Behold, the newest edition to the dark youtubers family! I know people normally do InFelix, but i figured, why don’t I try something different and do “Family Friendly Felix”
Hes got that sorta forced bubbly personality. And as you can see, he’s ALWAYS smiling :D whether he wants to or not. He tends to cry a lot, but hes just fine. No one can be sad with a SMILE on their face. and of course, he only deals with subjects that are 100% family friendly. I mean, violence isnt really monitored on youtube so that might slip through the cracks, but he’ll definitely never say fuc-
can u write a tyler one based on the cancer cover? thanks so much
TYLER JOSEPH IMAGINE
It all starts with a headache.
Nothing too out of the ordinary— Tyler pops off the cap of an Excedrin bottle and chases down two of the elongated pills with some water before continuing with his day. It wasn’t that big of a surprise. He had been under a lot of pressure lately. The tour had just wrapped up, and after eight months of being on the road, Tyler was just starting to settle into the routine of life back at home. On top of that adjustment, the release date for the new album had been set, which meant hours and hours in the studio were required to make everything perfect.
Even after taking medication, Tyler feels like his head might explode. There’s this pulsating feeling centered around his temple, like his brain is rhythmically pounding into his skull. Tyler takes another pill, even though the daily limit is two, and waits.
Days go by. But no matter how much medication Tyler swallows or water he drinks, the pain just won’t let up; it subsides slightly, but never truly goes away.
Tyler notices you growing increasingly worried as the days pass. You’re constantly checking in, asking how he’s feeling and if he needs anything. He eases your mind, tells you he’s fine. He even lies and says the pain is gone, when secretly there’s an ice pick being hammered into his skull.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” you ask on the drive home. Tyler’s riding in the passenger’s seat, a rare sight from your two years of experience with him. Tyler always drove, something about control issues. But not today. He had his head resting back against the seat with his eyes shut tightly.
He nods to you, but pierces his lips. The lie hangs thick in the air. He’s not okay, and you both know it.
Tyler can’t wait to get home, where he can kick off his sneakers and crawl under the covers of your soft, shared bed. He plans to sleep for days. Or however long it takes for his brain to recover. He was sick of this headache, figuratively and literally. Sick of this constant throbbing inside his brain. Just sick. But for now he was stuck in this stuffy car that rattled his brain every time it hit a crack in the old, eroding pavement.
You arrive at the house just as Tyler has started to doze off with his head pressed against the cool glass window. You shut off the car before hesitantly shaking his shoulder lightly.
“We’re home,” you say softly, but as soon as Tyler’s eyes snap open, you can tell something was wrong. There’s panic in his eyes.
You pull back as Tyler hastily pulls off his seatbelt. The dull, annoying pain he had fallen asleep with, has amplified to a full ten. Tyler’s stomach lurches and he barely has time to fling himself out of the car before he’s throwing up the contents of his breakfast all over tar driveway.
You, yourself have unbuckled in a hurry. You clamber out of the car and run over to him, trying desperately to fight off your own spell of nausea before beginning to rub his back.
“Sh,” you coo. Tyler is gasping and lurching desperately, like he can’t get enough air. Nothing’s coming up anymore, but he can’t stop gagging. Once he finally appears to be done, Tyler wipes his mouth on the sleeve of his shirt before trying to stand up straight. He’s shaky and weak, you end up having to help lead the way into the house with your arm wound tightly around his middle.
Once inside, you don’t even have time to take your shoes off before Tyler’s collapsing face-first onto the couch. He stays there for the rest of the afternoon. He doesn’t hear you hovering over him, worried beyond all measures. He doesn’t hear you talking on the phone with his mother, asking for advice and on if you should be concerned. He doesn’t hear you rinsing away the vomit with the high-pressure hose outside. He doesn’t hear you clattering around the kitchen, making his favorite dinner just in case he woke up with an appetite.
Finally, at the end of the day, you gently sit on the edge of the couch beside Tyler. You gaze at his resting face, scrunched up almost like he’s still in pain. You make the decision to call the doctor in the morning, whether he likes it or not.
When Tyler finally stirs, it’s because you’re finally shaking him awake. It’s dark outside the windows, and the TV is playing some documentary on squids that you’d found.
