this coloring is horrific

Warning: graphic pictures

These are incredibly difficult to look at, but I feel like it’s important to post given the discourse here over the last few weeks about proper care for goldfish.

I’m a mod on a goldfish forum, and yesterday these pictures were posted in our illness section by the owner who was concerned about the fish’s inability to swim. He explained that the fish was 10 years old and living in a 20 liter (about 5 gallon) tank. The fish was laying on its side, had a milky film on its face, and was refusing to eat.

It had been in this state, barely moving, not eating, for a week and a half.

The pictures posted were of one of the most stunted, sickly fish I’ve ever seen. I had to go put my laptop away and close my eyes for a while after seeing them the first time and even now they turn my stomach. I can’t imagine the amount of pain this poor thing has gone through.

Emaciated, crooked spine, bulging eyes, pale color, deformed mouth, shortened head, uneven scales, and horrifically small for its age.

And this guy had no idea that there was anything wrong. He waited a week and a half before seeking help for an animal in this condition. He seemed to honestly care about his fish, based on the way he spoke, but he still allowed it to get to this point because he thought this is just how people treat goldfish.

Unfortunately it’s all too common to keep fish in these conditions both due to lack of information and societal acceptance of their neglect. Could you imagine what it would have been like if it were a dog or a cat in this condition?

5 gallons isn’t even the worst size really, most fish bowls are more like 1 gallon, and goldfish are often kept in those for years at a time. Just because not every fish in a bowl stunts this dramatically doesn’t mean that they don’t have the potential to suffer just as badly.

We recommended euthanasia with clove oil. We had to. It would be unspeakably cruel to even try to treat this fish and prolong its suffering. Thankfully the owner agreed to put it to sleep. I can only hope he’ll go through with it as soon as possible.

For comparison, here was one of my boys at 10 months. Fat and round, deep color, alert and active, and already larger than the fish above. He was living in a 50 gallon tank when this picture was taken.

This is what a goldfish looks like when kept in a proper sized tank, with regular water changes, and a healthy diet.

This is what all goldfish should look like. This is why goldfish need just as much space, work, and money put into them as any other pet.

This is part one of two, featuring Genji, Hanzo, McCree, Soldier 76, Reaper, and Torbjorn. Hopefully part 2 will be done and posted tomorrow with the rest of the guys. Going underived a read more because it got a little long


Genji

- He probably went looking for you and that was one reason for his being a playboy. He was trying to meet as many people as possible to try and find you

- But he doesn’t meet you until after he found peace from Zenyatta teachings. At this point he’d already given up on ever finding you

- As a cyborg, he gained the ability to see a few colors he couldn’t before

- Part of him worries that he won’t be able to see the addition of new colors when he meets his soulmate

- But it’s not long after Winston recalls everyone from Overwatch and he’s meeting a couple new recruits. He’s shaking hands with them and when he shakes the 2nd to last one the world bursts into color

- Turns out that he didn’t need to worry about knowing whether or not he’d be able to tell when he met you

- The two of you just stand there staring and holding each other’s hand. He’s wondering if you’re put off by his appearance until you throw your arms around him and say “I’ve been looking for you for so long”

Hanzo

- Hanzo is the opposite of Genji. He doesn’t want to meet his soulmate because he knows he has to marry for the good of the clan, no matter who his soulmate (there have Shimada’s who take their soulmate as a lover, but Hanzo wants to give them everything or nothing)

- He meets you anyways, before either of you are prepared for it. He’s dragging Genji out from a party and bumps shoulders with someone. The world bursts into color and both of you stagger

- Genji thinks Hanzo suddenly feels sick, and since he is concerned from him gets him out of there. It isn’t until later when Hanzo has recovered a bit that they realize that it was Hanzo’s soulmate. But neither of them know who it is and Hanzo has no desire to find out or so he tells himself

- The world is color now and it’s makes things more beautiful and more horrific for Hanzo. He can see the color of the cherry blossoms but he can also see the color of Genji’s blood when he kills him

- It’s years later when he finds you again, after he has forgiven himself and joined Genji at Overwatch. They return to Hanamura and this time, when he brushes shoulders with you, the colors don’t appear but they do get brighter. He hadn’t even noticed that in the years since your first meeting that they had dulled

- This meeting goes much better and the two of you have done some not-so-good things in yours lives, but you have each other, finally  

McCree

- In Deadlock, it was considered a weakness if you looked for your soulmate, or decided to associate with them if you did

