Prompt: After being labeled as a ‘non-romantic’ by the reader, Digger Harkness tries to prove the reader wrong by planning a cliche Valentines Day date.
Pairing: Captain Boomerang X Fem!Reader
Warnings: Some cursing, sexual suggestion, but mostly fluff galore!
Digger Harkness was certainly a man of many talents and you were lucky to be able to call him yours. In one afternoon he could build you a wooden table and four sturdy chairs. He could drink an entire 12 pack of beer and still speak impressively coherently. He made the best damn grilled cheese in the world and never failed to make you laugh until tears were streaming down your face.
He was everything you could ask for and more! The only quality you could say he lacked was a romantic side… Which wasn’t a bad thing? He was sweet when he wanted to be and definitely an affectionate son of a bitch. But, as Valentines day was begin to creep up on you and all the heart shaped boxes of chocolates were on sale at the store you couldn’t help but to feel, well… Like you were missing out on something?
can i request a ten, taeyong, and haechan neighbour au?? hehe i really love your writing a lot < 3
ten’s birthday is next week, so here’s a kind of early gift to all you ten stans!! and of course, taeyong and haechan stans~（´・｀ ）♡ find mark + jaehyun (here)
he throws parties on the weekends and practices guitar on the weekdays while also getting REALLY R E A L L Y into nba 2k17,,,,,,
especially if johnny comes over like the two of them cannot shuttup and neighbors always have to go over and be like “quiet down” and johnny apologizes while ten just sneers and is like “YEAH JOHNNY WHY ARE YOU SO LOUD” and johnny is like “i swear once this door is closed-”
but he’s FUN,,,,,like there is not denying that he’s an entertaining, amusing, and great person like why else would his apartment be basically filled to the brim with people who he probably doesn’t even know all that well
yeah the snacks,,,,,but also like?? ten makes great jokes, he’s good at making everyone feel comfortable, and his dancing: a+
he’s the whole package,,,,,,,,,even though his place is a mess monday morning and he has to practically beg taeyong and jaehyun to come over and help him clean
and he once tried to ask hansol and hansol was like “you brought this on yourself lolololol” and the proceeded to hang up on him whenever ten tried to call him back (real friends are like this tbh)
speaking of which ten has ,,,,, like no idea how to keep his things organized,,,,,,,,because he has so much stuff like every time he leaves his house he’s wearing a brand new outfit
and everyone is like bro you spend way too much money on clothes,,,,,why do you need so much and ten is like Firstly: it’s fashion you Wouldn’t Get It,,,,,,,,secondly someone stole some of my pants from my last party ok leave it alone
but his apartment itself is pretty cool, like somehow he got mark to ask renjun to come over and paint on his wall and it turned out really cool and ten’s the type to have fancy stuff for no reason like did you really need to buy a lamp that looks like a chandelier and ten is like yeah i did bye
cute lil secret: he keeps letters from his parents back in thailand in a shoebox in his locked closet so it’s safe because it’s the one thing he refuses to lose,,,,,,,,,,,
but you know ten if not because you have to listen to the music he blasts at each of his parties and him yell at his friends when they play games but also,,,,,,,,,on multiple occasions
ten has come to you for help
one of the most common is he always ends up needing a place to crash for the night because someone else fell asleep in his bed,,,,,,and his couch,,,,,,,,and on his floor. then there was the time he woke up with his head in a bowl of uneaten ramen and the noodles had gotten stuck in his ear piercings and you had to get them out while ten cried about how gross that was,,,,,and of course the most famous: ten gets tipsy and Emotional and you,,,,,,,well
you listen to him
mind you in the morning when he’s all better ten is just like “hEY thanks for letting me cry and ,,,,,,,,, stuff let’s never talk about this again!!!!”
and you feel bad because ,,,,,,,lmao you’re just his neighbor who also knows his deepest insecurities and fears and it’s like????? you never have the heart to get mad at him for knocking on your door at 2 am
but also,,,,,,you like then ten that is open with his feelings. the ten that cuddles into your arm face first and mumbles that you’re so sweet to him, so kind
but when ten,,,,,,is being his loud, fun self he’s not exactly that person
until you end up being the one in need of help,,,,,knocking on ten’s door at some odd hour and he opens it, shocked to see you and you’re like
“where is your alcohol stash,,,,,,,,give it it to me” and ten slows you down by catching you around the waist and he’s like “are you o-?” and you’re like NOPE IM NOT ,,,,,,give me,,,,,,,,,the,,,,,,,,drinks
but ten isn’t letting you go and he’s like “sit down, tell me whats up” and you grumble that it doesn’t matter, trying to hide behind your hair a bit so he can’t see that you had been crying
but ten just shakes his head and he’s like “c’mon,,,,,i know you listen to me when i come sobbing over to you,,,,,,tell me what it is”
and you’re like “ten,,,,,,,,,,,do you even see me as a friend? or am i just the closest person near you when you have to complain?”
and it’s quiet and ten kind of looks at you, but then he gently pokes the center of your forehead and he’s like “of course you’re my friend,,,,,,to be honest,,,,,,,ive always thought of you as more than that. to me,,,,like i want,,,,,,,want you to be more than a friend but,,,,,,,i know you don’t feel that way so i just wanted to be close to you,,,,,,,,”
and for the first time you’re hearing ten stutter over his words (when he’s not drunk) and you’re like “wait wait wait stop”
and you put your finger to his lips and he’s like ??? and you’re like
“you want me to be more than your friend?” and ten is like ,,,,,,,, “how,,,,,,,,,well,,,,,,let me say it like this it’s hard not to fall for the person who pulled ramen out of my earrings for me.”
