vegetable-beds

The day after the battle, Hermione Granger got up before the sun did. The Lake was covered in fog, and she was used to having somewhere urgent to go, to be, to fight. 

She closed the tent flap up behind her. Hogwarts had something like enough beds, but Hermione hadn’t had it in her to climb those moving staircases, to step through the painting’s open frame and make her way to the Gryffindor girls’ seventh year dormitory. Her bed would have been there, months untouched except for the bras and scarves and bottles of sparkly purple nail polish Parvati and Lavender had strewn onto every open surface. 

The fog rolled in off the Lake and Hermione stood at the damp shore and shivered until the sun rose and burned it all away. 


-


The day after the battle, they buried their dead out on an island in the Lake, the day after the battle. Madame Pomfrey fretted and hovered, but every injured witch, wizard, and squib made it out to those conjured chairs. They might sit with assistance– with spells, with braces, with a friend’s shoulder– but they sat quiet and they listened to Flitwick read out the names. 


-


The day after the battle, Ron Weasley stood on tiptoe when he stepped back into the Great Hall, looking over a sea of bent heads to find a cluster of red. They’d brought the tables back. 

The cluster was only a tiny blip of three– Bill and their parents were flitting about, helping Flitwick float steaming bowls of pasta down onto each table. But Ginny and Percy were sitting on either side of George, keeping up a lively conversation about Gilderoy Lockhart’s hair. 

Ginny was sitting half in Harry’s lap, like if she didn’t he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from getting up to help, or to pace the castle, or to walk out to the Forest and not come back. She was holding his hand, her freckled thumb running over the words written into his skin. 

Ron thought about sitting with Luna, instead. Percy tried to laugh at one of Ginny’s jokes, and Ron didn’t know how to be kind like that. Ginny held Harry’s hand. Ron had thought for a long terrible stretch of heartbeats that he had lost two brothers yesterday. 

He could sit with Dean. He could walk out to the Forest and punch Aragog in his ugly eyes, because normally when he walked away from everyone he loved it was because he was scared and maybe change was good for the soul. 

Ron pushed his hands through his hair. He crossed the Great Hall, swung into a seat next to Harry, and filled his plate with lukewarm pasta. 


-


The day after the battle, Luna Lovegood climbed up to the Astronomy Tower, because it was the furthest she could get away from everything. She laid on her back on the cold stone and cast balls of light and enchanted birds to chase each other across the ceiling until she felt like descending down to the ground again. 


-


The day after the battle, Neville Longbottom went down to the greenhouses to see what the damage was there. He had sat all night and all morning in the infirmary, fetching water for Anthony Goldstein and holding Dennis Creevey’s hand and folding extra blankets down over Professor Sprout’s cold feet. Madame Pomfrey had banished him to go get a spot to eat and some sleep, so he walked down to the greenhouses to see what was salvageable. 

Whole panes of greenish glass stood jagged and shattered. Protective spells had put out any fires, but stray blasts of magic had killed beds of vegetables and flowers and taken almost all the silver-green leaves off an olive tree that twisted in the corner of Greenhouse 4. 

Neville went in through the door, even though there as a broken hole in the glass wall big enough for him, and almost fell back through it when Hannah Abbott stood up from the row of pots she’d been crouching behind. Dirt streaked every crease of her hands. “Hey,” he said, and let the door click shut behind him. 

“Hey.” When she saw where he was heading, she added, “The olive’s still alive.”

The bark was rough under his hand, gnarled from decades of slow growth. He could hear the green magic whispering down its xylem. 

“I was thinking I’d try to mend up the walls, close this place up again,” said Hannah. “But I wasn’t sure I could do it alone." 

"Alright,” said Neville. When Professor Sprout argued her way out of the infirmary and thumped downhill with the wind throwing her cloudy hair in her face, she found every pane of glass healed and Neville and Hannah asleep on the softest patch of moss in Greenhouse 2.  


-


The day after the battle, Parvati Patil sent an owl to Lavender Brown’s parents. 


-


The day after the end of it all, Hermione skipped lunch and found her favorite secluded corner of the library instead. The chairs stood silent and sober, all gouged dark wood. The high windows threw light gleaming across the polished table, catching on the dust motes drifting through the air above it. 

She dumped her carry-all down on it and reached inside– up to her elbows, her shoulders. She tried not to feel like it was eating her alive and she pulled out protein bars and unicorn horn and crumpled wanted flyers. 

She wasn’t sure when it had gotten so cluttered– sometime before the night in the ditch outside the little Scottish village with the awesome curry shop. Sometime after the time they hid out from a storm in an unknowing Muggle’s barn, wrinkling their noses at the itch of hay as they ate their dinner. Hermione had taken first watch, listening to the thunder roll over the shallow hills outside, and she’d gone through her bag pouch by endless pouch. Harry had twitched in his sleep with every flash of lightning, but everything in her bag had been where it was supposed to be. 

She summoned a wastepaper bin to hover beside her and got to work. Quills and ballpoint pens went in a neat heap to her left. Books she stacked by subject matter around her, except for the ones she flew back to their homes on Hogwarts shelves. She checked potions ingredients for decay, tossed the bad ones and wrapped the good ones back up in their oiled cloth and ziplock bags. 

She ate a protein bar while she piled duct tape and the radio and a travel-sized magnetic foldable Muggle chess set and a depleted first aid kit all up around her. She threw the wrapper away and wondered if the smell would ever come out of the bag’s insides, or if she should just buy another one.  


-


The day after the battle, they started putting the stones of the castle back into place. They put bones back together, first, skin and knit muscle and tendons. McGonagall escorted every statue and suit of armor back to where it belonged. 

Sue Li sat atop a pile of rubble and ate the biggest chocolate bar she’d ever seen her life. She thought she could still taste a film of Polyjuice on her tongue, but she told herself that was dumb. She dropped little pebbles down the ragged tumble of stones, counting their bounces and calculating averages, until Astoria Greengrass showed up with a glass of water and a pasty and put them down beside her. 

Astoria got her hands dirty every chance she got, put her back into sweeping up glass shards or hauling bandages or Wingardium Leviosa-ing stone blocks the size of a horseless carriage. She would stay in the castle as long as she could, finding odd tasks and errands and corners to lurk in. When she finally went back to the Greengrass family estate, it would be to pack her bags, kiss the old house elf on the cheek, and steal her dog away with her. 


-


The day after the battle, Ron went out to Hagrid’s cabin in the stubborn chill of the afternoon and sat in his pumpkin patch. He didn’t go knock on the rough-hewn door, and Hagrid didn’t come out, but after twenty minutes Fang trotted into the yard and patiently got slobber all over his shirt. 

Ron watched the sway of the shadows beyond the Forest’s edge. Buckbeak’s old tying post stood among the twining squash vines and their giant fuzzy leaves, the metal ring hanging empty against weathered wood. He thought about Ginny brushing her thumb over Harry’s scars and wrapped 
his hands over the pale marks that curled around his wrists. 

When the air started biting and the sky started darkening, Ron pulled himself back to his feet and climbed up to the library. He had never lived there, never really liked its labyrinth of stacks and dusty air, but he knew the way there better than he knew the way to the Quidditch pitch or the Room of Requirement or all those other places he liked so much more. 

It was empty, except for Hermione, and he was glad. She squeezed her last book into her bag and looked up at him, shoving her hair back off her forehead. 

“They doing dinner down there?” she said, her dry throat rasping on it. 

He shrugged. “Mum’s organizing, I think. It– helps, I think." 

She nodded, looking down to do the clasps up slowly, one by one. 

"I just wanted to go back to the tent,” said Ron. “Be alone. It’s quiet." 

"I won’t get in your way,” she said. “It’s still pitched down there." 

"I know,” he said. “With you, I meant.”

“That’s not alone,” she said. “I’m not quiet,” she said. She clasped and unclasped the bag. 

“Words. Accuracy. I never claimed to be the clever one." 

"But you are, Ron–" 

"Hermione,” he said. “Come with me? You shouldn’t be sitting here alone. Come home.”

They went down the grass through chilling air. Ron could hear his mother in his head, telling him to take her bag and carry it for her, but he just reached out for her hand. 


-


The day after the end of it all, Ron laid on the floor of the tent, counting stitches in the canvas, while Hermione read Hogwarts, A History like she didn’t have it memorized. She read her favorite parts aloud, stopping mid-sentence when the tent flap rustled and opened. 

“Ginny’s sitting on Neville until he agrees to sleep in a real bed and not a pile of shrubbery,” Harry said, stepping inside and shutting it up behind him. “She got Luna to help because she says otherwise Luna will just fade into a corner and not come out for food.” He hunched his shoulders. “I’m not intruding, right?" 

"Don’t be daft,” said Ron and patted a bit of floor next to him. “C'mon, join in, Hermione’s trying to bore me to sleep. I suspect it’s an act of caring concern.” Hermione threw a pillow at his head without looking up from the pages.  

The day after the battle, they fell asleep in a tangle in the center of the tent that they had lugged across their country, across these long, cold days of the war. They had danced here to the radio, had chewed protein bars, played chess and bled and yelled at each other. 

But the war was over and they were growing into it, slow, staying up too late as they leaned into each other and whispered on this threadbare rug. They meant to wobble to their feet and get to bed, but Harry was clinging to Hermione’s hand and none of them wanted to go. 

They would get too old for this– hard floors and the way Harry’s neck was cricked up on Ron’s bony shoulder. Hermione’s snoring would get worse and Ron would have to sleep with four carefully arranged pillows to stop his back from aching in the mornings, but Harry would always have a place here. He had slept on Ron’s bedroom floor at fourteen, leaned on Hermione outside his parents’ broken home. 

