So this just happened. I have some theories about the rest of S5. I also have some things I really want to see.
“You know, your mother told you, she was the one who told me to leave. And even though I didn’t want to leave you, I did what Donna asked me to do.”
“What about me? I didn’t get a say in if my father was in my life?”
“You were seven. Your mother simply asked for what she thought was best for you.”
Felicity took a deep breath and then a torrid of words, from deep within her, came crying out.
“But you never come back! You didn’t come back see if she changed her mind. When she asked you to leave maybe she was hurt? Too hurt to fix anything between the two of you? Maybe she just needed time to process everything? But you didn’t. You never thought to even check on me. You should have come back and fought. You should have fought for me.”
She snapped her lips shut. Felicity hadn’t been aware all of that was trapped inside her.
“No, we’re done. Go.”
She wasn’t going to do this with him. Not after everything he had done to her. Not after Helix.
Reluctantly, Noah left the loft. A forlorn look on his face. Felicity slammed the door shut and locked it.
Oliver stood at the entrance of the kitchen, seemingly uncertain what to do with his body. She had never heard his voice that soft before. Fuck. Felicity forgot he was there in the middle of her tirade to her father.
“I’m fine, Oliver. Though I am fairly tired after that” Felicity pointed to the door her father had just walked out of, “and everything before with, uh, Helix. I think I’ll skip dinner. Thank you for that, by the way. But I think I’m just going to go to bed.”
His voice stopped her from ascending the stairs. She turned slowly. His face was heartbroken and full of regret.
“What you said to your father. Does it apply to just him?” Oliver took a shaky breath. “Or does it apply to both of us?”
Felicity stared at her ex-fiancé, unable to pull her eyes away from his. Memories of their happy life together, followed by their painful end, haunted the space between them. A tear fell down Felicity’s face. The unintentional truth she spoke, wrapped itself around both of their hearts.
Uncertainty surrounded them.
Then, in an instant, Oliver’s face went from mournful to resolute.
“I’ve thought of a hundred reasons why you should come back, to… to fight the shapeshifters, to… take care of walter, to… save the world. but in the end, you have to come back, because you belong with me.”
Gale Hawthorne just wanted to save everybody from the games and having to keep living like that.
And it cost him the one person he wanted to live that better life with.
In my opinion, Peeta only ever cared about saving Katniss, he was single minded in this. He never really thought about the bigger picture, about fighting back, not like Gale did. Not until he gave that motivation speech to Katniss while they were hiding out at Tigress’s. A speech that should have been Gales, since he was always the one to say they should fight back, that she should fight back, always putting that spark in her, even when she didn’t realize it at first, a spark that turned into a fire when she needed it. He loved her and wanted to protect her and keep her safe, but never tried to hold her back from the fight, was always right there beside her, knowing how strong she was, but still there if she needed him.
He was a real hero! The bomb thing was 100% Coin’s fault but he still blamed himself, just as he did for not getting more people out when 12 was bombed. And I cry cuz he knew walking into that room that she would blame him too, knew that she would would never be able to forgive him, he knew he had already lost her, and he didn’t even fight her on it, because he felt guilty for not keeping Prim safe like he promised. Even though he was not the one that put that bomb near her, not the one that put her in the middle of a war zone, but he will still carry that guilt, and the loss of Katniss, with him forever.
It’s been a while since I wrote about GamerGate. Every once in a while someone will still email me about it, sometimes in response to my plea for both “sides” to defend themselves, though I admit a certain disappointment in many of the replies. It’s not that they are poorly written, but as a general trend they have shifted toward a new claim, “GamerGate is damaging the gaming industry”, which never comes with as much defense as I would like.
As forewarning, this post isn’t particularly thought-out or well-structured; it’s just me sharing some general thoughts.
I guess I should explain where I’m coming from here. Back when I was a teenager, I used to be one of those internet art critic people. Like, you know the type: assholes who went out of their way to provide honest (if often overly harsh) criticism of every art piece someone had the gall to request feedback on. We rebelled against this thing we called, at the time, the “DeviantArt mentality”, where artists would exclusively get their feedback from a small group of friends who would positively regard their work no matter what. Most of us on the more critical side of things knew, from personal experience, that this behavior hindered artistic development and sort of took it upon ourselves to stamp it out.
As I got older, of course, I grew out of it. I realized, as I think most people eventually do, that it’s perfectly okay for someone to do something in a way they personally enjoy. The real issue with what we called the “DeviantArt mentality” was that it was not economically viable. A person who has their work coddled and never learns to appeal to a diverse and discerning crowd will not be able to compete adequately in a professional setting, their audience limited to that small group of friends (who are often artists in the exact same situation). As a result, you have a professional art community of people who expect and value candid and varied feedback, and a “hobbyist” community of people who are primarily interested in working for themselves or a small group of friends. This, I feel, is a working model.