- It wasn’t until he joined Overwatch and learned that that wasn’t normal for the rest of the world that the thought of finding you and actually having a life with you crossed his mind

- He started looking for you whenever he could, meeting as many people as possible

- But Overwatch gets disbanded and he goes on run and he still hasn’t found you

- He stops looking because he doesn’t want to drag you into the mess that is his life

- One day he’s running from some cops and he runs into you, literally

- The world bursts into color. That you have pretty hair is the first thing that pops into his mind

- But unfortunately for him, you’re a cop so you arrest him, soulmate or no

- But he breaks out of jail, and of course he doesn’t do the sensible thing and run but shows up at your house and makes you coffee

- You talk to him and at first it’s just a way to stall until you can arrest him again but he’s charming and kind and you just kind of let him go

- He texts you as he travels around the country and calls you when he can. He even visits a couple times. Over time the two of you develop a friendship and then a relationship and when Overwatch reforms you join and you and Jesse get the chance to actually try being a couple

- Spoiler alert: You guys are perfect for each other

Soldier 76

- So Jack was probably pretty idealistic when he was younger, so he was very enthusiastic about meeting his soulmate and he looked for you wherever he went

- Years passed and he became Strike Commander Morrison and he gave up on finding you. He accepted that he probably was never going to meet you and he accepted that even though it pained him

- He meets you after he becomes Soldier 76 and he’s fighting Los Muertos. You’re a civilian and he tackles you to block you the gang’s weapon fire

- The moment he tackles you, both you’re visions of burst into color

- He’s been trained to well enough that he doesn’t stop fighting but doesn’t mean he’s not shocked. Immediately after the fight he vanishes again

- You’re shocked that your soulmate is an infamous vigilante

- He reappears that night in your apartment. He doesn’t know what to say but he knows he can’t leave

- You’re still mildly freaking out at his identity. You freak out even more when he tells you he’s Jack Morrison

- He tells you about the fall of Overwatch (as much as he knows anyways). It all comes out in flood, he’s been alone so long that he’s forgotten how good it feels to have someone to trust. And he does trust you, even though he just met you

- You listen to all he has to say. You remember when Overwatch was a force for good and saved the world. You decide you believe him, he’s your soulmate what else are you going to do?

- He stills goes off to try and find out the whole truth of what happened, but he keeps in contact and comes to see you. It doesn’t take long until he’s referring to you’re house as ‘home’ even though after Overwatch fell he said he’d never have a home again

Reaper

- Gabriel is more idealistic when he was younger so he definitely search wherever he could for his soulmate. But he wasn’t expecting them to find you in the middle of a war zone

- You’re one of the many nurses helping the civilians injured by the Omnic War

- But when both of your visions suddenly turn colorful, you’re more surprised than he is

- You weren’t expecting the great Gabriel Reyes to be your soulmate

- Both of you are very busy with the war but it doesn’t mean that you don’t make as much effort as possible to get to know each

- This relationship continues after he becomes the head of Blackwatch

- It continues right up until the explosion at the Swiss Headquarters when he dies and you’re vision goes back to black and white. Over the next few weeks your ability to see color seems to fade in and out, finally seeming to settle on being able to see a few washed out colors. You don’t know what it means but you’re determined to find out. After all, if you still seeing colors then he can’t really be dead, right?

- You go his funeral, both the public one and the private one for his closest friends. Angela doesn’t meet your eyes at either one

- You spend the next few years secretly looking into what really happened when the base exploded

- Talon notices, and they don’t like it so they send a few agents to ‘deal’ with you. Unfortunately for them, they send Reaper, not realizing that you’re his soulmate (you kept that fact hidden). The moment he realizes it’s you he kills the other agents before you even realize that they’re there. He doesn’t plan on revealing himself to you, but he didn’t know that the closer he got the brighter your vision became (after Mercy revived him he was still able to see in full color). He’s hiding in the shadows behind you when you turn around and say “Gabriel? Is that you?”