In the weeks after the battle, Hermione would track down her parents and move back home, and they would all help the Weasleys rebuild the Burrow. Harry would move in Andromeda Tonks’s spare room. “We’re almost like family, after all,” she’d say briskly, shooing him into the house and showing him where she kept the tea, Teddy’s diapers, and the whiskey. They’d come for visits and talk through the night in each of those homes, curled up under Molly’s quilts or out on the Granger’s back porch swing or over fingers of firewhiskey with Andromeda. 

In the months after the war, he and Ron would get a flat while they went through Auror training and Hermione would crash there five nights out of seven. Her university textbooks would take over their countertops, shelves, tables, and floor and Harry wouldn’t tease them (too much) for how hilariously long they tried to pretend it was the couch Hermione slept on. 

Every home Ron and Hermione lived in, for the rest of their lives, would have a place for Harry– a spare room or a patch of floor or an old sofa. He would know how Hermione took her coffee, and his favorite cereal and Ginny’s favorite oatmeal would always been in the cupboard, and their children would have giggly cousin-sleepovers in magical tents they pitched on the living room rug. 

When the kids came shrieking in to wake them at absolutely unacceptable, ugly hours, Ginny would groan curse words they’d repeat gleefully among themselves, but Harry would let them grab his hands in their little sticky ones and pull him barefoot and messy-haired out into the morning.

How much land do you really need to be self sufficient?

With a world food crisis, drought and civil unrest over escalating food prices, around the world, we all have concerns about food security and the ability to feed our own families.  An info-graphic is circulating the internet that tells us that we need a full 2 acres to be self sufficient in food on a omnivore diet, implying less land if one is vegan.  The problem with a graphic like this is that it discourages experimentation, and assumes a one-size-fits all family eating style.  It uses yield estimates taken from mono-cultural commercial agriculture and imposes them on the homestead.  This discourages people who want to attempt to be self sufficient and live a more sustainable life.  2 acres is a substantial investment in a highly productive agricultural belt or near an urban area. And this info-graphic assumes highly productive land — expensive land.

So is 2 acres a reasonable estimate?  That depends where you live and what you mean by “self-sufficiency”.  When Canada was being divided up in homesteading grids — it was assumed that on the Prairies an average family would need a section of land (over 1,000 acres) to be self-sufficient.  In those days, self-sufficient meant to survive to the next year, without grocery stores to fall back on.  In Ontario and B.C. the amount of land necessary to feed and cloth a family was considered a ¼ section — 160 acres.  That area provided water, food, energy, and a livelihood.  Along the St. Laurence and in the Maritimes the amount of land needed was less — due to the proximity of fishing and water.  The closer one is to fresh water, whether a stream or through rainfall, the less land that is necessary to sustain  a family.

Those in the North or at higher elevations need more land to be self-sufficient.  Its hard to grow food — other than livestock and hay — in a growing season that’s shortened by intermittent summer frost.  But it can be done.  Land in these areas is cheaper, too.  You will need 5 to 15 acres to be productive in a Northern area and you will have more land dedicated to raising livestock and hay and less land dedicated to vegetables and fruit.

How much land do you need?

So what’s a reasonable estimate for how much land you really need to sustain your family?

Skip the 2,000 square foot house.  Its unnecessary.  A smaller footprint that builds upward  is a better use of space, and is easier to heat and clean.  Solar panels?  Possibly if you are far enough south and have a good exposure.   Wind? Micro-hydro?  Methane?  Wood?  All are possibilities to explore for energy efficiency.  Each property has to be assessed individually.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution — except the grid.  Cut the house footprint in half.

Livestock?  Skip the pigs — they produce only meat and take up valuable space.  Skip the corn unless you live in the South, where your summer has the heat value to ripen corn easily.  The livestock doesn’t need it and its low on food value — 2 goats and 5 chickens can live on garden surplus, grass and weeds.  5 chickens will feed a family 2 dozen eggs a week in the peak laying season.  They don’t need their own dedicated space.  Put them in a movable chicken tractor and let them till the garden, eating bugs and weeds.  Move them every morning during the growing season and it will improve your soil quality, too.

Goats can be housed in a shed near the house, a lean to onto the house or even the back of the garage.  They only need a small bedding area and can be taken for walks in the hedgerows of your neighbourhood to feed on browse.  They can be given a loafing area or be tethered in different spots around the yard to help keep down weeds.  Protect them from stray dogs and predators and they will give you 8 to 10 years of the highest quality raw milk for drinking, cheese, yogourt and ice-cream.  They can be fed with garden waste.  Or share your field peas and produce with them, in exchange for their milk.  Their manure will increase the fertility of the garden space.  2 full size dairy goats will give your family a gallon of milk a day and 3 kids for 90 lbs. of meat every fall. Live in an urban area? Invest in Nigerian Dwarf goats and half the production rates, as well as the food inputs.

Instead of corn in cooler regions, grow potatoes.  They offer more calories and can be grown in more climates and take up less space.  You can follow a crop of potatoes with kale for a longer harvest season, even in a colder climate.

Don’t forget the orchard

Fruit and nut trees are a must. Nut trees take a while to mature but the increase in protein is beneficial to you, and your livestock — plant them if you have the space.  Dwarf fruit trees will grow on a 6 foot centre and can be trellised along a fence to increase yields per space. If space is at a premium, do consider trellising them — planting 6 feet apart in a one foot wide row.  One dwarf tree will yield 75 lbs. of fruit, once it is mature.  10 trees trellised along a fence with a Southern exposure, blossom sooner in spring and have an extended growing season, and will give you enough fruit for a family for jamming, canning and preserving.

Berries and small fruits take up little space and can offer high vitamins and antioxidants to your diet.  If wild roses and wild strawberries grow in your area than other berries will as well.

Sunflowers are an annual crop that provide an increase in protein for your diet, and can grow on the borders of the garden, taking up very little space.

Raised beds for vegetables

Vegetables, grown in raised beds or containers, give high yields and can be rotated for 3 season gardening — greens from spinach to lettuce to kale can rotate through the growing season to keep your plate full for daily salads and vegetables.  We grow all the greens we need in about 20 square feet this way.  Other vegetables, like cabbage, beans, carrots and beets, need a full growing season but can be inter-cropped with flowers and herbs to feed bees, and provide medicinal plants for the family first aid kit.  With raised bed gardening you could cut down the vegetable area square footage by ½ to 2/3rds   Add a greenhouse and train vines to grow up instead of out and you can increase the growing season and the yields in the available space.

Community is essential

This chart fails to take into account the sharing that inevitably happens between gardeners — zucchinis, squash, lettuces and other prolific growers provide a bountiful harvest that many families can share, at the peak of the growing season.

Rabbits?  Chickens? Ducks?

Put in some rabbit hutches – Each rabbit needs 2 feet by 3 ft. space.  You can give them a grass run and build rabbit condos that offer them a wonderful, natural lifestyle.   3 female french angora rabbits and 1 male will provide your family with a meal of rabbit meat once a week and enough angora to keep your family in mittens and hats for the winter.  They will eat your garden surplus, and grass hay.  In Europe, during WWII, families with back yard rabbits would make hay by harvesting the grass from vacant lots and roadsides all summer.  And they make affectionate pets, too.  Are we eating our pets? No, as a farmer you make pets out of the breeding animals and give the best possible life and respect to the young that end up on your plate.

You don’t need meat every day, but you do need high quality protein every day and this kind of gardening will give you that.

Consider planting field peas for increased protein.  Field peas increase the fertility of the soil and the crop is ready to harvest in August when the ground can be cleared and a second crop can be planted of either peas or a winter vegetables.  The straw from peas is relished by goats and rabbits.

Aquaponics

Consider the addition of an aquaponics greenhouse in the vegetable growing area.  This will yield fish fertilizer, vegetables, and fish for a well rounded diet for you and your garden — along with year round vegetables.  Add a methane digester and you can supply some of your own energy needs as well.  If you can grow meat and vegetables year round, you reduce your dependence on a freezer, which lowers your electrical needs.

My estimate is that in a highly productive area with adequate rainfall, the average family could raise all their food needs on 1 acre of land.  Many did just this during WWII with just a large city lot, by walking their goats and moving their chickens around the vegetable garden.  The key to making this work is to eat what you can grow in your climate — using heritage seeds that are adapted to your growing conditions. With more land — 5 acres — you can move from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and begin to make some money from your productivity.

If you have more land, grow more food and expand your self sufficiency. But if you only have a balcony in a city apartment, grow where you are planted.  And start in a small way to be more sufficient now.  On the Joybilee Farm Facebook Page, I post periodic links to urban agricultural projects to inspire your urban efforts for self sufficiency.

One of my favorite resources for urban farm is the Urban Farm Guys. Their videos are practical step-by-step guidelines to help you harvest more food from a small amount of land. –joybileefarm.com

Real Enough To Touch (Gaston x Reader)

Part 4 of “Another Look Around”

Originally posted by luuuuuke-evans

World Count: Freaking 3,240

Warnings: None

Tags: @timeskipeleven @with-a-hint-of-pesto-aioli @lovelylpevensie @mmegaston @lj-laufeypevensieweasley @juggernaut-jones (pretty sure I got everyone, but if I didn’t, just lemme know)

A/N: mkay so I wrote this at like 2:30 this morning, which is usually when I’m most awake, but for some reason I was hella tired, and I was just trying to write as much as I could before I fell asleep, then when I woke up this morning and read thru it, I didn’t even remember writing half of it so here we go


Day had expired long ago; the moon was once again shinning its brightest and your mother couldn’t keep her mouth shut about Gaston.

After inviting him to stay for lunch, the two of them had exhausted every word in the English language, chatting about everything from weather, to Gaston’s time served as a military captain, to whether or not the hydrangeas in your mother’s flower beds would bloom late this year. You and Belle had sat together, looking on in awe as they talked away for two whole hours. At first you were nervous about how Belle might behave around him, but seeing how she never got a chance to say anything, it hadn’t been a problem.

