this is like that time i stepped on an ant and built it a memorial

Star Maps and Forests

[[Summary: Sometimes you return the favor. Sometimes you have an existential crisis in the middle of it. Luckily, Jaal is very good at handling them.

Jaal x Ryder

AO3]] 

The foreign stars of the Andromeda galaxy shone just outside the Tempest’s windows. It almost seemed like a crime to set her windows to dim, but the outside light was bright and distracting enough to take away from the whole effect Wren Ryder was hoping to achieve. With one last look at planets humans had yet to set foot on, she blacked her own windows off and flicked a switch on her omni-tool, opening the comms channels and quelling her own flare of butterflies. “Jaal, you got a minute?”

His voice rang out in reply after only a few seconds. “For you, dearest, I have years. I’ll be there in a moment.” He was always so damn smooth when he wasn’t even trying, while she was just trying to speak without saying ‘uhm’ too many times, or tripping over her own tongue.

Before Jaal arrived, Ryder ran back and forth, checking a few switches and mysterious lumps of electrical equipment scattered in the corners of her room. It was as ready as it would ever be, but she couldn’t resist pushing projectors back and forth, adjusting them by inches and then pushing them right back to their original position. It was better than trying to fiddle with her own appearance, endlessly brushing her hair or pushing a strand in and out of her ponytail, wondering if it looked better or just looked like she tried too hard.

The sound of the door to her room opening made Ryder jump back from moving one last box, straightening up and trying not to look guilty. “Hey, Jaal. I made a surprise for you.” And now the descent into trying to explain herself without sounding like an idiot. “Well, SAM helped a lot. And Gil. And Liam. I was more sort of the big picture person but they let me hold a screwdriver.” Not anything involving solder though, both Gil and Liam looking at each other and agreeing that the Pathfinder really didn’t need access to anything superheated. You singe your eyebrows off just once, and suddenly people don’t trust you.

“It was my idea, anyway. Come in.” He had already moved inside the room, watching her with arms crossed and a half-smile flickering at the corners of his lips, trying not to grin outright and clearly failing.

“Okay, now lie down on the floor. Sorry, I know it’s not the most comfortable.” She should have put a pillow and some blankets down, or something, but Ryder hadn’t thought in such small details. “I have something to show you.” At least he humored her, lying down on her floor, arms and legs slightly akimbo, still watching every movement she made, still saying nothing.

Finally, Ryder joined him, also lying down on her own floor, within touching distance but not bridging that gap just yet. “Okay, so… Here we go.” Flicking a small switch within her left hand, the room around them sprang into brilliant life, a rainforest arching overhead, shafts of muted light seeming to fall hundreds of feet to caress their prone bodies in a way that should have been warm, but wasn’t quite. The sound of rain, gentle and purifying, filled the small room, broken by bird calls and amphibian croaks, a far off rumble or hoot echoing occasionally. Around them, realistic enough that it looked like it should have been possible to grasp between two fingers, a proliferation of leaves and other undergrowth showed, thick vines and fern-like plants, bromeliads that crawled up the trunks of the trees and held little jewels of frogs within. A scarlet bird flew overhead, a pinprick of light some impossible distance away, vanishing into the deep greenery improbably well.

Ryder heard Jaal take a deep breath from behind her, his hand reaching out to grasp her own tightly, one finger circling her palm again and again, tracing larger and larger and then spiraling back inward. “Ryder, what is it?” She risked looking over, watching as Jaal’s eyes tracked another bird, his free hand reaching up as if he could pluck a flower from its stalk, passing through the hologram and making it vibrate into a mass of blue pixels before reforming.

Her fingers traced the shape of a broad leaf, stopping to rest near an ant that industriously carried bits and pieces of plant matter towards some unseen nest. “This is the Amazon, from back on Earth. When we visited Havarl for the first time, it reminded me of these old nature vids I used to watch as a kid. I’ve never been, but they say it used to look like this.” All it needed was a smooth-voiced British narrator to bring her all the way back to her childhood, long hours spent on a couch with a juice box in hand, Scott watching with her, their eyes comically round.

