upstate beauty

Villain (FrostIron Prompt Fill)

Okay lol so this is for @ajanamyth who suggested Loki wooing Tony, and Steve being upset.
Not sure if this is exactly what you had in mind babe, but this is what happened!!!

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“Stark.“ Loki landed on the ground and stomped towards Tony. "Call your team off, or I will be forced to hurt them.”

“Will you?” Tony shot back, and raised his arm to aim the repulsor right at the Trickster God. “Because every time we do this sort of thing, you end up retreating.”

Loki narrowed his eyes and stalked even closer and Tony smirked. In his suit he was the same height as the overly tall bastard, and he completely enjoyed not having to look up to talk down to him. He even opened his faceplate so Loki could absolutely see the smug look on his face.

“So maybe–” he continued with a short laugh. “–you should take all that bluster and bullshit you carry around with you, and that ridiculous cape and maybe just–WHOA!”

Tony ducked and scrambled back a few steps when Loki summoned his magic and shot a bolt of energy at him.

“God it’s so rude to interrupt me when I’m monologuing!” Tony snapped and fired a few shots off, hating how much he enjoyed the effortless way Loki seemed to dodge them.

They fought hard for a few minutes, trading blasts and snarky one liners, until Tony popped a repulsor that should have blown a hole in the Demi gods chest, but instead Loki just wrinkled his nose and disappeared–

— and reappeared right in Tony’s space, so close that Tony stumbled back into a wall, and Loki pressed close to him, a curious look on his face.

“You are adorable when you are cocky.” That low voice was suddenly entirely too close to Tony’s ear, and Tony had to swallow back his initial reaction (which was definitely not a moan. It wasn’t) and had to lick his lips, which only drew that green gaze down. “I much prefer your brand of courage to the rest of these quivering mortals.”

“Tell me, Anthony.” Tony’s full name rolled of Loki’s tongue sounding entirely too good. “When you take this suit off–” Loki glanced down. “Do you prefer to wear silk or–”

“Tony!” The shout distracted Loki, who turned just in time to see Captain’s shield flying toward him.

Tony’s face mask slammed down and he was blasting away in a split second, and Loki barely managed to dodge the shield, sending a fierce glare at the Captain before shimmering away into nothing.

Tony flew off towards the tower, unsure of why his heart was pounding a little too hard, and why he couldn’t quite wipe the smile from his face.

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sunday

Julia Wicker and Kady Orloff-Diaz were married on a Sunday. It wasn’t a particular Sunday, and it wasn’t an overly special Sunday. It wasn’t a rainy Sunday, or a cold Sunday. It wasn’t even that spectacular of a Sunday, to be honest. They just liked the sound of Sunday. It had a nice ring to it.

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I decided to save an autumn leaf before the first Winter snow due tonight in the Hudson River Valley..  The edges are slowly dying but the colors are still holding on.. A lot like this November day.

I literally have no idea where this headcanon came from but picture this.

The girls get a call from some rich family in upstate NY. Real swanky people. Talking Rockefeller-rich. Apparently (according to the rather frantic call) their house has become infested with ghosts and they have no idea who to call (hah pun) or what to do, so in a state of panic they call the Ghostbusters. It’s a pretty long drive out to this home, but Abby decides the money is worth it, and hey, upstate NY was beautiful that time of year.

So the girls all pile into the hearse and off they go. Sometime later they pull up this massively long driveway on the other side of a wrought iron gate and park in front of a literal mansion. As par usual, a butler greets the gawking women (have any of them ever seen a house so large?) and informs them that, due to the infestation, the owners have taken leave for the weekend. The serving staff has also left because of the level of activity, meaning the four women will basically have run of this huge house for the next two days.

Erin isn’t all that thrilled (she’s thinking of the massive liability risks). The same can’t be said about everyone else. A weekend alone? A weekend staying at a resort for free? Oh hell yes!

The butler leaves them the keys along with an advanced payment, lets them know they are welcome to partake in whatever they want within reason, and hightails it out of there.

The owners weren’t kidding. There are at least five spirits in the home all ranging from general annoyance-level haunting to actively dangerous. Its takes the four a full day to get them wrangled, but after that….what are four women to do alone in a mansion with a full run of the joint for the next 24 hours?

Absolutely everything.

