the hard graft

after leaving the most prestigious military school in the country(and being the only Catboi to do so) fabian gets drafted from the age of 18-22 in a disastrous war, ends up leading his little squadron. its four yrs of hard graft, basically shreds up his naivety, also shreds up his arm, he makes some good friends but they mostly die. The End.


football edits challenge | day 5 (favourite club rivalry)
– the northwest derby (Liverpool vs. Manchester United)

Liverpool and Manchester are so different, yet so alike. There’s a realness to both cities, an honesty to the people, a love of hard work, graft and most of all, football. It’s more complicated than hate.

Preference #4: He Comes Home Angry (Luke/4)

Luke: You sat on the armchair in your lounge, idly smoothing out Molly’s (your dog’s) fur while humming away to a Little Mix song on the radio.
You were anticipating Luke’s arrival home, as he had been so preoccupied with creating ‘5SOS3’ as he and the guys referred to it, that you’d had barely any couple time together. You missed each other so, so much.
It was Luke’s idea to have a ‘date night’ at least once a fortnight. It wasn’t always going out to a fancy restaurant, or doing something extravagant - in actual fact, you much preferred to stay home with your boyfriend, and just bask in the moment, and fully appreciate some much needed one on one time.
There was a loud slam of the front door, shaking you out of your thoughts and startling Molly, who leapt off your lap and ran to her dog bed in the corner of the room, burying herself into the fleece cushion and snuggling into her soft toy for comfort.
Luke appeared at the lounge door with a face of thunder. He flopped onto the two-seater at the other side of the room, huffing irritably.
“Hey, baby,” you murmured gently. “Tough day?”
Luke scoffed, not even sparing a glance in your direction.
You raised your eyebrow in disbelief. You absolutely detested being ignored.
“So, I’m guessing it was,” you spoke into the hushed room, the soft quality now absent from your tone.
“Right, okay. Let’s see if you’re able to answer this question, then. What the fuck crawled up your ass today? Must be painful, because you are being a complete misery right now,” you snapped, losing patience.
“You know fuck all! Your so called 'job’ is teaching some little kids the fucking alphabet, you have NO idea the stress I’m under right now!” Luke barked.
You scoffed, rolling your eyes up to the ceiling. So much for the date night.
“You’re a condescending prick, you know that? How fucking DARE you insult my profession like that! You know how much my work means to me! You have absolutely no respect. It’s not MY fault that your 'dream come true’ isn’t all you expected it to be. Wake the FUCK UP LUKE! Life is never going to be a walk in the bloody park, is it? Living the life you’ve always dreamed of doesn’t come without hard graft and pressure! Do not think that you feeling stressed gives you the right to insult my job. I’m trying to be good to you and you treat me like shit!” you challenged.
Luke just laughed a harsh, humourless laugh.
“I’m fucking done,” he hissed, standing up and looking at you contemptuously with a look of sheer fury.
“Where the fuck are you going?!” You yelled after him, sitting up straight as he headed out of the room and turned left towards the front door.
“I moved all the way from England to be with you, you selfish bastard! Are you seriously leaving on our date night? Are you breaking up with me?”
He wasn’t leaving you, right? He loved you. He promised.
There was no answer.
A second slam of the door filled the silent home.
And then the tears began.

