the only person he's ever referred to as a brother or like one in the show

Another Man’s Treasure

A/N: This will be a multi-part one shot because @alrightpetal and I have this thing about making Harry super vulnerable and flawed. So here you go.


…I’m gonna show you tonight! I’m alright! I’m just fine! And you’re a tool so, so what?

You belted your heart out up on stage, pumping your fist in the air to empower your words even further. It was a good thing you knew all the words, too, because your mates had bought you so many drinks your vision was crossed and blurred you couldn’t have read the lyrics to an unfamiliar song. Then you would have just been a blubbering fool butchering a karaoke performance. And that would have been embarrassing.

Singing yourself blue in the face—and drinking yourself into oblivion—served as the perfect outlet for your aching heart. Hours earlier, you’d been dumped. Or more accurately, replaced.

It’d been a week since you’d heard from your long-term boyfriend, and while you knew he was on holiday with his mates—a holiday you hadn’t been invited on—it was still odd that you hadn’t heard from him at all. Not even a text to let you know that he’d made it to Amsterdam. You didn’t expect too much communication; you trusted him to treat you right, but, silly you, you thought your boyfriend might actually miss you and want to say hi.

Last night after seven and a half days of nothing, you completely lost it and called him forty-seven times in a row. And not a single one was answered. So you rang your closest friends and they came over, laptops and tablets in hand, and intense cyber-stalking commenced.

It only took thirty-four minutes for your good mate Lindsey to unearth a damning post on Insta that your boyfriend was tagged in by a girl you kind of knew. The picture itself wasn’t awful; honestly you couldn’t make out much besides silhouettes and drinks. Even the caption wasn’t much; all it said was, “this guy” with a random slew of emojis. But the funny thing was, when you tried to search for it yourself, nothing came up. Meaning you were blocked. You weren’t meant to see this picture.

Twenty-two minutes of super-sleuthing was enough time for your oldest friend Ashley to find every social media account the girl had, and then eventually uncover her phone number.

In thirteen minutes you had a text drafted to her that was so long it was broken into five different parts when you hit send.

And one minute and fifty-four seconds is all the time your boyfriend—well ex-boyfriend—allowed you to speak to him today before he told you he was coming back tomorrow and there’d be no need for you to come see him. Tomorrow or ever again.

So your mates did what they knew best. They took you out, got you absolutely smashed, and then got you up on stage to pour your heart out. Somewhere in between I Will Survive and Total Eclipse of the Heart, you got a bit weepy and ended up calling your brother from the toilet. It took you awhile to realize you weren’t actually sobbing to him but his voicemail, and as soon as you did you pulled yourself back together and headed out for another drink and a rousing rendition of Since U Been Gone.

The few other patrons in the pub were hardly paying attention to your drunken warbling on stage, only breaking from their conversations when your mates would cheer at the end of each song, some of them even offering half-hearted claps. If they were annoyed, they certainly didn’t let on. Most likely, they pitied you; for Christ sake, you pitied you.

When your song ended, you finished the rest of your drink and began flipping through the songbook. Liberation was surging through you and you wanted a song to match your mood; something to serve as a proper fuck you to the twat you’d wasted the last few years of your young life on.

The book closed on your fingers, and you stumbled back in surprise. Were books automated now too?! You still weren’t over the automated tills at Tesco, would you now have to get used to robotic books closing on you when they’d had enough?!

“[Y/N].”

You looked up, your blurred vision slowly coming into focus as you swayed on the spot. A robotic book didn’t close itself on you, a person had closed it. Which was rather rude of them.

[Y/N],” he repeated. Finally he came into view and you cocked your head in confusion.

“Hazza?” you slurred, taking a step closer to get a better look. You nearly toppled off the stage, but Harry was quick to grab you by the waist and steady you before easing you down.

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No Strings Attached

Pairings: Kol x Reader

Warnings: NSFW

Word Count: 2163

PART TWO | PART THREE 


You have been really good friends with the Mikaelsons for about a year now. Rebekah is like the sister you’ve never had, Klaus and Elijah are like brothers to you while Kol is a little bit of the opposite. The both of you flirt here and there, but you’ve never seen each other being a couple.

It was a quarter to 11. You and the youngest Mikaelson brother are the only ones home, god knows where the rest of his siblings went. The two of you were bored so you decided to drink and play billiards. Of course you were losing because you’re terrible at this game. “Gosh Kol, you could’ve at least gone easy on me. I’m a girl.” You scoffed playfully.

“Perhaps not, Y/N.” Kol smiled. He noticed your glass is empty, so he took it and refilled it for you. “Time for another.”

His glass now being in one hand and yours in the other, he handed you yours. “T-thanks Kol.” You stuttered from being a little tipsy.

“Tsk Tsk. Someone’s a lightweight.” Kol teased. then he clanked his glass to yours to cheers.

After chugging your drink, you picked up your pool cue, knowing that your turn is next. You positioned your body with the cue to the spot that you believed that was appropriate to hit. But the alcohol was getting to your system and right before you hit it, you stopped yourself, by quickly standing up, holding the cue vertically. “Actually, Kol. I’m bored of this already.”

Kol laughed then started walking towards you, with drink in hand. “Is it because you’re losing, darling? Oh don’t be such a sore loser.”

Without thinking, you attempted to hit Kol with the pool cue which only lead to failure. With Kol being the original vampire that he is, he has really quick reflexes so he stopped it with his hand. He didn’t take it personal since he knew you’re only playing around and you both know it won’t hurt him at all. “Easy there, human.” Kol cooed.

You laughed from your failure. “I tried. I tried.”

Kol showed off his height by inching up closer to you, looking down on you. “You really think you’re a match against a 1000 year old vampire?” Kol questioned, then softened up his voice. “Funny.”

You didn’t know if the alcohol was getting to your system or if Kol Mikaelson looked so hot right now. It must be the alcohol. Never did it cross your mind before about ever screwing him. The alcohol must be getting to him because he was getting way too close for comfort right now, making your breaths deeper and his following suit. He cupped your cheek with his hand, lightly rubbing his thumb on your bottom lip. The both of you kept looking back and forth at each others eyes and lips.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Kol asked, now keeping his eyes focused your eyes instead.

“I mean, no one’s home so….” You replied.

Now Kol locks his lips with yours. The two of you swirling each others tongues in and out. He lifts you up and carries you to the pool table, not losing contact with each others lips.

Kol removes your top and you copy him by helping remove his. He brushes his hands along your sides as he kisses on your neck, making you let out a groan. “We’re really doing this Kol.” You chuckled.

Kol stops and looks at you. “This may be a night filled with regrets or a night to remember.” He tapped your nose once and gave you a smirk before pushing your body down on the pool table.


(The following morning…)

It was noon-ish when you awoke. Your head was slightly spinning and you felt pretty dehydrated from the alcohol you consumed last night.

You sat up and slowly scanned your surroundings to see if you can remember anything from last night. The first thing you noticed is that you’re wearing a t-shirt that is a few sizes too big. Seeing that Kol is asleep next to you in bed shirtless, you assumed that it’s his. Now that’s when the memories of last night came back to you. “Ah shit.” You mouthed to yourself.

Yup, you had sex with Kol last night. Regret wasn’t what you felt, because you do remember the drunk sex being amazing, you were just a little embarrassed because you didn’t want Kol to think that anyone can get inside your pants when you’re drunk.

Seeing that the upper half of his body is without clothes, you were also curious to see if the lower half of him is too. Still sitting up, you lifted up the blanket to get a peek. And damn, that morning wood of his made your jaw drop. “Damn, Kol Mikaelson.” You said accidentally said aloud. From catching yourself, you held your lips together to stay silent, but it failed because you woke up Kol. 

Kol yawned and stretched his arms. “Morning, Y/N.” He said with a raspy voice.

“I cannot believe that happened last night.”

“Well darling, I happen to have no regrets.”

“Oh my god, you must think I’m such a slut.” You whined, sinking yourself lower into the bed.

Kol chuckled. “Nonsense, Y/N. Not the slightest.” He got off of the bed to search for his clothes. “I happen to be thirsty, actually.”

Your eyes lit up at the thought of a nice cold glass of water. “Oh me too. Can you get me a glass of water too, please?”

Kol slid on his boxers, then grabbed his pants to put on next. “You’re quite funny. I wasn’t referring to water. But I’ll bring you back a glass.”

While you’re waiting on Kol to return with your water, you grabbed your phone from the nightstand to make sure you didn’t drunk text anyone or drunk post anything on social media. 

Phew. You’re in the clear.

After a few minutes, Kol arrives and you chug that water like there’s no tomorrow. “Ah.” You said, rolling your eyes in the back of your head.

Kol grinned at you in amusement. “That was my bloody reaction when I got a hold of those blood bags just now.”

You hear Rebekah’s voice grow as she’s walking in. “Brunch is here if you’re hungry, Kol.” Seeing that you’re in Kol’s bed, her lips parted in surprise. “You two?” She questioned, with one hand of her hip and the other hand, pointing two fingers at you both.

“Uh…” Both you and Kol said, being speechless.

“Never mind that. Feel free to come down you two, if you’re hungry.” Rebekah quickly walked out.

For the next few days you couldn’t stop thinking about the night you slept with Kol. You don’t have any romantic feelings for him whatsoever, but the sex was great and you honestly wouldn’t mind doing it again. Plus, you’re not sleeping around with anyone else at the moment, so you don’t think there’s any harm if it’s with the same person again. Your plan was to confront Kol about it the next time you saw him.

Knocking on the door of the Mikaelson’s home, Klaus opened the door with a smile. “Fancying seeing you, love. Let me guess-” He glanced up while pointing his index finger up as if he was thinking. “-you’re looking for Kol?”

Well damn. Klaus knows about it too. You figured Rebekah told him after she saw you in Kol’s bed. “Very funny, Klaus. And yes I am.” You walked inside, not caring to wait for an invitation inside. “Where is he?”

“He’s here. In his room, i assume.” Klaus replied. 

You made your way to Kol’s bedroom, but saw that he wasn’t in there so you just made yourself comfortable in his bed while you waited.

After 10 minutes, Kol entered the room with a towel wrapped around his waist. Your presence startled him, making him jump. “Bloody hell, Y/N. You frightened the hell out of me.”

“We need to talk about something.” You sat at the edge of the bed and patted your hand on the mattress for Kol to sit down.

“About?” He questioned.

“Don’t worry, it’s not bad. Actually. It’s good. Maybe?” You questioned your statement a bit because it was good for you, but you weren’t exactly confident if it’s a positive thing for him. So to the hell with it.

“Alright, darling. Spit it out.”

“So I have this idea. First off, we’re both adults here. You know, you’re hot and I’m hot.” You pointed at Kol, then back at yourself. “You’re single and I’m single. I also know that we’re both not looking for a relationship, nor are we sleeping with anyone else.” Being good friends with Kol, you’re definitely confident that he isn’t sleeping with anyone else because he practically tells you everything.

“Ah, I see where you’re headed with this. So you want to be, what do the Americans call it?” Kol paused to think. “Oh that’s right. Fuck buddies. Am I correct?”

“Yeah.” You laughed at Kol. “Or a classier name would be: friends with benefits.”

“Brilliant.” Kol agrees with your idea. “So you think I’m hot?” He joked with a smirk on his face and you rolled your eyes at his cockiness.

“But. There has to be rules involved. We have to vow not to let ourselves gain feelings for the other. And, if one of us wants to cut it off for whatever reason, the other has to agree.”

“Agreed.” 

“Good. So-”

Kol cuts you off. “So technically, this friends with benefits thing starts like now now?”

“Yes?” You answered, tilting your head.

Kol stands up confidently in front of you, looking very eager. “Come on then. On your knees.” He put one hand on his hip and the other pointing his finger down at his crotch.

You chuckled while shaking your head in disagreement. “What? Are you serious?”

“Well darling, you’re the one that said. So come on, I want your mouth to work its magic again.”

You noticed his hard member poking through towel and thought ‘fuck it’. So you hopped off of the bed and obeyed Kol’s command.



And there it was. A month goes by and the vow that the two of you made did not go broken. It’s actually been pretty fun. There would be nights where the two of you would go out drinking together, which obviously led to fucking. Whether it be in his car, in the shower or in his bed. 

But, there was a period where Kol’s siblings voiced their opinions to him about the thing that you two have.

Rebekah: “I’m just warning you Kol, this is going to end one way and one way only.”

Kol: “And how is that?”

Rebekah: “What if one of you ends up gaining feels and the other doesn’t feel the same? Someone is going to get hurt.”

Kol: “And that’s where you’re wrong, Rebekah. Y/N and I have a made our own vow to not allow that to happen.”

Rebekah: “Elijah, please tell me that what Kol and Y/N are doing is wrong.”

Elijah: “Rebekah, I believe our dear brother is quite old enough to make his own choices.”

Klaus: “What Elijah said. You know, to each their own.”


Today you’re going out for lunch with your girlfriends to catch up on the latest gossip. Elena and Caroline feel the same way that Rebekah does about this whole situation with you and Kol, but Bonnie is happy as long as you’re happy.

Since Klaus will be away for a week, he allowed you to take over his master bedroom in the meantime.

It was about two hours before the scheduled time to head out, so you hopped in the nice and steamy shower. Soaking up all that warmth made you want to stay in here for hours. You were rinsing off your conditioner as you’re getting lost in your thoughts, until all of a sudden it was interrupted. “What the hell, Kol?!” Being distracted by your thoughts, you didn’t see Kol come into the bathroom until he opened the shower door.

“May I join?” He asked, wearing nothing but boxers and jeans.

“Um no. I’m actually just finishing up. How did you even get in here?” You focused on rinsing whatever conditioner was remaining on your hair.

“Learn to lock the door, love.” Kol started unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans, letting his jeans fall to the floor. “How about a quickie then?” He smiled, revealing his teeth.

You rolled your eyes and turned off the shower. “No I have to hurry up and get ready.” You reached your arm out for Kol’s cue to hand you your towel, which he does willingly and you walked out to dry yourself off.

Kol removes his boxers and gets in the shower, moving the knob to turn it on. “Your loss.” He joked.

My Dad Kidnapped Little Girls

I don’t ever remember my dad being normal. He was always a little strange. The man was secretive and closed off, and all his attempts at acting like a father rose the hairs on the back of my neck. It seemed forced. I don’t think I ever got used to that. There was no need, because he didn’t keep that up for long. By the time I was 5, I didn’t have a dad. What I had after that was a boss. Maybe an owner. Definitely not a dad.

He fully opened up as a person around that time. He brought a little girl into our home. She was small, but she was older than myself, too. Maybe 7 or 8. Her face was red and raw with tears. “Sam, this is your new little sister, Maria.” Before I could react, she spoke up between small sobs. “No, mister. I don’t know you. My name is Claire. Please take me home to my mommy, I promise that I won’t tell.” By the time she finished what she was saying, she was barely forming coherent sentences. That’s when I saw my Dad stop being my dad. With one fluid motion, he swung his arm, hitting her in the face and knocking her back on her ass.