and you’re blinking a bit, completely forgetting the thing that made you upset because wait. is ten confessing??????
and you’re like “so you like me?” and he’s like “yes, i like you. i thought bothering you all the time made that obvious”
and you’re like aljfkddkskre it didnt,,,,,,and ten is like “huh, did you also not hear when johnny screamed ‘GO CONFESS TO THE PERSON NEXT DOOR THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH THEM YOU IDIOT’???”
and you’re like holy shit no i missed that too
and ten is like,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,how
the model neighbor
as in he looks like an actual model, and is also super clean and quiet and ??? just very overly polite like he just wants people to like him ya know?????
he’s barely home because he’s always over at his friends houses doing their chores because they never want to,,,,,,like when taeyong explained that you have to change your bedsheets at least every three weeks ten dam near had a heart attack because he was like “ive been sleeping on just my mattress for the past 7 months” and taeyong was like HOW ARE YOU A PERSON
taeyong loves cute stationary, and cute mugs, and owns an apron with little kitten embroidered on the side and those hanging plants that he decorated his bedroom with and idk he’s got like,,,,,,a clock that looks like a sunflower
like taeyong,,,,,,,,is just a boy who loves things that make his apartment more adorable and clean
owns every cleaning product imaginable and dedicated a whole closet to them
the type to have labels on all his cupboards and shelves and you open his refrigerator and everything is labeled it’s like,,,,,,how does he have the damn nerve to do this
also: uses coasters for his drink because he gets anxious about drinks spilling onto his rug
but yeah other than that,,,,he’s kinda awkward around most people,,,,but he does his best to smile and come off sweet
and you’ve seen him,,,,,,lugging home like three different brands of detergent and a new mop every week and you’re like huh so he’s super,,,,,,like,,,,,,,into cleaning
which you’re like is fine but you,,,,,after only recently moving in,,,,hasn’t even unpacked half your things yet and everytime your friends from your original hometown call you’re like (—: im an adult. my apartment is nice and sparkly and im doing fine
(this is a lie. you’ve been living off fast-food and half your stuff is still in boxes)
which is why when your best friend says she’ll be visiting tomorrow you’re like HOLD UP
and you know just the person to go a solicit help from. taeyong
and when you knock on his door he’s like surprised because you two have never held a solid conversation
and he is like “oh hello, i know we’ve never properly-”
and you’re like “you have 309458 mops right. you got a duster,,,,,,thing,,,,,,,,right”
and he’s like “feather duster?” and you’re like YEAH THAT,,,,,,,listen i need help now
and when you explain that you (being the lazy person we ALL are) didn’t unpack or clean or do anything and your friend is coming tomorrow and you don’t want to look like a Failure of an Adult in front of her,,,,,,,well taeyong kind of looks at you and is like
“,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,fine ill get the swivel sweeper”
and you guys spend like 7 hours getting your things unpacked and taeyong is really good at like????? decorating and he’s like “OH i have the peRFECT thing”
and he runs over to his place and comes back holding this cute like paper weight in the shape of like a giraffe and he puts it on your desk and you’re like “,,,,,,,,,,what is that” and he’s like “are you really an adult?”
but he helps you a lot and it’s kind of fun, he has like,,,,,,,,a really nice laugh you made a pun about like cleaning and he almost fell over laughing it was really,,,,,,,,,,cute
and once you’re done you’re like how should i thank you
and he’s like “it’s fine, you don’t have to!!”
and you’re like,,,,,,,,,,but i should but he’s like really no it’s nothing
but even after he leaves,,,,,,you’re like this is mean he worked so hard for me
and it bugs you, even after you friend comes over and is like WOW this place is so clean im impressed
that you end up going out and buying one of those cute little home humidifiers and you’re like “this seems taeyong-ish”
and you knock on his door again and he’s like “oh!!! do you need to borrow my mo-” and you’re like “here!!!!!! it’s a small gift,,,,,,but i thought you might like it,,,,,,,,,,,,,”
and he looks down at the bag and he gets super duper red and he’s like “i,,,,,,,,i can’t accept this,,,,,,,it’s too much,,,,,,”
and you’re like ashofvd you spent SIX HOURS cleaning my house for me pleASE
and finally you manage to get taeyong to take the gift and you’re like “anyway,,,,,,,,,,seriously thank you”
and taeyong kind of hesitates but he’s like
“do you,,,,,,,,,,,,wanna come inside,,,,,,,,,i don’t usually let people over but,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,”
and you’re like huh oh sure!!! and ok his house looks like a palace there isn’t any dirt anywhere
and when he makes you a cup of tea there’s like little cute bears on the mug and you’re looking at the cup and at taeyong’s beautiful face and you
can’t help but giggle and he’s going red again like,,,,,,,am i funny?? are you laughing at me??
and you’re like “no no no you’re just so,,,,,,,,,,much cuter than i expected!!”
and taeyong damn near falls over,,,,,,,you called him CUTE?!?!?! and you’re like “i didn’t think someone so chic would be into little cute animals” and taeyong is like im not,,,,,,chic,,,,,,,,plus animals are so,,,,,adorable right
and you’re like omg taeyong you i should have gotten you a big stuffed bear and he’s like aGHDSd no,,,,,,i love what you got me don’t worry about it
and he’s so cute getting nervous and staring at his lap,,,,,,,you can’t help but wanna lean over and like kiss his face but you don’t
even though tbh taeyong is like,,,,,,,,,i wouldn’t mind being kissed by them,,,,,,,,like in his head LOL
thought he was old enough to be totally fine living alone. and he is,,,,,,,except he goes over to everyones house for his meals and got mark’s netflix password so he didn’t have to pay for it himself
how many times has yuta lent him his nintendo ds? like 32424234
jaehyun is convinced haechan took his ricecooker,,,,,,,,,but he has no way to prove it except that haechan was like “nooo hyung i got this at the mall on sale i promise!!!!” and jaehyun is like “then where did mine disappear to?” and haechan is like thats your problem,,,,so,,,,,,
but it’s ok because everyone adores him because if he wants something all he has to do is be a cute kid and bam! he gets it
and although he’s a little trickster, and sometimes his hyungs fall into his traps. he shows that he cares for them too
and especially for his friends that are younger, like when chenle and jisung come over to hangout haechan will literally be like “if you stay past 10. you have to sleepover. im not letting you go out in the dark.”
