this thing is lined in silk too ; ;

Azriel set Elain down on the tiled shower floor, but he didn’t let her go. He reached over and turned the faucet. Warm water rained down on them. They shivered together for a few moments until their bodies warmed. Slowly, he turned up the temperature.

He wasn’t sure how long they stood there, how long he might have listened to the beating of her heart through the sound of the falling water. Her head was pressed against his chest, and he wondered if she were listening to his heart, too.

When they’d both stopped shivering, Elain lifted her head. “Where are we?”

Water dripped from his face and hair as he looked down at her. “My house.”

“Where is your house?”

“Just outside Velaris. In the cliffs by the sea.”

Keep reading


It’s a two-fer! Courtesy of @dcwomenkickingass, and specifically this post, I had to do an edit of these, while my storyboards wait. 

I’m not going to go into long explanations here, I hope the drawings do speak for themselves. In the first case, it’s a Land being Land, although I do have to say that he did give a butt to Silk, as opposed to his usual ablation of hips and gluteus maximi. However, he unfortunately did it wrong. 

Artistic anatomy is all about drawing structure, from the inside out. Your muscles by themselves can’t look right if they aren’t placed on top of a properly proportioned skeleton.  Boobs won’t look right if they aren’t drawn as following the curve of the ribcage, its center line, or the movement of the arms which either pull or push on the pectorals on which the breasts hang. The arms back mean the shoulders are lowered, and the angle of the hands will be different since there’s a ¾ turn on the torso. It shows that Land is drawing by guessed shapes, copied contours and practiced repeated motions. There’s no real structure underneath his shapes.

And if we look at the legs, I can only picture Kitty Pride phasing out of a wall: the legs look like they got mangled up to look like stumps. But even structure-wise, there is no thought put into whether the pose actually works, which is why it looks so clumsy. The legs should be reversed due to the line of action that’s in the torso but not followed through into the pelvis and legs. And I’ve been using the coil technique a lot in order to make my volumes work - it should be obvious by the roughs above - which help me figure out things like foreshortening. 

Silk too was a problem of lack of structure, proportions all over the place, and lack of weight and purpose, but it felt moreso than Spiderwoman. I used the same pose Land did but worked out the skeleton first, using rotation arcs in order to properly proportion the length of the various limbs. I don’t know these characters and I might not have used these poses, but Silk here definitely looks like she’s dancing.

The variant cover by Manara looks like a pose right out of porn, pelvis up and cheeks spread, costume looking like body paint, and it makes me very uncomfortable. She doesn’t look like a superhero about to strike, she looks like she’s about to get… well, it’s a porn pose. This is sexualisation. It also reminds me of the Dog Bone sexy shape. 

So I turned the pose sideways to figure it out, and to see what would work better. The sideways pose as is, as you can see, is angled to do quite the opposite of ass-kicking. Were she to try to leap from that pose, she’d fall flat on her face. The second pose is the “coiled like a spring”, but in the camera angle of the cover, it’s an ugly, ugly pose. So I tried to do something in-between, and just by making the pelvis horizontal and lifting the torso off the ground, I’ve managed to move the center of gravity so her weight is on her feet instead of her knees, she can use her arms to maneuver in most directions, and you still get an interesting body shape to look at. I think this works better, and much more ready to spring into motion.

Wanted also to say thanks for all the reblogs, likes and recent follows! I appreciate each one of them, and it’s because you’re still sharing and commenting that I came back to do this. However I’m still really busy! I won’t be posting a lot, but I do plan on posting more than I have. Back to storyboards for me! 

In Plentea of Time [ML Ficlet]

@kasumiafkgod @keaoriginalart @fynneyseas @sockdilemma

“Hi, welcome to Lucky Cat Tea!”

Marinette freezes in her spot behind the counter. Busy replenishing the tins of loose leaf tea for the more popular brews, she hadn’t heard the delicate chime at the front door. She turns in slow-motion to the shop floor, watching as the new customer starts chatting with the blond standing by the shelves. She hadn’t heard the front door chime, which means it’s too late-

“Oh, I have no uncertainteas about finding the right blend for you.”

It’s too late, and Adrien has taken center stage.

The customer, a woman around forty or so, giggles behind her hand and bats her eyelashes at him. Gross.

And it’s not like Marinette can blame her, really: the only thing Adrien has more of than looks is charm, and both are abundant. When the bright-eyed boy with a voice that toed the line between silk and sin had clocked in on the first day, Marinette herself had experienced a good swoon. She’d even made the mistake of mentioning her handsome new co-worker to Alya, resulting in a one-woman warpath dead set on getting the two of them together. Normally, Marinette would appreciate the enthusiasm, were it not for the one glaring, unfortunate, and utterly unavoidable problem:

“Well, I’ll leaf you to browse the rest of our selection,” Adrien says. The grin is quick to his lips, lips that would otherwise be very kissable were they not the purveyors of such unholy atrocities.

Given the way he swings that grin to light on her the moment that the customer looks away, Marinette is sure he’s doing it on purpose.

Keep reading

Pink Silk

Harry had this shirt. This soft pink silk shirt, that had his last name embroidered on the pocket. You had a habit of taking it from his closet and wearing it when he was going to be gone for awhile. You looked the way the silk slipped over your body and you weren’t as tall as him so the hem fell just above your knees.

Harry was supposed to have been in London doing interviews about his role in Dunkirk, so it hadn’t crossed your mind to put the shirt back before he came home. So when your phone rang just as you were going to sleep that night you didn’t think it would be Harry asking about the shirt.

“Hey pet” Harry said into the phone. You could almost see him smiling the way he did when he talked to you in person.

“Hello” You say stifling a yawn.

“Did I wake you?” He asks, just a little concerned.

You tell him you weren’t sleeping just yet, and listen to him talk about how the interviews went and how he was glad to be home.


You heart almost stops when you hear him say it, because right now you were laying in bed wearing his pink silk shirt that had probably cost a shit ton of money. You hoped he wouldn’t notice, and you keep talking to distract him from saying anything.

“Alright, Petal, I’m gonna let you get some sleep” Harry says and you breathe a sigh of relief.

“Goodnight!” You say almost too cheery. You prepare to hang up, but you still hear him talking on the other line.

“I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find my pink shirt with my last name in it, it’s made of silk and it’s really soft and I want to take it with me next trip” You can hear him saying.

You almost want to hang up, you’re afraid he’s going to be angry that you have his shirt or that maybe he’ll yell at you for taking his things.

You breathe in and let it all out in one breath.

“HarryItookyourshirtoutyourclosetwithoutaskingbutitwassosoftandsowarmansitsmellslikeyousoivegotit” You close your eyes and wait for him to start yelling, but he starts to chuckle instead.

“It’s alright, just make sure you bring it by my house tomorrow so I can take it with me on my next trip”

You’re smiling, you’re happy that he wasn’t angry and that you’ve got another night left with such a wonderful shirt. He tells you goodnight and you hang up.

You fall into a deep sleep, smiling and hugging yourself in that pink silk shirt.

(Please don’t steal my stories, ILY)

Luke x Lando: Happy AU Headcanons
  • Sometimes, when Luke is feeling cold, Lando will take off his cape and drape it over Luke’s shoulders. Both agree that it’s funny how the cape almost always happens to match perfectly with Luke’s outfit, but everyone around them has absolutely noticed that the two lovebirds tend to coordinate the colors in their outfits flawlessly almost daily.

  • While Lando teaches Luke the art of fashionable cape-wearing, Luke teaches Lando all sorts of old recipes from Aunt Beru’s cookbook. Anyone who visits the Calrissian-Skywalker flat will no doubt smell some sort of cookie or cake baking in the kitchen. 