I jumped up, too afraid and confused to do much of anything, but still frightened nonetheless. I was young, but I’d seen enough television to know that normal families didn’t do these things. “Sam, you sit your ass down or I’ll put you in the ground, you hear me?” Thus marked the loss of my father. Later, as I listened to the quiet cries of the girl, now locked in the room next to mine, he sat me down and explained that he wasn’t my father. He told me things a 5 year old should never hear. My life changed forever. I was a mistake.

The little girl was with us for a while. My dad left me at home while he went to the mall, buying all kinds of nice things for Maria. Claire. Whatever. He probably blew $500. The weeks afterward were strange, disgusting, and violent all at the same time. At the best, she would play along with his games and he would be happy. At the worst, I would have to listen to her screams as he did unspeakable things to her in the next room. After, when the screaming would stop, he would come to me and give me the same speech.

“This happens because you aren’t right, you understand? You should have been born a girl. We wouldn’t have to do this. She’s going to die someday because you’re trash.” He would walk to the door and finish with “Remember, Sam. No one out in that world will ever love you. If you try to leave, I’ll find you and I’ll kill you.”

Maria died about three months after my dad took her. This day wasn’t her first attempt at escape, but instead it was her last. Truly, I do not know if my father meant to kill her or not. He became consumed in his rage and I fought back tears as he continued to hit her and hit her, over and over again. Her little light went out as she choked on blood, gurgling sounds coming from her throat. She was buried in our back yard, right next to the playset that my father bought a year before. After that, he became nervous to the point where he packed me up and we started off on the road.

We lived like that for years. Sometimes, we’d live somewhere as long as a year, but that was the extent of it. On a good year, he’d take two or three girls without so much as a second look. People didn’t necessarily suspect him, though. He was a psycho, but the man was smart too. He would falsify documents and references, getting himself jobs as close to children as possible. I remember, one time, he was hired on to be an ice cream truck driver. He snatched up a little girl he called Gloria right in front of her house. He somehow managed to finish his route, too. She only lasted two months.

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Books vs Show (again because I'm in a mood about CC rn)

Book!Jace: asshole to everyone at all times, in love with girl who he thinks is his sister, tries to bone said girl in a ditch, main character trait is “gold”, brought condom to demon realm while trying to save friends (including his brother’s boyfriend)
Show!Jace: sassy but sweet, would die for anyone including downworlders (because why not), refuses to persue girl he thinks is his sister, understands that Clary is with Simon and doesn’t try to ruin their moment by telling her that they aren’t related, needs a hug and a nap
Book!Clary: hates Izzy because she’s pretty, bitchy all the time, makes out with the boy she thinks is her brother, puts everyone in danger without caring about them so she can wake her mother, gets pissed off at her mother when she wakes up, thirsty 24/7, just generally extremely fucking annoying
Show!Clary: smol, fucks everything up but tried her best, best friends with Izzy and appreciates her, sticks up for everyone, puts self in danger to save Meliorn, becomes sudden badass after like no training???
Book!Simon: fuckboyest fuckboy out of all the fuckboys, can’t date best friend for longer than a book but then is dating two girls at once, tells neither Izzy nor Maia about the other, tries to play the victim after they find out, only really there to be the Unrequited Lover
Show!Simon: my son, “nerd hot”, always nervous, references for days, never done anything wrong, worries more about unconscious Alec than he does about Clary’s weird-ass accusations, adorable
Book!Izzy: over-sexualised, slutshamed, calls Jace sexy, hates Clary because she’s a girl, shit at cooking, good with a whip, likes roleplaying, character “development” is going from being with Meliorn to being with Simon
Show!Izzy: canonically a genius, “best forensic pathologist in New York”, my daughter, deserves better, loves her brothers, not sexualised, “comfortable with her body, uses good looks as an advantage, badass, can do anything in high heels, wants mother compliment her, supports downworlder rights, supportive of Alec since they were children, is one of the main reasons why Malec are together
Book!Luke: werewolf, in love with Jocelyn, owns book shop, shows up like twice a book, like that’s it???
Show!Luke: Dad Friend, dog person, great alpha, protective of his family and their friends, only killed alpha to save Clary and her friends, also my son, 100% done with Shadowhunters, needs a break, father figure for Clary and Simon, always willing to help, vampire pun king
Book!Magnus: party king, sass lord, wears the weirdest clothes ever like what, doesn’t want to make Alec feel uncomfortable, “freewheeling bisexual”, best cat names ever, has fewer scenes than Church (who used to be his own cat), but seriously how can his clothes be considered stylish
Show!Magnus: High Warlock of Brooklyn, biggest badass ever, Dad Friend even to other Dad Friends, helps Shadowhunters without expecting as much as a “thank you”, Hair Goals, Home Goals, best boyfriend ever, always tries to help everyone, chooses his son (Raphael) over Camille, not interested in Shadowhunters’ drama, most iconic lines, extra af, stylish af, casually name-drops Michelangelo, Freud, and Casanova
Book!Alec: doesn’t kill a demon for eighteen years, bitchier than Clary, is in love with Jace but still dates Magnus, slams Clary into a wall and threatens to kill her when she says she knows he’s gay, accuses Simon of threatening him when he brings up him being gay, extremely biphobic, random sassiness in last book, tries to get rid of Magnus’ immortality without him knowing, mistakes Maia for Magnus, whines at everyone about everything
Show!Alec: Gay Stutter, tol, invented sass and eye-rolling, loves his siblings, loves his boyfriend, loves everyone, just wants to be a good shadowhunter, deserves better parents, badass demon killer, gets fed up of hiding a part of himself and kisses his crush in the middle of his wedding, is over Jace when he starts dating Magnus, doesn’t care about Magnus being bi, always getting cockblocked, can’t function when talking near/about Magnus, done with your Hetero Bullshit, needs some days off work, MY SON

Accountable: Arrow 5x14 Review (The Sin-Eater)

As Anatoly explained, a sin-eater is someone who consumes a ritual meal to magically take on the sins of another person, thus absolving the person and saving their soul.

Christianity has another name for this person: Jesus Christ. The son of God who died for our sins. The concept that superheroes are Christ like figures is nothing new, and is certainly one I’ve written about before. However, “The Sin- Eater” is as close as Arrow has ever come to a literal comparison.  Oliver Queen has a history of taking others’ sins upon himself. Essentially, blaming himself for their wrongs. As if somehow taking responsibility for them will save them.

If Christ died for our sins, if that action of selfless love is our salvation, then why do we ever need to be held accountable for our sins? Aren’t we already forgiven?

Sorry, but that’s just not the way it works. There is nothing we can ever do that will stop God from loving us, but that does not prevent us from seeking His mercy. Yes, Christ died for our sins, but we must be held accountable for those sins. We have to seek forgiveness. We have to desire salvation in order to truly achieve it. The door to God is always open. There’s nothing we can ever do to close it, but we still must make the choice to walk through it.

So, is Oliver Queen really saving anyone by being a sin-eater? Or maybe the better question is…  is Oliver even worthy of the title?

Let’s dig in…

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It’s probably not a secret that I’m madly in love with Lucien. I’ve written and read plenty of meta about him to gather a general insight on what the ACOTAR fandom thinks of him. Often I find that people see him as a tragic character that’s going to either rise or fall to the occasion— and I can relate to that method of thinking. However, I’ve begun to notice that a lot of these comments about Lucien are, in fact, very misleading and are almost always full of double standards. For instance, these are a few of the classics:

  • “I want him to succeed but not until he repents.”
  • “Lucien should just leave Tamlin. He’s a High Lord’s son, right? He’s should be able to just walk out spewing fire everywhere.”
  • “He’ll ally with the Nigh Court after Feyre uses Elain as bait.”
  • “Lucien isn’t as damaged as Feyre, and she managed to escape.”

And on, and on…

It’s disgusting.

I’m going to try to keep this as calm and educational as possible (even though on the inside I’m typing in caps and being bitter) so let me address the first issue with the above statements: they’re all unrealistic, contain harmful representation of a person suffering abuse, and are brimming with double standards. Lucien doesn’t need to repent. I’m tired of seeing this as a scapegoat for readers to think that “after character does X they will be deemed good enough and receive Y at the ending.” Lucien doesn’t need to be forgiven for trying to survive. He’s a victim of immense abuse (*see horrific references below) and he’s only ever acted accordingly to what would keep him alive. I realize that the main scenario readers want Lucien to apologize for is the scene in ACOMAF where he tries to take Feyre back to the Spring Court. Let me break this down for you all.

While the event was definitely one portraying him as an antagonist, Lucien still believed that the Night Court was evil and manipulate— especially where the mind is concerned. Rhysand literally can place claws inside of a persons mind, and he once threatened Lucien to step aside or have the Autumn Court and his mother executed. (We all know it was for show, but did Lucien? Of course not.) So when this girl, who was deeply in love with his only friend, disappears and is found with a new, wicked attitude that matches Rhysand’s to an extent and Illyrian wings to boot…hell, if I were Lucien I’d probably think some mind control had come into play as well. This is where things get a bit tricky, however. Lucien does realize that Feyre looks healthier and seems to be better off in the Night Court, but he’s not certain if it’s real or a compulsion. Given that he has no way of knowing the truth, and that believing Rhysand had truly helped Feyre get better after Rhysand’s last encounter with Lucien had been full of threats, I’m lead to believe that Lucien was trying to help Feyre escape, even if it meant brining her back to Spring. We also have to consider that Lucien, although having shown signs of being wary of Tamlin’s behavior,  still loves Tamlin because he offered him a home when his own brothers chased him out of his court. So if Tamlin orders him to do something, Lucien will do it out of loyalty and fear. Loyalty, for what he thinks he owes Tamlin because he’s never known what it’s like to be free, and fear because he knows Tamlin will lash out violently if he doesn’t get his way.

The second and third points I’ve stated are probably the worst I’ve seen. Lucien is the seventh son of the High Lord of Autumn, so he more than likely has magic that can rival other High Fae and, possibly, even High Lords. However, we have to consider that Lucien never reveals his magic for a few reasons. He could not know how to control it because no one may have bothered to show him. He could be terrified or disgusted with it, because fire (and let’s assume it’s fire magic) can cause devastating destruction. Or he simply doesn’t have enough power to rival Tamlin’s, and he knows this so he doesn’t try because the one time he DID stand up for himself, when he announced that he would leave his family’s court, he was hunted down.

Much like using one person’s love for another is a prominent motif in this story, Elain could potentially be used as bait for Lucien to “behave” himself in the Spring Court because he probably knows Feyre is up to something. This is wrong and deceitful for so many reasons. If Lucien is to have a character arc that rivals the main character’s own development (which I firmly believe he will) then he needs to come about this revelation on his own terms, not because of someone else— not matter if they’re his mate. If Elain were to be used against him, that would only further his abuse. This would be manipulating and traumatizing a PTSD and abuse survivor. He’s already lost one person he loved, and to dangle his mate in front of him for his cooperation won’t make him realize he’s more than he believes himself to be— it will only continue to make Lucien think that he’s worth less than those around him. Also, Elain doesn’t deserve to be treated like a piece of meat, much less by her sister (so I doubt this will happen, but it agonizes me to continuously see this theory).

On the topic of which character faced more abuse than the other, it’s nonexistent. We should never compare two characters’s trauma for the sake of figuring out who deserves the most sympathy. That’s so incredibly offensive and WRONG.  This applies to all situations, books, and real life events, but for this rant I’m applying it to the concept that Feyre suffered more than Lucien and therefore calling Lucien an abused character like Feyre doesn’t mean anything. It’s important to note that I strongly disagree with this, and that I think their suffering is equal in that they’ve felt it both so strongly that it’s ruined parts of their lives they can never get back. No suffering can be measured, for everyone feels it differently. That being said, Feyre and Lucien DO contain many parallels together—mostly that Lucien is exactly in Feyre’s position, stuck between loving Tamlin and fearing him, but he doesn’t have a Rhysand to help him escape.

*

  • He was treated like dirt in his homeland. 
  • His lover was murdered right in front of him as he was held down by his family.
  • When he stood up for himself and told them he was going to leave Autumn, his brothers hunted him down and tried to murder him.
  • He’s never had real friends aside from Tamlin, so he doesn’t understand how a real friend should treat their friends. 
  • Tamlin helped kill one of his brothers, and Lucien feels indebted to him.
  • Lucien is known as the drunk, flirtatious courtier/spy that isn’t stable and cannot remain in a single court. This has definitely effected the way he thinks about himself and his self worth.
  • Amarantha used Lucien as a flogging board when Tamlin didn’t obey her.
  • Lucien’s eye was ripped out because he once again tried to stand up for himself on a task that wasn’t even his own.
  • No one has even tried to help him battle his PTSD, so it’s only festered
  • Ianthe pursued him and tried to rape him but he managed to escape her
  • Lucien has never had someone to talk to about these things.

Bottom line, treat Lucien better. He deserves so much more.

anonymous asked:

Remember that song Ishida posted a while back (Surender by Buzz Mothers) with Kaneki and Touka art. With all the convos going on and the Touken talk basically being the final boss, there is a piece of the song that's starting to make some sense (to me). "Perhaps it is because I have rejected peaceful days,after taking the meaningless detour,I laugh when I see her – tired from waiting – asleep in an acrobatic posture." (That last bit sounds like they are about to do the dirty)

You clairvoyant anons never cease to amaze me! I got this ask like a week ago and back then my reply would have been along the lines of “Lol, that would be great, wouldn’t it! Unfortunately I think that might be wishful thinking, since when you choose an already-existing song for your characters, there are always going to be lines that don’t necessarily fit.” But now that the dirty may be about to be done, I see it in a new light! Just for fun, I’m going to try dissecting that song’s relevance to Touken.

Lyrics translated by the wonderful sunset-tower!

Music here.

Surrender
by Buzz Mothers

The title suggests that Kaneki should surrender the hero act and just be honest with Touka about his feelings. This will become apparent in the penultimate verse.

What a sad person she is
All alone in this wide world

Touka has lost both her father and her brother and she goes on to lose Yoshimura, Koma, Irimi, Hinami - and of course, Kaneki. They all either leave her or are taken away from her.

What a pitiful person she is
That a person like me is her only saviour

Both Kaneki’s self-deprecation and hero complex shines through here. He laments that life has been so cruel to her that she can have faith in someone as damaged as him. 

Like a heat haze my determination wavers
Once again I’ve lost the tiresome battle without even fighting

I think these lines can be taken to refer to Kaneki’s crusade against Aogiri, especially since this was when Kaneki was playing the role of ‘saviour’ in order to protect Touka and others. He eventually gives up on his quest not because he’s losing the fight, but because his friends persuade him that he’s walking down the wrong path - especially Touka, who finally convinces him to return to Anteiku.

Disappointed, while I’m writhing in pain somewhere
she murmurs to me with a smile, “You’re lovely.”

