Well this is my first langst fanfic and I hope you enjoy!
The only warning here guess it would be Suicidal thoughts.
“Why are you like this?! Why can’t you do it right for once in your life?! Its always like this! You always get us in tight knots! Why can’t you be more like Keith?!”
The words came out and the room fell in silence. Lance just stood there staring at his shoes with wide eyes. He didn’t mean for it to go this way. He was doing what he had been told, cover Hunk and Pidge as they went into a cave to get the things needed to get the castle’s defenses back to their full force and not just the particle barrier. He had said it before though, that he couldn’t handle the galra on his own. What response Allura gave him? ‘You will have to because the castle can’t be defenseless, Shiro is in a pod and we need the best functional fighter pilot here with us’. That being Keith of course. So when the galra got too overwhelming he did the only thing he thought was logical.
He destroyed the entrance of the cave to assure that Pidge and Hunk were safe before flying away from there so no galra could harm the other two. Sure him and Blue got quite the beating but he held out enough to get help. If it had been Shiro it wouldn’t have bothered Lance, but of course, Shiro was in a pod after their last mission (which apparently was Lance’s fault as well) so no other than Keith had to go and save him. Lance didn’t mind the help IF Keith hadn’t found the need to make sure Lance knew he sucked as a paladin.
Lance knew he was not a tech genius like Pidge, he knew he wasn’t good at engineering or cooking like Hunk, he knew he didn’t have the slightest bit of leadership like Allura or the strenght of Shiro or the wisdom of Coran. He also knew that, even if he hated it, Keith was indeed a better pilot than him. Lance was already used to this actually. Everything went to the same thing and he had come to accept it.
Keith was better than him.
At the Garrison he was a cargo pilot, because the spaces for being a fighter pilot were full. He did got a chance to be a fighter pilot! After Keith left. He was there to simply replace the empty spot Keith left, not because he was good, but because of the need to fill that spot.
It was nothing new to hear how people wanted him to be more like someone else. In his childhood he was always seen under the shadow of his younger brother Rafael. Of course that did quite the wonders on him since not only was he compared to someone, that someone was three years younger than him.
When his mother said “why can’t you be more like Rafael?” It had stung him deeply. Just because he wanted to be a pilot and not a doctor didn’t mean he was going to fail. That wound only got bigger at the Garrison. He would always be compared to Keith, in everything. When Iverson and other superiors yelled the typical line of “why can’t you take example from Kogane here and actually do things right!” It made the wound bigger and bigger, he just pretended it didn’t harm him and that he didn’t really care for what they told him. It stung deep in him, reopening old wounds of always being pushed to this same loop of being under a shadow.
What always helped him through was the support Hunk gave him. They knew each other since diapers so they knew each other like the palm of their hands. Hunk knew how bad Lance’s pride had been hurt, how people had just stomped over him all his life. So when those words left Hunk’s mouth specifically his world just came crashing down.
He had thought that he did bring something to the team.
He thought that he was the sharpshooter, he thought that when the team thanked him for looking out after them that he brought that to the team. Hunk had been the one to tell him that he brought the happiness and cheerfulness the team needed to not fall into a death pit of emotions. So he thought that maybe he was indeed useful. That what everyone in his life told him about him being useless and a failure was a lie.
Now he knew that it must be the other way around for Hunk, out of everyone in the room, Hunk to be the one to tell him these words. He could careless if it had been Keith, or Pidge, even Shiro, but for Hunk to say those words that have tormented him for so long was the final straw for it all to just cumble at his feet.
Hunk stood there panting harshly the rage and annoyance clear in his eyes. He had just been patched up as he had been wounded because when Lace shoot the entrance him and Pidge were apparently on their way back and he had decided to take most of the damage than it being Pidge. They hadn’t talked to him in about an hour after they got into the cave so how was he supposed to know when they were going out when they had shut him down for that entire hour? Pidge was fine just with minor scratches. Shiro had walked out of the pod just to be greeted by Lance and Keith bickering before Hunk exploded so he was staring at Hunk with wide eyes and his mouth hanging open. Shiro has always been the only one that has told him he wasn’t useless, of course appart from Hunk, but now he really was the only one. It was no secret that Lance admired him so maybe that was why he hasn’t told Lance, maybe he didn’t want to hurt him. Lance didn’t need that pity, not when he had already been broken.
Lance looked up at Hunk him himself unable to tell what expression he was making, but apparently it was enough for Hunk to gasp and his eyes to widen in realization to what he had said. It was too late now. Lance now knew that if so many people pointed the same thing out it was because it was true.
“L-Lance..I-I…Lance I didn’t mean…” Hunk stuttered, his mouth hanging open as Lance lifted his hand to stop him from going any further. Everyone in the toom stood silent.
“It’s alright Hunk. Thank you for telling me and making me realize I have been lying to myself this whole time, I mean. How long has it been? Twenty something years? You couldn’t lie forever to make me happy.” He hated the wavering and cracking in his voice and was aware how everyone had heard it so he tried to muster his best fake smile “don’t worry about it, Everyone has always said it right? So guess it must be true” he said, pushing away Blue’s conscience as she tried to reach him.
“Lance no, its not true, I-I didn’t mean that” Hunk tried again, giving a step towards Lance who shook his head stepping back “Lance please, I’m so sorry”
“No buddy, really, don’t feel bad. I’m the one that’s sorry. You’re right after all, I can’t do anything right, I’m just a burden. I weight the team down. Even I don’t know what blue saw in me to have chosen me as her paladin. Maybe you guys could’ve defeated Zarkon years ago if I wasn’t the blue paladin. I’m just a miserable cargo pilot. In fact” he scoffed at the pathetic the stinging in he eyes, he didn’t knew if he was already crying or not but he was trying his hardest not to. What he did know was that he must be close to hyperventilating giving how ragged his own voice sounded and the painful crushing feeling in his chest. Was he having a panic attack? Was this what Shiro felt evey time he panicked? “I’m just a mistake. Mother had told me once. That I was just a mistake, she said it when I told her that I’m bisexual I mean, look at me! I’m all lanky, I’m dumb, I’m stupid, I’m annoying, I’m ugly, I’m a failure as a son, as a brother, I’m a failure as a pilot and apparently as a friend as well. I should have simply not been born.” He smiled the same smile trying to keep his lip from quivering, deciding on blocking off Blue as she kept trying to get in his mind. She didn’t deserve him, she was so kind, so caring, so loving that Lance simply didn’t deserve to be her paladin.
He couldn’t take it anymore, there were too many emotions, too many voices, too many touches, there was too much pain in him for him to analyze who was touching him and who was talking. He needed to get away. Of course he hated running from his problems so he always tried to face them but now, he needed to run. That is exactly what he did, he ripped all the hands that were touching him away from his body and ran, he ran as if his life depended on it, which in his book, it did depend on it. He ran into his room and slammed into the touch pad urging the door to close and locking it when it finally closed. He panted walking from the door scoffing as no one attempted to get him to open it. He didn’t even know why had he felt like anyone would run after him when they simply didn’t need him.
Pidge didn’t need him.
Coran didn’t need him.
Allura didn’t need him.
Keith definitely didn’t need him.
Shiro never needed him.
And now, Hunk, the only person he thought that needed him didn’t seem to need him.