  • You think the two didn’t have the Most Exquisite™ outfits at their wedding? Think again! Han, of course, served as Lando’s best man, and in a different turn of events, Leia walked Luke down the aisle, as a thank you for Luke walking Leia down the aisle at her wedding. 

  • Sadly, Luke can’t always be with Lando, because while there’s Jedi business for Luke to attend to, Lando can’t be away from Cloud City for too long. Still, the two keep contact with each other almost daily, with Luke using Artoo to call through hologram. Artoo secretly records their conversations for memorabilia purposes, because some of the things the couple says to each other are either very sweet or, in Lando’s case, smooth as silk. Artoo wants some pick-up lines to use on R2-KT. 

  • While stopping on Jakku during his travels, Luke comes across a little Force-sensitive girl named Rey. While she insists that her family is coming back for her, Luke can sense that whoever left her there is never returning. After taking a little time to get to know her, Luke convinces Rey that she would have a nice home and family with him, so he takes her to Lando in Cloud City. The two men adopt her as their daughter and give her the life of love and luxury she deserves.

  • Under the Calrissian-Skywalker roof, Rey learns all the ways of fashion, like her fathers before her. Luke and Lando both love dressing Rey up and doing her hair in all sorts of different styles, and Rey, in turn, absolutely adores it, too. 
Tim + Alex Get TWATD #7.1: Minerva, Baal, Woden

So here’s a thing we used to do which we haven’t in a while. When TWATD started out, the idea was six units of criticism every six months, split into two halves, for reasons of formalism probably. 

The format has changed considerably since then, but Tim + I still think in the basic unit of three, so to highlight that fact – and because I’m having a stressful morning and this is a soothing activity – here’s the latest round of essays. And, hey, because this is comics, I’ve even gone back to the old numbering.

A Year Older, A Year Wiser

Tim: “We’ve held Mini at arm’s length, and the book has treated her more like a symbol than a character in her own right. Her short blonde hair emphasises her childish features, and her glasses kept us at a distance from her. At best, she was a representation of the stolen youth of the Pantheon, a reminder of their tragically preordained early deaths. At worst, she was a plot device, a cat dangling from a rope in need of saving.”

Read more.

Baal So Hard

Alex: “Even in Gillen’s playful dialogue, these constant elaborate nicknames feel too written, too overwrought to be part of natural speech. I mean, Nick Batcave? But looking back, I suspect that’s the point. These lines are a little too neat and clever to be thought up on the spot. Baal is a dude who sits up at nights really thinking about all this, you feel. Tangled up in the silk sheets, brow knitted, considering where he stands among his peers.”

Read more.

No More Mr Asshole

Tim: “Woden has done awful, terrible things. He has been an accessory to multiple murders, collaborating with Ananke to facilitate and cover up the death of several of his fellow gods, as well as numerous regular people. He openly acknowledges that he treats women as objects for his sexual satisfaction, and he exerts an abusive level of power over the Valkyries. Plus he is smug, cowardly, manipulative and probably doesn’t smell too fresh in that leather suit either. 

But is he irredeemable?”

Read more.

And with that, once more we piss off for a bit. 

See you again at the end of the arc.

anonymous asked:

Could you explain your interpretation of "fright lined dining room"

Cornerstone EP lyric question! Okay. 

There’s a lot of weird things in here, proving once again that Alex Turner was absolutely not as innocent as people pretended he was in 2009. I think again, it’s an observation of a situation he has found himself in. A strange place, somewhere a little bit new for him - the beginning of the years they spent in exclusive parties and bars and VIP lounges. They spent the night there, observing a girl who dances in their laps and they feast on her. Although Alex declares he needs a breather, or a minute to leave. I think this is his first observation of the beginning of his time spent in exclusive clubs, with heavy drinks and pretty girls and ummm well “ drowned bags of sugar in the night.” Hahaha. Which in itself is a contrast to AM’s No. 1 Party Anthem, which can essentially be the same song, the same theme, just differently phrased. He knows his way around the block by the time he gets to that song, right? He’s not as shocked by the way a woman looks when she’s strutting on a pole, I guess. I digress! Sorry.

I like the last lines of the first verse so fucking much: 

I am the truth’s true truant, I can feign excitement
Fluently as solid as I can busk shock
With well-presented merriment and I know all too well
I shouldn’t break the key off in the lock

He can pretend/hide he’s not excited as well as he can perform. Busk means to perform, and he’s saying that he’s a good actor - he can look cool, aloof, excited, or bored, in any situation. The truth’s true truant, meaning he can abandon the truth when he has to. Some websites will tell you this line ”I shouldn’t break the key off in the lock.” means he knows he can’t get a girl pregnant - I don’t think Alex is that crass, so I will not agree with that until I can ask him myself, haha. But I think it could mean something similar - he knows not to let things go too far… He knows not to get stuck in a room, trapped, somehow. He knows he needs to escape.

And the tumble splits the fray
Revealing silk can fit
In the fright lined dining room
Throw a gaze towards them while they feast

This to me is just his observation of the way the stripper/dancer is like, being feasted on by the guys around them. I feel like in some way this song details their weird time in the desert-era-days (i made that up), where they were kind of bored throughout the week (”The days drag their heels when you’re not there to crack the whip”/”And the weeks wait to burst like a sachet of brats”) but sort of come alive at night in this weird, trippy place they’ve found themselves.

Listen to how the song is a little bit dancey and kind of upbeat in the beginning and then by the end gets a little more dreamy/spacey. I think that’s part of the message. He’s describing an event in his life where he was in one place, and then stuck in another. Sometimes I wonder if the strip club thing was just a dream for him. He can’t sleep, and when he does, he has weird dreams about lap dances. I am reaching, but the song like almost every song on Humbug has the ‘dream’ element to it where it doesn’t feel real. He’s capturing something that seems a little bit out of place. 

The third verse, despite the first line (is it a coke reference?), is again about his insomnia. “I scribbled over dribble, you were snoring/showing off.” His girlfriend (I assume) was asleep, he couldn’t sleep, he was jealous. Also: “rocketing shutter doors despite the shop not opening for hours” indicates the doors being opened (awake?) despite not being opened for hours, which means it was probably the middle of the night. Alex was restless. Again.

There’s just so much in this damn song I can’t even like, comprehend the level of complexity. He’s really attempting to mask whatever it is he’s actually doing. At the time, he had less eyes looking into the meaning of every word he wrote. I think some of this is just lines he strung together that sounded so good he couldn’t get rid of them. I love how arrogant he sounds, the cockiness of the first to verses. He’s so… He was just as much of a rock star back then as he is now. It just takes a minute to really find it. Remember, during the time of Humbug they were hanging out with Josh Homme a lot, and his crew, and obviously that runs a little bit on mystery, and desert, and weirdness. 

Whether or not Alex is actually doing the things in this song is not exactly clear, either. What I find interesting about Alex is that he is an observer of behavior and will write lyrics based on what he sees. So in theory it could be just him taking a person or a place, or an idea, and writing it out on a night he can’t sleep. He wrote Humbug during nights he struggled to close his eyes, and he’s describing a dark thing. Something that would work only at night. Can’t talk about it in the daylight.. Etc.

This one is hard. This is kind of my thoughts on it, but I know this is not my strongest post. I’m sorry! I’m trying my best.

Restless Nights

Patrol that evening was far from quiet. Shouts and yelling could be heard throughout the city. Unrest disturbed the typically uneventful nights Damian had grown accustomed to. He could see that his brothers and even his father, the ever stoic Batman, were shaken by the recent events.

