what. look at that thing


46. What if I told you I’ve been in love with you since we were kids.

When Victor had first received the invitation from the Tsarevich, he’d had half a mind to decline.

But then Yakov had scolded him, telling Victor would be insolent at best and dangerous at worst. Victor couldn’t deny that, knowing Friedrich as well as he did. Ever since they were teenagers, Victor guiding the would-be Tsar around the ice, Friedrich had always made his temper known. Victor had often found him unpleasant at times in their youth, the callous way he would treat his servants rankling Victor’s sensitivities.

Once Victor’s coaching had ended when Friedrich entered the political sphere at eighteen, Victor had swallowed his distaste, taken the money he’d been granted and fled further West into the continent. Never in the last decade did Victor think the Tsarevich’s reach would stretch as far as Vienna, but here was Victor being proven unfortunately wrong.

Victor bowed to the doorman at the Hotel Imperial, handing his invitation over with a careful flick of the wrist. The doorman nodded, calling over an escort to bring Victor to what was no doubt going to be one of the more grand ballrooms. Friedrich always had a taste for fine things, even by royal standards. If the Tsar ever did die, (which looked unlikely, as the codger seemed intent of living forever), Friedrich would likely bankrupt Russia in a week.

Not that Victor cared, mind.

Victor followed his escort up the Royal Staircase, adjusting the buttons of his shirt from where the white cuffs sat below the sleeves of his black tailcoat. When Victor had first suggested a short jacket, preferring the more daring fashion of it, Yakov had nearly thrown the kettle he’d been boiling at the time at Victor’s head. While it had definitely been worth it to rile Yakov up, Victor knew that he’d do better to try and emulate the Russian aesthetic. Like a good countryman.

The escort took Victor’s overcoat, bowing low and opening the door to the ballroom for him. As expected, Victor was at first blinded by the grandness of it. Gilded walls, like the palaces of home and ornate chandeliers dripping glass and sparkling light across the room. There was chatter and music, and the smell of wine.

‘Victor Nikiforov!’ the escort announced to the room, Victor just biting his lip in time to stop a sigh of resignation.

The ballroom was full of what was undeniably an almost exclusively Russian crowd. Victor recognised some of the faces from his own readings and the papers- bankers and politicians, the odd ballerina. Russia must be empty, Victor thought to himself, taking a glass of champagne from a passing waiter.

‘Victor!’ A voice boomed and Victor pushed his hair from his face, preparing himself.

‘Your highness,’ Victor said in familiar Russian as Friedrich approached, bowing low. Friedrich was reflecting almost as much as the chandelier above him, Imperial military jacket bespeckled in shining brass buttons and gleaming medals that sat proudly against his chest. Knowing Friedrich, he was probably wearing them in the prayer of a war.

‘Oh, Victor!’ Friedrich said, grabbing Victor by the shoulders and shoving him upright. ‘Don’t be so formal. I couldn’t have that, dear friend.’

Victor blinked, truly surprised at being called dear. ‘Then what shall you have me call you?’

‘Nothing unpleasant,’ Friedrich replied with a wink, dark eyes hooded beneath his thick eyebrows. He had grown a beard in the last ten years, shaven square and elegant like his father’s. He had not grown much over the last ten years, only brushing Victor’s nose. Victor inclined his head.

‘I would never dream of it,’ Victor said with an easy grin, toasting his glass to Friedrich. Friedrich beamed from behind his beard, clapping Victor so hard on the back it had him choke on his sip of champagne. Hiding his cough, Victor let himself be led into the crowd.

‘Everyone, you must know who this is!’ Friedrich announced to a group of rather impressive looking men and women. Dressed in their finery and regarding Victor in his modest tailcoat with mild interest. ‘Victor Nikiforov, the ice dancer!’

‘Oh yes,’ a portly man said, nodding his red face in Victor’s direction. ‘I’ve heard of you. You have that- how do you say- ice show? Is that it?’

Victor rolled his shoulders. ‘Yes, I do. But only during the winter season, naturally. Otherwise, I spend my time with the ballet.’

‘A waste!’ a woman with blonde hair said, leaning into her husband’s side like what Victor had said almost had her swoon with misfortune. ‘To have such talent lost to the continent. I’ve seen your shows. The Bolshoi would be happy to have you.’