If you read through my stuff, it’s pretty clear that I am very audience-focused. I talk about audience statistics a lot, as well as directly interact with fans at every possible opportunity. I don’t spend a lot of time around other artists, even going so far as to avoid seriously participating in any “artist circles”, since I’ve learned many audience members hate the schism this drives between creators and their fans. My policy regarding these things is a simple one: I work for the chaotic and diverse mass of fans that consume my material, and generally stand against anything that discourages them from sharing their thoughts or feelings (since, you know, that’s what my model pivots on catering to).
I never really joined GamerGate, which is why it’s sort of weird when people lump me in with them. What I did was pretty much the same thing I always do: value audience members the same as content creators. When a whole bunch of people are upset about something and a creator says “nah, it’s fine”, my first instinct is to hear both sides out, because as far as I’m concerned neither one has more credibility. As I’ve stressed before, the people who attack me for my thoughts on GamerGate never actually address anything I say as being misinformation, they just attack me for “listening to 4chan/8chan/gamers/whatever”, which is incredibly unsettling because it conveys this idea that I should value certain people higher than others - not because they support their ideas better, but because they are inherently better.
Which I guess takes me back to this idea I mentioned at the beginning: GamerGate damaging the gaming industry. When people are defending this assertion, they point to the “angry mobs” with no coherent demands, the general level of vitriol flung at creators, and the privacy-crippling digging they do into their targets, etc. All through this, though, I’m just left thinking “Holy shit. This is my jam!”. This thing they’re complaining about is the exact environment I’m used to navigating - in fact, as far as I know, it’s the exact environment the gaming industry always had. When people point to all the horrible harassment developers “received from GamerGate”, it’s tamer than what I’ve gotten just by virtue of being a relatively popular creator. As someone who’s in this industry, the notion that GamerGate is ruining it makes no sense to me since nothing actually changed.
What seems more likely, to me, is that people stumbled outside their Artist Circles and hit a wild audience for the first time. They didn’t know how to handle a critical and diverse audience, they turned it antagonistic, and they don’t know how to deal with it. It would explain a lot of the behavior you see: demands to see some kind of GamerGate leader they can blame/complain to, assertions that abuse is okay when it’s against the “right” people, lamenting their own harassment when it’s pretty much the bog-standard someone gets from working with a mass audience, etc. From my perspective, it feels like these are fish-out-of-water, dealing directly with my industry for the first time.
I admit when I first started writing this, I considered whether I should be showing these people more sympathy. They are probably scared, I realized: flung headlong into a scary environment their more tightly-knit artist circle did not prepare them for. But, then I thought back to when I was a young artist, and the first time I encountered a harsh critic: I wasn’t a dick to him, I didn’t tell him his opinion was stupid, and I adapted to a critical environment pretty quickly. A lot of these people vehemently decrying GamerGate, however, are kind of accusatory dicks to these groups of individuals they label as “angry mobs”. I started to consider a different theory:
What if this is about privilege?
What if this is some group of well-connected, well-to-do people who are stepping into a hostile and critical environment for the first time and are completely ass-blasted that they are not inherently valued above others? What if these people are realizing, with horror, that this is an industry where their word is just as valuable as that of some random non-creator on an internet forum, and they’re trying to “fix” it by reinstating a hierarchy with them on top?
I mean, just speaking personally, there are a lot of things I like about GamerGate and its affect on the industry. I like that when a creator is accused of something, GG digs into it and tries to gather evidence. I like that they’re critical of reporting and have made their presence known as a massive, vaguely-united mob that will lash out and potentially gain dangerous credibility if faced with things that are verifiably false. They’ve been bringing a lot of ideologically diverse people together in an environment where they can typically discuss things without attempting to harm one another. They’ve been speaking out against the tendency to “speak for” minorities. Best of all, it makes it harder to prevail above your competitors with nothing but money and connections. These are all changes I wanted to see in the gaming industry. But, frankly, I can understand why a privileged dickwad would oppose every one of them.
This is just a theory, of course. I mean, all I know is that from my perspective, a bunch of kind of rude and dismissive people are coming in and attacking the group I consider to be my audience as being horrible monsters who don’t appreciate True Art or whatever. I’m not particularly worried, because as I’ve stated before this only facilitates the development of a niche, but I’m still kind of offended when people say GamerGate is damaging the industry or driving away minority developers. Like… I’m here; you can talk to me. I approve of the changes, and I just explained why. I know that some people will be driven away, but a lot of them are kind of assholes to their audience and I parse the hostility toward them the same way I’d parse a rude waiter getting fired by his boss.