Damian thought that the continuous violence he saw on a near daily basis wouldn’t affect him much, he was a member of the League of Assassins and the grandson of Ra’s Al Ghul after all. And yet, as he lay awake night after night, he couldn’t banish the images of strife and fear from his mind. It was on these nights that he turned towards the comfort of companionship.
At first it was merely one of his (many) pets, namely Titus or Alfred the Cat since neither a cow nor a demon could fit on his bed comfortably. But despite the warmth of a cuddly pet pressed into his side was not nearly enough, for a dog can’t really tell you that everything will be alright, even if they try.

It was on these nights that Damian would creep silently from his bed, down the halls, past rows of closed doors to his brother’s room. Usually he would visit Dick because for one he was the most comfortable to cuddle with and two he was the least likely to complain should Damian visit in the night. Damian would tap on Dick’s shoulder (it usually took a few tries because Dick is incredibly difficult to wake up) and ask if it would be permissible if he could perhaps stay for a few minutes (hours) and was always met with a groggy “yeah ‘course little bird”. Damian would climb under the unbelievably warm sheets and would lay almost as stiff as a board at the edge of the bed, too afraid to get to close to Dick, just in case he didn’t really want Damian there. But Dick would inevitably wrap his arms around Damian into an impossibly tight hug and just whisper to him that everything would be okay and that no matter what Damian would always have him. Somehow Dick always knew what to say, even if it was 2 am on a night off of patrol.

Sometimes Dick wouldn’t be home for one reason or another and Damian would have to resort to going instead to his father who, though understanding, was not incredibly vocal in terms of supporting others. Nevertheless Damian would hoist himself onto the towering king size bed and bury himself in plush duvets and silk sheets and just relish in the closeness of being near a familiar presence. Occasionally his father would tell him reassuring things, all along the lines of fear in the face of violence and anger is not illogical, nor is it a fatal weakness and that it’s okay that Damian would need help sometimes. Once he even admitted that he too was afraid sometimes.

It was nights like these that Damian could sleep soundly, wrapped in the warm embrace of a loved one, free from thoughts of terror and despair.


This was a request from @lonesomelittleangel
I hope it was what you were looking for!
Please keep sending in requests

Arya and Loneliness

There’s something incredibly depressing about how much Arya longs for company and companionship. She loves being around people, makes friends wherever she goes-

Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends with anybody.   Sansa, AGoT

Cat had made friends along the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders, taverners, brewers and bakers and beggars and whores. They bought clams and cockles from her, told her true tales of Braavos and lies about their lives, and laughed at the way she talked when she tried to speak Braavosi. She never let that trouble her. Instead, she showed them all the fig, and told them they were camel cunts, which made them roar with laughter. Gyloro Dothare taught her filthy songs, and his brother Gyleno told her the best places to catch eels. The mummers off the Ship showed her how a hero stands, and taught her speeches from The Song of the Rhoyne, The Conqueror’s Two Wives, and The Merchant’s Lusty Lady. Quill, the sad-eyed little man who made up all the bawdy farces for the Ship, offered to teach her how a woman kisses, but Tagganaro smacked him with a codfish and put an end to that. Cossomo the Conjurer instructed her in sleight of hand. He could swallow mice and pull them from her ears. “It’s magic,” he’d say. “It’s not,” Cat said. “The mouse was up your sleeve the whole time. I could see it moving.” Arya, AFFC

And yet she often feels alone.

The wolf pup loved her, even if no one else did.  Arya, AGoT

 If only she could climb like Bran, she thought; she would go out the window and down the tower, run away from this horrible place, away from Sansa and Septa Mordane and Prince Joffrey, from all of them. Steal some food from the kitchens, take Needle and her good boots and a warm cloak. She could find Nymeria in the wild woods below the Trident, and together they’d return to Winterfell, or run to Jon on the Wall. She found herself wishing that Jon was here with her now. Then maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone. Arya, AGoT

The rest of the time, they ate in his solar, just him and her and Sansa. That was when Arya missed her brothers most. She wanted to tease Bran and play with baby Rickon and have Robb smile at her. She wanted Jon to muss up her hair and call her “little sister” and finish her sentences with her. But all of them were gone. She had no one left but Sansa, and Sansa wouldn’t even talk to her unless Father made her. Arya, AGoT

Jaqen was gone, though. He’d left her. Hot Pie left me too, and now Gendry is leaving. Lommy had died, Yoren had died, Syrio Forel had died, even her father had died, and Jaqen had given her a stupid iron penny and vanished.

Where would she go? Winterfell was gone. Her grandfather’s brother was at Riverrun, but he didn’t know her, no more than she knew him. Maybe Lady Smallwood would take her in at Acorn Hall, but maybe she wouldn’t. Besides, Arya wasn’t even sure she could find Acorn Hall again. Sometimes she thought she might go back to Shama’s inn, if the floods hadn’t washed it away. She could stay with Hot Pie, or maybe Lord Beric would find her there. Anguy would teach her to use a bow, and she could ride with Gendry and be an outlaw, like Wenda the White Fawn in the songs.

But that was just stupid, like something Sansa might dream. Hot Pie and Gendry had left her just as soon as they could, and Lord Beric and the outlaws only wanted to ransom her, just like the Hound. None of them wanted her around. They were never my pack, not even Hot Pie and Gendry. I was stupid to think so, just a stupid little girl, and no wolf at all.

So she stayed with the Hound.  Arya, ASoS

There is no place here for Arya of House Stark, she was thinking. Arya’s place was Winterfell, only Winterfell was gone. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. She had no pack, though. They had killed her pack, Ser Ilyn and Ser Meryn and the queen, and when she tried to make a new one all of them ran off, Hot Pie and Gendry and Yoren and Lommy Greenhands, even Harwin, who had been her father’s man. She shoved through the doors, out into the night. Arya, AFFC

Most days, she spent more time with the dead than with the living. She missed the friends she’d had when she was Cat of the Canals; Old Brusco with his bad back, his daughters Talea and Brea, the mummers from the Ship, Merry and her whores at the Happy Port, all the other rogues and wharfside scum. She missed Cat herself the most of all, even more than she missed her eyes. She had liked being Cat, more than she had ever liked being Salty or Squab or Weasel or Arry.  Arya, ADWD

That’s why the “lone wolf dies but the pack survives” is an Arya quote, I think. I mean it is no question an Arya quote in that it appears only in her narrative and is repeated in her thoughts (though it is also a Ned quote because he says it.)

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Strange Magic FanFic – “Flame and Forest, Damsels and Dragons”

There is a finer line then one thinks between Princess and Predator, Dragons and Damsels… 

For Strange Magic Week Day 4: Dark Fantasy AU! 

I had so much fun with this one, guys, I can’t even try to deny it. I’ve been wanting to write a story like this for so long…!

Just want to say that I envisioned Human!Bog here, but in reading it, it could easily be his Canon form too. So, whichever one your mind wants, it works =) 

As always, hope you enjoy!

“The Dire One of the Dark Forest? I was expecting…more of a title.”

The sorcerer planted his staff into the scorched soil of the Dark Forest, more bestial in that moment then the creature before him with the snarl he gave. “If you come to kill me to claim any crown, you’ve been sorely misinformed. There are curse casters like me throughout the Forest—”

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My Muse

A Smutty Liam One Shot

“You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to fuck you. Don’t know how bad I want to throw you over the table and take you here. I want you to scream my name so loud the neighbors hear… You’re such a little tease, aren’t you? Love to see me squirm; you know all I want to do is bend you over the table and fuck you so hard you won’t walk straight for days.”