‘Victor was never one for patriotism,’ Friedrich said, giving Victor another strong pat on the back. Victor was rather getting the impression that Friedrich wanted Victor to be hunched over as often as possible, perhaps to make Friedrich appear taller. ‘Fled the old country the moment you were free to, didn’t you, my friend?’

‘Call it wanderlust,’ Victor said airily, taking another sip of champagne before he said something he’d regret.

‘I’d say it was lust of a sort,’ Friedrich said crudely and Victor coughed into his champagne, embarrassed. ‘You were always one to follow a pretty face!’

Victor didn’t know what to say to that, glancing around their company for some inclination of what to do. The other men laughed while their wives smiled benignly, which really only further Victor’s discomfort. He did not appreciate being laughed at.

‘Speaking of such, I must introduce you to someone,’ Friedrich said, taking Victor’s arm again and leading him down the ballroom. Victor smiled to those who nodded to him as they passed, guests bending low to Friedrich who paid them no attention. ‘I must say I didn’t even know you were here in Vienna. Ignorant, on my part, I know. But thankfully, my betrothed knew of your show and insisted we attend. He has quite an interest in skating, you see.’

‘I see,’ Victor replied, not really listening as he finished off his champagne. Then, Victor realised what Friedrich had said to him and stopped so suddenly, he nearly toppled them both to the ground. ‘Forgive me, but did you say your betrothed?’

Friedrich looked at Victor with great amusement. ‘I am a twenty-eight year old man, Victor. Did you think me incapable of finding one?’

‘No… No, of course not,’ Victor said, dazed. His mind was racing and Victor looked over Friedrich’s shoulder, paying far more attention to the people around them. ‘I knew you had an arrangement.’

‘A rather fortunate one, as it has proven to be,’ Friedrich said, puffing out his medaled chest. Victor was certain the flute in his hand would break, he was gripping the stem so tightly. Friedrich seemed not to notice Victor’s anxiety, starting to walk again. ‘He’s quite the beauty, though I’m sure you’ve heard already. Japan performed well in that regard. They must be awfully interested.’

Victor was barely listening, following Friedrich like he were dreaming. Victor felt weightless, without an anchor. His thoughts were running ahead of him, all the imagined fantasies he’d indulged in as a young man rushing down him in a wave of nostalgia that his heart reeling.

They were almost to the end of the ballroom, towards the large windows that led to the balcony overlooking the street. And through the fine chiffon curtains, Victor saw a figure.

The man was wearing what had to be the Japanese fashion, similar to what he had the first time Victor had met him as children. Shimmering satin of a deep, blood red with embroidered black and white spirals that crept up the carefully folded fabric like rose vines. He turned when Friedrich approached, dark eyes catching the golden light of the ballroom and Victor felt time stop around him.

Yuuri.

The years had been exceptionally kind to Yuuri. He had grown tall, though not as tall as Victor, and his frame willowy. Like a dancer, Victor thought as Yuuri’s slim arms came together in front of the thick, silk belt that bound his ensemble together. The dark hair Victor remembered seemed a tad longer, combed back over Yuuri’s head quite fashionably.

And though Yuuri’s face was not as round as Victor remembered it being as a child, his eyes were just as warm. Like firewood embers, earth-brown and catching like flint in the light.

‘Victor,’ Friedrich said, holding a hand out towards Yuuri like he were a particularly fine piece of art. Not that Victor would disagree with such an assessment, as it were. In heavily accented English, Friedrich introduced; ‘This is my fiancé, Yuuri Katsuki.’

Yuuri smiled when he met Victor’s eyes. It was a small thing, just the barest curl of his full lips and then Yuuri was bending low, his arms in front of him.

‘It’s a pleasure to meet you, Victor,’ Yuuri said in English so elegant, it was almost without accent to Victor’s ear. As he straightened back up, Victor was still frozen, all manners and protocol slipping from his mind entirely. Yuuri titled his head, dark eyes burnt gold from the light around them.

‘I think you have him quite stunned,’ Friedrich said and Yuuri looked away, his cheeks colouring. Friedrich laughed and it broke Victor from his reverie, looking to the Tsarevich in a panic. ‘Oh, do not trouble yourself, my friend. Even the court quite forgets the look of their own shoes when they see him.’