Two hours later, the tears and hiccups had finally subsided, leaving you with swollen, red eyes and a blotched face. And very few tissues left in the box on top of the coffee table.
You slowly made your way upstairs, changing into fluffy, warm pyjamas, swiping off the remnants of your makeup with a remover wipe and tying back your hair.
Time to wallow in your sadness.
In the kitchen, you rummaged through the freezer, your tummy rumbling impatiently. You’d skipped dinner as you and Luke usually prepared a homemade meal together or ordered takeout on date nights.
“We’re out of ice cream. Brilliant. Just what I needed,” you muttered to yourself sarcastically.
You reached for your phone to call Luke and ask for him to pick some up, but caught yourself as you remembered the fight and the reason for your pity party. You signed, feeling your eyes well up with tears again. You let the freezer door close noisily behind you as you swung it shut.
Just as you entered the hall, the front door opened and Luke stepped in, looking ashamed.
No sooner had you made eye contact, the tears began to spill again.
“Baby, I’m so, so unbelievably sorry,” he pleaded to you, hurriedly making his way over to you and taking you in his arms, stroking your hair soothingly.
“I had a rough day at the studio, I’m just finding it hard to write new material without feeling like I’m making songs that sound the same as our older music. It’s no excuse for the way I spoke to you. I love you so much, and I can’t apologise enough for not telling you where I was going. I’d be worried sick if that were you.”
You sniffled, curling your fingers around the nape of his neck and snuggling your head further into his chest.
“And I completely fucked up our date night. You don’t deserve to be treated the way I treated you tonight. You deserve so much better, pretty girl. I’m so sorry baby. I love you,” he sighed into your hair, pressing countless kisses there.
Reluctantly you pulled your head away from his chest and looked up at him, noticing immediately the tears brewing his eyes.
You cupped his face, tenderly running your thumb against the stubble covering his jawline.
“It’s okay, Luke, I get it. I was terrified, I thought we were over. Just please talk to me next time, I love you so much. I’ll always listen, I swear. I’m your girlfriend - you’re meant to be able to tell me anything and everything. Just please…” you breathed, full of relief that he was home. He came back to you.
“I will (Y/N), I swear I will. And I also need to apologise for belittling your job. I honestly, hand on my heart, didn’t mean it. My mum had the same job! You know how much I admire your passion and dedication. I love you. And to make up for fucking up date night, I brought some McDonalds and some snacks… Wanna watch a movie, angel?”
You nodded, smiling, and pressed your lips to his lovingly, trying to express how much he meant to you in any way you could.
And he reciprocated, pouring all his affection and love into the kiss.
In that moment, you felt as though your relationship was truly unbreakable.
“Oh, and Luke,” you mumbled between kisses.
“Mhm?” he hummed, now scattering doting kisses down your neck.
“You also need to make it up to Molly. You scared the shit out of her,” you giggled.
In an instant, Luke left your side and kneeled beside the dog bed, cooing attentively to Molly.
You smiled, watching from the doorway.
God, how you loved this man.

Hope you liked this one! I’ll post the other 3 within the next week, hopefully.
Love always,
Steph x

#106 - For hermosadecadencia, thesambuca, & placidus

Filling the prompts “van being in love with this girl while meeting the reader and they become friends and all but she breaks up with him and van is a fucking mess like drunk everyday and all that and the reader just stays with him and they slowly fall in love” from @hermosadecadencia and “a relationship … built on music” from @thesambuca and  "van dating a guy when you meet / before you get together ? because van mcpann is a blessing" from @placidus

With a record in each hand, a decision had to be made. Bowie. Joy Division. Technically, both could have been bought. It would just mean you’d be eating more two minute noodles that week. You quickly surveyed the room to see if there was anyone around that could help. There was a girl at the counter, but she was a) on her phone and looked busy with that, and b) was so pretty you felt nervous at the thought of even asking her opinion. There was a group of girls over in the ‘just in’ section frothing about The 1975. A guy with a mohawk that reached high into the air appeared to be also agonising over a decision; his was between Cannibal Corpse and The Doors. You hoped he picked Jim. The only other person in the store was a normal looking guy. He was flicking through the film soundtracks. 

Approaching him slowly, he turned to you. His smile was invitation for conversation, and you held the two records up. “Please help,” you said. He laughed and took them from you.

“Well, both are staples in your collection, yeah? So you can’t go wrong. But, would 'ave Joy Division done so well if Curtis hadn’t… you know?” the guy said. 

