who found the strength to accept that love in each other

{PART 21} I Won’t Stop You // Jeon Jungkook, Vampire!AU

Originally posted by jengkook

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Vampire!AU, Fantasy, Angst, Smut

Summary; Just when you thought your night couldn’t possibly become any more heartbreaking; the man you thought you knew turns out to be something you had only ever considered to exist within the realms of nightmares and folklore.

“Perhaps, he didn’t want to be understood, so much as he wanted to be loved. His truth would set her free, but the question remained; would she stay?”

I update this series every Tuesday evening, 9pm-10pm (UK Time)

{Part 1} // {Part 20} {Part 21} {Part 22}

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Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader
Rating: Explicit - 18+ only
Summary: Reader, being reckless gets hurt on a mission. Days later, when she gives her final report to her boyfriend Steve, it provokes an argument between them.
Word Count: 3.5k
Genre: general fiction containing explicit sexual content.
Warnings: argument, mild swearing, mentions of death. NSFW/SMUT: makeup sex, praise kink, soft dirty talking, nipple play, oral sex (female receiving), slow fingering, overstimulation, multiple orgasms, and semi-protected sex. - This fic assumes Reader is on the pill. [Cover your stone before you bone!]
Author’s Note: especially written for @always-an-evans-addict‘s writing challenge. I hope you like this one, sweetie.

   New Avengers Facility

“Steve, you read my report and Wanda told you what happened. That’s it. Can’t we just move on?”

“That’s it? That’s it?!”

Behind the closed door of your boyfriend’s office, you uncomfortably explained yourself, keeping in mind that people around you could probably sense the walls vibrating under the force of your voices.

You’d never thought that blowing out the last Hydra base found in Argentina would provoke such a drama within the team, or between you and the super soldier. Usually, you and Steve argued about the group’s mistake, not yours. When the incident happened in South America, you realized that if Wanda hadn’t been there, you probably wouldn’t be alive today.

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Inspired by today’s eclipse and for @sterekwritingroom‘s flash event.


The first group of weres pass through Beacon Hills on a Thursday. Stiles probably wouldn’t notice except that he’s spent the past year and a half hanging out almost exclusively with supernatural beings and that… well, ok, these guys aren’t exactly subtle. They tilt their heads almost in sync as he passes by them –– heading in to pay cash at the gas station while they pile back into their packed SUV. Noses flare, stances shift, and Stiles has about point five seconds to plan a bolt back to the Jeep before one of them’s announcing “Don’t trouble your Alpha; we’re just passing north for the event.” And then they’re back in the SUV and gone.

So… yeah, not to diminish Stiles’ awesome deductive skills here but… not subtle.

The second sighting happens before school on Friday, when Stiles ducks into the Dunkin’ Donuts for some much needed coffee and practically trips over a trio of sugar-high toddlers. One of them, wearing what looks like a home-painted t-shirt, decorated with a slightly uneven yellow circle, is midway through whining “Momma, we’re gonna miss the––“ when she stops in her tracks to stare up at him.

Stiles blinks down at her, the door perched against his elbow.

“Say ‘scuse me,” the boy next to her murmurs. It’s too early for this, brain crawling the sludge-slow of non-coffee through his system, and Stiles isn’t sure which of them he’s talking to.

“Excuse me,” he says and all three immediately shuffle, staring wide enough it makes Stiles’ eyes ache for them. He starts past, scrubbing a hand across his jaw self-consciously, wondering if he’d missed sleep drool or a sock in his hair or something on his mad rush out the door but, two steps past, the youngest kid snuffles and speaks up, soft: “Are you gonna come see the moon with us?”

It takes another step for Stiles to register that she’s talking to him, but by the time he blinks back the boy’s already tutting at her.

“No Lucy. He’ll go with his own pack.”

The little girl’s mouth opens in a wide, understanding O, while her older sister tugs proudly on her yellow circle shirt. It’s painted a messy black in the middle, inside the bright golden edge, and Stiles kind of forgets coffee for a minute in the face of actual werewolf children and then there’s a woman stepping up behind them, coffee and a box of munchkins in hand, dropping a fond hand to ruffle the boy’s hair as she gives Stiles an apologetic smile.

“Sorry about that, they’ve never been through another pack’s territory before. We’ve been driving since Arizona –– long trip for the little ones. But I couldn’t miss the chance for them to experience this. Best sighting until totality in 2017!”

“I’ll be ten,” says the boy, in the tone of one who’s done the math very carefully a dozen times over.

Stiles nods, a little lost because werewolf toddlers, and manages “well that’s… good.”

“I’m two,” the youngest puts in proudly, vaguely missing the thread of the conversation but eager to take part, and Stiles smiles back, wishing he had a little more coffee in his system because it’s not like he’s oblivious about what’s going on in the world this weekend, but he’s starting to feel a little dense for not connecting all kinds of dots sooner.

Then again, there’s another person who probably could’ve connected them for him.

“They don’t know how lucky they are,” the woman adds, beaming down. “I had to wait years for my first one and I’ll never forget the experience. Of course, you won’t feel it the same way as us,” her tone going apologetic, “but I’m sure your pack can’t wait to take part.”

And then she’s ushering the kids out the door with promises of donuts in the car, and Stiles is tugging out his phone, pulling up Derek Hale’s number.


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You know what I’ve just noticed? You know what breaks my heart?

In this scene, when Lexa tells Clarke “Ai gonplei ste odon”, and Clarke responds by “No, I won’t accept that”, you can see Lexa slightly smiling.

You’re driven to fix everything for everyone. 

Even in her last moments, Lexa lovingly smiles, and stares at Clarke. She’s staring at the girl who always makes the best decision for her people, the girl who never backs away from a possibility to make peace with her ennemies, the girl who always wants to save as many people as she can. 

With her last bits of strength, she smiles and stares lovingly at Clarke. 

What she finds is partly comfort, because she knows the girl she loves will always be herself. She will always seek the best in life. Even in the worst situations. 

But as we can see, Lexa has tears in her eyes. She unsuccessfully closes her eyes to hold back her tears, but knows some are still escaping. 

Now, do you believe Lexa, Commander of thirteen clans, a long time trained fighter and leader, who is used to suffering in silence, both physically and mentally, who willingly grabbed a sword with her bare hands, freshly and quickly slicing them in the way, would cry? 

Yes, taking a bullet freaking hurts, but Lexa wouldn’t cry at the physical pain.

Lexa is crying, because as much as she finds comfort in seeing that Clarke is, and will always be, herself in any kind of situation, she knows who she’s leaving behind. She knows that she’s once again abandoning Clarke, and that, once again, Clarke will be hurt because of her. Only this time, Lexa wasn’t the one to make that choice. 

This time, they’re not in the cold, dark woods near Mount Weather. They’re in Polis, the place that made Clarke fall for Lexa once again, a place reflecting hope, and life. They’re in Lexa’s home, a place where they exchanged rough, and yet sweet conversations, where Clarke found peace while drawing Lexa in her sleep, where she found Lexa’s fears and hopes for the future; but mostly, where they found each other, going desperately and hungrily after each other’s lips barely a few hours ago.

Lexa was never afraid of dying, but this time, just to lay by Clarke’s side in their bed, she wishes she could just breathe a little longer.

And this time, as Clarke kisses her goodbye, Lexa falls asleep for good, only wishing she could hold those lips against her own forever. 

Fuckboy! Park Jihoon

Masterlist can be found (here) 

Based off: 7 days manga?? (It was given by a friend but I haven’t read it yet so I really dk how similar is it)
Genre: college! au + coffee shop! au + barista! au
A/N:  Jihoon had the highest number of requests so here y'all go! The next fuckboy! will also be posted by the next member who was requested the most so please continue sending in who you did like to see next!