“It’s like my star map. It’s wonderful, Ryder.” She could feel him turn to look at her finally, gripping her hand tightly, and she shook her head emphatically.

“Except you built yours all by yourself. I had a lot of help. Like, a lot. I’m not like you, Jaal. I don’t build things. Seems like most of what I do now is destroy them.” A flash of sadness threatened to overwhelm her; it was easier to watch imaginary motes of light than it was to think about all the people she’d killed and all the Remnant ruins she had managed to pepper with bullets long before anyone ever had the opportunity to study them. Every surface she landed on, she left an ugly scar on, even as she fixed things or made them better. Every habitable planet screamed ‘Ryder was here,’ but not always to her benefit.

Jaal sat up and gently turned her head to face him, offering a hand so she could pull herself upright. “Darling one, you built this crew. You’ve built this galaxy, the connection between our people. You built this from your own mind.” With help, she wanted to say, but instead Ryder allowed Jaal to pull her into his chest, held there for a long moment, only the sound of gentle, imaginary rainfall disturbing this fragile peace. It was difficult to believe him, so difficult, and doubts seemed to assail every step. So much of the journey had been enjoyable, in a perverse kind of way, but everything was catching up with her now.

Even the light in the hologram moved, and a pure ray, unbroken even from the stories-high trees, fell down on both of them like a spotlight. Life, even illusory, continued to scuttle around them, not worried about the two seated figures, not at all concerned about the future of the Andromeda galaxy, or what could happen from the pairing of human and angara. Everything had come directly from Ryder’s memories, thanks to SAM’s careful prodding. In a way, maybe, Jaal was right.

“Hey, Jaal, let’s lie back down.” To his credit, he listened to her, and this time Ryder snuggled into the crook of his arm, one leg sprawled over one of his thighs, an act of affection and perhaps, also (if she was honest with herself) one of possession. “I’ve got so much more to show you.”

And the holograms continued on, images of Earth just for the two to see.

Picnic

For some people, summer meant sleeping in to twelve, or tanning, or spending a day watching Netflix because damnit, that’s what they wanted to do. Children saw summer as freedom, as liberation from desks, instructions, and worksheets.

For Levi, nothing changed. Sleeping in? He wouldn’t miss the day. Tanning? He didn’t tan. Watching TV in the dark? Hell no. Levi wanted to be busy. He wanted to work. He wanted to go to bed mentally and physically exhausted. Levi hated the idea of drifting through summer without any schedule or goal.

On the other hand, it took his boyfriend no more than a week to start forgetting what day of the week it was. The moment high school stopped imposing a schedule on the two of them, Eren became erratic. His texts were a constant, but he drifted in and out of Levi’s line of sight. Neither of their families had any plans for the summer, so Levi fell into a comfortable routine while Eren bounced across the sun-baked city. One night, Levi received a snapchat of Eren and Jean sneaking into the aquarium after dark to wade in the shark petting pool. The next day, Eren decided he would build a treehouse. The day after that, he forgot about said treehouse and went cloud-watching with Mikasa and Armin.

They made time for each other, of course, but keeping up with Eren quickly became as exhausting as it was exhilarating. To remedy this, the two of them settled into a routine of weekly picnics. They packed a basket together, but the couple took turns picking a location: rooftops and hilltops. Among the roots of ancient trees or high in the branches of half-built tree houses.

This week, Eren picked the creek behind Mr. Hannes’s land. Soft, spring moss covered the stones while the trees above provided a rare bit of shade. Levi closed his eyes and relaxed in the sound of rustling leaves and babbling water. A gentle, warm breeze ghosted across his checks.

It wasn’t a breeze, Levi realized, as he opened his eyes. Eren’s lips pressed against his skin. The brunet leaned back with a grin. “Do you like it?” He asked, spreading the red-and-white checkered blanket over the ground.