“Time for bed, baby,” you whisper before helping him up the stairs. He falls asleep again as soon as his head hits the pillow. You wish you could say the same.
Tyler protests the entire way to the doctor’s the next afternoon. He moans and groans about how he’s fine. In fact, he feels much better since his practical blackout the previous evening. You ignore his complaints and drag him the whole way.
Tyler’s lying. Again. The pain in his head is not much better. In fact, it’s probably worse. But he doesn’t want you to worry.
It turns out to be nothing, just as Tyler suspected. The doctor checks vitals, asks about his symptoms, and comes to the conclusion that Tyler needs rest and lots of fluids. That’s it. And Tyler doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. He falls asleep as soon as you both get home.
The next day, you’re the one protesting. Tyler wants to go to the studio for the day to do some work on the new album with Mark and Josh.
“You’ve been so sick, you heard the doctor, you need rest!” you say pleadingly.
But Tyler insists that he’s better, and so with a soft, reassuring kiss on the forehead, he leaves you alone in the house for the day with your thoughts and constant shadow of worry.
Tyler never calls you while he’s at the studio. He’s always too busy and knows you probably wouldn’t answer anyway because you’re not good at checking your phone regularly. . But today, he does, and today, you do too. Except when you answer the call, it’s not Tyler on the other end of the line. It’s Josh. Telling you that Tyler has just had a seizure and wants to know if it has ever happened before. At first you think it’s some sick joke. The boys were pranking you all the time. But then you hear Josh telling the EMT beside him that, no, Tyler has never had a seizure before, and no, there’s no medical condition to be aware of. You stand in shock, even after Josh is telling you where the ambulance is taking him, you can’t move. You still think it might be a joke.
It’s not though.
“He had another seizure on the ride over,” Josh tells you as you walk through the automatic doors of the ER.
“He’s healthy!” you say, utterly confused at this point. “I mean, he doesn’t always eat great, but he’s healthy!” You’re crying your concerns out to Josh, as if he doesn’t know everything, if not more, about Tyler than you do. But he hugs you and listens to your pleads. He doesn’t understand any of it, either.
Tyler’s hooked up to a heart monitor when you go to see him. He’s sitting up in bed, dressed in a hospital gown with wires poking out from all sorts of places.
“Good thing I went to the studio, huh? So that you didn’t have to witness that mess,” Tyler jokes when he sees you. Your first instinct is to cover your mouth with your hand. You immediately start to cry, a reaction you wanted to avoid for Tyler’s sake, but seeing him like that was too much. This was all too much. And he was joking. Laughing and making light of the situation.
His face softens when he sees you crying.
“I’m okay,” he whispers, spreading his arms out, a sign for you to rush over and climb into bed with him like a child. You’re afraid that you’ll disturb the IV in his hand, or push too hard on the pad pressed to his chest. You don’t know where you can lay without unplugging something. But Tyler pulls you to his chest without hesitation and that’s where you stay.
You don’t want to leave. Josh, Michael, and Mark all offer to take over for you several times, but you refuse. You and your greasy, unwashed hair wait to find out more.
It takes an entire day. An entire day filled with blood work, needles, MRI’s, and cat scans, that you’re not even entirely sure is covered by your insurance. An entire day of waiting for someone to tell you what the hell was going on. As soon as the doctor does though, you wish that he’d take it back.
It’s sort of funny, because the doctor never actually uses the word cancer. Tyler’s official diagnosis is: glioblastoma, grade four which is somehow infinitely worse.
The tumor was slow-growing, could have been there for years. Was definitely there when you met. It makes you shudder.
It was there, inside his brain, the whole time. When you went on your first date. When you ordered pizza takeout and watched Netflix all night. When you would whisper secrets to each other late at night. When you babysat your niece and realized for the first time how good he was with kids. When you talked about having kids of your own someday. You fell in love with Tyler and this whole time the tumor was there too.
You don’t even have time to process the whole ordeal before you’re asking about treatment options. Your hand curls around the outside of Tyler’s.
It turns out there weren’t many.
And that was the first time you even considered the fact that Tyler could die.
But that can’t be true.