“You are the first and last thing on my mind, each and every day.“ 

  • The fuckboy everyone can’t seem to hate & get their hands on 
  • Easily the most popular guy in his high school 
  • Treasurer of the Student Council, President of the Broadcasting Club and the Star Pitcher of the Baseball Team, Park Jihoon was pretty much the perfect package 
  • But it’s well known in the school that Park Jihoon has a 7 day rule when it comes to dating 
  • He did date anyone who confessed to him for a total of 7 days 
  • However, if he still has 0 feelings for that person by the end of the week, he did just break up with them 
  • As far as anyone was concerned, he did the 7 days rule for at least 20 girls in his high school but none of them managed to capture his heart 
  • While he did break their hearts, none of them ever blamed Jihoon 
  • Cause during that period, he will give his all to the relationship 
  • It’s safe to say that he treated each and every girl like a princess 
  • But it seems that fate just wants him to be single forever 
  • cause his heart has NEVER particularly beat faster for someone or blushed at someone while thinking they are cuter 
  • Here’s when you come in  
  • Your best friend just did her 7 days with Jihoon and well it didn’t last but she was on cloud 9 
  • Basically spent her entire week telling you how much of a perfect boyfriend Jihoon would be 
  • And you just didn’t get it???? 
  • Like hello, you just got DUMPED 
  • Being the overprotective best friend, you were annoyed that someone was actually willing to dump her 
  • Not only that, you thought that this rule of his was just an act to prevent himself from being named a fuckboy 
  • You decided to give Park Jihoon apiece of your mind by playing his game 
  • You knew that most of the girls who did the 7 days rules actually thought that they would be fated and you know wait for the sparks? 
  • Well hell no to that 
  • You were ready to put up your best girlfriend act and get him to fall for you before the 7 days 
  • After all, two could play a game 
  • You were so confident you could change his heart and dump himself before he could to you by the end of the 7 days 
  • You muster up your courage and put on your most charming smile and went up to him 
  • Preparing to make his life a living hell after dragging him through heaven 
  • Jihoon accepted and that’s when your day 1 started 
  • Day 1: He gave you his number and you guys started texting; your plan on being flirty via text was ruined when he asked if your dp was a picture from bare bears 
  • Which lead to a conversation on which bear was the cutest and somehow you both ended up having a bare bears marathon as you guys face timed each other
  • Day 2: You decided to redeem yourself by making him breakfast but when you met him at the subway station, it turns out he had done the same and had even gotten you a warm drink along with some flu medicine 
  • All because he heard you coughing a few times when you two had chatted and he said that he wouldn’t feel good if you were sick 
  • Day 3: He spent his lunch period teaching you additional mathematics that you could never seem to figure out and made sure to send you a copy of all his notes 
  • In return, you baked him cookies with a cute thank you card 
  • Day 4: Bought you a novel that you had been dying to read and shared earphones with you on the subway as he shared with you some of his favorite songs 
  • You sent him a list of your favourite movies to watch and he replied instantly, saying while he had watched most of it, he did love it to watch it with you again   At this point, you were almost enjoying yourself far too much that you nearly forgotten about your original motive 
  • For some reason, you somehow couldn’t bear to see the sight of Jihoon being as you picture his warm gaze and pink lips curving into a smile That’s when it hit you; you were developing feelings for him 
  • You decided you need to back off or you will just be like one of those girls who did not pass the rule 
  • Day 5: You decided to end things off with a text since you really didn’t want to face him and shortly blocked his number to avoid seeing his reply 
  • You were embarrassed at yourself and your initial confidence 
  • Jihoon made you feel so many things and in 3 days time, he easily became someone you could rely on; a person you wanted to call your pillar of strength 
  • You two honestly had so much in common and there was no denying that conversation between the two of you was that would never end 
  • But you didn’t want to continue lying to yourself thinking that he probably viewed you differently 
  • Day 6: You were an absolute mess. It was currently still a Sunday so you could still avoid Jihoon but tomorrow you will be facing him in school and you were not looking forward to it 
  • Day 7: You tried your best to avoid Jihoon until there was an announcement calling for you, telling you to go to the nurse office immediately 
  • You were just like wtf did someone found out that I lied I was sick that one time to skip a geography quiz???? 
  • But Jihoon was sitting in the office waiting for you
  • You froze, trying to run away but Jihoon managed to grab hold of your wrist * He pulled you a back hug, and whisper to your ear 
  • “It’s the seventh day, you passed the rule … okay? Just please don’t leave me, no one has ever make me feel this way before.” 
  • You turned to see him with glassy eyes and you were so sure you heard him wrongly 
  • But he did just continued to embrace you and whisper all the things he liked about you: 
  • how caring you were when you fed the stray cats how observant you were when you purposely made him an oatmeal raisin cookie cause he wasn’t a fan of chocolate, how cute you were when your face light up as you told him your day
  • You guys just end up in each other’s embrace for the next half an hour as he told you that he could call you to the office as broadcasting club members’ perk
  • Oh and the nurse that was working in your school who for some reasons wasn’t in? That was Jihoon’s sister lol
  • To say you were surprised was an understatement 
  • “You told your sister to skipped work just so you could use this place to confess to someone???” 
  • “Pretty much.” 
  • “Park Jihoon, she is going to think I’m some self-entitled brat omg.” 
  • “It’s okay I still love you anyway.”
  • You became known as the girl who broke the 7 day rule and your best friend basically snapped her fingers and saying she knew this was going to happen 
  • When Jihoon thinks you two haven’t spent time due to his obligations, he will just call you down to the office again and you guys will just catch up with each other 
  • One time his sister came back earlier than usual and let’s just say now she has been sending you Jihoon’s baby photos which you used to blackmail him so he did do aegyo 
  • Basically the school power couple and win prom king & queen

Requests are always open & Feel free to inbox me anything at all  ♡

i think in our previous lives, we’ve always been in love with each other, estranged and held apart by a thin thread.

you were the king’s son and i was a peasant girl.
i was an aristocrat and you worked in the stables.
i was in love with somebody else.
you were in love with somebody else.
the first time we met, the world must have stopped in its tracks.
because when i first saw you in this lifetime, i felt everything freeze.

we have always loved each other from afar, each lifetime drawing us closer and closer.

the first time, you accepted a flower from me when you were riding through my village. you rode through it often, and one time you stopped, got down from your carriage, and spoke to me. but you were soon married to a princess, just like all princes were.
the second time, you helped me learn how to ride and take care of my horse. sometimes our hands would brush when we groomed him together. you were my confidant. my friend. we never once told each other what we really felt.
the third time, you were my neighbor, my best friend, and one night you kissed me during a game of hide and seek. “i love you,” you’d said to me, and for a second i loved you too. but a few weeks later i started dating somebody else. that summer, you moved away. in that lifetime, i broke your heart.
the fourth time, we had each other, for a while. our families vacationed by the same lake. you didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend until you had seen everything i had to offer you. you watched me cry in front of you. your family left the next day. in that lifetime, you broke mine.

our souls knew each other before we did. they found each other from across the room and pulled us together. “it’s you,” they said to one another, “i’m so glad it’s you. maybe we can get it right this time.” and then it began, again.

this time, we could have made it if we had had the strength. the courage. but i was afraid and your heart wasn’t there. eventually, mine wandered too. we drifted, our souls still reaching out for each other even though our hands no longer were.

but this time, we knew.
this time, we told each other.
this time, we fought.
in this lifetime, there wasn’t an issue of who broke who.
in this lifetime, we merely broke each other.

i know it’s heartbreaking to think we never got a real chance.
your sobs ring as loud in my ears now as they did the day we shattered,
and they haunt me.
our time in this life together is over. we lost this round.
but each lifetime, we inch closer and closer.
and in my heart, i hope.
my soul, it longs for you still.
it has picked itself out of the rubble of yet another failure and pieced itself back together.
my soul, it knows.
“i will find you again,” it whispers into the cosmos,
“there are many lifetimes to come.”

from across the world, your soul returns,
“we will get our chance yet.”

—  reincarnate -c.h. // Instagram: @evanescent.love (via @poeticaffinity)
M/M romance recs

Here’s a list of my favourites! Organised by genre, with very broad summaries. All of them have HEA, all the m/m romances are the central ones. 

Names in bold have POC protagonists, names in cursive have disabled protagonists (be it physical disability, mental illness or chronic illness). In series with multiple couples, it’s usually one or more.

Feel free to ask me about triggers for any of them!


  • Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian

Disabled regency war vet aristocrat decides to hang around a self-proclaimed ex-criminal helping those who need help. Said ex-criminal tries not to be charmed, ends up catching feelings instead

  • The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian

Confidence artist grows a conscience and angers dangerous people, so he needs to pose as a secretary to a scientifically minded, but eccentric Lord. Really beautiful portrayal of people on autistic spectrum and anxiety.

  • The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Posh and straight-laced gentleman has to help a famous scoundrel aristocrat to restore his image after a raunchy novel supposedly based on his exploits gets published. Contains ridiculous amounts of adorable kittens, tasty pastries and also wonderful portrayal of chronic illnesses

  • Sins of the Cities by KJ Charles

Trilogy set in victorian London, during the horrible London Fog of 1873. Three wonderful and diverse couples (one is half-indian with dyspraxia, one is non-binary, one was born with partial arm, one is near-sighted), murder mystery, fake mediums, lost earls, intrigue! It’s so good 

  • Wanted, a Gentleman by KJ Charles

A delightful and frankly hilarious regency romp through British countryside. An unlikely couple of men need to travel to Gretna Green to save a young girl from potentially dangerous marriage. One of the protagonists is a black ex-slave merchant and the book touches upon his experiences (very respectfully!)

  • Society of Gentlemen by KJ Charles

A Society of gentlemen who like other gentlemen, centered around Lord Richard Vane and his friends and acquitances. Set during the radical uprising during the Regency, it has everything- friendships and families, sedition, intrigue, bookstores and good wine, valets being the mightiest strategists and amazing lovable radicals. This trilogy is honestly my favourite thing EVER.

  • Think of England by KJ Charles

Wounded during the Boer war, seemingly because of treason and betrayal, Archie Curtis sets off to a countryside mansion to get to the bottom of the matter. Completely unprepared for the task, he teams up with Daniel da Silva, the elegant jewish poet, who is much more capable than he seems. Absolutely delightful <333


  • Whyborne and Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk

The adventures of a shy sorcerer linguistic nerd, his detective husband, the most badass lady archeologist (the actual love of my life) and more, as they save the world from otherworldly beings bent on destroying it. Will make you cry about found families, strong and wonderful friendships and broken people finding strength in each other. Has magic, archeology, monsters, reluctant travels, lesbian warrior fishes and the best ginger cat in the world.

  • Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk

Turn of the century New York witch detectives and their familiars must fight to uncover a conspiracy plan to change the world. Really amazing worldbuilding, the magic system is very cool and it will make you furious about the treatment of familiars. The familiars are, generally speaking, fucking hilarious.

  • A Charm of Magpies by KJ Charles

Filthy-mouthed dominant earl falls in love with a stubborn and heroic wizard, together they create magic. A lot of people want that magic though, and it gets ugly. First KJ book I’ve ever read and I fell in love instantly. Has two more books set in the same universe with different protagonists and those are also amazing. (Rag and Bone is the one with black protagonist)

  • A Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

University-era friends need to figure out their confused emotions, while investigating a murder that brings out bad memories. Very good and soft, with even a better sequel

  • Downtime by Tamara Allen

When in London for a case, FBI agent gets sent back in time to Victorian London. While there, he finds out magic is real. Decides that since he’s there anyway, might as well investigate who Jack the Ripper was. Very sweet and soft

  • Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

A medium and a scientist bent on proving said medium to be a fraud get chosen to be in a contest to prove which side is better. They end up having to team up to save lives of people around.

  • The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles

Journalist and writer Robert Caldwell has been a close friend and lover of ghost hunter Simon Feximal for years and has been chronicling their adventures. Now, he finally writes the true story of their life together. Warning: this book will absolutely ruin you for years to come. You will be a mess whenever you think of the book and you will enjoy every second of it.

  • Green Men by KJ Charles

Set in the world of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. Only few years after WW1, Britain is still recovering from the war. Having lost an entire generation of youth and most of the sorcerers the country had, those left are completely unprepared for what’s to come. Wonderful characters, the softest romance I’ve read possibly ever and beautifully melancholic. Best KJ book, in my opinion.


  • Shadow of the Templar by M. Chandler

FBI agent and his team are tasked with catching a famous international art thief, they end up kinda sorta accidentally adopting him instead. One of the funniest series I’ve ever read, honestly.

  • Cut&Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

The incredible adventures on an unlikely pair of FBI agents go from enemies to lovers. Includes serial killers, undercover luxury yacht trips, tiger trafficking, drugs, marine buddies and one of the genuinely best character developments I’ve read. Warning, the first book is a bit shit. The rest is absolutely incredible though.

  • The General and the Horse-lord by Sarah Black

Retired ex-military lovers need to figure out what to do with their relationship, now that they’re civillians. A soft look at older gay people still figuring out their sexuality.

