there are a lot of emotions right now and i needed a short tumblr break

Three shades of a man (a third chapter)

Summary: You have seen Bucky Barnes at his best and his worst, and he asks you to help him through it all.

Characters: Bucky Barnes x Reader
Warnings: NSFW, 18+ ONLY; lots of smut, go no further if you’re not over 18 please. 

A/N:  I’ve had so many amazing comments from you lovely people about these stories, and it genuinely makes my day hearing from each and everyone one of you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ve really loved writing this mini-series, and I appreciate you guys sticking around while I take off the smut training wheels. Final chapter below, and tried to tag those who have requested it, but Tumblr is not cooperating, so hope it works. Also apparently I’m super wordy, so this is kinda long. Oops. Feedback and comments are always welcome.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2

MASTERLIST

Originally posted by loveviral

Calm, relieved, playful

I’m coming home. Can’t wait to see you.

It was a text you didn’t expect, if only because he was not a demonstrative person when it came to the written word. He was always perfunctory, preferring to send an image or a three word answer, not because he didn’t enjoy talking to you, but simply because that’s who he was. He expressed his emotions in a multitude of other ways, saving his syllables to whisper in your ear when he was wrapped inside you, murmuring his feelings into your sweaty skin every time you brought him to his knees.

It doesn’t come often, but here it was, the Bucky Barnes you always wait to see. You think this must be him, the real him, James Buchanan Barnes, the sweet, flirty, cocky boy who was so sure of himself and his place in the world, before he became a man carved up and torn apart, remade by the chaos of war.

Keep reading

Tired [Part:5]
  • Pairing: Jerome Valeska/Joker x Reader x Peter Parker/Spiderman.
  • AU included: DC/MARVEL. Possible Suicide Squad.
  • Prompt: You had enough with Jerome as he keeps seducing other girls in front of you so you plan to leave him and go to New York. Where you will find yourself stuck in the web of another bug who will fall in love with you.

Hey guys! long time no see, and yes I am back! This past few months have been horrible and tiring. I decided to take a 2 weeks break from tumblr because I’m failing in class (DAMN YOU QUADRATIC EQUATIONS!) then when I’m done I forgot my password literally! And when I’m done changing it my laptop broke! Which I mind you this draft was in that laptop so I’m really sorry guys! I promise to update more forgive me! ;-;

SORRY IF ITS’S SHORT!


PART [1] [2] [3] [4[6]

There were many reasons for you to hate the Joker based on your perspective point of view and one of them includes his antics and psychotic thinking. So expect his plans gruesome, it would be fun to say at least to be applied to others but now. His victim is you.

Did you miss me, darling?” he chortled and moved forward along with the other members beside him.

He looked the same but there are most definitely major changes, for example. His face, it was stapled on his head. His outfit too, from ‘The boy from Prison’ to ‘A Ringmaster that would kill you’.

Bucky pushed you further away, both of his pistols with a silencer plugged in aimed towards the man. “Tell me, (Y/N). Is this Jerome?” Your body jolted, you once expressed the story to Bucky about Jerome but it seems like he didn’t care at all at that time.  Fact-wise, you didn’t knew that Bucky cared about you a lot throughout the weeks and even included you to one of his dear companions inside his mind. He is just reluctant since he fear that the Winter Soldier inside him would rise once again so suddenly, so he distanced himself away from you.

“Yes.” You managed to stammer out at your condition.

“You’re a strong girl (Y/N), now run and call help.”

You stared at Bucky like he was nuts, your mind started to advocate and theorize saying that there’s a possibility that if you escaped Bucky could die, Jerome could outsmart you, and many more. But looking at his pleading brown eyes told you to run. So you did, and boy you were fast. You were guilty of leaving Bucky alone but he was right, you don’t have any weapons that you are specialized around except the gun that Bucky held so to help him, you need to contact the other Avengers fast. Jerome glared at Bucky, curious who he is and annoyed. “The chicken run because of you, what are you to order her around? Her lover?” his roar full of laughter but when he said the last one, his teeth clenched together and his eyebrows furrowed.

Bucky averted his attention towards the group; he noticed that members aren’t the former MANIAX. Rather one of the new groups that escaped the prison a few days ago. “Hey, isn’t five against one a little unfair?” Bucky frowned.

“Nothing is fair in a game with me in it.”

Bucky’s eyebrows furrowed, “Well let’s play that game of yours now shall we.”

Jerome clapped, without emotion plastered on his face and bowed as if a show is about to start. He brought out a flip phone and typed rather fast, “Now if you excuse me I need to call one of my clients and let this buffoons take care of you for a minute.” He smirked and walked towards one of the picnic table and sat on it smiling as if he was innocent.

One of the crocodile looking puffed, “We’re not buffoons.”

“Now, now mate. I say we should kill this greasy lad first. Any tic of the clock and he’ll be dead before the dessert.” A man with a boomerang said, grinning. A person in color sighed and glanced at one bald man full of tattoos, “You joining little guy?”

“No,” the bald man said with a thick accent.

This would be hard.” Bucky murmured under his breath.




Yes? ~” A chirpy voice greeted as the person saw you running towards the bathroom, locking it.  The female smiled and blew a gum as it popped and munched it once again.

“I need you to bring me (Y/N) fresh and alive, get it?”

The female giggled; “So when I do this you’ll take me on a date?” she could hear Jerome grumble at the other side of the line. “Just get her.” The phone call ended as it beeped. The female stretched her body and placed her phone in her pocket, her bat dangling on her shoulders.

“You bet’cha pudding, alive and fresh. But I won’t promise no bruises~!”




You gasped for air, thinking in a flash. You brought out your phone and dialed Peter fast, “Com’on, com’on” you muttered in frustration and within few seconds it ended. You dialed once again and fortunately he answered this time.

(Y/N)! Did you manage to get out—-“

“No time to explain,” you grasped your phone as if your life depended on it “Go to the picnic or field whatever the name of that grassland son of a bitch in your school! Bucky needs you more than I do!”

“But—“

“Harley Quinn is here!”  A lard bang could be heard outside the room, a nemesis was trying to enter the room. “What’s that?!” you could hear Peter ask and him wearing his suit. You ended the call.

The bathroom isn’t the best hiding place to hide in the game of hide n’ seek, you thought. Because of panicking too much you didn’t even think about the possibilities so you won’t let anxiety took over you. Thinking fast you closed all of the stalls and entered the last one, locking it then climbing out of the stall with the support of the toilet seat. You closed the stall that you fled with and under the sink there were small closets so you entered the one near the door so you could escape her hopefully when she bashed the last stall. You just hoped you outsmarted her on this one.

After few seconds you could hear the wooden door bashed as footsteps erupted.

Where could you be?” you could almost feel the smile she is wearing now, how you despised it.

“You know,” her voice fainted “Puddin’ asked me to fetch ye up undead.”

You could hear her pass the hiding spot you were in, you covered your mouth.

“He still loves you,” you could hear her chuckle “and that makes me feel disgusted” Harley kicked the first stall openly; she was trying to give a thrill like all the horror movies she watched with Jerome. Obviously she isn’t dumb enough to see you peeking on her so she just pretended not noticing a single thing.

“You know why he wants you alive?” she swings her bat towards another stall.

“Because he still fucking loves you.”

“He still loves me?” Harley kicked open the second to last stall as you closed your hiding spot slowly. The room ceased down which made you confused.

“Yeah, he still loves you. Not.”

In just a matter of second an insane looking woman you dragged out off your hiding spot. “I won’t promise that there’s no bruises darling!” You tried scratch her and hit her, which didn’t work, it made her slow but not enough for you to escape. Even though you were a former serial killer that didn’t mean that you were good enough to battle Harley because she is more experienced than you.

“A-ah! Sweet cheeks, Harley is about to blow your mind!” Harley shoved you towards the dirty wall. Your head shook as the cemented wall made an impact on your head and by impact it meant a lot. You’re eyes slowly giving up on you as your body twitched a little.

“And by saying that phrase I meant literally.”

The only thing you saw next was a baseball bat moving fast towards the side of your face.



TAGS: @mundane-cup-noodles @lonewolf0515 @pizxagordon @the-mad-girl-with-a-book @1738oml @depressionxisntxaxgame @thebeautifulmonaghan @luciferscrush @surahbow @sparklyhoe @extraordinarybluenette @youtube-obsessed-duh @hanji-zoe-surveycorps @poisonjey @colagirl5 @adidabach @erreneous @zaporkent-hullo-rettenet


[For some reason tumblr won’t tag me some of the people but I still enlisted their names! I’m sorry! Also tumblr won’t show me some of the notes so I’m sorry if you aren’t listed ;-;]

If you want to be tagged for the next part just comment asking to be tagged! I won’t include for now a “PERMANENT TAG” since it’s quite a hassle for me. Thank you for reading!

PS. If you want to get tagged please check if your tumblr is allowed to be tagged by people, if not please turn it on. Thank you.

