tlok: book two

Three more days. That’s what Sven always told me. When you think you’re at the end of your rope, give it three more days. And then another three. Sometimes, you’ll find the rope is longer than you thought
—  The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

what I need is an appropriate 90s/00s teen rom com title for book two

suggestions welcome

barebones synopsis- adopted gay teen accidentally asks dude coming off a three year relationship to prom, and has to fake date him to a) get his sister off his butt about never kissing a boy, and b) let this dude save face for being publicly dumped by his girlfriend in the school parking lot. Shenanigans ensue.

Happy birthday to...

I want to take you back to this day, February 17th, 2011. I, a mere child, was sitting in my AP Language and Composition class at 7:45 in the morning, and I had an idea. 

That idea shifted a lot over the past six years. I consistently maintain that the only detail that has never changed is Liam’s birthday, year inclusive. Some things have changed more than others (the setting used to be a boarding school rather than the island nation that gives the series its name; Rowan didn’t have parents; Em wasn’t an O’Dea) but some things have been weirdly consistent (their Enlightenments; the eventual canon ships (but hey just because I know, you do you, ship whoever you want, just tell me because I’m dead curious)). 

The most prominent consistency is the core group of characters - Callie, Kaya, Liam, and Sam. The four of them have been narrators since the beginning of draft one. (There were two other narrators in the first version, Stella-Maria d’Angelou and Cameron Johnson - both of whom you’ll notice no longer exist.) 

A lot of things have happened in the past six years, both to the book and to me (I acquired an entire university degree?). I’ve re-written this book, from scratch, 17 times for a grand total of well over 1,700,000 words. But this is the first version I’ve shared with an audience. And in deference to that, although book two is not done yet, the prologue chapter is available below…

Lucittia (Book Two): The Immortal Woman

(Warning: There are very serious spoilers for the end of book one in this prologue. Proceed with caution) 

4

Chapter 19: Episode 9

           In just a few minutes, I’d gone from completely numb, to feeling the dull throb of sensation in my hands again. My toes curled against the floor as his hands moved over my calves, making a light friction to warm the skin. I wondered how he knew to do that. He always seemed so lost, so forgotten… Now he’s taking care of me. When did he learn all that?

           “You need a drink,” he said, halfheartedly. “In more ways than one.”

           I slid my eyes off to the side. I almost wanted to do it. I would have, if he’d offered, but he didn’t. Maybe he knew that, too. “Were you asleep?” I asked him quietly.

           He paused in his motions for just a moment. “I was. But it doesn’t matter.”

           “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. I didn’t know it was so late.”

           “Where were you, Laney?”

           “I don’t know,” I said honestly. “Out, I guess.” He made a snorting noise, continuing to rub my leg and I bit my lip. “I’m sorry.”

           “Don’t apologize,” he said and I reached out, touching my fingers to his cheek, guiding his face up to mine.

           “I mean it,” I said. “Please accept it. I need someone to accept it. I have to say sorry. I’ve done so much wrong.”

           “You?” He asked.

           “Yes,” I whispered. “I’m not perfect, Klein. I never was.”

           His eyes lowered, settling on my lips, and I felt this heat rising in my chest. “Sorry to sow the seeds of discord, but I have to disagree.”

           “You’re wrong.” My voice was so low now, that I could hardly hear it, but it seemed to be loud enough for him. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe that’s why he was moving closer. “I’m really sorry. I don’t know why I came here.”

           His words were like a breath, almost silent, moving. “Yes you do.”

Next | Previous | Beginning

Summary: Adrien is excited to reveal his true identity, while Marinette is terrified. But Master Fu says they can’t afford to be distant any longer. Chat Noir and Ladybug are meant to work in tandem both in and out of uniform, their strength stemming from the bond created between them. Yet, teenagers are sometimes better at dancing blind than running with wide open eyes, even with the steps laid out before them.

Steps in the path of an expanding world. Apart, they’ll flounder. But together, they might just stand a chance.

Takes place following season 1.

Start of Book One

Start of Book Two


Book Two

Chapter 9: Questions Without Answers 


Approximately One Week Prior

Flopping down in the chair, Nino took a deep breath, reaching up to wipe the sweat from his brow. He’d dropped his and Master Fu’s bags to the floor beside the wicker chair, not a single care for the sloppy behavior.

They’d been hiking half the day—no exaggeration. They’d left at three in the morning, reached the mountain trail by six, and been climbing ever since. It was near one in the afternoon by that point, though it felt later. Likely because they were so deeply tucked away in the woods that sunlight hardly filtered through the trees, let alone the windows of the cabin.