‘You are too kind, Your Highness,’ Yuuri said blithely, almost sounding rehearsed to Victor’s ear. He doubted Friedrich’s English was strong enough to pick it up, however. Friedrich stepped over to Yuuri, but Victor noted Yuuri’s slight shift. The way his hips angled slightly away.

‘What is the use of you if I can’t inspire jealousy?’ Friedrich asked, touching Yuuri’s elbow. Victor looked down, unable to stop himself. He saw the satin of Yuuri’s robe bunch, Friedrich was gripping so tight. ‘Yuuri insisted we see your show and once I recognised you, I simply had to invite you to our gathering. Only Russia’s finest, I assure you.’

‘I’m honoured,’ Victor said truthfully, looking to Yuuri’s face. Yuuri glanced up at him from beneath his dark lashes, cheeks still pink. ‘If I have ever done anything you found engaging, then I would consider myself achieved.’

‘Such flattery!’ Friedrich cried, releasing Yuuri and stepping away. He patted Victor’s shoulder again. When he spoke, it was in Russian, Yuuri’s face going blank at the sound of it; ‘I trust with such a sweet tongue you can keep Yuuri entertained while I meet with the General?’

Victor could only nod, not trusting himself to speak. Friedrich smiled at the both of them, before stepping back into the ballroom. Victor stayed where he was, too afraid even to move. Yuuri glanced up at him, a true smile breaking across his beautiful features.

‘Hello, again, Victor.’

‘Yuuri,’ Victor said, grinning before he could stop himself. ‘I wish I had the words, but I don’t.’

Victor walked up to Yuuri, impropriety abundant in his boldness but Victor found himself uncaring. Yuuri looked up at him, smiling so widely now his teeth were flashing between his lips. Victor reached out with his free hand, taking Yuuri’s own by the fingers. He raised it up, pressing the chilled skin to his lips.

‘I’m afraid I don’t have any gloves to offer you this time,’ Victor said, words kissed to Yuuri’s fingers. Yuuri was watching him, smile faltering only slightly.

‘You cut your hair,’ Yuuri said, hand slipping out of Victor’s grip. For a moment, Victor thought Yuuri might reach up to touch the careful sweep Victor retained over his left side, but then Yuuri’s hand was gone entirely. ‘It suits you well.’

Victor laughed. ‘You remember my hair?’

‘I remember all of you,’ Yuuri replied, before his eyes went wide. He stepped back, hands tight down at his sides. ‘Forgive me, that was untoward.’

‘It’s flattering to know you’ve thought of me,’ Victor said honestly and Yuuri blushed, turning to face the street from the balcony wall. Victor walked up beside him, his hand brushing against the silken edge of his robe. ‘I’ve thought of you as well. More often than I’m sure is proper for me to admit. Seeing you again is… Like something from a dream.’

Yuuri went nearly as red as his robe, blinking up at Victor with such shock that Victor was sure he’d overstepped. He was just about apologise when Yuuri laughed quietly, pushing a stray hair behind his ear.

‘You’re a skilled flatterer. No wonder you dance so well.’

‘It is truth,’ Victor said earnestly, placing his empty champagne flute down on the balcony wall. He watched Yuuri, careful not to push. ‘I find myself wondering if you kept the gloves I gave you. If you ever tried skating. If you ever think of me. To know at least one of those things for certain is more than I could ever have imagined all these years.’

Yuuri said nothing to that, eyes back down on the street below. Victor saw Yuuri tug on his lip with his teeth, almost like he were concentrating. Perhaps on the carriages that were making their way through the snow that lay across the cobbles.

‘Tell me, Yuuri,’ Victor said, trying to charm and stepping back to appreciate Yuuri’s dress once again. ‘Are you actively seeking a poetic death of cold? Every time I meet you, you seem intent on standing out in the snow.’

‘I must confess a secret,’ Yuuri said, looking up with a bashful nervousness. Yuuri inclined his head behind them. ‘I don’t care much for these political parties. I don’t really perform well with an audience, despite what His Highness says. I’d rather be out here alone and cold, than warm and with those people.’

Victor laughed, charmed as he had been at seventeen. ‘I certainly can’t blame you for that. I ran from the whole country. But I can tell you a secret, so you don’t feel too bad for it. Might be a dreadful secret though.’

Yuuri smiled, eyes coy. ‘I’m sure I could pardon you.’