“He’s only twenty seven,” you explain to the doctor, as if his youth gave him a free pass against illness and death. “What are our options? We have to try.”
“Right now we’re looking at a massive temporal lobe tumor. Surgery is too risky. Our best approach would be to shrink the tumor with chemo first, then try to remove it surgically,” he pauses and scans your face, “I don’t want to instill false hope, this is an extremely risky surgery with or without the chemo preceding it.”
“Well we have to try,” you whisper, “What other choice do we have?”
You spit fire questions at the doctor until your mouth is dry. You chose to ignore the fact that Tyler has remained quiet throughout the entire meeting, and that his hand doesn’t squeeze yours back.
As soon as the white coats leave the room, you’re curling up beside Tyler, resting your snotty-face on his chest. No one speaks, and no one answers the buzzing phones on the table beside you.
You sense fear in each other. And you start to anticipate yourselves inching toward the worst- case-scenario, as scary as that seemed.
In days to come there is a non-stop stream of friends and family that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Tyler is much, much more popular than you’ll ever be. You can’t help but notice that Tyler is abnormally optimistic about the entire ordeal, and not in the sense that he was determined to kick cancer’s butt. Instead, he was ignoring the fact that he had been diagnosed with a near-lethal, grade four brain tumor. He laughs with his aunts and uncles, smiles and keeps conversation light hearted. You’d say he was putting on an act for his family, but he did it around you, too.
It bothered you to see him acting so cheerful. Your entire life had just taken a three hundred and sixty degree turn for the worse, yet Tyler was acting as if nothing was wrong. But you try to bury your own shit. Because he seems genuinely happy to see his siblings, parents, cousins, all gathered in one room, despite the occasion. Tyler was starting chemotherapy on Friday afternoon, and the way the doctor made it sound, he wouldn’t be up for many visitors after that.
And the doctor was right — Saturday morning, Tyler spends the majority of his day with a bucket balanced on his knees. He’s nauseous and uncomfortable and there’s these deep purple bags under his eyes starting to grow increasingly prominent. You’ve beeped the nurse numerous times, trying to tell her that he’s miserable, and needs some sort of medication for his stomach.
Tyler heaves again, his entire body lurching as he lifts the bucket closer to his mouth. But no content really comes up. Tyler is dry heaving nothing but bile and stomach acid. You cringe at the smell, gingerly rubbing his back and trying to mutter soothing words to him.
“You’re gonna be okay,” you promise once he’s finally finished. You take the bed pan and go to rinse it out in the bathroom. Tyler nods unconvincingly before falling back against his pillow to rest.
Two weeks after Tyler starts chemo, he decides it’s time to shave his head. It’s been falling out in clumps, left behind on his pillow, or in the shower drain. You’re grateful that his sister agrees to help him, because you weren’t sure your hands were steady enough to hold the razor.
Tyler asks you to go home and get some beanies for him to wear. Of course you oblige. It really was the first thing he’d asked from you yet. You kiss him on the head, promising to be back as soon as you can.
What you didn’t know, was that Tyler had been trying to get a minute alone with the doctor for days now. He’d been researching silently on his phone more about his illness. And he found that the chemo, the idea of brain surgery, was so unlikely to work. There were medications he could take to help with the tumor swelling and they can remove some of the tumor. But even if they remove most of it, the bottom line was that he was still going to die.
The surgery might buy him some time. If he was lucky. But a year of radiation and chemo and constant hospital visits just sounded so exhausting. Hell, it had been two weeks of this and Tyler was already done. He didn’t want it, didn’t want any of this.
You’re walking back into Tyler’s room holding a stack of beanies that you couldn’t decide from when you realize just why Tyler sent you away. The first thing you see upon entrance into the room is a white lab coat you immediately associate with bad news.
“Oh—“ you say abruptly, interrupting their conversation, “I didn’t know you were stopping in today.”
The doctor turns around and you hear Tyler let out a soft sigh.
“I wasn’t supposed to,” he explains. “Tyler specifically asked me to come.”
You throw the doctor a confused look.
“So,” Tyler begins quietly, so quietly he’s not even sure you can hear him, but your head jerks towards him almost immediately. “I, um. I think I decided to stop treatment.”
