Prompto: Wow. Still can’t believe you’re actually tying the knot dude. How does it feel now that it’s finally happening?
Noctis: Fine, I guess?
Prompto: Ahh come on! You can’t fool me! Any guy would be over the moon to marry her.
Noctis: No big deal.
Prompto: Yeah… Whatever.
Throughout the beginning of the game, we get these wedding talks. This is one of the few audios I’ve come across without any background noise to interfere. Before I begin,
ignore this if you are extremely sensitive.
“I am Aberourke of the West Mountain, son of Wrath and Darkness. My fire still burns brightly in the Chemelean Plains where I unleashed my rage on mortal men. I feast on smoldering cities and the bones of ancient warriors.”
I knew. No one else knew that I did, but I knew. Fucking cheesy as it sounds, I felt it. I knew Mickey was out in my blood, even as I had slept next to Caleb amongst the tossed sheets just a couple days ago. Did this count as cheating? This mental and physical longing for someone else? Hell if I knew. Either way, it wasn’t a conscious decision. Nothing with Mickey had ever been. I hadn’t chosen to be so attracted to him, I hadn’t chosen to fall in love with him. Mickey was definitely not the best, or easiest person to love. I had waited before I could even hold his hand in public. It had been worth the wait, but I would be lying if I said it hadn’t driven me crazy at the time. Mickey was mine, and I wanted the world to know. But he had eventually found himself, and the strength to be himself.
Then I was diagnosed and suddenly, I lost control and unleashed all my rage and frustration on him. I pushed him away, practically refused to wait for him and hooked up with a different guy. Caleb was great… but he wasn’t Mickey. He never would be. No one could, ever. That was probably a good thing, though not for me. The world couldn’t handle another him. Me? I couldn’t live without him. In the beginning, I would wake up peacefully, picturing my arm around him (I always thought it was funny he was the little spoon, considering his reputation as a badass). Then I would realise I was alone. Later, after Caleb, I would wake up with someone. But as the little spoon, and with someone else, it was never the same. Caleb would never understand what that one baseball field meant to me. He would never understand why my eyes teared up when I heard the words, “Love is a battlefield.” He would never know why the word ‘rape’ was a trigger word for me and he would never know how it feels to be free to be with the one you love after hiding for so long.
I loved Mickey. Enough that I decided to let him go so I didn’t pull him down with me. That day in the prison, I had to use every ounce of my willpower to not tell him I still wanted him as he showed me the tattoo he had done himself. The tattoo was so much like our relationship. Messy and unpracticed, but worth so much more than it looked like it did. Mickey was undoubtedly the one who had the hardest time calling our relationship what it really was; love. Now, I was the one shrinking away from the truth.
The morning Mickey was released, Caleb wasn’t with me. I was glad for it. I had enough to worry about without feeling guilty about my wandering mind. I had a feeling, just a feeling. Then I rubbed my hand across my face and reached out to check my phone as I did everyday. He’s out, rainbow boy. The text from Svetlana read. There was a message from Caleb too, but I didn’t even read it. It seemed irrelevant in the moment, like a candle’s light fading away as the sun shone down on it. My breath caught and I needed to see him, though I knew I had to resist. Against my better judgement, I threw on my trusty plaid and jeans and rushed down the stairs. “Fiona, I’m going out!” I called, leaving before she could respond. Mickey’s place was not far from mine, and I knew the way with my eyes closed. It had equalled home in my eyes for long. I briefly recalled me a couple years ago, running to mickey’s place because I had nowhere else to go. I was young then, I had no idea the places our relationship would go.