- So he reveals himself to you and steps out of the shadows. You stand there, staring at each other until you reach up and gently remove his mask. He looks different, there’s scars and bits of his flesh drift away as smoke, but it’s him and you missed him so much

- You join him in his quest to find out the truth about who betrayed Overwatch. You have to relearn each other all over again, but neither of you really mind

Torbjorn

- There’s a reason that Torbjorn seems to be married to his turret

- He met you when you were kids, about 5 or 6. You went to school together and one day playing tag at recess he was ‘it’ and tagged you

- The world burst into color and both of you started crying because it hurt your brains to process all the new colors and neither of you knew what was going on

- It doesn’t take long for the teachers to figure out what happened and call both your parents

- It’s rare to find your soulmate so young, but you’re parents are thrilled that you won’t have to ever wonder who your soulmate is. Plus, both pairs of parents know each other and know that they’re good people

- It takes a few years for you both to realize what being soulmates means, but the two of you have already become friends.

- That friendship only grows as the years go on

- You both join the Ironclad Guild and help design the Titan class omnic (the giant one that Torb is fighting in his comic)

- The two of you are incredibly skilled and talented engineers, some of the best in the world

- One day you head to Russia to act as a consultant for the Volskaya Corp.

- A few days after you’ve left, Torbjorn’s vision fades to black and white, the color slowing draining away. He doesn’t know that you’re bleeding out in the snow in Russia, one of the first victims of the Omnic War.

- A few months later Torbjorn will join the original Overwatch Strike Team to fight back against the omnics

last night I dreamt that Failbetter Games put out a Fallen London coloring book that was only sold on cruise ships and I flipped through it and you could color in horrific creatures and banquet tables laden with zzoup and one I particularly remember was you could color in a host of screaming zailors falling into the inky depths off a ship and honestly? I’d buy it

The only reasoning I will accept for changing Loki’s outfit color scheme from green/black/gold to blue and yellow is that Jeff Goldblum’s character is the biggest fucking diva in the universe and forces all his pets/minions to conform to his horrific primary color decorating schemes.

Onsra | Part II

(v.) – to love for the last time; a bittersweet feeling of knowing a love won’t last

Words: 4.6K

Genre: Demon!Au. Fluff. Angst. Smut.

Read: Part 1 | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI

A/N: Sorry for taking forever to update! >.<  I know there’s not too much angst or fluff or smut yet, but maybe some innuendos? o.o Either way, if you haven’t read the first part yet, I’ve linked it above!

“All mine,” He said confidently as his lips pressed gently to your neck. The sensation of his warm lips against your skin made you shiver as you pushed harder against his chest with your free hand.

“Th-This isn’t real…” The tremble in your voice made him chuckle. This was all a dream- no, a nightmare. Jeon Jungkook, a classmate of yours, was saying the exact same things as the boy who had been keeping you up at night by haunting your every thought. It simply wasn’t possible. You let out a laugh and you felt your knees giving in. “I’m imagining things. God, I really am going crazy…”

“Are you?” He asked quietly. “Don’t be stupid, Y/N.” Jungkook gave your intertwined hand a gentle squeeze before letting your hand drop to your side. You stay silent in a complete daze as he chuckled again at your confusion. Part of you wanted to believe him, but the other part of you didn’t even know how to rationalize what was happening: That the boy you kept seeing at night while you were asleep was very real… and somehow he was standing right here in front of you. You were really losing it.

“I-I’ll open my eyes any second now… And then you’ll be gone.”

“This isn’t a dream… Do you feel these hands against you?” He snaked his hands up to your waist and gripped firmly. “Do you feel these lips against your skin?” You felt a sharp pain as his teeth captured the soft skin on your neck. You inhaled sharply before a soft moan escaped your lips. Your eyes bulged suddenly at the strange sound that you just emitted as the hair on the back of your neck standing straight. He let out a low chuckle. “I’ll take that as a yes.

Keep reading

((forgot to mention, I do my M!As in a little bit of a different art style - I’m not as picky about anatomy and consistency and what not. its kinda like “quantity over quality”, because if I tried to make them all look their best it’d take too long xD here’s the last M!A I did if you wanna see what I’m talking about))

Okay but can we talk about queer Slytherins?

Like, going to spend holiday break from school with their girlfriend/boyfriend/enbyfriend and having to lie to their parents because their significant other isn’t a pureblood and isn’t a Slytherin and being absolutely shocked when their datemate introduces them as a romantic partner instead of lying. 

Then imagine their face as one of their partner’s parents wraps them in a hug and says “Welcome to the family.”

Think about nonbinary Slytherins getting ready for the Yule Ball with their Ravenclaw friends, and the tears that come to their eyes when the Ravenclaw presents them with a binder and different dress robes than the frilly dress their mother had sent with a note saying “All the better to catch a husband with my dear.”