Another chapter is coming to a close, woot woot! I am finally done with junior year! In celebration and disbelief at how I survived. So in no particular order, here are some things I’ve learned this year:  

1. Your friends in high-school are not necessarily going to be your friends       forever

High school is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s the time where everyone is trying to figure themselves out and figure everyone else out. You are going to get into fights with your friends, and that is ok. It is all part of the process of growing up and maturing. If these fights help your friendship become stronger, great! If they don’t, well then you don’t need them. I have gotten into so much drama this year- all of which could not have been avoided, but could have been lessened. So, yes; continue to be friends but please also remember that these friends may not necessarily continue to be your friends for the rest of your life. It is A-OK to drift apart, especially if they behave in a manner that is not worthy of your friendship. Ya don’t gotta be all cynical, but keep an open mind

2. Put yourself first

Continuing on that same line of thought, you gotta put yourself first homeslice. I don’t want to pat my own butt, but I am a pretty nice person that likes to help other people. This year, I became more aware of how much I was taken advantage of and I don’t want that to be you! There is nothing wrong with helping other people, I advocate strongly for it, but save yourself the pain and suffering that I put myself through and think about yourself too.
Do things for yourself and value yourself, because you are the only you :)

3. Take Breaks

It’s very very very easy to tell yourself you don’t have time to hang out with friends or go out, and very very very very easy to succumb to locking yourself up in your room all day. Continue to study and work hard, but also learn to take a break and have fun every once in awhile. Work hard and play hard- it keeps you sane and alive. It doesn’t always have to be going out to party, but it can be small breaks like watching some vines, stretching, updating your tumblr, watching some netflix, or taking a quick nap. It’s important to let your brain take a break and let your body take a break so you can attack your studying with new fervor.

4. It is ok to cry

You are going to feel overwhelmed and feel like everything is falling to pieces. It is completely normal and your emotions are completely valid because Junior Year is rough!

5. No one has any idea what they are doing

Honestly people will try and talk a big game, but no one really knows what they’re doing. People will seem like they have everything together, but everyone is just as confused about everything as much as you are.

6. Talk to your teachers

Teachers understand that you are dying. They went through the same process and they see hundreds of them dying in their classes. There will be teachers that are completely rude and obviously hate children. It’s terrible that there are teachers who really can’t teach or don’t even try, but sadly it exists. You don’t need to be best friends with those kinds, but still be civil. Most of the time teachers are more than willing to help you and love that you are taking the time to talk to them  It is so important, especially Junior year, to find a couple of teachers that you can talk to. They

7. Start early

It’s incredibly hard not to procrastinate, and I have definitely, 100%, done my fair share of it (and I am still doing it as I am putting off studying for the SAT right now, oops). But even if you have no motivation, no energy, and you just want to surf the internet, it is much better to do even a little bit of it, than none at all. I can’t tell you how many times I have regretted not starting on something, and having everything pile in all at once. It’s not just homework, this is the time to also get ready for Standardized Tests and College. Practice, practice, practice for SAT/ACTS (I have a post about the [ACT here]) Get started researching about colleges so that you have an idea of what college visits at your school to go to and which colleges to visit. Also start planning your summer plans early so that instead of lazing around all day (do do some lazing and relax), get involved in volunteering, interning, working, and planning for college apps.

8. Make a resume and update it as needed

Seriously. Build a resume. I have so many friends that did not/still do not have resumes that were scramming in the end when they needed it. It’s something that is helpful to have even if you aren’t applying for a job or internship. For example, when running for BPA state officer, I needed to submit a resume and used that resume to meet new people and convince them to vote for me. I also gave my resume to my counselor so she would have a better understanding of my experience thus far. It’s good to make/update it when it’s still fresh in your mind so it’s easier to write about, instead of wracking your brain months later and forgetting important details. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but make one!

9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It’s so easy to pretend like you understand everything and so hard to actually come terms with the fact that you need help. People in high school and even your friends might come off as obnoxious and rude, and even sneer at people asking for help. Asking though, in turn gives them an opportunity to show off their “immense knowledge” and clears up confusion for you. Even if you’re afraid of being judged, the worst that can happen is someone can say “I don’t know”. Which is perfectly fine because you can always ask someone else. Asking teachers can also be incredibly hard. I always had this thing where I was afraid to approach teachers because I was afraid of wasting their time and asking stupid things, but teachers are there to help- it is their job, to teach. It doesn’t even have to be about academics, if you need help for any reason- there are so many great resources at school that will be there- resource officers, nurses, coaches, counselors, deans, etc. School is a place of learning and if in the environment you cannot do your best for whatever reason, seek out the help that you need and do not be afraid to do it.

10. If it doesn’t make you happy, ditch it

That applies to everything. If there are people in your life that treat you terribly and don’t make you happy, you don’t need them. If there is a significant other, class, activity, whatever, that don’t make you happy, you don’t need it. High school is too short to waste on insignificant events that eat you up emotionally and physically. Do things for yourself.

Junior year has been a roller coaster ride in terms of academics and emotions. Were there things I wish I did differently? Of course. But there is no need to dwell in the past. I am so thankful for all the support I’ve gotten thus far on my blog. I started Junior year with no idea what a “studyblr” was, and went into it with no idea what was going to happen. There is still a lot I can improve on and more ways I want to help people on their personal journeys. All 500+ of my followers, I am forever thankful of you and your belief in me. I truly never thought I would see the day.

As always, my ask box and messages are always open- so feel free to contact me about anything. Have a good summer everyone!

Wayward Casting Call

Hey, guys. For those who don’t follow me, you may be wondering who I am and why I’m addressing you. Well, I’m Mack, a professional animator (toon boom and flash), and I’m trying to create a new webseries called Wayward, that has been in minor development for a year now.  I have a few friends helping me already, but for now I’m asking for Voice Acting help, for my finished pilot script.

Brief Description

Wayward is a show heavily inspired by RPGSs and adventure games, especially whimsical ones like the Mother series. It’s a story about a group of kids who are all potential Questers in this world, recruited by the YHA (The Young Hero’s Association) to join their cause and go out on hero’s journeys specific to their own interests. But not every kid can be a hero, some people’s hearts just aren’t in it, no matter how badly they may want it, and this will cause conflict in the story.

That’s not the case for Milo, however, a good natured but free-willed individual whose ambition sets them on a tunnel-vision path towards their goal, ignoring danger, the odds, and difficulty level. They’re obsessed with space exploration, and they’ve wanted to get up there since they were little. When they hear about a mysterious person known as the Questmaster visiting their town they’re ecstatic. The space-quest page on his website peaked their star-bound interest, and this quest opportunity is also a great way for Milo to spend time with their dad, who is a rather famous doctor in the area and often away. However, while he’s on board to spend time with his kid, this whole quest show has him suspicious there’s more going on.

The pilot episode centers around both setting the story in motion and having the father and child overcome adversity strengthening their bond.

As of right now I’m only asking for volunteer work. This is because Wayward is being funded directly out of my pocket, and made with help from friends. If the pilot is successful I will open a patreon to crowdfund the production of the rest of the planned episodes. I am committed to making this any way I can, regardless of finances, and I’d like to have something to show for our efforts first.

Onto the point of this post: Voice Acting.

I would like you to have your own equipment. I understand asking for volunteers is a big request already so don’t go out of your way. So long as it’s clean and clear, it’ll do just fine (Snowball and Blue microphones are pretty good for an inexpensive choice). Below is a list of main characters and bg characters I need for this episode. I should note Milo themself doesn’t talk. Think of them as your silent protagonist, though they aren’t mute. They’re deaf, so they do still have a voice, but I’m putting them at low priority since they technically have no lines.

A lot of the characters are POC, so if you’re a person of colour yourself, please try out! I’m not myself so even if you end up not doing that I would value your input if something seems wrong or if you notice room for improvement. 

Character ages are included for reference, but your own age doesn’t need to match them.

Info on characters and trying out below the cut:

Keep reading

           per usual, i’m doing all of my important things at an obscure hour, so here it goes ! recently, i hit four hundred followers and this upcoming sunday will be the three month milestone for this blog. to have such exponential growth in a short amount of time truly makes me both extremely proud and thankful ! when i initially came back to rp at the beginning of july, i never would have anticipated for tumblr to make the impact that it has had on me. a part of me wishes i could dive into more personal detail, to break away from this persona which many have found intimidating. if i’m to be perfectly frank, however, communicating my personality to its full extent online puts me in a very vulnerable position that i know can end in negative repercussions. i just wanted to preface this with that little blurb, that even if i come off as detached, i really do appreciate each and every one of you who have lent your support. many of my muses hold a deep personal significance to me and i thank you all for letting me portray them as i do. without further adieu, let’s begin.

            @heartattck: i really don’t know where to begin with this especially when i’ve reiterated my love for you in so many different ooc posts that at this point it just seems redundant. i am also in Proper Punctuation mode here so ?? i think i’d just like to start off by saying how thankful i am that we found each other. we complement each other disturbingly well to where i don’t feel the need to go into keyboard smashes and <3’s to express my love for you because that’s simply not our style. our affection is hidden in the little things: not feeling the pressing obligation to message back for hours sometimes, but resuming the usual conversation of talking shit once one of us replies as if we had never left off. it’s asking if the other one’s eaten, slept, how their progress on a project going. it’s little things that are easy to take for granted, yet i seldom experience them to the same extent as i do with you. even though you’re all the way in new jersey and i’m here in nevada, the emotional proximity means much more than the physical. the support, honesty, and mutual respect you’ve shown me throughout our friendship is incomparable. i love our conversations whether it’s about our millions of ships or if it’s simply about our days. i know you’re going through a lot of difficult things right now, things that if i had the power to, i would take away for you. but you’re strong, as fucking cliche as that sounds, and i admire that resilience. you’ve contributed so much to my life both emotionally and creatively. i love you and i really hope for you to achieve the happiness in life that you deserve.