Lance choked on a sob gripping at his shirt over were his heart is and whimpered letting his body fall on his bed facing the wall. He sobbed taking his jacket off and tugged his shirt over his head feeling constricted with them on. He sniffled and sobbed as tears cascaded now freely down his cheeks. He grabbed his jacket and hugged it to his chest.
When all of this loop of people comparing him and judging him started he would always go to his papa. His papa was a fighter pilot and he was his real hero, ever since he was young, he was the only person from his family he respected enough to idolize. His parents divorced when he was young and when his mother had remarried came Rafael and all the others. Lance was the off spring of a bad time for his mother so of course he was treated differently. When he didn’t feel good he would go to his papa. His papa would always take care of him no matter the hour or what he was doing, he would leave everything he was doing for Lance. That was until he died in a mission leaving this very jacket to Lance.
“Papa, it hurts so much” he whispered between sobs and gasps. He bit his lip harshly trying to not be loud. He didn’t need to guilt trip Hunk. Hunk had his right to tell what he thought and to be honest with him. He burried his face into the jacket sobbing into it, atleast like this they wouldn’t hear him. “I’m so tired papa, I miss you so much. It’s always like this. I simply do not belong here. I only belonged with you a-and ever since you died…” he hiccuped sneaking his hand to his chest and clawing at it over where his heart was, not caring if it bled or not just trying desperately to get rid of the painful clench in his heart. “This pain, it won’t go away. N-Now I’ve no one left, I made Hunk hate me, I lost my best friend too. I-I don’t know what to do now. I’m so tired of always enduring. I sometimes just wish that I-I…” he clasped his mouth shut when there was a knock on the door, his body going stiff and he didn’t answer.
“L-Lance? Look… I know I stepped over the line… heck I stepped miles on the other side of the line, please lets talk.” Came Hunk’s voice muffled by the door. Lance just bit his quivering lip trying to control his hiccups and sobs to prevent any sound from leaving him. He couldn’t face Hunk, not now. He was too vulnerable for this, in fact, he didn’t want to face or speak with anyone.“ He’s not answering”
“Let’s give him time, Hunk. You know he’s a fucking drama queen” came Pidge’s voice sending another wave of pain through his heart.
“Yeah, after a few days of his shit he’ll come out and we would go back to normal” added Keith before Shiro scolded them both with a harsh tone.
“Hunk, You being the one to say that about him may really have affected him, give him some time to calm down” Shiro said calmy and reassuringly as Hunk sighed deeply.
“Alright… I just… I mean… yeah you’re right…” Hunk said before he left. Lance took a shaky breath before a strangled cry left his throat after he made sure he didn’t hear anyone outside. The clench in his heart tightening painfully which caused even more sobs and cries to rock his body.
He caused Hunk pain. Lance knew when he cried. Hunk’s voice would go deeper than what it was and would have a rough tone. Lance could tell he was crying which only made everything worst. What kind of friend he was? Causing so much misfortune and pain to his friends, to the people he loved. He was not friend, he was no son, he was no brother. He was a monster.
He flipped unto his other side facing the desk he had in his room. It was pushed against the wall and on top of it, among his other stuff, was the bottle of the Altean version for pain killers. They were stronger than human meds so instead of two tablets he only had to take one and it would work just right. Allura had emphasized that they can’t take more than that giving that they would cause an overdose in their human bodies.
Maybe, just maybe, they could erase the mistake the world had made.
Éowyn, Lady of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, so beautiful, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still. For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.
Story Summary: (Humans!AU) After struggling with suicidal ideation and loneliness for years, a teen decides it’s time for it all to end… that is, until someone tries to save him.
A/N: this chapter is pretty short but I wanted to get something out to you guys since it’s been a bit since I’ve updated! I’m a goddamn sucker for makeup, you guys! also, this chapter is kinda heavy with moxiety in the end if you like that kind of stuff, so be excited I guess. :P
Adrien doesn’t make a sound—he doesn’t even avert his gaze—but the happiness crumbles from his face. Marinette doesn’t know whether she wants to laugh or cry at the absurdity of it: it is the exact same expression she’d seen on Chat Noir last. They’d thought they were lost to each other forever, when really—
Requested by @roses-and-starlight Characters: Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa Basic Summary: Kaz teaches Inej the basics of lockpicking after joining the Dregs (pre-SOC timeline). Word Count: 1,357 Oneshot/drabble requests: Open Sidenotes: I had to do a tiny bit of research on the mechanics of lockpicking, but it may not be entirely accurate. I apologize in advance. Otherwise, enjoy!
“This isn’t what I had in mind when you suggested this,” said Inej, her arms folded tightly across her chest against the cold.
A bitter rain had descended upon Ketterdam that day, a chill resonating within the thick atmosphere near the Geldcanal. It left Inej trembling in the loose scraps she’d received from the Dregs upon her inception, and the winds cut through the fabric like a brutal, frozen knife, landing on the skin underneath. Goose pimples pricked over the skin of her bare arms. At least the strong scent of salt from the harbors had been diluted.
Requested by anon: Would you maybe do a Derek Hale smut where him and the reader are best friends she’s human but gets bitten during a fight. And when she wakes up a werewolf, Derek confesses his feeling and they make love but kind of roughly. I’D LOVE IT PLEASE!!
A/N: Here it is! I really liked writing this, thank you for the request! This is just how I imagine werewolf sex to be like, I hope you enjoy it. :)
wake up, you are feeling absolutely nothing. And that’s weird because you know
that you should feel pain. You forgot the reason but you know that there is
one. You shouldn’t feel perfectly well, even comfortable and strangely
refreshed. Something is wrong. That’s what rushes through your head as you open
lying on your back and staring at a high, concrete ceiling. You immediately
realize that you have to be in Derek’s loft. Nobody else lives like that. You
push out a shaky breath, still highly confused with your head all mushy and
unable to put the pieces together. Then you turn around on the soft sofa and
your gaze falls upon Derek himself, sitting in a chair next to you with his
face buried in his hands. Your heart makes a sudden jump of affection that
irritates you even more.
you mumble weakly. Your voice is still hoarse.
up at once and that’s when you discover the deep shadows under his eyes. At the
same time a little smile spreads on his face as he realizes that you are awake.
thank God!”, he exclaims. A legit outburst of emotions when it comes to Derek.
“How do you feel?”
observes you closely while you sit up a bit, frowning. How do you feel?
know…it’s weird. I mean…I’m feeling really good”, you answer insecurely.
“Derek, what happened?”
shadow darkens his features and you can see how his jaw tenses a bit. It’s
almost like your perception is heightened. You can literally sense how uneasy
and glad he is at the same time.
you remember?”, he asks instead of giving you an answer.
went to that warehouse to catch that werewolf. I was supposed to stay out of
the fight but the plan went wrong”, you recall slowly. “He attacked us. I was
in the middle of it. I am pretty sure I should be really hurt.”
grimaces. Not a good sign. All of a sudden pure fear rises inside of you.
what happened?”, you ask him again, this time putting more pressure into your
words. He runs his fingers through his dark hair and sighs. He looks like he’s
launched at you, we were too slow. We couldn’t stop him”, he says, almost in a
whisper. You just stare at him. “At least not before…before he bit you.”
words need some time to sink in. They enter through your ears, make their way
to your brain and as you finally understand them, your heart stops for a
moment. He bit you. You didn’t die. You are feeling good. No. No, no, no. Panic
dripples through your veins while the realization hits you.
that means that…that I’m a…”
Derek confirms your worst fears. “You survived the transformation. The bite
mark…has already healed.”
softly pulls your damaged shirt from your shoulder to show you. He’s right. All
that’s left are some pink scars and even those are already fading. Suddenly
it’s really hard to breathe for you. You don’t want to be a werewolf. You don’t
want your whole life changed. You don’t want this, you never asked for this.