  • The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

Neil Josten is on the run from his mafia murderous father and gets signed up for a professional college sports team, while people are still after him. It’s a really powerful emotional journey, but contains a large amount of a very triggering content, so be safe please.


  • THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet

FBI like team consisting of shifters and their partners must investigate conspiracy and threats against the new shifter population. Ridiculously hilarious at times, absolutely heartbreaking at other.

  • Deep Magic by Gillian St. Kevern

A story steeped in welsh folklore, with beautiful mermaid princes and knights who will save them. Shows the power stories have to change our lives. Plus it’s free so what are you waiting for?

  • Psycop series by Jordan Castillo Price

A medium detective and his partner investigate a series of supernatural crimes. People are horrible, corporations are horrible, ghosts are horrible and lbr, everything is kinda horrible, but it gets better.

  • Wriggle and Sparkle by Megan Derr

The adventures of Lynn the Kraken shifter and Anderson the unicorn shifters, their detective careers, and their life together. Honestly adorable. And when I say adorable, I mean sparkles-on-rainbow-filled-cupcake kind of adorable. Also, Lynn’s gender-presentation is fluid and it’s absolutely wonderful.


  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Prince gets betrayed and sent as a slave to his sworn enemy, they end up working together to save their countries and fall in love. The best enemies to lovers example. Has amazing and complex politics, unreliable narrator and great worldbuilding. You’ve probably already heard of this book, but if you’re worried about triggers, please ask someone who actually read it, because there’s a lot of misinformation flying around.

  • Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling

The fantasy series of your dreams. There is ancient evil being revived, war is coming, everyone is bisexual and the kingdom is ruled by an ancient line of warrior queens. Everyone is wonderful and charming, characters are complex and the story will make you laugh and cry.

  • The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek

Western-style world, where gods are reborn as humans, and one of them tried to control the whole world. It doesn’t go exactly as he planned.

  • Lord of the White Hell by Ginn Hale

Teenage genius inventor gets accepted to a prestigious boarding school in enemy territory. His room-mate might be demon-possesed and there’s some evil magic lurking around.

  • Champion of the Scarlet Wolf by Ginn Hale

Somewhat sequel to Lord of the White Hell. Disgraced noble travels to a faraway country, where he saves an injured dog. Turns out the dog isn’t just a dog, magic is everywhere around them and there’s a witch war coming.

  • Fairytales Slashed vol. 1 by Megan Derr

A collection of gay fairy tales. All kinds of stories with all kinds of characters (my favourite one is the one with the jester <333)

  • Dance with the Devil by Megan Derr

Adventures of half-ghost detective, his demon husband, imp partner, witch colleague and a vampire. Really cute and intriguing, with mysteries and conspiracies.

  • Dance in the Dark by Megan Derr

Set in the same universe as Dance with the Devil (there’s an entire series). Human son of a dracula becomes a detective, moves out to the city to help others, and gains a lover who only visits him in the dark.

  • The Rapier Brothers by Megan Derr

A collection of short stories centered around swordsmen. Three different couples, three really cute stories. Love it.

Little Red Wagon

Dean x Reader

Word Count: 2,116

Warnings: ANGST OUT THE ASS, mentions of a child dying, mentions of wanting to die, lying, heartache….yeah….

Requested by @haniiix33: So..the reader once lost her little son because of some accident but she kept it as a secret bc she was scared that Dean wouldn’t love (or accept) her. Someday she gets confronted with the situation or something that reminds her of her son. She opens up to Dean and shows him the place where she buried her son…something like that?

A/N: So I literally cried my eyes out while writing this which is something that never happens to me….you guys have fun with this one….(unbeta’d any and all mistakes are my own)

Originally posted by findmeplease

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Lion Roars and Toxic Swirls

This is the second chapter which is again written by @teddyandgriffin and me. So here goes


The tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife, Lance could feel the angry glares directed at him. He tore his gaze away from the Black Lion to face them head on.

It was even worse with direct eye contact. Lance did his best not to flinch or hide behind Hunk, he was the…leader…now. He had to act like one. He had to stand strong in the face of adversary.

The anxiety was building in his stomach. That was, until, he heard a quiet snickers from just behind him. He turned, surprised someone could laugh in this situation and was even more surprised at seeing that it was pidge, he raised a questioning brow in her direction.

“ Maybe it’s Kaltenecker who’s the new black paladin. Can you imagine? The cow as the leader of Voltron” she laughed, Lance felt the tension in the room lessen slightly in response as everyone processed what Pidge had said.

Lance let out a breath of relief, thank quiznak for Pidge. He flicked his gaze across the room, hesitant as to what he should do…As his eyes settled on Coran he received an encouraging smile.

Lance nodded to himself, he’d dismiss the team for the day and call a meeting for tomorrow. That should work, they couldn’t expect too much of him after being this curveball, right? He paused.

Lance shook himself out of it, he had to be decisive, “Um, I think we could all use a breather for a bit? We could regroup after lunch maybe?” Mierda, that wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

But it seemed to be acceptable as Pidge and Hunk flashed him smiles and wandered off. Keith and Allura stormed out more than simply leaving.

Coran gave him a reassuring pat on the back before leaving him alone in the room with the Black Lion.

Lance gulped.

He still couldn’t quite understand why Black had chosen him out of everyone else, especially when more capable people like Allura and Keith were there too.

He stood there for a few minutes lost in his thoughts, until he shook himself out of his stupor and truly saw the imposing figure of the Black Lion a few feet away from him.

Slightly confused and fearful he took a few more steps towards Black, ready to attempt to connect with her, in order to bond. It didn’t feel quite right, and Lance felt himself glancing back at Blue.

Why did he have to be separated from her? Lance turned back, if he bonded with the Black Lion then they could get Shiro and Lance would get Blue.

Black’s barrier dropped as Lance took another step, and like that another presence seemed to seep its way into Lance’s consciousness.

But Blue’s didn’t leave.

The familiar feeling of Blue is what pushed him to take several long strides as he made his way to Black’s waiting open jaw. With a final pause Lance took a deep breath, and then he walked inside.

Keith and Allura faced each other in the training room, the displeasure clear on their faces.

Allura huffed, still angry at what had just happened in the hangers. Keith was not so quiet about his anger, “This is unbelievable, how could anyone, let alone the Black Lion, think Lance is better suited to lead Voltron? I mean you, I could understand but Lance, really?!”

Allura was quick to agree with Keith, “ I absolutely agree, surely the Black Lion must have made a mistake. There is no way Lance would have been chosen otherwise, as he’s the least qualified to lead.”

Keith and Allura thought momentarily about what could be done to keep Lance from leading Voltron to its untimely demise, until deciding, seemingly at the same time, that Lance must not be allowed to lead Voltron.

“If the others are blind to the damage Lance will cause as the head of Voltron, then we will have to keep Lance from truly leading ourselves” proclaimed Allura.

Lance felt Black surround him, her quintessence made him feel like he was in the eye of a hurricane. It was both familiar and alien, a part of him tugging at him to settle back into the warmth of Blue’s oceans.

He knew he would have to bond with the Black if he truly wanted to be able to form Voltron again. So he pushed the part that wanted Blue down, and continued further into the Black Lions head.

Finally, he reached the pilot’s seat. He hesitated, knowing that once he sat in this seat he would truly be the new leader of Voltron.

He took a deep breath and sat down.

A moment later Black was pushing him through space and time, Lance’s fears of not being good enough rushed through him as he remembered what Shiro had mentioned to Keith  that he’d overheard.

Black was going to fight for her. But Lance wasn’t as strong or smart as Shiro, he’d never win this.

Lance felt himself becoming frantic as Black settled down in a galaxy, he couldn’t imagine going against the brilliant paladins Black must’ve had in the past.

But as Lance stumbled out of her, his head twisting around anxiously, limbs flailing, there didn’t seem to be an opponent waiting to destroy him.

A soft purr caught Lance’s attention, he slowly turned to see the oddly comforting source of the noise. Lance nearly felt his heart jump out of his throat as he saw the Lions waiting for him.

With them in front of him he didn’t hesitate to run to them, to collapse amongst the multicoloured fur and let himself absorb a piece of each of their quintessences. Their purrs and encouraging words giving him strength.

He didn’t have to leave Blue behind as the Black Paladin, instead he merely found four new Lions to love.

Lance sat in the control room for a few hours after his moment with Black and the other Lions, he had to start making a plan, an outline of what was going to happen during his term as leader.

They needed to find Shiro, of course. But there was also the matter of strengthening bonds with the Blade of Marmora, finding Pidge’s older brother Matt and starting to cleanse the universe of the Galra.

And hopefully contact Earth.

Lance probably wouldn’t achieve everything before they rescued Shiro, but he had to try. Which meant he would need Pidge, a genius at strategy and technology, and Hunk, an amazing engineer.

There was also Coran who knew the most on intergalactic diplomacy, even though his information was a tad bit outdated. He’d be extremely helpful in reaching out to the Olkkari and other alien races who had promised to fight with Voltron.