            @delightfour: oh my god you’re so Smol :((( that’s how i’m choosing to begin this lmao. i know we’ve addressed the fact of you (and admittely me as well) forgetting my age, but it’s seriously true. even though you’re three years older than me, i still have this violent urge to Protecc you so hard. you’re such a kind, pure soul and as much i tease you *looks over at that ask meme i did on you*, i really do love you a lot ! as much as i love our ships, you as a person are just so overwhelmingly wonderful that i just want to focus on that ?? i really adore hearing commentary about your day, you sharing the small details such as your kyungsoo poster or jongdae singing “bolero.” you’re honestly just so chill and i love having that aspect in our conversations. we go from anal beads to exo asmr and we don’t judge each other throughout any of it. i feel like we would be super cool with each other in person. except also idk how that would work lmao since i’m a booze stan and you like hookah ! i mean i’m down to try and i know you would take some shots too but… yikes this is seriously all over the place and not how i envisioned it at all, but i was deadass about the whole kind, pure part. you’re honestly one of the nicest people i’ve met on here and you’ve supported me through a lot of things that i’m just extremely grateful for. i wish that you slept better and that your brother would stop coming up on your food, but as long as you have overall happiness, i’m good !

            @gcldenhearts: dee ! ah, you’re so cute sometimes, it really just makes me enthusiastic and smile :)) it’s just comfortable to talk as easily as we do and to have known each other (in my position considering i’ve only had this blog for a short time) as we have. i’m really grateful and surprised at just how organically our friendship formed. i’m not always the easiest to befriend since i’m wary of people at times, but you’ve just been so upfront with me this whole time and i appreciate it so much ! i never would have expected for replying to one of your open starters to lead us to where we are now. also you’re like the only one on here who relates to my sexual frustration lmao… even when we’re not writing together, i still feel your enthusiasm for our ships and it really means a lot ! i love it when you send me ask memes and us judging jinki and mina for the murderers that they are. i’m still curious on which one of us is going to get laid first since i deleted my tinder and self-imposed isolation, but you also haven’t been having the best luck on there either ?? even though we dated from an ask meme for one whole week, i support you going out there and getting the love you deserve ! aside from that, i can tell you have a lot going for you with university, especially since your educational system is 1000% better than ours ! i hope you stop having so many bad dreams and if you dream at all, dream of taehyung and/or jinki since they are practically the same :-)

            @powerpuffs, @slideivy: al;sdjf;lskdfj is it bad to put you two under the same paragraph in a follow forever ?? it’s just that you two have such a wholesome marriage and i am completely here for it ! the two of you are such soft human beings and a breath of fresh air on this blue hell, i swear. ara, i adore our threads together and the natural chemistry hongbin and jinri have with each other. like they just complement each other so well and even though our children are going through Pain together right now, i still think they’re completely adorable. speaking of adorable, you’re literally so fucking cute, i swear ?? i hope one day i can come to the philippines and squish your cheeks and have you teach my whitewashed ass some serious tagalog. but then watch it not be the same dialect and then i come back home to impress my fam and they’re just like wtf :// i know you’re busy with university and i’m extremely proud of you for focusing so much on your studies, even if it’s not the field you dreamed of ! catholic school is probably rough on your ass, but you’ve proven yourself to be an intelligent, capable individual ! a, i seriously appreciate you so much ?? you stanning my muses as hard as you do just makes me so thankful for all the effort i’ve put into their portrayal. i adore your writing and muses as well *coughs jihyun* and i’m really happy to have had the pleasure of interacting with you in threads ! i hope you and ara have a long, happy marriage, not only for your own joy, but also so i can enjoy your eleven (think i got the number right lmao) ships together !

people i admire from afar/want to interact with more !

           @nochugrl, @honeyedsmiles, @paidsoul, @blazedfires, @dulcetmade, @niqhtowls@ofgoldandroses, @liquoredwish, @cacotheisms, @plvnetarium, @profiile, @divinexwreckage,  @heartfeltflowers, @jennics, @feralglory, @loveslorn, @creamistries, @intcrweaved, @noxwrites, @thcrnful, @leviaraelle, @flcwerway, @justlysts, @emflesque, @mcrtel, @scrcndipty, @psychotropic, @jenyxr, @epheriad, @throughthedcrk, @jamaixvu, @lalisanas, @okeydokeyhoe, @lilvcsxngs, @holypatronus, @fckxillusion, @lonelylot, @gcholdtrops, @gcthigh, @reiinstated, @shrinemade, @moonshinedrowned, @reapedrose, @lonelylot, @zenosyvn, @pvlchritudine, @pvxilatc, @100lcttcrs, @dearcherryblossoms, @armoredmoon, @pityfigures, @lullcbies, @spikedjoy, @authenticxs, @simpaticos, @beautekissed, @saiko1x1, @amatitas, @poisonlaced, @bodybcg, @ovrdosc, @minesok, @obscvne, @xiaolong1x1, @gravltys, @lilvpad, @sgtfilth

Miss Fisher Unleashed – walls breaking down in the October trope challenge

Hey Jack, mind your leaning – you’re breaking the fourth wall!

The October trope might have made one or two of the writers a little nervous. “Breaking the fourth wall” is a real challenge, and results in stories that are highly self-aware of their status as stories and constructions, and also often happily explore the lines between fantasy and reality. That sure does put some demands on the writer. Perhaps also on the reader, in order to get suck into a highly self-aware fictional world like that.

I am very fond of this kind of stories – they are often both amusing and food for thought. They make some kind of short-circuit between narrative levels in a story that usually are separated. There are different ways of doing this. The most elaborate one, where the story and our reality are either affecting each other or even becoming the same thing, can be a real jolt to the readers’ sensibilities, in a pleasurable way. The character may for example become aware that s/he is being written, or that things change in her/his surroundings because of words, or odd things may start to happen in the writer’s real world. Other possibilities keep more clearly within the story world, for example by allowing a story within the story to comment on it or interact with it. As we will see in this overview, many different techniques have been used this month. There is potential for both horror, sadness and existential crisis in this type of writing, but it’s very reasonable that the main strand is humour (here is the full collection).

Breaking the fourth wall has of course happened before in this fandom. One clever example is @221aubrina’s creation “The Library”, where specimens of Jack that have been damaged in fanfic are returned and fixed by the staff – a very fun comment on a tendency to put Jack through a lot in the stories. Another is QuailiTea’s crossover with the universe of Thursday Next, “The Next Adventure”, which to its very nature is super metafictive, commenting on the characters both as persons and as figures in a text at the same time. A third is @jackphryne4eva‘s “Cafe Blend”, the story of a reader sitting in a café reading Miss Fisher fic while perhaps meeting Jack. 

For this overview, I will start with fics that don’t break the wall so radically, but keep the break logically inside the fictional universe, and then move on to fics that are more typically meta fictive and aware of being literary constructions, to stories where the writers/readers’ world somehow gets blended with the character’s world.

Hold on, is this story about me? And is that Jack… naked?

First, stories that keep the fictional world intact. I’ll start with @omgimsarahtoo, “Art Imitates Life”, where Phryne is hired to search for a young woman, Ophelia Ogilvy. Ophelia turns out to be obsessed with the famous lady detective and her inspector, and has collected newspaper pictures of them and also writes stories about them. Basically, she’s a writer of Real Person Fanfiction in 1920s Melbourne, and her fanart has striking similarities to tumblr posts. This is incredibly fun and gives us this wonderful feeling of how, even if the technology has changed, human nature has not. Of course, Phryne is surprised by this, but she is also the kind of woman to not lash out against it but to more cautiously advice the young girl; Ophelia is of course very embarrassed that Phryne found out. There are many wonderful comments that are possible to extend to the fic writers, like when Phryne has read through the scrapbook and Jack arrives:

“Jack’s voice always sent a shiver down Phryne’s spine, but right now, it affected her even more. She’d spent the afternoon reading through Ophelia Ogilvy’s scrapbook, and she was feeling rather… stimulated.”

Ophelia has, for example, written about Phryne’s and Jack’s first meeting, even if she has embellished it with emotions they perhaps didn’t really have. “All I felt for you that first day was annoyance,” as Jack mutters. To top it all up, Phryne even seduces Jack with tales from the scrapbook.

“Is it different from what we usually do?” Jack’s hands unfastened the button at her hip and then slid inside the back of her pajama trousers’ waistband, pushing them down her thighs. Phryne kicked her feet carefully to help him remove them, then promptly wound her legs around his again.

“Not as imaginative as we tend to be,” she said on a gasp as he pushed up her pajama top and covered her breast with his mouth.

And Phryne, realizing Ophelia Ogilvy finds Jack attractive, thinks  – rather cheekily directed to all the fans – that “It was just too bad that Ophelia would never know just how weak her imaginings were compared to the real thing.”

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Everything’s Better

Also on AO3
Chronologically follows “Our Cake” which was also posted just a little bit ago.  It can stand on its own, but if you want to read in order, catch that one first.


He was tired, and it would have made a lot more sense to just stay home and sleep, but after this particular shit show of a day, what he really needed was his princess.  She never judged him as too emotional or picked apart his appearance until all he could see were his flaws.  She wouldn’t toss him into a wall and throw trucks at him.

It was also much later than he preferred to show up.  Marinette may be on summer break at the beginning of her gap year, but she also helped out in her family bakery and worked hard on her designs.  He didn’t want to short her on sleep or interrupt what she was doing, but at the same time, she’d made it abundantly clear that he could show up at any time if he needed something.

He landed lightly on her balcony, pleased to see the Chat flap was open.  As he crouched to go through, a voice called up to him.