But Kaneki goes back on his decision when he sees Anteiku under attack and throws himself into the fray. While he writhes in pain from Arima’s assault, he remembers Touka on the bridge expressing both disappointment in him and concern for his well-being. At the end of the manga, Touka expresses faith in Kaneki.

Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster
Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster

These lines could be coming out of either of their mouths. The term “monster” shows that they are accepting the sins and ‘Ghoulish’ qualities of the other. One night in the future (maybe next chapter!), they express their love and recall everything that has come to pass.

On nights with no way home,
the only guide is the lonely light in her room

When Kaneki loses his memories, he loses the way back home to his old life and to Anteiku. The only guide and light of hope is Touka’s room, or more specifically her cafe. The “lonely” light of the room is a transferred epithet for the room’s owner, missing Kaneki.

On an unfamiliar street, burning alone,
a lonely light that is almost warm

Anteiku is gone and its successor is in a different location, so it is literally on an unfamiliar street for Kaneki. This adds to Haise’s confusion when he has no memories of the place itself and yet it evokes glimpses of his past. It is new but old, different but the same - much like how Tokyo Ghoul:re is to Tokyo Ghoul. The light is “almost” warm because while Kaneki is drawn to his past, he is simultaneously frightened of it. 

Perhaps it is because I have rejected peaceful days,
after taking the meaningless detour,

Very much Kaneki’s attitude after he regains his memories. Haise was a meaningless detour to him, a pathetic attempt to run away from his problems without actually dealing with them. As such, he allows despair to flood back into his soul, freezing over the warmth that defined Haise and discarding the false peace he felt during that time while facing his misery head on.

I laugh when I see her – tired from waiting –  
asleep in an acrobatic posture

Kaneki finally comes back to :re and Touka, who is naturally tired, since she has been waiting for a bloody long time. Personally I think the acrobatic posture’s just a bit of the song’s humour and doesn’t tie in with Touken, but feel free to read it however you like.

Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster
Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster

If I were to disappear,
buy a new notebook
If sorrow were to creep in at night,
lock it up within the five lines

The singer here advises his lover to transform any sorrow he causes her into poetry, the five lines referring to the structure of a tanka poem. Touka has zero interest in literature, but the basic meaning still applies: if something happens to me, please turn that pain into something beautiful and don’t let it destroy you. It fits pretty well with the creation of :re in response to Kaneki’s original disappearance, and I think Touka’s naturally going to be concerned that she might lose Kaneki again as soon as she has him back. He may say something along these lines to her, or even leave it to her as a ‘testament’ like the CCG do to mirror the Raid arc of the original series. His mentor Arima could never find anything to write because he could not think of anyone who loved him; but in Kaneki’s case, he’s going to finally understand how loved he already is.

Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster
Tonight, I belong to you
Tonight, you are my monster

Baby, the seasons will change again in the streets
It doesn’t matter, leave me behind

Kaneki offers words of inspiration for Touka in case anything does happen to him, advising her to move on as things will always change for the better as the seasons turn from Winter to Spring.

Aaah, I am anxious all the time
So be by my side and give me courage, always

But Kaneki’s own fear, not just for himself, but for all his loved ones leaks through, and he expresses his honest feelings and insecurities to her rather than trying to protect her with words. He asks for her to always be with him, extinguishing his loneliness for good, and to give him the strength and hope he needs to continue.

Baby I love you so bad

HE LOVES HER

Like a heat haze, the everyday wavers
I laugh, like I’m forfeiting happiness

Things in Kaneki’s life have always been subject to sudden change, and even the peaceful everyday he hopes to find is at risk. The very last line suggests Kaneki’s concerns about finding happiness in the fear that he’s just going to lose it all again - if this goes wrong for him, he feels as though he might not ever be happy again. He’s laughing because he’s happy, but simultaneously, he is frightened. Like he said in Chapter 119, if his life took a turn for the better, his first feeling would be fear that it would disappear.


So, that’s my reading of Ishida’s reading of the song. Obviously not a lick of this was intended when the song was written - this is just what I think Ishida saw in the song that made him choose it for Touken. 

K A I R O S | 01 |

 /ˈkīräs/ 

(n.) the perfect, delicate, crucial moment; the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words, or movement

An arranged marriage AU. 

Paring: OT7.
Genre: fluff, angst, a lot of suggestive parts and eventual smut.
Word count: 3 352

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“But mom, I’m not going to live with a bunch of strangers-!”

“I had the maids pack your things last night, your bags are outside.”

//

Cliche is underrated. 

Especially when you just got kicked out of your own house by your ever so loving parents to stay with seven boys you’ve only heard notorious things about.

Oh, and you’re supposed to pick one to marry by the end of next month.

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So I read STFF last night...

Amazon is freaking amazing. I got my copy a day early and spent all of last night reading it. Despite some poor reviews and negative reactions to the advanced copies, I actually really enjoyed this book. I read a ton of fanfic and books. When I enjoy a story, I get sucked in and will read non-stop to finish it (time/life permitting). Other than dinner and watching Dustin Lance Black’s “When We Rise” last night, I read STFF. I was compelled to take notes throughout. I ended up with three pages of notes.

If you’re the general audience, I think you will enjoy this book. It’s funny, raw, tender, and heartbreaking. Coming from a fandom perspective, you’ll get it. You may see yourselves in it. The character development for the 4 teenagers could have been better, he devoted a chapter to each one and further glimpses into them as the story went on, but for the most part, not enough. I think my fave depiction of one of the kids was the trans kid, Sam - that’s going to help a lot of kids out there. Maybe he was trying to keep the book shorter (it’s 295 pages) to keep the average teens attention span, but tbh, these kids are reading Harry Potter and other much longer novels so I think he could have expanded that more.

If you’re not a Chris Colfer fan who’s paid attention to his life, you may not get any of the autobiographical nature of this book. However, make no mistake, he pulls directly from his life and life experiences and it’s blatant. I definitely have a clearer perspective on Chris and the way he views life, his Glee years, and fandom. He’s screaming to be heard and understood. Please don’t read into this thinking he hates his fans, that’s just not true. He loves and appreciates his fans, however, certain fans and fandom culture scares the hell out of him. He’s never quite understood us. I don’t take it with malicious intent, it just is what it is. Obviously we cannot empathize unless we’ve been in his shoes, but we get a better understanding through this book.

Chris wrote this as an exercise of “plausible deniability” just like when he wrote the Rachel/PR bits into his episode. Of course he’s going to claim this is all fiction and has very little basis in reality, we know better. Definitely go buy it and check it out.

There are many obnoxious things I found within, you may or may not agree with me, but do not come hatin’ into my inbox. I won’t be entertaining you today.

Under the cut (slight spoilers ahead, but I do not mention Cash’s secret) are the things that stood out for me:

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EXPOSING THE FAKE

In case you haven’t already heard about the blog exposing-the-fakes, let me update you. It’s run by a girl who goes by the name Diana Leigh and claims she’s 21, lives in LA, and, most bizarrely, personally knows 5sos. She gives out false and sometimes worrisome information about the boys. For example, she tells people Michael self harms. How would he feel if he saw that; someone he’s never met convincing her 2,000 followers of something so serious? Although it could be accurate, she isn’t someone who would know. The only people who do are Michael and those who are actually close to him. The fact that she’s going around promising it to be true is only doing damage. On top of all that, she’s hinting towards the fact that she’s Ashton’s “secret girlfriend”. Those are just two of her lies. They don’t end there, but listing them all would take forever.

I wouldn’t be concerned about this situation if no one believed her, but for some strange reason — even though she’s never provided any solid proof whatsoever — a lot of people do. Like I mentioned before, she has at least 2,000 followers. Fans are putting their faith in her and genuinely thinking their questions and wishes will get to 5sos through her blog. It’s messed up and has left me feeling uneasy for a long time now.

So, I’m here to hopefully shut her down for good.

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Teddy Lupin headcanons

- wears jean jackets
- and flower crowns
- especially daisy chains
- often gets pegged as the bad boy
- but is really the sweetest, kindest person ever
- (also a bit of a prankster)
- (and regular customer at WWW)
- helps lost first years get to wherever they need to be
- and comforts them when they’re sad or worried or miss home
- is referred to as “my brother Teddy” by many first years
- pretends to be annoyed
- but secretly loves it
- cuz that means he’s got a family
- and siblings
- has the bed by the window in his dorm
- so he can stare at the stars at night
- and talk to his parents like they’re there
- and tell them about his day
- he tells Remus about how he’s excelling in DADA
- and he tells Tonks about the girls he likes
- and asks for their help during the next quidditch game
- cuz, you know, it never hurts to ask
- thanks them for their help whenever he wins a game
- often has long conversations with “Uncle George” in WWW
- also helps Professor Neville to tutor students in herbology
- sends Honeydukes sweets home to Ginny and Harry
- cuz he knows how much the two of them and Lily Luna love them
- owns a kaleidoscope
- carries it around in his pocket
- helped Louis Weasley stop crying by showing him the world through the kaleidoscope
- and how pretty everything is if we can only see it
- regularly teases Victoire Weasley about her first name
- and just as regularly gets his ass kicked by her
- definitely changes his hair to red and white stripes during Christmas time
- often sets off fireworks in the courtyards when no one is looking
- and never gets caught
- (everyone knows it’s him, but the teachers let him have his fun)
- is a huge Good Charlotte and Britney Spears fan
- secretly owns every single star wars movie and has marathons with Victoire
- loves life
- loves people
- loves himself

Teddy Lupin

queenconsuelabananahammock  asked:

Were Mila and Danny a thing??? I mean I had ~a feeling~ that they may have been at some point but...what's the tea 👀

They weren’t, as said by them plenty of times and the facts one can add.

I’m not much of a RPF fan, so I’m going to try and make this response as clear and informative as I can. But,

  • She was underage for most part of the show. He being 7 years older than her would had been a little bit crazy and honest to god disgusting if they were a thing. Which I don’t believe they were because
  • Both were on relationships by the time the rumor of them being a thing was spread. He has always present as a very monogamous man, liking and having serious and long-term relationships, which he had during the show and after, before marrying Bijou Philips. While Mila was also in a long-term serious relationship with actor Macaulay Culkin.
  • Another thing to add is the fact that both had refer to the other as their brother/sister, which makes sense since he seemed to have bonded with her pretty early during filming.
  • After the show ended, and their relationships too, they didn’t had a reason to hide if they had been together, but to this day they keep saying the same: they never dated, they see each other as brother/sister, it was only a rumor.

Rumors started because a tabloid published they were together after Mila went with Danny to the premiere of one of Ashton’s movies, ‘Just Married’. They were holding hands on some of the press pictures:

And while I understand some people take this as OH THEY ARE DATING, well– No. We sexualize every human touch so much we take some people holding hands as being intimate in a romantic way. But Danny was dating someone and so was she, and even with all his crap, he has always show certain respect for his couple. So I don’t believe this means anything.

I understand some people don’t hold their loved ones’ hands if they aren’t sexually together, but not everyone is like that. I do hold hands with my friends, male and female, and my brother, and my mom, and my nices and nephews. So honestly? Some respect to the actors that gave us such an amazing fictional couple to care about, would be great

Not just that, but Danny Masterson is a very touchy and handsy man. So really, don’t take it so serious.

Now, another thing I understand is that people may think something happened. But as long as they say no, I believe them and I respect them enough to not gossip about it, especially so many years after these things happened and she’s married to one of Danny’s best friends if not his best friend.

To finish, some cute facts about their friendship because they are adorable:

  • It is said he took her to her prom, (EDIT 11/03/2017: IT’S REAL! Mila said it herself: “He was my prom date too.”, source)
  • But other people say this information its flase, that in fact because of filming, she couldn’t make it to her prom, so the cast took her to a club instead and he was her ‘date’.
  • EDIT 11/03/2017: on Mila Kunis’ words, about going to clubs with Dan as her date:  “[…] And Danny [Masterson] took me to my first club and bought me my first drink,” Kunis recalls. “He was my prom date too.” (source).
  • He was the one who told Ashton to kiss Mila, who had never kissed anyone at that point. Danny told him he would pay him 20 bucks if he did it. He did. EDIT: I’ve been told Danny told him to give her tongue in one of their early kisses in the show, and he would pay him. But Ashton didn’t do it.
  • That one time they appeared in MadTV in the CHiPS sketch with Wilmer Valderrama. His character spends half the episode flirting and touching Mila’s character. He grabs her boobs and her ass, and they just kind of roll with that (and she laughs about it, so). (source)
  • She participated in plenty of his Scientology acting events, there’s plenty of pictures of that, that are honest to god kind of cute.
  • During season 8 filming, she would still sit on his lap between takes and be with him most times. This was informed by peopel who went to the tapping of the episodes and suffered the season in live and direct.
  • They were very comfortable around the other, which make their on-screen relationship incredible. Their chemistry is something I feel added a lot to Jackie and Hyde’s relationship.
  • She said she felt Jackie became less shallow because of Steven.
  • He called her a ‘small russian fairy’ because she pretty as hell and well, she’s ukranian. The quote: “Mila is this awesome, really smart little Russian fairy.” (I haven’t found a source for it).
  • There’s lots of interviews with Danny happily saying Hyde became better around Jackie, because he is like the captain of the ship.
  • Added on 11/04/2017: I found that, while filming season 7, there was a special for the show that aired only in Canada. In it, Mila and Danny give their interviews together and spend most their time joking between them and saying things like, “I was like, look at all these cute guys!” “Me being the cutest” “Of course, Danny”. (source)
  • Added on 11/04/2017: From this same special, fans say Danny and Mila were smiling and talking to the other while in the background of a scene, and even after the director called ‘cut’, they kept like flirting between them and kissed a few times. This I don’t know how to take it, but… yeah. (source)
  • Danny answers lots of stuff on twitter. When asked how it was to kiss Mila he answered, “my work doesn’t suck” (source). He also bashes both, Kelso/Jackie and Fez/Jackie, and hate son season 8 every chance he gets because he bitter af like all of us. (source).
  • Added on 11/04/2017: He said Mila would totally guest star in The Ranch if he asked her nicely. (source). Which means they are still good friends. Makes sense since, like I said, Ashton is one of Danny’s best friend, if not his best friend.
  • This picture:

If there was ever something more than friendship between them, which I don’t believe, they have decided to mantain it with themselves and we, as fans, must respect that and their personal lives. So, better not gossip about it.

Thank you for your question! :)

renae9000  asked:

Damon says he will always choose Elena first... But that statement isnt about Elena or his love for her.. Its about Him because he has put all his Happiness, his life, his everything in having her.. He cant Let Go.. Just like he did with Katherine until she Hurt him.... Love Requires Sacrifice Always... DE's love is Selfish.. They had a real chance with Bamon but chose not to go down that road...