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Reunion Scrapyard Makeout

I will never get over the reunion scrapyard scene. Its just the way they’re sat together in labourers clothes, far more alike then they’ve ever been, putting in some hard graft. Sitting impossibly close despite the stretches of space, just having casual banter, back and forth conversation. Its slightly out of character the amount Aaron talks, almost as if its Danny delivering lines, but its actually putting up a facade for Andy and Paddy. The constant stream of words continues as they walk away together with a natural sway to their strides mimicking one another like animals two by two. 

Then as soon as they enter the scrapyard portacabin both of them visibly relax as Robert leans against the door sexily and Aaron’s shoulders come down to rest with a sigh. Robert’s voice drops an octave and fills the room with a lightness and soft tone that’s both entrancing and soothing. Aaron seems entirely consumed by his presence, his body naturally leaning towards Robert. Robert too is thrusting his hips, his body begging for Aaron. 

When Aaron takes charge and totally engulfs Robert’s space I always feel so overwhelmed. Aaron’s dominance is charged with an urgency and aggression that is sexy and so Aaron. The way he attacks Robert’s jacket and tight white top pulling them off him is so desperate, like he needs Rob’s bare skin now. Robert’s eagerness is bordering on adorable, the way he helps Aaron get rid of his own clothes is strangely cute, like they’re sharing the workload again. The way Robert is grinning so cheekily, like he;s absolutely chuffed just to be in Aaron’s company again. When they do actually get their kit off Aaron presses his hand against Robert’s bare waist, his hand looks massive on Rob’s little tummy. My favourite thing though is through that whole manouvering they refuse to remove their lips off each other. They continue kissing repeatedly, mercilessly, like they’re making up for lost time. Even once Rob’s white top gets pulled over his head there’s not even half a second before they reconnect and reattatch themselves to one another. 

Then we see them getting redressed. I was surprised to see Aaron putting his jacket back on, I kinda presumed he only ever took his top off in really private moments when they’re in bed and Robert begs him. so I’m guessing Robert just pulled his jacket off him so he can appreciate those muscled biceps in his t-shirt. Robert is so much more blase about getting everything back on, taking his time, letting Aaron memorize his body. 

I’m not even going to get in the territory of Robert asking Paddy so kindly “not to give Aaron a hard time, because he doesn’t deserve it”, because that officially killed me and revived me. 


BBC Michael Palin in Wyeth´s World

Michael Palin heads for rural Pennsylvania and Maine to explore the extraordinary life and work of one of America’s most popular and controversial painters, Andrew Wyeth. Fascinated by his iconic painting Christina’s World, Palin goes in search of the real life stories that inspired this and Wyeth’s other depictions of the American landscape and its hard grafting inhabitants.

Tracking down the farmers, friends and family featured in Wyeth’s magically real work, Palin builds a picture of an eccentric, enigmatic and driven painter. He also gets a rare interview with Helga, the woman who put Wyeth back in the headlines when the press discovered he had been painting her nude, compulsively but secretly for 15 years.  

Liverpool ace Sadio Mane is teetotal and a devout Muslim… he’s far from your average top-flight footballer

Sadio Mane leans back in his chair and giggles. He is a serious kind of man but this time, he just can’t help it.

He has mentioned that he comes from a religious family in Senegal and so he has been asked how often they went to church when he was a child. ‘They are Muslims,’ he says, still laughing, 'so not so much church.’

Mane is popular at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground. He is friends with everyone, known for being humble and self-effacing. If some Premier League footballers give the impression they have been consumed by celebrity lives, Mane does not fit the stereotype.

Many, though, saw his signing as part of a trend under Jurgen Klopp’s management of Liverpool. Klopp, like Sir Alex Ferguson, buys players for their character as well as their football ability and Mane is a man to admire.

He grew up in the small village of Bambali, deep in the south of Senegal, where his father was the imam at the local mosque. When a Senegalese reporter visited last month, he was told that Mane had recently paid for the mosque to be reconstructed.