Keep reading

CANON UNIVERSE: 10 000 to 40 000 words
  • The Dirtiest Thing You Know“Not to be a girl about it or anything, but Stiles always expected his first time to be something tender and slow. Special, and with someone he cared about. That isn’t how it happened”. Angst, First-Time, NC-17, 13 484
  • This Boy, Half-destroyed: "Derek Hale used to have a family. Now, he’s got a teenage human more trouble than he’s worth". Plot (post-season 2), character study, PG-13, 25 598
  • See Right Through You: “With the Alpha pack constantly circling, Derek enlists Scott’s help to ensure everyone is ready for the worst. Scott and Stiles have other plans, though, and Derek is not impressed when he finds out they are plotting behind his back”Post-season 2, Magic!Stiles, R, 15 130
  • Help Wanted: "Nice things begin to happen to Derek Hale and it kind of freaks him out"Post-season 2, 15 593
  • We’ve Written Volumes (in Blood and Scars and Ink): “Stiles is on his back on hard-packed dirt. He’s cold and there are leaves stuck to his neck and there’s a four inch gash in his side that he thinks he can feel his ribs through (..) And the worst of it is that he’s alone, totally alone with the smell of his own blood drowning him and the soft side of him run through by a tree. As his eyes slip shut, the last thing he thinks is, "This is going to kill my dad”. First time, H/C, 25935
  • Lock All the Doors behind You“He has no idea what you’re supposed to say when you find one of your…werewolf acquaintances, completely out of their mind, growling like they’re about to see what your insides taste like. There’s no handbook for this. Stiles is thinking that if he survives he might write one." Feral!Derek, R, 25 959
  • Nothing less"Derek even does up Stiles’s seatbelt, which Stiles thinks he should comment on, because it’s not like he got hit with kanima juice or something. He’s fine. But then Derek’s already sliding behind the wheel, and Stiles keeps losing little pockets of time”. Attempted rape, h/c, NC-17, 11 417
  • Trust and other Catastrophes"Stiles is sorry that he’s hurting Derek’s feelings and all, but his reasons for keeping Lydia’s secrets just jumped from gotta-have-integrity to gotta-keep-Lydia-from-getting-taken-out-by-ruthless-werewolves." NC-17, 22 120
  • That secret they all know: "Somewhere, somehow, along the line, Stiles went from being the human sidekick of his stupid beta, to someone he gives lifts to when there’s torrential rain, to being the one who sleeps beside him on the couch. And god help him, but, for some reason he REALLY can’t figure out - he doesn’t seem to be doing much to stop this from happening." R, 20 461
  • Culpa: ”Things for Stiles are really complicated. There’s a Harpy on the loose, his friendship with Scott is distant, and he might have feelings for Derek Hale. Oh, and also, he’s being possessed by a Demon.“ Possessed!Stiles, R, 30 778
  •  This Time with Feeling: ”Derek Hale, if you refuse to learn from your past…then you will be doomed to repeat it.” In which Derek is turned into a 16-year-old and has to stay with Stiles until they figure out how to turn him back.”, Post-Season 2, NC-17, 36 132
  • Air on a G string:A Maenad is after Lydia, and when she doesn’t get what she wants, she takes it out on Stiles. Or the one where Stiles suddenly has lady bits and he’s not quite sure what to do with them.“ Girl!Stiles, NC-17, 20 974
  • Strange to Know Nothing, Never to be Sure: ”Stiles finds himself working with Derek much more often than he’d like, or at least that’s what he tells himself. And in all honesty, he would be totally fine with it, if only Derek could learn what personal space meant. Or the fives times that Derek accidentally touches Stiles’ ass, and the one time he does it totally on purpose.“ Post-season 2, R, 26 221
  •  # By any other NameHe doesn’t know his name, he doesn’t know who he is, and neither does the werewolf he’s on the run with. But he’s pretty sure they hunt monsters, because they seem to be really good at it.“ Amnesia, NC-17, 33 090
  • A Little Less Ordinary: It takes a few years but eventually they manage to agree on something; Derek Hale is an asshole, and Stiles Stilinski is in love with him.“ Future Fic, PG-13, 19 209
  • Wild and Reckless Breeze"In which Stiles is killing time working at a bookshop, Derek buys a lot of Chuck Palahniuk and they start hanging out, much to the confusion of Scott and the Sheriff.” Post-season 2, NC-17, 15 760