And imagine the way their face lights up when they come back, binder on, to see themself in the mirror.

What about a Gryffindor, seeing the way a Slytherin’s parents scold their pureblood kid for kissing his male friend on the cheek, and think about the Gryffindor guy walking over to them in the Great Hall, and in front of a bunch of people, kisses him on the cheek.

And imagine the whistles he gets coming back into the common room from his fellow slytherins (who after the war are much more accepting than their parents) that night, and the blush he can feel under his dark skin.

And what about the way McGonagall cuts a homophobic parent to size with her cutting wit and her scathing tone when she receives a letter requesting that the parents child be separated from other children of the same gender to discourage “h*m*sexual tendencies.”

And think about Slytherin kids coming to headmaster McGonagall for advice and her absolute befuddlement, until she realizes that her Gryffindors have been telling them that McGonagall is very accepting, and listens to anyone.

Think about the Slytherin common room being a safe space, but there being no dorm room for intersex/genderqueer/nonbinary kids, until the other students realize that four or five of the kids have been sleeping in the common room instead of the dorms. Then they team together with the Ravenclaw kids to change the magical architecture of the dormitories to include an extra dorm, Then the Gryffindors chip in to bring in all sorts of furniture and decorations and then even help with a custom charm to make it seem like there are windows showing the weather outside, even though they’re underground. The the Hufflepuffs hear about it, and immediately take over to redecorate the horrific colors the Gryffindors have accidentally chosen.

Then imagine all the Slytherins paying back the other houses by helping them make their own gender neutral dorms.

Just, take a second to talk about queer Slytherins.

horrific color pencil skillz

I had this dream almost a year ago where I was watching someone play this game, and they were playing as KH2 Sora slaying a bunch of zombies with a katana!!  I made a replica of the original picture (which I messed up on), and I forgot I had this in my clipboard. (*゚ー゚)ゞ

Hope you all like it! :)

  • one day, while adam is working and gansey is off purchasing a pool table or having suspicious secret meetings with the dean or at a Very Gansey Christmas™, blue goes to monmouth to visit noah 
  • noah’s not there, but ronan is
  • blue opens the door (she has a key) to something she never thought she’d see: ronan lynch, who’s made of sharp edges and has a tattoo curling across his back and a large raven perching on his shoulder, folding laundry and humming to himself. she recognizes the song, too, and makes a small noise of suprise
  • “what, maggot? someone has to do this shit” ronan says
  • “were you humming taylor swift?” blue asks
  • ronan throws a polo shirt at her face
  •  “noah’s not here. either help fold or get the fuck out”
  • together, they make quick work of the laundry, blue singing bad blood and watching ronan mouth the words when he thinks she isn’t looking. finally, there’s only one more thing in the laundry basket; gansey’s horrifically bright “aquamarine is a wonderful color” polo.
  • “god, that thing is fucking terrible,” ronan growls
  • blue holds it between the tips of her fingers and wrinkles her nose in disgust. “i’ve always wanted to burn it”
  • ronan grins at her, all teeth. “i could go for some smores”
  • gansey noses The Pig into the parking lot, wondering at the cloud of smoke rising from the side of the building
  • his worries disappear as he walks toward the door and sees blue and ronan laughing and roasting marshmallows over a bonfire. gansey’s heart swells. these two people he loves are finally getting along.
  • as he gets closer, he hears blue shout “the fire’s dying! add more kindling!” and sees ronan produce a strip of aquamarine fabric from somewhere. he doesn’t know how to feel. blue and ronan are bonding, it’s exactly what he’s been wanting, but at the same time… 
  • “is that my shirt?” 
  • “relax, dick, i’ll dream you something better”
OC Night Market Hate Crime 5/21/17

On the 21st of May, 2017, an Asian-American man was severely beaten in the parking lot at the OC Night Market by a tall white man with full tattoo sleeves and two white women, one of which was the original instigator. He is currently in ER. When the Asian man refused to let the white woman cut in line for a drink, she told him to ‘eat dogs’ and go back to Asia, and then gathered her companions and stalked the Asian man until he was leaving the event and alone in the parking lot.

When more information is revealed about the hate crime that occurred last night, I’m going to thoroughly follow the case and do my best to spread the info, make sure that the three perpetrators are caught and brought to justice, and raise awareness about the shocking and dismaying prevalence of anti-Asian sentiment and violence even in the most diverse of Californian communities.