There were also rumours, the reporter noted, that Mane, like some other high-profile African footballers, was planning to plough money back into the region and start more projects to help local communities.

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Accidents Happen...

Fandom: The Maze Runner
Pairing: Newt x Reader
Warnings: N/A 
Writer: imaginesofeveryfandom aka thequeenofthehobbits
 Requested by anon: a newt/reader fanfic of the post where newt walks in on you in the shower? please!! :)

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anonymous asked:

Would you recommend animation as a career? I'm interested in doing 3D animation, but keep hearing that all animators tend to be overworked and eventually burn out. I'm curious on your take, as an experienced animator! :)

If you’re passionate about it, definitely pursue animation.  Even when it’s bad, at least you’re doing something you’re interested in (or were once, and may be again) rather than any of those million other thankless jobs people do just for the paycheque. The money’s all right and the people are almost universally nice to work with, plus you have the sort of job everyone wants to hear more about at parties. ;)  Plus you’re more likely to get a job that relates to your interests than if you got, say, a History degree.  But if it is just an interest and not a passion, and you want it to be simply a job rather than a vocation, animation may not be for you.  My 2nd year animation teacher described working in animation like being married to someone with a mental illness: it can really chew you up sometimes, and without the love it’ll wear you down, but if the love is there, then it can be amazing.  Even an easy animation job is really hard work, but if you love it it doesn’t really feel like work in the same way that, say, selling shoes would do.

The CG animation world at the moment is really at a turning point in terms of working conditions.  The exploitative business model of the VFX industry has started leaching into feature animation as well; both Disney and Pixar (I don’t know about Dreamworks or the other big players) currently operate on a crunch/layoff cycle which is both exhausting and demoralising.  Some VFX studios have made motions to unionise, which would impose some guidelines on working hours and pay, and some people in feature animation are voting with their feet and finding less prestigious jobs which allow them to see their families more than 3 months a year.  But … some people stay, so there must be something worthwhile? Studios are happy to take advantage of people’s love of their job and willingness to go the extra mile, but that wouldn’t happen if there weren’t that love in the first place. At unionsied studios there’s a problem of people working undeclared overtime, when they voluntarily spend extra time on their scene. (I knew someone who would take his work home so no one would spot him staying late.)

There’s an idea in animation of ‘doing your time,’ i.e. you have to suck it up and do some hard grinding at the beginning of your career to get you to a professional position where you can be employed on your own terms. While some might dispute the health of that notion, the way the industry is now, there’s some truth to it, so it really depends what you want out of your career and how strategically you employ your limited ‘hard graft’ years.  It’s people who don’t know when to draw the line, and people whose love of the art form wasn’t up to the level of graft it demanded, that tend to burn out.  But it’s also possible to come back from burnout, so it kind of depends how much you want it.

If you find a decent school that prepares you, both skills-wise and experience-wise, for the realities of life as a professional animator, then school should be a pretty good indicator of whether or not animation is for you.  You may find you get tired of looking at your clip for the fifth day in a row; you may also find you’ve discovered something you can really apply yourself to and see yourself flourishing.  It’s impossible to know until you try!

And before you come to any decisions – ask other people besides me!  I have never worked in CG animation myself, only know people who do, so I am not the most informed source.  I know I have a few CG animators amongst my followers – any advice?

2015′s Latest Batch of Aurors Graduate

18th October 2015

By Kiki Trecus

The UK’s finest young talent today celebrated 3 years of hard graft, as they collected their graduation scrolls which would designate them as fully qualified Aurors. Held at a swanky muggle hotel 2 minutes from Oxford Street, a total of 39 young graduates were in attendance, the largest batch in over 100 years. 

The Auror Qualification Program is seen as one of the most demanding post-18 careers choices for our wizarding youths, with typically only a third making it through to the graduation. The program includes challenging physical, mental and psychological tests, and therefore top Hogwarts grades are required to secure a place. 

