Fellow Jew, still trying to work out their connection with Judaism, but why your link between anti Israel sentiments and anti semitism?
Because it exists.
It’s not that I love Israel, or think Israel can do no wrong. In all honesty, I have massive problems with Israel on just about every front possible. I am anti-settlement, anti-rabbinate, and find Israel’s current government to be relatively loathsome.
If somebody could outline a detailed, realistic plan for both Jews and Palestinians to have complete safety and full self-determination in a single, unified state, I wouldn’t be inherently opposed to it (I’ve yet to see one; the consensus from the anti-Israel crowd seems to be that doing away with Israel would be like throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West, with everything just being magically wonderful and fine in the aftermath).
I am not Israel’s cheerleader. I never have been.
What I am is an activist for combatting anti-semitism, and unfortunately, there is a ton of anti-semitism surrounding the I/P conflict. In fact, it’s the reason I stopped actively engaging with various movements for Palestinian liberation. It’s not that I don’t still support the safety and self-determination of Palestinians; I do. But I could no longer be a part of groups that not only failed to call out anti-semitism, but also questioned my loyalties if I brought it up. And that’s not helpful for the futures of Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, it’s detrimental to them.
I decided two years ago that it was impossible to move forward without ridding ourselves of anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab racism. I still stand by that. There is simply nowhere to go without conquering those prejudices first and foremost, and that’s why I started this blog.
Right now, there is a enormous prejudice on both sides, and that includes a vast amount of anti-semitic prejudice in the anti-Israel camp. Do I think there are ways to be opposed to Israel without being anti-semitic? Yes. But there are very few people who seem to be in that headspace, and nearly all of the ones I individuals I know who are, are either anti-state anarchists, Jews, or both.
Here are examples of anti-semitism manifesting within anti-Israel discourse:
Denying Jewish history and ethnicity by claiming Jews are not indigenous to the region. Science has proven time and again that we are. Archaeology has proven time and again that we are. Saying we’re foreign invaders with no right to live on the land is revisionist and anti-semitic.
Denying your country’s history of anti-semitism and the role that played in the creation or continued existence/desire for Israel. Just as you can’t be from Poland or Norway or Russia and then be mad that Jews went back to their homeland, you also can’t be from Morocco or Egypt or Iraq and act like you have no clue why Jews might not feel safe living in a non-Jewish country. If you can’t say “I understand that my people expelled or murdered you, and I understand why, given what my people did, you feel unsafe and want your own country, even if I disagree with the policies of Israel or the methods that went into its creation” then you are being anti-semitic.
Having an opinion on the existence of Israel if you are from a country that murdered or expelled its Jews for being Middle Eastern interlopers. You cannot have a history where your ancestors for generations told Jews to go back to where they came from and then decide we shouldn’t have gone back where we came from. You can be critical of Israel, but you have no right to question Jews for doing exactly what your ancestors spent thousands of years telling us to do.
Not thinking Jews have a right to self-determination, and/or not caring about Jewish lives and Jewish safety. Enough said.
Saying there’s no such thing as Israeli culture or that Jews “stole” Middle Eastern cuisine, customs, etc. Half of the Israeli populace is Mizrahi; when they were expelled from MENA countries, they took their traditions and customs with them to Israel. They then blended those traditions and customs with those of Jews from all over the world. Saying Jews stole these things is to deny the rights MENA Jews have to their own culture. Saying Israel has no culture is simply idiotic, because regardless of how you feel about the existence of the state, you simply cannot have people from all over the world joining to together in a new place without them blending their backgrounds and creating something unique and new. It’s anthropologically impossible for that not to happen.
Singling Israel out for actions perpetrated by other nations or holding it to higher standards that other countries. As I have stated many times on this blog, as a Bengali Jew, I will fucking go at you if you are Pakistani and call for the destruction of Israel but not Pakistan. If you have double standards for Israel, rightly or wrongly the only Jewish country in the world, then you are being anti-semitic. You can’t turn a blind eye to shit other countries pull, but suddenly be outraged when Israel, and only Israel, does the same thing. That’s not social justice, that’s anti-semitism. For example, Lush Cosmetics says they won’t open a store in Israel due to their stance on human rights issues. Fine. Fair enough. But, oh, what’s that? Lush has stores in Russia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia? Suddenly, the situation changes. Given the collective human rights abuses of these countries, this tells me Lush Cosmetics doesn’t give two flying fucks about human rights; they only care about punishing Jews.