and he knows how taeyong hates messes so he brought coasters just for him and he always has snacks that he knows mark likes
like YES he can be a bit of ,,,,,,,,,,, a devil but he’s a sweetheart too
his apartment isn’t full of too many toys or anything he actually has a pretty mature taste
and if anything he just really likes having a space for him to write and think clearly because to me, haechan is really creative and so he’d like a big desk with post-its and books full of ideas,,,,he just comes off that way
but he’d have some like cute joke stuff like a really bad photo of johnny framed and on his bookshelf or something LOL
also idk why,,,,,,but haechan seems like he’d have a dog,,,,,like a corgi,,,,,or a beagle,,,,,,,,,
anyway you’re really close with haechan because you love love love teasing doyoung and mark and jaehyun
you guys kind of bonded over pulling harmless pranks together
and so for ten’s upcoming birthday you and him decided to make cookies but to fill some up with hot sauce or wasabi just to see ten run around the room arms flailing
but as you know,,,,,,doing anything with haechan can’t be a calm and clean process
halfway through you try to feed him some vanilla extract saying it’s melted white chocolate and he tries to get some icing on the side of your face
but it’s all fun and games like,,,,,,,you love being in each others company because you guys never get sick of being silly
until someone (probably haechan) ends up spilling some of the eggs on the floor and neither of you notice
until you slip on your way to the oven and go tumbling backwards
and you’re like haechan!!!!!! look out!!!!!
but he’s like throwing down the flour he’s holding to outstretch his arms and catch you
but it just ends up with both of you on the floor, covered in the eggs and sugar and flour
and you’re leaning against haechan whose hit his arm on the counter coming down
and you’re like “are you ok????” and haechan is like “no i think im bleeding”
and he puts his hand up and you see some red and you’re like HAECHAN oh my god im so sO SOrry let me get a bandage omg do you not have any here let me rip some off this tissue -
and then out of nowhere he starts to laugh and you’re like ??????? and he’s like “it’s just some red icing, im fine!!!”
and you sit there on the floor, and frown and you’re like “you scared me!!!!! i thought you were hurt,,,,if i had hurt you i don’t know what i-”
and haechan can see the sadness in your eyes and automatically his smile falls
and he’s like “im sorry, it was a dumb joke why are you so worried about me anyway, you know im indestructible!”
and you know he’s playing around but you still take his wrist and turn his arm to make sure he isn’t hiding that he might be really hurt
and you’re like “im glad you’re ok,,,,,,,,,,,,”
and haechan looks at you, still holding his arm and he’s like
“wait,,,,,,,,,,,,,did you get all worried about me like that because maybe,,,,,,,”
and you look up wide eyes and you’re like “UH”
and haechan is like snapping his fingers like “YOU LIKE ME?”
and you’re ike UHHHHHH WHAT SHUT UP NO WAY
but haechan is like mimicking your voice and he’s like “you scared me!!!” but then he reaches out and pulls you toward him into a hug
and he’s like “seriously, you could have just told me because i like you too!!!!!!”
and you’re like haECHAN don’t be playing some kind of joke on me-
and he’s like “this isn’t a joke, i promise, for real this time.”
and you can’t help but blush and be like “we’re covered in eggs let’s not hug-” but haechan just pushes you closer because like c’mon he totally would
Summary: With Cheryl grieving her brothers death you’re the only one there for her, no one stands by her side. Her parents adore you but they don’t know the truth of your relationship with Cheryl either. With the danger of a killer roaming Riverdale, Cheryl’s ever more jealous and protective.
Characters: Cheryl Blossom x Andrews!Reader, Archie Andrews (mentioned), Jughead Jones (mentioned), Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Penelope Blossom (mentioned), and Cliff Blossom (mentioned)
Disclaimer: I do not own Riverdale or the characters. I do not own the Comics either.
Warnings: Possible swearing, mention of murder, crying/grieving, implied romantic same sex (female) relationship, and allusion to oral sex
When you reached adolescence you promised yourself you wouldn’t label yourself anymore. You had a lot of labels growing up in the footsteps of your brother Archie, you were the only female in the house following your mom’s abandonment. You were stamped with labels that you didn’t care for.
The sexual orientation label was the one you hated the most with the words placing you in the world where it deemed fit. That’s why when Veronica had asked if you were straight, you admired her bluntness, you had shrugged not caring.
The next day at lunch after the tryouts for cheerleading you had placed yourself between Betty and Veronica. Cheryl was busy planning new routines and you wanted more friends that weren’t total bitches.
“You’re gorgeous!” Veronica grinned, “How do you get your hair to shine like that?”
How do you feel about people claiming that in marrying Bruce, Selina's character will be ruined? I of course see that argument as odd, seeing that she's said numerous times in the past that she wants to be happy, and with that, settling down and having a family. Do you truly think that would waver who Selina is?