Patty raids the pantry and whips up a meal that could put most five-star chefs to shame. The liquor cabinet is plundered (within reason). Shots are distributed in crystal glasses. Everyone partakes in the pool and hot tub (clothing negated since none of them have proper swimwear). And at some point during the night, Jillian Holtzmann decides after too many shots it would be the funniest thing to don the slinkiest outfit owned by one of the family’s daughters (she presumes, anyway) and give the girls a show while also giving Erin perhaps the biggest heart attack of her life. Because while the genius engineer is beautiful in a quirky kind of way (all smiles and dimples and sparkling blue eyes dashed with a little bit of mania) seeing Holtz descend the grand staircase and sprawl out on the chaise in the living room with her hair down, squeezed into a white miniskirt, black silk blouse, and black designer heels blows the doors off everyone present. Abby whistles. Patty laughs and cheers. Holtz strip-teases to a beat only she can hear, and Erin sits frozen, fire and ice and something akin to electricity pumping through her veins. 

By the end of the night all four women pass out in various places around the house. They wake hungover the next morning and clean as much as they can. Holtz can’t exactly remember donning the slinky outfit, or why she and Erin wound up on top of each other on the couch, but she happily lets the other woman sleep for a little while longer before climbing off and slipping back into her coveralls. A dark bruise on the side of Erin’s neck partially illuminates what transpired hours ago, and the blonde can’t help but grin with pride. 

On the drive home, no one mentions Erin’s hickey. She doesn’t talk about it, and Holtz doesn’t talk about the red scratches she discovers across her shoulders after returning to the firehouse. 

To date, that was the best weekend the four have had.

I recently spent the weekend upstate at a beautiful old house built in 1898. It was surrounded by trees and just a hundred yards away from a gorgeous, crystal clear lake. It had a lovely massive porch in front that looked absolutely perfect for sipping lemonade, reading, and, brace yourself, giving birth. The owner of the house showed me photos taken almost four years ago of her sister giving birth to a lovely little girl out on the porch, surrounded by family and friends. I’m sure it looked very similar to that very first birth in the house over a hundred years ago.

When I was doing my pediatric residency in the West Village, the birthing center just a few blocks away was the bane of my existence. So were all the trendy West Village home births. Our hospital was where all the home births and birthing center births gone bad came to to get resuscitated. I remember the baby that was accidentally dropped in the birthing pool and took its first breaths of bloody bath water. The water was too soiled to find the baby quickly and it supposedly was under for 10 or 15 seconds as they searched for the little girl. I saw too many bad outcomes and became convinced that the hospital was the only safe place to give birth.

But then The Lancet, one of the most respected medical journals of all time, published a study this week that found:

“The United States is one of just eight countries in the world where deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth rose between 2003 and 2013, a new report says. That puts it in the company of countries such as Afghanistan, Belize and El Salvador.”

This falls right in line with the other wide scale studies reporting the abysmal performance of our nation’s healthcare system. The most popular one being the World Health Organization ranking the US healthcare system 37th in performance.

But why would our maternal mortality increase be on par with Afghanistan’s increase? Could it be that women have just as difficult a time accessing high quality care in America as women in Afghanistan? That’s one possibility. But I think the far more likely reason is that American women have too much access to an increasingly unsafe healthcare industry marred by an addiction to unnatural and brutal c-section births (ever seen one?) in environments teeming with a high risk of hospital-acquired infections.

It’s been 14 years since the Institute of Medicine released their startling report finding that roughly 100,000 people die every year because of contact with the United States Healthcare Industry. Since that report was released, those numbers haven’t changed. Our nation’s healthcare industry is responsible for 100,000 deaths and our nation’s highways are responsible for roughly 34,000.

I have 3 years of personal anecdotes from real life situations of home births gone bad. But, as a doctor on the front lines working in a pediatric ER or neonatal intensive care unit, you see a disproportionate amount of bad things. It’s the nature of our business. Sick people come to us and it colors our world because we tend to forget about all the health and all the good out there in the world. For every botched home birth, there are many more that go marvelously well safe from the world of hospital-acquired infections and unpleasant high tech machines designed to pick up the first sign of an excuse to c-section.

So now I’m in a bind. I’ve got my experience that says natural pregnancies and births are unsafe for mom and baby. But now we’ve got legitimate, believable hard data saying that our healthcare system is increasingly unsafe for mothers. I don’t practice medicine anymore, but I’m still asked for advice. As a good doctor, I should point others to reliable, evidence-based information. Going forward, I’m afraid I’m going to have to point expectant mothers toward this study. It’s an important one and hopefully sparks a conversation where expectant mothers and fathers demand safer, cleaner, and less risky environments to bring babies into this lovely world.

Taylor Swift Made Her “Blank Space” Music Video Co-Star Sean O’Pry Blush on Set

Your Twitter feed has undoubtedly been deluged today with screenshots, GIFs, and musings related to the surprising, rollicking music video for Taylor Swift’s second single, “Blank Space.” Swift’s co-star in the video is male model Sean O’Pry—who, like Swift, was born in 1989 (more on that later), and who was 2013’s highest-paid male model worldwide. While O’Pry has nabbed pretty much every campaign thinkable (currently serving as the face for Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Eau Fraiche), and you’ve no doubt flipped past his face in magazines on a weekly basis, this is, in a certain way, his debut on the grand stage (O’Pry calls it a “dream job”).