Lance nodded to himself, he’d have to call them all down soon. Maybe he should give Allura and Keith some time to rest though, they didn’t seem to be very accepting of the Black Lion’s choice…

But she’d made it and now Lance had to do his best to make her proud.

slytherin suits you, weasley

@percyprotectionnet: different house au 

if percy weasley were sorted into slytherin…

  • he’d feel confused and disappointed. he’d expected to be in gryffindor (like his family) or ravenclaw (he was smart enough, after all) - but not slytherin. slytherin, a house of dark wizards and toublemakers and the dungeons and backstabbing and it came with such a bad reputation. a stigmatizing label to brand him for the rest of his life. the sorting hat must have made a mistake. he didn’t belong in slytherin.
  • his family would be shocked at first (slytherin? percy?). his brothers would tease him about it, but it wouldn’t be the biggest deal in the world to his parents.
  • his unease with being sorted into slytherin would hinder him at first. he wouldn’t connect with the other slytherin first years, choosing instead to dive into his studies head-on and try to make a few friends in the other houses, also offering to help other students (of other houses) with their studies when it became obvious that he understood the material better than most.
  • some of his friends in the other houses would agree with him - he wasn’t what they had expected of a slytherin, but they didn’t mind.
  • some of his other friends were confused by his dismay with his own house - what was wrong with slytherin? they were friends with him and he was a slytherin, weren’t they? the rumors about the slytherin house hadn’t gotten to them or they chose to ignore them, seeing the house instead as just another hogwarts house.
  • those friends prompted percy to take a look at his own house again - a little more kindly than the first time. though not ready to extend a friendly hand to marcus flint, he started offering to help fellow slytherins with essays and homework questions that they were struggling with. it was a start.
  • his fellow slytherins were weary of him at first - percy, the slytherin that had wanted nothing to do with them - but they still allowed him to join them.
  • hanging out with the slytherins, in their own common room and dorms, was… nicer than he expected. their tongues were, for the most part, sharper than those of his friends and their jokes took him a bit to get used to, but he enjoyed it. they were different.
  • his observations of the slytherins struck him with surprise: 
  • 1. the slytherin house stuck mostly to themselves. not because they necessarily wanted to, but because many of the other students from other houses expected them to prove that they didn’t live up to the stereotypes of the slytherin house and the slytherin students honestly just didn’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone but themselves. despite the pride that many had in their house and their heritages, they had heard the oppressive, narrow stereotypes  for so long that they wore them as a second skin,
  • 2. they were the same as the other students. they laughed, cried, had first loves and first heartbreaks, smiled, studied hard, procrastinated, cheated, lied, got caught, got brilliant marks, succeeded and failed, got frustrated and excited - they were human, just like him. even the meanest, toughest, hardest of slytherins had more under their skin than just a snake with fangs,
  • 3. most slytherins had layers. what you got the first time you spoke them often was only the surface, and if you persisted past the bristles and walls many of them put up to those not close to them, then you could find something amazing beneath it. 
  • 4. slytherins were fiercely loyal to both their heritage ties (relationships with other families that their parents had made) and those they considered friends.
  • 5. while competition was strong in slytherin, it could be cast aside when the need arose to come together.
  • he would realize that slytherin wasn’t as bad as he had thought. the pureblood pride was strong in a select clique, however, many slytherins couldn’t really care less as long as it didn’t affect them. other than that the students were… loyal to each other. slytherins stuck together, had each other’s back… even his, when he finally let them. 
  • the stone-cold merciless brutality he had expected had turned out to be ambitious hopes and dreams, with the occasional cutthroat competition that rarely caused true harm to another slytherin.
  • as a prefect of slytherin, he was fair and just to all the houses. he never treated one with favoritism or another with distain – simply saw them all as students. that was one thing being in slytherin had taught him. there really was little difference between them.
  • he somehow found himself friends with the captain of slytherin’s quidditch team, marcus flint. despite the outer appearance that the other student put forth, he wasn’t so bad once percy got used to him. 
  • because of this friendship percy went to every quidditch game, cheering for slytherin. the twins teased him endlessly about this, but the three weasleys made a game of sorts of it: whoevers house team lost had to do one dare the other told them to do. luckily slytherin didn’t lose often.   
  • maybe, just maybe, percy would be okay in slytherin: their ambition was contagious, and their motivation helped fuel him to study hard for the ministry job he wanted. 
  • yet they also reminded him to have fun every now and then, drinking games and rounds of challenges going late into the morning to celebrate having written difficult tests.
  • when it was finally time for ron and harry to join hogwarts, ron’s opinion of slytherin would be better than it had been because of percy, who was thriving in slythering as a prefect and top grades, studying hard – but slytherin was still undesirable.
  • every year, percy would try to convince the slytherin first years that blood status wasn’t important (look at him, top of his year in all of his classes yet a blood traitor) and that they didn’t have to follow the bad stereotypes of the slytherin house.
  • he always offered to help anyone - from any house - with their homework, yet reserved special times to help the slytherins. they were his house, after all, and many of them struggled with the coming of harry potter.
  • more often than not he found himself tutoring malfoy’s gang; crabbe and goyle already falling behind and malfoy quietly working on his own work next to them or prattling on about something or another. 
  • the ministry job he landed after graduating proved his ambition and motivation paid off. he was proud, but exhausted.
  • the fight where he cut his ties with his family left him severely wounded inside, yet he wouldn’t admit it just yet. being around slytherins for so long had ingrained a deeper sense of devotion and loyalty to his family – they were very loyal to their own, those slytherins, even when their own wasn’t right – but percy was caught between everything he had worked for and his family.
  • he made the wrong choice, only realizing it later on, and he righted it. he quit for his family.
  • he’d return to hogwarts for the battle of hogwarts for two reasons:
  • 1. he wanted to make sure his family was safe. despite being the black sheep of the family, shunning his father and cutting ties of with them before, he would never forgive himself if something happened to them, and,
  • 2. he wanted to stop the young slytherin students from blindly following in (many of their cases) their parent’s footsteps or buying into the stereotypes that everyone else had of them. he wanted to try convincing them, one last time, that they could choose to be whoever or whatever they wanted to be - regardless of their heritage. that just because someone said something about them or believed something about them, they didn’t need to live up to those words or beliefs. they could write themselves - look at he. a weasley. a slytherin. top of his class. ambitious. a ministry worker. as smart as a ravenclaw. as passionate as a hufflepuff. heart of gryffindor’s lion. the purest, loyalest love of a slytherin. ambition did not have to mean stepping on others to succeed.
  • he was there to support his family when his brother died. surprisingly, many of his slytherin friends rallied around them – they understood loss well, their eyes understanding, offering him the comfort and strength he needed to be there for his family.
  • their gifts – to his surprise – extended to his family: small letters, little gifts, thoughtful things meant to offer kindness in a time of pain. his family, to his surprise, accepted the gifts. slytherin wasn’t mentioned at all. they were from his friends, that was all.
  • he’s realize that, in the end, he did belong in slytherin. slytherin was so much more than he had thought it was. is wasn’t backstabbing and evil, rumors and sabotage. it wasn’t just full of power-hungry purebloods, it wasn’t just a snakepit.
Can I just say...

What a lovely, warm and amazing relationship is being portrayed in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon?

Originally posted by my-shining-star

Ahn Min Hyuk and Do Bong Soon meet at random one day (you know, bus incident aside), and he liked her (in his own words, he found her sexy right off the bat, something Bong Soon has never though of herself because of her super human strength), so he went and looked for her, helped when he could, asked her to work for him and did everything he could think of - without being creepy - to keep her in his orbit. 

Do Bong Soon saw him as a job at first, an in to the company she really wanted to work at (which he owns), and was very open about it. She found him irritating at times and didn’t quite get what his deal was. 

Originally posted by sunqshiwon

But through being together a lot, they got to know each other and worry for about the other and to finally like one another, and they honestly want to help each other out. 

When Min Hyuk figures out who was after him is Bong Soon who listens to him, understands why he is crushed and doesn’t stop trying to cheer him up until he feels better. 

Originally posted by dazzlingkai

When Bong Soon is unsure about her powers, Min Hyuk accepts that she was just born like that, and when she decides to use her powers for good, Min Hyuk helps her ‘evolve’, and helps her to finally get a grip on that strength, he is actually really helpful to her. 

Originally posted by shibachibi

Originally posted by dazzlingkai

They talk about the stuff that matters to them. They are friends. And yes, he has a huge crush on her, but he doesn’t push it on her, ever. 

Originally posted by naaho

And it’s just plain lovely. 

Originally posted by addictingkdrama

HAUS magic, y’all

Seriously I can’t get enough of those magic AUs

People aren’t magic, but things, things can become powerful.

First, Samwell. When it started to get a reputation of acceptance, people started flocking to it and believing in it, and the more you believe in it, the stronger it becomes. People feel at home. Lost souls find their way.
If you’ve never felt accepted before, you will find the people who will accept you for who you are. Samwell will place them in your way.

DIfferent places have different feels. Faber is focused and a bit cold, and will reward athletes who work hard. It loves Jack and his devotion to the ice, it loves Bitty and his determination to overcome his fear. It stretches the seconds of checking practice time, cradles them in the soft light of the morning. Faber was the first to know, to hear half conversations in the silence of a loading dock, but it didn’t care much about the emotions of hockey players who would come and go, like the others. The ice can only love you in a cold way.

But the Haus, oh the Haus…

First, it’s on Frat row. All the buildings are kinda “loud” in that street. Their energies overflow and overlap each other in an endless turf war. The Haus had been silent for so many years, and was so delighted to be inhabited again, that its joy tends to overflow (and annoy the LAX house, who was used to be the loudest).

The Haus loves his tiny hockey players. There is a reason the “reading room” hasn’t collapsed under the weight of massive hockey bros, and the electrical wiring hasn’t caught on fire, and no one has caught anything bad from the green couch, there’s a reason no one’s been assaulted around it. The Haus messed up, once, and it hasn’t forgiven itself. It cares for the ghosts of Mandy and Jenny like it couldn’t in life.

The Haus loves Bitty with his curtains and welcome mat and singing in the shower, it loves the cleaning and the smell of baking. It loves Dex and all the tiny repairs he made through the years. It loves Shitty and his loud way of telling people how to be good humans, it loves the strong friendship of Ransom and Holster that warms the attic, it loves Lardo’s creative energy, it loves…

It didn’t like Jack at first. No more than any of the hockey players. But Johnson, the only one who could talk back to the Haus, the one who could SEE, whispered that Jack was important. So it took Jack in.

And Jack found so much more than a Haus, he found a home, a refuge, and the Haus was glad.

Then, slowly, a new kind of magic grew withing its walls. It could feel the glow on the staircase steps at 4am, in the kitchen, between two doors of the second floor. The Haus knew that kind of magic, had felt it many times before, but this, this was born INSIDE the Haus, it was growing like vines, permeating the wood and brick and metal and gyproc-

There was the addition of an oven, and it was like they gave the Haus a new heart, full of love and energy and youth. The Haus sang.

There was- there was a kiss. A true love first kiss. No one could deny the strength of THAT particular magic. The room in which it happened glows to this day.

The Haus loves the boy who sleeps in that room, and his friends who hang out with him just to feel the glow of that room. It loves the baker and the boy who was afraid, it loves the artist and the loud one, and the one who Sees, and the Friends forever, and the ghosts, and it will love for many more years, many more hockey players that will feel the glowing walls of home.

slow hands

Preview:  You just kind of stare at him for a moment, and you don’t know who makes the first move but suddenly you’re pressed up against your door and he’s kissing you like it’s the most natural thing in the world. You find that you’re not surprised, because it is natural. You’re a little bitter that it took so long, yeah, but you know that right here, with him kissing the breath straight from your lungs, is where you belong; where you’ve always belonged.