What happened tonight is disturbing, and I feel as if my knowingly false sense of security in my own home territory here in SoCal has been somehow proven even more false than ever before. I grew up in the LA suburbs on the border of the OC where the majority of the residents were Asian-American, and in this insulated bubble, many of my peers grew up complacent and ignorant of the reality of life as a person of color in America. After all, the horrific events surrounding the death of Vincent Chin seemed to us like it was so long ago. But that has never truly been the case, and I hope that in this influx of overt anti-Asian racism in the places where we feel the most safe, we can come together as a community and face the fact that none of us were ever safe here. All we can do is fight for a voice of our own and do what we can to see to it that the systematic injustice that aims to bring down all people of color in America is faced with all of our collective strength.

I was out in Hollywood all of yesterday, in a group of mostly Asian-American (and entirely POC) friends, and ate at a Japanese izakaya filled with white people spouting microaggressions just a few hours ago. And the frightening thing is, we were contemplating heading out to the night market ourselves. This story hits home because it could have been me or anyone I was with. It could have been a member of my family. It could have been my significant other. And it happened to this specific Asian-American man simply because he was the one that was there.

And it happened in the OC: Asian-American territory. Racists have no fear any longer, and we are no longer safe even within our own communities, at our own events centered around Asian food and culture, in the heart of what is supposed to be one of the most tolerant, progressive and ethnically diverse places in the world.

As you may be able to tell, I’m pretty angry about it.

None of the perpetrators of the crime at the OC Night Market have been found as of yet, there seems to be no mention of the attack on the local news, and I haven’t been able to find any information other than the first-hand accounts posted to social media by friends of the victim. Please follow the link for more information on the perpetrators, and stay safe, folks.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213547897435970&id=1358265078

TRUCE


The sun was just beginning to rise over the rubble of the city below, its orange and pink haze covering the mounds of broken concrete and wood like fire. It was summer, and though it was only six in the morning the heat was already into the 80’s. The dry earth and brown shriveled trees echoed the dry, empty atmosphere that had come along with the androids. From his spot high atop the hill, Trunks could see everything; all of the devastation and heartbreak and broken dreams of thousands of people. It hummed in his bones like an angry wind. And despite all of it, all of his hatred towards the beings (if you could even call them that), that had caused this, he was here because of her.

Because she had asked.

She’d delivered her hurried message late last evening in the form of a crumpled ball of paper dropped onto his forehead through the skylight as he slept. She’d flown right above him, the easiest of targets and he hadn’t even noticed. The androids didn’t emit ki, so trying to track them was useless. It’s what made his mission to destroy them damn near impossible. Hell, he didn’t even wake up until he’d felt the message drop right onto his face. It asked him to wait for her here, in this spot at dawn. And despite all of his better judgement, and everything she had done, here he was.

The sound of quiet footsteps came from behind him. He knew she was only making noise for his sake.

Trunks turned his head, body tense as Android 18 walked up to him, hand on her hip. Her platinum blonde hair covered one half of her perfect elfin face, ice blue eyes piercing him with a pleased glint,“You’re here.” She stated, not surprised in the least bit.

She knew he would come. Why wouldn’t he? It was an opportunity too good to pass up. Mortal enemies, one inviting the other to a meeting of unknown circumstances.

He nodded slightly, scowl deepening, “That’s what the note said to do.”

“And do you always follow directions like a good boy?” 18’s voice was light, teasing, so human-like it made Trunks uncomfortable. She was close now, just behind him on the cliff ledge he was sitting on. It was closer than he’d ever been to her without the two of them going at one another like rabid dogs. He registered then how beautiful she was, lithe and still muscular. It was a damn shame she wasn’t real. An illusion. An android. And dangerous.

He should destroy her now, get it over with. It would be so easy.

But there was something about her posture that made him pause. It was relaxed, calm…

Trusting.

This killing machine was trusting him with her existence. For whatever crazy reason.

Instead of following his Sayian instincts boiling just below the surface urging him to rip her to shreds, he relaxed his clenched fist and said, “Well, considering the fact you could have blown me up while I slept last night and didn’t I figured this wouldn’t be a trap.”

18 noticed his body relaxing and raised an incredulous eyebrow, “You’re too trusting. It’ll come back and bite you in the ass if you’re not careful. You never know where the big-bad-wolf could be hiding.”

Trunks decided to play his trump card, the one he had suspected since he received her message last night, “Shame your Brother couldn’t be here. Where’s 17?”