Graduates’ friends and family, as well as guests from the Auror Department, were all in attendance to celebrate their achievements. Each young Auror then proceeded to collect their scroll from Head of the Auror department, Harry Potter.

Joining months after defeating You-Know-Who in 1998, Potter thrived in the environment and has been in charge of the department for 8 years. Under Potter’s leadership the department has seen some serious refurbishment, ridding it of its ‘shifty’ stigma. The 35-Year-Old looked rather emotionless whilst greeting each graduate, which according to reports, is due to a merciless common cold. 

Amongst the graduates was 21-Year-Old Leanne Wilde (Pictured). “I’ve wanted to be an Auror since my father was killed by snatchers in 1997,” Wilde explains. “It just seems fitting to join a career which helps fight against exactly what he died for. It’s such an honor to work alongside Harry too.”

Only time shall tell if this newest batch of Aurors will live up to expectations. With Aurors undoubtedly having one of the most dangers careers in the business, the pressure is on.

[Pictured: Leanne Wilde being congratulated by Harry Potter on her graduation as an Auror]

Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. On the contrary, it’s hard graft and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before the judges, and alone to make up your mind, before yourself and before the judgement of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear.
—  Albert Camus, The Fall
The Five Times Commander Cullen Tried to Kiss Nevena Trevelyan, and the One Time He Did. Part 3/6 [Cullen x Trevelyan][SFW]

Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four // Part Five // Part Six

Nevena yelped as she tumbled awkwardly, holding her hands out to grab a chair to catch herself from falling over.

“These shoes are ridiculous!” She shouted, pointing down at her feet once she was steady once more. Her worn in, comfortable leather boots were gone, instead she wore delicate dancing shoes, with a small heel. Dark blue with painstakingly sewn patterns embroidered across the toe in white and silver thread. Nevena stood up straight and ruffled the long skirt that draped down to her ankles. “Why can’t I wear my boots?”

“Because, dear,” Vivienne began, her voice taking on that dangerous and clipped tone Nevena had heard her use so often, “you are going to have to fit in with the height Orlesian society and nobility. And Orlesian nobles do not wear ugly, filthy leather boots in any circumstances and especially not for dancing.”

“I can’t believe you’ve never been taught to dance.” Leliana added smiling, enjoying being part of Nevena’s dancing lessons far too much.

The bard-turned-spy master sat with Vivienne across the room, lute in hand. A pair of minstrels from the tavern had been brought in to help musically too. One with a violin and another with a small drum to keep beat. Josephine was also there, acting as dance partner for Nevena to practice with. Sera had decided to turn up and watch, for the fun of it.

“Dancing is not a pre-requisite of being a mage.” Nevena explained waspishly. “Not a lot of call for pretty frocks in the Circle.”

“Not yours perhaps.” Said Vivienne shrewdly. “Now, again.” Nevena groaned, slouching in protest as she crossed to her starting spot. “Stand up straight!” Ordered Vivienne, growing exasperated. “Stop hunching over like you’re carrying an invisible sack of potatoes on your back. You’re the Inquisitor!”

Nevena made a face in response and slumped down further in a moment of petulance. Vivienne’s eyebrow twitched, while Josephine, Leliana and Sera laughed quietly to themselves not wanting to incur the ice queen’s wrath.

Standing up straight, Nevena dropped her shoulders and perfected her posture. Across the room, Josephine did the same, acting as the man in this particular dance.

From what Vivienne had said, dancing was a very important part of Orlesian culture. One wrong step could spell disaster, insult and the possibility of being a social outcast for the rest of one’s life. So it was important for Nevena to get things right, or as right as she could at least.

There had never been any cause for dancing in the Ostwick Circle and Nevena had discovered very quickly that she had no aptitude for moving her feet in any other direction but forward and could walk or run. There was no middle ground.

It didn’t help that Sera kept making faces whenever Nevena turned or looked towards the elf, which was distracting enough and made her laugh.