Rebloggable Masterlist || More Liam Writing

Not requested

(2.4K words)

Rating: R

Summary: It’s not often that Liam gets writer’s block, but this time it was really bad. Being the loving girlfriend you were, you figured you had to do a little something to refresh his mind. A striptease would do just that, right?

A/N: (or the one where I have such a thing for Liam and I needed to get it out somehow)

It’d been two hours and all I heard from him were little riffs that turned into frustrated and impatient groans from behind a closed door.

He’d been writing songs for hours now.

Well, Liam had been trying to write a song for hours. Normally, he’d have six songs done by now, but today was a different story; he had writer’s block, and was just growing more and more frustrated with himself by the minute.

I had tried to break him out of it a little earlier. I encouraged a half-hour break under the guise of a lunch break, but he had refused, claiming he wasn’t hungry.

This was my last ditch effort.

Clad in a silk robe and heels, I entered the room that held all things musical. He had all his albums lining the shelves, countless awards stacked up too, a piano, dozens of little writing journals, and recording equipment.

He glanced up as I walked in, my heels echoing as they hit the hardwood.

“[Y/N]?” His eyebrows furrowed. “What’ve you got on, love?”

I grinned, walking up to him. I took the pen and notebook from his lap, placing it on the table beside him before pulling his chair out. As I sat on his thigh, my legs between his, turning at the waist to face him, he instinctively wrapped his arm around my waist. 

“You’ve been working very, very hard,” I said, trying to put on my most alluring voice, “and I figured you deserved a little… break.”

His eyes lit up the second I mentioned it; he knew exactly what I meant and he was happy to oblige. “Well, babe,” he said, his free hand leaving his lap to trail his fingers under my robe and across my collarbone, “I love the sound of that.”

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Don’t make me say it twice, Mulder: Round Two

For @shalomksenia and @jennfairkiss who requestede a sequel, and for everyone who left lovely messages after the first fic. It was a huge surprise!
This is a fluffy and lightly smutty follow up to Don’t Make Me Say It Twice, Mulder, posted in response to @leiascully‘s XFWritingChallenge: Stars.

She woke with Mulder’s left arm draped over her hip. Years before it would have been a sensual comfort, but these days it just gave her a cramp. He’d bulked up (pleasingly) with his regular boxing fitness routine. And while arm porn was one of her guilty pleasures, at 6.30am on a cold Tuesday in a random motel, his limb was about as far from sexy as his morning breath and his nose hairs tickling the back of her neck.

She shifted out from under him and he grunted something about astral lights and Team Edward. She unkinked her neck and hips and made for the bathroom, determined to snag the hot water. She did linger at the door, admiring the curve of his biceps. Or were they her biceps? Now that they were engaged. She let the water run over her hair and face and wondered how life would be from now on.

He was insufferable, this version of Mulder. The long drive back to Washington was filled with incessant chatter about their new life together. At one of the many fuel stops, she waited for the tank to fill, as he droned on.

She snapped. “Mulder! Nothing will change. It’s just a piece of paper and a couple of rings.”

           He opened his mouth to reply, but thought better of it, sinking wordlessly back into the car leaving her to go in and pay.

           “Didn’t you get us anything to drink?” Now his voice was on the point of whiny.

           “I didn’t, no. Why don’t you go and get something? I’m not a mind-reader, Mulder.”

           “But, now that…”

           She glared at him. “Don’t even, Mulder. Just. Don’t. Even.”

They were on the final stretch home. He wanted to say something to her. It was in the way he glanced at her when he thought she wasn’t looking - every five seconds. It was the way he shifted in the seat, loosening his tie, his belt, unbuttoning his collar. It was the way he leant over to change channels on the radio, to grab his drink, deliberately brushing her thigh. It was in each heavy sigh, each crick of his neck, each rub of his chin.

           “Mulder, just say it, will you?”

           “Say what, Scully?”

           She chewed on her bottom lip and breathed out heavily through her nose. “Whatever it is that’s turned you from world’s most romantic, to world’s most annoying in the space of 12 hours.”

           He turned to look at her, his mouth hanging open. “Are you breaking up with me already, Scully?”

           She couldn’t help but smile. Maybe she was being a little snippy. “I’m prepared to give you another go, if you just tell me what’s on your mind. Please.”

           He clenched his fingers around the steering wheel and cleared his throat. “Where are we going to live? I mean, your apartment is nice and all, but it’s…well, it’s small and neat and a bit…a bit…”

           “A bit what, Mulder?”

           He chanced a look at her. “Sterile?”

           The road ahead stretched out, a snake of red tail lights. The sky was dull grey, heavy with unshed rain. “Sterile? You mean, clean, Mulder. Clean.”

           “But your clean is like in the 99th percentile of clean. It’s an A+, a High Distinction, a Royal Flush.”

           She straightened her skirt over her thighs. He watched. Carefully. She rolled her eyes. “Mulder, my apartment is orderly. It suits me, my lifestyle. I think it would suit us, too. Our lifestyle. And it’s closer to work, it’s cheaper to run. I think it would be fine.”

           “But the house.”

           “What about the house?”

           “It’s our home. We bought it together. There are memories.”

           She turned to him, admiring his profile briefly before launching her response. “There are memories, Mulder, that’s true. But they’re tainted. We were different people then, when we bought it. We were on the run, exiles. That house was a fuck-you to the people who chased us out of our normal lives. Nobody expected Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to end up on acreage in rural Virginia. We need…we have to move on from that.”

           “I guess so.” He sighed, taking another swig of his drink. “But don’t expect me to squeeze the toothpaste according to some mathematical formula you’ve developed. I won’t do it, Scully. I just won’t compromise on some things.”

           She couldn’t help herself. She let out a giggle that made her throat gurgle and her eyes water.

He promised to be good, if he could only just stay the night, try out their new life. His eyes widened, his lower lip pouted, his head moved closer to hers. She couldn’t say no. It was infuriating, the way he wheedled into her conscience, even at her age. She nearly smacked him when he added in a whisper, “we are engaged, after all.”

           “That had better not be the phrase that ends all our discussions, Mulder. I might just be prepared to serve time for manual strangulation if you’re going to continue to use it against me.”

He offered her one of his goofy grins. “I’m prepared to use anything against you, Scully.”

She pulled the belt of her silk robe tighter.

           “You wait until we get married, Scully. You’ll be laughing at my jokes before I deliver the punch line, you’ll be sitting too close to me on other people’s couches, you’ll be picking the fluff off my suits, you’ll be looking at my mouth all the time.”

           “Mulder, I’ve doing all those things for years.”

He fell onto the bed and shucked off his shoes, unknotted his tie and hurled it across the room, unbuttoned his shirt and threw it overhead so it landed on the pillows behind him, and flopped down on his back ready to undo his fly.

           Quick as a flash, she straddled him, her oyster robe draping around her knees and fluttering on his chest. She held herself up on one hand and used the other to cover his hand over the zipper of his pants. “No. No way, Mulder.”

           He gave her his laziest, sexiest smile. “No-way-Mulder-what, Scully?” His voice rasped over his vocal chords, and she felt herself shudder.

           “Pick them up.”

           He grinned, his eyes kaleidoscopes of trouble. Without warning, he flipped her over so that she lay helpless under him, his trousers flapping open to reveal the elastic of his boxers, and his strong hands wrapped around her wrists.

“Say please, Scully.”

She looked to the left, to the right and set her mouth into a thin line. He bent forward and nipped the skin of her neck. Instantly her nipples hardened and she cursed her body’s biological reaction. He took advantage of her vulnerability and nipped again, deepening his kiss until he was working the skin on her neck with his teeth and his lips.