18 froze. He knew he had her then.

“He doesn’t know you’re here…does he?”

“It’s none of his business.” She looked guilty and suddenly very nervous.

“He’s your other half, you’d think he’d be interested in this little meeting.”

Her ice blue eyes glowed with anger, “You’d better not tell him or-”

Trunks held up a hand, and couldn’t help but smile. Damn his Saiyan ancestry. It would surely be the death of him some day. It was stupid, but this was almost…fun. This conspiratorial deal with the devil. This beautiful, dangerous devil. “Don’t worry,” he chuckled, “I figured as much. I won’t say anything. After this, we can forget and go back to trying to kill each other. Deal?”

She sighed, then nodded. Trunks wondered if she really even needed to breathe, or if she did so out of habit. Was she human at some point? Who was she?

While he was lost in thought, 18 without hesitation came and sat beside him, their shoulders almost touching. Trunks tried not to faint at her forwardness. She crossed one of her thin legs over the other, clad in tight black leggings and short denim skirt and dangled them over the edge. It was so natural looking for her, so unapologetically girly. He couldn’t help but stare at her profile; he’d never had the opportunity to do so before. 18’s skin was pale but not unnaturally so, with a light flush across her high cheekbones. Her thin nose came to a point over her full, rosy lips. Her eyelashes were blonde, like her hair and they were long…almost impossibly so.

“See something you like?” She asked, eyes still locked on something far away in the distance in front of her.

Trunks felt himself blush; it was always easy for him to do so. Unfortunately easy. His mother found it endearing. He found it miserable, “S-sorry.” He muttered, finally tearing his gaze away from her. An awkward silence followed. What was he doing ogling her? She must think he was a weirdo.

Wait. Why would he care what she thought of him?

Trunks’s face grew hotter, and he knew his cheeks must be flaming red. This was stupid. HE was stupid. She was a stone cold killer, murderer of his best friend and thousands of others. The last thing he should be doing is thinking about is what SHE thought of HIM…

Cool fingertips brushed across his forehead, palm resting against his skin, “You look ill.” 18’s voice was matter-of-fact and collected, as if touching him was the most natural thing in the world; as if they weren’t trying on an almost daily basis to kill one another.

It took everything in his power to keep Trunks from melting into a puddle or flailing away to hide. This…this was ridiculous! His large blue eyes blinked helplessly at her as 18 brushed a lock of his lavender hair to the side, her expression growing more puzzled by the second, “Hm,” she mused, “your not ill at all-”

“N-no.” His voice cracked, betraying his effort at regaining control of the situation. With as much restraint as possible he took her by the wrist and pushed her hand back into her lap. 18 smirked at him, bemused. Whether or not she realized what her actions implicated, Trunks did know she could sense his quickened heartbeat. It was painfully obvious she had the upper hand; it was just a question of if she intended it.

Trunks cleared his throat, “Listen, you’re the one who called me out here. It seems like your stalling. Your note said you had something important to discuss with me, so what is it?”

18’s smile faded, expression losing its playful edge, “What’s your favorite color?”

If Trunks hadn’t been sitting he was sure he’d have fallen through the earth, “Wha-what?!”

“Color. What’s your favorite?” She repeated it slowly, like he was some kind of idiotic, alien life form. Which to her, he probably was.

This conversation wasn’t happening… he was dreaming. Maybe dead. She hypothetically could have already blown him to smithereens and he didn’t realize it. This female half of the duo who had killed Gohan, his mentor and only friend, was asking him questions you’d expect to hear when you were on a date for the first time.

Wait.

Was that was this was?

This was surreal; ludicrous.

“Blue.” Trunks blurted, unable to control his brain anymore.

18 smiled, and it was beautiful. “Why?”

His first horrific thought was, ‘It’s the color of your eyes.’ But that was so wrong he felt like throwing himself off the cliff. “It’s… the color of the sky.” Trunks finished lamely.

“The sky can be many colors,” 18 said, “why blue? Why is it so special?”

“What does it matter?”

“Because it’s my favorite too. At least, that’s what my programming says.”

Trunks exhaled, just a little too loud, “Oh.”

The way she was looking at him was unnerving, “What’s your favorite food?”

“Are we seriously doing this right now-”

“Humor me.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to escape the way she seemed to look right into him, “…Cheeseburgers.”

“Why?”