Questioning Jewish “loyalties” or collectively blaming all Jews for Israel’s actions. I don’t live in Israel. I can’t vote in Israel. Holding diaspora Jews responsible for what Israel does or equating Judaism and the Israeli government is anti-semitic. Also demanding that Jews pass a litmus test or prove themselves to you as a “good Jew” is anti-semitic.
Blaming Israel for unrelated tragedies and events. This is invoking “the Jews are secretly controlling the world” trope and it’s antisemitic as fuck. Israel is not the cause for racist American police officers being murderous scum. Israel is not the cause the cost of rising CUNY tuition. It’s one thing to criticise Israel, it’s quite another to blame Israel for everything the sun touches. At that point, people are just replacing the word “Jews” with “Zionists” to get away with blaming us without looking racist.
When people say/do these things, I call them out, because they are perpetrating anti-semitism, and they are wrong. That doesn’t mean I think all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic; I don’t. But if you can’t call for a solution to the I/P conflict without being guilty of invoking these talking points, then you don’t care about actually fixing the problem; you just enjoy hating the Jews.
Note: Goyim are free to reblog this, but I don’t want any non-Jews commenting on this post. Jews decide what constitutes anti-semitism; not you, and how we feel about both Israel and anti-semitic oppression is an intra-community discussion in which you are not invited to participate. Hands off.
Do u ever think bruce wishes he got to raise his kids from day one? I know infant care is daunting but like, Bruce is low key sentimental af
i think “what ifs” are generally something bruce doesn’t like to indulge in, because that only ever leads to him sitting in the dark thinking about how much of a failure he is, and that leads to even worse places, so, mostly, i think he doesn’t like considering his life could’ve been different. but those times when he’s actually feeling good, and there’s not so much weighing him down, i think he’ll wonder what they were like. like, was dick as touchy a baby as he was a kid? did jason toddle after his parents the same way he followed bruce through the manor’s halls? (and i definitely think there’s times where he wishes they were still kids, because i feel bruce gets along best with kids, but that’s only when he’s mildly frustrated, lol)
with damian, though, it’s different - i think that longing is more visceral, because his other children had parents, and i think he views himself as a stand-in. a dad chauffeur, of sorts, stepping in for something they don’t have. he feels like a father, but he’s always reigning that feeling in because he’s scared of overstepping boundaries - he has no right to have raised these kids as infants, because no matter how much he loves them, they had their own parents, etc. it’s like he’s taking something that isn’t his, even if he feels like they are his. with damian, though, he is the real parent, and i think he’s kind of pissed that he didn’t get to be a “traditional” parent - so whenever he’s thinking about tiny damian, it’s overshadowed by this anger, like how dare you take this away from me, i was entitled to raise him, it was my job and you didn’t let me do it.
I have to say I 100 percent agree with your fs hogwarts sorting. Jemma is totally a Slytherin and it's been especially evident in the later seasons. I think people tend to ignore the fact that she's incredibly ambitious and resourceful and has great self preservation skills because it could be used against her (let's be honest it totally could)? But that's what makes her so interesting to me. And FitzSimmons' relationship dynamic is very much one of a Hufflepuff and a Slytherin.
Yep, yep, yep. Look, I’m not saying that Fitz and Simmons are NOT highly intelligent and courageous. Obviously they are. What I’m saying is sorting them based on those characteristics is a very two-dimensional way of understanding who they are. It’s like the bullet points on the back of their trading cards or something. IMO, the important part of sorting a character comes with understanding a) their dynamic decisions, actions and reactions that DRIVE their narratives and b) taking those into consideration even when the narrative is painting them in a less than bad-ass heroic light, when it’s their flaws and weaknesses and insecurities that are driving their narratives instead of their strengths.
Yes, Fitz is very brave and very smart. But it wasn’t bravery (or intelligence) that made him jump into that portal or give up the oxygen, it was dedication to (and love for) Jemma. And far too often, especially early on, many of his “smaller” moments of bravery were because of his inferiority complex (heh, something that seems far more Hufflepuffian, or at least fanon-Hufflepuffian). AIDA didn’t appeal to his intelligence or his bravery when she manipulated him into building the machine or going after Jemma in the Framework; she appealed to his loyalty to her, she brought in the father who’d left him. As I said in the tags somewhere, there’s a reason that all of his major storylines involve betrayal of trust, which is a key factor in his characterization, for good and for bad.