She jerked away. “Mulder, you’re leaving a mark.”

“It’s just a hickey, Scully. We are engaged, after all.” He increased the pace of his action. “Besides, you still haven’t said please, yet.”

“We are not teenagers,” she said, sighing as he buried his face into her collarbone and suckled the particularly sensitive patch between her neck and her shoulder. Before she protest anymore, he kissed his way down, pushing her robe out of the way of his navigation, laving the skin of her chest until he reached a breast, where he took her nipple in his mouth and teased, teased and oh…

“Mulder,” she warned.

“Will you change your name, Scully? Dana Mulder? Dr D Mulder, there’s a certain cadence to it that makes me…hard.”

He let his tongue drift around her areola before heading further south and nipping and sucking his way down her ribcage and belly.

“I’m Dana Scully. Dr…Dana…ugh…Scully. Mulder. Please.”

He let go of her wrists and she grabbed two handfuls of hair, urging him down. He chuckled, the vibrations of his chin sending jolts of pleasure through her insides. “What was that you said, Dr Scully?”

She panted as his tongue cleaved her open and he scooted down the bed to free his hands and fingers so they could do their best work.


He lifted his head briefly to watch her and she could see in his green-gold eyes what he saw: her face wild with desire, flushed, her hair mussed, her robe disheveled, her breasts rising and falling.

“Don’t make me say it twice, Mulder.”

So I was feeling bad that I wouldn’t be releasing anything new for my lovely Wattpad followers, as my long fic is on hiatus, and thought maybe I could give them an old fic from AO3.  I was torn between my two Creature!Draco fairy tales Draco Dormiens and Breath Of Life, when I figured I could quickly write a third story, and start a little anthology.  So that’s what I’ve done.

Also, it seemed like a nice excuse to write something fluffy for my good friend Katy ( @enigmaticrose4 / @aroseindaegu ) who had her birthday recently, and has also been going through a tough time lately.  Hugs to you darling xxx

A Veela!Draco take on the Rapunzel story, no smut, 2.3K words.  Aesthetic by me, though I don’t own the images.  Featuring Chris Pine as Harry.


On The Wings Of Love

   How Harry got himself into these situations, he still wasn’t sure.  He pelted through the forest, branches whipping at his face as the hounds barked and snapped at his feet.  “Hey!” he hissed behind his shoulder.  “Look no hard feelings, okay?  I was just sleeping in that barn!  I wasn’t looking for trouble!”

  The dogs seemed less than sympathetic to his pleas though, their teeth glinting in the afternoon sunshine as they salivated.  

  “I’m not that tasty, I assure you!” Harry went on, charging up a rise and swinging from a low hanging branch over a log.  He was too skinny to look appetising, he was certain, but these dogs probably loved gnawing on a juicy bone.  

  He darted through bushes and around trees, hoping to find some way to escape the angry beasts.  He wouldn’t mind, but he really hadn’t been stealing anything this time, he had just wanted a night’s rest somewhere a little more hospitable than the open ground. But of course the young maiden that had found him had questioned his virtue with a blistering scream before Harry had time to assure her she had nothing to fear, and decided it best to run for it rather than stick around to offer an explanation, risking the sword of her no-doubt enraged father.  

  Up ahead, a solitary tower loomed, which was an odd site for several reasons.  There was no town nearby, Harry knew this as he had counted himself lucky to stumble upon the farmhouse.  And if it was a small castle, surely there should have been more turrets?

  He had to admit though, all he cared about was the fact that is rose from the ground. If he could get inside and bar the door, he could maybe loose his hungry entourage.  

  The dogs were still a dozen of so feet behind him, but his chance came to increase his lead when a small stream cut across his path.  The water was fast, but he was larger than his four-legged friends and was able to hurtle across in next to no time.  They though would have to swim, giving him a precious extra few minutes.

  He sprinted towards the tower, his boots squelching but his spirits raised.  As the foliage cleared he could see a single door at the base of the structure, and he lurched for the handle.  It was locked, and picking it would take time he didn’t have, so he decided to risk a few moments to try a direct approach.  

  “Hello there!” he cried out, pounding his fist against the wood.  “Anyone home?  I’m in a bit of a pickle and could use some help!”  He turned around to peer through the greenery, and could just about make out the dogs still struggling across the water, but he didn’t have long before they were free again.  “Blast,” he huffed, and pulled two thin bits of metal from his tunic pocket, hoping he hadn’t made himself become dinner by wasting time asking for help.

  Before he could attack the lock though, he was startled by a rope falling down in front of his face.  He jumped back, and saw it had come from the only window, all the way at the top of the tower.  “Climb up!” a voice called.

  Another glance back to the stream told Harry the first of the beasts were just clear of the water, and he decided it was worth the risk of falling if only to get off the ground for now.

  He grabbed the rope – and almost slipped back off again.  It was like no rope he had ever encountered before, more like silk than the usual course fibres, and now he was looking at it, he could see it was not spun into one single line, but plaited.  It gave a small jiggle as he inspected it.

  “Come on!” the voice floated down.  

  Harry decided not to question his escape route any further, and wrapped his hand around the plait to get a better grip.  The owner of the rope responded by hauling him up, so in mere moments he had scaled several feet.  A good thing too, as the first of the hounds finally reached the tower, and jumped up to try and bite as his heels.  He was already too high though, and he grinned down in triumph.  “Sorry boys,” he gloated.  “You shall have to find your supper elsewhere!”

  Gradually, he made his way up to the window, his feet walking up the wall and his hands moving up the rope, careful not to slip again, otherwise the snapping dogs would be the least of his troubles.  “Are you nearly there?” called the voice of his mysterious rescuer.

  “Yes, almost!” Harry responded cheerfully.  

  It was with great relief that he grasped the lip of the window sill, and with a final grunt of effort, pulled himself through the opening and tumbled to the floor. He shook himself and sat upright, wishing to thank his new friend.  Then stopped in surprise.

  Before him stood a young man of what looked like his own age.  He was dressed simply in a white cloth, draped over one shoulder and collected into a short skirt at his waist.  His skin was creamy like milk, dazzling even in the gloom of the room, and his face as beautiful as any prince Harry had ever seen.  But that was not what had given him pause.  For the man had golden white hair, shining in the small amount of light coming from the window.  It had been pulled behind his head into a plait…a plait that carried on and on until it finished in Harry’s own hands.  

  “Did I just climb up your hair?” he asked, utterly perplexed.  He had never seen such a thing in his whole life.  

  The young man smiled shyly.  “It seemed like the best idea, considering you were in trouble.  I – I watched you run from the dogs from afar, and did not wish for you to be eaten.”

  “Nor I,” Harry agreed, and got to his feet, brushing his hands and marvelling at the man’s gorgeous hair once more.  “Is that how you usually let your visitors in?”

  The man smiled again, but this time it was with sadness, and Harry’s heart gave a twinge of pain.  Surely someone so beautiful could not be unhappy?

  “I do not have many visitors other than my master, and he has the only key to the lock.” He looked at Harry with eyes he could now see were a brilliant silver, and a shiver ran up Harry’s spine.  He was starting to think his lovely new companion was not entirely human.   “He only comes once a week to leave food and collects his wears.  He does not speak much to me, other than to call me his pretty bird.”

  Harry didn’t like the sound of that.  “Your master?” he asked.  “Are you a prisoner here?”