You already know that I don’t. I wrote about my thoughts on Selina and family and marriage awhile ago and you can read about it here. Linking it seems like such a cop out but it’s pretty long. On that note I will say this: when people have brought up the idea that getting married would ruin her character I had no idea what they were talking about until I read this. Warning: do not read unless you can afford a spike in blood pressure.
Most notably this critic is says this:
She is a thief. She is a thrill seeker. For her, it’s all about the hunt.
And this little gem right here:
I see so many people on social media saying how romantic this is. It makes me wonder. Is this just a knee jerk reaction to seeing two long time lovers finally getting together? Have people really even taken the time to analyze this relationship? Or, are the ones shipping this the kind of people that value need over want?
Eye roll to the fullest. As a Batcat blogger I take that as a personal challenge. Yes, we have taken the time to analyze this relationship and we have almost 80 years of material to go on and I’ve come with the receipts.
I suppose this is what most people are referring to when they say that Catwoman’s character would be “ruined” if she got married. Those who are saying that are grossly oversimplifying her character and missing an important part of Catwoman’s development as a character. It reduces Catwoman to just a thief and that does her such a huge disservice. It has been true across multiple versions and media that, Catwoman does not always want to be defined as a thief. That thrill of thievery that they’re referring to, and Selina has said this herself multiple times, wears off. Thieving and other criminal activity has gotten her thrown in prison, almost killed, and she’s had to fake her death a couple of times because of it (as recently as Future’s End). The criminal lifestyle has almost ruined her life and eventually it ends up making her feel empty and trapped.
Going back to the Bronze Age after Selina spends some time in prison for her crimes as Catwoman once she’s paroled she wants to move on and distance herself from her past. (Batman #308)
Later on during a meeting with Bruce she tries to disguise herself because she worries that being seen in public with her will hurt his reputation and cause a scandal. (Batman #313)
Skipping ahead to the Pre-Flashpoint era Catwoman’s second on-going series was all about her reforming and becoming the defender of Gotham’s east end. In the very first issue of her series we get a lot from Selina’s perspective on why she does it. To really understand you’ll have to read her first on-going series because a lot of stuff went down towards the end of it that makes Selina disenchanted by the criminal lifestyle. At the beginning of her second series she can’t even bring herself to put on the costume because it’s brought her so much suffering and she feels defined by what she considers to be past mistakes. (Catwoman [v3] #1)
I don’t think that Selina thinks that marriage is the end all be all, but I definitely don’t think that it’s something that she’d completely rule out either. In fact I think that Selina hasn’t seriously considered it because she just never thought that it was an option for her. It’s funny to me that so many people think that Selina is strictly anti-marriage when 1) she’s never said that before and there’s nothing in canon to indicate that she feels that way and 2) some versions of her have expressed a desire to have a family.
I wrote about this in my previous post but from Catwoman’s second series while Selina steals an ancient dollhouse she talks about her childhood and mourns the loss of her family and the fact that she missed out on that stability growing up. I think that indicates that there is some kind desire to regain that. (Catwoman [v2] #39)
There it is–Everything I’ve always wanted. Everything I’ve never had…Preserved over millennia in perfect condition. Priceless miniature. Stable family.
Emphasis mine. I also can’t stress enough that Catwoman’s Earth-2 counterpart point blank said that she wanted a family and a new life badly enough that she came up with some ludicrous lie about having amnesia in order to obtain it, but she thought it was too late. Earth-2 Catwoman ends up marrying Batman and having a child. The Brave and the Bold #197 was all about Bruce and Selina’s desire to start a new life and finding happiness with each other. In the Bronze Age version Bruce and Selina both retire to raise their daughter together and in the latest version they raise her as a crime fighter. That proves that marriage doesn’t “trap” Selina by any means. She did however feel trapped being Catwoman.
Still not convinced? Okay. I know that The Dark Knight Rises isn’t everyone’s favorite version of Catwoman, but something Christopher Nolan got right… Selina Kyle is introduced as a thief but she’s working for Daggett with the promise that she’ll be compensated with a software that will allow her to erase her criminal record which she wants to use to start a new life. She tells Bruce:
I started out doing what I had to. Once you’ve done what you’ve had to they’ll never let you do what you want to…There’s no fresh start in today’s world. Any twelve year old with a cell phone can find out what you did.
In Batman: The Telltale Series Selina has an excellent dialogue with Bruce about her criminal career where she lays it all out. She says:
You’re a good man, Bruce. But good men don’t lie with thieves.I know what I am. No noble intentions, just the thrill of breaking what they say can’t be broken. Knowing there’s no safe I can’t crack, no fortress I can’t infiltrate. Proving I can…
I’ve stolen from corrupt jerks like Hill, but I’ve taken plenty from good people too. And for what? Some shiny new toys and a crappy apartment on the edge of town? The high is nice but it wears off. And you look around and see…nothing. So you get back out there. Try and chase that feeling down, but it never amounts to anything really.
What has remained true about Selina in the comic books and other media is that she begins her life as a thief, but eventually she wants out but she feels defined by it. She feels like she has no other choice but to keep going. People really look down on Catwoman because she’s a criminal. She gets really dismissed as just some thief. This is something that Selina internalizes and is insecure about. Selina doesn’t always think that she’s a good person and that she can’t be anything other than a thief and a criminal. The idea that all Catwoman wants to do is live a dangerous life of chaos and crime is exactly the type of label she very often tries to break away from.
The argument that Selina shouldn’t get married because she’ll feel trapped is ironic considering that there’s a lot canonical evidence that she actually feels trapped by The Life™
and it just reeks of concern trolling. Somehow people think that risking imprisonment and death and being defined as a criminal is a more preferable outcome than marriage.