Word Count: 5497

Warnings: SMUT, pure and simple. SMUT SMUT SMUT. Light bondage if you squint. Ye be warned.

Notes: This is basically an excuse for me to write smut tbh. I’ve been in such a slump lately with school and everything else, so i was happy to accept any excuse to write. This fic is probably the filthiest smut I’ve ever written. It was inspired, in part, by Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands”, which has been playing in my head nonstop since I heard it. Tagging @jaaystodd and @dicckgrayson, because they had to endure my screaming about this.  I hope you guys enjoy!

Keep reading

"Garnet only talks about Fusion stuff now"

So I’ve got some stuff to say about my favorite character: Garnet! 

It’s kind of in response to some criticism I’ve heard: specifically, that Garnet became nothing but a Fusion poster child who thinks about and talks about nothing but fusion since the time her Fusion status was revealed at the end of Season One. 

But I’m not really arguing with the perspective so much as trying to bring some nuance to seeing why Garnet is written the way she is–by examining how her focus has changed over time and what I think we’re going to see the show do with her in the future.

Okay, so to some extent? Yes, Garnet’s inclination to talk about fusion all the time went into overdrive after the reveal. Garnet says very little about herself for an entire season, doesn’t find excuses to bring up fusion, doesn’t seem particularly eager to extol the virtues of fusion or fuse with others (though they seem excited to fuse with her, for sure!), and only has a couple little hints about being a giant fusion-fan dork when we see her reaction to Stevonnie. 

But keep in mind that in Season One, Garnet’s few attempts to open up were not rewarded. For instance, Garnet felt punished for revealing something about herself–her Future Vision–to Steven late in Season One, and it was clear that she risked it because the possibility of being closer to him was worth so much. She learned that her words have incredible power, and that this power is magnified when she’s letting others into the reality of her existence. Garnet is … let’s be serious here, Garnet is majestic and bafflingly cool but she can be kind of awkward. She seems like a stoic badass most of the time when she doesn’t open her mouth, but she can REALLY be a mess when she starts talking and doesn’t think it through first.

She’s completely in her element when she’s talking about fusion, though–and it’s not just because she is a Fusion and loves being one. It’s also because she was the FIRST of her type of Fusion, and she had to fight so hard on so many levels to be allowed to exist. Her existence has, for so long, been ABOUT being allowed to exist.

I’m going to take a weird turn here and talk about Amethyst. But it’ll connect in a minute, I promise.

Amethyst was the clear outsider of the Crystal Gems. She arrived after the war and has no idea about a lot of the events from Gem history. She spent most of her life with no idea that she was “supposed to be” big like Jasper, or what it was like to live on Homeworld, or what other Amethysts might be like, or what her status would have been if she’d come out on time.

And I imagine Rose ADORED THAT.

I suppose Rose was DELIGHTED at the idea of a Gem being alive for the first time in known history without that programming. What it must be like to NOT be indoctrinated into Gem culture, the worst parts of it anyway, not have to fight to oppress others and steal resources for your world and worship your Diamond, just to LIVE as part of a family, somewhat like the humans Rose so admired. Amethyst was a clean slate! 

I don’t know how much she came out of the ground knowing, but it’s clear she was NOT programmed with any idea about what Gems are “supposed to be” like. It was news to her when Peridot said she was supposed to be twice her size, was supposed to outrank everyone on her team, was this mysterious thing called a Quartz. 

It’s a lot like being adopted: she never knew any other family, and she loved her family and her home, but what is it like, to use an inappropriate human analogy, to find one’s BLOOD? When you’re the only one in your family who never knew it?

It was satisfying to her to find her Famethyst at the Zoo. Seeing other Amethysts (and Beta Quartzes), knowing that most of them might have been huge but ended up total goofballs like her, with her ancestry, with the answer to her original name (which to her wasn’t an automatizing reduction of identity to an alphanumeric designation, but instead represented CONNECTION, HISTORY, ANSWERS). What it must be like to her to find that family and know something she’d never known–something Rose didn’t want her to ever have to know, but still had meaning to her.

Back to Garnet.

Garnet is a Fusion, and she can never QUITE be an individual the way single Gems can. She doesn’t consider that a failing, and even though she almost always feels like one being, her Fusion identity IS her. “This is who we are” and “This is who I am” are both statements about her that are true, even though they suggest duality and individuality at once. Garnet has no one to talk to about that, and she’s used to keeping it inside. But no Gems who meet her are ignorant that she’s a Fusion. They immediately see it, looking at her, knowing that’s what she is and carrying whatever judgment they might have about it.

Enter Steven.

He has no idea what a Fusion is for most of his life, and has no idea that he might need to see Garnet as fundamentally different from his other “parents.” That may have been sort of freeing for her, I think. Not telling Steven was really her only chance to know what it’s like to look into someone’s eyes and know they just think of you like one being. 

Let’s remind ourselves who told Steven about fusion. It wasn’t Garnet! Amethyst brought up Opal. Pearl explained what fusion is. Opal was the first Fusion Steven met while knowing he was meeting a Fusion, and he felt a little weird about it at first because he didn’t know who she was and was worried she wouldn’t know who he was. Steven still has no appreciable relationship with Opal. Just with Pearl and Amethyst.

Garnet is a perma-Fusion and she isn’t going to spend much of her life unfused. It’s what she wants and it’s what Sapphire and Ruby want. Steven obviously wants to understand them, and he has more of a relationship with them than with Opal, but I doubt Garnet wants him to get too used to it. She’s the permanent fixture there. She’s going to stay Garnet. And she wanted Steven to love that she is Garnet without feeling a weird sense of loss over the idea that her presence prevents him from seeing Ruby or Sapphire.

But during Season One, Garnet found that presenting herself like a single Gem means keeping a secret and not opening up much at all. 

She became more demonstrative after the reveal because she COULD be–and someone she loves so much has crossed the threshold where he could have judged her or been upset, and he WASN’T. You could see she felt guilty, but also so relieved. 

She is free to talk about it now, to show him who she is, to help him understand his own fusion capabilities and fusion identity when he’s part of Stevonnie or Smoky, and for once, she gets to be the mentor to someone about something so sacred to her.

There is more to Garnet than being a Fusion–much more. She has a personality. She has strengths, and interests, and fears, and quirks both adorable and troubling. The show does continue to explore those, and I think sometimes people forget about it when this show focuses on her relationships. 

In “Reformed,” Garnet explored her influence as a leader and what “being too hard on” Amethyst inspired in her; it was an Amethyst episode, but Garnet learned too, and it wasn’t “about” her being a Fusion. 

When she was frozen in horror under the Kindergarten when she met the fusion experiments, of course this related to fusion and was particularly upsetting to her because it’s a perversion of her identity, but she also explored her feelings of guilt and grief, and discussed the importance of consent with Steven. 

And the consent issue came up again with Sardonyx, which again, though it focused on fusion, it was not exclusively about Garnet being a Fusion. It was about trust with Pearl, betrayal, and again, the important heaviness of being the leader, being the one everyone looks to for what to do–even when she’s falling apart, she has to be the example. “Always the bigger Gem,” indeed. Interesting how in that case, her Fusion status made her more vulnerable to taking that betrayal so much more personally.

Since then, yes, we’ve seen a LOT of fusion-centric stuff about her. Peridot’s Very Special Episode with Garnet was about understanding fusion, but also about understanding GARNET. As is necessary with understanding Garnet, seeing her as a Fusion is an important part of understanding her as a whole. It’s not the only thing to understand, but it is FUNDAMENTAL. 

The episode “The Answer” was the story of her relationship and how she became herself, but it was also about her being literally unmasked for an entire episode, coming forward to tell Steven an important foundation of her character, having the chance finally to reveal personal information to him NOT under duress, in a way she chose and planned and had complete control of. And then having Steven appreciate and accept THAT. Not in a terrible situation when they’d been kidnapped and Ruby and Sapphire were wrenched apart and revealed to him in such a traumatic way. This time, it’s HER way. Garnet got to do that, and got to include him, on her terms.

“Monster Reunion” had important Garnet stuff in it–it wasn’t a Garnet-centric episode, but it involved Garnet first denying Steven’s request to help Centipeetle, and then giving in, and then acknowledging that letting him follow his heart had been a good decision. 

In the “Bismuth” episode, Bismuth kept bringing up Garnet’s being a Fusion as a sort of breaking-your-balls kind of ribbing, but at the point when they’d known each other, that was a new thing, something she was probably actively trying to develop pride in, just like Pearl and her pride in belonging to no one. 

“Mindful Education” wasn’t just about fusion training or learning to cultivate balance; it was also about mindfulness meditation in general, and though it focused on how being out of sync is particularly confusing and lethal for Fusions, it had very good lessons about handling trauma and reminding yourself where you are, which can be generalized for Steven and Connie even when they’re not Stevonnie.

“Three Gems and a Baby” did sort of oversimplify each of the Gems’ misunderstandings of what Steven might be–Amethyst trying to see the glow as evidence of shapeshifting, Pearl trying to see the glow as evidence that Rose is operating by known Gem logic and is trapped but not gone, Garnet trying to see the glow as evidence that Steven is a complex Fusion with human organic material and is trying to unfuse. 

I’m not sure exactly what Garnet was thinking was going to happen if she was right and he unfused into two beings, but she evidently STILL thinks of Steven as a type of love Fusion if you assume Guide to the Crystal Gems is accurate. It’s pretty typical to draw common ground between yourself and someone you want to understand or be closer to. And if you think about it, this episode also showed that Garnet, despite her attempts to be a calm voice of reason, REALLY MISSES ROSE and was showing how desperate she was to see her again. Yes, she focused on fusion, but it was something larger in context–just like she is.

And then “Steven’s Dream” happened, which involved some pretty heavy stuff between Garnet and Steven. She withheld the truth, she didn’t know how to make him stay out of danger, she felt powerless and helpless to stop him because she still has so much fear of the Diamonds and what they can so easily take away from her and her planet and her friends. She gets a lot of criticism over this episode because she fumbled SO epically when almost all of us can think of something we could have said to stop Steven from going to Korea if we’d been partial to Garnet’s visions. But that was an episode about their relationship, her shortcomings, her WEAKNESSES, and both of the times she expressed her helplessness, she took her visor off like she always does in super sincere moments. 