“Chat, is that you?”  She sounded scratchy and oddly anxious.

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Out of the Frying Pan (32/?)

“Are you crying?” Ariel asked, voice shaking a bit as she rubbed her knuckles across her cheeks, dragging a bit of mascara along with her.

“Absolutely not,” Emma promised, blinking quickly like that would hide the evidence.

“Of course not. Me either. Only saps cry at weddings.”

AN: I owe @laurnorder like sixteen thousand gifts for fixing all of this and making it better and then several more thousand gifts for @distant-rose who is currently reading a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a story that hasn’t been posted yet. 

Living it up on Ao3 and tag’ed up on Tumblr

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Choices Made Me Want To Be Better.

No little notes this time, just a bunch of thoughts typed into a small box. 

#ChoicesCreates Round 23

Hosted by @texanhusker @hollyashton 


I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this, because I wasn’t sure if I could find the right words. It’s sort of funny, coming from someone that writes a lot to have words fail me. 

The thing is, I am so used to putting my thoughts and feelings really deep, hiding them and remaining silent - only allowing smaller ones to the surface. Because I operate on a certain level; whenever I’m feeling off, depressed, moody, alone - I funnel it all into writing. (Not so much anymore before this fandom) and perhaps that’s why they sometimes come off sort of emotional to some when I do write. It’s therapeutic in a way.

I think what first drew me to choices was its pleasingly aesthetic look. I am honest and shallow enough to admit that. At the time, Choices allowed me to sink out of my reality, and I needed that break. I gravitated towards The Freshman, before I started playing the other books and by the time Endless Summer came out - I was pretty committed to this fandom. And to be honest - all of their books have varying degrees of appeal but the reason why I brought up the freshman specifically because at the time it was pretty relatable.

I had just finished university a few short months ago, while wrestling through a really dark period of my life. Just to go through this really quickly, I was pretty sick for about a year (probably even before that because of symptoms) and had to be in and out of the hospital for treatments. I didn’t write much then, (I’ve written on and off for years) because when I wasn’t really depressed about my circumstances, I had school to focus on. Sometimes, the whole year still kind of feels unreal - sometimes I think about it; wow I really went through all of that? In any case that year in all my brief years on this Earth was really awful and crappy. But it was a little after that period that brings me here; when I had only just found out about choices. I was okay back then, and it was better to be okay than not okay.

At first I was just playing through it really quickly, trying to picture myself and what it was like to a freshman again without all the burdens of five years (at the time I think the freshman had only two books).  But then I began playing it more and more, until I invested a lot of time and money into it. I found myself falling in love with how well developed the characters were from not only that specific book, but the others as well; stretching genres until I was convinced I wouldn’t delete the app from my phone. Then I started going through tumblr (my tumblr which I barely used at the time; ironic because I check this so often now) wondering if there was a fandom for it. Then I found Holly’s blog and began stalking in silence LOL before seeing and reading from other blogs too. Eventually I started following said blogs until I decided I wanted to become a part of this choices fandom. It’s the first only fandom I’m really in.  I fell for the captivating story of Endless Summer - it’s frustrating yet satisfying plot, adored the characters of The Freshman, found my hidden passion for angst from The Royal Romance, and found myself nearly the edge of my seat of wanting to solve mysteries with Sam and Dave in Most Wanted. 

I’m sure some of this sounds familiar. This simple app had started it all for me - until that simple app meant more, a lot more to me. Then the people in this fandom began meaning a lot more to me too.

All of a sudden I was looking forward to what people thought after chapters, discussing and partaking in tasteful discourse - and making friendships. I started to believe in me again. I started believing in writing again. And I was channeling my emotions in a way that was starting to feel healthy - if not therapeutic (coincidentally I was sort of doing what my therapist at the time told me to do).

Being in this fandom gave me a purpose again. I wanted to write fanfiction (something I’ve never done before this point), wanted to make people cry and laugh with little scenarios and ideas I’ve had cooped up inside my head. I wanted to make people happy. I wanted to break out of those stupid chains I placed on myself, and reached out to make friendships. I wanted to give my ideas and discuss fandom discourse while respecting other people’s rights to have different opinions too. I am still struggling on that last bit recently but give me time. 

I guess what I’m really saying is - thank you fandom and @playchoices for giving me a safe outlet to feel like myself again. Thank you for making me feel like my voice matters.

10

Don’t really know where to start. I’ve been in love with Wilde’s works since high school and I’m suffering from Ben Whishaw fever which doesn’t seem to ever stop. Over the past few months I’ve been reading all of the posts describing The Crucible on Broadway, but as a trip to the US is not really possible for me right now I was hoping that maybe after the well deserved post NYC holiday Ben would play somewhere in London in a year or maybe more considering he’s doing some film projects right now. So when I saw a post on Tumblr saying he’ll be in Reading in September, and that the exhibition is about Oscar, there was no other choice but to buy a ridiculously long bus journey from Belgium to the UK and even more ridiculously expensive Eurostar train for the way back. But oh dear some things in life are priceless.

I didn’t even get to see that much of the exhibition - managed to see Oscar’s cell and books and some other items but other than that decided to go straight to the queue for the prison Chapel, which was a good choice cause I started to talk to a lady that had the luck to actually see him on Broadway and told me a lot about it. Ben has got some really nice fans 😊

So when we entered I think my heart skipped a beat as he was already sitting there looking so vulnerable and delicate and not even watching the people entering but for a short moment right at the beginning when he actually looked at me before I sat down. I still find it surrealistic that knowing every single movement of his face I got to see it live. Was it really him there?

Ben decided not to make a break in the reading of the 50000 words letter that Wilde wrote to his lover, Bosie. I’m really happy he chose to do it in one go cause in that way the atmosphere was not interrupted. I decided to stay there for the entire performance, thinking that if he can manage this for us then I can certainly manage it for him.

I watched the performance of last week, done by Neil Bartlett. And though both equally long, much longer than originally announced, I’m so so happy I had the honour to see Ben’s one. I really had the impression Oscar was speaking through him. What a talent. What a tremendous talent that boy has. Out of an extremely long letter that might bore if read in an ordinary manner he made a one man theatre. How I loved when he was turning pages and slamming them on the table when he was reading an angry paragraph. How everything he did yesterday was perfect is beyond me. In the middle of the performance (wasn’t looking at my watch but was following the text every now and then from my copy of De Profundis) there was an amazing light entering the Chapel through vitrage windows and you could hear a bird sing. And even though the letter was so hard and emotionally stuffed I felt for a moment such a lightness and happiness.

I’m a frequent concert goer where I always also try to be in the first row. But there was no comparison; sitting yesterday in the first row right next to this genius man,watching his tears and genuine suffering while reading the letter felt so intimate that at the end of it though having a slight heart attack before he read the last words, I felt as if I have known him forever. And I don’t think any theatre performance can give you that. Here, the format of the performance made it really easy for the audience to feel a bond with Ben, I think.

I could write so much more cause throughout the day I had these moments when I suddenly remembered him crying while reading about Oscar’s kids being taken away from him or crying while reading one of the last paragraphs in which one of the cities I have lived in (Bruges) was mentioned. So I’ll stop here. It was just a purely out of body experience. This man is talented beyond words.

After the show he was the most delicate, poor thing standing there so emotional, still crying. He also cried right before the very first words of the letter, before he even started to read. But it is indeed impossible not to shed a tear.

I decided that since I spent half of my weekend travelling under water to get to the UK and see my lovely boy performing, I will try my luck to tell him how gifted he is and how he really makes my life better with his beautiful, inspiring performances. He thanked me like four times (he is cute beyond words and was so shy) and said that the painting on the cover of my De Profundis copy is very beautiful. I felt quite guilty talking to him cause I can’t imagine how exhausted he must have been but then again I really felt the need to thank him for this amazing, insanely beautiful performance, which I did. And now I’m back on the other side of the Channel, trying not to cry at my work when thinking about yesterday.

As Tavi Gevinson said, Ben Goddamn Whishaw indeed.

Sharing some pics with those who couldn’t go/did go but didn’t take any. If anyone wants to talk to me about yesterday please write as I feel the need to let it out.

Edit - on a fun note the bus ride from Belgium was so long cause the driver got totally lost in London and was circulating over the Vauxhall Bridge three times, which with the traffic jams lasted around 1h, giving me a totally hilarious Bond + London Spy Tour 😍 I also find it cute that the train to Reading was leaving from Paddington and got myself one of the bears!

You may or may not have noticed that there’s been a lack of content on my blog in the past couple weeks…well, there’s a big reason for that. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the current state of my life and the direction I want to be heading towards—something over which I’ve been at war with myself for a long while now—and although I don’t envision myself detaching entirely from the Tumblr community, I think the time’s come where I need to move on from Supernatural.

My decision has nothing to do with the show, the actors, or the fandom in of itself. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid negativity/hate for the most part, and I’ve met some pretty darn amazing people because of Supernatural, fans and actors alike. I’ll always hold those experiences close to my heart. My reason for leaving has more to do with the fact that I’ve allowed the show to have a much stronger hold on my life than what’s healthy, and I haven’t really been living because of it.

Point blank, I’m fed up with being someone who does little more than exist on this planet.

I’m an introvert. I don’t make friends easily. And when I do have relationships, they run deep. I am someone who feels emotions wholly; compassion, understanding, and sensitivity to others are among my stronger personality traits. Packaged with a predisposition to depression and anxiety, I’ve never been able to deal with change and/or loss of a relationship very well. I won’t go into the details, but after experiencing hurt, rejection and betrayal on multiple occasions, I shut down and cut myself off from others completely, and I did it by escaping to the fictional realm—because at least then, I had a sense of control. It gave me the benefit of experiencing emotions vicariously through fictional relationships but without the pain of real ones.