“Wha-geeze, I don’t know. Because they taste good. Haven’t had one in awhile though.”

Because of her. Because of them. Any shred of normalcy was all gone because of she and her brother.

“I don’t need to eat; but I wish I could.” Her voice was composed, but unusually quiet.

Trunks raised his head and frowned, his expression apparently asking the question he was thinking because she answered, “I used too…once. I can’t really remember though.”

“Oh.” It was all he could come up with. Suddenly feeling… guilty was not something he was expecting, “So, why don’t you have to anymore?”

Shrugging, 18 kicked her feet back and forth over the edge, “It’s unnecessary. Our genetics and tissue makeup have been redesigned to where nutrition is obsolete. We’re still all human parts, just more efficient.”

Trunks stared at her, stunned, “Why are you telling me all this?”

“Figured someone should know.”

“Hn.” Trunks dropped his eyes to look at his hand, resting so close to hers. 18’s hands were much smaller than his. If he were to take it, no doubt the whole thing would be engulfed by his tan palm-

No.

This was wrong. So, so wrong.

His fist clenched, gathering earth in between his fingers. It was a welcome distraction. Was he really that lonely? That starved for human interaction that he was willing to humor this lifeless being? This murderer? What would his mother say?

Worse, what would his father say? The one he could hardly remember; the prince of a distant planet would no doubt be disgusted with him. Trunks was also a prince by birthright, and he certainly wasn’t playing the part right now. And Gohan…

Trunks tilted his head forward so that his mop of lavender hair put up a shield between him and her. He’d never get over it; seeing his mentor dead and laying like trash in the mud. They’d left him there.

SHE had left him there.

Once again, those cool fingers brushed his hair aside, her curious, unnerving blue eyes peering at him, “Tell me why your crying.”

Was he? He hadn’t realized. Trunks tore his face away from her, feeling the hot tears now, “You killed him.”

“The one armed man?”

“Yes!” Trunks turned on her, grabbing 18 by the shoulders and squeezing as hard as he could, “His name was Gohan, he was brave, he was good and my only friend-” his voice cracked, and he could feel his strength waning, “you killed him.” He finished miserably, sobs wracking his large shoulders. She sat still, letting him cry, saying nothing. The tears went on for several minutes, until finally Trunks released her from his grip, wiping his eyes on his bicep.

18 reached forward, brushing a stray trail from his face, causing his cheeks to once again burn crimson, “Saying sorry will fix nothing,” She said simply, but not unkindly, “if it was that easy, I would have said it a long time ago.”

“Yeah well, thanks for the sentiment,” Trunks muttered, voice wet, “he’s gone now; thanks to you. He was to good for this planet anyways.”

18’s lips tightened, “You understand as well as I do the nature of our existence. Our two sides can’t coexist with each other. I have a mission, just as you do.”

“Yours is destruction,” Trunks could feel the all familiar burning in his core of his power level rising, wanting to be unleashed, unhinged, “its mine to stop you.”

She nodded, “Yes. You are correct.”

“Then, why are we here?” He made a large sweeping movement with his arm, “why did you ask me to come here?”

“I wanted to know more about you.”

“Why? Isn’t the fact that we want to kill each other enough?”

18 lilted her head to one side, eyes traveling over his body, “No. I want to know YOU.”

Trunks froze; did she mean…

This was insane. Completely insane. He was inexperienced with women in every way imaginable. Was she propositioning-

18 smirked, a soft laugh escaping at his utter confusion. It was a very musical sound.

And with that Trunks felt his heart soar from the pit of his stomach into his throat. It was undeniably wrong, but he knew in that moment something had changed. Whether or not it was for the better was undetermined, but at that second he would have done anything she asked to hear her laugh again.

“L-listen,” he stammered, “it’s not that I don’t think you, you know aren’t pretty or anything-”

18 raised an eyebrow.

“B-but I’m not that kind of a guy, and this whole us talking thing is new and who knows where we’ll stand in the morning-”

“Hey, relax big guy,” she smiled with white perfect teeth, “I didn’t say anything about that. I just think you’re interesting and wanted to know more about you as a person.”

Oh.

“So you… didn’t mean…”

“Mean what?”

Trunks stared at her in wide-eyed horror. Oh no. What had he just done?

She winked, “I’m not that easy. You’ve got to butter me up more than that. You’re not very smooth there, buddy. You’re as subtle as a freight train.”