This whole dynamic was very important, and though it did lead to a plot line that made her unfusing necessary, I think a lot of people overlook “Steven’s Dream” as a significant Garnet episode. It is. Garnet screwed up and it had nothing to do with her being a Fusion and it had everything to do with how she can fall to pieces in other ways if she’s made to face her fears–to even consider being face to face with Blue Diamond.

“Room for Ruby” had a couple Garnet moments too; it opened and closed with Steven interacting with Garnet, and though not much went on, it seemed like she is still trying to figure out how much to put in Steven’s hands … 

And I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s wondering when and if and to what extent Steven can share the burden or take over as leader, like his mother. Because I don’t think Garnet particularly likes leading the team. She does it because she can handle it, but she’s not always the best strategist. She can be emotional in ways that make her short-sighted, and that’s when–like Ruby–she punches first and asks questions later, and–like Sapphire–she puts on a mask and pretends everything is very fine and no one needs to worry. Garnet struggling with this, and with being wrong, and with her role on the team, is sort of subtle compared to Fusion-related material, but it’s very much there.

I am in agreement with some of the folks who would like to see some straight-up individual character development for Garnet when she’s not talking about fusion or focusing on being a Fusion or educating someone about fusion. I’d like to know more about her hobbies–what would she do with a day if she had one all to herself without worrying about capturing Gems or leading missions? I’d like to know more about her funny little competitive nature. I’d like to see more of those quirky behaviors come up, where she does something unexplainable because she’s just kind of a weirdo (you know, like putting Steven on her head and walking away, or drawing a picture of herself when everyone else is drawing suspect sketches, or jumping out of the van instead of telling Greg to turn the music off).

But I think it’s unrealistic to expect Garnet to be much more expressive than she is now, because she just isn’t that demonstrative and THAT is part of who she is. 

She’s a pressure cooker. She keeps things inside and she resolves them internally–which is probably partially a consequence of being a conversation. Sometimes, like a pressure cooker, she can explode, and you’re going to see her truth in those moments and in a few quiet moments when she chooses to tell a story. 

You’re not going to see the kinds of feelings and spoken desires you get from Steven, Amethyst, or Pearl (who all also have very different ways of expressing themselves, but at least tend to DO SO in more overt ways than Garnet does). If they kept journals: Steven would have a sketch diary and would make an effort to end even his sad entries on a happy note. Amethyst would make fun of everything and occasionally write an angry rant. Pearl would write sad poetry and shopping lists and occasional heartfelt observations. I think Garnet wouldn’t keep one. She doesn’t seem to feel comfortable with words taking her feelings up for her, and she guards what she feels closely. The fact that she doesn’t tell us things actually tells us things.

I don’t think it’s lazy writing or turning her into a one-note character to have Garnet frequently putting her life in context through the lens of Fusion. 

Fusion is the reason she exists and it is, to be quite literal, who and what she is. It was a radical act that she pioneered, and it must have been amazing to become someone who could define her own life instead of going along with her ingrained Ruby or Sapphire programming. Garnet was more an individual than either of them could have been at that time in their lives, even if that sounds like a contradiction. She’s still creating that person, and still conceiving it as a radical, beautiful act just to be herself. That’s why she’s so great.

I don’t want the show to stop exploring what that means to her, and what that means to everyone around her. I’m not tired of it. I think her character can find new things to talk about, sometimes incorporating information and experience surrounding fusion, and sometimes having it be irrelevant or tangential. But just like those of us who, for example, live with a marginalized sexual identity, something that fundamental to who you are and that different from most people you know always seems to come back into relevance, sometimes when you’re not even steering the conversation. 

I think some of you will know what I’m talking about when I say it does just always seem to come up, because it’s an interesting thing about you that people who aren’t like you can’t fully understand, and sometimes you want to tell everyone all the things and sometimes you just really want them to leave you alone. But it’s definitely part of your truth, and it’s something you want people to understand about you and accept about you, and you might feel a little like you’re lying if you haven’t told someone or you just let them think that important thing is not there. 

Garnet’s identity is a lot like that in some ways–there’s no “Jailbreak” episode where you come out once and then you don’t ever have to do it again. Garnet keeps having to demonstrate and identify what is different about her, and it continues to be very, very relevant in her life, affecting her relationships and the way she sees the world, how she looks, what her comfort with herself is, what abilities she has, what people think of her. It’s everything. And that fact doesn’t make her lesser, nor does it oversimplify her.

I don’t know what direction the writers will take us with Garnet, but I trust that it will be something I want to know. I find her really interesting and for many reasons very personally relatable. If there’s still more to hear about fusion from her, I want to hear it all. If there’s less related stuff, I want that too. 

Pearl’s been struggling toward defining herself separately from others, separately from her grief over Rose. She’s making progress. Amethyst’s been struggling toward building self-esteem and understanding her place in the world. She’s making progress. Some people say Garnet stopped being interesting once she threw out her big revelation in “Jailbreak” and then didn’t evolve from there. 

I want to know what show they’re watching. 

There’s been so much with her, and I’m not going to say she doesn’t struggle, but unlike the others, Garnet’s struggles aren’t about making peace with HERSELF. She probably did have that struggle when she was new, but she knows who she is now, and that she’d rather be herself than anything she was designed to be. When you have a stable self-identity and step onto that pedestal as a mentor, you can end up giving more than getting in these kinds of stories, but HER struggles seem to be with how much she can give to others without compromising herself. 

She’s not self-destructive like Amethyst was, or self-sacrificing like Pearl was. But she gets punished a lot for coming out of her shell, and I think her story is largely going to be about letting others in and dealing with what it means to reach out. Garnet does seem to want connection, and I mean that as an individual. She treasures her relationships with the others, and sometimes despite her being kind of a dork with words she honestly knows the right thing to say.

To sum up, if you think Garnet’s become a one-note character, I encourage you to listen for the subtler harmonies. She’s got a really interesting duality, both subtle and blunt, and I’m here for all of it–including when it seems to contradict itself. Who isn’t a contradiction sometimes? What she’s taught us about her identity is really complex and weirdly relatable for something so alien to humans. I think it deserves at least as much attention as it’s getting.

I still agree with the people who don’t want fusion to be the center of every story about her, but I think they’re wrong if they believe that’s how it is right now. Or rather, that it’s ALL she is, or that what they’re showing us is simple and uncomplicated enough to be unworthy of further exploration. It’s just that SHE is the center of every story about her, and she is a Fusion, so that affects everything she sees and does. 

We should expect it to.

anonymous asked:

Hey, I saw your tags on the ladywongs post, so I just wanted to know your opinion about the latest touka/mutsuki. honestly, I feel it unnecessarily complicated something so simple and it made me feel violated, cause I feel like I loved a character that was not touka. Do you perhaps...have an insight you wanna share?

Well, I was grateful for the shoutout that meta gave me and I’ve been a fan of a lot of metas that writer has produced, but this one in particular I very much disagreed with. I think the claim that Touka loves the idea of Kaneki while not really understanding the person ignores the fact that every time she’s made a serious observation about Kaneki she’s been bang on the money.

If she idolises Kaneki so, why has she made such a damning assessment about him? And it’s not just an assessment of the changed Shironeki that she resents, it extends to the Kuroneki she supposedly idolises as well. And what’s more, she’s completely right. This is even acknowledged by Kaneki himself.

Touka doesn’t idolise an image of Kaneki. Far from it. The chapter on the bridge is titled “Penetration” because Touka sees past the roles Kaneki plays to the scared kid inside. At this point, she probably has the best understanding of Kaneki than anyone in the series - maybe even more than Hide. For further proof, Touka knows at a FREAKING GLANCE just what Kaneki intends to do to himself when they meet up at Cochlea.

If this was just a casual “Seeya”, do you think it would be all Touka would say to him after all this time? She can tell Kaneki has no intention of making it out alive, so the first thing she does is to remind him that his death won’t affect him alone, and it very clearly shakes him up; setting him on the path to choose to live. Just like how their confrontation on the bridge convinced Kaneki to go back to Anteiku, if not quite in time.

Touka’s not being unreasonable because the Kaneki she idolised has changed. She’s mad because Kaneki’s going down a path of self-destruction, and it does destroy him. In the last quarter of the first manga the narrative breaks its back pointing out that Kaneki’s gone too far down the Shironeki path - it’s not just Touka, it’s also Yoshimura, Nishiki, even resident devil on Kaneki’s shoulder Shuu, not to mention events like Kaneki stabbing Banjou, seeing Rize crazed and helpless, and all the foreshadowing packed into ‘The Hanged Man’s McGuffin’. Touka is trying to help Kaneki because she genuinely does know what’s best for him because she genuinely understands him. I don’t think anyone would try to claim that convincing Kaneki to live at Cochlea was a bad thing either.

Now if Touka is ‘obsessed’ with Kaneki, if it can’t possibly be love because they only knew each other for two months, then it would stand to reason that Kaneki would be far, far more important to Touka than she would be for him.

Then why is it that in Kaneki’s mind, after only knowing Touka for two months and Hide for all his life, Touka is on equal footing with Hide? He includes the whole of Anteiku in the above panel, but Touka gets special mention with Hide in the next. 

And here, in his dying moments, Touka gets the biggest panel, placed on the next page for the biggest effect. Touka is just as important to Kaneki as vice-versa. 

But neither is ‘obsessed’ with the other.

Touka broke into Cochlea to save Hinami, not Kaneki. She didn’t even know he was there. She most definitely has a life outside Kaneki and her love for him is far from all-consuming. While he had lost his memories, she was fully willing to accept the possibility she might never talk to him again. She might love him, but if she was obsessed and didn’t have a life outside of him, there’s no way she could make a sacrifice like that even if her aim was selflessness. Yoshimura loved his daughter, and set up Anteiku anticipating her return, but he had a life outside of her too. It’s the same with Touka.

The original post tries to dismiss Touka’s feelings being a healthy form of love by comparing it to spending three years dedicating yourself to a co-worker who you knew for two months, but dumbing it down to their official relationship and a span of time removes an enormous amount of context to explain why she feels this way. In real life, you wouldn’t have fought side-by-side with your co-worker in life-threatening situations time and time again. These kind of high-pressure environments cause bonds and trust to become much much thicker much more quickly. “Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever”.