Your whole body visibly stiffens and you let the beanies in your hands fall to the floor, turning so he can look at Tyler head-on. “What?” you say in disbelief.
“I can’t do it. I can’t be this sick, for nothing.”
“It’s not for nothing!” you protest angrily, fighting back the tears. “It’s for your life, our life!”
“I love you.” he says, “and I’m so sorry… but even with the chemo, I only have a few months, I can’t do it—”
Your face distorts into a cringeworthy mess, “Are you saying that you want to die?” you whisper.
“Of course not,” he breathes, “but I’m going to anyway. And I don’t want my last few months or weeks or days to be miserable. I don’t want to be so nauseous that I can’t see my family or walk myself to the bathroom. This just isn’t living… I’m so sorry—“
If you ever needed more evidence that the person you loved was better than you in every possible way, this was the time, now was your source. Tyler was dying. Undeniably dying. In pain, sick, suffering. And he was apologizing.
You wiped the snot from your nose and nodded before picking up the assortment of beanies you’d dropped on the floor.
“I couldn’t decide which one to bring, so I just brought them all,” you explain, trying to ignore the thickness of your voice.
He smiles, opening his arms yet again, welcoming you to join him. Of course you do.
“You’re not mad?” Tyler finally asks.
You shake your head against his chest, before using your elbow to sit up on his bed, “‘I’m not mad. I’m scared. To death, even. But not mad.” You wait, leaning forward in an attempt to kiss Tyler, but you’re caught off guard when he actually turns his head, avoiding you completely.
One day, you’re trying desperately to schedule a haircut appointment around the time that Josh can stay with Tyler in the hospital.
Tyler is goofily gesturing wildly from his hospital bed and it takes you a while to understand that he’s trying to get your attention.
The hairdresser is telling you that her next open appointment is in 16 days and where this is normally where you would hang up the phone, you look up at Tyler and give him a questioning look.
“Play the cancer card,” he mouthes, a huge grin plastered over his pale face.
“Oh man, that’s too bad.” you sigh into the phone, “my boyfriend is in the hospital with cancer right now, so our schedule is a little crazy, who knows where we’ll be in 16 days…”
By the time you hang up, you have an appointment scheduled for that afternoon, and Tyler and you are exchanging high fives.
It’s the only perk you can find for having a brain tumor, so you decide to reserve it as a desperate measure for a desperate time.
The headaches are getting worse. Tyler gets medication for his pain, but they mostly just knock him out for long periods of time, so you’re left with a lot of free time in his room with nothing to entertain yourself except your thoughts.
The big, wide world has shrunk to the size of this hospital, to the size of this hallway, the size of Tyler’s room and his bed and your friends are now visitors, and you’ve become well acquainted with the hospital staff. You know each nurse and which shift they have each day. You’re on a first-name basis with the custodians. After four solid weeks in the oncology department, a day in the life of a dying patient almost feels normal.
You have a perfect view of that normal world, the alternate universe where you’re stressed over graduate school, and whether or not you’ll make yoga class that night.
The doctor says that it’s coming. It’s been coming for a long time and frankly, Tyler’s gotten more time than he’d ever thought he’d get since the day he was diagnosed, and you should be grateful but instead you’re just angry, mostly because you can’t imagine actually losing Tyler and angry because Tyler still won’t kiss you. His head is still bald. Despite halting the chemo, it never grew back. He wears beanies on a daily basis, trying to cover up the awkward lump on his head that he claims came from Zack when they were kids.
On Tuesday night, Tyler wakes up screaming. His head hurts and he can’t see straight and it takes all of four nurses to hold him down in bed. You stand back, watching in horror as a night staff drugs your boyfriend.
It goes downhill from there and quick.
Tyler stops getting up. His body literally deteriorates in front of you. You watch as his toned muscles turn into skin and bone. He’s emaciated. He’s weak. It breaks you in two.
You decide on Thursday that it’s time to call family. Have them say their goodbyes. You can’t stay in the room for it. Instead, Josh sits with you in the waiting room, his hand linked with yours as you both sit. And for the first time in a while, you cry as hard as you possibly can.
You cry because the universe is against you, because God doesn’t actually give a shit about what happens down here and holding your breath across a bridge doesn’t make any wish come true.
