenderness in his touch, the concern in his eyes - it has hers leaking.

“Kate, tell me what happened,” he whispers, leaning forward to press his lips to her forehead. 

This is the most touching they’ve ever done in the last six months since he met her, since he insinuated himself into her life after coming across her one night in a coffee shop at 3 a.m. and she managed to “cure his writer’s block” with just a single hour of talking over repulsive decaf lattes.

“I tried to take - take the bottle away and he snapped,” she confesses on a breath, all of her words cracking and cutting over her split lip. “He punched me and then he fell over, fell asleep on the ground. It’s-”

“No,” he growls, actually growls, and Kate snakes an arm low around his waist, holding tight to him, silently convincing him all of the reasons why he shouldn’t trek across town to her father’s home. “It’s not okay. I don’t care if he’s your father.”

“It’s not okay,” she concedes, tilts her face up to meet the tip of his nose with her own, to feel the heat of his breath on her damaged lips. “I’m calling that rehab center in the morning. Once he realizes…” She takes a breath, remembers the sting in her lip, the starbursts of pain in her jaw. “He’ll go.”

Her father is a good man. It may not seem like it, Castle definitely doesn’t believe it, and at the moment, it’s hard for her to as well, but grief is an ugly thing, turning even the kindest men to monsters.

Rick brushes another kiss to the skin between her eyes before he backs away, taking her vegetable ice pack with him and turning the kitchen sink on. She waits while he runs a dishcloth under the warm water, rings it out and brings it back to her.

“Castle,” she murmurs around the reverent swipe of the damp cloth to her mouth, waiting until he can spare concentration from cleaning up the split flesh at the corner of her mouth. “Thank you.”

“Don’t-”

“Not just for this,” she says, curling her fingers around his wrist, drawing his caring hand away from her lips. “For being there, for all this time. You’re - you mean a lot to me.”

The storm clouds in his eyes begin to clear, a hint of a smile beginning to breach the darkness like sunlight.

“You mean a lot to me too, Kate. And I’ll keep being here, for as long as you want.”

“Good,” she hums, wincing when her lips protest at the curve of a grin. “I want you around for a long time, Richard Castle. I think I’m falling in love with you.”

His eyes go wide and bright, the piercing blue of concern making room for the cerulean bursts of happiness in his irises, all before a smug smirk claims his mouth.

“It’s about time you caught up,” he chuckles, cradling the uninjured side of her face in his broad palm once more, slipping his fingers into the loose strands of her hair.

Oh, she wants him to kiss her, wishes he could kiss her, but her swollen bottom lip isn’t making her very optimistic. Castle doesn’t let her down, though, pressing his lips to the untouched corner of her mouth, allowing her to feel the gentle sparks of electricity that she cannot wait to intensify.

“The second your face feels better-”

“Yes,” she agrees, too much eagerness in the hum of her voice, but he doesn’t fault her for it, only cards his fingers through her hair and returns to the spot between her brow.

“In the meantime, I’m thinking for dinner I should switch Chinese for chicken noodle soup.”

She rumbles with laughter, cursing him under her breath for the way it makes her lip flare with irritation, but doesn’t protest, resting her cheek to his shoulder instead, relaxing into the haven of his body.

Tomorrow would be hell - showing up at the academy with her face mottled in color, convincing her father to go to rehab - but tonight, she’s in Castle’s arms with his support at her side and this shift in their relationship, their tentative confessions of love, blossoming between them and it’s enough to help her forget about the pain for a while.