I reached soon and knocked on the door sharply. Once, then again when no one responded. Like all those years ago, Mickey opened it. For a few moments, we stood in stunned silence. Just seeing him after so long, after unconsciously longing for him for so long… it took my breath away. “Mickey…” I breathed shakily. Silence overcame us again. He looked at me, his face kind of awestruck. “What are you doing here, Gallagher?” Gallagher. No Ian. No Firecrotch. Gallagher. I had broken his heart, what had I expected? His walls were up. “Svetlana texted me.” I said simply. He looked at me with tired sadness. “You said it, Gallagher, remember?” He practically whispered, his voice so familiar and broken that tears filled my eyes. “You don’t owe me anything.” I did remember. When I was breaking up with him, I had said the same. I was trying to release him. Now that I was where he once was, I realised that I didn’t want to be free. I remembered what he had once said to me, right before he came out for me. “Ian, what you and I have makes me free.” Now, after we were broken and torn apart, I finally understood what he had meant.
Fucking Gallagher. He came to the prison once, only once, and only to break my heart. And now here he was. My mind whirled in circles as it tried to figure out why. Svetlana had told me she had heard there was a new guy in his life. That was the most horrible thing to talk to him about, so naturally I went right for it. “So who’s this guy I hear about, Gallagher?” I say, while he’s still reeling from the announcement that he’s free of me. He blinks at me, surprised at the subject change. “Who?” He asks, before blanching as he realises how heartless he sounds. Briefly, I flinch away from the thought of him forgetting me the same way. But if that was the case, why was he here? Hope rose in me, dangerous and reckless. “Oh. Caleb,” he said, giving a name to the dick who had taken him from me. “He’s great. He’s a firefighter.” I couldn’t help the cruel smirk that came onto my face, trying to hide how he was putting my heart through the wringer with his words. “You always go for the safe ones when it’s not me, Gallagher.” My mind through up the memory of the ‘geriatric viagroid’ he had once been with before I had laid claim on him. Tendrils of jealousy wrapped around my words, making them cold and cruel. He flinched. “He is a little easier to be with, Mickey. For one, he wasn’t rotting in jail till yesterday.” “Don’t give me that bullshit.” I retorted. “You tried to kill my half sister!” “Because she hurt you.” Silence hung between us, till he turned to the wall beside him and punched the wall. “Jesus, Mickey!” He yelled, “Why can’t you just make this easier for the both of us!” He wiped rebellious tears that escaped his eyes, making me soften my voice when I said, “Nothing between us was ever easy, Gallagher. That’s not a bad thing. It means what we have…” I trailed off, realising he was no longer mine, “had was worth fighting for.” Now my eyes were being assholes too and I had to blink to clear them as I looked at the ginger boy who was the only one I had ever loved. He bit his lip, once, and I knew that I was going to lose my mind without him. I watched him watch me, watched as he made a decision. I held my breath, waiting to see what that decision would be. And then his lips were on mine, so familiar, where I belonged, and I realised there would be no one else for me. What was this kiss? Was this him taking me back? Or was this one guilty pleasure before he fell back into the fireman’s arms? I didn’t know. I didn’t care, as I wrapped my fingers around the back of his neck and pulled him closer. He pushed me against the wall and his hands roamed on my chest. Even if this was just a guilty pleasure, I would give myself to him. I would cross all my limits for him. I always had. When he wanted kisses, I kissed him. When he wanted freedom, I came out. When he wanted support, I had tried so hard. So if today all he wanted was a no-strings-attached kiss, I would give it to him. My lips lowered to his neck and he gasped, pulling back. I looked at his flush face, scared of his words. I wanted to be ignorant, to live with the fantasy that he would be mine. “Ian.” I begged without the words. “I love you,” he breathed, “I don’t think I’ve told you that.” My heart stopped beating as I said, “You did. You said every time you touched me. Words are over rated.” He smiled a little, before it collapsed. “I love you, but I’m not sure. I messed up bad Mickey, after I… lost it. I cheated on you with random guys, hated it when you cared for me. I didn’t want you to waste your life with damaged goods.” His words tore through me, especially the first part. “No more excuses Ian. You know I love you. You can have this if you want it. But otherwise, don’t give me false hope. He nodded, eyes shining. “I’m sorry.” He said simply as he walked out my door, breaking me down again.
It was three (alcohol filled) days later that his urgent knocking filled the walls of the house again. I opened it. “Ian-” I started, but he held up a hand. “I broke up with Caleb. I love you. I want this. I never stopped.” I smiled my best love-of-my-life-wants-this-again smile and pressed my lips against his.