How can this happen?
to get out of here. That’s all you can think of. You jump up from the sofa, much
faster than you should be able to, and Derek’s expression changes from
concerned to alarmed.
do this”, you mumble with a shaky voice. “I can’t let this happen.”
logical thought has left your brain. You rush to the door, deeply in need for
some air and a possibility to undo this. Derek is frozen in his spot for a
moment, caught off guard. But before you can push open the heavy door to his
flat, he’s at your side and holds it shut. Although you’re a werewolf now, he
is much stronger. And he looks down at you with glowing blue eyes, intimidating
this!”, he demands loudly. “What the hell are you doing?”
is necessary to stop this from happening!”, you retort stubbornly. “I won’t
live like that, I can’t!”
flash of madness you throw yourself against him and try to push him away, which
is hopeless, of course. A little, angry growl escapes Derek’s throat while he
grabs your upper arms, firmly but without hurting you, and forces you to look
up at him. Your heart beats fast and you are feeling close to a panic attack as
your eyes lock. You are surprised how many emotions are written in them. Not
only anger but also fear, hurt and desperation.
say that”, he says sternly. “I have been sitting next to you for hours, unsure
if you’d make it or not! Hoping that you would so I wouldn’t have to lose you.
Regretting that I couldn’t save you. And now you are awake and alive and you’d rather
be dead? Do you have any idea what that would mean for the rest of us?! What it
would mean for me?! You may be a werewolf, your life may change but you are
still fucking with us and that should be worth all of the mess! The bite is not
a curse. It has been a life-saving gift for you and for me!”
staring at him utterly dumbfounded. You have known Derek for quite some time
now, he has grown to be your best friend but this outburst of passion is new,
even to you. You are not really able to process it.
would it mean for you?”, you whisper because that’s the only question that
seems really important to you.
know what it means. That you are the one person I cannot lose under any
heartbeat passes. And another one. You are staring at him and he’s staring down
at you while an unknown heat creeps through your body, accompanied by a wave of
emotions that’s absolutely confusing you. And without thinking you just act on
them, which you absolutely wouldn’t do typically. It’s like you can’t even
control it. Your instincts take over and you just flung yourself at Derek to
kiss him heavily.
takes him seconds to return the kiss. His arms catch you in a tight embrace
while your lips are moving in perfect unison. You are feeling things so
intensely you’ve never felt before. A rush of passion and hunger washes over
you and makes you burry your hands in his hair to pull his head even closer to
yours. Your heart is beating fast, a sigh leaves your lips and your desires
make it impossible to think properly.
Derek pulls away for a moment, you sink back onto your feet and take some time
to breathe. You blink at him in confusion, your emotions still a swirl of
impressions. Derek seems a little flustered too but reassuringly calm at the
happening to me?”, you ask him breathlessly.
gently pushes a strain of your hair behind your ear. “Your senses are
heightened. You are feeling everything much more intense.”
consider this for a moment. Then, to Derek’s surprise, a smug smile appears on
your lips. “You should’ve told me that ten minutes ago.”
this. This gives you hope that it’s not that bad at all to be a werewolf. You
want to enjoy this right now and as deeply as possible. Maybe you’re going
crazy but this is a crazy situation so why not?
you pull him into a kiss again, only more roughly this time. You can feel the
goosebumps on his neck, which motivates you to continue. You press yourself
against his chest and run your tongue over his lower lip teasingly. Almost
immediately, his grip on your waist becomes stronger and he opens his mouth,
letting your tongues intertwine into a dance that seems so well studied
although it’s one hundred percent new and spontaneous.
of a sudden you don’t only feel your own sensations anymore but also hear
Derek’s fastened pulse and smell the lust his body radiates. You perceive how
his focus lies solely on you, realize that he’s just as hungry as yourself.
Before you know it, you’re tugging at his lower lip with your teeth and he
growls. It’s not a hostile growl, though, but a pleased one. One that makes you
shiver. His fingers burry into your skin and they probably would’ve left marks
there if you’d still be human but in your werewolf state, you actually like it.
Then he lifts you off your feet determinedly and carries you to the table without
breaking the heavy kissing.
throws the objects to the ground with one swift movement before he sits you
down onto the table top. You hear
something shatter on the floor but you couldn’t care less. All you care about
is Derek and the heat his body radiates accompanied by a kind of longing that
you both share. You wrap your legs around his butt and he places his hands on
your waist before he kisses you again. He starts at your lips, then his own
slowly wander from there over your jawline to your neck. You lean back, your
hands grabbing the edge of the table while he starts to strongly suck on your
skin. You moan softly and his grip tightens as an answer.
he pulls away slightly and gets a hold on your shirt. Without much effort he
rips it from your body and tosses it away, his eyes glimmering dangerously. You
don’t mind, the shirt was destroyed anyways and God, how much you like him
taking control like that. You pull him back to you on his belt and he kisses
your upper breasts while you tug on his shirt. He helps you remove it and for a
second, you have full view on his heaving chest and those impressive abs. A
smug smile appears on your lips.
satisfy you?”, Derek asks you teasingly, leaning forward and his breath
brushing your neck. You kiss his jawline and your lips slowly wander to his
ears before you whisper: “Well, partly. But not fully.”
chemo signals are in mode now, telling you everything you need to know. He
wants you badly, an emotion that you feel the exact same way. You press
yourself flat against his chest and kiss his neck while his fingers run over
your back and find the strap of your bra. Derek opens it quickly and pulls the
straps over your shoulders. Then his gaze wanders over your body, an adoring
expression flashing in his eyes. By now you can feel his erection through his
much hesitating, he leans down and starts to work on your breasts. He doesn’t
start softly, oh no, he goes into full action right ahead. His teeth graze your
nipples, then his tongue circles them before he sucks on them. You grip his
back, pushing out a heavy moan. Your fingernails slowly rip over his back,
which he seems to like. The sucking becomes even stronger, faster until you get
the feeling that you’ll go mad any second.
before you do, though, Derek suddenly stops and looks up at you. You are both
breathing quickly and his eyes are afire, burning right through you. His hands
are still resting on your waist, your legs are still wrapped around his butt,
so it’s easy as cake for him to pick you up once again and carry you through
the flat. This time he stops at the large sofa that has been your sick bed just
minutes ago and turns into something wholly different now. You land on the soft
fabric, but before he can place himself over you, you sit up and make him lie
down beneath you instead. You grin down at him and he grins right back. This
simple sign of smugness makes you heat up even more.
down and suck on his neck again, marking him as yours. Maybe you are somewhat
animal after all. Afterwards, you trace a line from there to the ream of his
jeans, your teeth scraping over his skin. He sighs deeply, his fingers resting
in your messy hair, tugging on them to give you direction. You chuckle lightly
because he’s so totally at your mercy.
his jeans quickly, pull them down and he kicks them off his feet. You repeat
this with his boxers, revealing him in all his pure nakedness. Your grin
becomes a little wider as you position yourself next to him and kiss him on his
lips while your right hand closes around his penis. You pull it up and down
rhythmically, getting Derek to exhale a loud moan. In the meantime you are
growing quite wet yourself, mainly because you can practically feel the ecstasy
filling his body with every thrust you make. Anticipation builds up inside of
you, coming to a peek as he growls: “Fuck, Y/N.”