Sure Touka sees Arata in Kaneki. That’s not a bad thing at all. Arata was a great dude. Having an Arata in your life is a real positive thing, and there’s absolutely no reason why Touka shouldn’t chase it. People are hardwired to get with people who remind them of their parents - it’s in our genetic programming, it doesn’t diminish the love they feel for that person or make them love them less for who they are in the slightest. Trying to heal the wounds of old losses by emotionally investing yourself in new people is totally healthy - the unhealthy thing would be to shut yourself off from the world, just like Touka was doing at the start of the manga - a rut Kaneki helped her out of. It would be bad if she were just pretending that Kaneki was Arata, but she isn’t - she behaves totally differently around him and she has demonstrated many times an understanding of those personality traits Kaneki possesses that are completely different from Arata’s. It would be problematic if Kaneki got with someone who reminded him of his mother (read: Rize) because his mother was a horrible person; but Touka, even if she occasionally throws a hit at him (a product of her upbringing which is very rare nowadays - also Kaneki is nowhere near as vulnerable in this situation as he was a child, he’s the OEK for crying out loud), constantly gives Kaneki both the emotional attention and the hard truths that he needs.

This panel:

Is unambiguously a good thing. Touka’s development was never about growing into herself without the need for others, because she was already like that at the start of the manga. Touka’s development was about rediscovering the humanity she cast aside to protect herself from pain, and then balancing that with the strength she found with being a Ghoul. The first stage was greatly aided by Kaneki - whom she indeed admired, but never idolised - and the second stage she completed herself. 

Mutsuki’s love is a different beast entirely than Touka’s love. Mutsuki’s focus on Touka was precisely to emphasise Mutsuki’s jealousy, because Mutsuki recognises the bond Kaneki and Touka share. Mutsuki’s feelings are not meant to parallel Touka’s, but tie in with the other complicated entanglements of this arc, showcasing different kinds of love. I do strongly believe we’ll get both Touken and Akiramon resolutions soon, and positive ones too; the negativity around love this arc has displayed to us so far is set up to make those two relationships shine brighter.

So don’t worry anon, just because a meta says Touka is different from how you think about her doesn’t mean it’s right - it’s all a matter of interpretation. No one person’s opinion is automatically more important than another (except in this case maybe Sui Ishida - and maybe not even then, if you adhere to Death Of The Author literary theory), your analysis is just as valid as anyone else’s if you can argue it with evidence.

But even so, I am very much of the opinion in this fandom that if you see any meta that tries to claim that none of the main characters have developed at all since the start of the manga, take it with approximately this much salt:

Jon & Dany - Mirroring journeys leading to each other 

We’ve seen a lot of visual parallels of these two through all the brilliant gifsets the gifmakers of this fandom create. @officerparker asked me to take the show apart with a scalpel in terms of these two as characters & honestly as a writer trying to learn the craft, this was a very educational exercise. This Mother of Metas, a Jonerys thesis if you must, is entirely based on show canon.

Scratching the surface - Stark/Targaryen contrast

Looking at these two at surface level, they might seem like polar opposites. Jon lives by the Stark stoicism, a house whose motto is ‘Winter is Coming’ instead of something personal. It symbolises their disinterest in political games and laser sharp focus towards the danger that lurks north of the wall. For winter hits them first, their strength lies in protecting the realm from what lurks beyond the wall. They have never fared well politically in games of southerners, so they distance themselves from it to focus on what really matters. Joining the Night’s Watch only amplified and cemented this in Jon’s character, as focus on the threats beyond the wall & aversion from politics is the foundation of the brotherhood.

Dany is a Targaryen‘Fire and Blood’ both nurturing life sources when contained but devastating when unleashed. She too is kind, nurturing and protective but she doesn’t shy away from violence against wrong doers. Targaryens don’t fare well diplomatically either but with godlike power of dragons and fire magic, the Dragons unapologetically make their way to the top of the food chain. The first Targaryen conquest led to the creation of the Iron Throne, which all the other houses are fighting over with politics ever since the Targaryen dynasty ended. The second conquest could again change the game and setup a new system, which Dany very much intends to do, to break the wheel that tramples the common people. They don’t play the game, they create and dominate it with great power which drives some in the dynasty to greatness and some to madness. 

Despite house values that are reactive vs proactive and avoiding the game vs dominating the game, both are more tied with mysticism and a greater purpose, rather than games of mere mortals. Underneath this outer shell of contrast, these two characters are so similar, they are almost mirrors of each other, something their arcs strongly signifies. 

Character Backstory

Birth : Jon and Dany are both orphans born in a chaotic environment. The death of their fathers put an end to Targaryen dynasty’s reign and their mothers died at childbirth. 

  • Dany was born at Dragonstone during a storm, the night of a naval battle which destroyed the Targaryen fleet.
  • Jon was born as a Ned fought the guards outside the Tower of Joy in Dorne.
  • Dany was shipped off to Essos for her safety soon after her birth.
  • Ned Stark took him back to Winterfell as his bastard to protect his life and uphold his promise to his dying sister. 

Upbringing : Their childhood issues parallel in terms of not belonging, toxic relationship with a parental figure and a crisis of identity. 

1. A sense of belonging to a home/family :  Dany grew up on the run like a fugitive, escaping cities in the nick of time from assassins. She grew up without a home or a stable family other than Viserys. She had no long term friends or formal education as a child.     

Jon grew up a bastard, an unwanted outcast with front row seats to the perfect family he would never be a part of. Him getting drunk outside, as the family feasted during Robert’s visit in the pilot is a good indicator of how much worse would the exclusion must have felt when he was a child. 

2. Toxic parental figure : Dany had only Viserys to call family and he was quite obviously physically, emotionally and psychologically abusive, with undertones of sexual abuse as well. He treated her like his property rather than a person. Yet she had the same kind of toxic combination of fear and love for him that children of abusive parents have at a younger age before they grow up and realise that there is more to human relationships than being abused. 

Jon craved motherly love his entire life. Despite being an outcast, he had strong sibling bonds & a decent relationship with his father but he was completely ignored and despised by Catelyn and he ws unaware of who his biological mother was or why she didn’t want him either.

3. Identity crisis

Viserys raised Dany with a very distorted view of what it means to be a Targaryen based on his distorted childhood memories and who he was as a person. Good example of this would be Dany only knew Rhaegal of a one dimensional warrior and was surprised to find out that he hated fighting and loved music. Her warmth was discouraged and looked down upon as weakness and Viserys repeatedly used the word Dragon when he is hurting/dominating her.  Her identity crisis comes from being exposed to only the madness side of the Targaryen coin through Viserys and stories of her father. She had to discover the greatness on her own. 

Jon’s greatest mystery is not knowing a key piece of himself, his mother, who was the reason for denial of maternal love and his exclusion from the Stark family. Ironically as we now know his mother was Lyanna Stark & he would have found a place in the Stark family if his fraternal Targaryen roots didn’t threaten his life. Jon once said he wanted nothing more but to be a Stark his entire childhood. Tyrion’s advise on embracing his identity and wearing it like a badge of honour instead of being ashamed of it played a huge role in Jon coming into his own. He no longer wishes to be a Stark, he is Jon Snow. There is a key piece of his identity and heritage he needs to discover and allow the Targaryen in him to grow. But he has accepted himself as Jon Snow enough to not start calling himself a Targaryen either. 

Inciting incident for the story 

The plot begins with death of Jon Arryn, Hand of the King & Lord of Vale. He was Ned and Robert’s father figure. His wife Lysa poisoned him on her childhood crush, little finger’s request. Lysa sent Catlyn Stark a letter stating that she fled to Vale and the Lannisters poison her husband, to create the rift between Starks and Lannisters. This was something Little finger had been plotting his entire life and as he finally sets his plan to destabilise the kingdom in motion, the plot begins with Robert travelling north to ask Ned to be his Hand. 

Jon and Dany are introduced as meek and reactive minor characters in a world where House Targaryen, Dragons and magic has disappeared. Both of them are being pushed further away from the central plot with Jon joining the Night’s watch and Dany betrothed to Khal drogo. 

Introduction of Character Goals: Magic is so nonexistent that the sighting of white walkers was brushed off by Ned, which would end up being the central motivation for Jon Snow’s character. 

  • It starts with Jon being shunned by Catelyn Stark from a ceremony - Robert’s feast - He gets the advice to embrace the fact that he is a bastard from Tyrion and also meets his uncle Benjin, a brother of the Night’s watch. 
  • Jon was in some control of his destiny, as he proactively chose to embark on his hero’s journey by pleading his uncle Benjin’s to make him a member of the Night’s watch.  
  • He had no better options as a bastard, but he embraced his character goal, to guard the realm from what lies beyond the wall because winter was coming. 
  • This small and innocent desire was the seed to his mission against white walkers once he witnessed magic. 

In an attempt to put a Targaryen on the throne once again, Varys’ friend and spy network partner Illyrio Mopatis, the merchant housing the Targaryen siblings’s arranges Dany’s marriage to Khal Drogo to help the Viserys acquire an army.

  • Dany is launched off into her storyline by being forced into a ceremony she didn’t want to be part of - her marriage to Khal Drogo for the fulfilment of her brother’s goals of getting an army. 
  • She had such little control over her life, she is introduced as a character being stripped naked by her brother in her very first scene and it takes all of season 1 for her to find free will.
  • Her little plea to her brother “I want to go home” is dismissed with their need for an army & ships to return to Westeros and take the Iron Throne by force.
  • Her naive desire to go back home ends up being the seed for her character goals to provocatively embark upon her journey to become a Queen who fights for free will. 

Meeting their animal symbolism

  •  Varys’ friend Illyrio Mopatis, gifts Dany three dragon eggs at her wedding.
  • Jon talks Ned into sparing the loves of the Direwolf pups they found next to a dead direwolf mother. As he walks away, he finds an albino pup who Theon calls ‘Runt of the litter’. Jon adopts Ghost.
  • Key difference here as well is how reactive vs proactive these adoptions were and the fact that Dany’s Dragons weren’t born but given to her as eggs to be hatched when she comes into her own as a Dragon as well. 
  • Personally I loved the fact that Dany first picks up the green egg, the one Rhaegal hatched from, her dragon named after Jon’s father and the one I assume Jon would ride one day. Also Jon got the silver haired pup, just like Dany’s hair in the books. 