Yeah, the whole “I will always choose you” promise died a looooong time ago. It died in 6x22 when Damon chose to save Bonnie and live without Elena for 70+ years and it’s died every single time Damon has saved Bonnie’s life since. It doesn’t matter how anyone tries to spin that, Damon is choosing someone else above Elena and it’s not for Elena’s benefit, because how can it be? If Damon let Bonnie die in 6x22, yeah, Elena would’ve lost her best friend, but she’d also have got to spend the rest of her life with her brother, Matt, Tyler, Alaric and his twins, which is something she wouldn’t have been able to do under the coma (if the writers weren’t gonna find some loophole) since they’d have been dead by the time she awoke. When Damon saves Bonnie, it’s for Bonnie and it’s for him. No one can convince me otherwise. 

I agree about Damon putting all of his eggs in one basket where love is concerned. Honestly, I put it down purely to the fact that Damon doesn’t know what real, healthy love is, because when has he ever experienced it? He grew up with a mother and father that clearly didn’t love each other, his mother didn’t love him enough to stay and raise him and his father was cruel and somewhat abusive. When he met Katherine in 1864 she was (I assume) the first and only person to show him love and the first person he felt love for. Katherine said it herself - she taught Damon how to love. But if there’s anyone on the planet that shouldn’t be allowed to teach someone how to love it’s Katherine Pierce, because let’s be honest, she doesn’t know what true love is either. She spent practically her entire life on the run, lying, manipulating, using people for her benefit and discarding them when they no longer had any use. And even with the people she did love, she struggled to be selfless because she was so used to putting herself first. This is the person from whom Damon learned to love, so is it any surprise that he developed such an unhealthy obsession and love for Elena? Everything about Damon’s feelings for Elena stems from the damage that’s been done to him from his past experiences. He began to obsess over Elena in the early seasons because she looked like Katherine, he had an inferiority complex with Stefan and wanted to exact revenge on Stefan for turning him. When Damon actually started to fall in love with Elena it was because she saw the good in him and made him feel as though he was actually cared for, which was something he’d lacked throughout his life. Once he was in a relationship with her he loved her because he perceived her to be his humanity, that she made him a better person, which again something he’s always struggled with. I could go on, but the point is that everything about Damon’s love for Elena comes from the sad, lonely, damaged, insecure little boy that he still is deep inside. It’s not about Elena, it’s about Damon. It’s about what she does for him, how she makes him a better person, how she makes him happy, how she makes him feel loved, how she’s the best thing to ever happen to him. So yes, you’re right Delena’s love is selfish. 

As for Bamon…don’t even get me started. I could go on forever about why they should’ve become canon, but I won’t since I have other posts where I talk about it. But all I will say, is that you’re completely right. All of the foundations for a Bamon romance have already been laid and there’s been so many opportunities for the writers to make them canon. Their first “I love you” scene had been building for a hell of a long time, and there’s absolutely no reason why they had to add the, “Like Elena loves you” part. It was honestly just a cop out. And watching the scene in 8x10 where Damon reads Bonnie the letter he wrote to her before he chose to desiccate just confirms to me that there is 100% something between them. The emotion in that scene, the chemistry…everything about it is just proof that there is so much potential for Bamon. Even the endless references to Elena in that scene don’t diminish the fact that what Damon’s saying proves just how much he completely loves Bonnie. Everything about that scene, from the setting, to the music, the expressions on their faces, emotion in their voices, the words they say, the way they look at each other - it’s the definition of romantic. How anyone can perceive that in any other way, I have no idea. It also proves further, what we were talking about earlier that Damon has broken his promise to always choose Elena, because in this speech he makes a new promise to Bonnie and ironically, it’s one he made to Elena back in season 3. And that is, “I’m so sorry I left. It won’t happen again.” So not only has Damon chose Bonnie over Elena, repeatedly, now he’s vowing that he will never leave her. That’s a pretty hefty promise for a friend to make to another friend, don’t you think? 

In conclusion, Bamon not becoming canon is the biggest mistake the writers have made, and they’ve made A LOT of them haha. 

HOW TO PLAY A TERRIBLE CHARACTER AND SURVIVE

As someone who specializes in jackass characters (i.e. evil, bad, morally corrupt, etc.) I’ve been meaning to make this guide for all my fellow roleplayers trying their hand at harvesting their evil seedlings. I hope you enjoy my guide and it helps you. If it doesn’t, though, at least you laughed due to my hilarious commentary.

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Arrow 5x19 “Dangerous Liaisons” Review: Girls Rule The World

Oh my goodness. This was such a good episode.

The fandom touted this episode as SMOAK VS ARROW—but it was more like Team Smoak (Helix) vs. Lyla (ARGUS) with Team Arrow assisting. And really this episode was about the women. Felicity and Lyla. Meanwhile their rather befuddled hubbies watched on and wondered if this was going to ruin any future chance of dinner parties once Digg’s OTP gets its shit together. (Digg is still waiting to try Oliver’s cordon bleu.)

Felicity’s involvement with Helix came to a head in this episode. We all knew it was coming; even if her storyline with Helix was rather slow going at the start. I knew it was too good to last and too good to be true. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed watching Felicity take control over how she wants to be a vigilante if only because it’s the kind of experience that will reaffirm for her the kind she knows she should be. For me this experience is much more about Felicity exploring herself than just a means for Oliver and Felicity to mend fences.

I am absolutely not here for anyone bad mouthing Felicity Smoak for what she did with Helix. There isn’t a character on this show that hasn’t done things equally as bad or worse. I still find a way to love Oliver (when he’s really Oliver) and Diggle. I root for Thea. I don’t need Felicity to be perfect—though to me she’s perfect the way she is—to love her. So if you’re of the mind that Felicity was wrong or out of line then please do us both a favor and click the X on the tab.

I know that many of us are all eagerly anticipating the reunion of Olicity and we definitely are on that path and next week will be even more instrumental to that. But what this episode did, which we’ve sorely been lacking for over 19 episodes, is it had them communicating. Those trust issues were brought back to light in this episode.

Olicity and Dyla

Felicity is convinced that she needs to do whatever it takes to get the tech from Helix that will finally pinpoint Adrian Chase so that he can be thrown in jail. Alena tells her that the never heard of before now Cayden James has the capability of tracking someone’s heartbeat to their location. Cayden James was imprisoned by ARGUS eight months ago and has been held in a Black Site ever since. Alena wants to break the founder of Helix out of his prison.

Felicity attempts to convince Lyla to release Cayden in exchange for the tech. Lyla won’t budge because Alena killed an ARGUS agent (supposedly an accident) to get one of the necessary keys to free Cayden James. Not to mention another agent was nearly killed too. Also because she says this mysterious man is bad news—and even compares him to a loose nuke. I personally didn’t think it was a coincidence that a nuclear weapon was mentioned. There are a lot of implications with that for Felicity—Havenrock and something that she worked to stop with her estranged father. (Who I really think might be Cayden James.)

That showdown in the Bunker was a really strong scene and went a long way towards Felicity’s motivations. In many ways Diggle and Oliver both have held Felicity to a higher standard than themselves. They said from the beginning they were going to protect “this girl” and I think in part that meant shielding her from making questionable choices. They’d been through real ugliness in the world; they didn’t want to expose her to that.

Except that she was faced with it anyway—in fact she came already prepackaged with a history of pain. But since S1 she’s been through four terrorist attacks; she’s been shot twice; paralyzed; gassed twice; kidnapped multiple times and lost several people she cares for. Meanwhile she fell in love and then lost the love of her life. For the last four years, Felicity has mainly been trying to make the right choices—and trying to lead her guys to those choices too. But she also respected that she couldn’t (for the most part) make the choices for them.

Her goodness and faith in Oliver allowed him to believe there was still goodness in him. She helped him to harness his light. But there’s been little reciprocation here and that’s the journey in 5x19 and 5x20. Felicity was making all the right choices and the pain kept coming, for her and her loved ones. It’s easy to see why she’d start to think that the only way to get something done was by taking the moral shortcuts.

In the Bunker when Felicity proclaims that they have no right to not let her make dubious moral choices. They are a team—OTA. And she wants to be considered equal in all parts. They’ve left her out of some of the darker parts of vigilantism but it has done little to shield her from the overall consequence and suffering that comes with it. She’s tired of watching her friends take that burden alone. Especially when, as she sees it, if she makes those choices they lead to results.

Originally posted by mariaslittlestuff

Felicity tells Oliver (and Lyla) that they have absolutely zero ground to stand on for telling her she’s out of line. She’s not wrong. Frankly, Diggle doesn’t have much of a right either. It was only a handful of weeks ago that he was torturing a man in Russia. Not to mention he shot his brother. So for me, it was all rather hypocritical for anyone to judge Felicity for her association with Helix.

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Truth or Dare (Riverdale, Pt. 5)

Summary: Betty, Archie, Veronica, Jughead, Kevin, Cheryl, and Y/N are spending the night at Y/N’s house. Kevin suggests Truth or Dare at some point and they all decide to play. Shenanigans ensue and eventually certain feelings are shared, but will they be taken seriously or laughed off? Possible angst.

Pairing: Jughead x Reader (maybe), Kevin x Reader (platonic), Archie x Reader (platonic), Betty x Reader (platonic), Veronica x Reader (platonic), Cheryl x Reader (platonic)

Beta-ed: No

A/N: Okay I’m so sorry this took so long, I’ll make a post about it later tonight, but here we are finally, part 5! i actually had a little problem with this guy too *frowns forever* oh well, enjoy! Also this one’s pretty long too in an attempt to make up for the qualit so-

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

~

Previously: “If anything Kevin,” Archie spoke. “We should be blaming you, after all, you were the one who dared Y/N to do this.” He said with a sly grin. Everyone spoke their agreements as Kevin blanched. “Woah woah wait, how was I supposed to know Y/N would get so emotional and sappy, honestly I was expecting more of a “Hey Betts, you’re so sweet and innocent I love it. Cheryl, you’re fierce and a little crazy. Ronnie, you’re an amazing fashionista, and so on and so forth. I didn’t expect Y/N to go all Shakespeare on us!” He cried. We all started laughing as Kevin’s face bloomed red. “You guys are jerks.” He muttered. “Anyways… Y/N, whose next?”

“I guess Archie,” I sighed, trying to sound exasperated, which only earned another pillow being thrown at me. I giggled as I grabbed it and threw it back. “Archibald Andrews, how dare you!” I scoffed, a playful look in my eyes. “You know what? Now you’re my second favorite ginger.” I muttered. Archie clutched his hand over his heart and gasped. “Now that just hurts Y/N, how could you?” He said, mock hurt in his voice. I stuck my tongue out at him before continuing. “Fine, you’re my favorite male ginger, happy?” I asked, annoyance in my voice. “Very much so, actually.” He said with a arrogant voice as he turned his nose up. 

We both took one look at each other and lost it, bending over in laughter. “This is exactly why I love you so much Arch, we can always be goofy together.” Before I could say anything else Jug threw a pillow at Archie’s head. “You were dared not to be silly for the rest of the night Arch, commit to the dare!” Jug spoke with irritation, but Arch and I saw the playful look in his eyes. We both stuck our tongues out at Jug before giggling again.

“Anyways,” I cleared my throat. “Archie: my ginger, my Ron Weasley, my Peter Pan, my best friend, my brother. The love I have for you can only be described as absolute, and even that doesn’t do you justice. You fit the whole “protective older brother” persona perfectly, you’re always looking out for us and you’re the best when it comes to helping us distract our minds for a little while. You always figure out a way to make us feel better, and the few times you couldn’t, you made sure we were never alone and had a shoulder to cry on.”

“From the very first day you’ve always been a little on the protective side,” I gave him a look while he sheepishly smiled at me. “Especially when it was about me or Betty. I remember you came running out of nowhere and practically tackled her, you pushed her behind you and asked who I was, your chest all puffed out with this serious look on your face.” “You never can be too careful, you know?” Archie cut in, a smile on his face as he remembered that day as well. “Sure Archie, we all know you were just trying to impress the new girl, quit lying.” Kevin cut in now, a grin on his face. Archie blushed slightly before speaking. “We were five!” He wailed as he shot his hands above his head. “You guys are never gonna let me live that down are you?” He said as he pouted slightly.

“Oh Archie,” Betty spoke as she rubbed small circles on his back, a look of sympathy on her face. “Never in a million years.” She finished with a giggle, Archie just glared at her while Betty, Cheryl, and Kevin laughed, Archie’s face heating up more. “Wait,” Veronica spoke up, awe in her voice. “Archie had a crush on Y/N?” She asked as she raised an eyebrow at us. “That is so cute!” She squealed while bouncing in her seat. “Archiekins, that has to be the one of the most adorable things I’ve ever heard!” Archie and I blushed at her words.

“Well in my defense who didn’t have a crush on Y/N when they first moved here!?” He tried to defend himself, his eyes widened in shock as his blush got worse when he realized what he said. Ronnie squealed even more at that, her hands trying to cover the huge grin on her face. “Oh, you’re not wrong there Archie,” Kevin spoke, a twinkle in his eye. “But we all pretty much got over that, the question is, did you?” Just about everyone started laughing as both our faces got redder.

As I looked around I noticed Jug was staring at Archie, almost glaring at him. When he caught me watching Jughead’s eyes widened slightly before looking away again, and it almost looked like a blush was starting to form on his face. ‘Why would he glare at Archie?’ I thought, confusion washing over me. I guess it showed on my face because before I could think more of it Archie nudged me with his foot. “Hey, you okay?” He asked, slight worry on his face. “Yeah Arch, I’m fine.”

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A Little Help

Pairing: Linstead
Timeline: Alternate continuation of 1x11.  
Genre: I don’t even know. Angst? Comfort?

A/N: Because when @allenting and I start talking, there is usually a fic that comes out of it. And because I need more platonic Linstead in my life, and because I need more Nadia in my life.

I’d like to apologize that I didn’t exactly reply to all the reviews for my last one (I just got so busy and life got in the way). I hope that doesn’t stop you from leaving more comments. I always read them all, and they really make my days!

Hope you enjoy!

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How Elena and Stefan could possibly be endgame in the finale, aka my “sired soul” theory...

Elena in 4x01 spent her last dying breaths as a human to tell Stefan that she loves him and how he is the best choice she ever made. 

So how does one go from saying all of that and simply fall out of love so quick? (Without having to say it was due to bad writing or fan servicing, because if I was a DE fan I would be pretty pissed off at the way they brought them together.) 
Be warned this is kinda long! 


Well what if when Elena was transitioning into a vampire (during the first few episodes of season 4), her human soul was slowly being replaced by a new vampire one created by the sire bond and this new soul is basically a reflection of the desires of the soul to whom she was sired to aka Damon. She still appeared to be in love with Stefan the first few episodes but it also seemed like her old self was slowly fading away along with her feelings, (basically all her good qualities which made her who she was). What if the sired soul made her more like Damon and obviously made her do Damon-like things? Because let’s face it Elena from season 4 on wards was a completely new character/person. 

The reason why this could have happened was because firstly Elena never wanted to be a vampire and also maybe and probably more likely because when she died at the end of season 2 John gave Elena his soul, a soul that replaced Elena’s so that when she woke up it would be as a human and not a vampire (as that was what John had wanted). So when she died at the end of season 3, her soul which John gave her didn’t want to accept the transition into a vampire hence a new vampire sired soul was born, giving her basically new and all the annoying qualities that Damon had.  