have sensed it. Faster than you can react he has thrown you on your back and
pulled down your own trousers and panties. You exhale sharply, letting your
tongues dance in a wild kiss for the last time before he positions himself over
you and enters you roughly.
out a little yell as he fills you, scraping his back once again while he
doesn’t give you a chance to recover. He just thrusts himself in and out of you
in a wild, fast rhythm that you probably couldn’t have taken as a human but
that is just perfect as a not so fragile werewolf. Your pleasure, lust and
satisfaction mixes with his and brings you closer to your orgasm with every
second. You yell out his name, making him faster every time you do so. “Oh
fuck. Oh yes!”, you mumble until you finally reach your peek and the words turn
into an actual ecstatic scream that sounds through the loft accompanied by a
deep growl from Derek.
all his weight on you for a second as he catches his breath. Then he falls onto
the sofa right next to you and you are both staring at the ceiling as a soft
layer of sweat covers your bodies. You can’t cope with what just happened. How
it happened. How easy it was.
the hell was that?”, you ask Derek as you finally regain your voice.
onto his elbow and smiles at you wickedly. “Werewolf sex.”
you definitely felt that. You turn around to fully face him and he cups your
face, making your skin burn where his fingers touch it, and leans in to kiss
you. Softly, this time. As he pulls away, you smile at him.
repeat this on a regular basis, I think I could live with being a werewolf”,
you admit, making him laugh. The sound gives you goosebumps. Hearing Derek Hale
laugh…what an event.
should be no problem”, he promises you before he pulls a blanket over the both
of you and lets you snuggle up to him. The bite marks have disappeared.
So I like to see what happens when a black light is directed at dolls–different kinds of plastic can react very differently, and hard plastics are often way more reactive than soft plastics–except for hair, where, usually, the blonder it is, the more likely to glow it is. And, as seen here, sometimes paint is extremely UV reactive, especially pinks.
The thing about the picture above, though…the freckles had been removed with acetone a while ago. Really. There’s nothing visible under normal light. Same with the glowing outlines around her blue eye shadow and brows: nothing visible in normal light–and the blue brows and eye shadow paint itself isn’t reacting to the UV, either. So, I guess there’s some pigment migrating out of the paint and leaving UV-reactive stains?
(So, anyway, if you happen to get hold of an “invisible ink” illuminating LED, it can be interesting to shine it on dolls. Well, I think it’s interesting. Maybe I’ll set up a tripod sometime and try taking better pictures…)
Apart from all the consequences for the reylo theory, my fear for Rey's character is she's Rey Sky/walker is that people would not see her like Rey but just like "Luke's daughter". And it would be a loss for her development. I mean : she had to let his hopes about the return of his family to go forward in TFA. It would be a pity if it was just for nothing... (I don't know if it's really clear... sorry)
(it’s totally clear) I would agree with you. I think my biggest issue with the insistence of this theory is that
(1) It makes Kylo boring and unnecessary, thus it doesn’t make sense. It would only be interesting if they’d grown up together - like the old EU had siblings. It’s just such a weak dynamic: COUSIN vs COUSIN. lol, like, seriously?? If they’d grown up together MAAAYBE I’d get it. But without that dynamic it’s just ::yawn:: in terms of Kylo.
It resolves the question: “What’s going to happen to the Skywalkers?” while being only 1/3-2/3 the way through the story! That’s TERRIBLE writing!
(2) It takes away from Rey’s arc at this point - absolutely. I think if it had been revealed in the first movie, it could have been interesting. But since it’s not, I don’t see it being a productive part of her story arc. At this point, it would take away the enigma factor - the mystery of Rey. It wouldn’t allow real developemtn either - she’d be stuck under the same shadow as Kylo, and thus the dynamic gets stale between them - and not to mention overshadowed by Kylo at that point.
I really do think we’re looking at Reylo in the capacity of a partnership at the least - and in my opinion, it’s likely going to end in romance. The romance, though, will not happen until Ep. 9, and perhaps not overtly until the end of the story. We will likely see a mutual pining - since Rian mentioned nothing being “unrequited.”
Mostly what I want to see is GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, though. And I think Rey Skywalker would be the OPPOSITE of that. It’s a very limiting scope at this point for Rey, because it confines her story to being DEFINED by her relationship with Luke and Kylo - and not the other way around. If she is independent of the Skywalkers, she is free to develop and learn on her own terms - forcing the two Skywalkers to follow in her path. If she IS a Skywalker, she is sort of dictated by their paths… they are the paths she has to follow - evil, dark side Kylo or good, heroic Luke.
However, if she is not a Skywalker, the shadow of that legacy is lifted, and instead she makes her own legacy, with her own rules.
I think it is SNOKE who is going to have some valuable information about Rey. I think this will be the temptation Rey faces in Ep. 9.
I think in TLJ, her big challenge will be coming face to face with Kylo - but in a way that she will realize she has to forgive him and have compassion. Which - considering all the NONSENSE BULLSHIT he pulled in TFA - is going to be super hard. He slashed open her only friend and was a general dickhead.
But anyway, yeah. Never was a Rey Skywalker fan ever since I walked out that theater. I went in thinking she’d be a Skywalker - left knowing that she wasn’t. Maz says it plain as day, and I really don’t get how that isn’t obvious.
When Daisy says she thought all that would be “obvious” I am almost CERTAIN she means in reference to that scene.
EDIT: also the shareholders’ meeting attendees - who saw an exclusive preview of the full-length trailer - leaked the first line Luke says to Rey,
Your encounter with Jason had made things worse. You didn’t know what to think anymore and your mood had deteriorated faster than anyone could’ve imagined. Hanna constantly apologised for setting up the date, but you told her it was ok. It wasn’t her fault. They tried to help you again, but it was like you were stuck in one continuous loop.
You would spend days upset. Then angry. Then you would calm down and go out. You would then see him and the whole cycle would start again.
It was so bad spencer had decided to get involved, as Jason was her half-brother. You begged her not to. You knew she could unintentionally make things worse, but she did it anyway as a last resort.
You were in the living room one day, curled up on the sofa. You had settled down with a blanket and cup of tea and started to watch the TV. Then there was a knock on the door. You went to answer it, dragging the blanket along with you. You opened it, your eyes going wide as you did the first thing that came into your head and slammed the door.
There was another knock and you ignored it, but didn’t have the courage to walk away. Instead you slid down the door until you were sat on the floor. You were sat with your back against it and he did the same. He could see your shadow under the door, so he knew you were still there.
“Y/n. I need to explain. No excuses, you need the truth.” Jason said through the door. For the first time in weeks you agreed with him. He took your silence and lack of movement as a good thing and continued.
“That night was tough. I know that’s no excuse…but I need to give you the whole story. I found out Alison was alive.”
“What?!!?” you yelled. Why didn’t the girls tell you, your missing/ dead friends was actually alive?
“I take it they didn’t tell you, in order to save things from getting worse.” He sighed, yet he was relieved to hear your voice.
“I didn’t know what to think, as awful as it sounds, I was unsure whether I was happy or… sad…disappointed. I don’t know.” He took a deep breath. “Then Cece came over and knocked on the door.” You cringed at the sound of her name from his mouth. “She brought a pizza. I think she knew, that I knew about Alison. She walked in and put it on the table. I wanted answers and I thought she could give me them. She told me something about Alison being kidnapped. I don’t know if I believe her though. We ate. Then I said goodbye and she left.”