Key differences in Characterisation: These two have parallels but by no means am I stating that they are same on every level. Both of them are beautifully unique, with similarities and differences. They have character contrasts in their story parallels and character parallels in their contrasting storylines. One of the reasons why Dany’s monologue, when these two meet is so powerful, because their stories began at very different places and it had a huge impact on how they grew.

  • Dany had an unstable and abusive childhood, Jon was an outcast in the perfect family as a bastard. 
  • She was more privileged and was a Queen in some capacity since the beginning but was treated like a trophy. He had a lower stature in his family and the Night’s Watch at first but he had free will, except S03. 
  • Dany starts out in a powerless, battered, controlled and reactive damsel in distress mould. Jon starts out as every hopeful and naive proactive fantasy genre hero, though the story does a great job at keeping it subtle and presenting him as a minor character. 
  • It would take a season for Dany to find free will and to take charge of her story. Jon had that freedom and was driving his story from the start. 
  • Dany had absolutely no support system. Jon had Ned, Robb, Arya and Bran who loved him dearly.
  • The episode ends with Jon finding an honourable purpose in life and Dany getting raped and pushed to the very extreme of her life as a victim.

All these differences are a big factor in why these two grew so differently at a surface level. Jon is a hesitant leader because he started hopeful, naive and a little arrogant, which changed after all the horrible things he went through. Dany is an ambitious and dominating leader because she knows what being powerless is and she would never revisit that place or let anyone else live in shackles if she can make a difference. Comparing them at surface level is futile and destroys the entire point of the story, so lets dive in deep! 

Season 1  :  Struggling to find a place in their new world - Watcher on the walls & Khalessi 

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Rosé Gold: “Sorry for not believing in you“

(A/N): I‘ve always wanted to write a soulmate AU, so this is a big deal for my crippling author career. Enjoy x 

Words: 2,3k

Originally posted by tylerandthejosephs

The air is like frozen lace on your skin, delicate and cold. The sky is washed with grey, watery light illuminating thin patches to brilliance. That special cold and pale light, only the winter‘s sun can give, makes everything glow with slippery ice. It‘s the perfect day for staying home.

Sadly, you had to work today. You‘re seated at the bus stop with both arms crossed over your chest, hugging your body, as if that could provide you with some kind of warmth. 

All of sudden you see an elegant woman being dragged by her poodle towards another dog owner just across the street. As expected, they collide into each other. The gentleman has lost his hat due to the collision, causing a royal blue strand on his head to become visible and remarkably stand out from the rest of his blonde hair. 

Instantly acknowledging the phenomenon, the lady lets a loud gasp escape her lips and urgently draws the guy‘s attention to her streak of hair, which coincidentally has the exact same pigment as his. The next thing that happens is acted out just like in the movies. The lovers jump into each other‘s arms and share a passionate kiss as they pull away. At the same time, the royal blue pieces of hair from each one of them loose their colour and blend into the rest. 

Eventually, the scenery turns out to be the complete opposite of a simple coincidence. Oh, the things you‘d do to finally experience the same spectacle. You are tired of mustering up an empathic smile every time someone summons their memorable and whimsical story of meeting their partner. When will it finally be your turn to find your soulmate?

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His body was a patchwork of scars-a canvas of raised lines and white, taut skin. Andrew’s black bands helped, but nothing stopped the wide-eyed looks to the remnants of his cheek and the scars on his hands. He didn’t blame the onlookers, it was only natural to stare. You pay attention to the differences. Hell, it’s how he’d survived this long, so he could at least understand that. But in a heartbeat, what started out as a glance morphed into morbid curiosity and that made Neil’s throat clench tight.

It shouldn’t have bothered him and when he finally took a deep breath and slowed his racing thoughts, he realized it really didn’t. But in that instant, there was a slow, stretch of panic that turned his stomach upside down. It was the sharp inhale of surprise, the quiver of a hand, or the ever-apparent grimace on the stranger’s face that set his nerves aflame.

And in that moment Neil wanted to run. To avoid eye contact, turn on his heel and walk the other way, away from their curiosity and their roving eyes. Such things were threats, or had been at least, to his very existence.  

And now he was living in a world where he had invited such speculation in.

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The Gods Today: Loki

Next installment of reflections on the Norse Gods in the modern world inspired by @tricksterinthehedges

The easiest rule to remember when looking for Loki is that if there are children or those ostracized he’s not far behind. The hardest rule to remember when looking for Loki is that he refuses to be boxed into predictable patterns that aren’t his own making.

Loki can be found living on the streets with those abandoned, shunned, and forgotten. They’ve been lost to the world and are beginning to lose themselves. They’re all on the streets for an array of reasons, but it all comes down to being viewed as inhuman to others. They are LGBTQ+ kids kicked out of their home and disowned by family. They are the mentally and physically disabled - some born and others created from wars - that the world has determine do not offer a valuable place in society. They have been left to rot.

He scavenges alongside them, bracing the fierce uncaring of the world. He sits on street corners in the high heat of summer, fighting sunstroke and heat exhaustion. He curls up under bridges and in alleys during the low chill of winter, fighting frostbite and gnawing hunger. Sometimes he fills a truck full of food, water, clothes, and toiletries. He’s stuffed the necessities in hiking backpacks that he hands out to everyone he sees. He returns the spit and hatred sent their way. He protests for them. He fights in the government, demanding funding for shelters, demanding respect, demanding that they be seen as the victims of the society around them assigning a low value to their existence and NOT their intrinsic worth.

For young men of color, he walks the streets with them. Keeping their mind sharp and tongue quick. They shouldn’t need it, but they do. He’s seen one too many cops charge forward bull-headed, believing the man in front of him is a savage beast that poses a threat. Fire licks his skin as he once again has to help a child resort to smooth talking and keeping to the shadows to simply survive in his neighborhood from those meant to protect him.

Lawyers like to think he’s on their side. But in truth, he likes working against them. Tripping them up, throwing curveballs, testing their wit, humbling their god-complex. He knows manipulation of truth; it is his craft. But something rubs him the wrong way about humans using it to obstruct rather than elucidate. Though, he has seen Legally Blonde, and he thinks that if more were like Elle Woods and Emmett he would happily be their patron.

Loki’s a favored substitute teacher. The classroom rules that enforce organization are scrapped. Chaos reigns. More than a few teachers passing in the hall have expressed worry and skepticism about his efficiency and efficacy. He laughs and waves a hand. “Kids learn in chaos and experience.” It’s how they make sense of the world. It’s how they learn to survive, to create, to thrive. All required assignments are always done in record time, and then more is accomplished. Perhaps they spent the day dissecting the field mouse someone found a recess, but they made more connections to the inner workings of the world than they had before. Students walk away with wild tales of what they learned - in truth most of them are new ways to prank siblings, parents, and other such pesky figures of authority. Some seemingly throwaway comment he made in passing returns to them 15 years later in life and helps them make sense of the swirling storm of adulthood and the world. More than a couple of his young students have gone on to become teachers in their own right who respect the chaos and creation of the learning experience.

He’s the bane of college students’ existence, though. He exists as the one professor you want to strangle because he refuses to give you a straight answer. He pokes. He prods. He flips the question back on you. He argues any side with ease. He is fond of being deemed “The Devil’s Advocate” because it means he’s got you engaged and thinking. His students struggle to get his approval. They struggle to see his way. But that’s the thing. He doesn’t have one way to see something. He sees through, around, above, and under. He pushes you to do the same.

At the end of the day, he knows all destruction and upheavel he’s accomplished has to be done. It’s the natural order and makes way for creation. He is the raging forest and brush fires from both natural and man-made causes. Everyone happily gives him blame and credit for those, but they fail to still find him in the smoldering ashes rejuvenating the soil, letting the new generation take root in fertile soil. They fail to still find him in the raging social action that sweeps through local government to ensure protections and preventions against such devastation happening again. They see seem him in the natural disasters and fall-out, but fail to see him helping with the construction of the foundations for a new city with higher dreams as they work to overcome and build on this pain. They fail to see him in the innovation that follows.

He spends time with his daughter in children’s hospitals, watching them fight for life against their body’s self-destruction. He sees his children in them. He sees the pain and anguish and strength in the face death. He works to bring laughter and joy, however momentary it is. He doesn’t leave until he’s visited every child and brought a smile to each face.

He spends time in the prisons and jails. He volunteers to teach classes. He keeps addicts honest. Sometimes he becomes a probation officer and the odd counselor. More than once he’s gotten in trouble for questionable methods, but he gets results. He forces people to address the darkest parts of themselves. They embrace or run away. They give in or strive against. Whichever they chose, he doesn’t necessarily care either way. He just cares that they know and acknowledge it. Things still fall apart in the darkness. It’s best to shine a light on them and be aware of where the breaks and holes are. Frequently, it’s those on the outside of the bars who need this lesson more.

He wanders with those lost in the wilds, those who hiked too far or whose car broke down. He keeps them vigilant and aware of the threats surrounding them. He inspires their resourcefulness. This is new terrain. This is wild terrain. Civility won’t bring survival. He encourages the animalistic instincts to come out.

He helps people fight for what they want.

He helps acceptance of selfishness. Sometimes it’s what you need to survive. Sometimes you need it to live. Sometimes it’s just fun.

The only constant he has is with one-to-one relationships. He never presents or acts just the same to two people. But he’ll stay true to who he is to you. He’s fluid, but always who he is. The moon goes through phases but is still the moon. Elements change states of matter but still remain as their element, such as water to ice to vapor. No one has managed to catch his core self, but it settles in the center of his bones and thrums in his veins. Many have ideas. Many have found commonalities. Many believe they do, but they are too quick to judge and pick and choose and force the pieces. Sometimes you may catch a glimpse flicker in his eye; an ember of the doused fire inside.

Angrboda accepts his core, but has never quite understood it. She’s been known to turn a blind eye to the extent of his creative powers. Sigyn loves and understands his changing nature and his part of bringing rebirth through death, but every now and then a haze crosses his eyes, the corner of his lips crinkles, and a new dynamic she has never witness comes through. She has found that to understand she must know that he’ll never be stagnant.

But, when the world sleeps and monsters prowl, he takes time to be still. He watches the stars turn in the sky around him. He listens to the wind curl and embrace the world; it stops to say hi and play with his hair for a moment, offering a caress before it carries on. He feels the earth thrum underneath his soles and thinks on the future he is fated to live. He’s never cared for predictability, and if they think it will end the way they say, they clearly have never met him. He vows as the night fades to mingle with day that he will take charge of himself. That’s what he centers around.