  • I Ran (So Far)“In which Stiles’ summer starts off so badly he starts running with Derek, gets pelted by paint balls, and decides he is, in fact, going crazy if he willingly wants to hang out with Derek Hale.” Post-season 2, NC-17, 33 794
  • Wash Me Clean:“Derek doesn’t know what the alpha pack is planning, so all he can do is keep watch on everyone they might target. Stiles is so not on board with that plan. Somehow their clash of wills leads to a sexual relationship Derek knows he should put an end to—if he can just get himself to do so.”Friends-with-benefits, NC-17, 37 738
  • A (Sort of) Fairytale: "The summer after senior year starts normally enough, the gang spending their final months together at the Martin family’s lake house before they split up for college. Then Jackson stumbles onto the burial ground of a witch’s ex-husband, Stiles gets turned into a fox, and somehow it gets worse from there. The gratuitous Princess Bride references are only of moderate help.“ Fox!Stiles, PG-13, 25 811
  • Wait Sitting on his couch, staring at the wall, it feels like Derek is watching his whole, miserable, lonely life flash before his eyes. He’s twenty four and he’s alone. No family, no friends, no real pack. (…) If Laura could see him right now, she would probably beat the crap of him and then tell him he’s a loser.“ Kidfic, NC-17, 23 431
  • Diplomatic Tension: ”An old friend of Peter’s brings his pack to visit and Derek gets Scott and his friends to play happy-pack-families with him to keep up appearances. Also Derek is an idiot and no one tells Stiles anything.“ Fake-relationship, NC-17, 10 869
  • When You Wish Upon a Dragon: ”Stiles is at the Hale house, lounging on the front stoop watching Isaac, Erica, and Boyd wrestle, when the baby comes running out of the woods.
    Derek becomes instant father to a magically appearing baby and falls in love. Stiles can’t take the cute and worries Derek’s heart will break if he loses the kid.“ Kidfic, PG, 13 739
  • Electricity In the Contact: ”In which Derek has been invited to the Greater Pacific Northwest Alpha Symposium (that’s not what it’s called, Stiles, stop saying that), and showing up unattached would mean an arranged marriage. When the rest of the pack objects, he agrees to let Stiles come along to pose as his mate. Derek is reasonably sure that he’s not going to make it out of this weekend alive.“ Fake-relationship, NC-17, 27 067
  • Carry You Home: "Derek lets himself fall on his back, breath short, heart beating fast. He can feel the Wolf in him, purring in satisfaction and contentment. Asking for more. It wants him to turn and touch, to never stop touching. Instead, Derek squeezes his hands into fists and closes his eyes, trying to push it back, this need, this instinct screaming for his mate. For Stiles." Character-study:Derek, PG-13, 18 285
  • That Depends On How You Define Werewolf:“I didn’t shoot him if that’s what you’re worried about,” said Stiles’ dad. Then he smiled wryly. “Though I did push him against the wall and threaten to strangle him with my bare hands.”. Stiles gaped at his dad, because Derek…was Derek. And the Stilinski men weren’t exactly buff. They were built more slender and agile, though Stiles was still waiting for the agile part to kick in.“ Werefox!Stiles, R, 16 613
  • Giving up this whole lie, this whole me:Between his relationship with Jennifer and his dealings with Deucalion and the Darach, Derek gains a form of resolution.“ Character-study:Derek, NC-17, 11 216
  • Fly a Little Faster: Everyone knows when you go back in time, you shouldn’t step on an ant, just in case you accidentally kill your own grandparent or something. But what happens when you go back in time and, uh, accidentally interrupt the one event that apparently made the Grumpiest Alpha in Town into a ball of mindless manpain?“ Timetravel, Teen!Derek, PG-13, 32 052
  •  The Morning When It’s Clear“She makes me have dinner with her and the Sheriff every week,” Derek admits. “She keeps saying I don’t eat well enough. Too much fast food, she says. I keep reminding her I’m a werewolf and then I get a lecture about cholesterol. That doesn’t even make sense.”" Future-fic, Character study:Derek, NC-17, 13 593