You cry because life isn’t fair, and you never cared until now.
Josh squeezes your hand reassuringly. But hell if he doesn’t shed a few tears as well.
This isn’t a cancer story. It’s a love story. All of it; the whole thing. Even the part where cancer appears, unexpected and unwelcome.
Your love story is not special, except in the way that every love story is.
Tyler still won’t kiss you.
You lean down for what feels like the hundredth time that week and he’s turning away, looking at Josh casually, as if to play it cool.
“What the hell?” you finally break.
He looks back, that sort of puppy-dog look in his eye, “What?”
“Why won’t you kiss me?” you ask, “You’ve been avoiding me for days.”
Tyler pauses momentarily, as if he’s thinking of an excuse, “My lips are chapped,” he claims before going back to his conversation with Josh.
Tyler’s having one of the worst days yet and you’re finally alone together. You’re alternating between a magazine and your phone, as you sit next to his bed, him dozing on and off throughout the day.
Tyler had been sleeping for a couple hours now, so you’re startled when his voice fills the room.
“Y/N—“ he says, his voice dry and croaked, “Can you bury me in blue?”
“What?” you say, scooting your chair closer to his bedside.
“I want to be buried in blue,” he repeats.
You swallow, it was hard not to notice the weakness in his voice. “Yeah, Ty,” you say, “I can bury you in blue.”
He smiles before giving your hand three squeezes.
I. Love. You.
Three squeezes of the hand is your family’s secret love code, and you found yourself doing it to Tyler long before you two had ever said those words out loud.
Now, Tyler uses that same code in this crowded hospital room.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
The squeezes get a little harder and a little more frequent and eventually you can’t help but ask again.
“Why won’t you kiss me?”
Tyler sighs. “You know what the hardest part of this whole thing is?” he asks.
You shake your head.
“Leaving you,” he admits,“I don’t want you to be sad forever. I won’t kiss you, because I want you to be able to get over me… Move on.”
You wipe the falling tears from your cheek before leaning over the bed, you grip Tyler’s bony face between your two hands and kiss him softly on the lips. They’re chapped and faded, but just as warm as ever before. It’s still home.
“You’re still here,” you whisper, pressing your forehead to his, “You’re still here and I’m still with you, right until the end.”
It doesn’t end with a bang like you had been preparing for. It’s a choked breathe and a soft, breathy sigh. You immediately look up to Josh, who’s sitting on the other side of Tyler. His small chest choppily raises once, twice, three times before deflating. There’s no last minute eye contact or words. His monitor just starts flatlining and your whole world comes crashing down.
Somehow, knowing it’s coming from his choppy breathes doesn’t make it any less painful.
It takes you a long time before you can move. There’s nurses rushing in, unplugging the monitor and holding Tyler’s wrist, looking for some sort of pulse that you know won’t be there. Josh is just as shocked as you are, and you look up only slightly to see him crying softly from his chair.
After then they take him away. Out of the room that you spent the last month and a half of your life in, suddenly it’s just you and Josh. You sit on the edge of your chair and put your head in your hands, as it sinks in all the way that you’ll never hear Tyler’s voice again, or see him smile. And you knew that was coming. You’d been preparing for weeks. But this… this feeling— this gut wrenching feeling of dread and despair, was more than you could have ever imagined.
You lean into Josh’s side as you two walk into the church.
It’s autumn outside. This is a season that steals.
It starts slowly, just a few minutes of daylight every day, a few green leaves here and there until the sky is black before we leave from work and the trees are just dead outlines.
The cost of life is death, and this is the season that makes us pay.
Just weeks ago it was summer. But, today, the sky is cold and gray.
Just weeks ago you had Tyler. Now he’s laying in an open casket at the front of the church.
“The leaves sure are pretty,” Josh whispers.
“Soon they’ll all be dead,” you say simply.
“You’re right,” he says, “but then they’ll be back. From out of nowhere. Like a miracle.”
He’s right. Of course.
The days will get lighter. Those naked trees will grow another layer of green.
All of the death and decay allows for something new to grow. Something beautiful.