For a while, I was comfortable and complacent in that place. The outside world no longer mattered. But over the years, remaining in that place made me cold and callous, and whoever I used to be, whatever dreams I had for the future, were suppressed and buried. My own growth had stagnated in my emotional stasis, and I eventually realized that my life was atrophying, slipping right through my fingers. The more unfortunate matter is that I had also become stubborn, refusing to move forward and out of that place because, quite frankly, it terrified me. I knew that the moment I opened my eyes and tried to step outside of the fantasy bubble I’d created for myself, I’d be staring into this black, gaping abyss with no idea how I was ever going to pull myself out of it, especially since I didn’t know who to trust.

I’m sure there are fans who’ve dealt with similar situations far better than I, but when you look beyond the surface, it doesn’t take much to see that the SPN fandom is a largely unhappy place. There’s a lot of good that’s come out of it, too—there’s no denying that, either—and that J2M have been running campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues and setting up a crisis network to respond to those kind of needs still completely blows my mind. But there’s a correlation here that no one seems to be willing and/or informed of the situation enough to broach: perhaps there are so many depressed people within the fandom (and fandom culture in general) because we’re looking to the medium, the characters and the actors as a way to escape an undesirable reality, and in turn, by essentially substituting the real world with an imaginary one, the depression is never truly addressed, thus propelling the downward spiral.

Granted, escapism is only a coping mechanism, not the root of the problem. I would also be remiss not to acknowledge that there are healthy forms of escapism. Sometimes we simply need a little reprieve from our daily lives, whether that be watching a movie, playing a game, reading a book, or partaking in any kind of hobby for a short while. But that’s not the type of escapism I’m talking about here; I’m talking about the type that evolves into prolonged evasion, the type that limits or prevents us from functioning in our normal lives because it’s more or less a form of addiction. And at the core of it, I think one of the main reasons why a good chunk of this fandom is so unhappy—why I’ve been so unhappy—is because some of us are looking to fulfill a deeper need that the instant gratification of fantasy cannot and will not ever come close to satisfying. You can go as far as meeting the actors and having conversations with them, but at the end of the day, they can’t give us what we’re looking for. Not really. And we likely already recognize that to some extent, but when it comes to what we feel in our hearts, because they’ve made such an impact on our lives, often there’s a longing to communicate that to them because we want to be able to return even a tiny fraction of how much they’ve touched us. Because we want to be validated. Because we want to matter. These are perfectly natural feelings to have. It’s part of what makes us human. But if you’re looking for these kind of answers in a place where your soul isn’t being fed, where parts of your life are wasting away or being destroyed instead of flourishing, then clearly it’s not the answer.

I get it. Tumblr is one of the biggest (and most effective) conduits of escapism. No one wants to think about the cold, hard truth because we come here to find a haven in temporary comforts, and the fact that we often presume people in real life would brush off our interests as a weird obsession only pushes us further into isolation. But you know what? I hate that no one talks about it. I hate that we live in the fear that we’ll be shamed for it if we do, labeled as “crazy” or “pathetic.” Because at best, outsiders don’t understand. At worst, they’re cruel. Either way, we end up stuck in that vicious cycle all over again, burying deeper and deeper until we’ve insulated ourselves from everything and everyone.

Until we feel safe.

Maybe we’re running from someone or something else. Or maybe more to the point, we’re running from ourselves. Maybe we despise our lives so much that our only escape is to rely on the happiness of two fictional characters. Because even if it’s fake, even if it’s nothing more than a distraction, it’s better than having to stare down into that void, that utter brokenness inside ourselves. You know those posts about being invested in a fictional couple’s love life more than your own? Honestly, the idea makes me want to break down in tears now because it’s so. True.

I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

In hindsight, that my Jensen and Misha op at Minncon turned out to be a bust was actually a blessing in disguise. At the time, I was inexplicably upset about it, and I tried to blame it on hormones and shrug it off. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn’t upset because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted; I was upset because that deeper need to connect with people and forge meaningful relationships was not being met. I was upset that I had poured so much of my thoughts and time and effort into something that I knew would never be able to reciprocate. And so I was forced to make a painful choice: continue down the same path and deny the fact that I was absolutely miserable, or muster up the courage to break free of the prison I’d created for myself and drastically change my life.

I finally picked the one that’s long been overdue.

I still think the SPN cast is full of some of the nicest people in the world, and I will eternally be grateful for Misha. Truthfully, he’s been an integral part of the catalyst that brought me to this conclusion in the first place—the example that he’s set for reaching out to others and finding ways to meet their needs woke me up, nearly literally. It reignited a passion I had for helping people on emotional levels that had been buried for years, and although I initially fought against it because I was scared of putting myself out there again, I couldn’t ignore that voice forever. I can’t really explain it other than when you know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do, you just know it (hint: it’s usually the most difficult thing to do). I knew that I wasn’t meant to be living life the way that I was; I knew that I needed to open my eyes and step outside of myself; I knew that I was meant to make a difference; I knew I was meant for more.

I’ve started by getting involved in volunteer opportunities or ways I can give to my community, but on what I hope will eventually be a much larger scale, I have a vision for the future. It’s something that will take years to build, I’m certain, but Misha’s also taught me to dream big, and I know the idea won’t let go of me until it comes to fruition. Somehow, I want to create a network that would bridge the gap for those who want to find a way out of their isolation and escapist tendencies, those who want to do more with their life than simply exist, and then provide them with the tools and motivation to work through their issues and fill the needs that would open doors for establishing and cultivating real relationships and discovering their own true passions so that they can bloom into the person that they were created to be. There are resources and support groups for people who suffer from mental illness and/or struggle with addiction, but there really isn’t anything that specifically focuses on problems related to the detrimental effects of how disconnected from society people have become. And I want people to feel like they can be more open about these kinds of struggles so that maybe there wouldn’t have to be this huge negative stigma surrounding escapism. So that maybe it wouldn’t give people an excuse to sweep it all under the rug and continue to fight a losing battle of ignoring the problem; that people would realize that escapism is a much more serious issue than it gets credit for, especially with the advance of technology and social networking sites allowing it to become much more prevalent. That it isn’t weird or pathetic at all because at the heart of it, we’re all the same. Sooner or later, we all end up dealing with an emptiness that we try to fill up. We just have different ways of doing it.

So, even though I’m bringing this post and my involvement in the SPN fandom to an end, this is really where my story is just beginning. I may eventually delete this blog and my AO3 fics, but for the time being, I’ll leave them up. I won’t be responding to any further asks/messages on this particular blog; however, if you wish to remain in contact with me, I’ll be more than happy to continue corresponding with people on my personal blog @tinfoilunicorn, which I plan on using more often again; just kindly note that I don’t really want to talk about anything SPN-related if it’s pure fangirling (if it’s important to bring up for purposes of discussing personal issues/experiences, that’s totally fine).

If I don’t talk to you, I wish you all the very best, but as my dream about Misha earlier this year oddly seemed to predict, it’s time to move forward with my life. Honestly, now that I’ve finally gotten unstuck, I don’t remember the last time I had this much joy and hope for what’s to come.

The End and The Beginning (Dan Howell x Reader)

Pairing: Dan Howell x Reader

Genre: Romance

Word Count: 1,031

Summary: Dan discovers that his girlfriend had been cheating on him. He just needs to forget about it. When he shows up at your doorstep and confesses something, should you believe him or is it just drunken nonsense?

Warnings: Alcohol mention and drunkenness. If not comfortable with, please don’t read. Go look at pictures of puppies  ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

Masterlist

                                                     ***~~~***

Dan POV

Dan’s jaw was clenched as he processed what he was looking at. He had just caught his girlfriend in the middle of a heated make-out session with some stranger. Well, apparently he wasn’t a stranger to her. Just minutes earlier, he was ready to surprise his girlfriend with a bouquet of roses and a special dinner date for Valentine’s Day. They were supposed to meet later but he thought it would be a pleasant come by earlier. She clearly hadn’t expected him. Now here he stood, staring at his now ex-girlfriend draped over some sleazy guy with her lipstick smeared all over him. He met her gaze with a painful look of betrayal. With that, he slammed the door and marched outside. The happy, sunny atmosphere seemed to mock him. He threw the roses that were meant for her into a nearby trash bin, their bright color contrasting with the darkness he felt in his heart. He was so overwhelmed with emotion. He felt angry that she wasn’t faithful to him and depressed that he wasn’t good enough for her. He had noticed she was being particularly distant lately but he had hoped this date would have turned things around. He should have tried harder to keep her happy. This was too much for him to handle at once. It hurt too much. He needed a distraction, an escape. He wandered into the first building he spotted.

A bar.

He sat down at one of the stools and ordered a shot of tequila. As the bartender poured the drink, he observed the area. The place was filled with bumbling drunks and one guy passed out in the corner. He sighed. What was he doing? This wasn’t like him at all. He just wanted needed to forget what just happened. The bartender set the drink down in front of him. He stared at it before bring it to his lips and downing it in one swig.