  The man moved closer, and looked out the window.  The view of the kingdom was quite magnificent from here, and Harry took it in with him.  “I am Veela, do you know what that is?”  Harry shook his head, and the man picked his long plait up in his hands.  “Our hair contains potent magic, and until we are Unfurled, grows extraordinarily fast.  My master stole me as a babe from my parents, to keep me from transitioning, and sells my hair for great profit.”  He turned to Harry, and tried to smile, but could not quite manage it. “I fear I shall never become a true Veela, and will remain here all my days.”

  Harry blinked.  “But that’s awful,” he cried.  “Why don’t you escape?”

  “As long as I am still Furled, I am cursed to stay within these walls,” he said, then seemed to rally his spirits.  “But enough of my woes, stranger.  I do not wish to burden you.  When the danger has passed, I will help lower you back down again. Until them, may I ask your name?”

  “Your woes are no burden to me,”  Harry assured him.  “You may call me Harry, and in return I would ask the favour of your name, and the details of this curse.  Surely there must be a way to break it?”

  The man smiled, genuinely this time, and turned back into the room.  It was sparsely furnished, with a straw bed for sleeping, the table and chairs that they now moved to sit at, and a small stove for cooking.  One wall was lined with books, and Harry was relieved to see the man’s master had not been so cruel as to deny him that luxury.  

  “It is good to meet you Harry,” the man said.  “My name is Draco.  And yes, I discovered the curse’s undoing many years ago, but sadly it has done me no good thus far.”

  Harry felt a thrill of hope.  He had never been so enchanted to meet anyone in his whole life, and if he could free this man and become better acquainted with him, he surely could not be happier. “Do tell,” he urged, pulling his chair closer to where Draco sat.  “Perhaps I can help you?”

  Draco looked at his hands in his lap.  “Alas,” he said.  “Only love’s first kiss can set me free.  It is how my people Unfurl and become true Veela.  Then, I could escape this life.”  He looked up at Harry, and laughed.  It was one of the most beautiful sounds Harry had ever heard, like a song straight to his heart.  “Unfortunately, the adventures who have scaled these walls before were disappointed not to find a female, and were disinclined to help me.”

  “Oh,” said Harry, thinking what fools they must have been.

  “I bear them no ill will,” Draco said quickly, silver eyes full of concern. “Love cannot be forced.  I just wish one day I might be lucky, and the right kind of adventurer might come to call.”

  He blushed, and turned his face from Harry.  “You wish for a female also – a girl?” he asked, hope fading.

  Draco looked to the window wistfully.  “No,” he said.  “I would very much prefer a male, but such a thing is rare.  I would be extremely fortunate indeed to find love, even were I not confined to this tower.”

  Harry’s heart raced once more, and reached out to take Draco’s hand.  “And all it takes is one kiss?  The first of a new love?”

  Draco considered him, surprise lining his features.  “Yes,” he said softly.

  Harry moved to kneel before him.  Perhaps he was being reckless, he had only just met the man after all.  But he had never felt like this before, so strongly and so suddenly.  He had heard of love at first sight, why shouldn’t it happen to him?  “May I?” he asked gently.

  Confusion marred Draco’s brow, until it smoothed into happiness.  “Of course,” he whispered back.

  Harry leaned forwards, and carefully pressed his lips to Draco’s.  They were cool, and soft as satin, but as soon as they touched a warmth burst to life, and he jumped back in shock.

  Draco, likewise, shot to his feet, staring at his hands in awe.  His pale skin was glowing, and he began to laugh.  Not the sound blemished by hope that had still managed to fill Harry with joy, but an honest, wonderful laugh of freedom.  “It is working!” Draco cried, tears in his eyes.

  Harry didn’t know what he could feel, but clearly he was changing into a fully grown Veela, and he too leapt to his feet in delight.  And then he could see why the process was called ‘unfurling’.  

  Wings, fluffy as a newborn chick and white as pure snow, were revealing themselves from his back, until they spanned half the room in their mightiness.  “I thought you beautiful before,” Harry said, his voice trembling.  “But now you are truly an angel.”

  Gradually, the glow vanished from his skin, but Draco still smiled as if he had not been so happy in all his years.  “You have freed me Harry.  Can it be, do you in fact love me?”

  Harry laughed.  “As far as I can know, I think I do.  Is that madness?”

  “Only if loving you too is madness,” Draco said, and stepped forward to embrace Harry.

  Their first kiss and been sweet and chaste, cut short by the Unfurling and dismantling of the curse.  But this kiss set Harry’s heart of fire, and he took Draco in his arms, feeling his wings envelope him protectively.  “Now shall you leave this prison?” he asked, and Draco squeezed him tightly.

  “Gladly,” he said.  “But first.”

  He went to the stove, where a knife lay nearby.  He offered Harry the hilt.  “Do you wish to do the honours?” he asked, holding up where the plait of his hair began. “I long to be free of this weight, and I think we could get a pretty price for it at the market.”

  Harry beamed at him.  “Fair money,” he said, light with the thought of not stealing for once.  “To start our life together.”

  “Indeed,” Draco said.  

  The blade cut through the hair smoothly, like it was no more than water, and Draco sighed contentedly as he shook his remaining locks happily.  They coiled the plait into a basket, ready to depart, and Draco opened up his arms.  

  “Come here, my love,” he said, pulling Harry safely to his side.  “So we may find out what freedom really feels like.”

  He beat his impressive wings once, lifting them from the ground.  Harry nuzzled into Draco’s neck, feeling the warmth of his body and the power running through his veins.  “Let us fly,” he said, as they left the prison tower behind, heading into the sunset, ready to begin their future lives, together.

 The End


For the love of all the gods of the earth, don’t submerge pearl jewellery in water. Not only will you strip the lustre off the pearls, you’ll rot the silk threading them.

Worn pearls tend to look better than ‘clean’ ones.

But if you absolutely must clean them. Use the tiniest amount of almost warm water with very, very gentle detergent. On a soft, non-abrasive cloth.

Do not drench them, or scrub them. Wipe gently and dry thoroughly.

Avoid getting perfume or lotion or make-up on your pearls.

Remember: Pearls are the last thing you put on, and the first thing you take off.

spinninglenny  asked:

This is a Very Important Question: You told us what Rose wore to the ball at the Winter Palace, but what about Cullen? I can't imagine Josie and Dorian let him get away with the nutcracker uniform next to Rose's glorious dress. And what about the others? Please feel free to elaborate and soothe our souls over Inquisition's disappointing lack of beautiful dresses for the amazing Lady squad


On the one hand, I understand why they did uniforms from a game-mechanics perspective, and I even think it makes some sense that uniforms were worn to meetings, etc, while in Val Royeaux. But to a ball? A literal fancy dress ball? I just can’t.

So, let’s pretend time and money are no object.

Josephine wears a gown in blue and gold, but in an Antivan style. (In The Stolen Throne, Rowan wears a red silk gown from Antiva. It has bared shoulders and a train.) How lovely, then, to put Josephine in her characteristic colors, but bare the shoulders always covered in their voluminous sleeves and allow the gorgeous silk to sweep and swirl behind her. Her dress is finest silk, embroidered richly with shimmering gold. Perhaps she wears her hair loose and tumbling down her back, threaded with silk ribbons to match her gown. Her mask is deceptively simple gold, but decorated with a king’s ransom in sapphires.

Leliana, of course, wears a gown in the height of Orlesian fashion. It is silver and purple, rich and sumptuous; velvet, I think, instead of silk. Instead of her hood, she wears the most elegant of silver masks, decorated with amethysts and raven’s feathers. It hides her face as well as any shadow could. Most importantly, though, she wears stunning shoes, delicate to look at, but with heels sharp enough that someone trained to do so could use them as stilettos. Literally. The knife kind.