Catwoman is a character that’s always reinventing herself and always looking for a second chance. I don’t think that that always means marriage and family, but I don’t see why it can’t especially since it’s never been done in the main continuity before.
I’m not going to bother addressing an argument that Bruce and Selina have a one sided relationship, because it’s obvious nonsense and I’ve dedicated many a blog posts already refuting that. I suggest going through my tags if you really want to know, but I will say this because I think it’s crucial: in spite of everything that people say and think about Catwoman and what she often thinks of herself Batman never stops believing in her.
Batman has been a constant presence in her life and more often than not it’s his unwavering belief that deep down she’s a good person that inspires her to see the good in herself and get the second chance she so desperately seeks. Whether it’s inspiring her to become the whip wielding defender for Gotham’s most disenfranchised, running off to France, or starting a family. Batman and Catwoman have found a lot of happiness in each other so I find the idea that marriage would “ruin” Catwoman’s character to be, quite frankly, absurd.
Batman and Catwoman have been together for 77 years. It’s just time.
I made a proper post out of this because it got too long for the ask (I needed to be able to save what I wrote). And I actually re-read both Fire From Heaven and the Persian Boy in order to be able to answer this well. @uponthewaters I hope that this format is more easily accessible/readable and I also hope that I have answered your question in the way that you wanted.
I will preface this by saying that I always feel a bit bad critiquing Renault. Please remember that I have nothing against Renault. I respect her and I am flattered that she loved my life so much. If what I am about to say sounds cruel or harsh, then just remember that I am only speaking about the content of Renault’s books, not anything about her personally. But I won’t lie and say that I like her books when I do not. Brace yourselves, I wrote a lot (and added a drinking game to spice things up!).
I will start with Fire From Heaven. Put simply: In Fire from Heaven I am boring.
Fire From Heaven
Aside from the aforementioned boringness, most of the major issues I had with Fire From Heaven have to do with the portrayal of Hephaistion:
“At the stair-foot Hephaistion was waiting. He happened to be there, as he happened to have a ball handy if Alexander wanted a game, or water if he was thirsty; not by calculation, but in a constant awareness by which no smallest trifle was missed.” (163)
^ Let it be known that Alexander the Great always cites his goddamn sources. Alright, Hephaistion was not only there for me; I was also there for him. He had his own life and his own thoughts and troubles. We comforted each other, he was not just a shoulder for me to cry on. Our friendship was not one-sided. He was not my slave and did not act like my mother or my nurse. In this book it is unclear why I loved Hephaistion, our relationship was merely predicated on the fact that Hephaistion was enamored with me and I appreciated his loyalty and servitude.
“Hephaistion thought of the coming war without fear, erasing from his mind, or smothering in its depths, even the fear that Alexander would be killed. Only so was life possible at his side. Hephaistion would avoid dying if he could, because he was needed.” (221)
Um only because I needed him? Not because Hephaistion didn’t want to fucking die himself? Come on. Hephaistion had his own thoughts and fears that didn’t always have to do with me. Even I’m not too self-absorbed to recognize that.
“Hephaistion called to mind the tale of Semele, beloved of Zeus… she had burned to ashes. He [Hephaistion] would need to prepare himself for the touch of fire.” (157)
God, this made me laugh. Well, if Hephaistion wants this ass then he better get some oven mitts. And that lube that heats up is definitely a no-go. I just don’t even know what to think of this. I mean I know I have a hot ass but really… On a more serious note, Hephaistion was the only one who didn’t think of me as divine but still loved me and my imperfections. So no to this quote.
“Hephaistion, who was not very quick at shaping his thoughts into words, usually found that someone else got in before him. He preferred this to making a fool of himself.” (173)
OH FUCK NO. Hephaistion loved to argue and was certainly not shy about voicing his opinions. And Hephaistion was brilliant, Aristotle thought so, too, and corresponded with Hephaistion later on. Hephaistion’s intelligence is the reason why I trusted him with both solo military commands and also administrative/ diplomatic functions. And just common sense: I would never have an idiot who couldn’t even debate as my second-in-command. Hephaistion only made a fool out of himself if he was drunk or if he was fighting with someone over something stupid (and the same goes for me).
“Think of Achilles, how his mother dipped him in the Styx. Think how black and terrible, like dying, like being turned to stone. But then he wasinvulnerable.” (211)
This really took me out of the story. If Hephaistion had said that to me then I would have laughed at him and told him that Achilles isn’t invulnerable in the Iliad. Achilles bleeds right before he fights the river Skamandros when Asteropaios hits Achilles with a spear, “but the other [spear] grazed Achilles’ strong right arm and dark blood gushed as the spear shot past his [Achilles’] back…” (Iliad 21.166-167 for you modern readers). The Renault version of Hephaistion certainly is dull and unintelligent if he can’t even remember the Iliad. And the Styx story with Thetis and Achilles was not around in our day, either. It was actually first written down hundreds of years after our deaths (95ish CE) by Statius in his Achilleid. So this entire piece of dialogue is anachronistic. I’m the biggest Achilles fanboy of all time, I know my shit.
Some other thoughts:
I DO like the part where Kassander gets beaten up by a woman. That was hilarious.
Ptolemy was not my half-brother. And I don’t like how the book treats the character of my real sister Kleopatra (who I loved very much in real life). Or my mother. It seems that modern representations of my life are not very kind to the women in my life. Not cool.
Dear god, that part with the courtesan. That story was completely false and only made up to slander me, but at least in the ancient story I sent her away. I would never suffer the indignity of my parents hiring a hetaira for me and then actually have sex with her. That’s adding insult to injury! And I had sex with both men and women, my parents weren’t worried about me (although of course I was not as uh “prolific” as good ol’ dad).