Every now and then, taking the opportunity presented while your mother was yammering on, Gaston had glanced at you, tossing you a smirk or winking, or both at the same time, to which you couldn’t help but grin and blush.

The conversation didn’t reduce when it came time to eat either. You and Belle finished in silence while Gaston and your mother were barely able to touch their plates at all. Afterwards Gaston offered to help with clearing, but your mother brushed him off, insisting that she was sure that he had much more important things to attend to. Then, while Belle subtly distracted her for a few seconds, you’d grabbed Gaston and pulled him outside before your mother could initiate another discussion about knitting patterns or ancient family soup recipes.

Finally alone, you’d taken the moment to arrange plans for your next outing, then Gaston had left you with a kiss on your hand and a promise of a great hunting adventure later in the week.

When your father returned later that night, he revealed that he had met Gaston on the way home and spent a good amount of time speaking with him. Apparently it was a stimulating conversation, because he had plenty to contribute to your mother’s praises.

Well, you thought to yourself as your mother went on about how pleasant and welcoming she’d found Gaston’s voice, at least there won’t be any trouble obtaining their approval of him.

You caught yourself with a start. Your parents’ voices faded as you realized that you were now actually considering courting Gaston. It was no longer like those times in the past when the thought made you giggle or roll your eyes. It was real this time. It was actual consideration. You went to bed early, then continued to think about the situation as you lay under the covers, gazing out your window at the dark rooftops of the neighboring houses. The concept of being with Gaston was gaining popularity in your head.

It was easy to imagine waking up to the thought of him, not being able to breathe until he was by your side. Being able to take his hand and brush your lips against it whenever you liked, being able to stand on your toes to kiss his cheek or his nose, running your fingers through his dark hair, and looking into his stunning eyes as he laughed and pulled you closer.

You could imagine the sensation of his lips on yours with such ease that for a few brief moments you questioned whether or not you were imagining, or remembering.

These were the thoughts and ideas that took your stomach made your heart stutter.

You rolled into your back and sighed in frustration, realizing that you had become a living, breathing cliché. You might as well put a stupid wig on your head and join up with the Bimbettes, following the captain around everywhere he went with hearts in your eyes. Just like nearly every woman in town, you had become fascinated with the tall, dark and handsome Gaston.

You didn’t want to admit it, but it’d happened so sudden and unexpectedly that you’d had no chance to stop it.

You groaned out loud and reached over to the other side of your bed, snatching up a pillow, stuffing it over your face and shutting your eyes.


 “(Y/N)…for heaven’s sake, (Y/N), wake up.”

   You cried out as someone smacked you on the leg with what felt like a book. Growling, you pried your eyes open and sat up abruptly.

   Belle sat smiling on the edge of your bed, sure enough holding Romeo and Juliet in her hand.

   “Unnecessary,” you grumbled, placing a pillow behind your back.

   “Amusing,” Belle countered, scooting forward to place her knee on the bed. You narrowed your eyes and stuck your tongue out at her before nodding towards the copy on her lap. “You finished it?” you inquired, rubbing your hands across your tired face. Belle’s eyes filled with a fusion of joy and heartbreak. “Yes,” she drawled. You chuckled, your voice deep and heavy with sleep. “Bad ending?”

   “Perfect ending! It’s so beautifully tragic -”

   “Shhh!” you hushed quickly. “I might want to read it someday.”

   Belle grinned and tucked the book closer to her side almost protectively. “You should. You’d like it.”

   With a yawn you replied, “Pure romance. Not really my favorite genre.”

   She quirked an eyebrow. “Just wait till the day you fall deeply in love. You won’t be able to get enough of it.”

   You stuffed a pillow in her face, causing her to shriek.

   “Careful!” she exclaimed, shoving the pillow away before raising her other hand, revealing a bundle of gorgeous wildflowers in her grasp. Your eyes widened. Belle rolled hers.

   “These,” she said, handing the blossoms to you. “were on your doorstep this morning. I can only imagine who they’re from.”

   You ignored her, noticing the red silk ribbon tied around the stems. You fought off a smile as a warm feeling sprouted in your stomach.

   “He’s certainly doesn’t have any shortage of romanticism in him,” Belle admitted, leaning back on one arm as you inhaled the fresh perfume of the bouquet. “No he doesn’t,” you murmured, secretly enjoying the simple gesture more than you should’ve. Suffice it to say that with Gaston you were never bored.

   “Well,” you said, stretching. “I guess I should get these in some water. You off to Pere Robert’s?” Belle nodded, sliding off the bed so that you could get up. “I hope he has some new arrivals this week. His shipments usually come so slowly. I’ll have to hurry though, the clouds look like they’re about to burst.”

   You glanced out the window at the stormy looking sky, feeling a prick of excitement. You and Belle walked down the stairs together, then she bid you goodbye while you searched for a vase in which to put Gaston’s flowers. After locating one and filling it with water, you placed the flowers inside, returned to your room and set the jar on your bedside table. The sweet aroma was already beginning to fill the area.

   Half an hour later you were dressed, hair tidied, bed made and ready for breakfast. It only occurred to you on your second visit to the kitchen that neither your mother nor father were anywhere to be seen as they usually were. You grabbed an apple from a bowl on the table, then made your way to the common area, only to find it empty as well. With a frown, you decided to search in the back of the house. where you were finally successful.

   Your mother stood on the doorstep, looking on proudly as your father and Maurice hurried to attach a glossy new black iron gate to a matching fence that encircled the entire rear flower and vegetable beds. The old rusted barrier was lying in a heap of pealing brown bars a few feet from the house, and you immediately remembered about your father and Belle’s going to see Monsieur Barthelemy about a new fence the previous morning.

   You stepped towards your mother and grasped her arm disbelievingly. “Mama, when you said that Papa wanted to replace the fence, I thought he was talking about something cheap until we could get something better.”

   “That was what he thought too!” your mother sang, patting your hand. A few peals of thunder rumbled through the clouds, and the air thickened with humidity.

   “Then what on earth is that?” you exclaimed, gesturing towards the masterfully sculpted posts embellished with decorative fleur de lis and painted a flawless black. “Something like that does not come cheap, especially if it’s coming from Monsieur Barthelemy. Mama, we can’t afford -”  

   You were interrupted by your father striding towards you with a look the greatest delight imaginable on his features. “(Y/N), darling!” he said, waving a hand at the finished perimeter. “Isn’t it wonderful? Barthelemy and his apprentices were up all night constructing it.”

   “Yes, Papa, it’s wonderful. That’s the problem. How exactly do you intend to pay for all this?”

   “It’s already been payed for,” Maurice voiced as he rose from his knees, wiping his hands on a wet rag. You frowned. “What?”

   The first few drops of rain had begun to splash at your feet and dribble on your hair, prompting your mother to hurry everyone inside.

   “Yes, every single piece,” your father finished, gazing fondly at the fence through the open door. “When Maurice and I arrived at Barthelemy’s this morning to arrange an order, it was finished. He said that an anonymous client had placed the order for his finest work yesterday evening. Even paid him extra to have it done by today and to keep quiet about it.”

   Your eyes were now wide as they gazed at your father. You were about to speak when he held up his hand. He was smiling satisfactorily.

   “I told you last night that I ran into Monsieur Gaston on the way home. I told him where I’d been and my purpose for my trip. He was the only one other than our blacksmith and Maurice and I who knew anything about the matter.” He gave a short chuckle then added, “And besides, Barthelemy confirmed it himself. Keeping his mouth shut never was one of that man’s talents.”

   Your heart did a sort of somersault. Outside, the rain had begun to beat down with a vengeance, the ground vibrating with occasional cracks of thunder. You couldn’t say a word. You couldn’t even think straight.

   Your father laughed at your expression, placing his hands on your shoulders. “I told you he was a good fellow, that Gaston!” he said merrily over the sound of the rain. He kissed your forehead before shuffling his way past you into the kitchen where your mother and Maurice were already talking about the downpour.

   You stood in place for several moments, turning over your father’s words in your head. A muggy breeze blew through the door, spraying your face with raindrops.

   “Oh, goodness,” your mother called towards you. “(Y/N) please close that door before we have a floor on our hands.”

   However instead of obeying, you did the last thing any of the adults expected you to do.

   You stepped over the threshold and sprinted out into the garden.

   You heard your mother’s startled yelp from inside, but ignored it as you splashed barefoot through the patches of flowers, mud seeping between your toes and spattering the the skirt of your pale green dress. You carefully swung yourself over the new fence, then ran along the side of the house until you came to the front, unhesitatingly dashing out into the practically deserted street beyond.

   Most of the vendors had already folded up their shops, but the occasional few who were still scrambling to pack up their wares gave you odd glances as you ran by, already soaked to the bone and looking as if you were late for some extremely important engagement in the rain.

    You scanned the town square hastily, disregarding the bustling villagers fleeing towards shelter, for none of them matched the description of the one person you wanted to find. You adjusted your position to stand in the exact middle of the square, holding your hair back from your face and squinting through the rain, turning in a slow circle to survey each inch of the visible landscape. And that was when you spotted him.

   He stood a few feet from the tavern, trying quickly to untangle his horse from the post to which it was tied, and not succeeding. His tan coat wasn’t as easy to spot as his flamboyantly red one, but you recognized him regardless from the span of his broad shoulders and his dark, wet hair.

   You walked to stand closer to him, then called over the deluge, “One time when I was little, I was playing outside of the blacksmith’s shop and I accidentally kicked a pebble that knocked over one of Miss Marita’s flowerpots.”