What do you think about Michiru referring to Haruka as "kare" in Japanese?
aggressively shaking my head at it, pretty much
to be perfectly clear, i think haruka in the manga/crystal is incredibly easy to read as genderfluid, and that’s my personal read of her there as well. if viewed through that lens, michiru swapping pronouns in relation to haruka to fit the way haruka swaps pronouns in relation to herself (which she does, in the manga) would make perfect sense!
however, there is exactly a 0% chance any of this crossed naoko takeuchi’s mind when she decided to have michiru refer to her as male, lol. it’s clear she never thought of haruka as anything other than female (explicitly stated in an interview once, iirc) and her only purpose was to misdirect the reader alongside usagi and create DRAMATIC, SEXY gender-confusion tension. which i hate. so very much. note that despite manga-haruka supposedly being nationally famous, not a single person refers to her as female, which would lead us to assume she never presented in a feminine manner in her life………. until usagi’s sexual confusion drama is resolved and her eternal hetero love for her boyfriend is reaffirmed, and haruka suddenly starts wearing crop tops and miniskirts and using feminine pronouns. wow, what a convenient coincidence, am i right!!! gag.
the choice to keep this entire storyline intact in crystal is absolutely baffling imo, because 1) that shit was old in the nineties, rehashing it now is just downright offensive, 2) LITERALLY EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER KNOWS HARUKA TENOH IS A LESBIAN. THIS FACT HAS NOT ELUDED ANYONE WHO IS EVEN PERIPHERALLY FAMILIAR WITH SAILOR MOON. what in the world is the point in keeping up this ‘deception’ when there’s nobody left to deceive? it is frankly completely thoughtless and idiotic.
tbh, the 90’s anime had the right idea how to deal with this gender-confusion storyline: presumably realizing this shit is stale, needlessly dramatic and bigoted, they condensed that whole subplot into a single gag episode, where neither haruka nor michiru made any active attempt to lead the girls on with regards to her gender (pronouns in japanese can be frequently omitted, so this feat was easily accomplished – further highlighting how deliberate naoko’s choice to have michiru refer to haruka as male is). haruka spends that whole episode simply being herself, and the girls make their own assumptions, concluding in their bubble being burst and haruka laughing and saying ‘i don’t recall ever saying i was a guy’. and it’s true, she really didn’t. that haruka and michiru repeatedly outright LIE in the manga about it is honestly vile, especially when combined with haruka’s attempted seduction-slash-sexual harassment of usagi, and even more so when combined with her supposed stance that 'gender doesn’t matter, don’t let you being female limit you in any way’. uh, geez, haruka, these are some awfully progressive words coming from someone who deliberately passes herself off to the media as a straight cis man. (though i’m sure this is also not a thought that ever crossed takeuchi’s mind. there are many, many thoughts that did not cross takeuchi’s mind at the time of penning sailor moon.)
the 90’s anime swiftly kicked the gender bullshit out of the way, and went on to deal with aspects of the outer senshi and their relationships to the inners that are actually significant and interesting, such as the conflict between their budding civilian friendships and their opposing views as soldiers, and haruka and michiru’s extremely gray morality faced with usagi’s relentless idealism – not to mention actual in-depth exploration of haruka and michiru’s relationship with each other. but in the manga arc, the gender bullshit is pretty much the only thing you get. haruka seduces usagi, throws her into turmoil both due to her devotion to mamoru and B-BUT ISN’T HARUKA A GIRL? IS SHE? ISN’T SHE?! and then usagi gets over it, her relationship with mamoru comes out of it stronger, and haruka turns conveniently femme and mopes about her unrequited love for usagi for the rest of her natural lifetime. not a single drop of meaningful character work to be found.
so yeah, i am watching crystal because it is aesthetically pleasing and haruka and michiru have good voice acting and often appear next to each other on screen, but beyond that i am not looking forward to any of that shit.