This could explain how her feelings for Stefan never got heightened, because deep down in Damon’s soul he didn’t want Elena to be in love with Stefan. He wanted Elena to love him instead. Elena said she still loved Stefan, but she was not actually in love with him. Wouldn’t that be basically just how Damon feels about his own brother, right? 

Otherwise it just wouldn’t make sense from a story pov, not a shipper’s but a story pov how Elena just kinda forgot this strong built relationship she had with Stefan.

Now here is my opinion on the only way I see Stelena possibly as endgame based on all of this because I wouldn’t want the vampire Elena to get back with Stefan, especially after all the shit she put him through (that would be so selfish and Stefan deserves much better).

When Elena took the cure, she didn’t appear to have any significant changes to her character she was just a human again right (although she did kinda flirt with Stefan at the wedding)? However Elena was only a human for a few days/weeks (few episodes, just like in the beginning of season 4) before Kai cast the Sleeping Beauty type spell on her. 

So what if after all these years while Elena was in that coffin (cause we have no idea what happened in her mind during all this time), her human soul slowly came back, the same soul which was very much in love with Stefan even after testing the waters with Damon (who I personally saw as a metaphor for temptation/being greedy)? 

 And when she wakes up the last thing she remembers clearly is telling Stefan that she chose him (whilst she was transitioning) but her memories of them as a couple as they were slowly breaking up are fuzzy/blurred because that wasn’t actually her. 

Then Stefan realises that Elena 2.0 was never the girl he fell in love with but just a walking reminder of her and that his Elena from seasons 1-3 would never hurt him/break his heart like new vampire Elena did. 

After this Stelena then have one of their epic reunion hugs and just stare at each other like they can’t believe they are in each others arms again and they finally kiss and slowly slip back into their old feelings/lives. Oh and Stefan takes the cure and is human again too.

Originally posted by lovershub

Originally posted by coupleaims

And basically Damon all along had never been with Elena but has been in a weirdly twisted relationship with a version of himself essentially in the vessel/meat suit (had to use the spn references) of old Elena. It’s kinda disturbing but that’s kinda the only explanation I have for ‘who the hell was Damon dating then if it weren’t Elena?’. Plus his reaction could be funny!?

As for SC to not be a thing anymore, I hope Klaus comes back for Caroline and reminds her of this moment and boom no more sc wedding or a divorce.

Originally posted by celestialviolets

But yeah that’s mainly my opinion/theory for a human Stelena endgame if I could write it! :)

(All gifs/pics aren’t mine) 

Butterflies (Anthony x Reader)

Word Count: 2,295

Warnings: Swearing?

Authors Note: I hate this fic. I think I did a terrible job and I’m so sorry. Regardless, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF IT! 

Request: Could I get an Anthony fic where the reader is in the Ham band & was in the 21 Chump St band (pref violin) so they became friends. He sings ‘what the heck I gotta do’ to her @ Ham but she is still oblivious until Lin points it out & they get together 

Btw ^^^ that was my very first cast request. It’s been a long time.

Masterlist

You walked into the Richard Rodgers with a duffel bag and your violin, desperately trying to get to your dressing room after the rough morning that you’d had.

“Here let me take this for you.” You heard a voice say. You peeked over your shoulder and you saw Anthony motioning at your bag.

Before you could protest, he took it from your grasp and hung it over his shoulder. You gave him a grateful smile and he returned one.

“So how was your morning?” He asked trailing behind you.

“It was the worst morning ever.” You groaned, turning around to point out the coffee stain on your sweatshirt. You opened the door to your dressing room and Anthony put your duffel bag down.

“Thank you.” You smiled up at him, he took his hand to move a stray hair away from your face, and you blushed slightly.

You guys had this friendship. You didn’t know what to call it. He was extremely flirty yet he was with everyone, so you couldn’t get your hopes up. He was obviously attractive and you had developed some sort of crush on him, but you made sure you kept your feelings in check. Your stupid crush wasn’t worth ruining your friendship.

The intimate moment was shattered when Lin popped his head into the dressing room.

“Hey -oh. Continue.” He giggled before running off.

A pink blush covered Anthony’s freckled cheeks and he pulled back, realizing how close you two were.

“Uh well, good luck with the show, although you won’t need it!” He said with an embarrassed tone, heading for the door. You wanted to stop him, and tell him to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach that he’d started, but all you could say was:
“You too!”

You sighed and headed for the stage, looking out for Alex.

Instead of Alex you found Lin.

“Hey Y/N” he waved, and you made your way over to him. “Did you finally kiss him?” he joked referring to you and Anthony. You shoved him in the ribs and groaned. Lin was practically like an older brother to you and he the only one who knew of your feelings toward Anthony. You had told him when you worked with him in 21 Chump Street and to this day, you regretted it as he never let it go.

“I never should have told you that I liked him.” you groaned and buried your head in your hands to hide the blush that spread your face whenever you talked about Anthony.

“Aw look! You’re blushing.” he cried out.

“I swear I’m going to kill you one day.” you replied dryly.

“Hey, one day you’ll be thanking me.” he said winking and walking away.

You headed down to the pit to set up for the show that day when you ran into Hope.

“Oh, Hey Y/N!” she said walking with you backstage.

“Hey, Hope. What’s up?”

“Apparently you and Anthony.”

“How the hell does news spread so fast in this theater?” you said shaking your head

“Well, personally, I think you’d be so cute together. He’s so sweet to you.” she said walking into her dressing room. You didn’t reply with anything but a grunt. “Oh and today after the show some of the crew and I are gonna go up to the roof, you should come.” she suggested.

“Maybe.” you mumbled as you walked away.

———————

The show finished fast too fast and you decided you were going to go out of the theater. You needed time to think and to relax without being around the rowdy cast, and Anthony. Of course. You pulled on a sweater and were just a few steps from the door when you felt somebody grab you from behind.

“Ahh” you shrieked.

You turned your head to see Lin with a wide smile on his face.

“Where do you think you’re going missy?” he asked you, still carrying you.

“Away. From here. From you.” you groaned.

“I don’t think so.” he sang.

You didn’t know where he was taking you until the stairs to the roof approached,

“Oh, no. no . Hell no. If you think.” you began laughing but just then Anthony approached from behind Lin seeing you in his arms and laughing. He cleared his throat and Lin turned around causing you to hit your head on the wall as he moved too fast.

“Fuck.” he said as he heard the loud bang. He promptly put you down and used his hand to examine the damage done.

“Here, I’ll go get an ice pack.” he said rushing off.

“Wait. Don’t leave me here wit-” fuck.

“Are you alright Y/N?” Anthony asked, tense.

You rubbed the growing lump on your head, “I think?”

“Don’t touch it.” he said and he moved closer to you and you swore you couldn’t even feel your head. The only feeling was your heart fluttering and butterflies in your stomach. He gently cupped your face and tilted it down to look at the lump. You felt your face heat up at the contact and you felt your knees go weak.

“Do you still want to go up?” he asked and you couldn’t form words.

“I-I. um. I”

“Boy you must’ve hit your head hard.” he said pulling you in for a hug. This wasn’t your first hug, but every time your body ignited at his contact and you felt yourself wanting to stay there in his arms forever. You relaxed your head so that it was leaning on his shoulder.

“Are you going to be ok?” he asked when he finally pulled away.

“Yeah.” you whispered.

“Here, let’s go.” he said letting you go up the stairs first. His hand never left your lower back as he guided you up the steps.

Once on the roof, you found your spot next to Renee as you sat down next to her.

“Are you ok?” She asked noticing your change in your usual happy demeanor.

“Yeah. I just hit my head that’s all.” you lied. It was because of Anthony. It felt like you were in a dream from hitting your head too hard.

“Awww my poor baby!” she shrieked as she dramatically wrapped her arms around you. When you didn’t laugh she realized how serious it was.

“What’s wrong?” Oak approached you hearing Renee.

“Y/N hit her head and I can’t even get a laugh out of her.”

“I can change that.” Oak said

“Hey, Y/N, What did everybody say about the mushroom?” he asked.

“What?” you decided to play along

“That he was a fungi… Get it like fun guy?”

You sat and stared at him with your best resting bitch face.

“Oookayy. Maybe not.” he muttered.

“What’s going on?” Anthony asked as he approached you guys.

Before you could say anything, Oak beat you to it.

“Y/N’s being a meanie and not laughing at any of my jokes.” he said

“Oh, boo hoo.” you said, sticking your tongue out at him.

“Hey Ant, bet you can’t get Y/N to laugh.” Oak challenged.

You faced Anthony with a stone face and cocked an eyebrow at him as he thought of what to do. Just when you thought he was going to tell you a stupid joke like Oak, he began singing.

“What the heck I gotta do to be with you.” he sang and you instantly froze at the familiar song.

“What the heck I gotta doooooo to be with youuuu.” he said pointing at you and dancing in circles around you, slinking his body around. You couldn’t help the small smile that cracked your face as it eventually turned into a fit of giggles.

“See! I knew it!” He exclaimed as he clapped his hands together.

Once you had your laughter in check you saw Lin standing by the door with an ice pack in one hand and a smirk on his face. He gestured to Anthony with a smug look on his face. You couldn’t help the blush that spread your cheeks as you shook your head, laughing. Anthony, suddenly aware of your behavior, followed your line of vision to Lin. Of course. He tensed slightly before excusing himself.

“I’m gonna head down.” He said bitterly.

“Aw, Anthony. What’s wrong?” You asked putting a hand on his shoulder.

He looked over at you, a forced smile on his face.

“I’m just not feeling too well.” Not a lie, he thought. You and Lin seemed to be awfully close recently and he wasn’t sure what he was feeling until just then. It was jealousy.

“Oh. Alright then. Feel better.” You gave him a smile and let him go. On the way down he purposefully bumped shoulders with Lin and headed down the stairs as if nothing had happened. Lin gave him a dirty look and opened his mouth to say something when he closed it promptly, a devilish smile spreading his face.

“Are you and Anthony ok?” You asked, seeing the whole ordeal unfold before your eyes.

“No, but I know how you can help.” He said pulling you aside from the others and handing you the ice pack. You thanked him before pressing it to your head.

“How? Do you want me to go talk to him?”

“Not exactly” he said. “You need to tell him that you like him.” He blurted.

“WHA- no! No way!” You shook your head.

“Please Y/N our friendship is on the line!”

“Yeah well so is ours if you make me do this.” You challenged back.

“You don’t understand Y/N.”

“What? What don’t I understand? The fact that you’re trying to make me look like a fool?”

“He likes you.” Lin said softly and you felt your limbs go weak.

“What?” You said in a whisper.

“Don’t you see it? The times he takes your bag for you, when he always tries to make conversation with you before each show, when he gives you compliments, when he can’t take his eyes off of you, the physical contact?” He sighed when you still looked shocked. “I wanted you to find out for yourself or for Ant to grow a pair and tell you but you two have been beating around the bush for too long and I’m so anxious just watching you two. You all are like a bomb ready to explode.” He said.

You were speechless. You didn’t know what to say, but you didn’t need to say much as Lin already knew what you were thinking.

“So please. Just go talk to him.” He said pushing you to the doorway. You let your body take over before you could talk yourself out of it. The truth was, you wanted to tell him just for the small chance that Lin might be right and that Anthony might like you.

You floated down the stairs and to Anthony almost in a dream like trance. The door was cracked open and you gave it a soft knock.

“Listen, Lin I’m sorry man. I dunno what’s gotten into me… sorry.” You heard him make his way to the door and swing it open.

You saw him shirtless due to the NYC summer. His hair loose as he looked frustrated and like he had been pacing the proximity of his small dressing room. You felt your knees buckle and Anthony promptly grab you by your waist and hold you up as you stumbled.

“Woah, are you alright?” He asked as he helped you to your feet once more. “That head bang really must’ve done something to you.”

“No” you said in a quaver.

“What?”

“It’s you.”

A look of confusion spread his face as he looked into your eyes to try and decipher what you were trying to say.

“I-I’m sorry? I dunno what I did but-” he started trying to make things right.

“Whenever I’m by you I get all light headed and my knees go weak. All I feel are the butterflies in my stomach whenever you touch me and I can’t stop the blush that spreads whenever you speak” you said almost in one breath.

“Y/N…”

“Wait… don’t. I’m not done”

He quickly shut his mouth but his grip on your waist tightened.

“And I don’t know how you can do this to me. And I don’t want to hide it anymore because I want all of it. I want to get light headed and weak kneed when you’re by. I want to feel the butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. And I want to be flustered when we talk. I want it because I love the way you make me feel.” You stopped to take a breath.

Before you knew it, Anthony pulled you in from the hallway and pressed you up against the door to close it. Your breath hitched. The space between your lips was almost nonexistent.

“How would you feel if I did this?” He murmured against your lips before pressing them fully onto yours. His hands were on your hips and your hands found their way to his curly locks. You could’ve sworn that you were in heaven the way his lips made you feel. One of his hands made it’s way to your face as he caressed your cheek and you went limp against the door.

He pulled back slowly his eyes still closed. When he opened his eyes, his hazel eyes had a spark in them as he looked into yours.

“Y/N?”

“Hmm?”

“You give me butterflies too.” He said before he closed the gap between your lips once more. You hummed against his lips happily as the butterflies in your stomach erupted as his lips moved against yours.

You could get used to this feeling.

The Brothers--Chuck’s Story

by Chuck Keyser, as told to mrs momona in 2008

© mrs momona 2017

My big brother Jimmy is 11 years older than me. We were born and raised in southern California. When I was 2 years old, our real father was killed in a traffic accident. Jimmy was 13 at that time, and for the next five years he was really like a dad to me. He was involved in athletics in high school, played football, baseball, and wrestled, and also had a part-time job, but he always found time to play catch with me in the backyard, take me swimming, and let me “wrestle” with him. My mother took me to watch every game he took part in. He was my hero. All my friends envied me because I had such a cool big brother.

When I was 6 and Jimmy was 17, my mom remarried. Her new husband was a fitness trainer who insisted that Jimmy and I call him “Beau”. He was real “southern California”—had a great year-round tan, was a nutrition fanatic, and always bragged about which rich and famous people he had trained. Even though I was still a little kid, I could tell that he and Jimmy just didn’t get along. There was never any fighting or yelling, but I could just sense it. A year later, when Jimmy graduated from high school, he headed east to the Philadelphia area, where our real dad had family. I was real sad when Jimmy left, but he promised he’d keep in touch with me.

For the next 11 years, I didn’t see Jimmy in person. He wrote me a couple of times a month, called me often, and sent me cards and money, too—on holidays, my birthday, and sometimes just for the heck of it, I guess. He wrote my mom, too, and always sent her pictures. Over the years, we received pictures of Jimmy as he started working as a construction worker, then got married (my mom flew east for his wedding), had kids, and started his own contracting company. So, I knew that Jimmy had a wife, who my mom said was “a very nice girl”, and over the years had three kids, two girls and a boy.