  • We knew the hands of the devilDerek will never forget the sound Stiles makes when the alphas take him. It’s small, so soft a human never would have caught it, but to Derek it’s as loud as cannon fire; a quick, panicked intake of air that’s not a shout, not a scream. It’s desperate and frightened and almost Derek’s name and it hurts him to the core (…)" Angst, NC-17, 27 929
  • Somebody That I Used to Know: Stiles and Derek have been together for months. The trouble is, they weren’t yesterday.“ False Memories, PG-13, 10 379
  •  One Door Closes:"Derek knows that Stiles is too young for him, but Stiles doesn’t agree. Eight years after Derek rejects him due to the age gap, they meet again where Derek has settled in Wyoming as a ranch hand, and Stiles is the new deputy, and still pissed as hell about the way Derek turned him down. Things don’t go as either of them planned." Cowboy!Derek, Cop!Stiles, NC-17, 27 794
  •  Rumor has it: "Now rumour has it she ain’t got your love anymore." Lydia POV, PG-13, 12 979
  • Pretty Melody: "Stiles hasn’t seen Derek in six years, so when he shows up at the bar where Stiles works, claiming to be some indie rock star, Stiles can’t believe it. Stiles has even more trouble believing that he and Derek are about to have a one night stand" FutureFic, NC-17, 30 501
  •  (Fake) Winter Weather Brings Us Together : "So naked cuddling with Derek while suffering from hypothermia wasn’t really on Stiles’ to-do list for the week, but neither was that kiss—so who was Stiles to complain” Hypothermia, PG-13, 10 535
  •   Fray“Erica and Boyd are still missing; Scott is an inabsentia best friend; Stiles is rediscovering himself; and the alpha pack is lurking out of sight. But a wet and mostly boring summer is just about to get very interesting indeed, and whether Stiles likes it or not, he is at the heart of it.” Post-Season 2, NC-17, 33 601
  • Hold the Door“When Derek is killed by a rival alpha, the pack will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if that means blackmailing the most dangerous hunter duo this side of hell. Whatever. That whole devil thing was probably totally exaggerated, anyway" SPN-Crossover, PG-13, 16 700
  • One Day I’ll Accept Normalcy (But That Day Is Not Today): “You know this still really weird, right?” Stiles asks around the toothpaste in his mouth. “What’s weird?” Derek asks. Stiles spits and rinses his mouth out. “The cuddling. The cuddling is weird. This-” Stiles says, holding up his toothbrush to the mirror. “-is weird. The fact that I have spare clothes here is weird.”" Established-relationship, NC-17, 15 954
  •  Stapp’s Ironical ParadoxThe universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle.” In which Stiles believes the same applies to werewolves and other nonhuman entities. Not 3b compliant” Post-3a, PG-13, 39 240
  • Unbroken“When Stiles starts getting sick, he assumes his appetite loss and lethargy stem from the darkness the Nemeton left in his heart. But soon enough, even he can’t deny that he’s showing the same symptoms his mom had. When he’s forced to face the truth about his illness, Stiles finds himself making a choice he never thought he’d make." Werewolf!Stiles, NC-17, 43 979
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    Written in the stars of our heart:
    When Stiles needs a roommate as he starts college, he decides Derek is the perfect candidate. He knows college is supposed to change your life, but this is ridiculous. Domestic future fic.“ Domestic Future Fic, NC-17, 21 053
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    Baby One More Time: ”Stiles is turned into a three years old. The Sheriff forces Derek to “babysit”. Neither Stiles nor Derek are happy about that, but it could be worse. Maybe. Well, the jury is still out on that one.“ Deaged!Stiles, PG-13, 14 693
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    Teen as Folk: ”Stiles goes back to the gay bar despite his better judgment, meets Brian Kinney, and learns that he is actually attractive to gay guys. Derek is not amused.“ Queer As Folk!Crossover, NC-17, 10 086
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    Thank you Rose Tyler: Stiles accidentally manages to become Derek’s best friend through one texting mishap. It’s all fine, except for the part where Stiles is kind of hopelessly in love with his Alpha.“ Cutefic, NC-17, 16 853