Y/N POV

“Ok I think that’s enough Tumblr for today” you laughed. You did your signature outro before stopping the recording. You had just finished filming a video for your YouTube channel. It was the Tumblr tag and to say you were disturbed was an understatement. A majority of the posts involved your friends Dan and Phil. You had met Phil in college and you two became great friends. Later, he introduced you to Dan and your friendship just grew from there. Some of the fans shipped you with Phil, others with Dan. You always blushed and got slightly flustered when you saw those posts about you and Dan but you managed to control it for this video. You may have a miniscule crush on Dan. And by miniscule you mean massive. Alas, he had a girlfriend who he really loved. Despite how much you liked him, you thought they were cute together. You’ll just have to learn how to move on somehow. You had just settled yourself on your couch with your laptop when you heard a knock on your door. You shed the blanket that was wrapped around your shoulders before you went to answer the door. You opened the entrance to your flat to be found with a quite drunk Dan. His head was resting on the doorframe before you opened it and his eyes lit up.

“Y/N oh my gosh I haven’t seen you in like forever!” he slurred as he threw his arms around you like he was hugging a teddy bear.

“What are you talking about Dan? I saw you last week” you pulled away then guided him toward the living room. You had to admit, his intoxicated state was very amusing.

“I still missed you lots” he hiccupped. No matter how funny this was, you needed to find out what he was doing at your home drunk on Friday night. He kept tripping over his own feet so you sat on the couch with him so he could stay steady.

“Why are you here? I thought you had a date tonight” his expression immediately darkened after hearing our statement.

“She was with some other guy and they were kissing and stuff” he grumbled. His alcohol-induced state had an effect on his vocabulary but the point got across to you clearly.

“Oh Dan I’m so sorry” you rested your hand on his shoulder.

“It’s ok now I can be with you!” he smiled, hugging you to him. Your face grew warm and you became flustered.

“Dan, you don’t know what you’re saying you’re drunk” you tried to regain some composure.

“But I like you Y/N. I really like you” he nuzzled his face in the crook of your neck. You wished you could believe him. You wanted what he was saying to be true but you just couldn’t trust it at the moment.

“You’re just hurting from the break-”

“I’m telling the truth. I love you. I want you to be my girlfriend” he removed himself from his place against your throat to look you in the eyes. He sounded so sincere but you rather hear him say it in his right state of mind instead.

“How about stay over here tonight since it clearly isn’t safe for you to be going all the way back to your flat now. If you feel the same way in the morning, then I accept” you concluded. He nodded vigorously with a smile on his face that could light up a whole room.

“Let me go get you a blanket” you said as you untangled his arms from your waist. Once you returned, you saw how he was already passed out. You chuckled to yourself and draped the blanket over his tall body. Before you drew away Dan grabbed your wrist and pulled you down next to him.

“Stay with me” he whispered.

So you stayed.

Bonus:

“Hey Y/N?” Dan asked in the morning.

You rubbed the sleep away from your eyes. “Yes Dan?”

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

You reached up and cupped his face before bringing it to meet with your own. The kiss was short but answered his question nonetheless.

“I’ll take that as a yes” he grinned.

It’s Done

I just realized that percentage-wise, most of my followers might not know what I’m talking about. Well.

On April 24, 2013, I posted  Even Coal Has Value (North/Pitch), which was the fill for the first unfilled prompt in Round One of the Rise of the Guardians kinkmeme on Dreamwidth. This was the beginning of my quest to fill every unfilled prompt on that kinkmeme, no matter what.

And I did it. 

Yeah, I weaseled with the terms and the spirit of a few. Yeah, my preference for certain ships showed. And…I don’t care. I did it. I filled every unfilled prompt on that kinkmeme. So! Round One of the Rise of the Guardians kinkmeme? If there’s a prompt there, it has a fill. Put it in a memorial with any other filled kinkmemes, if there are any.

And I only ran afoul of the mods like, twice. (Both times after I had assumed the mods were long gone, lol.)

Stats!

4/24/2013-1/6/2017 = 3 years, 8 months, 13 days

Number of fics: 583

Number of words: 547,967

Average number of words per fic: ~940 

Median number of words per fic: 796 (this means that most fics were below the average word count)

I had no idea there were so many stories. I feel…sort of afraid of myself right now at the moment. I have to acknowledge that I’m a person who has written 583 short stories for this kinkmeme alone. (I didn’t include tumblr prompts or event weeks or things I just wrote for the hell of it in this number.) Who does that sort of thing? I did. 

I like to think I’ve gained some kind of additional skill in writing after doing all this. Lately, I sometimes felt that I hadn’t learned a thing and had somehow gotten worse after all this time, but in some ways I think that’s because I wasn’t giving myself a chance to write slowly. (I will now, though.) 

And, I’m sure as I start the re-read process to give top fives (or top tens for the big lists) in each ship, I will find that I’ve improved significantly over time (well, still, fingers crossed).

There’s a lot I could talk about regarding the kinkmeme prompts, but I only want to write a little, so if I seem to be talking at random, that’s why.

First of all: the RotG kinkmeme is wonderfully clear and organized, and incredibly polite. There’s some funky-ass prompts in there, but honestly I would recommend it to anyone wondering how a kinkmeme should look. 

Second of all: I noticed that prompts tended to come in waves. While that makes sense for the prompters (you see a prompt about one character, and you want to see something similar with a different character, so you make another prompt), sometimes it could really suck for me (there was a cluster of self-harm prompts; that wasn’t a fun week). I was going to say that sometimes it could be fun, but, no, the only thing about prompt clusters that was fun was that sometimes I made up AUs in frustration at having to rehash the same darn thing.

(I love AUs. I’m going to make a post with the top five kinkmeme-original AUs.)

Third of all: HOLY SHITTING FUCK I swear that I found more prompts for “Jack is super upset about having died” than anything, ANYTHING else. It was at a point where I would have rather seen prompts for the creepy flavor of blackice rather than another “um why didn’t jack break down when he realized he lost his family and also is dead b/c you kno he’s really just a emotional teenager” prompt. These were also the most similar prompts to each other. And almost none of them were filled, and you know why? Because this is not that interesting of a topic, especially when Jack isn’t dead in any meaningful way, and he’s THREE HUNDRED YEARS OLD. THREE HUNDRED. YEARS. OLD. (BTW, I have now developed a creep-out reaction to the epithet “the boy” when referring to Jack. I know that it wasn’t one person doing this but as a fandom habit it now makes me wince.) Um….anyway. I know I’m kind of being a jerk here. I just got so sick of these prompts. Maybe another part of it was because they were rarely detailed? Which meant that I had to come up with everything that Jack felt, and some reason he would be upset that was new and different from the time before, and etc. And I just…Jack is three hundred years old. He knows how long people live. And I don’t think thirty seconds of memory infusion is the same as living a life with a family and then losing them. 

Fourth-whatever of all: Pitch is not that dignified, people. He wants to be, but he’s not. He’s a (scary) pun-lord in a robe. Also, if you have a group prompt and leave out Sandy, I’m going to include him anyway, and I will also FIND YOU. Also, I’ve watched RotG a lot, and where does sugar-high “lol random” Jack come from? Is he hiding in the same place with the Guardians that treat him as a child rather than an equal? Also…actually never mind, I’ll talk about assumed power dynamics/sex positions somewhere else. Also, I still don’t know anything about Australian slang and that’s probably for the best. Also, I’m still not clear what a “snark-off” is, and I’m sure I never wrote one, no matter how many bonus internet points it would have got me. Also, I have read the word “cue” too many times in my life now, and I need to replace it with something else. Maybe, like, BEHOLD. Or something.

Anyway. I don’t want to sound so grumpy. I’m thrilled to have completed this project, and I enjoyed the vast majority of the writing. There are a lot of fics in this project that I’m proud of, and there are a lot of seeds for future projects in all these fills, as well.

But I think I might…(547,967)…take a…(583)…(3 years, 8 months, 13 days)…short break.

But first!

The Shortest Fill

The Top Ten Longest Fills (there’s a lot of variety here, and they might not be what you think):

Ten

Nine

Eight

Seven

Six

Five

Four

Three

Two

ONE (Yes, this is the biggest fill…and…well. *cackling*)

How about we don't kill the Wasp and just fucking make a Black Widow movie already?

Like everyone else on Tumblr I spend about 30-50% of my time thinking about how awesome it would be if someone would fucking schedule a Black Widow film. Eventually, this has evolved into some serious thinking about why it would be so awesome, which has inevitably led to the sort of single-minded intensity of thought that you know perfectly well has reached entirely unhealthy levels but also can’t actually turn around, at this point. So I’ve got a concept. And I don’t usually think this about any ideas I have about fiction but I genuinely think it is a …good one? And I just read the Ant Man news so I’m going to throw Marvel Studios a bone here cus they seem short on non-disastrous concepts right now.

The important thing about a Black Widow film is that it needs to be brutal; emotionally, combatively and psychologically. There is nothing soft about Natasha Romanov, she’s capable of kindness but she isn’t good at showing it to herself. She’s the grimmest, darkest character in the MCU and she’s untethered, outside her comfort zone and currently, very, very powerful. She’s more politically powerful than the compromised Cap, better at flipping off the government than Iron Man and still more able to disappear than Bifrost-enabled Thor.

But the point she’s at in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and indeed, 616) is one of needing to find out, in the kind of privacy you get in a safehouse and a firefight, what happens when she scrubs the many, many skins she has layered onto herself away. She’s not shedding them, she just wants to take a peek beneath and find out what the core one was. Is. And she’s not going to do that in a way that is gentle to her or anyone else. She won’t find her own identity by sitting on a beach in Thailand and eating pasta, she’ll find it with her hands tied and her boot at someone’s throat.