The steps were easy enough to remember, the order they went in not so much. And remembering how big of a step to make was a detail she kept getting wrong, and whether she was supposed to touch Josephine’s shoulder with hers when they did a sliding move. It was apparently bad manners to lower her eyes at one dip, but not another.

There were so many rules that she found infuriating and  they only helped in making her more frustrated.

The shoes did not help, nor did the fact that Nevena had to wear what Vivienne called a ‘training skirt’. Something to help her get used to holding the fabric up as she moved and become accustomed to the additional weight.

At least she was better than she had been when these dancing lessons had first started a week ago.

“Surely there are better things I could be doing as the Inquisitor.” Nevena said, leaving a gap between her shoulder and Josephine’s as they turned on the spot, palms together. “This is a waste of time.” She added under her breath.

“Manners and good etiquette are never a waste of time, my dear.” Vivienne explained. Nevena winced at her tone. “They are free and last a life time. They can see you through some of your most difficult ordeals. And believe me,” the mage gave a delicate laugh, “an Orlesian ball will be one of the most difficult trials of your life.”

“Lucky me.” Huffed Nevena.

Shoulders!” Vivienne commanded. Immediately Nevena dropped her shoulders. “So help me, I will tie a stick to you if it will keep those shoulders down and level.”

Sera guffawed loudly which was silenced by a harsh, icy glare from the seated mage.

For a minute or so, the steps and dancing passed without incident until Nevena and Josephine had to go into hold and grew confused about where to lay their hands. Leliana stopped playing and the minstrels followed suit.

“The man leads.” Leliana explained, “do not forget that. If you try to lead a man in the Orlesian court, they will be very insulted.”

“It was my fault, Herald.” Josephine smiled sweetly.

“I doubt that.” Snorted Nevena, though she appreciated Josephine’s attempt to cover her own faults and mistakes.

“Do not snort. You are not a pig!” Vivienne ordereded her sharply. “And don’t cross your arms like that.”

Nevena closed her eyes tightly, counting to ten in her head. As she did, Vivienne spoke aloud to the others in the room.

“I suggest, to avoid confusion and also to get the Inquisitor used to dancing with a man, someone should go and fetch one. Preferably one who knows the basic steps to dancing. I don’t think I could face teaching two people.”

“A fine idea.” Nevena brightly agreed. “I’ll be in the stables, come and fin-”

“Stay here.” Vivienne instructed and Nevena stopped mid-step. “Josephine, be a love and go and fetch someone. Blackwall, or Dorian… actually anyone will do.”

“Not Varric!” Nevena called as Josephine disappeared out the door. “He already has enough humiliating stories on me to last him a whole series of books.”

Vivienne rose gracefully from her seat and to Nevena almost seemed to glide across the floor towards her. “Now, while we wait, we will work on your posture. Lift your chin up, that’s it…”

After a short period of time where Vivienne poked and prodded at Nevena’s posture with a critical eye, Josephine returned with a rather sweaty and baffled Cullen in tow.

A thin sheen of sweat over his forehead and the unkempt state of his hair told the women in the room he had been out in the training yard. Sparring probably with Blackwall or Iron Bull. Or he had been with his recruits putting them through their paces and showing them how things should have been done.

Nevena liked that about him. How he led by example. Cullen got down to the basics and did the hard graft with the recruits. He was involved and hands on with their training proving himself one of them as well as a capable leader.

Instead of his armour, Cullen wore only comfortable dark leather breeches, a loose grey cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and leather boots. His signature maroon cloak and fur pauldrons nowhere to be see.

“Blackwall doesn’t know how to dance unless stepping on someone’s toes counted.” Josephine explained, “and I couldn’t find Dorian. Iron Bull offered to help but I thought Cullen would be a better choice, for purposes of height.” Josephine threw Nevena a small, secretive smile and winked crossing to the other seated women.

“No!” Sera all but cried, “Bull dancing would have been amazing! I would have loved to have seen him make a total prick of himself!”