Yes, Jemma is very smart and very brave. And while those factors certainly helped when she was dying of thirst and hunger in an alien wasteland, they weren’t the things that kept her going all those months. It wasn’t intelligence or bravery that made her argue against Coulson and go behind his back to investigate the GH formula. It wasn’t intelligence or bravery that prompted her initial response to the Inhumans. It wasn’t intelligence or bravery that convinced Hydra she’d abandon SHIELD for the opportunity to advance her knowledge and career, or made May and the others think she’d happily serve as #2 to Mace, or that tricked AIDA into not recognizing the LMD version of her.
Fitz is Hufflepuff. Jemma is Slytherin. That doesn’t mean they DON’T have characteristics of other houses. It means at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, their choices – both positive and negative – are going to be influenced by particular personality traits (and particular historical experiences that reinforce those traits) most closely aligned with those two houses.
Sigh, someone give me a plot idea because obviously I’m writing a Hogwarts AU next.
i feel like grievous was in here somewhere at first too. did he get kicked out of the club? banished to a cyborg limb factory forever? murdered bc maul was feelign extra cranky that day?? murdered bc all the apprentices decided he was too uncool and needed to get some sithness Out Of Their System???
Oooooh Nooooo you’re right, we lost Grievous!!!! This Will Not Do. I love that ridiculous consumptive helicopter of death. Also no Sith left behind and etc. Maybe the reason why he hasn’t shown up yet is because Dooku sent him to his Dark Death Lair to Think About What He’d Done (he got into a battle of one-upmanship with Anakin and nearly leveled the Dooku Manse). Dooku would have banished Anakin too except that would mean separating Anakin from Obi Wan, which, as Dooku has learned through hard experience, is a really bad idea.
seventeen vocal unit most likely to listen to music during sex and what kind?
(ordered most to least likely)
he would be the super romantic type. he would be obsessed with setting the scene, putting rose petals on the bed, lighting candles, getting champagne, the whole nine yards, and music would go along with that easily. even if he couldn’t do those other things, music would be a quick and easy way for him to set a romantic mood.
and the type of music? the cheesy, romantic, classic stuff. the kind of sexy but classy stuff from the 80s and 90s (probably also early 2000s) that your parents probably fucked to. stuff like Careless Whisper and The Way You Look Tonight, and oooh, especially early 2000s Usher. he would be a sucker for fucking to the smooth voice of that man.
he would be another old fashioned romantic type
he would be a bit more modern with his music, choosing things like modern rap and any kind of sexy music. Beyonce would be among his top choices, Partition being a song that he couldn’t count the number of times that he’s cum listening to.
he wouldn’t need to listen to music while fucking, but being the music-minded man he is, the simple pleasure of a good song would turn sex into a fuller and better experience for him. having something with a lot of bass turned on and turned up loud, so loud that he could feel it shaking his flesh while he shook the headboard with his thrusts
(I always have a hard time getting a feel for him when it comes to smut/sexy headcanons? I don’t know why??)
I feel like he would enjoy music when given the opportunity, but would enjoy experiencing his partner more
he really wouldn’t care - he would just wanna fuck, no matter the circumstances
“I’m trying to become a person who I’ve been imagining as my hero since I was very little. I also want to deliver a message of hopes and dreams to the young generation of the world. That’s why I feel responsible with the popularity that has been given to me. It would be wonderful if some meaningful messages can be delivered to many people through me. I always want to be a better person today than I was yesterday and live up to my expectations. In a sense, my career seems to be fulfilling those expectations.“
— |최승현| Choi Seunghyun, Extraordinary 20′s 2012.
What do you do when you realize the love of your life has always belonged to another? When the happy memories the two of you, memories that mean the world to you, mean shit to them? How do you drive by places the two of you visited with dopey looks in your eyes, and not want to dissolve into emotional turmoil? I wish I could tell you, but unfortunately I’m still trying to figure that out for myself. I read a quote the other day that said something similar to, “Too often we see people who aren’t in love and together, and people who are in love and aren’t” or some other bullshit to the same affect. However, that really hit home to me. I’m in love with someone who isn’t and never was in love with me, and the emotional devastation I felt when I realized this was so unfathomable that I wouldn’t wish it on even the most evil human being.
I grew up believing in the idea of soulmates, and spent the majority of my teenage years and even some of my adult life searching for that person. I sought out my happiness in the hearts and minds of men before I saw them for who they were. But I’m not here to talk about the boy who broke my heart at 15, or even the one who broke it again in May of my 19th year. No. This is about David.