Victor stepped closer, waiting for Yuuri to meet his eye. He watched Yuuri’s face, traced the lines of the cheeks Victor remembered and the lips he’d dreamed of.

‘What if I told you that I have been in love with you since we were children?’ Victor asked, voice low with an emotion too dangerous to name. Yuuri looked at Victor, his brown eyes round.

‘Then I would say you were a fool,’ Yuuri replied, breathless and it put a fire in Victor’s heart. ‘Who says such things?’

‘Fools, I’m told,’ Victor teased back, cautious but not adverse to the tension that gathered between them. It reminded him of the thunderous clouds that would roll over Vienna in the autumn time, promising split skies and flooding rain. Yuuri looked as devastating as a storm.

‘Or liars,’ Yuuri said, voice suddenly cold. He stepped away from Victor, hands before him again in perfect posture. He stood tall, regarding Victor warily. ‘It was good to see you again, Victor.’

Before Victor could say anything else, Yuuri turned and headed back into the ballroom, leaving Victor standing in the snow, wondering if he’d ever misstepped so badly before in his life.

somtimes I remeber there’s an actual diesel ninja princess in the legend of zelda video game series and the world is slightly better

i’m forever grateful to have a friend like amy who isn’t afraid to call me out on my bullshit when i fuck up but also by doing so won’t let me let me blame myself for every little thing that’s beyond my control

it’s like, i’m the easiest person to gaslight apparently because i immediately just. believe it and blame myself and she’s so ready to shut that down because she’s so willing to be honest and honestly it’s so helpful

its mr steal yo girl !!!!!!!!

I had to do an assignment for school where we took a theme inspired by irl outfits/things and made characters out of them that followed 4 different archetypes. So i did cowboys…but also vampires. Tbh the teacher said no monsters but i will NOT be stifled. (Also i ran the finished drawings by him and he thought they were cool so lmfao)

im probably gonna use them for something in the future tbh!

🅕🅡🅤🅘🅣🅒🅘🅕🅔🅡

there were a lot of references in the new video, did you catch them all? let’s take a look.

1. nils sjoberg

remember that time she wrote a song with calvin harris but used a different name? this is that name, on one of the gravestones. after releasing that she had actually written the summer hit “this is what you came for,” calvin harris, among others, threw a fit on twitter - even though it had been agreed that if calvin and taylor broke up, she could express that she had written the song.

2. the out of the woods dress

this blue dress probably looks familiar! it’s the same one she wore in the out of the woods music video, the last music video of the 1989 era. this poses the same frantic question, are we out of the woods yet? as this grave-digging taylor suggests, not yet.

3. here lies 2014 met gala taylor

at first glance, it just looks like the taylor from before laying there, but after pausing it and going back, one realizes that isn’t zombie taylor, rather 2014 met gala taylor. 2014 would have been the start of the 1989 era, and the out of the woods video was the end of it, thus: by the end of 1989 era, she was ready to “bury” it.

4. the dollar bill

if you look just next to taylor’s shoulder, you can see a good ole george washington. one single dollar bill. is this a reference to taylor’s sexual assault trial recently, and the one dollar she won then? most likely, because if you go to other shots of her in the tub that aren’t directly above her, the dollar bill isn’t there, meaning it was edited in later, which would explain how it got there so late in the game. it stands for the simple victories everyone else gets to celebrate, while she does the same things and gets flack for it.

5. et tu brute

a famous line from shakespeare’s julius caeser, “et tu, brute” means “and you, brute?” right as marcus brutus lands the fatal blow in julius caeser’s, his once-friend’s back. this is a metaphor for all the people that taylor thought she could trust, before they turned around and trashed her name.

6. the tea

probably pretty simple to grasp - the tea is hot. alternatively, she, the snake in the video, gets to serve the tea this time around, or, she gets to lay down her side of the story.

7. car crash + paparazzi

did you see what happened here, at face value? taylor was in an expensive vehicle that got in a head-on crash, but everyone just stood back and took pictures, instead of rushing over to help. is this a reference to all the times that everyone stood back, took pictures, and laughed at her when she was beaten down? yes.

8. the grammy

the grammy blends in with the gold of the car and her outfit, so it’s pretty easy to miss, but there it is, in her hand, even though the car crashed. perhaps the future is being predicted?