“I don’t know how much help I can be…” Cullen explained, ruffling his hand through his hair, dislodging several curls.

“Can you dance?” Vivienne demanded.

“I know a few basic steps from when I was a boy. My sister used to–”

“Lovely.” Vivienne remarked with a graceful smile, “I suppose you’ll do. Go and stand at the end of the room.” She waved her hand vaguely, directing him to his place. “Nevena, back on your starting point.” Vivienne returned to her seat and carefully smoothed out her cloak. “Now Cullen, this is a basic two step starting with a Pavane promenade. I’d like to add in a Volt as well, now that we have someone who can lift her.”

Cullen stared at her, confused. Like she had just spoken to him in fluent Elvish. He looked at Nevena for clarification and she just shrugged.

“I know what a two step is, but the rest of it…”

“Music!” Vivienne snapped her fingers. “Just follow my instruction, dears. And Nevena, shoulders!”

As Leliana began to play her lute, the violinist and drummer joined in a slow, regular beat. Vivienne prompted the two of them across the room at a steady procession until they stood opposite each other.

Cullen, with his hands behind his back, standing tall and proud with his broad shoulders and crown of blond hair cut a fine figure. He would have looked imposing, in control, if not for the awkward grimace on his face.

“Sorry you have to do this.” Nevena said with a weak smile once they met in the middle. Both rose their hands, touching their fingertips, circling one another. “Apparently its necessary for me to fit into Orlesian parties.”

“Eyes up Nevena,” Vivienne called, “Cullen is your partner, not the floor.”

“I don’t mind.” Cullen assured her, as they changed direction and hands. “I wasn’t busy.”

“What were you doing?”

“Stop dragging your feet.”

“Some basic hand blade work with the recruits.” Explained Cullen, smiling as he eased into the steps and the rhythm of the music. “I’ve been feeling a little sluggish, sword work normally helps, and it gives me a chance to get a good look at their progression.”

“Are you feeling alright now?”

“Yes, thank you.” Cullen slipped his arm around her waist, as she did the same, grasping his free hand behind her back while they turned in a circle side-by-side. “You look flushed.”

“Lovely.” Vivienne said, sounding happy for the first time.

“We’ve been at this for hours. That’s the first nice thing she’s said.” Nevena complained. “She won’t let me go until I’ve perfected this.”

Chuckling, Cullen directed her to face the same way he did, and manoeuvred her with his arm at her hip. “You’re doing fine.”

“According to Vivienne, I’m terrible.”

“By her standards. She’s come from the Imperial Court remember where people are probably taught to dance from the age of three.” He told her with a kind look in his eyes. They turned and separated, sliding then towards each other until their shoulders almost touched and then retreating again. “Relax.” Cullen told her, bowing opposite her.

“Are my shoulders up?” Nevena asked, suddenly anxious as they stepped towards one another. “She keeps shouting at me about my shoulders.”

“Your shoulders are fine.” Cullen told her, “you just look like you’re in pain.” He took her hand, spun her under his arm and changed hands, holding the one closest to him, while grasping her hip. On a beat, and Vivienne’s order, he lifted Nevena off the ground with ease and dropped her to her feet a half turn later.

“I’m concentrating. This is… complicated.” Nevena explained, a little breathless. Cullen lifted her again turning counter-clockwise. Then they were opposite each other, touching fingertips and circling slowly.

“Dancing is very foreign to me. Fighting I can do but all this etiquette and the manners.” Nevena span under his arms once more and ended with his hand at her waist. “I always thought I had good posture but according to Vivienne it’s horrid. She said I hunch and lean to one side. I didn’t think I would need to effectively relearn how to walk, or stand or speak just to get through one ball with the Orlesians.”

“Everyone appreciates what you’re doing.” Cullen explained with a level of certainty to his voice and a smile that made Nevena’s insides give a wonderful tight twist. “I know it’s hard, but it’ll pay off in the end.”