We chatted with O’Pry on the afternoon of the video’s release, and learned what it was like working with Swift, what he thinks of 1989, and what Swift did on set that made him blush.

So, how did this come about? Did Taylor’s team approach you?

I remember [my manager] called me. I think I had just left [acting] class, and she was like, “You have the option to be in a Taylor Swift music video,” and I was like, “O.K., confirm it.” She was like, “No, they have to confirm you.”

Had you met Taylor before the shoot?

No, I did not know her personally. [Wry smile] I mean, I had heard of her a few times, for sure.

What was the shoot like? Those properties looked insane.

It was upstate. It was in two different properties. They were both incredible. And I remember walking up—there was this mass of people—and it was five in the morning and I was half asleep. So we start getting ready, and the first scene is her beating up the car. That’s what we started with; that’s how me and Taylor met. It definitely—any jitters I might have had, that knocked them all away.

What was it like working with her?

She deserves to be in the place she is. The way she handles things, the way she does things … She’s gorgeous, obviously. And very, very talented. When you bring [director] Joseph [Kahn] into the project, it was a winning idea right off the bat with those two.

Were you a fan of her music before you got this job?

I am from Georgia, and Tim McGraw is my favorite artist. And when this little girl released “Tim McGraw,” yeah, I had teardrops on my guitar, not going to lie about that.

Have you ever had any musical aspirations of your own?

I’m really good at lip-synching. Very good at bathroom lip-synching.

That’s a good talent to have in your arsenal … so, this is the million-dollar question: Did you get to meet Olivia Benson?

I saw the cat. I did not get to meet the cat. I was doing something else when they were doing the cat scene.

You really missed out: that’s a famous pet. Also, that’s your name carved into the tree!

I know. That’s pretty incredible.

Was that your idea?

That definitely wasn’t my idea; I don’t think anyone would have listened to my ideas … I bet there’s a lot of people that don’t realize that that’s me. It’s very cool.

And was that an intentional Mean Girls reference, when you put on the shirt with the two holes in it? Was that planned?

[Laughter; expression of confusion] Everything was planned out. When I walked in, they told me they had cut out parts of my shirt. I was like, “O.K., great.” When I put it on, [just] my nipples were out. And they were like “No, [the holes] need to be bigger.”

Did you have to do sittings for that portrait of you?

I’m not really sure how [the portraits] came about, but when I saw them, it was really funny, actually. I walk into the room and there’s this portrait of me, and I’m like, “That’s different.” And then she cut me up!

Did you get to keep it?

I didn’t get to keep it.

Was it hard keeping the secret for the two and a half months before the video came out?

I couldn’t tell anybody. It was very difficult … Yeah, [my friends and family] thought I was doing a job on a beautiful upstate property. My dog [knew], but I don’t think she told anybody.

Do you have the urge to do more acting?

I’m in school for acting … I want to be well-accepted as an actor, not just [as] a prop. I’m studying to actually have a career and longevity and not just be “that guy.” I think that’s very needed to be taken seriously. [The music video] is definitely not a step in the wrong direction. Doing this video really motivated me further.

Have you heard from Taylor today?

No, she tweeted me. I was included in a tweet. Thought that was pretty cool.

She has a lot of followers.

A lot more than me!

I noticed you were born in 1989, and Taylor seems like the type who might have thought about that.

I am born in 1989. It is [funny] …But I’m a bit older than her. She’s coming up now.

Have you listened to 1989?

I downloaded it. Haven’t gotten the one from Target; I’m going to have to. The album is phenomenal. You can listen to it from the first song to the last … [“Blank Space”] is a great song. I remember hearing it [on set]. She got her iPhone and put the song on. By the end of the last day, I knew all the lyrics.

I really dig that pen-click noise.

Is it a pen click? Or is it an “tsssssk”?

I’ve been thinking of it, like, “She’s clicking her pen because she’s gonna write your name down.” You know what’s fun? When you sing the “Oh my god” part.

I told you, it’s my lip-synching!

That was my co-worker’s favorite part of the video.

[Taylor] is one of the only people to ever make me blush.

How’d she make you blush?

She bit my lip. And I just remember I was really blushing, and I was trying to hide it. But that was the first thing—that was how I met Taylor … She did incredibly in the video. She’s gorgeous already, but she looks incredible in the video.

Did she give you a parting gift or anything like that?

A nice hug. She’s so professional. And so nice, too.

You’ll see her on her tour, probably, right?

Maybe. I don’t know. (x)