   Gaston wheeled at the sound of your voice, his hands abandoning their work with his horse’s reins. You seemed to have a knack for catching him at moments when he didn’t expect it. His lips were parted as he frowned at you, clearly wondering why in the world you hadn’t chosen somewhere a little drier to confront him. Nevertheless, you went on, taking slow steps towards him with every sentence.

   “I begged Monsieur Barthelemy not to tell that I was the one who broke it, but he did anyway, and to this day it’s still the reason Miss Marita charges me extra for eggs.” You smiled, now within feet of each other. “Barthelemy’s never been good at keeping secrets, Gaston. Not even ones he’s payed to keep.”

   A look of realization dawned on his face, “Ah,” he said with a guilty laugh. “Well then, remind me never to do business with him again.” He brought one hand up to swipe through his hair, keeping the soaked strands off his forehead. You shook your head, still smiling disbelievingly.

   “That metalwork on that fence would be considered a masterpiece even by a city blacksmith,” you continued, moving closer. “It wasn’t like simply buying a gift for an old friend.”

   Gaston shifted his shoulders and responded, “Wasn’t it?”

   You looked him squarely in the eyes. “Gaston, that order must’ve cost more than Barthelemy earns in a year, without the extra it took for him to keep his mouth not-so-shut.”

   The former captain licked his lips as droplets of rain streamed down his tanned face. In close quarters, you had to look up quite a bit to maintain eye contact, but that didn’t mean that you didn’t notice - or appreciate - the way the rain had turned his white shirt partially see-through and caused it to cling to his chest, displaying every sculpted muscle in his midsection. His brown pants too were leaving nothing to the imagination. The way the rain slid slowly down his neck and turned his hair curly was enough to give you butterflies.

   “Trust me, (Y/N),” he said eventually, no longer needing to keep his voice raised with you standing so close. “The cost was nothing compared to the joy it brought me to provide such a needed gift to your father.”

   Your eyebrows shot up, and before you knew it you were laughing.

   “Are you even real?” you asked incredulously, hardly able to believe the words coming from his mouth. Gaston smiled, causing those infamous creases to form around his mouth and at the corners of his eyes. You couldn’t help thinking that in all the time you’d known him, he’d never looked so breathtakingly beautiful as he did now, drenched from head to foot in the warm spring rain.

   “Real enough to touch,” he said, his voice emanating softly from his chest as he brought his hand up and brushed your dripping hair off your shoulder, lingering his touch on the side of your neck.

   Your breath hitched in your throat, and almost in slow motion, you felt your own hand rising to cover his. Gaston’s eyes flickered with something indistinguishable, and he instantly took the moment to swipe his thumb across your cheek, leaving tingles behind on your skin.

  After a few seconds he shuffled his feet forward slightly, and you had to tilt your chin even higher to look into those dark, hazel eyes that could almost certainly see straight into your mind. His right hand soon mimicked the position of his left, his fingertips sliding ever so slightly into your hair. In a reflexive kind of way, you brought both of your hands to settle around his forearms, the soft, moist fabric of his jacket beneath your palms.

   The rain continued to fall in sheets, and despite his previous efforts, several strands of Gaston’s hair came loose from their manicured style and fell across his forehead. As he leaned even nearer, his eyes fell to your lips, and in that instant, you swore that your heart stopped and stood still inside your chest. His actions were slow and gentle, something that you never would’ve guessed from him.

   But none of that mattered. The world silently washed away like the heavy June shower as Gaston dipped his head, his eyes fluttering shut before he grazed his lips over yours, barely enough to feel more than a whisper of his touch.

   You’d never felt your heart soar so high. There was a fiery sensation spreading through every inch of your being, causing you to feel weightless but still real. Invincible but still vulnerable. And there was only one word you could think of to describe the feeling.

   Alive.

   When Gaston pulled away, it was just for an instant, a mere few seconds to look at you and read your reaction. And in that precious moment he realized with a shock to his insides that he had never before in his life seen anything of such an otherworldly beauty then you standing there in front of him, eyes closed in pure bliss and water spilling down your cheeks.

   Then his mouth was on yours again, but his time with more than just a simple touch. This time his lips moved against yours with an intensity fueled by pure passion. A passion which you readily returned.

   You pushed yourself onto your toes, throwing your arms around his neck and pulling your body against his. Gaston kissed you even deeper, tilting his head to the side and grasping you by the waist, keeping your entire body as tightly against his as was possible. His actions were slow but electrifying.

   He was savoring every instant, and so were you. It became clear that both of you had been waiting, even pining after this moment for far too long, even if one of you had been reluctant to admit it.

   The taste of rain that mixed through the kiss, the feeling of his arms around you, desperate to keep you close, the obvious desire and love that coursed from your combined movements…

    The sound of high-pitched wails echoing off the stone courtyard pulled you from ecstasy back into the world around you, and with difficulty you drew back from Gaston.

   The three sisters, Claudette, Laurette and Paulette were standing under the awning of the cloth-merchant’s, huge crocodile tears pouring down their faces, cutting paths through the white powder on their faces and causing the black around their eyes to melt down onto their cheeks.

   You bit your lip and leaned your head against Gaston’s shoulder with a quiet, “Oops…”

    His laughter rumbled in his chest as he pressed a kiss to the top of your head.

concept: you live in a little old house with its share of creaks and leaks, but lots of character. you’ve cultivated every inch of its land to grow vegetables. tall garden beds line either side of the walkway, so that your shoulders brush past leafy greens and sprawling vines when you walk to your front door. you grow more than you can eat, and enjoy sharing veggies with your neighbors, and letting the neighborhood kids each pick a pumpkin n the fall. you go out to snip some herbs for dinner, and smell the scent of rain in the breeze. 

Make it hurt ( Then Kiss it better) (Yoongi a/b/o)

Chapter 2

I spent the weekend locked up inside my room. Jieun had gone home to visit her parents , so I could just lay off the suppressants, lock the door and spray scent markers all over the place before vegetating in my bed . I worked on my Biology paper , finished seven Chemistry experiments and equations and also finished a paper that wasn’t due for another month. 

It worked, in a way. I didn’t think about Min Yoongi more than half a dozen times and I only snapped the pencil in my hand twice. 

That Stupidly handsome, infuriatingly hot , and unfairly  polite Alpha jerk. 

Why couldn’t he just be a monster so I could hate him in peace without feeling  guilty  over how I‘d  treated him? 

But by Sunday afternoon , my guilt had intensified into genuine remorse and I decided that it was only fair that I apologize to him and properly thank him for what he’d done. 

And yet it took me three hours to actually bring myself to get dressed, slipping on a nice huge hoodie ( it was Seokjin’s) , a long skirt and my favorite sneakers. i looked like a beggar , i knew but I was comfy. 

A few subtle enquiries told me that Yoongi and his friends were in the huge grounds near the basketball court, probably smoking and having fun the way they usually did. Most of them were Alphas , so I grabbed my bottle of suppressants and chucked in four pills just to be on the safer side , before trudging out of my dorm and into the night. 

But when I reached there, i found that half the school was gathered around them. i elbowed my way to the front.

“Get up.” Kim Namjoon, another Senior growled , eyes blazing with fury as he stared down at the boy on the floor. He looked like he was about to kill him, and the amount of fury on his handsome face made me balk.

I hesitated, burrowing deeper in my hoodie as I stood in the second row of spectators , watching the brutality unfold in front of us. It was oddly disturbing, how absolutely ravenous the crowd looked for the bloody entertainment. They were all high schoolers but there was something very ancient in their gaze. A sort of bloodlust? Or the need to see someone suffer. For what, really?

They studied in the best school in the country : reserved for the richest elite. All of them wore the best clothes, carried the most expensive phones and drove the most fashionable cars. One would think, their thrill-seeking minds wouldn’t resort to watching innocent boys getting beaten into a pulp.

But one would be wrong.

Anytime one of  the three hotshots  decided to pick on a poor unfortunate kid, the students gathered at once. They cheered on the violent beatings and hooted in delirious frenzy.

Next toNamjoon, Yoongi and Hoseok stood with arms folded, Hoseok looking angry and Yoongi, unreadable as always. 

I swallowed nervously as I watched the three boys, standing over their cowering classmate. And honestly, I wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t let my mouth and temper run away with me! 

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

“She told you she wasn’t interested!! So you molest her?!!! Are you fucking kidding me? ”  Kim Namjoon hissed , staring down at the boy with his intent to kill written clearly on his perfect features.

I grimaced as the boy whimpered in genuine fear.

“No…Joon Hyung it’s a misunderstanding, i didn’t…”

Namjoon’s boot connected solidly with the boy’s jaw cutting off his words and leaving a splatter of blood against the pristine white floor . I stared, sickened, before letting out a noise of disgust.

I hadn’t meant for it to be loud. But it was.

Min Yoongi glanced up sharply , eyes landing on me at once. I stumbled back in surprise and quickly burrowed deeper into my hoodie.

He hesitated before dragging his eyes up and down my body, lips curling softly and  I could feel nausea build up at the back of my throat. Why did it have to behim of all the damn people in the entirety of South Korea! Why did it have to be Min fucking Yoongi ?

He looked fit and smug , ash blonde hair falling into his eyes over the fabric of his head band, all angular features and sinful lips. He narrowed his eyes and smirked. And then he was sublty scenting the air and I felt completely creeped out and it stuck me that he likely could smell me. 

How? How could he when no one else could?!! 

Fuck, I was in so much trouble.

 Get out of here. Now is not the time to make apologies. 

I didn’t need to watch more. Pushing my hands further into my pockets, I slowly walked to the water fountain on the way to the dormitories. At times like this, I wished i had a family to run away to. I was a ward of the state, which meant that vacations or working days, weekends or weeknights, rain or shine, I’d be locked here in school. I didn’t mind. The place was sprawling and you could spend days just walking around , without meeting a single soul.