The nervous nausea gripped him and Trunks heaved out a groan, resting his head in his hands, “You were teasing me-”

“Of course,” she grinned, “had to change the subject somehow.”

He couldn’t help it, Trunks laughed. And 18 looked pleased. After the moment had ended, he looked at her and said softly, “You know, sometimes you seem like you’re not completely terrible.”

18 shrugged, suddenly looking embarrassed and smiled. She nudged his shoulder with hers, “It’s a trick.”

With a snort, Trunks nudged her back. They continued their questions for a time, Trunks growing all the more aware his mother would be looking for him soon. His conflicted feelings pulsing between hatred and adoration were also starting to wear on him. As the sun continued into the middle of the sky, he finally asked, “So, you’ve probably got to get going soon, huh?”

Her smile faded, attention being turned back to the broken city beneath them, “Yeah.”

Sighing, Trunks leaned back until he was resting on his elbows. The ease he felt around her now was dangerous, but for once it just felt good to be a boy and a girl getting to know one another, “Well, this probably can’t happen again.”

18 glanced at him over her shoulder, something unreadable in her eyes as she regarded him, “Meet me here tomorrow. Same time.”

Trunks blinked, eyebrows reaching his forehead, “But, this is dangerous for both of us; your brother-”

“Don’t worry about him. I can protect you.”

Stunned, Trunks felt something hot in the pit of his stomach, curling and twisting him up in knots. Though he refused to give that feeling a name, he knew what it was and the excitement that came with it was laced with guilt. Perhaps, there was far more to 18 than he realized. Maybe he should give her a chance, she’d already surprised him today; and something within him demanded to know her more.

Trunks could feel the shift in his demeanor and he pushed himself to sit upright, suddenly feeling more possessive than he ever had in his life. 18 had also noted the change, her eyes going wide as he leaned closer to her, his blue gaze refusing to let hers go, “Thank you.” he murmured, his voice deeper than he’d heard it before.

18 blushed, “It’s nothing. Just repayment for humoring me.”

“Sure,” Trunks smiled, “I offer you my protection as well.”

She looked flustered, cheeks going pink again as she flipped her hair over her shoulder and turned away, “If it’s not me kicking your ass you mean.”

“Even then,” he chuckled, “I promise.”

“Hmpf.” 18 crossed her arms, irritated and flustered, “you’re a stupid boy to want to trust me.”

Trunks shrugged, “What else do I have to lose?”

“Good point.” 18 pulled her legs beneath her, rising to her knees and facing him head on now. Trunks had come to realize during their brief truce that she had no sense of personal boundaries, and this only proved more true when she shoved her face into his, nose tips touching, “you only have your life. And you’re stupid enough to put it in my hands.” Her cool breath washed across his mouth, “See you tomorrow.” She said. It wasn’t a question.

He nodded dumbly, gaze traveling shamelessly to her lips.

He wanted to kiss her.

The reality hit him like a punch to the gut. Before he could stop himself he took both of her shoulders in his hands and angled his face, nose brushing off to the side of hers and for the briefest moment he could feel the softness of her bottom lip caress his…

And then she was gone, and his hands were empty.

He groaned, fingers fisting in his hair as he flopped backwards in an emotionally drained heap. What an idiot he was. He really was just a stupid boy. Closing his eyes, he let the sun heat his face and just accepted the fact that there was no chance in hell she was meeting him again tomorrow-

Until he felt the gentle brush of hair on his cheeks, and the warm breath that hovered over his lips. Trunks’s eyes snapped open, and saw 18 was above him, sitting near his head with her hands now touching his face. She looked worried, “Sorry.” she said.

“For what?” Was that his voice? It sounded breathless.

“Running. Like a coward.”

She was still so close, maybe even closer now. It could have been his imagination.

“Your no coward.” He murmured, reaching up to brush her hair behind her ear. It was soft, like silk.

“Was that your first kiss?”

Trunks flushed, “Yes.”

“Mine too.”

He swallowed, “Were you programmed to think that?”

18 looked thoughtful, “No. It’s a feeling.”

Face burning, Trunks asked, “…can I try again?”

18’s eyebrows knitted together, uncertainty etching across her face, “Are you sure you want that? You’re to good for-”

Trunks wrapped his hand around the back of her neck, and pulled her lips against his.

——-

Thank you so much to the wonderfully talented @mandy-mo for letting me base this story off of that gorgeous picture you see above it! Her art is inspiring and made my heart sing with joy as I wrote this.