“I certainly hope so.” She turned towards him, both of them half bowing to the other before she raised her hands onto his shoulders for the final move.

Cullen’s hands, strong and secure, found her waist.

He lifted her once, half turned and put her back on the ground. After a beat, he did the same thing, and a third time, ending with Nevena in his arms, held above him a small distance off the floor with her hands on his shoulders for extra support.

Cullen eased her to the ground where he held her steady until she had her feet once more. He took her hand and kissed the back of it with a warm lips and a slight glow to his cheeks. As he stood straight, Nevena tucked her hair behind her ear shyly, worrying at her lower lip with her teeth.

“An accomplished dancer too.” Nevena stated, raising her eyebrows.  "Is there anything you struggle with, Commander?“

Grasping her chin, Cullen gently tilted her head back. "Nobles don’t bite their lips.” He told her, voice low and closing the gap between them. Her breath was shaky and he could feel heat radiating from her body as he neared her, “you don’t want to accidently flirt with or seduce some Orlesian prince.”

Nevena’s lips twitched into a smile, “is that what biting your lower lip is to Orlesians? Flirting and seducing them?”

“I believe so.” He neared her, hovering his mouth above hers, “and we can’t have that, can we?”

“Would it bother you?” She ask, breathless at his closeness, her eyelids lowering as her gaze lingered at his mouth.


Vivienne cleared her throat loudly from where she sat. Cullen dropped his forehead to Nevena’s temple and growled beside her ear quietly.

“This is getting frustrating.” He muttered.

Cullen schooled his expression, hiding his frustration as he turned towards those watching. Leliana and Josephine looked at them with the largest grins on their faces, while Sera made a mock gagging noise.

“Very nice.” Vivienne told them with a small, pleased smile. “A little sloppy on a few turns, and you need to keep those elbows in… but a vast improvement. Clearly, having Cullen here has a good affect on you.” Settling back into her chair, Vivienne lay her hands neatly in her lap. “Once more.”

Nevena groaned, begrudgingly stomping back to her starting position.

This trope is my favorite trope. And I just like to imagine Vivienne coaching the Inquisitor on how to behave in Orlesian court and with Orlesian nobles. They seem quite… highly strung!

I know nothing about dance, but I stuck to details about Tudor dances, where the purpose of dancing was the display and flirt. And I just imagine Cullen being forced to dance with his sister as a child.

As always, I hope you enjoyed and that you tell me what you think?


» “Just graft hard work, I guess. We just kept banging down doors. We never waited for anything. We never expected anything to be given to us. So, instead of sitting there on our asses doing nothing, we were like let’s get up and let’s get a van. Every step of the way, we didn’t think we’d get put on the front of a magazine or on TV and blow up overnight. It was genuine grafted word of mouth. We’re really proud of it. We’re really proud of where we’ve come to.”

Sharon and Nico Tweets

So I’ve tried uploading this last night, but I’m still learning how to post. So here it is again….

After seeing all the discussions on Sharon and Nico tweets, I decided to find out what all the excitement was about. Here’s my compilation of their tweets that I could find in order of sequence. I did edit out the address of those not directly connected to #MMFD. I think Sharon and Nico have developed a very nice friendship and are very comfortable with each. Their interactions are quite cute…. Enjoy!

June 23, 2012
@sharonrooney Alright are kid?!?! -Nico

@NicoMirallegro Hola Handsome!! How are you doing??Xx –Sharon

@sharonrooney Oi Oi! All good here, just in newmarket.. Down tomorrow, wit the gang! How are you? X -Nico

@NicoMirallegro Im looking forward to Mon, get the gang together again :-) I am good ta, was kissing Mr Achie till the early hours haha!!Xx -Sharon

June 28, 2012
Filming a pool party at some big fudging mansion wit @sharonrooney @generalraff @jodiecomer @CiaraBaxendale @DanDaveCohen #staywarmstaysunny -Nico

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