There was an unwritten rule in our chool : don’t ask Don’t tell. Don’t ask who’s sleeping with who . Don’t tell if you hook up with a guy. There were enough crammed places , hidden from view where the girls and guys could do … stuff. The management didn’t really mind : they got their fat paycheck courtesy of these spoiled brats and their trust funds. Why ruin a good thing, huh?

But the problem was, these guys thought every female with two legs and a working vagina was fair game. At first i was flattered that they wanted me. That every guy i met took a double take when he saw my face. 

But then i realized that most of them didn’t stop with the looking. They wanted to touch.  And so , it became a hassle that i couldn’t get rid of no matter what i did.

As I kept walking, I became aware of how dark it was. it was a little past seven now, and the lamps leading to my dorm were always shrouded by the trees. It had rained earlier and the sound of crickets, the stench of rotting vegetation and the dampness in the air made me want to hide.

 Yoongi standing there, looking at me and being able to sense my presence. 

I snorted at the thought of them. Every single one of them were nothing more than a group of glorified sadists. Rich, handsome with more cash than conscience. I didn’t like the fact that i’d registered on yet another bastard’s radar. Sighing, I clenched my fists.

“Wait.”

I froze, my entire body going stiff at the unwelcome voice. it was Kris Wu. Another burly Alpha Senior with more looks than brains. He smelled like rotten fish and i wanted to puke. 

. Oh, God.

“What do you want?” I said without turning around, glancing quickly at the nearest building. at least twenty five yards away. Should i make a run for it?

“You .”

I shut my eyes in disgust. And then jumped when cold fingers circled my wrist, yanking me back till I hit a chest that was built like a wall.

“Let me go, you jerk.” I shoved him, hard.

Kris Wu looked less than apologetic as he grinned at me. Apparently while the others had been busy beating up a that guy, this one had come looking for fresh prey to feed on. He made my skin crawl. He pulled me closer and lightly swept my hair back before gripping my chin between his fingers.

“Not so fast. I asked you to come to my dorm last night. Defying orders now are we?” He glanced down at my lips and I pulled away. 

So he’d been the one to send that message. i got dozens of them. Come to my bed baby… Oppa’ll repay you well and good..

Disgusting creeps…

I clenched my fists and shoved him off. He gripped my wrists easily pinning me in place. Why the fuck were Alphas so tall and strong!! 

“Orders? I’m not your fucking whore. Go find some other slut to get your dick wet, you filthy bastard… ” I snarled, yanking my hand back again .

At least trying to . He did not let go.

“Aren’t you? Rumor has it that you prefer girls… is that it , babe? ” He sneered. I grinned.

“Are you telling me you’ve got a pussy instead of balls?” I shot back and his jaw tightened, eyes narrowing briefly.

“What a smart mouth… I’d love to see it wrapped around my cock. Maybe that will remove all the doubts you have about what’s between my legs.”

“I’ll tell you what should  be between your legs. Your fucking tail that’s what…” I shoved him again, this time putting more weight into it and he stumbled, just enough to let go of my wrists.

I didn’t think twice and ran quickly. But damn his long legs he was quick enough to wrap a hand around my ankle of all things, and i realized he’d straight up dived for me across the gravel path. I lost my footing and crashed down on the hard path, barely saving my face by throwing my palms out in front of me.

As it was the rough cement and gravel tore into my skin easily, ripping my palm and leaving burning bloody streaks of torn flesh. i swore, kicking out angrily while he crawled on top of me, straddling my body and pressing his erection into my stomach.

“I’m going to fuck you, one of these days but I want you to be willing. Why not save us both the trouble and just give in?” He sneered. I pushed my knee up and managed to get him off me.

“Get the fuck out of my face, you bastard…” I said furiously, moving to push past him. i stalk away in disgust. Jesus, i should have just bloody stayed in my room tonight!

I was almost at the entrance to the dorm , when the world exploded around me in sharp searing pain , my back hitting the wall next to the entrance with a smash that made my bones jar. I blinked in confused pain, trying to comprehend just happened.

. He had me pushed against the wall, one knee jammed between my thighs, his fingers buried in the hair at my nape, yanking my head back till i was staring right up at him. I’d never realized how tall he was before.

“You little whore…you think you can talk to me like that ??!! ” He screams into my face and I actually died a little on the inside. It’s never happened to me before, someone screaming into my face, and my mind struggled to comprehend what’s happening and how to make it stop. I struggled to get away from the wall that I’m caged into but he pushes in closer and there’s literally nowhere to move. He’s pressing into me so hard that it hurts.

“You’re out of your fucking mind if you think you can get away with this..” I gasp out and he yanks harder on my hair. A second later he was dragging me into the bushes, past the small clump of trees and into a small clearing, my hair still held in his thick fingers, the grip so strong that I’m already crying.

“It makes me sick that you keep rejecting me.  You little bitch , you act all high and mighty, like you own the world, like you’re so much better than us, like I’m not good enough for you…..You should be grateful that a guy like me even looks at you….” He spat out venomously and suddenly it makes sense.

“You’re a fucking coward! Only cowards use their strength against a woman you little- ” I stop when he pulls me back and rams me down into the ground.

“Fucking slut, you think you’re invincible….?? Bitches like you are only fit for one thing…. ” His breath was nauseating, mingled with alcohol and he kissed me sloppily, saliva dribbling down my chin as he all but slobbered over me.

And then he was doing something unbelievable, yanking his tie off from around his neck. It took me all of three seconds to comprehend what he’s doing but its too late.

i fumbled wildly for the  phone in my pocket but he grabbed it at once, throwing it hard into the bushes.

He pulled me up and flipped me around, grabbing both my wrists behind my back and tying my wrists together with his tie. I laughed in hysterical disbelief.

“You’ve been watching too many movies, Kris. Are you even thinking right now? If this gets out…”

“If this gets out, they’ll just say you’re trying to get attention. That Kris oppa would never do something like this. ” He said softly and I actually choked because it’s frighteningly true.

For the first time, genuine fear began to slip in.

“This is a fucking crime, you idiot! ” I said desperately. “ You could fucking go to prison for this!” 

Holy shit, was he that much of an idiot?!!

 I suddenly felt completely uncertain.

 I didn’t know what I would do if he raped me.

 What the hell did women do in these situations? Put up a fight? How..

“Because it’s what you’re good for…” He hissed into my neck, pushing me into the damp cement floor again. “ You should’ve come into my bed when i asked you to.”

I could feel myself go boneless in disbelief. There’s no reasoning with a man whose ego is threatened. I stayed still, heart pounding and then he flipped me around again, staring into my face.

“Tell me you want me, baby girl..” He said softly. Anger and disgust crawled up my spine and i felt physically sick.

I spat in his face.

He slapped me so hard my ears rang. I was stunned and disoriented, burning pain threatening to overwhelm me.

“That’s it you little bitch..Now you’re in for it…” He rasped out .

what happens next was sort of a blur.

He tried hard, really hard to get my legs apart but I didn’t give in, thrashing wildly and finally he grabbed my chin and pulled me close.  His grip on my cheekbones was so hard i knew there were going to be bruises . I expected him to punch me or something but then he was grabbing my hair and yanking me to my knees.

When your knees are weak and the floor’s a sharp jagged cement hell, digging into your already hurt and torn skin, and your hands are restrained, you honestly can’t get yourself to stand up.

Not when there’s a six foot guy gripping your hair and your chin, forcing your mouth open. He let go of my hair to unbuckle his belt and yank it out of the loops.

“Get off her.” A familiar voice said suddenly and Kris groaned, pushing off me roughly. I stumbled  back and tried to put as much space between him and I as possible, my palms burning.

I glanced up to find Namjoon, Yoongi and Hoseok slowly making their way over, jackets off and over their shoulders , pristine white shirts unbuttoned.

Kris and his crew were usually at loggerheads with these guys and obviously realizing that he was outnumbered, he quickly slinked away into the darkness before the boys reached the pale circle of light on the gravel path. It was almost fully dark now. I stayed kneeling, trying to catch my breath as they came closer.

“What is this?” Namjoon said boredly, eyes barely glancing at me before looking at his friends.

“She’s a junior, I think. Her name’s …. something. I don’t know.” Hoseok said with a little laugh and Yoongi just stood still staring down at me a mildly exasperated look on his face. 

“Who did you go and pick a fight with now? ” He said softly and I swallowed.

“Go to hell…. ” I said softly already wishing for death.

 If Kris was a devil , this guy looked like Lucifer himself. I didn’t want to run. That wouldn’t really end well.

“I’ve heard about her. Pretty face , potty mouth. Looks like dream and acts like a she-devil….. She’s nothing but trouble. ” Hoseok snapped and I took a deep breath.

 i was screwed.

Yoongi chuckled deeply.

“You’re being unfair, Hoseok-ah…i think she has her moments … but mostly i find her pretty … entertaining.” 

Staying perfectly still, i watched him come closer , finally stepping into the bright circle cast by the streetlamp. 

He looked  strapping and breathtakingly beautiful. 

Terrifyingly dangerous as he stared at me, his eyes fixed on my face. Something shifted in his gaze as he glaced down at my hand which i hadn’t even realized had begun shaking.

 He kept coming and i willed myself not to move. I didn’t want to act like he scared me. Which he didn’t . 

. He gently picked my hand up, his touch feather light, before turning my hand over, palm up. He stared at the bloody scratches and lightly traced one particularly deep cut. I shivered as he tugged on the tie around my wrists , loosening the knot and letting me out of the bounds.

My wrists ached as I held them up in front of me, my shoulder stinging from being pushed back for too long.

“Water.” He said calmly. I blinked.

“Excuse me?” I croaked. But then Hoseok pulled out a small water bottle from his backpack and handed it to him. 