You peak inside the casket, your throat catching from how breathtaking Tyler looked in his bright blue suit. Someday, you think, something beautiful will grow from all these cold, bitter feelings inside of you. From out of nowhere. Like a miracle.
Maybe autumn is the season that steals from us, but it is also the season that gives us hope.
Exciting news about awesome fictional twelve-year-olds.
A quick note first. Remember this post? If you don’t, the short version is that my mom is an middle-grade author, and her most recent book is Star-Crossed, based on Romeo and Juliet but with girls in middle school. It’s adorable.
BUT. There’s one detail that was left out. Mattie is canonically bi, but the word itself is never explicitly used. That bothered a lot of people, and there were a lot of very sweet reviews that said “I loved this book but they never used the word bisexual.” SO. The book’s paperback edition is currently getting planned out, and Mom went to her editor and asked if it was possible to add something to the new edition. Just one sentence.
It usually isn’t allowed. But they said yes.
I don’t want to give away where just yet, but the actual word “bisexual” will now be in the new edition of Star-Crossed. It’s a tiny addition, but it comes from someone Mattie trusts, and it lets Mattie realize There’s A Word For That. So keep an eye out, lovely people.
There is a new book coming out. It’s already been picked for the Junior Library Guild, which is a BIG FREAKING DEAL, and it got a starred review from Kirkuswhich is the review house that famously hates everything and they loved it, SO YEAH WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE.
If Star-Crossed was kinda loosely inspired by an issue I had growing up, this one takes that idea in a different direction. I don’t talk about it much and I don’t want to get into the specifics because this story isn’t mine, but a few years ago, my brother had cancer.
It was hard and awful, and we’re still getting through it. But a couple years later my mom couldn’t stop thinking about what it must be like to be a kid, younger than my brother, getting through treatment. Battling cancer, and then winning, and then having to go back to school. There is absolutely nothing like cancer, but how in the world are your friends supposed to understand that? Do you pretend like nothing ever happened? How do you deal with that?? For a while she didn’t want to write a Cancer Book, but the more she thought about it, the more important it seemed to try, and to do it right.
So, in marvelous Barbara Dee fashion, she talked to some actual kids who had gone back to school after cancer treatment. And their families. And a child psychologist at the hospital. And my brother.
And then she wrote a book about it. Here it is.
A few details:
- The main character, Norah, is starting seventh grade after being treated for leukemia for two years. She’s funny and angry and emotional and honestly kind of a badass, and she thinks of herself as Persephone clawing her way out of the Underworld.
- You know how Star-Crossed loosely followed Romeo and Juliet? Halfway Normal does that with the story of Persephone, but with extra details from like five other myths. Each kid in Norah’s class has a different way of reacting to Norah’s illness, and they have their own tiny dramas going on and they all weave together. It’s kinda great.
- The details are spot on?? There’s a lot of stuff about what it was like in the hospital and how Norah is dealing with the aftereffects and it is very obvious that it was written by someone who knows their shit.
- Norah’s old tutor who she absolutely adores is a black lesbian and she’s moving in with her girlfriend and I just think that’s really nice
I’m not looking for the same reaction Star-Crossedgot, because honestly I’ve never seen a post take off like that before. But this book is just as near and dear to my heart, and it’s crafted so carefully and with so much love, and I’m excited as hell for it, so I just wanted to let you know it’s coming. If you want to check it out, it’ll be available on September 5th.
That’s all. Thanks for listening, lovely people. <3
*chucks angsty alyanette drabble into the void at 1:30 am and runs*
Marinette screams in her sleep.
It’s a jarring realization for Alya. Never would she have ever expected her friend - her sweet, kind, sheltered friend who grew up in a loving household and only experienced minimal abuse from a playground bully - to experience night terrors that make her yell and choke and writhe in her sheets. The pink covers twist around her arms like chains, tangling and tightening the more Marinette flails. Her voice is hoarse already, desperate and terrified as she begs with words that don’t fully form but sound suspiciously like “please” and “don’t” and names.
So - can we talk about Admiral Hennessey for a minute?
Good. See - I’ve been thinking, y’all. I even broke out the y’all so that we can have this convo. Please picture me sitting back against a counter of some kind, glass of something in hand, arms crossed, ready to have a Chat.