You shifted in the spot you were sat in, pulling the blanket over you to make it more comfy and tilting your head so you could hear him better.
“Then I went out into the garden. I needed some fresh air. Some space to think. Then Cece came back. She must’ve knocked on the door but I didn’t hear her, so she walked around to where I was. She sat down next to me and we started to talk about Alison again. Specifically about that summer. She said she was going to go and get some tissues and then headed inside the house. When she came back out her manner had changed. She was more emotional but I think it was fake, I guess she had seen you in the house and decided to do what she normally does. She wanted to create drama and ruin both our happiness. She came and sat by me, very close. She wrapped my arm around her and I admit I didn’t stop her. I saw no harm in it. Then I heard a sob and she started tracing patterns on my thigh. I tried to stand up and go to you, but she pulled me down.”
You stood up. He heard you move, thinking you had left, so he thumped the back of his head against the door in annoyance at himself. You placed your hand on the door handle, contemplating whether or not to open it. You chose to open it. What you weren’t expecting was for him to be leaning against the door. He fell into your legs when you opened it, knocking you over.
You grounded, reaching up to where you bumped your head.
“I’m so sorry.” You both said at the same time. He was the first up, reaching down to pull you up as well. He had his hands on your arms, only a few inches between you. He noticed your discomfort at being so close so took a step back, letting you go.
“What happened after I left?” you asked, scanning his face for any signs of a lie.
“I turned to her and told her to get off me. She smiled and said that you deserved it. She wasn’t very happy with you. Then she left.”
“Yes nothing happened.” You nodded your head, seeing he wasn’t lying.
“What about the other night when you were at the restaurant together?”
“I called her to meet up. I wanted to talk about why she did it. I wanted to make sure she would never do it again.” You nodded your head.
“I was on a date.” You admitted, wanting to tell him the truth as well.
“I know, Hanna told me. If I had known you were there that night, I wouldn’t have gone.”
“It wasn’t like you planned it, its ok.” You gave him a small smile.
“I was such an idiot outside the restaurant. I didn’t know what to say… I love you. Not her. I don’t know if I ever loved her. She was cruel; she loved to play game” he paused, as if remembering the past. “I suppose I wasn’t in a great frame of mind that summer.”
“I want us to fix this.” You said. You could see the hope in his eyes, yet you were still slightly apprehensive.
“I do too. I know it will take time. I want to make it up to you. I will make it up to you.”
A Lockwood fanfiction, in which all of Lockwood’s spare time seems to be solely devoted to embarrassing Luce out of house and home.
WARNING: Ugh. It’s fluff.
Rating: T. As in you’re probably going to wish you were terminaly ill after reading this fluffy garbage. Find more of it on FanFiction, if you are so inclined.
It wasn’t often that Lockwood and Co found ourselves relaxing at home in the evening, particularly on a long winter’s night when all manner of spectres prowled the streets well into foggy morning. I sat, slumped in the armchair of the receiving room, reading the same cheap detective novel I’d read twice already. Lockwood dozed quietly on the chair opposite, his dark flop of hair concealing his eyes, long legs crossed on the ottoman before him. He wore a warm-colored jumper—slightly more casual than his usual getup—and grey woolen socks on his feet. I suppressed a stupid smile; I’d given him the socks the day before, on Christmas. Catching myself mid-stare, I stuck my nose firmly in my book again. George had been giving me knowing looks lately, and I didn’t want to give him any more ammunition than he already had. As I thought of this, faint heat prickled slightly in my cheeks.
Thankfully, George paid me no attention tonight; he had pancaked his ample bottom next to the coffee table between us, where all his attentions were devoted to assembling a bothersome Rotwell ghost-detection do-dad. It was made of a light, coated silver, and its many parts tickled slightly, like tiny bells, whenever they moved. His back faced me. At the table’s corner, the skull in the jar lurked unseen behind a fog of swirling green. It had been unusually quiet these past two hours, for which I was grateful. It was about time the damned thing started reading the atmosphere. Tonight was for relaxation, lukewarm tea, and amicable silence. I adjusted the quilt around my shoulders, sinking deeper into the armchair. The room was warm. A faint, comforting smell of brewed black tea lingered on the air. The tink, tink, tinkling of George’s contraption—a minute, peripheral noise.
Despite myself, I found my gaze wandering towards the dozing Lockwood again, as it had numerous times that evening. I had detected something different about him, but until now I couldn’t place what it was. Now I saw it with clarity.
His face had changed this past year. Though still slim, his jaw was squarer and more pronounced. At the same time, the shadows under his cheekbones had sharpened, masculinizing his once boyish features. I followed them down to his chin, my cheeks flushing a bit, to his slightly parted lips…
He sees you, you know.
I nearly jumped out of my chair, but weeks of avoiding accusatory stares from George saved me from having to explain myself. At the last second, I rolled over to make it seem as if I had merely decided to change into a more comfortable sitting position. George scratched his knee, unperturbed, his back still facing me. I felt my face redden. Lockwood…had seen me? My eyes locked with the skull in the jar’s, barely visible behind a haze of green ghost fog. My expression said it all. It grinned evilly up at me.
It’s true, he’s caught you watching him through that flop of fringe. Probably feeling rather awkward by now, I would imagine. You haven’t been very sly… The effect was immediate. I felt the blood drain from my face. My heart leaped to my throat. Oh, no. He can’t have seen. I’d been practically ogling him on-and-off for the past hour- Lockwood can’t have noticed. He was sleeping.
How embarrassing. Oh, you better conceal your mortification a bit better—he’ll begin to clue in. Oh, looks like he already has.
I couldn’t help it—I stole another glance. Was Lockwood…seated a tad straighter than he was a moment ago? I looked hurriedly away, and a wave of shame flooded through me again, setting my face on fire. I glued my eyes to my book. The skull was lying. It was just trying to upset me. Lockwood was definitely asleep.
Quite suddenly, Lockwood moved. He stood up. “I think I’ll head to bed,” he said, giving a quick stretch and not looking in my direction. George grunted something incomprehensible.
What did I tell you.
It was too much of a coincidence. I couldn’t speak; my eyes could only look intently at the pages in front of me, which might as well have been blank for all the reading I was doing. Lockwood strode passed me, out of sight. The slight change of air pressure in the room told me he had opened the door behind me. He was gone.
I felt myself go a bit numb. The metal ghost detection do-dad gave tiny chimes from the coffee table. I heard George scratch something on a piece of paper. The tinkling sound of his fiddling intensified, and he cursed under his breath. I waited. Then a tidal wave of shame and dread coursed through me, and my body weighed down in the armchair like bags of salt. The reality might as well have slapped me in the face: Lockwood had caught me staring at him and was so uncomfortable he had felt the need to leave the room. I put my hand up to my temple, concealing my burning face.
Suddenly, the pressure in the room changed again. Without sound or other forewarning, there was a warm, tickling breath in my ear and slim fingers smoothing along my jaw: “So sorry, Luce,” breathed Lockwood, his voice hardly audible even to myself, “Nearly forgot-” Just as suddenly as he had entered the study, his lips pressed softly and deliberately against my cheek. Time stopped. He smelled faintly of cologne. His eyelashes brushed gently under the delicate skin of my eye. I heard my breath hitch in my throat and realized my eyes had closed. He lingered for a second longer, and parted. I felt his warm breath on my cheek again, “Night, Lucy.” And then the slim fingers were absent from my face, and the pressure in the room changed for the final time that evening.