Yoongi kept his gaze on my face as he uncapped the bottle before swiftly pouring the water on my palms and rubbing away the blood and gravel, making my hand sting agonizingly. I bit my lips to swallow the pain.

“Are you hurt? Did he touch you ? ” He said casually, continuing to wash my palm very gently… 

I shook my head.

“No, sunbae.”

He smiled.

“i’m going to tear his limbs off anyway.  ” He said casually, dropping my hand and holding his hand up for the next one.

The words terrified me more than anything else. 

I stepped back curling my hands into fists and shaking my head quickly. i stumbled up on shaky legs and moved back, still trembling from the nerves. He smirked and handed me the waterbottle instead.

“Get yourself cleaned up, Min Jung ssi….” He turned around and walked away. Namjoon gave me a curious glance, while  Hoseok stared at the waterbottle rather distastefully. i quickly rushed over and handed it to him and he shook his head.

“Keep it. Yoongi hyung will throw a fit if i take that thing back ” He said sulkily before moving away.

I stared after them for a while, not at all sure what had happened or why.

NATURAL BEAUTY - photography: Alexandre Bailhache - text: Mario López-Cordero - Veranda June/July 2016

  • “A Belgian garden by Jacque, Martin, and Peter Wirtz uses boxwood in playful contrast to vegetable beds, topiaries, and a lush vineyard beyond.”
8

My boyfriend and I decided to repurpose the fence boards piled up in the backyard into raised garden beds! There are 5 different beds, each is 6′x6′, making up approximately 180 square feet of total growing space. So excited to experiment with my first garden of this size! I’ll be posting throughout the summer again!

Leonardo's invasion

Night fell on the city gently and lovingly. The daytime sun had been a harsh mistress and the urban jungle was feeling the scorch of early summer heat.

Already, in these late months of spring, the asphalt was hot enough to blister. The blasts of sunlight reflecting off the roofs of passing cars near Times Square was like a laser beam to the retina. It was so early the season, and all too soon the heat was becoming unbearable.

Escaping the Dantes Inferno like atmosphere, The tall human woman was tending her rooftop garden. Which had grown to monstrous size in these past few weeks. With additions of vegetables, more nocturnal beds, aloe and other succulents, hide outs for Pumpkin to cool herself down, and even some water features and a small pond. For privacy, trellises and flowering vines gave natural curtains from prying eyes.

It was a modern day Eden.

Even the energy here was drastically different than the apartment. This space was a living, breathing testimony to thriving in the most unlikely of places.

Wearing a long wrap around skirt that hugged every curve of her waist and generous hips, and a tank top that made her feel like she wasn’t sweating to death, the female tending her garden was brushing a bit of dirt off her hands when she stood up. She smiled to herself when she heard the pond frogs and cicadas start their evening chorus.

The air was thick with perfume of lilacs and jasmine. It made her cheeks burn slightly thinking of who inspired the recent additions of lilacs.

Turning around to check on the hibiscus the redhead let out a startled squeak. No matter how good her situational awareness was, a ninja could shatter that confidence. Raph was on patrol tonight so she wasn’t expecting visitors. Much less the one standing before her.

Leonardo was the groups leader. He was also more affectionately know as ‘Fuckwad’ from her man. Raph and Leo didn’t often see eye to eye on things like leadership, or fighting rotations, or training, or well… anything.

“Fuck Leo! You scared me half to death.” The flustered woman exclaimed. Immediately she regretted saying the ‘F word’ in front of him. It’s not like he’s never heard it before, (given who he lived with) but the thing was Leo never swore. So, out of respect she tried to watch her language in front of him. She thought it really fucking odd he never swore, but she didn’t dog the male out over it either. He was always such the gentleman, especially in manner of speech.

His towering, well muscled frame took half a step towards her and made a courteous bow of his head. “My deepest apologies. I didn’t mean to. I would have called if I had a way. Forgive me?”

Slightly shaking herself from the rush of adrenaline, the female regained her composure. “Yeah, of course. No worries.” Looking around she told the leader in blue, “Uh, Raphs not here if you’re looking for him. He’s on rotation tonight so..”

Clearing his throat the mutant sheepishly replied, “No, I know. I’m the one who makes the schedule. I actually came to see you if that’s alright?”

The wind picked up at that moment and made the tall grasses in the planters sway and rustle giving a serene moment to help break the tension forming.

Never had she been alone with another male since her monogamous commitment to Raphael. It felt like a violation to have anyone else in her personal space while she was alone at night. As if to further prove her point, Pumpkin the cat chose to sit at the woman’s feet and growl at the offending turtle. The feline wasn’t exactly shy about her dislike of him either. She was Raphs kitten after all.

“Um, alright… can I get you something to drink? We can talk over in the cabanas.” The woman said leading the way to the seating area.

It felt especially strange having Leo come to take a seat in the plush U shaped platform with the oversized shade umbrellas and curtains flowing on bamboo frames. It felt like he was invading a scared space. Raph and her built this custom extravagance with their own hands. It was however, the only seating large enough to accommodate a plus four hundred pound turtle. So here they were.

Fireflies danced in the humid air and a pitcher of mint cucumber water sat on a tray between them. Glasses with ice were filled and a thanks was mumbled. Like a heavy molasses, uncomfortable silence stretched between the mutant and the human as they sipped the cold water.

Breathing in deep and closing his eyes in that thoughtful way of his, Leonardo seemed to be meditating. Y/N didn’t know what she was supposed to do. Her eyes glanced around and she was glad to have something to occupy her hands. She was a nervous fidgeter.

When she thought she was going to scream from the waiting, finally Leo opened his blue eyes and trained them right on Raphs female.

It was unnerving for her. She had never been the sole focus of his attention before and it was startling. His gaze was deep and piercing. The kind of stare that a male had when he could look right through you, and already he knew your deepest secrets. The kind of stare that stripped you bare and vulnerable.

“Raph comes home smelling like this place. Of earth, and fresh growing things. Of things other than city grime and sewer. The other night the smell of fresh basil lingered on him for hours. I was so jealous I wanted to choke him.” Softly, a smile curved Leo’s lips as he made his confession.

“Oh. Uh, yeah. When he comes over we usually spend most of our time out here. No one can really see in and I’m already stuck inside most of the day. So… yeah…” The female said. Her reply was somewhat sheepish because she still didn’t really know where any of this was coming from. Or where it was headed.

The frogs chirped and the wooden wind chimes could be heard on the other end of the canopy. Long flowing curtains around the platform seemed to be moved by invisible hands as they danced in the breeze.

Y/N was really starting to squirm now. This setting, this environment, it was all too intimate, it was all too much. She was really kicking herself at the moment for lighting all the citronella candles when she first came out here some hours earlier.

Just what a girl needs when shes hosting her boyfriends brother in the middle of the night. Fucking candlelight ambiance.

For fucks sake. Could this get anymore awkward?

“Look, Leo. Are you okay?” She didn’t mean to be so abrupt, but the tension was killing her.

Ever graceful, ever cool Leo just smiled again and looked away. “Yeah. I’m good. I just… sometimes..”

“If it’s alright with you, if it would be no intrusion… could I spend some time up here? In your gardens? After being stuck down below for so long, you start to long for the world above. Especially when it’s close enough for you to be reminded of its fragrance.” He took that opportunity to look her in the eyes again as he asked his question. Her throat went dry at his focus on her.

God damn. She’d never seen Leo like this before. Like a starving man asking for a crumb as of it were a filet mignon. How in the hell was she supposed to shut down a request like that and still sleep at night?

“Oh.. uh.. I don’t mind. Let me talk to Raph. Maybe there’s a way we can work out a night a week you can come up here while we are in. Or something.” Not knowing how to add in that it would have be to something the three of them agreed upon.

So Raph didn’t field dress his poor brother.

Like a phantom he was up in front on her and picking up her hand to lay a gentle kiss upon it. Like someone bit her, Y/N jumped back.

“A thousand times I thank you. I don’t think you could ever possibly imagine how much this means to me. I’ll come back in a few days after you and Raphael have talked it out to see where we all stand. From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough.”

Gliding in that animalistically smooth way of the mutants, Leo was already to the roofs edge when he stopped. Turning his head to the side he called over his shoulder, “You are an angel among mortals. I can see why he’s so taken with you.”

Leaping over the brick, like a whisper in a graveyard he was gone into the night.

And she just agreed to let him come back?

Damn her bleeding heart.

Damn it straight to Hell.

Originally posted by absinthundblut

sedgeygrass  asked:

Hi I have a question! I'm a new gardener (I'm in high school) and I was wondering if it's bad for mushrooms to grow in my raised beds of vegetables/my potted herb plants? I'm kind of unsure about the whole thing. My mother (who admittedly is a pretty bad gardener) always grumbles and picks them out of the soil saying they're poisonous and bad, but then I see all your pictures and suddenly I'm wondering if they're actually good/neutral? Please let me know! -Emily

Mushrooms are actually a good sign in the garden! Mushrooms in the garden are usually either:

1) Saprobic, meaning they gain nutrition from breaking down organic material (this means they’re breaking material down into elements your plants can use)

OR

2) Mycorrhizal, meaning they form symbiotic relationships with plant root systems. 95% of all plant families form mycorrhizal associations! The fungus and plants work to exchange water and nutrients and often the fungus provides an immune system for the plant, meaning it will grow healthier! Many garden soils contain mycorrhizal fungi for this reason

As well, mushrooms are known to accumulate toxins, pulling them away from your plants. One of my favorite mushrooms, the Dead Man’s Foot (Pisolithus tinctorius) contains a pigment called norbadione A. that binds to radioactive cesium, removing it from the soil. Different species accumulate different toxins. The Agaricus genus contains the most species of mushrooms that concentrate cadmium, while Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus) concentrate the least amount of cadmium. Basically, if you live in an area with a lot of toxins, the mushrooms are doing your plants a favor. AND! If you do a soil test and you know which toxins are present in the area, you can match the appropriate mushroom species to cultivate in that area to clean up the soil. This process is called mycoremediation.