Natasha has been unmade, has been remade, has remodelled herself many times. She’s so adaptive she’s forgotten or never learnt how to react fully genuinely to situations, bar maybe a few flashes of affection for Clint and Steve and Fury. Obviously, maybe Age of Ultron blows all this out of the water (although I trust that film with Natasha’s backstory roughly the way I trust my dog with a packet of bacon) but at the end of Cap 2, we know that Natasha’s tired of that. She’s chosen to dig out the truth and that means out of herself, too.

And what would really suck is if that had anything to do with dudes. Sorry, Hawkeye.

Well, I say ‘anything to do with dudes.’ There are plenty of men that Natasha cares about and we needn’t throw them into the sea for the sake of having a film that cares about Natasha. But to have an effective Black Widow movie about finding Natasha Romanov, you have to look at the mechanisms of the Widow. She’s a master emotional manipulator, she uses the ability to make people like her to destroy them, she’s a spectacular, extraordinary combatant and from her bone-crushing thighs to the stings on her wrists, her body and her mind are weapons. Nominally, the Widow is a suit that Natasha Romanov puts on but realistically, it’s been a long while since that zipper has worked.

So a Natasha film needs to pit her against people with similar tools- needs to show manipulation, needs to show brutality. She needs an equal to the weaponry of the Widow so that it is clear that it is the other thing, the thing that is Natasha, that allows her to fight and win. (PS: obviously she wins it’s a fucking superhero movie)

Now, there’s a copyright problem with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or a film rights problem or whatever. The bad guys you can pick are a bit limited. But, fortunately, Hydra are definitely in. Which is a delight because it means that Madame Hydra is definitely in.

 

“Who is Madame Hydra?” you ask. Cus we’ve only seen Dude Hydra so far, if you wanna get depressed about shit. Well, in the comics she’s got a fvck of a long history- she was kidnapped by Hydra as a child, trained in strategy and combat and turned into a weapon, much like Natasha. Except that Madame Hydra doesn’t have any intention of going straight and would piss on your corpse if you suggested such a damn fool idea. She’s a little off-piste, in that she’s less the creepy Nazi science wing and more the ‘outright terrorism, gang warfare and glamour’ and she scares the shit out of even most of the rest of Hydra. She’s inconsistent, chaotic and extremely intelligent, amoral to the core and capable of using both her seductive glamour and her master manipulation skills to get what she wants. Which is control of the criminal underworld, carnage, a lot of money and the best green tailoring- these aren’t the political Hydra of Captain America, manuevering in the shadows of their own cultish thoughts- they’re straight up megalomania.

Madame Hydra is a killer for the sake of killing. She can be brutal, so she is. She can manipulate, so she does. Both for her own gain and for the sheer unadulterated hell of it. She’s powerful because she uses power gratuitously and with no regard for what anyone will think of her. Her break away from her brainwashing means she no longer seeks anyone’s approval, although she does demand loyalty. And might kill you for it. She would pull the wings off bugs that were shaped like little girls. And the dicks off man-roaches.

She’s a Bond villain, basically. A very good one. And this is, after all, a spy film. A glamourous, sexy, violent, thrilling spy film.

If we’re making a Bond film (err, sort of) though, who’s the Bond Girl? Well, ok, not a Bond Girl. But a bond girl- a character for Natasha to work with. Which is when I need to really urgently talk to you about Jessica Drew.

Jessica Drew is Spider-Woman. Which we can’t actually call her in the MCU because of film rights bullshit so it’s just as well she’s also known as Agent Drew.  Jessica Drew is the most important character in the world and I will fucking fight you if you say otherwise.

Jess is an experiment. She was genetically spliced in the womb, by a varying cast of baddies depending on the version of her origins you’re reading but let’s say Hydra for the purposes of the MCU. She was born broken, there’s no before- no one took a girl and made them what she is, she was a foetal thing when it started. Originally an agent of Hydra, in which she was brought up with the sort of loving care you’d expect from said organisation, she’s a deadly hand-to-hand combatant and can glide-fly with wings in her costume.

Her powerset is not dissimilar to Black Widow’s, in a lot of ways- Jess can drop persuasive pheremones to manipulate people and has built-in venom blasts of electricity in her wrists. She’s very beautiful and wholly weaponised. And miserably manipulated- Jess has things happen to her that make the things that happen to, say, The Winter Soldier look like a beauty treatment. Her unhappy origins aside, she’s been fucked over on a literally galactic level more times than any other Marvel character in recent decades. And she gets back up and does good things (possibly for bad reasons) and throws her battered, bloodied mind and body back into battle because losing herself in superheroing is better than trying to work out what she’d be if she wasn’t Spider-Woman Agent Drew.

 Jess is broken in ways that are not fixable. She doesn’t get a denouement where her brain is magically better and she’s over the trauma of her life just because she, say, has a really hot make out with Hawkeye against a tree that one time but crucially, she does also do hot make outs. Maybe not with the best choices but Jess is, for all she’s depressed and a mess and has never had a surety of self, a fully formed human who does fully formed human things, like try and make out with hot people, develop opinions about coffee and pick bad ringtones. She has feelings and friendships, in the comics- it doesn’t mean she isn’t depressed or damaged anymore- depressed, damaged people have friends. And jobs. And they try to keep hold of those things, with greater or lesser success.

 Basically: Jess has a life. A life which is Jess. It might not be the greatest life and she might not be in any way happy about it all but she has very little choice to be anything other than herself, weaponised or not.

 (The MCU Jess I am imagining is definitely, definitely queer and we can get the Carol/Jess we deserve come on Marvel let’s do this, the thirst is so incredibly real)

 Oh and Madame Hydra (delusionally) thinks Jess is her daughter. Or possibly just likes creeping Jess out by pretending that she thinks that so she can act like a fucking freak and be emotionally awful to her by eg: turning up occasionally to rescue Jess, tell her Hydra still love her and force Jess into a situation where she, filled with revulsion, claws back her own power and control by killing a swathe of Hydra Agents to escape.

 Let’s assume Jess has, at the start of the film, come in from the cold. She was working for Fury, for the same reasons that Natasha worked for Fury- their skillsets were useful, he deployed them according to their comfort levels, they don’t know what to do with themselves otherwise. Jess was presumably loosely aware of Natasha and Natasha probably knew Jess existed but I don’t see them as having had a professional relationship at any point or indeed, having met.

 (I have SO MANY IDEAS for how an MCU Jess would look; a yellow underlayer, made of some tough-ish, structured material and then leather and body armour layered as trousers and to make the distinctive diamonds on her torso,  wings made of dull-silvery material- like very finely woven metal, mask made of leather and kevlar,  lots of slim buckles across the diagonal lines of the front of her suit and down from the hips to make it look very slightly like the Winter Soldiers, as they share a tailor organisation. Look, I was very honest about the extent to which I have become unhealthily obsessed with this at the start.)

 So Natasha’s following up some leads- the film needs to open with her doing something violent and badass, like breaking into a Hydra base. And you see a female silhouette rapidly moving through dark corridors, the odd flash of red hair, the occasional detail of her weaponry but mostly it’s fast movement and the fleshy noises of Hydra minions being dispatched with incredible efficiency. Natasha has a personal grudge against Hydra, she’s fucking furious- they tricked her, used her as part of SHIELD and manipulated her into probably going on missions for them. She is not going to take very kindly to this. She has ways of not being very kind.

And it seems like things are happening too fast for even Black Widow to be doing it all, and then you see a flash of yellow boot, a flail of dark hair and like, they meet in the control room. No need for them to gratuitously fight- they’ll recognise each other. And each won’t know for sure that the other isn’t Hydra. Sure, Natasha released the secrets but in an atmosphere of such extreme betrayal and paranoia, Jess is going to have narrowed down the people she’s willing to trust to zero. Especially because everyone will be thinking she’s on the wrong side, having come from it. Jess is going to have been even more personally traumatised by the whole ‘SHIELD was Hydra all along’ revelation than Natasha- this is important because through the film, Natasha needs to be exasperated with Jess’ paranoid cutting off of everything to the point where she lets go of her own.

So yeah, they could fight at this point- Natasha knows how to defect, though. So instead you get a terse verbal negotiation and they work out what they’re both after, which is Madame Hydra, who is up to some bad shit cus that’s her deal. She’s doing said bad shit from Madripoor because we need to go to a good location. Hot, noisy, criminal Madripoor can be the perfect, crowded, humans everywhere location for clinical, cool, controlled Black Widow to find herself.

And ok yes this is where my concept slightly peeters out because I haven’t, like, intricately plotted it (give me another few weeks of hard thought) but basically Nat and Jess go on a journey of self-discovery through the criminal underworld of Madripoor, try to work out what they’re made of. There will be moral ambiguity, there’ll be repeated moments where it’s obvious their skillsets could be used to make a lot of money and have a lot of power, that they’re their own greatest assets.

(Being your own greatest asset is a good value to come out of a lady superhero movie, IMO)

Thing is, tho, they won’t. Natasha works out that the thing that makes her more than the Black Widow, the thing that makes her more than a job (because an assassination order from Fury isn’t far different from one for hire, after all) is that she can make those choices. That there’s a bit of her that’s conscious and moral and wants to not just do things but do the right things, that’s she’s more than the illusion of order that following instructions to deploy herself provided. 