Oblivious, George continued to sit with his back facing me and the door, the tinkling of his Rotwell contraption seemingly never ceasing. In the jar, the skull’s jaw had dropped to the bottom of the glass. Judging from its reaction, what had just happened…was real. Not for the first time that evening, my face and neck were set aflame—but this time, from a different kind of embarrassment.
“Hey,” George said, speaking for the first time in hours, “Mind making another cuppa—”
“Let it alone, George!” I snapped.
George turned around then, his expression utterly confused. “What’s your problem?”
Though it seemed impossible, I felt my face grow hotter. “Nothing. Sorry. I just,” I shot up from my chair, my detective novel tumbling from my lap. I ignored it. “I-I’m going to bed.” And just like that, I left him there, hunched over the coffee table, mouth hanging open. So much for not giving George any more ammunition, I thought. As I hurried my way up the dark stairwell and into my attic bedroom, I wondered if Lockwood had felt the burning heat in my face against his lips, and then I slammed my bedroom door against such embarrassing thoughts.
So, since most of the current airing shows will be airing for a few more weeks yet, I thought I’d start doing some analyses of some opening and ending themes from this season that have intrigued me! Beginning with the lovely ending for Bungou Stray Dogs, my personal favourite :)
There won’t really be any spoilers of note here other then theories and events that have happened up to the current point in the anime (as I haven’t read the manga and have only watched up to episode 6 as of this moment)
This is going to be a long post everyone, so buckle in!
First off, the lovely song by Luck Life, called Namae wo Yobu yo, sounds so calming and almost nostalgic, it really gives you good feeling at the end of each episode. It really resonates with me, personally, and I know many others do really like it as well.
The ED opens to Atsushi Nakajima, the main character, holding a book loosely, with the pages blowing in the wind. It then pans to show that he is looking at the book with a kind of melancholic expression as the pages start to blow away behind him, yet he continues to look at the book.
In the next, wider shot, both Dazai and Akutagawa fade in, looking at their own books as well. What’s interesting here is that Atsushi’s book is the only one that has it’s pages blowing away, possibly signifying the drastic change that has taken place in his life (joining the detective agency).
The fact that they are all engrossed in their own books probably alludes to them all having specific goals they need to carry out, each different from the next. Yet, they are still connected, here by the literal bridge that is shown in the background. Also of note, the pages from Atsushi’s book are blowing over Dazai and Akutagawa, maybe showing his influence over them.
In the next shot, we have Atsushi looking at Dazai (most likely Dazai anyway do to the clothes) with a concerned expression as they both lie on what is probably the same bridge from the last shot. He moves his little finger closer to Dazai’s hand, signifying his want to understand and know more about him. (Also making the shippers like myself pretty happy :P)
Following this shot, we see Atsushi looking out of a broken window at the moon (which is unnaturally large).
Again, he has a slightly sad expression on his face. This is probably referencing his ability to turn into a tiger by moonlight and all of the bad memories that come with this ability (his being shunned and all).
Next we have Akutagawa walking away from an ominous red moon (probably referencing the fact that idk he’s a killer and a member of the Port Mafia, the villain group!)
The city is framed behind him, most likely due to the Port Mafia’s influence over the city. There is also quite ominous smoke swirling around Akutagawa.
Following this, we have a quick flurry of still images, a couple of which I’ll look at in more detail. A couple of them are just some elephant statue and a penguin statue (I couldn’t think of significance for these as of right now). The other two however, have more importance.
This first one shows Dazai looking up with striking red blood coming out of his mouth (it stands out against the down-toned colours). Yet despite this, he appears to have an almost content look on his face, probably due to his suicidal tendencies in the show. This could also be foreshadowing (though I sincerely hope not :O)
The other still is Atsushi with a look of determination on his face (and his shirt is open for some reason).
This one is less significant then the last but still worth noting here.
The next shot shows Atsushi’s human shadow morphing into that of a tiger’s, directly referencing his ability again. (This one wasn’t that significant but I’ll still mention it) Also the pages continue to fly across the screen, in the same direction that Atsushi’s shadow moves.
Next, we see a book lying on the ground, it’s pages flipping in the wind again.
It finally lands on a page which fades to white. This has a possible meaning of “What has been written can change or be erased.” But I’m not so sure about it (please give me suggestions!)
Next we get another couple cool quick stills of the three featured characters.
This one shows Akutagawa framed in a red, blood like mist, facing away from the camera. Atsushi and Dazai are in the white side, obviously as the “good guys.” Atsushi faces Akutagawa front-on, signifying his opposition to him. While Dazai still looks at him but faces the opposite way, probably due to the fact that he used to be in the Port Mafia, and that these two probably have history together.
This shot is pretty interesting as well. It shows Atsushi, Dazai, and Akutagawa again, this time closer together. Atsushi and Dazai look directly at the camera with looks of determination (possibly anger and contempt) and Akutagawa looks away yet again. The interesting thing about the colours is that usually blue refers to the hero and red to the villain, such as with Atsushi and Akutagawa here. But Dazai is shown in black and white (only his iris has colour) as a sort of neutral to the conflict. (Maybe also due to his magical ability to neutralize other abilities).
In the next shot, we have Atsushi and Dazai again. Atsushi stands against a wall, with his eyes closed and little emotion on his face. The wind also dies down for a moment.
Dazai then pats his head, Atsushi smiles and the wind picks up again (the pages continue flying too). Probably symbolizing Atsushi’s need for support from Dazai, to keep moving forward.(Again this is so adorable omg)
After this, there is a longer shot of Akutagawa standing, back to the camera again, and we see his shadow go from black, to blue, lastly to white.
This is very striking to me, considering all the other colour symbolism in the ending. We know that blue seems to signify good and white as a neutral, so it’s very strange how his shadow changes to both these colours. The shot is still very red saturated though despite this. It seems like he is conflicted within… Maybe he isn’t what he seems? :O
Next we see Akutagawa again, looking very melancholic (strange for his outward villainous appearance) and (most likely) Dazai reaches out for him, his hand fading away before he can be touched by it however. This definitely tells me of their past together (something happened for sure).
Next we see Atsushi falling into water (the city is also beneath the water as well) and slowly sinking down into it.
Even though he is sinking, he does not appear distressed or scared, more so accepting than anything else.
Then, Dazai, pushes him deeper into the water, the colours changing from blue to white again. What is interesting here is that Dazai is actually able to touch Atsushi (where he couldn’t reach Akutagawa). And again, though he is getting pushed into water, Atsushi almost looks content. Hopefully this doesn’t mean Dazai will betray the Detective Agency, though it is possible…
Next we see Akutagawa sinking as well (framed in red yet again) though he is not being pushed by anyone.
He shuts his eyes (accepting his fate) and cries a tear of blood (maybe regret for his murderous actions). The tear floats up and breaks the surface, becoming a firework.
The second last long shot of the ED features Akutagawa again. He is sitting under the same bridge from the beginning, obscured by shadow.
The shot is framed in red yet again, and the wind is blowing his coat. He looks directly in the camera here as well.
Finally we see Atsushi again, standing directly in the sunlight, his face hidden by the shadow.