Fucking Awesome.

I realize with a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, we’re bound to hear a lot of people gush over this movie. I mean, that’s all we ever do on this blog, but I know after a while it’s gonna get old to hear people sing its praises, even if it hasn’t reached that point quite yet (on its fucking release date), so just be warned people of the future: I loved it.

Oh, and people of the now: if you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to overhype it anymore than it’s already been (plus, you know, spoilers abound), so skip past this post for now if you’re interested in seeing it yourself.

… We good?

HOLY SHIT. Like, okay, I’m not gonna say it’s flawless or anything, but can I use a fucking synonym? I know, I know, that isn’t entirely fair, it’s still worth analyzing and taking apart but. I just. It’s the kind of movie I don’t mind picking apart, because it’s so solid that no criticism I could come up with really takes away from this shit, like geez.

Okay, cool down your down-unders, I haven’t even finished the intro. Shit. Shit. Shit. Ugh. I wanted to shorten my posts, because they’ve been a little lengthy lately and long-form stuff has to be, uh, good to be rebloggable on tumbles, but I’m sorry, it’s so dense with awesome you know and I know I have to do this.

Fuck yeah, it’s Civil War.

Team Cap

Since every character gets a chance to shine I feel like the only way to do this is to go character by character.

Captain America: So, it’s Cap’s movie. I know his movies haven’t always been the most popular of the MCU, but I’ve always loved them– and now the ‘Murica! Trilogy reaches a glorious conclusion, each movie better than the last.

Cap’s emotional journey through this so awesome. Every step felt necessary. Killing off Peggy felt right because it leaves Steve with no one left from his past and sets up his reunion with Bucky.

You can tell how much he can’t budge on this, and how disillusioned he’s become with the government since Winter Soldier, and it just comes together awesomely. The speech at Peggy’s funeral felt pretty on-the-nose, but I liked how it really made sense in context for Peggy (The “No. You move.” line was so kickass), and that at least didn’t break my immersion, you know?

The only thing I will say is that the whole grand-niece of my ex is still little on the odd side. Nothing’s wrong particularly, they even met before they knew about the Peggy thing, but there’s my nitpick for you.  

Bucky/Winter Soldier: #BuckyDidNothingWrong2k16

I loved exploring more of his character! And the motorcycles! Motorcycles everywhere! True angst right there, all he needs now is a leather jacket and points card to Hot Topic and he’s set.

Gosh, I love the whole “Who am I talking to?” thing because it’s impossible for him to stay in control when they activate his sleeper agent side and just … He knows he wasn’t in control but he remembers everything and still knows he was the one who did it– I JUST.

And his bromance with Steve. Ugh. Ugh, that’s my heart, I use it thanks. I loved that they included that little part where he and Steve are just bantering and they smirk about being old men. Sweet begeebus, that’s my fucking shit.

Sam/ Falcon: Yes. Falcon got jokes. Falcon got character-development– like, I love how when Iron Patriot goes down he’s right there with Tony plunging after him, he doesn’t give a shit who’s “side” he’s on. Falcon is pure.

I love the little drone gag, too, and just giving him more to do in this movie than previous ones. More Falcon. Yes, this is good.

Wanda/Scarlet Witch: I love. I just love. Did you see her fucking lip tremble when she realized what she did to the building and how many people she hurt? Like, she’s about to break down right there, it’s everything she’s afraid of in herself.

So then her whole storyline of controlling her own fear instead of trying to change everyone else’s- HOT DAMN, THAT’S SO FUCKING RAD.

And, ugh, Wanda, can you not be so adorable with Vision? Have you even tried? Because it doesn’t seem like you’ve tried.

Also, as a side note, I feel like her and Vision were holding back in the throwdown (along with Clint, and probably most of them). You always see her playing defense and stuff like that– unless I’m wrong– she never goes after anyone because she could probably tear them apart and that’s not what this is about for her.