9. the birdcage + leg tattoo

look closely at taylor’s leg, and you can see what looks to be a snake tattooed there. not to mention, here she is entertaining in a birdcage, which is guarded. she’s trying to have fun in this prison, biting her tongue, being the girl everyone wants, but she longs to be let free.

10. robbing a bank/stream co., blind for love

besides getting major harley quinn vibes, what else do we notice here? taylor swift robbing a vault, which says “stream company.” remember that time that taylor wrote an open letter to apple music and called her money hungry, even though she was taking her music off to benefit poorer artists? yes, we do. this is what she’s referencing here. also, her shirt says “blind for love” which makes sense, because she frequently refers to herself as a hopeless romantic, someone who opens theirselves up for love, even if it means getting hurt.

11. the squad

without explaining anything else, this scene can be described as a crowd of blank faced people, staring at taylor swift, who stands upon a stage looking menacing, and impressing one message upon the crowd: u, squad. it’s reminiscent of all the times people said taylor swift was over, because her friends, fans, or sales were fake or temporary. this is like a visual representation of the comments people made about taylor forcing people to do things for her to create the image she desired.

12. fake friends

and here we have the mannequins of the girls from the prior scene, chopped up. this one is pretty straight forward, these “friends” that taylor thought she had sometimes turned out to be more fickle and “fake” than she thought. also, can we talk about how taylor’s red boots are reminiscent of kinky boots? because yes.

13. the dancers, i heart ts

before taylor enters the room, the dancers are goofing around, but the second she comes in, the jump to attention, and rip off their jackets to reveal shirts that say “i heart ts.” it’s a throwback to when tom hiddleston wore a shirt with the same message on the fourth of july in 2016, and everyone said that she had forced him to wear it. it’s the same thing as before with the squad - the world decided that she had forced all these people to love her, not that they actually did.

14. the fight for glory

every time you pause this video, you come across a different taylor. squirrel pajamas wanegbt taylor, 2015 bbma’s taylor, 2014 acm’s taylor, wanegbt red tour taylor, 2016 new years rockin’ eve taylor, sparkly guitar fearless tour taylor, bleachella taylor, ballerina shake it off taylor, 2016 vma’s taylor… the list goes on and on. here, you can see them all fighting and clawing, trying to stand on top. it reminds me of “i don’t like your kingdom keys, they once belonged to me,” and the parallels between long live and new romantics in that line alone. all those times, she thought she’d made it to a point in her career where she could be respected as much as other artists in her tier, only to harshly realize she was going to get her name ran through the mud for doing the same thing as everyone else. the fight for glory is steep, and unfair.

15. junior jewels

looks familiar right? not quite! it is the same theme of the shirt, but look closely at the signatures - they’re signatures of actual people this time around. names like ed, selena, este, lena, blake, and ryan, among others, can be seen on her shirt, representing the true friends that stuck with her through her reputation being bashed.

16. “SHUT UP!”

here, all the different versions of taylor are repeating things that the media or other celebrities had said about her, until finally 2009 vma’s taylor repeated the same thing that 2017 taylor said in an instagram post - “i’d very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” the entire time, you can hear camera shutters going off and people chatting, presumably the rest of the world watching as she got torn apart. when vma’s taylor makes this final statement, all the other taylor’s, as well as what sounds to be an entire off-screen crowd, yell “SHUT UP” before the screen goes black. this is a powerful image, and it’s supposed to be. all the times she suffered, and people told her that she was overreacting, faking it, or doing it for publicity. if you feel remorse for seeing young taylor getting yelled at, or sorrow for the taylors falling when she said “because she’s dead,” you’re doing it right. 

nothing in this video was an accident.

if you’re angry at taylor for this video exposing things you said about her, or you’re repeating any of the words the versions of herself said at the end, you’re proving her point. her reputation was destroyed because people made a sport of making fun of her. and now, as taylor said, there will be no explanation, just reputation. 

;)   An anonymous fear submitted to Deep Dark Fears - thanks!

My new book “The Creeps” is available now from your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, iBooks, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold. You can find more information here.

remember after the trial when taylor literally said that she recognizes how privileged she is and how she wants to help those who are less privileged and everyone just,, ignored it?

8

make me choose anonymous asked dustin henderson or steve harrington
“ i may be a pretty shitty boyfriend, but turns out i’m actually a pretty damn good babysitter. ”