Whenever a card or letter came from Jimmy and his wife Emily, my mom would eagerly read the letter and look at the pictures, then show them to me. She also showed them to Beau. It always seemed to me that Beau never had anything good to say about Jimmy and his family. I couldn’t figure out exactly what Beau didn’t like about Jimmy, because my mom always changed the subject when Beau started his sarcastic comments. I remember hearing Beau say things like “Oh, heard from the blimp again?” when my mom got a letter. She’d shoot him a dirty look, and then change the subject.

By the time I graduated from high school, I looked like the typical tanned southern California surfer boy type. I liked the beach. I also went out for sports in high school. I remembered what sports Jimmy had gone out for, and I went out for football, wrestling, and baseball too. Beau never had the time to go to any of my games, and he didn’t like it when my mom did either, but she still went, and she sent Jimmy newspaper clippings about every game I played in.

Beau never had much to say to me, which was OK with me. The only area where he tried to control my life was in fitness and nutrition. He never bugged me about fitness—my being involved in athletics, swimming, and surfing meant that at 6'1", I weighed 170 with six-pac abs, broad shoulders, a 30" waist, and slim hips. I guess Beau was pleased that I was in good shape.

Nutrition was another story. He insisted that my mom cook vegetarian, low fat, low carb, all that stuff. Even on holidays like Thanksgiving, we’d have a soy-based turkey substitute (talk about stuff that tasted like shit!). Of course, when I was at school and when I was with my buddies, I ate what I wanted, but at home Beau strictly counted the calories for the three of us. Beau made my mom and me weigh in at the end of every month. I’d have to get on the doctor’s scale he kept in the room he had turned into a home gym (Jimmy’s old room), just wearing my jockeys. Beau checked my weight and gave me the “once over” to make sure, I guess, that I wasn’t getting fat on the vegetarian crap we ate at home.

At one of these weigh-ins, I remember him saying “I’m not going to be the step-father of a fat boy” when the scale showed a 5 lb increase in a month. Luckily, I had grown an inch taller since the previous weigh-in, and I was so active that I never really found out what he’d do if I did put on a little extra weight. I do remember thinking when Beau made the “step-father of a fat boy” crack, “Hey, buddy, don’t ever mention the word ‘father’ when you refer to yourself and me”. But I kept my mouth shut, not wanting my mom to suffer any grief from the jerk.

I turned 18 in April and graduated from high school in the middle of June without any plans for the future. I guessed I was going to enroll in a local junior college, but my real goal was to get a job and save money so I could move out of the house and get away from Beau. My mom was hopeless. I knew she loved me, but she seemed to love Beau, too.

The day before my graduation, I received a graduation card from Jimmy and Emily. In the card was a print-out confirming that an e-ticket in my name was awaiting me at the check-in counter of a major airline at LAX, one-way from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Emily wrote that she and Jimmy wanted me to come east and live with them for as long as I wanted. There were a number of colleges in the area where they lived, and I could go to school part time or full time, whatever. If I wanted, Jimmy would give me a job at his contracting company. All I had to do was make a reservation and let Jimmy and Emily know the date and time of my arrival.

Beau wasn’t home when I showed the card to my mom. She cried when she read it, but she looked at me and said, “Chuckie, I think you should go. I know you’re not very happy here. Stay with Jimmy and Emily for a while and see how things go. If you feel like coming back to California, remember you’re always welcome here…with me, anyway. Please just promise me you’ll call me on my cell phone every week.” I promised my mom. I called the airline and made a reservation to fly east the next week, then I called and spoke to my sister-in-law. With the three hour time difference, Jimmy was already at work. Emily sounded overjoyed when I told her I was coming and kept saying, “Your brother will be SO happy. We’re ALL happy!”

That evening, my mom told Beau about my plans. He glanced over at me and said, “Just make sure you don’t end up like your brother, kid”. What the hell was that supposed to mean? My brother Jimmy was happily married with three kids and owned his own contracting company, for gosh sakes! I just ignored Beau, figuring that if I said anything my mom would be the one to take the heat, not me.

Over the next week, I partied up with my high school buddies. All of them were going to stay in southern California. There was lots of kidding about me surfing in the Atlantic Ocean, stuff like that.

The day of my flight arrived and my mom took me to LAX. Beau wasn’t with us, which made me happy. My mom cried a lot, but I promised her I’d come back to see her again in a year at the most. (I don’t know why I said that. I guess I felt so bad that my mom was crying so much that I just said whatever came to mind.) I boarded the plane and settled into my seat.

During the flight, I thought about how I’d recognize Jimmy when I arrived in Philadelphia. After all, I hadn’t seen him in eleven years. Everyone in California who remembered him told me that I looked just like him when he was in high school—blond hair, blue eyes, kind of tall, and an athletic build.

I arrived at the Philadelphia airport and headed to the baggage claim area. I got my bags and started looking for Jimmy. There was a mob at the claim area when I heard on the PA, “Chuck Keyser, please report to the customer service desk at baggage claim area B-1”. That had to be Jimmy, paging for me!

As I walked to the customer service desk, I scanned the area looking for my big brother, but I didn’t see him. All of a sudden, I was grabbed from behind and locked in a hug which knocked the wind out of me. “Chuckie, I could tell it was you! You look just like the graduation picture you sent us!” Without pausing for breath, the voice continued, “Kids, this is your Uncle Chuckie!” I took a step back and looked at the man the voice came from, It had to be Jimmy, so I said, “Jimmy, gosh, it’s sure good to see you” as I embraced him.

If you’re thinking I didn’t recognize my own big brother right off, you’re right! He was BIG! I don’t know why I was so surprised—eleven years is a long time. I guess the photographs I had seen over the years hadn’t really impressed me with how big he had grown. After all, I was only a kid for most of those years! Anyway, the Jimmy who greeted me was my height, but as wide as he was tall. He had a round face with chubby cheeks and a big double chin. You could tell he was a construction worker from his broad meaty chest and shoulders and huge upper arms and forearms. He was wearing a tight blue t-shirt with “Keyser Contractors” on the front, but the shirt was so tight it emphasized his massive fleshy upper arms, huge man boobs, enormous round belly, deeply sunken bellybutton, and wide bulging lovehandles In fact, the shirt was so small a good three inches of the bottom of his big belly hung below the hem of the t-shirt.

My attention was distracted though by Jimmy’s voice. He was introducing me to my nieces and nephew. “This is our oldest, Joyce, she’s 9, and then Jennifer, she’s 8, and here’s little Jimmy, we call him Junior, he’s 7.” The three kids all rushed up to me and greeted me like I was a long-lost relative, which I guess I was! Each one of the kids took a bag (I had a carry-on and two checked bags) and tried to grab my hand as Jimmy took the lead as we walked out of the baggage claim area and headed to the parking structure. I was trying to pay attention to each of the kids—they were all talking at once—and follow my brother at the same time.

Actually, Jimmy was easy to follow—all I had to do was keep his broad back, encased in the too-tight t-shirt, in view. I noticed that he had two thick rolls of flab on the back of his neck. Below his broad shoulders, his enormous wide lovehandles sat where his lats and obliques had been when I last saw him when he was 18. Below the lovehandles, the two huge buttcheeks which made up his massive wide behind shifted from side to side and wobbled and bounced as he waddled along. His t-shirt was so tight, it didn’t cover all his lovehandles, and I couldn’t help but notice that he had some major buttcrack action going as his massive white painters pants sagged down over his big fat butt as he waddled toward his van.

My attention was drawn back to the kids. I attempted to respond to each of their questions. At the same time, I noticed how each of them resembled their dad. All had the same blond hair he and I did, and all three of them were fat. Joyce, the oldest, was actually only chubby. Jennifer was fat, and Junior was really fat, as wide as he was tall and a miniature version of his dad

We reached Jimmy’s van and got my bags placed and the kids settled. Each of the kids wanted me to sit next to them, but Jimmy finally said, “Look kids, Uncle Chuck is my kid brother, so he’s gonna sit in the front next to ME!” We all laughed, and were soon on our way out of the airport.

Soon, we left the airport area and were headed toward Jimmy’s house. Of course, I didn’t have a clue where we were. After about 10 minutes, little Junior’s voice piped up from the back seat, “Remember, Daddy, you said that if we were good we’d stop at McDonald’s.” The two girls chimed in, “Yeah, Daddy!” Jimmy turned, gave me a big smile, and said, “Yeah, kids, I did say that. Let’s have Uncle Chuck decide if you were good or not!”

Of course, I said, “Yeah, Jimmy, they’ve been great. I think we should stop!” I was kind of hungry anyway—the airline didn’t serve anything but peanuts on both legs of my flight and I only had time at O'Hare to grab a hot dog as I changed planes. My brother gave me a big smile and said, “I was hoping you’d say that. I’m kinda hungry myself!” as he patted his huge belly, which was brushing up against the steering wheel. The kids all happily called out to me, “Thanks, Uncle Chuck!”

We got to McDonald’s and Jimmy went to order while the kids and I went to get seats. I sat in a booth, but Joyce said to me, “Uncle Chuck, we don’t sit in booths here because my daddy can’t fit in them, so we have to find a table.” So, we moved. Jimmy came to our table with five supersized quarter pounder with cheese meals, and an extra quarter pounder with cheese for himself.

We all dug in without saying much. I figured this was going to be dinner and it had been a while since I had last eaten. My two nieces didn’t finish all their fries and so Jimmy took their leftovers and gave Jennifer’s fries to me and ate Joyce’s himself. The supersize meal had filled me up but I managed to force down the leftover fries. As I was finishing, Jimmy said to Junior, “OK, Junior, are you going to finish all that? If not, pass it over to me.” Much to my surprise, my 7 year old nephew said, “No, Daddy, I’m going to eat it all” with a big smile on his face. I was stuffed after the meal and here was my nephew still shoving in the food. I noticed that Jimmy looked proudly at Junior as his son finished the whole meal.

We all finished and headed out to the van. After we pulled back onto the highway, Jimmy said to the kids, “Now kids, remember, when we get home and have dinner, don’t forget that you’re all going to clean your plates, right? Remember that your mom goes to a lot of trouble to cook great meals for us and we don’t want to make her feel bad by not eating all that she fixes, right?” “Yes, Daddy” chorused the three voices in the back seats. I began to get an idea about the reason for the size of my brother, nieces, and nephew. At the same time, I was relieved—Jimmy in person was the same nice guy I remembered from when I was a little kid. He was so cool!

Soon, we arrived at my brother’s home in Paoli, a suburb of Philadelphia. As I entered the house, my sister-in-law Emily came running to the front door and smothered me in kisses. She said how happy she was to see me and to have me as part of the family from now on. I could see why my mom had described Emily to me as “a very nice person”; she sure was very sweet and welcoming to me. As we stood in the entrance way and talked, I confess I checked Emily out. She was about 5'9", blonde hair and blue eyes, real pretty, and—you guessed it—very heavy. She was just big all over—huge breasts, which stressed the fabric of the t-shirt she was wearing and wide hips and enormous thighs which were encased in a pair of jeans which seemed to be painted on.

Emily then said, “Now, Jimmy, we’re going to have dinner in about an hour and a half, so take Chuck and show him the house and give him a chance to freshen up.” We were going to eat in 90 minutes? I was real full, but I remembered what my brother had told the kids when we left McDonald’s, so of course I didn’t say anything.

My new house was a large multi-level. There was a “granny apartment” on the ground floor—a bedroom, bath, small living room, and a kitchenette. This was where I was going to stay. Jimmy told me that he and Emily thought I might want some privacy sometimes although I was welcome to spend as much time with the family as I wanted. On the main level was a large living room, a dining room, a large kitchen (delicious aromas of dinner cooking came from the kitchen as we passed by), a family room, the master bedroom/bath, and then on the upper level were four bedrooms, one for each of the kids and a guest bedroom, and more bathrooms. Jimmy then showed me the property. There was a large patio with a built-in barbeque next to a big swimming pool. Jimmy pointed out how far the property went. The house sat on a couple acres of ground.

We heard Emily calling that dinner was ready and headed back to the house. Jimmy said to me, “Chuck, I can’t tell you how glad I am to have you here. It’s always been my dream to have you come and live with us. I feel like I have 11 years to make up to you. This is your home now. Over the weekend, we’ll talk more about your plans for work or school or whatever. Right now, just make yourself at home and get to know Emily and the kids.”

Dinner was a huge spread, like a Thanksgiving feast. Jimmy, Emily, and the kids all had seconds and even thirds. I had to force myself to eat “firsts”—the McDonald’s meal had filled me up, but I pushed myself. As I cleaned my plate, Emily piled it high again. I must have grimaced or something because Jimmy caught my eye and winked at me! I got the message. I better clean my plate or else Emily’s feelings would be hurt! So, I forced myself. Then, Emily brought out dessert–two pies. One was to be split between Jimmy and me, the other was cut into quarters, one each for Emily and the kids. I begged off, telling Emily I was jetlagged, and she said she’d save it for later. Gosh, I was already so stuffed!

I offered to help with the cleaning up and that gave me a chance to talk more with Emily. We talked about my mom and stuff like that. Then, I went into the family room to watch TV with Jimmy and the kids and Emily soon joined us. It didn’t take long for the snacking to start! Leftovers from dinner, bowls of ice cream, sandwiches.

My two nieces got into a minor squabble because both said they wanted to fix me a sandwich. I was so stuffed, I was going to say no, but before I could my brother said, “Girls, why don’t you each fix Uncle Chuck a sandwich. Joyce, you can make him peanut butter and jelly and Jennifer, you make cream cheese and jelly. Junior, you can bring Uncle Chuck a nice big glass of milk. We’ll see which sandwich Uncle Chuck likes best.” Jimmy winked at me and I knew I’d better make room for the sandwiches and milk. I didn’t want to disappoint the kids. The kids soon came with the food, and the girls waited for me to pass judgment. Of course I said that both were equally good! (They were, too. I had never had cream cheese and jelly before—I guess cream cheese wasn’t on Beau’s list of healthy food. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches immediately became one of my favorites.)  By the time I went to sleep that night, my stomach was swollen like a tight round basketball. I had never eaten so much in my life!

That first evening set the tone for eating at my new home. Emily always prepared three huge, delicious meals every day. Breakfast was always hot cereal with sugar and cream, plenty of buttered toast, pastries, eggs, some kind of meat—bacon, sausage, ham, or what soon became my favorite–scrapple. (Scapple is a Philadelphia area specialty—pork, cornmeal and spices cooked together and made into a loaf, then cut into slices and fried in butter. Delicious!) On Sunday mornings, pancakes were added, with Jimmy doing the cooking. Lunches were always mouth-wateringly tasty, too. I soon discovered that the first dinner I had at the house wasn’t a special welcoming feast, like I thought that evening—it was just a standard dinner!