Hopefully to calm your mom’s fears of mushrooms: mushrooms can only be poisonous or harmful if eaten. Not all mushroom species are toxic, a lot are edible and tasty and some are technically edible but we just don’t eat them because they’re not very tasty. Only a handful of mushrooms are actually deadly, the rest will just give you gastrointestinal distress, and anyway most of the deadly ones are mycorhizal with certain tree species and you will NOT find them in your garden bed because they are not saprobic. For example, the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) only forms mycorhizal associations with certain trees, meaning it will not just grow off any old decaying material and it won’t grow in a raised garden bed. 

You can’t accurately make generalizations about the safety of mushrooms because each species is so different! Honestly, this is the case for most plants but people do not make similar generalizations about plant species or regard them with similar disgust!

You should try to identify which species is growing in your garden! Then you can better understand what that fungus is doing underground to help your soil! 

Ten Tips For Raised Garden Beds

Try these organic tips and tricks to get the most out of your planting space

Raised beds are great: the soil in them warms and dries out earlier in the spring than regular garden beds, so you can get planting sooner. They allow us to garden without fighting stones and roots, and the soil in them stays perfectly fluffy since it doesn’t get walked on.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks: in hot dry weather, raised beds tend to dry out quickly. Roots from nearby trees will eventually find their way into your nice, nutrient-dense soil.

Here are ten even high-yield strategies that will make the most of a raised garden bed space.

Ten Tips for Raised Garden Beds

# 1: Never Walk On The Soil

The biggest advantage of raised bed gardening is the light, fluffy, absolutely perfect soil you’re able to work with as a result. When you build your raised beds, build them so that you’re able to reach every part of the bed without having to stand in it. Raised garden bed soil doesn’t need to be tilled as it is not compacted, but this can happen if you walk on the soil in the bed 

# 2: Mulch after planting.

Mulch with newspaper, straw, grass clippings, leaves, or wood chips after planting your garden. This will reduce the amount of weeding you’ll have to do and keep the soil moist.

# 3: Plan your irrigation system.

Two of the best ways to irrigate a raised bed are by soaker hose and drip irrigation. If you plan it ahead of time and install your irrigation system before planting, you can save yourself a lot of work and time spent standing around with a hose later on.

# 4: Install a barrier to roots and weeds.

If you have large trees in the area, or just want to ensure that you won’t have to deal with weeds growing up through your perfect soil, consider installing a barrier at the bottom of the bed. This could be a commercial weed barrier, a piece of old carpet, or a thick piece of corrugated cardboard. If you have an existing raised bed and find that you’re battling tree roots every year, you may have to excavate the soil, install the barrier, and refill with the soil. It’s a bit of work, but it will save you tons of work later on.

# 5: Add nutrient enhanced compost annually.

Gardening in a raised bed is, essentially, like gardening in a really, really large container. As with any container garden, the soil will settle and get depleted as time goes on. You can mitigate this by adding a one to two-inch layer of compost or composted manure each spring before you start planting.

# 6: Fluff the soil with a garden fork as needed.

To lighten compacted soil in your raised bed, simply stick a garden fork as deeply into the soil as possible, and wiggle it back and forth. Do that at eight to twelve-inch intervals all over the bed, and your soil will be nicely loosened without a lot of backbreaking work.

# 7: Cover up your soil at the end of the gardening season

Add a layer of organic mulch or plant a cover crop at the end of your growing season. Soil that is exposed to harsh winter weather breaks down and compacts much faster than protected soil. This technique also keeps the soil nutrient enhanced 

# 8:  Space Smartly

To get the maximum yields from each bed, pay attention to how you arrange your plants. Avoid planting in square patterns or rows. Instead, stagger the plants by planting in triangles. By doing so, you can fit 10 to 14 percent more plants in each bed.

Just be careful not to space your plants too tightly. Some plants won’t reach their full size—or yield—when crowded. For instance, when one researcher increased the spacing between romaine lettuces from 8 to 10 inches, the harvest weight per plant doubled. (Remember that weight yield per square foot is more important than the number of plants per square foot.)

Overly tight spacing can also stress plants, making them more susceptible to diseases and insect attack.

# 9:  Grow Up

No matter how small your garden, you can grow more by going vertical. Grow space-hungry vining crops—such as tomatoes, pole beans, peas, squash, melons, cukes, and so on—straight up, supported by trellises, fences, cages, or stakes.

Growing vegetables vertically also saves time. Harvest and maintenance go faster because you can see exactly where the fruits are. And upward-bound plants are less likely to be hit by fungal diseases thanks to the improved air circulation around the foliage.

Try growing vining crops on trellises along one side of raised beds, using sturdy end posts with nylon mesh netting or string in between to provide a climbing surface. Tie the growing vines to the trellis. But don’t worry about securing heavy fruits—even squash and melons will develop thicker stems for support.

# 10:  Mix It Up

Companion planting saves space, too. Consider the classic Native American combination, the “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash. Sturdy cornstalks support the pole beans, while squash grows freely on the ground below, shading out competing weeds. This combination works because the crops are compatible. Other compatible combinations include tomatoes, basil, and onions; leaf lettuce and peas or brassicas; carrots, onions, and radishes; and beets and celery. 

There are many basics to having a successful garden in a raised bed, Remember to be flexible and open to new ideas that can help your garden

Lips as Red as Blood - part 4

Now in the far north of the land, where perpetual snows made an unwritten page of the landscape and the trees snapped in twain under their burden of white and great rivers of ice flowed from the mountains to the valleys, there dwelt a powerful sorcerer named Shaw.

He hated the fae, for their powers rivalled his own and he would brook no equal.  He took as servants those who had been touched by the fae and taught them their gifts were a curse and that they should hate the fae who had so cursed them.

His greatest servant was Erik the Hunter.  Shaw had brought up Erik from a child and had often told him how the fae had slaughtered his parents and gifted, or rather, cursed him as a grim jest.  Erik’s curse was to know the mind of metal and bend it to his will.  He felt the currents that moved the compass needle and could change their course.  Iron answered most readily to his call.  It took many years of harsh training before he could master other metals, but now, in his twenty third year, all bowed to his command.  Gold like sunlight, silver like the moon, copper like the bright leaves of autumn, steel like spring rain and iron like thunderheads; he was liege lord to them all.

Shaw was a stern master, but Erik owed him his life and and living and felt bound to him.  Sometimes he dreamed of another life.  A workshop where he created beautiful things of metal.  A cottage with a vegetable patch and flower beds.  Children who called him father and laughed in play and cried at scraped knees, who he could protect and love.  No wife though, for Erik was doubly cursed.  His thoughts of love turned not to women, as was natural, but to men, an abomination in the eyes of God and man.  Shaw had discovered his second curse and told him it was of the fae also, so Erik hated them greatly.

The sorcerer called Erik his Hunter because any man Shaw wanted dead, Erik slew.  He never failed.  How could he when his arrows never missed and his blades ever struck true, dancing to his power?  His enemies weapons flew from their hands or turned upon their masters.  He could track a man by the metal he carried and the iron in his blood.  He had even slain fae; who are stronger, faster and more cunning than men and have their magicks.  Iron is poison to the fae.  Erik was grim beyond his years and all feared him, save his master, Shaw, who called him his son, though Erik was no child of his.

Kurt, Lord Marko, Regent of Westchester, made the long journey to Shaw’s fortress one frozen summer.  He brought gifts of gold and silver and gems.  He spoke flattering words and bowed down to Shaw and feared and hated him.  Shaw saw his heart and was amused.

“Honoured as I am by your visit, Lord Marko, surely you have come so far on such a perilous journey for more than an exchange of courtesies?”

“I have a stepson of some sixteen years of age, my Lord Sorceror, the heir to the kingdom.  Since I married his mother, the Queen, many … accidents have befallen him, yet still he lives.  Stones fall from crumbling towers and miss him by inches.  Brigands plan to waylay his carriage, yet stand aimlessly by while it passes.  His favourite dish is placed before him at dinner and he will not touch it and the food is found to be poisoned.  He has a charmed life.  People whisper he is protected by the fae.”

Shaw smiled.  Beads of sweat formed on Marko’s brow.  Erik, standing at Shaw’s side, thought him a contemptible creature.

“All this is most interesting, but what has it to do with me?”

“I have heard, Great Sorcerer, you are able to know all the secrets of a man merely by touching something he has much handled.”

“This is so.”

Marko produced a bright blue tunic from a satchel.

“This belongs to my stepson, Lord Shaw.  Would you do me the great favour of telling what you glean from touching it?”

Shaw nodded graciously and gestured to Erik to bring the tunic to him.  As soon as Erik touched the garment, he felt a strange thrill run thorough his whole body.  He stood amazed.

“Erik, the tunic,” snapped Shaw.

Much loathe, Erik bowed and handed it to his master.

Dark currents moved about Shaw’s head and hands.  The shadows deepened.  Strange whisperings sounded at the edge of hearing.  Marko looked as though he was going to void his bowels.  Shaw laughed.  Marko went white as the snow on the window ledges.  Shaw chuckled.

“Lord Marko, your stepson is not protected by the fae, he is fae, or at least half of their blood.  His mother begged him as a boom from the forest spirits and their filthy touch is all over him.  He has the power to read men’s minds.  He has the power to change men’s minds.  He is a dangerous creature indeed, as is his companion, the golden haired, grey eyed, peach skinned girl.”

“The Lady Darkholme?” cried Marko, astounded.

“She is full fae, blood of their blood, bone of their bone, ancient and accursed.  Would you see her true form?”

Marko trembled and nodded.