And also: car chases, diving out of windows on the 68th floor, badass weapons, perhaps a little misandry from Madame Hydra’s mouth (she’s a strangely sympathetic, personable villain, for a complete megalomaniac) and a lot of punching. Neon lights and darkness and slinking across rooftops to drop on someone’s head and garotte them. The kind of stuff we all do on Friday nights.

Anyway, at the end, Natasha has to choose between killing Madame Hydra, which would very efficiently complete the mission and saving Jess, which would even piss Jess off if Madame Hydra gets away. And there’s one choice there for Natasha and one for Black Widow and she can work out which one she ought to take. 

Basically please can we have a paranoid, sweaty thriller about women laughing together with violence? It will be top.

(With only a small amount of bias, I nominate @febricant to play Jessica)

Chapter 84 did nothing wrong

Getting kind of sick of the people saying they quit Attack on Titan or think this new chapter or last few chapters are bad. Honestly this manga is more than just the characters in it. The ideas about the philosophy that I’ve seen produced go beyond ‘my favourite character is the best and if Isayama kills them he’s an awful writer, but if they live he’s the best’.

To me, this series is about cruelty, reality, struggle, defeat and persistence. The world that has been created is one where the characters and readers are both led to challenge morality and their own understanding of the world. It’s particularly shown by the fact that we follow a character with clear moral integrity having to make decisions that result in the death of his comrades and witness literal atrocities.

I’d go as far as to say the truth shown by it is uncomfortable. For example, when the bodies are dropped from carriages after the female Titan attack. Survival is ugly, gruesome, and completely against moral nature, but it’s absolutely necessary. Death is inevitable, painful, but constantly tugs on that line between human and something else.

You can clearly see how these core characteristics have been applied to the new chapter. Despite the fact that I suppose it can be called ‘drama’, though if I weren’t in this fandom on tumblr, that’s probably not the angsty teenager-esq simplification I’d label it, I actually think this development is quite strong. The 'only-one-can-live’ scenario may be dated, but it also picks at the threads of humanity once again. Should we choose the bonds we’ve made with others? Is it right to save the ones we care for even if we sacrifice others? Rather than pick sides in a character-based fanservice civil war, look at how the potential leaders of humanity break down and fall apart, because the cruelty of the series is that they need to give up their humanity, but they can’t, or no longer know what that is.

It’s broken our hearts, because Isayama has told us how meaningful and full of emotion and depth this character is, and then taken them away. This is the creator that wanted all of the characters to be dead by the end. This kind of cut-life-short, confusing loss is exactly the kind that would happen in such a world. In reality, we don’t always have the time to reach our potential.

I’ve shipped Ereri and Eruri. I love Erwin very much. I love how he became a three-dimensional character, and his personal downfall was very intriguing from a psychological perspective. He’s also incredibly attractive. However, his death and the argument surrounding it is another interesting look into our characters’ understanding of right and wrong at this point in time. I really don’t want more of 'erwin was the best, I’m quitting this fandom now because he’s gone so there’s no point.’ If you’re reading the manga or watching the anime for the hot characters and the ships but nothing more, then you probably shouldn’t be reading it. Sure at the same time you can read whatever you want, I can’t stop you, but I don’t understand how on earth you could even begin to understand the significance of anything in the manga at all if that’s the only reason you’re reading it. This is a serious piece of work. It is not a shoujo. It is not high school, slice-of-life romance drama where you can say you love the characters and always be on their side, ship them, and expect them to be alive and ready for the next drama to face with their friends at the end of the day. It’s a dystopia with man-eating giants and a bunch of under-equipped, under-staffed, ignorant and probably psychopathic or depressed kids and adults trying to fight them while learning that their friends can and will die, and sometimes they will have to do the killing. It’s dark and painful, but that’s the appeal.

I read the manga, and I will continue to because I think it’s utter genius. It’s not often someone comes up with such a unique world, with excellent characters and curious plot-lines. I still have a lot of unanswered questions. But I swear to god I’m never looking up Attack on Titan on tumblr ever again if all I’m going to find is a load of unappreciative fandom civil war bullshit. Even if you disagree with the choices of the author, please be respectful. There are plenty of characters I absolutely adore, that I would be heartbroken to lose, but at the end of the day this death has meaning and I refuse to let whiny tumblr fans ruin a masterpiece.

Respect the Senpai.

anonymous asked:

Why is LJ putting subject lines in comments a big deal?

Sure, why not! I was there! I can mostly answer this.

First it’s important to understand that they’re not simply putting subject lines into comments, they’re putting them back.

Second, let’s backtrack a second here.

There’s a quote going around tumblr that I love. About how fandom is the most technically rigorous test you can ever give your product.

Why?

Because fandom is actually fairly large, we’re smaller than some people think, but we’re larger than most assume. AND most of online fandom makes heavy use of interaction. We don’t just create output (fic, vids, gifs, etc), we don’t just ponder meta to ourselves, we don’t just wonder in our shower if that really WAS a monster cock under those tailored trousers. We go online and ask for second, third and twelfth opinions. We bounce ideas, squee, glee, anger, sadness, righteous fury, EMOTIONS, we bounce emotions and ideas off each other in ways I think other groupings don’t.

The question that comes up often is “why did fandom nest here and not there?” Well. A lot of it is what’s available at the time. Freely. (There can be paid options as well, but there needs to be a decent network of free services and capabilities.)

Fandom is incredibly adaptive. They don’t need (or at least have historically not gotten until recently) places designed exactly for their needs and unique forms of communication. Fandom is usually pretty happy with a 60% - 80% overlap of features originally implemented for the platform’s original use and what fandom wants from its platforms.

Fandom can adjust, adapt, test the limits, break it and then come back and go “okay we can do X, but only until Y and then we have to do Z” and we can make it work for us.

What happens is, options that fandom uses are not always considered vital options. Or cause maintenance issues that the maintainers of the product never expected and don’t know how to handle, or just don’t want to.

THEN invariably, an option disappears. Maybe the product is attempting to update for the times, maybe they have new management and want to go in different directions, maybe there really is a very small hint of ‘oh god get the porny weirdos out of our hair before the buyer comes in and kicks the tires!’.

BACK to the original question now.

On livejournal, subject lines were incorporated into the workings of many fannish pursuits because they were a way of being upfront about the content of the coming comment. Subject lines could include things like: fandom, pairing, rating, word counts, kink and/or meme prompt, trigger/content warnings. THESE were all especially helpful for active posts because eventually conversation threads were collapsed to save space and loading time. Fanfic memes meant to respond in comments became easier to search on your own. Etc.

When LJ took the subject lines away it was in the middle of a series of decisions that were very alienating to fandom already, from what I recall there was no warning and the reasoning was along the lines of ‘facebook doesn’t do it’. It’s what finally caused one of the larger mass migrations off LJ to other social networks and certain memes that had been born within the structure of the LJ comment page either came up with style work arounds that were pretty imperfect, rules to help compensate which were difficult to get right sometimes or they just moved entire because they liked the format they already had.

Basically when comment subject lines were removed, it literally broke about 1/3 of the fannish infrastructure.

As usual, there were thousands of comments asking why (from what I could tell the answers never really got better) and for opt outs or reversing it, but LJ staff remained firm that it was for the good of the Empire or whatever (yeah I’m getting pretty sarcastic here, LJ was being especially empty headed in some of its decisions at that point.)

This all happened before I completely dropped out of fandom for a while, so, YEARS ago. The reason why it’s so hilarious is it’s just a bit of too little too late and it’s fairly easy to imagine that a platform designed for interaction making it HARDER and then being really stubborn and taking this long to figure maybe that’s not a great idea, IF that platform is LJ.

Basically there are a handful fans going “mwuahahah, called it!”

Tourmaline: chapter 19

(Chapter 1) (Chapter 2) (Chapter 3) (Chapter 4) (Chapter 5) (Chapter 6) (Chapter 7) (Chapter 8) (Chapter 9) (Chapter 10) (Chapter 11)(Chapter 12) (Chapter 13) (Chapter 14) (Chapter 15) (Chapter 16) (Chapter 17) (Chapter 18) (Chapter 20) (Chapter 21) (Chapter 22) (Chapter 23) (Epilogue) (FAQ)

Garnet supported Tourmaline’s limp body. She kept their arm draped over her neck, body hugged tight against her own, as she made the slow trek toward the house. She moved with a deliberate fluidity, as if the slightest bump might rock loose the last bits of the Rose Quartz gem that held it together.

Amethyst and Pearl trailed by a few feet. They had swept the whole beach after Cinnabar extinguished her flame fence. Pearl ringed herself with at least 40 bubbles, each housing a gem shard smaller than the last. Amethyst only cuddled a few slivers close to her. They were the ones she’d managed to pick up before Pearl. The vast majority had been swept up by Pearl; Pearl didn’t use her sand powers much (and when she did, it was usually to model simple things on a living canvas) but she’d upturned tons in a few short minutes to ensure they’d gathered every last piece. It’d left the beach jagged, hot, and churned up.

In the meantime, they could only trust that Cinnabar would make good on her agreement, and wait by her ship until they dragged Peridot out. The Gems knew in the back of their minds that there was no way they could guarantee her cooperation, but the chance to save Steven reigned above all else.

Garnet paused when she reached the stairs. She toed the lowest step, considering. How much would it jostle Tourmaline to carry them up? Her mind strayed to calm, warm nights with Steven asleep on the main couch. She would lift him, cradle him, carry him up the stairs to his bed without so much as a stutter in his breathing pattern. She always knew how to be gentle enough with him. Steven was a heavy sleeper, though, and the thought wasn’t comforting at the moment.

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