OLYMPIAS WAS NOT PRESENT AT PHILIP’S ASSASSINATION. She was in Epiros. If you are going to write a book based largely on historical events then please get the details correct.
Speaking of details, when my father was assassinated my father’s cloak was white, not purple (see Diodorus 16.93.1). A small nitpick, but still.
That 2004 movie Alexander ripped off a lot of material from this book. I feel bad for Renault about that. Not cool, Oliver Stone.
Renault also gets the timing of the death of Hephaistion and my own death wrong in her historical author’s note:
“Alexander survived his friend by about three months, for two of which he was travelling with the body from Ecbatana to Babylon…” (409-410)
This is incorrect. Hephaistion died in October. I died in June. If you are writing a historical note please get the facts right.
One of my main issues is that Renault tries to describe the historical context/detail so much that she loses sight of the essence of the story. I didn’t really understand what she was trying to say in this book, it just read like a more boring and expanded version of Plutarch. So yes, Fire From Heaven was boring (as was my character in Fire From Heaven). And I’m someone who actually likes the catalogue of ships in the Iliad.
The Persian Boy
Where to start with this one… This is probably the complete wrong reaction to have, but I laughed my way through most of The Persian Boy. At least the prose was more interesting than Fire From Heaven. But the pacing was off, it takes Bagoas more than 100 pages to meet me.
One of the central problems was with the narrator. Bagoas is forcefully inserted into the larger events of my life and it simply makes no sense for him to be there. Some problems I had:
Bagoas was supposedly with me the night after the torture of Philotas? Oh god, that is so ludicrous. Common sense: after an assassination attempt a eunuch would never be left alone with me. Hephaistion probably would have murdered him; Hephaistion wasn’t feeling particularly happy then. And we were in a camp with tents, not a building as Renault states (see Arrian, Plutarch, and Curtius for confirmation of that). It’s a small detail, but I wanted to point that out.
I did not trust Bagoas. It may seem cruel, but Bagoas was nothing to me. If Bagoas had died then I would not have to be dragged off of his corpse. He was simply someone that I had sex with a few times. Hephaistion was everything to me. He was the sole person that I completely trusted. I also trusted my own generals and friends. I did not trust a random eunuch. And Renault says I cried over Bagoas’ birthday? Birthdays weren’t even really celebrated in my day…
AND RENAULT TELLS THE DYSENTERY STORY. WHY THE EVERLOVING FUCK DOES EVERYONE LOVE THAT STORY?! Oh yes, it is so funny that Alexander shit himself, that story is absolutely essential to understanding his life. No, no it fucking isn’t. It’s embarrassing.
And dear god, Bagoas was not with me at the Mallian siege. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Even the majority of the army was not there, most of the land forces were stationed with Hephaistion down river (see Arrian 6.13).
I liked that Renault showed Hephaistion’s kindness. That was much appreciated. I wish he was in more of the book, but he would most likely be mischaracterized (although at least I could blame the unreliable narrator in this case).
What the hell was the wedding with Roxanne about? She tried to poison Bagoas and then I beat her? WHAT THE FUCK? I can’t believe that Renault would actually write that. I don’t know why she hates all of the women in my life so much. I don’t know why she would think my wife would poison a random eunuch. I don’t know how she could think I would beat my own wife. I mean we were obviously not the pinnacle of feminism, but we weren’t animals. I was angry when noble women were just forced to dance (see Curtius 6.2.6-7 for this one), I don’t know how anyone would think I would harm my own wife. Everything about this is disgusting. I’m fucking appalled.
I found the book mostly amusing and I didn’t get very annoyed (except of course for the wedding/poison episode) until Hephaistion’s death.
He [Alexander] was standing with a dagger in his hand, hacking off his hair. […] So I found the trimming knife, and said, “Let me do it. I’ll do it just as you want.” “No,” he [Alexander] said, hacking away […] But he grew impatient with the back,and let me finish it, so that he could be off. (370)
I would have killed anyone who tried to cut my hair for me when I cut my hair over Hephaistion’s body. And unlike in Renault’s account, I actually cut my hair over the corpse (Arrian 7.14.4 backs me up). I would have stabbed Bagoas or anyone else who tried to help with my own dagger (I was not in a great mental place then). And as if I couldn’t cut my own hair? I’m a warrior, I know how to use a goddamn blade. This also makes it sounds like cutting my hair was something that I thought I had to do so that I “could be off.” No, it was very significant and personal and painful for me in my grief and doesn’t deserve to be treated as something I had to get done quickly. Also, Bagoas was not the one who had the idea that Hephaistion be made a god (Renault 373). Reading that was a test of my very poor anger management skills.
And on my deathbed I did not say Krateros or kratistos or anything like that. Ugh. I couldn’t even speak at all, I was too sick. And Bagoas was not there when I died.
I made a drinking game to make reading this book more fun:
Take a shot whenever Cyrus (aka Kyros) is mentioned!
Take a shot when you can’t tell if Bagoas and I are having sex or not!
Take a shot every time my ~golden~ hair is mentioned!
Take a shot whenever Bagoas is jealous!
Chug through the entirety of the dysentery scene (so that no one will remember it happened…)
This game may give you alcohol poisoning if you’re not a Macedonian, be warned.
All in all, I really do appreciate what Renault was trying to do. I am so happy that people read these books and got more interested in my life and in Hephaistion’s life. I am also happy that these books helped people dealing with issues relating to their own sexuality (and I appreciate the fact that Renault was a lesbian writing about same-sex relationships AND that she described me as bisexual in her author’s note- good job Renault!). So I think that the good that Renault’s work has done outweighs my issues with it.