The dark currents poured into the centre of the cavernous hall and surged up to form the image of a young girl, as Shaw had described her, a pretty, fair haired, fair skinned, plump cheeked child.  The currents swirled.  Her skin turned to scales of cobalt, her hair as red as the fires of hell and her eyes golden as some fanged forest beast.

Marko shuddered.  The image disappeared and the currents dispersed and faded into the shadows.

“Monstrous is she not?  And this is the companion your stepson chooses.  Hers are the words that govern his actions.  Fae and half fae.  You are in great danger, my Lord Marko.”

The Regent fell to his knees.

“Help me, Lord Shaw, help me I pray.”

Shaw stood and stepped down from his throne.  He gestured for his guest to rise.   Marko clambered ungracefully to his feet.

“I will gladly help you against the treacherous fae.  Erik here is my most trusted servant.  I call him my Hunter.  He has slain many, men and fae.  He can do what is necessary to protect you and the kingdom of Westchester.”

Marko’s gaze fixed on him.  Erik smiled widely.  Marko blenched and turned to Shaw.

“Thank you, my Lord Socerer, thank you.  I am forever in your debt.”

“Oh, not "forever”, Lord Regent,“ said Shaw, smiling his silky smile.  "Come, let us take refreshment and speak more on this grave matter.”

They walked away, side by side, Sorcerer and Fool.

Erik thought on what he had seen and heard.  Marko had obviously been trying to kill his stepson, but if the boy was half-fae and consorted with fae, he was hardly to be blamed.  Yet something stuck in Erik’s craw.  Marko had thought the boy human until this day.  Then there was the fae girl.  Erik knew he should find her blue and scarlet and gold form vile, but he did not, he found her beautiful.

He picked up the tunic.  It was scorched as though it had passed though fire.  It drifted to ashes in his hand.

part-3

part-2

part-1

Recipe: Stir Fry

Description: Julienned vegetables on a bed of rice. 

Game ingredients: Cave Carrot, Common Mushroom, Kale, Oil

This recipe restores 200 energy and 80 health. It can be obtained from the Cooking Channel and sells for 335g. 

Difficulty: Easy, 30 minutes. Serves 3.

Stir fry is really easy and quick to make. It’s also a well-balanced meal.

-Vegetables, variety (carrots, snap-peas, beans, broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, etc. Whatever suits your fancy)
-½ pound meat, thawed. You can use chicken, beef, or pork. If you prefer it to be vegetarian/vegan, you can use a package of cubed tofu. 
-2 tablespoons cooking or olive oil
-1 cup rice
-Stir fry sauce, roughly ¼ cup (I used teriyaki)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a wok over medium-high. Slice the meat into strips with a sharp knife and add it to the pan, turning the pieces on all sides to brown them evenly. Turn down the heat to medium-low. 

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of rice and 2 cups water over high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and place a lid on the pot. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Slice up your desired vegetables and add them to the pan. I used onions, peppers, celery, and carrots. Slice them at an angle to julienne them if you like. 

Cook the contents of the pan, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and the meat is done. Add the sauce of your choice and mix it in. Cook for another minute or so. 

Fluff the rice with a fork once it’s done and then serve, placing the meat and vegetable mix over-top. 

It’s a very tasty and versatile dish, and easy to make to use up leftover veggies.

-SVR

anonymous asked:

Hi there ! May I ask you a scenario where Todoroki become a child (because of an accident for exemple) and his s/o has to take care of him for a day ? (and it end up in fluff ?) ("°w°") ((By the way I love your work please contunue !!))

(ノ∀`♥) c u t i e (ノ∀`♥)


Normally you hated random villain attacks but right now you couldn’t help but be a little happy that someone with the quirk to change people back to their child form for 72 hours had tapped Todoroki. He was such a precious and obedient child, hardly any fuss at all. He tidied up his own messes, ate all his vegetables, went to bed when he was told and didn’t cry over bath time. 

The only thing that was strange was how little he seemed to play, he was very reserved. Everywhere you went there was a small hand grasping to your hoodie sleeve, he very obviously enjoyed your company.

Nearly everyone had offered to take him off your hands for an hour but he only clung tighter whenever they did. He wouldn’t allow others to pick him up, only you. Unbeknownst to you he knew exactly what he was doing when he rejected others, something in his little heart told him that you would be his bride someday and he wouldn’t leave you for a second. 

Every time he saw another person get too close to you he would manage to gain your attention by grabbing your hands or showing you some flowers he found for you; but sometimes that just didn’t cut it, some people in the class were hard for you to ignore and he was having none of it.

You felt someone tugging on your shirt, knowing it was Todoroki and that it was important because he never bothered you for much you went to tend to him immediately only to have your heart completely melted. There he was reaching up to you, his hands grasping the air and letting out little whimpers.

“Up up!”

superhappybubbleslove  asked:

31. In awe, the first time you realized it.

“Obi. Obi!”

Her best friend, that is, currently the motionless mass of human vegetable sprawled on the bed only grunts in annoyance.

She leans down, shaking him.

“You missed all your three alarms. Wake up, your friends are supposed to be arriving any minute now.”  Why is his skin so hot when he sleeps?

He lets out a pitiful groan in reply, mumbling something in his native language. She can’t help feeling a little sympathetic, but her curiosity flares up even more.

She still can’t believe she’s going to meet people from Obi’s past. Despite knowing him for a few years, she’d long ago almost given up on finding out about his past, almost being the operative word. Over the years, little by little she peeled off the layers he’d grown around him like a thick plant hiding from winter frost. Over the years he’s changed from a suspicious, thuggish flatmate (Yuzuri’s words) to a mysterious, irritating clown (Kiki) to Obi, her dearest friend. He still, however, remained cloaked in a veil of mystery and Shirayuki had accepted it as a given that a part of him would always remain unknown to her.

Few days ago, when he casually informed her that a couple of his old friends would be visiting him for the weekend, she knocked a vase of flowers off the kitchen counter from surprise. Friends? She’d squeaked, wishing she didn’t sound so suspicious. Sort of, he’d confirmed quietly.

She wonders now if his reluctance to wake up has to do with his anxiety over the upcoming meeting. At least he has unraveled from his fetal position, like an armadillo –she thinks with a smirk - and is laying on his back with eyes still closed.

“C’mon, I made pancakes. Your favorite.”

“Mmm?”  He’s sounding a little bit less unhappy.

“Yup.” She smiles brightly when his eyes finally pop open, focusing on her face. His eyes are terribly clear for someone who’s just woken up, his pupils too large under such stark morning light. He studies her face for a long time and for a moment she thinks he’s fallen asleep with his eyes open. But then he mumbles something in his language again, face pinched up in pain.

“What?”

He stiffens. “Nothing. I said fuck my life.”

“Right. Get up.”


Now that Obi’s friends are sitting on the living room sofa, she doesn’t know what she’d been expecting (a couple of hippies with green mohawks, elaborate key-chains sticking out of their torn jeans pockets, pierced nipples visible through t-shirts with “fuck the system” written on them). But not this. Garai and Petra seem… completely normal (were it not for the long scar across Garai’s throat). Not that any of that would have mattered- they’re Obi’s friends, and he seems somewhat happy to see them. Sitting across the couple, he’s still in his sleeping t-shirt and sweats. 

As if feeling her gaze on him, his eyes suddenly dart in her direction, and he looks so uncertain and self-conscious she wants to take him into her arms and coo into his hair.

What Garai and Petra lack in eccentricities they make up with excessive, shameless PDA. While they’re making small talk in broken Clarinese (for her sake, she knows, because when Obi greeted them at the door they immediately started shouting at each other in their language, as she stood in the hallway awkwardly, listening in fascination), they can’t keep their hands off each other.

“We almost missed our flight, we were so late they were refusing to let us get in plane. But then Petra showed them her… “ Garai pauses, looking over at Obi questioningly, saying the word in their language.

Shirayuki hopes it’s not what she thinks it is.

“Backbone.” Obi says, looking completely disinterested, his voice still hoarse from sleep.

“Yes. So Petra convinced them with some bullshit story about her dying grandmother and they said yes to let us board!” He finishes the story abruptly, looking down fondly at his girlfriend, who’s sitting on his lap.

Oh dear god. Shirayuki averts her eyes as the couple stare at each other like they’re they only people on the planet. He mutters something to Petra, words that Shirayuki recognizes. She scowls in confusion - what an odd moment for saying fuck my life.

“Anyway! You must be terribly jetlagged. Why don’t you take a nap?” Obi’s telling them now, his hand awkwardly rubbing at the back of his head.

“That would be..uh, pleasurable.” The dark-haired girl agrees enthusiastically.  She probably meant to say that would be nice, but Shirayuki suspects that maybe Petra’s Clarinese is better than she thinks. “Thank yous.”  Or not.

They’re on their feet, following Obi to the guest room before Petra pauses on her feet and rushes back to the living room to Shirayuki’s side.

“Shirayuki!” She chirps, looking embarrassed. “Can I have a… hmmm…It arrived early” Her eyes dart around the room for inspiration. She says the word   in her language hopefully.  “You know, the girl’s monthly problem, “She adds when Shirayuki stares at her blankly.

“Oh!” Shirayuki gasps, making her way to her bedroom immediately, motioning Petra to follow her. “Your language is so beautiful. Even tampon has a beautiful sound to it.”

Petra laughs, delighted, taking a small packet from her hand. “Not many people think that.”

“No, really!” Shirayuki insists. “Even your swear words sound beautiful.”

Petra smiles, but quirks an eyebrow in puzzlement. “Our swear words? Like what?”

Shirayuki nods and repeats what she overheard Garai whisper to Petra few minutes ago, with an inappropriately adoring expression on his face, so similar to…

Wait –

Petra blinks. “That’s not a swear word. That means I love you.”

Wait.