Sinking further in the chair, Nino watched as Master Fu slowly made his way around the room, lighting lanterns. The dim glow revealed the empty shadows of the cabin. Hardly any furniture—just the two wicker chairs and the small table between them. The floor was hardwood, a few matts folded up against the wall. There were no other attached rooms, no working water, no electricity. There was a small fireplace, but it was boarded up.

Nino knew this wasn’t supposed to be a luxury trip and that he and Master Fu would be spending most of their time outside, but the one-room cabin was looking even bleaker than he’d imagined.

Not that he was complaining. There were plenty of things he could complain about, but the extras of being a superhero didn’t fall into that category.

It was an honor, being Tortue de Fer. He knew that. Certainly it was a threat to his life, was challenging, but it meant something. He was being given an opportunity to do good. To accomplish things no one else could. Which, more often than not, left him insecure. But that was all the more reason to work harder—to show he was worthy. Or try to, anyway.

“You’re letting your thoughts get the better of you,” Master Fu said from across the room, causing Nino to jolt upright.

“S-Sorry,” he sputtered, springing immediately to his feet. “Do you need help?”

“I may be old, but I think I can light a few lanterns.”

“Right… Sorry.”

“Do not apologize for things undeserving of such consideration.”

Which left Nino not knowing what to say.

Keep reading

Summary: Adrien is excited to reveal his true identity, while Marinette is terrified. But Master Fu says they can’t afford to be distant any longer. Chat Noir and Ladybug are meant to work in tandem both in and out of uniform, their strength stemming from the bond created between them. Yet, teenagers are sometimes better at dancing blind than running with wide open eyes, even with the steps laid out before them.

Steps in the path of an expanding world. Apart, they’ll flounder. But together, they might just stand a chance.

Takes place following season 1.

Start of Book One

Start of Book Two


Book Two

Chapter 8: Do We Get What We Deserve?

Huffing, Adrien shifted over the sheets—until he was lying on his back. You should come over here, he thought quickly. Blinking up into the darkness, he tapped his fingers on his chest and waited. It was kind of like texting, this whole thought-sharing thing, only with much more than just words.

While he laid in the darkness listening to Nino snore nearby, he put his focus on the churning that wavered just barely outside his own thoughts. Mari was keeping somewhat to herself, but was still present enough that he could tell she was deliberating. There were no shields, but she was keeping her distance.

He frowned.

I know you want to, he added. Her “consciousness” had been creeping closer and closer to his since they’d turned in for bed. Granted, he’d been reaching out to her in the same way, but that was beside the point. What was important, and making it difficult for Adrien to sleep, was that it’d been days bordering on weeks since he’d slept without Mari and having her so close yet not with him was making him anxious and fidgety.

He could sleep without her, of course, but she wasn’t keeping her thoughts to herself and neither was he, which only kept reminding him that she was just a room away and that, generally speaking, he preferred to cuddle her while he slept than not.

Is that really okay? She eventually asked.

Who cares? It’s just Nino and Alya.

That’s true…

More wavering deliberation. Adrien yawned.

Keep reading

I rewatched episode seven of Book Two, “Zuko Alone,” to analyze Azula’s character a bit better. When I was younger, I thought the disturbing way she talked was to characterize her as a little bit evil from the start, but now that I’m older, I see it a bit differently.

Azula is pretty young here, and while young children can certainly say creepy and disturbing things on their own accord, I think it’s more than that. Every time she taunts Zuko, she appears to be parroting something she has heard, probably from her father. Azula sees how much power her father holds, and he’s never been shown being incredibly kind to his children, even though he’s clearly favored Azula from the start. Azula most likely believes that by mimicking and taking on her father’s opinions, she can stay in his good graces.

Azula knows she’s gifted and she also knows her father has high standards. She can see how Zuko, who doesn’t meet those standards, is treated. It’s no secret Azula is a perfectionist, and this shows even at such an early age. 

The moment when Azulon asks her and Zuko a history question and she is able to recite exactly what Azulon wants to hear shows both how she’s a perfectionist and how she’s learned to parrot people. Like I said before, she’s most likely doing this to survive, to stay in her father’s good graces. 

This isn’t to say that Azula isn’t brilliant. She’s my favorite female character of the show for a reason–– she’s incredibly talented, smart, and cunning. She achieves things nobody––no man–– in her family was able to achieve. But it’s important to understood what brought her to that point. Sure, she grew up in a palace with every luxury imaginable, but her father was abusive and controlling. She knew the mold she had to fit, so she fit it, even, arguably, surpassing her father once she grew older. Everyone seems to recognize that Zuko has a tragic backstory, but I would argue that Azula does, too. They both grew up under Ozai, they simply handled his abuses in vastly different ways. 

..vivevano nel passato, perché il presente era troppo duro, troppo amaro per essere tollerato.
—  Theon Greyjoy - Il Regno dei Lupi