I don’t know. Like I said, I’m an audience person; my primary concern is with the tastes and desires of the people who play my games. I wish people who talk about GamerGate damaging the industry would talk about how it damages it for people like me, because it feels like the focus is purely on making the industry comfortable for the exact type of people I oppose.
quick note: I know this is bad and short and like idk or it might be.. i don’t know and if it is I’m terribly sorry. I did this up fairly quick so it might be bad. I hope you like it though, really. Sorry for the wait too. :( -Samantha
Vacation here in Canada
has been going so well. It’s just been me, Ryan and a few other
friends and co workers. I’ve been pretty stressed out with work so I
thought I should just come back home for a few weeks to try and take
Right now I am
currently at the beach swimming with everyone and just really having
a good time. The paparazzi were giving me my space as well as my fans
which I do appreciate. As much as I love them, I do need time to
The beach wasn’t that
busy in my opinion but I guess everyone could vouch differently.
“Yo, Justin. Let go
back in the water!” Ryan yelled and I nodded. He was playing some
Frisbee with Scooter for a while. Walking back out, I dove back into
the water and just did my own thing. The heat here was nice compared
to California. It’s a lot cooler and the temperatures are a lot more
Ryan signaled and I dove for the ball the was headed my way. Throwing
it to scooter, he missed, but threw it back to me. “Here.” I
chuckled and tossed it to Fredo who was obviously not paying any
attention as to what was going on.
“Dude.” He groaned
and I busted out with laughter. “Sorry man.” I teased and he
whipped it back at me, hitting me in the chest. “Fucking rude.” I
joked and he laughed and walked off with his phone in his face. “Such
disrespect.” I teased and shook my head. “Awful, Awful, Awful.”
Laughing to myself, I shook my head and tossed the ball to Ryan.
After a while everyone
ended up joining or quitting but we have probably been doing this for
a about an hour. I some how got suckered in to playing monkey in the
middle but you know..
Gotta love it.
It was probably around
supper time now and the team and I had made plans to do some shopping
and go out to eat and I was more than okay with that. Swimming make
my appetite grow like fifty times more than usual I swear.
Giving me the signal
that we are leaving, I nodded and began to swim back to show. But as
I came up from the water so did someone else which mind you, scared
the crap out of me because I swim with my eyes shut. It just happened
so fast it caught me off guard.
She was pretty though;
beautiful even. For a second I didn’t even know if I should say
anything to her but by then I realized that I was just standing
there staring at her which might be creeping her out. I must stop
“Hey, uh, sorry about
that.” She chuckled, did mean to scare you. As if minutes went by I
just nodded at her. Oh my god Justin you’re such an idiot.
“Sorry.” I said and
shook my head. “It’s okay.” I corrected. “It’s fine.” I
smiled. “I should’ve watched where I was going.” I nodded and she
just nodded but never left. Maybe I should ask her for her name.. I
don’t know though..
“Can I ask you what
your name is?” I asked but took a step back. “I’m not a creep I
swear.” I said and lifted my hands up in defense and she laughed.
“I know you’re not,” “I’m Karishma.” Nodding at her name I
just smiled like the weirdo I know I’m being.
“That’s a pretty
name.” I managed to get out. “Thank you.” Karishma smiled and
crossed her arms over her chest. “So what are you doing here? This
place is like dead lately.” I just shook my head and looked over at
the guys who where more then staring at me. Or us. Whatever you wanna
“I like it better
like that.” I admitted and she nodded and looked around. “I can
see why now.” She laughed and I couldn’t help but to laugh as well.
“Yeah.” I said wish a shard breath added. “Can’t live with em,”
I started but paused and never finished it. “Eh,” I chuckled.
“Can live without
em?” She asked and I nodded. “Please.” I chuckled and started
walking up shore. “So what are you doing? You with anyone?” I
asked and she shook her head. “No, I just got off work so I decided
to take a swim for a little bit.”
“Where do you work?”
I asked out of curiosity and she just shrugged. “I’m a lifeguard
“Oh really.” I
teased and fell back into the water. “Help me,” I began and went
underwater playfully. “I’m drowning.” Looking at her amused face
made me laugh but I stood up. “If you start playing like that then
I just might summon all the sharks to come pay you a visit.”
“Is that a threat?”
I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s a promise.”
She smiled and wiped her face and ran her fingers threw her damp
hair. “Oh,” I sighed and pouted my lip. “Well then.”