I hope that this very lengthy response answered your question well.
Reinhardt forgets that Jack is blind, and is like “Hi Jack, could you read this for me?” and Jack takes it and stares at it for like a good minute and then is like “You know this would be an excellent read if I wasn’t blind”
Hana’s like “Hey Jack could you drive us to town real quick” and hes like “Hm no I can only drive you off a road and probably to your certain death I can’t see.”
Gabriel is self conscious about how he looks under the mask, and Jack just stares at him and is like “Gabe, to me you’re literally just a blur, but I can tell you - you’re the most beautiful blur in this entire room.”
Gabriel up late after shopping trips as he types out braille labels for everything so Jack knows what’s what.
It was originally believed that the person who sent the bottle of poisoned ale to Dr. Wilson was a man named Frederick Geis, Jr. whose wife, Bess, had died following a botched abortion preformed by the doctor. Fred’s family didn’t even know he’d married Bess, but he claimed they had married secretly in another city (using false names) simply to save her position as school teacher, as at the time teachers had to be spinsters or give up their jobs. Presumably that’s at least part of the reason why Bess had to have the abortion as well.
The doctor received a bottle purported to be sent as an advertisement for a new type of ale which it was hoped, if he enjoyed it, he would recommend to his “patients and friends”. The brewery it was said to have come from told police that they didn’t use typewriters in making their labels, that the letterhead was not their own, and that they didn’t even make ale. Detectives found the shop where the special “S” key for the type was purchased but not the man who purchased it.
The express clerk who received the package was also sent an anonymous letter telling him to “go slow, indeed, in identifying anybody in the matter. It would be awful to send anyone to the gallows for putting such an infernal rascal as Wilson out of business”.
Frederick was arrested for killing the doctor in revenge for his wife’s death but was released when it came to light that the bottle had been sent to Dr. Wilson before Bess had died (there was a mix up with the dates, confusing the American system with the European, reading the date as the month and vise-versa). Fred’s arrested came a day or two after this article was published and he was released by July 7th.
On the first anniversary of the doctor’s death a package was mailed to the police from the killer, which included the special “S” keys used to type the bottle’s label, as well as a piece of wood bearing the same hammer impression which was used to package the bottle of ale.
An article in the
The Cincinnati Enquirer
written July 16, 1916 shows there was still no clue as to who might have sent Dr. Wilson the poisoned ale.
I remember when my identity started getting complicated, I felt sorta lost because I didn’t fit perfectly into any community.
When I was a lesbian, I was just that. Simple enough to explain and easy enough to find people like me. Except not really. My place on the aro/ace spectrum, as well as gender dysphoria (brought on by my discovery of nonbinary genders) interrupted my connection with the lesbian community. Eventually I no longer could associate myself with them. That was no longer a part of my identity.
So I’m nonbinary. I go through periods of trying to narrow down that label (currently I’m going with genderfluid) and periods of just giving up, sticking with simply ‘nonbinary’. It gets really confusing.
As far as my sexuality, I have said everything from pan to poly to bi. This is in addition to my ace/aro labels. Gray-bi. Asexual. Demisexual. Demiromantic, polyromantic ace. I combine those types of labels all the time, trying to describe my sexuality in whatever way makes the most sense to me or to my peers.
I identify myself differently to people depending on how exposed I think they are to different terminology. To my friends on Tumblr, I’m all those different labels I listed. To my cishet roommate, I’m a trans man I guess. She kind of understands what nonbinary is, but I would never be able to explain my complicated identity to her. I can barely explain it to myself.
You might be wondering why I even bother with labels. It’s definitely stressful to say the least. Honestly, I do it to understand myself more. My goal is to be my authentic self. I also do it to find other people who feel this way. To not feel so alone actually.
No matter what intricate combination of labels I settle on, there will always be one word that accurately sums up my identity. I am definitely, 100% queer. My gender is queer. My sexuality is queer. Queer can mean so many things, and I am definitely a lot of things.
Usually when I talk about my identity in-depth like this, I hide it under a read more because it’s long and it’s more for me to record than it is for my followers to care about. But I’m feeling a certain type of way, so I want to just leave this out on my blog for you to read, to skim, to like, to comment, or to reblog, keeping this in mind:
1.) It’s okay if you have a complicated identity that you struggle to understand or define.
I got a couple of asks that were confused about what ‘options’ are, so I’ll just quickly explain for those who are confused.
When an artist gets, lets say, a 5 album record deal, theoretically that sounds really good right? It sounds like the label is agreeing to make 5 albums with them, but that’s not actually the case. Really the label usually promises them 1 or 2 ‘firm’ albums (guaranteed albums) and 3 or 4 ‘options’ after that. Options are literally albums that the label has the ‘option’ of making - they make no promise.
So that’s why that billboard article said that the label ‘exercised their option’ for 5H3. It means that after the second album, the label can make a decision to either drop the artist, or continue with the same contract and make the 3rd album. It doesn’t mean that it’s a different contract - its still the same record deal, but it just means that the label ‘used their option’ to continue with it.
Notice how this has nothing to do with the artist. It is completely the label’s decision. This brings me onto the next point - that options are not good for the artist.