He is framed by the blue-tinged shadow of a tree, which almost seems to trap him and his shadow.
The ED then ends with a few quick shots in succession. The first of Akutagawa yet again, looking at the camera, with a red background. (The papers are flying here as well)
He appears slightly sad here as well.
Then we have Atsushi holding the same (now closed) book from the beginning of the ED and we can see it says “Stray Dogs” on the cover, alluding to the anime’s title:
The pages are also all back in the book yet again, and it remains closed, signifying the end to the events of the story. (and just the end of the episode)
The last couple shots just include this cute (but sort of unfitting) fun shot of Atsushi, part tiger:
and then this one to finish it off:
A more serious rendition of Atsushi in beast form with the title.
In conclusion, This ending theme is chocked full of symbolism for the anime and is just a pleasure to look at. This anime has been pretty solid thus far (I love that the characters are based on writers!) and I hope it continues to be, as it rides out the second half of the season.
Phew, that was longer then expected :P but it was fun! Hope you enjoy!
Hi!! Lighting is my weakness and I cant seem to find the easiest way to do it. I saw your "Sweet Tooth" illustration and I just wanna ask how did you make or look like there was a lighting since it was divided into the purple and yellow shade? Hope you could help me! :D Im into vector illustrations :> thanks!!
sure! The shading is just purple fill on multiply at 67%. I put the different parts of the shadow in different layers in a single folder because I might’ve needed to move them after getting feedback. (the layers under were my initial arrangement lmao)
the shaded part of the image is colored the same as the bottom half under the shadow layer.
After that & the rest of the drawing and editing I put on some layer effects:
it changes things very subtlety, but I like to do it as a final check
when you chose the shadows and lighting consider how it changes the composition, in my case, this light comes from behind the viewer, and will create a very strong horizontal line. (to contrast and balance the vertical motion of the moving fridge)
I placed the person in the dead space in order to balance the composition, but keep this in mind when you choose the shadows and light source! When it comes to vectors and shape based illustration, you want to be conscious of how the shapes of the shadows and edges effect the viewer’s path around the piece.
and if that wasn’t enough I recommend looking at photography! I had trouble with lighting for awhile and after looking at photos and taking some myself, I learned how shadows can influence the composition & how to utilize them.
Summary: Haven changed a lot of things. The Herald became the Inquisitor, but that isn’t why Commander Cullen looks at her differently now. When Ora’s clan asks for help against bandits, he goes to their aid personally, and she begins to see him much differently, too. Each Clan Lavellan war table mission serves as a milestone in their relationship. Slow build. Long chapters.
Of all the things one might expect the Fade to spit out after a catastrophic explosion, the rather meek Dalish girl was not one of them. Her inherently large eyes widened in fear and confusion as a severe, dark-haired woman spat out accusations and grew increasingly aggravated in her interrogation. The irons dug into her already raw wrists as the Seeker brought up the elf’s bound hands, an eerie, unnatural, crackling green coursing across her left palm. It made her muscles twitch. The hooded woman’s eventual interference did little to soothe her, tears freely flowing. She couldn’t remember anything. What if she’d actually done something wrong? What if it really was her fault, somehow?
Her pulse quickened the longer she gazed at the Breach mangling the sky overhead. Then came the pain. The dull burn suddenly burst into sharp, searing shocks, running along every inch of her skin from its epicenter. The sensation contained the ghost of familiarity. She was well acquainted with magic, its hum and its tingles. This, though… it somehow felt… spiteful. Her brow furrowed at the thought. Even her mind knew it sounded absurd. Nevertheless, she could not find a better word to describe it.
“I’ll do what I can,” she breathed, her hazel eyes continuing to paint her panic clearly on her face. “Whatever it takes.”
Mythal protect her.
Dawn crept languidly in the Frostbacks, the jagged horizon providing an extra hurdle for the light to clear. Slender fingers, stiffened by the winter cold, plucked the youngest buds from an elfroot stalk with painstaking gentleness. She gathered them in a small linen pouch, each blossom falling and settling as softly as the snow around her. She stood and moved on to the next. Only silence followed her, and the trees offered great company.
By the time she made it back to Haven’s gates, the modest town tucked away in the mountains began to wake. Passing the smithy, she nodded to Harritt as he fired the forge. She could hear Dennet and his stable hands scooping hay. Across the way, beyond their camp, the soldiers engaged in their warm-ups and exercises. The guards had already switched shifts, so she received a puzzled greeting rather than an understanding ‘welcome back’ from those stationed at the doors.
Within, early-risen passersby bombarded her with salutations. An impressive feat, given her lodgings sat mere meters from the gates in which she entered.
“Good morning, Herald!”
“Good day to you, Herald of Andraste.”
“Maker watch over you, Herald.”
Ora’ana did her best to return the gestures as warmly as she’d received them, not necessarily succeeding. Did anyone even know her name? Perhaps they thought it inappropriate to use if they did. She would likely never know the answer. Besides, she needed to be ‘the Herald’ first and foremost – at least, according to her advisors. For the sake of the people.
But which people? Only a handful of elves resided in Haven, and most of them worked as servants. The entire reason for her attendance at the Conclave was on behalf of her clan. The Keeper believed that the outcome of negotiations would affect all elves, not just the Dalish, and so sent her to observe. And instead of returning to them, she remained as a bewildering, scandalous shemlen icon. Somehow she had a difficult time imagining this could have been what the Keeper meant.
I know there is some superb fanfiction flying
around today, but I’ll leave this here just in case, you know…If you missed it,
this fanfic was born from a great prompt, and you can find Part One here.
As always, much love to everyone who supported
the beginning of this new adventure. See you on the other side! <3
My Brother’s Lass (Part Two) - Homecoming
I arrived at Lallybroch in the middle of the
afternoon, after a long journey jostling in the saddle. I was expecting the
usual frenzy that surrounded the house in the harvest season, but instead was
received by the lonely barks and howls of our dog, the wee creature
demonstrating its excitement to see me after a long separation. There wasn’t a
living soul within sight and after seeing to my horse in the stables, I made my
way to the kitchen, where the heart of our house always pulsed with warmth.
That is the first image I have of her.
She had her back turned to me, so what I
noticed first was her curly brown hair carelessly pinned up and the soft white
skin of the back of her neck. She was receiving the stream of light from the
window and her hair glowed in limitless shades of brown, more than I could ever
imagined existed. She was bent over the big table, plucking leafs from a
basket. I wondered if she was a new maid and cleared my throat to gather her
When she turned to search for the source of the
sudden disturbance I think I forgot my own name for an instant. I had no sense
of self; I was propelled out of the boundaries of my own existence and cast to
a whirl where those amber eyes were the centre, the only immediate thing. I
might have gasped. It was an eternity where I struggled to absorb every detail
of that face and body – the shape of her lips, the way a curl fell over her
delicate forehead, the hands with long fingers – and yet I knew it couldn’t
have lasted more than a second.
“Who the hell are you?” She demanded, her hand searching for the handle of a pan
placed near her elbow.
I tried to compose myself – did I still know
how to talk? It seemed like such an effort, an expense of vital energy I could
not endure when all my being was focused in being attracted to her.
“I was about to ask ye the same question,
lass.” I said, pleasantly surprised that my voice sounded so firm and composed.
“Ye are in my house, ye see.”
“Your house?” She frowned.