The next day, Saturday, my first full day at my new home, my nieces and nephew showed me where the snacks were kept—there was a whole kitchen closet filled with family-sized packages of chips, pretzels, containers of nuts, cookies, candy, and boxes of every snack cake you could think of, like twinkies, but especially snack cakes, pies, and pastries made by Tastykake, another Philadelphia area favorite. When I asked my niece Joyce if her mom or dad limited the amounts of snacks the kids could eat, she looked at me surprised and said, “Oh no, Uncle Chuck, just as long as we eat everything at mealtimes and clean up the mess, we can snack on what we want.”

I soon got into the routine of snacking frequently just like everyone else in the family did. In addition to the contents of the snack cabinet, there were always leftovers from dinner, freshly made pies and cakes, ice cream, and sandwiches to be made and enjoyed. And, there was always plenty of whole milk, white or chocolate, or orange juice in the refrigerator to wash down whatever I was eating. (Emily didn’t like the kids to drink soda because it was bad for their teeth). My nieces really got a kick out of making snacks for me, too, just like they did for their dad. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I always ate everything they made for me, even if I wasn’t hungry. Just as my niece told me, neither Emily nor Jimmy minded how much I snacked since I ate heartily at every meal. I couldn’t help it. Everything tasted so good, and it made me feel really part of the family when I ate like they did.

Later that afternoon, Jimmy and the kids were out at the pool, and Emily and I were inside talking as she was making some more pies. She was just so friendly, interested in me and my hopes, and happy to answer my questions about the Philadelphia area, and especially, about the family.

After the pies were put in the oven, she took me out into the family room. One whole wall was covered with pictures of the family. There were pictures of me as I was growing up, which my mom had sent them, and pictures of my mom too. There were plenty of pictures of Jimmy, Emily, and the kids, of course, and Emily explained each one of them to me. The, she brought out the scrapbooks. Emily had scrapbooks full of pictures, all nicely labeled, which really told the story of the family over the years. I was so eager to catch up on lost time that I found every picture real interesting.

As I turned the pages of the scrapbooks, one thing I noticed was the change in Jimmy over the years. At the beginning, after he first came east and met Emily, he was slim and trim, just like me.  The first picture showed Jimmy  in a bathing suit. His six pack abs and toned pecs, just like mine, were very obvious. He had one arm stretched around Emily’s big waist and his hand rested on  her plump lovehandle. Emily was snuggled against Jimmy’s chest, her massive right breast pushing against his left pec.. In her left hand, she was holding a fully loaded foot-long hot dog against Jimmy’s open mouth. He had a big smile on his face! Every picture from that beach party showed trim and muscular Jimmy eating: a mound of potato salad which covered a whole plate, a huge slab of pie a la mode, a triple hamburger layered with cheese and bacon.

When Emily showed me those pictures, she started reminiscing. “The first time I met Jimmy, I fell for him right away. He was such a nice guy, and so handsome too. And, Chuck, don’t tell Jimmy I’m telling you this, but on our first date, he told me I was the most beautiful girl he had ever met and he actually proposed to me. And I’m still surprised that I actually said yes! Of course, I think he’s even better looking now than he was when we got married…” She blushed, stopped suddenly, and resumed “…oh Chuck, I’m sorry to go on and on, but I love Jimmy so much! Don’t mind me.”

The following pictures in the album  gave a complete record of Jimmy and Emily’s life together.

When Emily and Jimmy got married (they were both 19 and he had been working construction for a year), the pictures of the wedding showed that Emily was already almost as heavy as she was now. You could see that Jimmy’s face had rounded out  during the year since they met and he had a small double chin and round rosy cheeks.  His suit jacket was unbuttoned (as if it were too small) and the front of Jimmy’s dress shirt strained to cover a pot belly which bulged over the waistband of his dress pants. There were pictures of Jimmy and Emily dancing which showed that his butt had gotten real big and bulky and stuck out even  more than his belly! I was stunned to see how much he had changed in that one year, but of course I didn’t say anything to my sister-in-law.

After the wedding pictures, I could see that every picture of an anniversary, christening, birthday, or other family event over the years showed Jimmy getting steadily heavier. His face got fuller, his body got wider and wider, his belly got bigger and bigger and rounder and rounder and hung lower and lower, and you could  see how from year to year he was developing the enormous fat man boobs, truck tire size lovehandles, and huge thick thighs he had now.

Wow! I thought to myself that it was so cool to see how happy Jimmy was over the years. In every picture, he had a huge smile on his face. You could just see how much he loved his family and was enjoying life. After eleven years spent with Beau and my mom, it was so nice to see what a loving family my brother Jimmy had. I made up my mind to do all I could to fit in with my brother’s family.

The next day, Sunday, Jimmy took me to see his main base yard and office and we brought little Junior with us. Keyser Contractors had been started 10 years before by Jimmy, with some financial help from Emily’s family. Business was booming. Jimmy specialized in building homes, commercial buildings, things like that. At any one time, there were more than half a dozen jobs going on. Jimmy and I talked about my plans. He offered to pay for me to go to college, whatever. I told him that I did want to go to college, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to major in, and I really had thought about taking a year off from school to work, anyway.

Jimmy offered me a job as a laborer. He explained that I’d be just another employee of Keyser Contractors, even if my name was Chuck Keyser! He said, “Laborers do all the heavy work, but you’ll learn the business from the ground up.” Jimmy laughed as he added, “Sometimes when I’m stuck behind my desk in the main office, I wish I could go back to being just a laborer again! But business is good so I put up with the desk stuff and get out to the job sites as often as I can.” We agreed that I’d start as soon as possible. I was to get the pay and benefits which any other new hire with a high school diploma would get.

When I asked Jimmy how much room and board he wanted me to pay, he said, “For the past eleven years, I’ve wanted you to live with us, Chuck. Emily and I agreed that you should save your money for the future. Plus, I expect that once you get settled you’re going to have a social life, and you’ll need money for that too. And speaking of your life, that SUV in the garage at home is for you to use. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go down so you can get your Pennsylvania driver’s license, and we’ll get you some work clothes too.” I was so overwhelmed at my brother’s kindness, I didn’t know what to say except, “Thanks, Jimmy”. He gave me a big smile and I noticed that there were tears in his eyes. He was so cool!

Before we said anything more, we were interrupted by Junior’s voice calling from another corner of the baseyard. Jimmy and I walked over to find Junior atop a pile of 2 by 4’s. He had climbed up to the top, but couldn’t get down! I ran over and positioned myself to lift him off the pile. Jimmy called to me, “Watch your back, he’s a big boy!” Jimmy was right, I hoisted Junior up and off the pile, but gosh, he was even heavier than he looked. Once Junior was on solid ground, Jimmy scolded him and Junior sheepishly went over to the van while Jimmy and I went more slowly. Jimmy noticed me rubbing my back, laughed and said, “See, Chuck, I told you he was heavy. I think Emily told me he weighs  150.” I was surprised but didn’t say anything. 7 years old and already 150 lbs! I didn’t weigh that much until I was a sophomore in high school! (That was the only time I’ve ever heard anybody mention the weight of anyone in the family.)

On the way back home from the Keyser Contractors baseyard, Jimmy said to me, “How about getting some coffee?” Of course I agreed. That was how I was introduced to that institution of the Delaware Valley—Wawa! Think of a convenience store like 7-11 but with all the food, coffee, and drinks much fresher, tastier, and better, including fresh made hoagies (sub sandwiches to you non-Pennsylvania-South Jersey-Delaware people) and a huge selection of snack foods. There must be a Wawa every quarter mile or so in the Philadelphia area, very convenient for stopping for lunch, a snack, or whatever!

At the Wawa, Jimmy and I got coffee and Jimmy picked up half a dozen small Tastykake fruit pies, three for him and three for me. As Jimmy was paying for this, Junior came up carrying a family size bag of chips and a big container of dip, and sheepishly said, “Daddy, I know I was wrong to climb on the pile of wood. Can I have these anyway?” Jimmy smiled, said, “OK son, just make sure you don’t do that again. It could be dangerous” and paid for everything. As we headed to the van, we watched Junior open the bag of chips even before we got into the van. Jimmy said softly to me, “He’s really a good kid. I’m glad he’s learned his lesson. And besides, he likes his snacks so much. I just can’t say no to him!” We got into the van and headed out on to the street.

We drove around for a while so I could get oriented to the area.  Jimmy drove past the jobs Keyser Contractors was working on and talked about each one, and then we headed for home and dinner. Damned if Junior hadn’t eaten all the chips and dip before we got home, and of course, Jimmy and I finished our coffee and pies, too.

My first job assignment was a new doctor’s office close to the King of Prussia mall. I fit right in as a worker at Keyser Contractors. The job was actually kind of interesting, seeing how the building took shape over time. We even put in the landscaping. The crew I worked with was mostly young guys, some my age, and I made some good friends. The workday started at 7:30 a.m. at the baseyard, then we went to the job site, and we ended back at the baseyard at 4:30 p.m.

Our lunch break was an hour long and we usually headed to the nearest Wawa for hoagies, some kind of dessert, and something to drink. I usually got a quart of whole milk (it just tasted so good with those delicious hoagies) or hot coffee with plenty of cream and sugar when the weather was cold. Sometimes, we’d hop into one of the trucks and head off to buy other Philly-area specialties. Cheesesteaks, any kind of Italian food, huge soft pretzels smeared with mustard—I loved them all! We took breaks for 20 minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Emily always packed me a bag of cookies or some home made brownies or something like that and a liter container of orange juice for the breaks.

I gradually got to know people and have a social life. Pizza and beer on the weekends with some of the guys I worked with as we played cards or whatever. I met some girls, too, and went out some, but didn’t really find anyone special. I wasn’t ready to settle down anyway.

I quickly fit in as part of Jimmy and Emily’s close family. Lots of love and lots of good food, too, whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. My appetite grew quickly along with my capacity, and in a few weeks I was putting away thirds at every meal without a second thought and I automatically headed for the snack cabinet or the refrigerator if I hadn’t had anything to eat for a while. No matter how much I ate the day before, I woke up starving every morning, mouth watering at the thought of what Emily was going to cook that day.

Outside of my strenuous job as a construction laborer, my physical activity slowed down. Weekdays, I came home from a hard day at the jobsite looking forward to dinner and then a comfortable evening in front of the television with the family. I mostly just sprawled on one couch in the family room while Jimmy sprawled on the other watching TV. The only time I moved from the couch was when I went to the kitchen to get a refill on the snacks. Even then, one of the kids usually volunteered to bring me something tasty, so I guess I didn’t move very much. On weekends, the most strenuous thing I did was toss around a football with Junior and Jimmy (no running, just tossing the ball—if the ball went wild, it was Junior’s job to hustle after it and return it to Jimmy or me).

I kept up my interest in sports, but I went from being an active participant in California to being a spectator in Philadelphia. Jimmy was a fan of all the Philadelphia pro teams, and I quickly became one too. Depending on the season, Jimmy, Junior and I watched all the Eagles, Flyers, 76'ers, and Phillies games that we could on cable, while Emily and the girls kept a steady stream of delicious snacks coming to us from the kitchen. All the physical activity I had been doing in California was forgotten as I happily adapted to the lifestyle of Jimmy and his family. Besides, during the winter, it was just too cold outside to do much.

I think I mentioned earlier that when I left California I had a surfer’s tan. Up until the end of September, I managed to keep my tan, even though we only went down the shore to Ocean City  in South Jersey a couple of weekends. (I hadn’t brought my surfboard from California with me, and the water was somehow different from the Pacific Ocean, so I didn’t do much swimming, much less surfing.)

Most of the guys I worked with took off their shirts in warm weather and of course I did too. So, I kept my tan, from the waist up anyway, until mid-September. To my embarrassment, the first couple days I started working I got the nickname from my work mates of “Buff Boy” because of my six-pack abs! After a couple of months, that nickname disappeared (looking back, that was around the same time my six-pack disappeared too). Suddenly, though, in the middle of September, it turned COLD! Well, not cold like it got later in the winter, but to me, raised in southern California, temperatures in the low 60’s made me put away all thoughts of working shirtless. Pretty soon, we were all wearing heavy sweatshirts, heavy flannel shirts, and down vests when we worked outside.

Time went by pretty fast. Autumn came and went, we had some snow right before Christmas, I enjoyed celebrating the holidays as a part of Jimmy and Emily’s loving family, we had more snow and cold weather, and then finally it was early April. There came the day in early April when I finally was able to take my shirt off at work again and try to start a tan. This one day (in fact it was the day of my 19th birthday the first week in April) the temperature suddenly rose into the high 80’s and it was HOT!

So off came my shirt. I didn’t expect any reaction. All the other guys on the crew, like me, were shirtless that day. During our morning break, I was sitting eating my morning snack with my work mates when one of them suddenly said to me, “Hey Chuck, look at you! You’re not ‘Buff Boy’ anymore. We’re gonna have to call you 'Belly Boy’ now!”

I looked down at the white round fat pot belly which was ballooning over the waistband of my low-slung jeans. On each side of it were bright red lines—stretch marks! I knew I had been putting on some weight—since I bought my first work clothes the previous June, every couple months I’d have to buy jeans, overalls, and even jockey shorts the next size up. I had started with size 30, and at that point in early April, size 40 relaxed fit jeans were real tight on me.  I must have blushed or something at the “Belly Boy” crack because one of the other guys said, “Hey, don’t worry about the belly, Chuck. Just look at the rest of us, man. Having a belly goes with working construction!” We all laughed, and I went back to finishing my bag of cookies. I confess, I didn’t give any more thought to my weight. Life was going great, and who cared what size I had to buy?

Even though I spoke with my mom on the cell phone every week, I was surprised when at the beginning of June she reminded me that I had promised to visit her after spending a year in Pennsylvania. When I offered to send her the money so that she could fly east to visit the whole family and see the kids, she declined. She had to work overtime and couldn’t take a vacation since Beau’s fitness training business wasn’t going so well and he had lost a lot of their savings through bad investments. So, I reconciled myself to flying west for a week to visit her.

When I told my plan to Jimmy and Emily and the kids that night at dinner, the kids all said, “You’re coming back, aren’t you, Uncle Chuck?” I said I definitely was. Jimmy and Emily looked relieved when I said that. I was due a week’s vacation anyway, so I booked my round-trip flight for a week at the end of June.

When it came time for the trip, Emily packed me some food to take on the plane, a bakery box with eight pieces of cold fried chicken, a dozen buttered home made biscuits, and a dozen 4” home made mini cherry pies. That provided me with lunch and some snacks for the trip. The plane trip itself was OK, but it seemed to me that the seats had shrunk since I last flew a year before.

My mom met me at LAX. Lots of hugs and tears. Then, we drove to my old home. I asked her how my old friends were doing and she mentioned that she had run across some of them at the mall and they were looking forward to seeing me. She also mentioned that Beau wasn’t going to be there for most of the week—he was in northern California with one of his rich clients. Frankly, I was happy I wouldn’t have to see him for a while. Once back at my mom’s house—I thought of Jimmy and Emily’s place in Pennsylvania as my real home now—I called some of my old buddies, three guys named Frank, Bill, and Joe. We agreed to meet at the mall the next day.