Here’s the thing. I have a theory - a headcanon, really, and since @candlewinds did a lovely post with his wigged head in it today, and since I’m getting ready to post a chapter that features him rather heavily, I thought I’d do some airing of that headcanon. You’re by no means required to agree with me or give a single crap about my weird theories, but here goes one of them. *Takes a deep breath*
I don’t like what Hennessey does in canon, but I don’t think Hennessey does either.
I can’t reconcile Hennessey that sits in that tavern, that sees James beating the shit out of someone for insulting the Hamiltons, that gives him that little knowing smile and catches James’ use of Thomas’ given name so easily, with the man that stands in that office and condemns him as if he had no notion that the man he refers to as son is gay. I can’t reconcile the man who says, so gently, “I thought you’d heard me, son,” with the man in that office, and I think I know the difference - what changes his tone, his attitude, everything. Alfred fucking Hamilton. The minute that Hennessey enters that office, he becomes a different man. Hennessey outside that office pretty clearly knows that James isn’t straight. James as good as says it. “I know what you’re thinking,” he says, based on their earlier conversation. It’s never said out loud, but it’s heavily implied that Hennessey knows and while he may not approve, it’s not because he disapproves of James being into men. It’s because he disapproves of him becoming involved with a noble, given that James himself is nobody comparatively. He has no protection if Thomas turns out to be another noble shit in it for laughs and a good time and not up for standing up for his partner if anything goes wrong. Hennessey has no way of knowing what Thomas is like - he’s never met the man, and worse, he has no way of protecting James if anything happens, and he knows it. Hennessey at least once refers to the nobility as “these people.” He’s not of noble background himself. He has no standing in the peerage - in fact, he’s very much like James in the respect that he’s a transplanted Irishman who’s probably worked his way up the ranks much as James did.
Now, granted, that conversation could be read a lot of ways. The thing that really convinces me, though, is the gentle way that he addresses James two seconds before they enter his office. By that time, he’s talked to Alfred Hamilton. He knows that James is gay, without any kind of doubt. Hennessey knows what he’s done, and he still refers to him as son. There’s no trace of disgust in his voice when he talks to him. He doesn’t speak much, but what he does say is telling. He leads James into that office knowing what’s about to go down, and he doesn’t warn him because he can’t. He needs in that moment to try to force James to leave London quietly - to believe that he has no recourse to any kind of patron that would support and fight for him, which is accomplished both with what he says and with the removal of Thomas from the situation. I hate to say it, but I have the terrible suspicion that Thomas’ imprisonment in Bedlam might actually have been Hennessey’s idea, although I’m more willing to believe it was Alfred or Peter Ashe that came up with that particular godawful suggestion. In any case, Hennessey’s concern is with getting James to not do anything stupid and, even more importantly for him and for England, to protect the rest of the officers and seamen under his command. He cannot, absolutely cannot, allow Alfred to start raising questions about whether or not the Navy is harboring sodomites. He can’t allow that witch hunt to get started, not for James or anyone, because there are hundreds or even thousands of men under his command who can’t defend themselves against that kind of accusation. They’re in the middle of a war, and the last thing anyone can afford is for Alfred Hamilton to destabilize the Navy by using Hennessey’s protection of James to his own ends. If Alfred starts making accusations, no one is safe, because he could accuse who he wished and bribe anyone he liked until everyone jumped to his orders for fear of being accused of sodomy and hanged. As much as I think Hennessey hated having to do this to James, he couldn’t act as a father in that office. He had to be a commander, with the lives of all the other men under his command coming first since there was nothing he could do to save James save to get him out of London.
Again, you’re free to disagree with any of this. It’s just personal headcanon based on how I read the scenes. It could be that Hennessey really didn’t know until Alfred told him and is just a godawful, cruel asshat and a very good actor, but I’ve chosen to interpret the character a little differently for fun. And because I like politics.
NOTE: Most of these pics are Sakura-centric, multi-saku shippy, or dark. I’ll make sure to include TWs that I can remember for as many as possible. We’ll start with authors first. I’ll also include tumblrs that I know for them. They’re all great.
And these are just my favorites! There’s bound to be so many more out there! So keep an eye out, and feel free to add your own favorites.