“Aye. I’m Jamie Fraser.” I made an attempt on a
reassuring smile. “Are ye about to throw that pan over my head, then?”
“Oh.” She seemed to realize she was still
holding it like a weapon. “Oh! Jamie!” The woman seemed to remember something
and her lips parted in a cheerful smile. “I should have known. You have quite
the resemblance with Willie.”
Something inside me growled, bothered beyond
reason. I didn’t want her to know me through my brother – I wanted her to see me, to be the only man she would
remember. The only name that sweet voice would say, moan and sob. I repressed
the sudden – and very vivid – images my fertile imagination, made even more fertile
after a year watching all kinds of debauchery in Paris, had managed to conjure,
feeling slightly ashamed and utterly alarmed.
“So people tell me.” I replied with a grimace.
“Where is everyone?”
“Well Jenny and Mister Fraser went to visit some
tenants - something about a dispute with a goat and a coat. Mrs. Crook was
taken ill, I’m afraid, nothing too serious but she needs her rest. Willie is
out seeing to the mill – it stopped working again. They weren’t expecting you
until later this week, I believe.”
“I see.” I replied, watching as she washed her
hands in the basin and cleaned them on her apron. It was an old and shabby
thing – used to be white but had turned almost grey with the use and some
stains were permanent, no matter the vigour placed in the washing. I had a
sudden echo, a distant memory of warm and loving hands cradling me, a sweet broad
smile, a reassuring perfume of fresh bannocks and wild flowers. It had belonged
to my mother; her favourite apron, put aside after her death because it was too
big to fit Jenny. And now this strange woman, who had ignited an unseeable fire
within me, was wearing it – and it seemed only right.
“I was eager to come home and found a ship
which left Le Havre sooner. The
weather was pleasant for sailing and we made a good time crossing. Just enough
for me to actually survive it.”
“Prone to seasickness, are you?” She gave me a
knowing look and smiled, amused. “Better now?”
“Much.” I replied, a foolish grin stubbornly
blossoming on my lips. “I’m sorry I frightened ye before, lass. What’s yer
“Claire Beauchamp.” She answered. “But Claire
is just fine.”
“Claire.” I repeated, savouring her name in my
tongue like a rare delicacy. “What are ye doing?”
“Oh, just making some useful syrups. I have a
hand with herbs and there’s an epidemic of…hmm…loosened bowels…going around
this area. Careful!” She warned me; but it was too late. While she talked I had
touched a pot to inspect its contents and my left hand was now throbbing with
pain from a burn on the palm’s sensitive skin.
“Let me see it.” Claire demanded and she did it
with such calm authority that I automatically offered her my pulsing hand.
Her fingers delicately touched mine – and it
was like being burned by a second time, but this time from a fire that I canna see,
that seared me much deeper than mere skin. She looked right into my eyes,
trying to calm me and access the damage, and I lost myself in golden bliss.
“Hold your hand still.” She requested, and I
did so slightly hissing through my teeth to dissipate some of the discomfort.
Claire poured some clean water from a basin into my hand, murmuring meaningless
things in a soothing tone – and soothed I was by her. She then went into the cool
pantry and came back holding a small bottle, which she placed near my damaged
apply some of this ointment, it will help you heal faster and numb the pain.”
She gave me a concerned look. “You can curse if you want to, you know. I
wouldn’t be too scandalized.”
“Ach.” I grunted. “I’ve had worse and was
tended by hands less merciful than yers, lass.”
“I’ll take it as a compliment.” She replied
with a cheerful wink. “I’ll have to bandage this, though – you can’t move it
much the next few days.”
As she spread the fresh ointment on my hand,
the skin already alarmingly red and blistered, I was thoroughly distracted by
the privileged view of the curve of her breasts and the smell of her skin. She
had the fragrance of crushed grass and clear skies after rain about her, and
the underlying muskiness of the exertions of a woman – she smelt of Scotland;
she smelt of home.
“I thank ye, Claire.” I said shyly as she began
to fold the bandage. “Ye really ken what ye’re doing, aye?”
“Jamie!” A male voice cheered from the door. I
turned my head to see my brother, William, storming the kitchen. His red hair
was dishevelled and he was only on his shirt sleeves. “What happened, a balaich?”
I got up and hugged him, as he patted my back.
I had truly missed him.
“Just some clumsy nonsense. Claire here was
just finishing fixing me.”
“Ah.” Willie gave Claire a smile full of teeth.
“I see ye’ve met my daft brother, Claire. I’m sorry I wasna here to introduce
“We got acquainted fast enough.” I said, my
eyes still fixed on the way Claire was moving, the outline of her waist and the
arch of her back, as she cleaned the disorder created by my injury.
“Claire is the healer I wrote ye about. Ye ken,
on my last letter.” Willie threw me a meaningful look.
No. It canna be.
“Is she then?” I said in a weak voice that
could be mistaken by disarming pain.
But the smile born on his lips, and the glint
in eyes looking in Claire’s direction, made my insides churn. This remarkable
woman, whom I had been coveting from the first moment I laid eyes on, was loved
by my own brother.
A Dhia. Please.
Maybe we really
were as akin as people thought.
The reunion with my family was supposed to be a
joyful occasion, a celebration of homecoming. Instead, supper that night was
for me some kind of personal Hell.
I was sat across the table from Willie, Claire
placed by his side. I resentfully chewed my chicken while passionately tried to
evaluate the progression of their relationship. They were good friends, to say
the least – they talked a lot and Willie was good at making Claire laugh, a
crystalline and pure sound that made my bones rattle. He told her stories of
his day, including the adventurous repairment of the mill, and she reciprocated
I watched as he fleetingly touched her hand on
the table, asking her to pass the salt – she didn’t flinch away from it, but
didn’t seek to prolong his touch either. I found a dark satisfaction in that
conclusion, one that brought both relief and pain to my heart.
I felt like the traitor Judas – no, worse than
Judas. He betrayed Jesus out of lack of faith, a Messiah that was false to him,
whom he had no love for. In my heart I was betraying my beloved brother, my own
flesh and blood, and the sacred ties of family that I always assumed were unbreakable.
But I wanted her. I craved madly to touch the
curve of her neck and feel the goosebumps on her skin; kiss the corner of those
full lips parted to receive me; and tell her all the foolish things only love
gives meaning to. I fantasized about claiming her on top of that same table,
under the cover of forgiving shadows, quieting her moans with ardent kisses. My
cock throbbed and my mind was split in two, like a ripe peach almost about to rotten.
Claire was giggling again from something Willie
had just whispered to her. I stabbed my meat with the wrath of Vengeance, for a
moment wishing I could do the same to the hand that touched Claire’s back, and
hurting my own burnt extremity in the violent process.
Eventually Jenny, Willie and Claire excused
themselves from the table to go out for a walk – there was still daylight and
the air was uncomfortably sultry inside the house. I declined to accompany
them, claiming to be too tired and saddle sore, in deep need of sleep. For what
I had gathered Claire was a guest living in our house, her room just two doors
from my own; in all truth I foresaw many sleepless nights ahead of me.
When we were finally alone, Da looked at me and
his grave eyes seemed all knowing. I feared he could see right through me, as he
always did when I was up to mischief as a bairn – and this time could witness
the depth of my pain and deception.
“Have a wee dram lad.” He poured me a glass of
strong whiskey filled to the brim, and squeezed my healthy hand. “I think ye need it, Seamus Mac.”
Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still. For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.