More Wanda, I scream to the sky, much, much more!

Ant Man: Paul Rudd is so cute as Ant-Man. He’s still a fanboy of all these big superhero names, like Spidey is on the other team, and he feels like such an average joe that I can’t help but love the schmuck!

His size gags are so great and make for some cool moments in battle. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed his little portions of the movie (I’m never stopping the puns, stop me and die).

Surprising: they didn’t mention his daughter when he’s in jail. His movie was about cleaning up his act so he could be with her again. With the level of detail they went into, I’m surprised they didn’t give him a line for that, or at least let him talk to Clint about being a Superhero Dad. I need that in my life.

Please let them start a club together.

Clint/Hawkeye: Gotta think about that fam, man. Clint continues to be so fucking adorable. He missed taking his kids to shit for this; I want one of them to kick Tony and Steve in the shins for landing their dad in jail.

And the adorableness contines. I can’t even remember to who (Wanda?), but he introduces himself as Clint instead of Hawkeye as if they’re at a company barbecue or something. He’s so friendly and sweet. P r o t e c t  h i s  f a m i l y.

Team Iron Man

Iron Man: My friend wasn’t sold on Tony’s grieving at the end, but honestly, I gotta disagree. It’s such an Oh Shit moment, and the reason it works is because it’s set up really well. Tony literally tells the audience he’s been repressing his grief for his parents, and secretly wishes he could’ve made up with his dad– so much so he built some crazy-ass holographic projection of his last memory with the guy and fixed it so he tells him he loves him and knows he did his best.

So, to find out there was someone to blame, right in front of him, instead of a freak-accident– on top of the emotions already built up through the movie – I didn’t need convincing, personally.

I’ve gotta say that I was surprised they didn’t call back to that vision in Age of Ultron where Tony ends up killing all his friends. Going in, I assumed that would be his reason for wanting the government to help protect them– but I’m going to be watching closer next time because at one point he almsot says something like “I’m trying to protect–” and finishes it with something else. So, I think it’s definitely there, but since we already saw it in the last Avengers, it’s kinda cool that he has a more subtle motivation, on top of his guilt.

Also: Why, Pepper, why?

Also also: ‘Sometimes I want to hit in your perfect teeth, but I can’t because I need you …’

Black Panther: *Slow clap of admiration* God fucking damn, T’Challa. That image of him leaping out to his dad with the explosion already engulfing everything– I just. And his accent is so wonderful, I just enjoy listening to this guy, like yes. More of this, please.

You get this guy. From when he first walks on to his last scene, you just get him. He’s got a great storyline, he kicks ass, and he fits the movie so well. The whole revenge is not the answer plot is old hat, but you feel for him so much and it fits the Civil War story so well that I can’t say anything but bravo.

Black Panther movie, here we come.

Black Widow: Killing it again. Was there ever any doubt she would? Let me just say that her whole double-cross thing– and Tony’s line, like owwww, why would you do that – just makes me wonder how long she was planning on mediating. The conflict escalated naturally, so it wasn’t like she could see the fight coming the whole time, but with her history with governments, I mean, they even pointed it out in the beginning.

Because even when she was firmly on Iron Man’s side, about to fly out and sign the damn treaty, she stops in with Steve to make sure he’s not alone after his friend dies … FUCK, Nat is so fucking great, I love her.

And that line with Clint “We’re still friends, right?” – UGH, MY HEART. IT’S LIKE IF SHE’S ASKING IF SHE CAN STILL VISIT THE KIDS AFTER THIS. GEEZ.

nAT’S EMOTIONAL GAME IN THIS MOVIE, THOUGH. AND SHE GIVES T’CHALLA HER CONDOLENCES AFTER HIS DAD DIES, TOO, LIKE UGH, WE JUST WANT HER MOVIE, MARVEL, WE’RE LITERALLY BEGGING YOU TO LET US PAY YOU MONEY.