Cassandra protests wearing a gown. She didn’t like them when she was a princess, and she does not like them now. Eventually, a compromise is reached. She cannot come armed and armored into a ball. She wears a white silk blouse, fine as can be and black leather leggings, under knee-high black boots chased with silver. Over all this, she wears a structured, floor-length coat in heavy black and silver brocade whose pattern is reminiscent of Cassandra’s Seeker symbols. It is slit up the front, of course, for ease of movement, and so that she can tell herself she doesn’t wear a dress at all. After several flat refusals, Cassandra relents and allows Leliana to weave a chain of diamonds and moonstones into her braid. She refuses to wear a mask.

Vivienne would never be caught dead in the Nutcracker uniform, darling. Don’t be foolish. She, too, sticks to her favored colors. She knows very well how flattering and striking ivory and bronze appear on her. She dresses to impress, and to remind the court of Orlais that she is as powerful–if not more so–than she was when last they saw her. She is all gold-grained ivory samite, with skirts others must stand aside to avoid, lest they be knocked over. Echoes of her usual dress are highlighted in the vast and lovely structured collar, the diamond-studded hennin, a mask so finely made everyone who sees it knows it must have cost a not-so-small fortune, and the look that has curdled the blood of lesser mortals.

Sera does not want to wear a dress. Sera does not really want to go, except as a lark, and to prank nobles in need of pranking. She’s afraid a dress will make that difficult, until Dorian says she’ll be able to get away with a great deal more mischief if she blends in. She wears a simple gown in red and gold (no plaideweave, my dear, prostests Vivienne, shuddering). It actually looks a great deal like her tunic–long-sleeved, shoulders bared–but is floor-length, unripped, and made of velvet and silk. She doesn’t wear a mask, but she pins flowers in her hair, and gives rude gestures unflinchingly to anyone who mistakes her for a servant.

I’m going to just keep it at the ladies for now, but since you asked about Cullen specifically:

Cullen does not feel safe with so many eyes on him and out of his armor, and yet armor is not appropriate attire for a ball. He tries to convince Leliana and Josephine to just let him wear his usual attire without armor and weapons, but they absolutely refuse. He wears an even deeper, darker green–almost black–than Rose’s dress, trimmed and embroidered in gold. His leggings are soft and fine, made of a pale gold leather, tucked into well-shined dark boots. He wears an ivory silk shirt under draped fabric not entirely unlike his usual Skyhold attire (Leliana was willing to grant him that small comfort and familiarity, at least). Instead of the furred mantle, he wears a one-shoulder cape in the darkest green velvet, lined in gold silk. (He barely withholds a groan of complaint when he sees Gaspard has been allowed a bit of armor. Besides–armor would get in the way, while dancing with his love, wouldn’t it? Fine.) He also refuses to wear a mask; he has hidden behind too many things in his life and refuses to keep doing so now, no matter what the custom.

Dersha Fanfic: Vitamin D

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is an A/U Dersha fanfic inspired by dancingwiththedevilblog Here’s the backstory:  Derek is a very successful oncologist in Southern California and Ahsha is his fiance. They’ve been together for a year and are set to get married next spring. However, as much as Derek loves her, he is very ambitious. He’s been very busy for the past month attending conferences, writing research, and seeing patients. Although Ahsha keeps busy with the ballet studio she owns, she is craving Derek’s affection. Feeling neglected by her man, Ahsha takes a naughty, but clever approach to get his attention. They’ve done role play before, so Derek jumps right in.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR EYELINER SO PERFECT OH MY GOSH YOURE GORGEOUS STOP. also you're a really great and kind person and I'm stopping myself now okay bye

oh my gosh thank you so much! you are too sweet that i can’t just claim the eyeliner is flawless thanks to my application- please allow me to bestow upon you the best eyeliner method that doesn’t necessitate virgin blood sacrifices or other such dark magicks.










Here’s a t-shirt I designed for a local foodtruck-herding network.

I thought it would be nice to force myself out of my comfort zone and put together a clean three-Pantone print in Illustrator which I’ve never done before. Unfortunately it didn’t get printed too well (see exhibit 3), apparently the vectors I sent them were fit “for silk screen printing… not for screen printing.” Yes, I know…

At the event I watched processions of expectant faces stretch out before the trucks for hours. From my Russian childhood I associate lines with desperation and fear—a raise in price/futility doesn’t change a thing—it’s still people waiting in line for food. Will Self likened foodism to ”coprophilia in advance,“ and yes, they were languidly thumbing their twitterfeeds in bathroom lines too.

Then I spent my dinner token on a regrettable burrito and went home.

anonymous asked:

Prompt where Team Overwatch attend a gala and drunk Angela can't stop fawning over dapper Fareeha wearing suspenders and a bowtie with her suit :3

Angela normally wasn’t such a lightweight. But she’d gotten consumed with work today and had forgotten to eat. Now, two glasses of champagne later, she’s spinning with regret. Her footsteps are heavy, mind light, and all too late she’s thinking about eating, but not sure if her stomach can handle shrimp puffs and caviar. At least her dress is strapless, she muses, giving her some relief from the heat in her cheeks.

Hana catches her eye and winks, more perceptive than she lets most catch on, and Angela blushes deeper and turns. Here she is at a benefit gala and she’s plastered. Well, a little more than tipsy. Either way, highly unprofessional from a supposedly world renowned surgeon. She lifts her head, unused to her hair not being tied up, and runs a hand through it. It’s then that she sees Fareeha. She’s in a crisp, tight suit, thin silk bow tie, hair pulled back in a ponytail save for the beads that line her cheeks. Angela’s already switched to water, and yet the sight makes her head swim. Fareeha catches sight of her, and that warm, familiar smile has her thinking things she most definitely shouldn’t.

Too polite to ignore someone, Angela gives her a pursed lip smile and a nod before heading out into the balcony. It’s relatively empty, the night wind being far too chilly for any extensive views. But Angela welcomes the bite against her bare shoulders and neck. She’s thought about Fareeha more than professionally for awhile now, and seeing her like that…. Angela sighs and grips the side of the balcony, trying to will herself sober. The wind rattles around her ears and makes them sting, but she doesn’t care. Anything but looking into those dark eyes.

“This is not exactly the place where grease is abundant.”

Angela turns, knowing full well the voice and accepting her fate. Fareeha walks towards her, a small plate in one hand and a knowing smile that makes Angela’s cheeks burn. “But I did find some bacon wrapped…something. Took the something out and now we have simple, trustworthy bacon.” Fareeha extends the plate and Angela swallows, eyeing it with confusion until Fareeha shakes it a bit to get her to take it. “Hana told me you may have accidentally gotten yourself drunk,” she adds to ease the doctor’s confusion.

Angela sighs, jaw clenched in embarrassment. “I–it’s so unprofessional. I don’t normally–

“Hey,” Fareeha soothes, stepping closer. “I’m not judging. No one is. I’m here to help.”

Angela blinks down at the small slices of bacon on the plate. Fareeha took the time to collect it for her, and remove whatever it was wrapped around. Her heart flutters for reasons it shouldn’t and she puts a piece into her mouth into distract herself. A hand touches her bare shoulder briefly, and before Angela can react, its jerked away. Blue eyes lift to find Fareeha quickly shirking off her suit jacket.

“You’re colder than that ice sculpture in there.”