My mom went to work early the next day. When I got up, I put on one of my “Keyser Contractors” t-shirts (I confess I wanted to show off to my friends) and my newest pair of jeans shorts. I hadn’t worn them before. (None of the shorts I had worn last summer fit me, and I had bought these just before the trip. I was in a hurry at the store and just grabbed the next size up without trying them on.) The new shorts were tight on me, but I got them buttoned after a while and my thoughts quickly turned to breakfast.

All I could find for breakfast in the house was some skim milk, toast, and diet jam, so I headed to Bob’s Big Boy for some real food. It wouldn’t be the huge delicious home cooked breakfast I had come to look forward to over the past year, but it definitely would be better than watery skim milk and that other diet crap. (For the rest of my week in California, I ended up buying my own food. I had brought plenty of spending money with me, and there’s all kinds of fast food places in the L.A. area, so I didn’t go hungry. My mom was working super long hours and she didn’t have time to cook for me anyway.)

After a satisfying breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy I headed to the mall and got to where my buddies and I had agreed to meet, the food court. I was early so I grabbed a snack at Cinnabon while waiting. Back home in Pennsylvania with the time difference, I’d be having my lunch already at work and I was still kind of hungry. Suddenly I heard my friends calling out, “Hey there he is”, all that kind of stuff. The three of them. my closest buddies who I grew up with, all rushed me and we exchanged hugs and wassup’s.

The next thing out of the mouths of all three of them was “What happened to you, Chuckie?” “Yeah, what happened, dude?” “Man, Chuckie, just look at you!” I didn’t know what they meant so I said, “What are you guys talking about? It’s the same old me!”

“Oh no, it’s not the same old you! You got a pot belly now!” said Frank. “And titties, too, dude!” said Joe as he grabbed a handful of my left man boob and shook it. And then Bill, who was standing behind me, aid “Hey guys, Chuckie’s wearing size 42 relaxed fit shorts. That’s what the label says, and check the size of this muffin top and fat ass on him!” Frank added, “Size 42?, and his pot belly’s hanging over his waistband too! Damn, Chuckie, you’re a tub now!” They all laughed while I blushed. During the past year, I guess I had put on some weight, but nobody ever said anything to me except for that one time at work in April. Even my mom hadn’t said anything when she met me yesterday.

But my next thought was, who gives a damn? My life was going good. I didn’t even know what I weighed and didn’t care. At Jimmy and Emily’s the topic of weight never came up. So, I just brushed off what my old buddies were saying. finished my heavily-buttered cinnamon roll, and we got on with the business of catching up with each other and planning on what we were going to do for the next days while I was back visiting my mom.

One more thing my buddies gave me some static about—how I talked! I guess I had picked up a Philadelphia accent over the previous year. (If you don’t know what I mean, just ask somebody from the Philadelphia area to say “boat” or “coke”.)

The five days I spent with my old buddies went by pretty fast. Going to the beach with them every day and hanging out with them was great, but they continued to give me static about my size and about how much I ate! I guess I was just in the habit of eating more now and I needed to make food stops pretty often. Wherever we stopped,I always treated the guys to whatever they wanted when I placed my order. On the day before I was to fly back to Philly, when  we stopped for a snack (at my request) on the way to Malibu, Frank said, “Gee Chuckie, we’re gonna miss you when you leave, but if you stayed any longer, we’d all get as fat  as you, dude! Nah, just kidding, man”.

The guys also kidded me about my surfing. I went out on my old board a couple of times the first day, but I was just so out of practice. I was less agile now and getting up on my board and catching the waves took a lot more effort now than a year ago. So, I ended up relaxing on the beach watching Bill, Frank, and Joe ride the waves while I checked out the girls, dozed, thought of my family back in Pennsylvania, and snacked on whatever I could find.

There was this hot dog stand right across the road from our favorite beach, and I found out the first day that they had great hot dogs and low prices. I had been going to that beach since I was a kid, but this was the first time I ever thought to get food there and for that week I became a steady customer, buying three or four at a time while my friends were out on the waves. Man, those hot dogs were great! You could get them boiled, steamed, or fried in butter (my favorite) and you could ask for the buns to be toasted and buttered and have cheese melted on top of the dog. Plus, they had great take-out Mexican food, too. Hmmm, delicious!

Bill, Frank, and Joe kidded me about me about just relaxing on the beach and snacking, calling me “Fat Chuckie”, but hey, my life had changed over the past year and I deserved a week off just to kick back, relax, laze around, and snack whenever I felt like it. It was my vacation, right?

The day before I was due to go back home to Philadelphia, my mom mentioned to me that Beau was coming back the next morning. Oh great! I had been hoping to avoid him, but I’d have to put up with him for a couple of hours before I headed to the airport.

The next morning, I got up and packed. Knowing that I’d have to at least say hello to Beau, I put on my jeans shorts and one of my “Keyser Contractors” t-shirts. (Just wanted to show off to him, I know.) When I heard Beau arrive, I was watching TV and eating a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies (almost as delicious as Emily’s home made cookies!) and drinking a quart of chocolate milk I had bought for myself. I didn’t say anything until my mom and Beau came into the living room and my mom said, “Aren’t you going to say hello to Beau, Chuckie?”

I stood up and said hello. The first words out of Beau’s mouth were, “Well, well, didn’t I tell you last year to watch it, kid? Just like I thought, you’ve turned into a baby blimp. A few more years and you’ll be as huge as that big blimp brother of yours.” I was all set to tell him where to shove it when I caught my mom’s eye. She was silently shaking her head “No” and I realized, she’s going to have to live with this creep while I’m out of here for good in an hour. So I just said, “Yeah, Beau, I guess I have filled out a little” and gave him a big smile.

He replied, “How much do you weigh, kid?” I told him I didn’t know, which was true. I hadn’t weighed myself for the past year, since I left California last June. Why should I? Who cared how much I weighed? Beau replied seriously, “Well, kid, let’s get you on to the scale like we used to and see what it says. Then, I can give you a diet and fitness plan so you can drop the weight before any more damage is done.” I realized the guy was being serious and not sarcastic, and I decided to play along with him, just to keep the peace for an hour. I went inside the bedroom, took off my t-shirt and shorts, and came out wearing my jockeys.

I met Beau in the room he had set up as a home gym, where he had the doctor’s scale (I remembered it was Jimmy’s bedroom many years ago when I was a little kid and before Jimmy went east). I could hear my mom bustling around in the kitchen.

As I walked into the home gym room, Beau’s eyes opened wide. “My God, baby blimp, the damage is worse than I thought. Look at that flab jiggle as you walk. I can see you have muscles in your arms and chest and quads…” (thanks, buddy, I thought, I’ve been working hard in construction for a year—what did you expect?) “…but you’re just covered with ugly fat. Kid, you used to have great pecs, and now look—they’ve inflated up with fat into two big round tits. Looks like you need a DD cup. And check out those lovehandles, too. Plus, it looks like your bellybutton is drowning in the flab on your fat pot belly. And look at the way your fat ass balloons out! And those stretchmarks!  They look like a map of the Interstate Highway system! Jeezus, aren’t you embarrassed?” Hell, no!, I thought, but again I didn’t say anything. I put on a serious expression and said “Well….”

Beau actually thought I was serious. He was falling for my bullshit routine! I got on the scale ad Beau fiddled around and the scale balanced out at 274! Beau turned red and his eyes bulged and I thought he was going to have a stroke or something. He went to his desk and checked a notebook. What was he doing? Then he said, “According to my log, last time I weighed you a year ago, you were 170!”

My response was to try to look shocked. Actually, I was kind of impressed—104 lbs gained in a year. Pretty impressive!

Beau then continued, “We gotta do something about this RIGHT NOW! I can’t let anybody see you looking like this. What are people going to think of me as a fitness trainer if they see that you’re a baby blimp fat boy! Right?”

“Right, Beau,” I said, realizing that it wasn’t about me at all, it was about Beau’s image. That’s all he cared about. So, I continued to play along with him.

Beau just kept on talking. “Great, kid! Someday soon, I just know I’m going to have my own nationally syndicated exercise show. I’ll feature you on the show as one of my success stories. If only I could persuade your big blimp brother to get with the program, too. It’s not gonna be good for my image if some supermarket tabloid digs up the fact that my step-son in Pennsylvania is a big overfed fat slob with a big overfed family. Maybe I can get to him through you….”

I was getting angry at this point. Who the hell was he to put down my brother and his family like that? They were great, loving people. Beau and his big talk! What a shithead! But I thought of my mom and looked at my watch. 30 minutes more before I headed to LAX and then I’ll never see this bastard again, ever. “Right, Beau. I’ll do all I can….” I purposely didn’t say what it was I was going to do.

“Great, kid. Just keep one thing in mind when you’re following the plan I’m going to make for you. Who do you want to look like? Me…?” and his flexed his biceps and made his pecs jump at this point, “…or that overfed blimp fat ass brother of yours?”

My reply? “You can count on me to make the right choice, Beau.”

“OK, kid, I’ll work on the plan while you and your mom go to the airport, and when I’m finished, she’ll mail it to you. Don’t worry, I’ll get this blubber off you real quick and then I’ll put you on a maintenance plan.” Boy, what a prick! Everything was centered on him and his image. No wonder I could sense that Jimmy didn’t like him back when I was a little kid.

Beau was busy writing as I headed out the door. I quickly changed back into my clothes, picked up my bag, and went to the living room. My mom looked at me and said, “Everything OK between you and Beau?” “Sure, Mom,” I replied with a smile on my face, “when you come back from taking me to LAX, Beau will tell you all about it.” She smiled and looked relieved. I felt sorry for her.

I went back into the home gym room and said to Beau, “I’ll be on the lookout for your plan, Beau!” Yeah, right! When I received it, it was gonna go straight into the trash.

My mom dropped me off at LAX and I went through security screening. Gosh, I was hungry. I headed to McDonald’s on the main concourse and bought a supersize quarter pounder with cheese meal, three fish sandwiches with extra tartar sauce, and a strawberry shake. After I finished, I noticed that they were selling quarter pounder meal box lunches meant for people to eat on the plane. I bought three of them and a liter bottle of orange juice to hold me until I arrived home in Paoli and I could get a real meal.

I arrived in Philly and Jimmy and the kids were there to meet me. After we hugged, I asked, “How’s Emily?” “Mom is home cooking a special welcome home dinner for you, but she said it’s a surprise!”, Junior said seriously. Jimmy and I laughed while Joyce and Jennifer gave Junior dirty looks!

It was good to be home!

We soon arrived back at the house. Emily met us at the door and I gave her a big hug and kiss. It was so good to see her! I put my bag in my room downstairs and headed to the kitchen, where Jimmy and Emily and the kids were talking. Emily smiled and said to me, “I understand you know, Chuck, that I’m making a special surprise welcome home meal for you…” My mouth started to water and my stomach rumbled with anticipation as Emily looked at Junior at this point (he had a sheepish look on his face) and continued, “…so why don’t you men go outside while the girls and I finish preparing dinner. It should be ready in a couple of hours.”

As we headed outside, little Junior leading the way with some cookies in his hand, Jimmy said, “Hey, it sure is warm today! Let’s get more comfortable here” and took off his t-shirt. Junior and I followed suit immediately. It was a lot more comfortable to be shirtless in the late June heat and humidity.

Jimmy was wearing a pair of jeans shorts like the ones I had on. As we headed to the wooden lounge chairs by the pool (Jimmy had an extra wide one, specially made for him), I caught a glimpse of the label on Jimmy’s shorts. Size 62! As he waddled along, Jimmy’s enormous man boobs bounced and jiggled and his huge wobbling belly and lovehandles erupted over the waist of the shorts. The shorts were stretched to the max and straining to cover Jimmy’s massive wide behind, but they couldn’t do it. The tops of his fat buttcheeks ballooned over the top of the shorts, showing three or four inches of his deep buttcrack.

Jimmy and I sat down. Jimmy said to Junior, “Son, go into the house and bring us all some cold orange juice and some snacks. It’s going to be a while until we eat dinner.” We sat and talked about my trip, about mom, and how things were going at work. Neither one of us mentioned Beau at all. As we talked, I thought how cool my big brother was—just a great guy!

We stopped talking for a minute and Jimmy closed his eyes. I guessed he was dozing. From what he had told me, the last week had been real busy at work and he was probably tired.

As we sat there, I looked over at Jimmy. For the first time, I wondered how much he weighed. Of course, I’d never ask him, but I thought, gee, if I’m 274 and size 42 is tight on me, Jimmy has to weigh at least 425-430 to be stretching his size 62’s. His wide lovehandles, huge butt and enormous thighs completely filled the seat of the extra-big chair and hung over the sides. His overinflated man boobs, two huge bulging balloons thatched with blond hair through which two big stretched pink nipples peeked, contentedly sat on top of his magnificent big fat belly. His huge round belly rested on his lap, almost reaching to his knees, and hung down between his hefty thighs. His enormous meaty shoulders and arms completed the picture—he not only was a cool guy, he looked so cool, too!

After glancing over at Jimmy, I looked down at myself as I relaxed in the wooden large chair. Of course, I was nowhere as big as Jimmy, but I was pleased to see how my big pot belly ballooned over the top of my shorts, even though I had opened the top button to make myself a little more comfortable. I grabbed a handful of my bellyfat and jiggled it, making my man boobs and lovehandles jiggle and bounce. It was great to see how my big round fat man boobs sat on top of my belly, a smaller version of my brother’s awesome chest. I also looked down at my plump thighs, smaller versions of Jimmy’s impressive tree-trunk upper legs. On each side, left and right, my hefty hips completely filled the seat of the lounge chair. I was really getting a spread on me! Cool!

Earlier that day, Beau had asked me to choose who I wanted to look like, Jimmy or him. I knew then what my choice was, of course, but that moment by the pool confirmed to me that I was going to do all I could to be as much like my cool big brother as possible!

Junior came out and called, “Here’s the snacks!” Jimmy’s eyes opened and he smiled at Junior and me. I took the family-size bag of chips and extra-large container of creamy dip from Junior, balanced the container of dip on top of my pot belly between my big man boobs, opened the bag and the container, and dug in. Jimmy took a big bag of chips, too, and sent Junior back into the house for the orange juice.

Jimmy looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. “Jimmy…” I looked directly at him, “…it’s good to be back home with the family.”

Jimmy replied, “Chuck, we’re all happy you’re back. I missed you—we all missed you! The week you were away reminded me that you’re the best brother I could wish for.”

“Same here, Jimmy, you’re the coolest big brother anyone could have!” I really meant it and he knew it.

Jimmy opened his bag of chips and dug in as I shoved chips with big gobs of dip into my mouth. Damn, I was hungry!

As we both ate, I closed my eyes for a minute and thought to myself. Here I was, just a happy member of the best family going! Life was great and was going to get better.