I’ll give an example. Lets say you sign a standard record deal for 5 albums - 1 firm and 4 options. They make your first (firm) album as promised, and then decide to take up their option for your second album which you finish very successfully. By the time you get to the 3rd album, you are a massive success, but you are still stuck in the shitty contract you signed when you were a nobody. You see artists around you who are maybe earning more money and getting more control than you. You think “fuck this, I want to go to a different label now because i’m big and successful and people want me so I might be able to get a better deal”. But the thing is, that’s not YOUR option - its not your decision, It’s the label’s decision. You can’t just pick up and leave, because the label still has the right to keep you if it wants (i.e. it still has ‘options’) - irregardless of what you want. It’s also a bit of a catch 22, because if you are successful the label takes up their options with you, so you are stuck in the same deal. Whereas if you flop then the label might not take up their option for another album and decide to drop you instead. So in this situation you are in theory free to go to another label, except you are not very successful, so you are not desirable and not in a very good position to get a better deal. So its kind of a lose-lose situation. The issue of contracts and options is why you occasionally hear of artists trying to get dropped on purpose - getting dropped by your label is literally the only way you can leave.
So options are bad. If you have 5 options, it doesn’t mean you have 5 albums in the bank. It means that for the period of 5 whole albums (say around 7 years) you are unable to get out of your deal, move labels, or renegotiate a better deal, even if you literally become the most successful artist in the world. The only way you can get out of your initial bad contract is if you are unsuccessful and the label doesn’t want you any more.
Please note that there are opportunities to renegotiate during you contract, and there is such a thing as royalty escalations (where your royalties increase 0.5-1% with every album you make), but all of this can vary. The extent to which you can renegotiate really depends on the type of contract and label you are dealing with. The only way that you are likely to REALLY significantly change your situation is after your contract has run out (when your label has used up all it’s options) and you are successful. Then you are on the market and lots of people want you, so you can demand a better deal and chose the label that gives you the best offer. You might even end up staying with your label but sign a way better record deal with them because this time around they had competition so had to give you a reason to stay with them.
I hope that explains - let me know if you have questions.
P.s. I’m thinking of doing a series like this - maybe called music biz basics. i’m not an expert at all (I’m in the process of learning about all this myself), but I am quite good at reading something and then explaining it in simpler terms. So please send me any questions you have or concepts about the industry that you would like to be clarified. Thanks - Meg.
also this idea that ‘queer is inherently more radical than lesbian/gay/any static label‘ that is implied by those awful slogans like ‘not gay as in happy but queer as in fuck you’ are such bullshit.
because honestly for so many people it’s a matter of semantics. In everyday life I call myself gay. if i suddenly started calling myself queer, without changing any of my behaviour, according to yall that would make me more radical??? even though nothing has changed except for the specific word i choose to call myself????
radical politics come from ACTIONS and BEHAVIOURS, not from the specific label that we choose to assign ourselves (and as much as yall sometimes try, queer is a type of label). Miss me with this homophobic bullshit that coerces gays and lesbians into calling themselves queer by pretending that it’s inherently more enlightened, or morally pure to call oneself queer.
“I’ve been told it’s strange I love to eat breakfast food at dinner and dinner foods for breakfast. So, what’s your opinion?” The dark haired male asked, lifting up his couple of orange juice and taking a sip. It was common though, right? To eat breakfast food at dinner? But did anyone else ever eat dinner food during breakfast?
I made these beer labels for my brother for Christmas! Earlier in the year, we’d been fantasizing about him starting a literature themed brewery called Whale of a Tale Brewing Co. where all the beers would be named classic literary/beer puns. I liked these three that we came up with the best so I decided to illustrate their future labels. Hopefully someday they will all really exist and I’ll get to drink them!:)
I am certainly not going to refer to someone as “queer” if that’s a label they do not wish to have applied to them, but let’s not pretend that the word is somehow more fraught with baggage than any of the other terms that could be used. Every available term is surrounded by layers of controversy, discourse, and troubled history. For topics as complex as sexuality, gender, sex, and romance, there will always be a need for non-specific macrolabels, and “queer” is one of the better ones available. It’s perfectly understandable why some would not want to use the word or have it applied to them, but it’s just as understandable why others would; the needs of the first category do not supersede the needs of the second, and vice versa. It’s a useful word, and it performs an important role in certain types of communication, self-labeling, and community-building. If you don’t like the word, for whatever reason, you are well within your rights to demand that it not be used to describe you, but that does not make you the arbiter of how others may describe themselves.
Me Enamore: Q: At that moment when you’re drinking the mojitos, who was the one that was the most interested? S: It happened here in Madrid [laughs] but I can’t tell you very much other than what the song says. It’s true that I had the stripped bra, which I still have by the way, and there’s a picture of that moment where I met him along with Cesc Fabregas. He was part of the Waka Waka video but we didn’t meet that time, but then when we were both in Madrid, I was about to perform in Rock in Rio, and we were introduced to each other. Q: He says that he knew you were interested when you responded with a lot of detail when he asked about the weather in South Africa. S: He says that but I only responded what I thought was neccessary. My mission was to make sure he didn’t end up sick, he’s the one that concluded that I was interested in him [laughs].
Motherhood S:“Motherhood has changed me but for good. Now my kids have become the center of my universe.” S:“Their personalities? I think they’re still small to label the type of personality they might have. When they’re this young it’s hard to say if they’re outgoing, introverted, or anything else since you never know how they might change later on or if they’re going through a phase, I just try to give them both the same amount of love and care and hope to discover more about them each day.” Q: Are they anything like you when you were a child? S:“As a child, I was very into school but I also was very restless. I always was writing and seemed a little scatterbrained, but that was because I was always dreaming about conquering the world at a very early age. At four years old, I wrote my first poem called ‘The crystal rose’, which I wrote for my mom. I still haven’t discovered that poetic drive in my kids because I can’t imagine Milan writing me a poem since he’s always thinking about football [laughs]. But of course I always had my dad as a reference who spent the whole day with the type writer. He’s a writer til this day, he’s 85 years old, and he writes a column for a local newspaper in Barranquilla. I always admired his passion for writing and that inspired me to write as well.”