Black suspenders trail up her narrow waist and around her shoulders and Angela has to focus on chewing lest she choke. Fareeha takes the plate for a moment to offer the jacket and Angela can’t find it in her to protest. It’s warm and smells clean with a hint of some subtle perfume. A scent she’d have to bury herself in to really enjoy, and the thought of her face pressed against Fareeha’s neck has her spinning away so quickly the bacon is knocked to the floor.

“Oh no!” Angela whines, looking crestfallen down at the meat. “Oh, Fareeha, you went to so much trouble and I’m such a mess.” Tears line her eyes, spurred on by the alcohol, no doubt, and all she can do is look down in shame.

“Hey,” Fareeha soothes again.

Angela opens her mouth to protest but suddenly she’s enveloped in strong, long arms. Oh, how she’s fantasized of this. And it’s wrong. Fareeha is a fellow soldier, a coworker. But she’s too upset, too drunk, too happy to pull away. The white shirt is crisp against her cheek, silk bow tie brushing against her and, despite her best efforts, Angela can’t resist sliding a single finger beneath a suspended and trailing it upward. The back of her knuckle brushes against firm muscle, higher still to rove over a soft breast, and she remembers the smell of that perfume. She tilts her head, nose pressed against a dark neck, and inhales.

“You smell nice,” she says, finger still trailing up and down beneath the suspender. “You feel nice, too.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

If Angela had been sober, she would have easily recognized the strain in Fareeha’s voice, the trembling of her skin every time Angela moved against it, and way she held her ever tighter, keeping her close and protected. As it stands, Angela can only think of Fareeha as composed and confident and beautiful, mercifully tolerating her in this drunken state so as not to avoid embarrassing anyone else.

She can’t bring herself to admit that the water, the time, the cold air, and the food, have rendered her sober for the past ten minutes.

Arya and Needle in The Winds of Winter

When Arya stabs Raff the Sweetling in TWoW sample chapter “Mercy” she uses a “long thin blade” that was evidently hiding up her sleeve:

Raff the Sweetling looked up sharply as the long thin blade came sliding from her sleeve. She slipped it through his throat beneath the chin, twisted, and ripped it back out sideways with a single smooth slash. A fine red rain followed, and in his eyes the light went out.

This is not the first long, thin blade we’ve seen Arya with. Both text and symbolism strongly hint that the blade that does Raff in is none other than Needle, last seen being hidden under a loose stone on the steps leading to the House of Black and White.

Just before this she has apparently sliced his femoral artery with a different knife, most likely a small, sharp one that could be easily palmed:

Instead she slid her finger down along the inside of his thigh. He gave a grunt. “Damn, be careful there, you — “

Mercy gave a gasp and stepped away, her face confused and frightened. “You’re bleeding.”

We know from ADwD that she is adept at palming small knives:

It took her three more days of watching before she found the way, and another day of practicing with her finger knife. Red Roggo had taught her how to use it, but she had not slit a purse since back before they took away her eyes.


she sharpened the steel on a whetstone until its edge glimmered silver-blue in the candlelight.


Last of all she palmed her finger knife.


Her blade flashed out, smooth and quick, one deep slash through the velvet and he never felt a thing.

At the outset of “Mercy” we witness her preparing to go to the theater:

Her boots were lumps of old brown leather mottled with salt stains and cracked from long wear, her belt a length of hempen rope dyed blue. She knotted it about her waist, and hung a knife on her right hip and a coin pouch on her left. Last of all she threw her cloak across her shoulders. It was a real mummer’s cloak, purple wool lined in red silk, with a hood to keep the rain off, and three secret pockets too. She’d hid some coins in one of those, an iron key in another, a blade in the last. A real blade, not a fruit knife like the one on her hip, but it did not belong to Mercy, no more than her other treasures did. The fruit knife belonged to Mercy. She was made for eating fruit, for smiling and joking, for working hard and doing as she was told.

Of note, she has a small, sharp knife on her hip (the fruit knife) and another “real blade” secreted in her cloak. This blade does not belong to Mercy, though the fruit knife does, distinctions of ownership we think are significant.

Arya has not been called Arya Stark in her own PoV since the Cat of the Canals chapter in AFfC. When she wakes up as the Blind Girl in ADwD, she is no longer called Arya by the Kindly Man, though she does occasionally recall that she was once called Arya Stark. Since becoming the Blind Girl, Arya has been a creature of the Faceless Men, playing their roles, learning their ways and obeying their rules. In fact, she initiates her exquisite slaying of Raff as Mercy, using Mercy’s fruit knife to make the first cut.

During the murder, Mercy guides Raff into asking her to carry him, just as Lommy did way back in ACoK (For the record, the Lommy & Raff killings have numerous other clear parallels beyond the scope of this essay)

“Walk?” His fingers were slick with blood. “Are you blind, girl? I’m bleeding like a stuck pig. I can’t walk on this.”

“Well,” she said, “I don’t know how you’ll get there, then.”

You’ll need to carry me.”

See? thought Mercy. You know your line, and so do I.

“Think so?” asked Arya, sweetly.

Note the question “Are you blind, girl?” to which the answer is a clear “No.” This just might signify that Mercy is no longer a creature of the FM as of that moment, especially since when Raff says his “line” a moment later Mercy becomes Arya for the first time since Arya became the Blind Girl, and evidently uses the blade that “did not belong to Mercy” to complete the killing.

Back in AGoT Arya received a special gift from her brother Jon:

She giggled at him. “It’s so skinny.”

“So are you,” Jon told her. “I had Mikken make this special. The bravos use swords like this in Pentos and Myr and the other Free Cities. It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re fast enough.



We see evidence of Needle being a relatively small blade when, after Arya recovers Needle at the Inn after the Hound kills Polliver, we get this description:

Hanging beside his dagger was a slimmer blade, too long to be a dirk, too short to be a man’s sword… but it felt just right in her hand.

And later on in AFfC:

Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy.

So Needle could probably best be described as a “long, thin blade.” Fitting Needle into her mummers cloak wouldn’t be difficult given GRRM regularly does impossible things with swords (like people drawing greatswords over their shoulder) - and after all he’s already told us the blade was long.

Recall that after Arya trains with the Braavosi water dancer, Syrio Forel, Needle became an iconic part of her Stark identity.

Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.

In her thoughts, Needle stands for her family, replacing her need for friends (“I don’t need any friends, so long as I have Needle”) and is her constant protection:

“She slid Needle out from under her cloak. The slender blade seemed very small and the dragons very big, yet somehow Arya felt better with steel in her hand.”


“She went back to sleep clutching Needle.”


“Needle was in her hand, though she did not remember drawing it”

What better blade to use when taking vengeance for her losses? Back in AFfC she hid it on the steps of the HoBaW:

She padded up the steps as naked as her name day, clutching Needle. Halfway up, one of the stones rocked beneath her feet. Arya knelt and dug around its edges with her fingers. It would not move at first, but she persisted, picking at the crumbling mortar with her nails. Finally, the stone shifted. She grunted and got both hands in and pulled. A crack opened before her.

“You’ll be safe here,” she told Needle. “No one will know where you are but me.” She pushed the sword and sheath behind the step, then shoved the stone back into place, so it looked like all the other stones. As she climbed back to the temple, she counted steps, so she would know where to find the sword again. One day she might have need of it. “One day,” she whispered to herself.

Between the similarities of description in the text, and the symbolism of Mercy becoming Arya Stark just before the blade appears, we think that the most likely conclusion is that the blade that kills Raff is none other than Needle. The blade sliding out of her sleeve could be the symbolic realization of Syrio Forel’s very first advice to her:

“The steel must be part of your arm,” the bald man told her.

As discussed in Radio Westeros Episode 01: Arya- A Gift of Mercy