(Sidenote: Rights are weird. Like, you can buy the rights to have them in an ensemble movie, but not necessarily their own solo movie– is that what’s happening with Black Widow? Because that doesn’t make sense, either, she’s never been sold off to another company, as far as I know … )

Rhodey/War Machine: I feel bad for saying it, but Rhodey never seemed to stand out before. Maybe I missed something, but even in the Iron Man movies the dude seemed to reserved and didn’t leave too much of an impression on me.

But Civil War made me feel for him. I feel like we knew he was a marine before this movie, but his lines when he’s learning how to walk again is the first time I really felt the history behind this character, you know? Is that just me?

Anyway, I’m really glad they didn’t kill him off just because you got to see the effects on him, so his crash felt less like a plot device for the other characters, and more like something tragic that broke up the fight. Weird to say the lesser of two extremes does that better, but I think you know what I mean.

The Vision: Even as someone who enjoyed Age of Ultron, I didn’t know what to make of Vision in that movie. He’s kinda Tony’s son, but not really, and I can’t distinctly tell you what his character was (it’s been a while to be fair). Here, his dry British delivery and adorable we’re-both-outsiders friendship with Wanda grounds the character in my mind. Plus, we even get a little insight into his gem thing– and did anyone else’s heart break when they saw it light up red with Wanda’s magic when she was controlling him? Such a great moment.

Spiderman: I went into this hearing Spiderman fans sing his praises, and I get it. Tom Holland made an adorable, wise-cracking,inexperienced Spiderman– and the character even feels like a real teenager. Part of it is because I haven’t seen Tom Holland in a lot, but a large part of it is just the writing, and the unconfident, insecure way he carries himself as Peter Parker.

Hot Aunt May is at least a joke in the actual movie, so while I know that part might not be as true to the source material, it’s at least addressed in an entertaining way.

God damn Homecoming coming home in 2017 … by the way, that was one of the words Bucky was trained to respond to and I’m just sitting there in the theatre thinking that’s what the Spiderman movie’s going to involve, but then Bucky is frozen at the end. So, back to Spidey in a tux dancing with Deadpool (hey, a girl can dream) …

Divided We Fall

Okay, so now I should wrap up with general stuff I loved, like how this movie didn’t end with things resolved really. The only relationship we know for sure is mended to some capacity is Tony and Steve’s, and even then it’s probably still rocky.

The team’s still pretty broken up, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how they come back together stronger and with greater numbers for Infinity Wars.

Aside from that, I love how, even though this was a popcorn-flick and not a “thinking person’s movie,” they still put in some really clever writing that let the audience work it out for themselves. Like the “You have a bit of green in your eyes things … nice to know you’re imperfect after all” thing. It took me a second to make the Nazi connection and when I did it was startling. LittleNightwing liked the realism in that, but I just thought it was a damn well-written line.

Also, I’m not really big on action sequences. That’s weird to say, but a lot of the time I’m more drawn to dialogue-based scenes, so I won’t notice a lot of the time whether action is done well or not– unless, it’s really good.

Like, people weren’t lying when they said it was impressive. I never wanted that fight scene at the airport to end, I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having! It was so satisfying, and everyone got their spotlight! And not just that scene, but in so many others, the action felt really creative, didn’t it? Like that scene where Bucky and Cap use the apartment around them to kick the shit out of those goons without killing them. Plus, since everyone has their own fighting style, it’s all so dynamic and awesome! That’s how you do action, my friends.

I can’t believe how character-driven this movie is. I’m so glad to see a Marvel movie done this right at this stage in the game. Avengers blew a lot of minds because we’d never seen a superhero team-up work on screen, and since then there’s been a lot of movies. Even though most have been pretty dang good, I know the Marvel train can’t last forever without people starting to get sick of it.

(Not me, really;  I admire that they’ve tried to give each solo movie it’s own feel, for the most part, so I could go on for a while pretty entertained)

But this is what the MCU needed. A breath of fresh whoop-ass to keep audiences on board, for the long haul. I just … I didn’t even have a point this entire post, I’m just excited to see it again so I can enjoy the characters, the action, and the wonderful balance of fun and drama all over again. Anyone wanna come with?