“I’m kidding.” She
snickered and I rolled my eyes and shoved her playfully. “You wanna
hang out with us?” I asked and she shrugged. “I don’t know.”
She whispered. “I don’t want to intrude. You’re probably busy and I
don’t want to just barge in.” She defended. “Plus you don’t even
“Well I want to get
to know you.” I smirked. “That’s why I asked.
“Come on Bieber!”
Ryan yelled and I looked over at him then back at Karishma. “Smooth
one.” Karishma added and nodded sarcastically. “What a charm you
are.” Nodding at it, we both began to walk back to the boys. “What
can I say.” I’m just that good.”
“You wish.” She
grinned and I looked back at her. “Then what are you doing?” I
smirked. “I don’t see you leaving?” I pestered and she just
blushed and looked down.
This is dedicated to @f-r-f-t for being such a sweetheart! (I know you told me I didn’t have to, but I wanted to so here you go!)
Based on my headcanon that when Gray first starts telling Natsu he loves him, it is in very untraditional ways.
— — — — —
“Yo, Ice Princess!” Natsu called out as he shut the window to Gray’s apartment. He turned and began the short walk to his bedroom, arms crossed over his chest. “I haven’t seen you in 5 days! What’s the big idea not answering my text messa–” he stopped short at the sight of his boyfriend sprawled out on his bed, sound asleep with a lazy smile on his handsome face.
That solo mission must have tired right out. Natsu worried his bottom lip in thought. Should he go home and wait until he wakes up to come back? He did walk all this way… and he missed the living hell out of the ice devil while he was gone.
He gave a small shrug before precariously climbing into the bed next to him. He edged his way closer over the course of a few minutes, taking extra care not to push all his body heat on him at once and wake him up. Gray was not a kind person when his naps were cut short. Natsu had learned that the hard way.
Arm eventually thrown over Gray’s bare chest, Natsu snuggled as close as he could get. He took in the scent he missed while he was gone. Pine needles on snow. He felt as though he could live in a frozen forest if it meant he could have that scent around him forever. Mavis, what had Gray done to him?
He looked up at his lover’s face, studied the fine details he’d come to admire more than he’d admit out loud.
“…‘atsu…” He blinked at the dark haired man. Was Gray dreaming about him? A smile tugged on his lips. That was so – “I love you, Natsu.”
His bright green eyes widened, his jaw dropped. Did he really just say that? He did. He just freaking said that. Natsu clamped his hands over his mouth to contain his glee. Gray had just said he loved him. He used the traditional words to say he loved him.
Not ‘be careful, idiot. You’re going to get hurt.’
Not 'don’t get yourself killed, Ashes.’
Not 'what the hell were you thinking? Were you trying to give me a heart attack? Don’t do that again!’
No. He actually said it. 'I love you, Natsu.’
His heart was pounding, swelling with affection. He could feel his face heating up, teeth bared in a huge smile. He couldn’t hold himself back anymore. He threw himself over the ice mage, arms squeezed around him so tight that he wheezed for breath as his eyes shot open in shock.
“The… hell, Flame Brain?! Let go! Can’t… breathe!”
Natsu finally released the death grip he had on him and pulled back, face still lit up with his brilliant smile. Gray opened his mouth to bitch him out, but the expression in those vibrant greens he’d missed the entire time he was gone stopped his irritation dead in it’s tracks.
With an exaggerated sigh, he rolled his eyes. “What was that all about? And what’s with that idiotic grin of yours?” He knew it was no use. He knew the dragon slayer could hear his heart racing, but he feigned annoyance anyway. Old habits die hard.
Natsu shook his head. “Nothing for you to worry about, Snowflake.”
“You woke me up over nothing?” Gray arched a dark brow at him. Natsu leaned forward and planted a lingering kiss on his lips, leaving the raven haired man flushed. “What was that for?”
“I just missed you. That’s all,” was the simple response he got before Natsu nuzzled his face into Gray’s shoulder.
“Yeah. Me too.” He whispered.
Natsu was not gonna be able to stop smiling for the rest of the day. Maybe he’d have to start spending more time here. At least until Gray was ready to say those three words again when he was conscious.
“I have thought of one hundred reasons why you should come back. To fight the shape-shifters, to take care of Walter, to save the world. But in the end… you have to come back. Because you belong with me.”
“It is your name,” Draco said with a shrug as he slid his wand into his pocket. The wand that Harry had given back to him after his trial, when Harry had shook his hand and told him that he thought Draco should come back to Hogwarts.
“I know but, don’t you think after this,” Harry motioned between them, “you could call me Harry?”
“I like Potter. Everyone and their squib cousin calls you Harry. I’m the only one who calls you Potter.