At 18 years old, I realized that I was a raging alcoholic. Not all that hard to believe, sure, but still a shock factor to some. The indicator should have been when I flunked out of college due to being too drunk to attend my classes. I drank all day every day with the sole purpose of drinking my problems away. Ignorance is bliss, and when you can’t remember anything, all you can feel is bliss. When I came home after my one and only semester of college, I came to the conclusion that I would have to get a job to support my alcoholism, so I did. I went into work everyday with one singular thought on my mind, and the same thought before I went to bed, “I need a goddamned drink.” Surprisingly, it was easy to find for a 19 year old girl in a small, hick town. I had no serious relationship to worry about fucking up, and a dead-end job at an ice cream parlor, therefore, I had no consequence should I find myself suffering from drunken decision making.
Parties were easy to find during that summer, and I attended them at least 5 times a week. It was at a party such as this that I met David (introduced to me as Davi), whom I later had drunken sex with at a friend’s apartment while another friend watched. Imagine my surprise when I found out the next morning that the man I barely remembered having sex with had a girlfriend. I suppose I should have felt some guilt, but due to the alcohol still effecting my mind when I went to work the next morning, I found that I couldn’t have cared any less about it.
I put the man out of my mind, an easy feat since I hardly remembered even speaking to him, and my partying and fucking continued. I saw him after this of course, due to the limited amount of available partying space and mutual friends. After that first night, he always had his girlfriend with him. We didn’t speak. He and I weren’t friends or even aquatinted. We had merely shared orgasms after a night of alcohol consumption, and that was that. Up until the Fourth of July. A wild night for being a teenager in Louisa, Kentucky. I cleared the weekend with my family, and decided to myself that it was about time for a bender.
Friday night rolled around, and I found myself talking to Davi for the first time in months. No girlfriend to be seen, I thought that I might at least have an opportunity for a repeat performance of some of the best sex I’d ever had. I didn’t expect for him to ask me genuine questions or for him to take an interest in anything I had to say. The majority of conversations I’d been used to having at parties were, “So do you want to come back to my place after this?” Or, “Can we go upstairs for a quickie?” I blamed our conversation on the killer weed we’d smoked together, and went to bed with him eagerly that night.
The next morning, we continued to talk, and I found myself getting interested. Dangerous waters, I know, but I was intrigued. I’d never met another person who seemed so interested in how my mind worked and what I thought. It was addicting, more so than any drug I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing (more than I’d care to admit) and listening to him talk was worse. I hung onto every word he uttered with a reverence, as if he was telling me the secret of life.
This continued all weekend and into the next week until I found myself spending everyday by his side. He dutifully sat through meetings with my loud, obnoxious family and loved it. We went hiking, an activity I never particularly enjoyed until I did it with him. But the best days (or nights I should say) were spent at his best friend’s apartment, getting high and talking about literally anything that came to mind. I craved those days more than I ever craved alcohol, to the point I felt like I no longer needed to drink. I’d found a different way to lose my mind, and I lost it every day in him.
And the sex. My god the sex. Davi fucked me like he’d never fuck anyone ever again. It was passionate, loving, and just the right side of rough all at the same time. We’d stare into each other’s eyes as if we couldn’t believe we were so lucky to be seeing the other one naked. There was a kind of awe in the air every time we did it, and it was a heady, addictive feeling.
The night I snuck him into my house to ditch a party, I knew I was in love. That’s the exact moment I realized I was fucked. Up until now, it had just been a bit of fun, you see. We talked about things that mattered, hung out, and fucked, it was never supposed to go any further. There’d been no mention of the girlfriend. That was a topic we avoided altogether. Now, however, I was at the point of no return. How could I tell him that I had fallen in love along the way? That was never supposed to happen, and I hadn’t wanted it to. But you see, the universe has a special way of saying, “Fuck you” when you’re vulnerable like that.
So, within the week we were done. He and the girlfriend had decided that they were going to work through their issues, you see? She was the love of his life, he regretted everything we’d done. He wished he’d never spoken to me that weekend in July. So on and so forth. But, he had. He had willingly done this, both to himself and to me. For the first time in over a month, I was craving a drink. I wanted to drink and fuck him out of my memory, and out of my heart.
Of course I was due for another “Fuck you” from Fate, because he turned up on that lovely night in August where all I wanted to do was get blacked out drunk. He ended up holding me while I cried (a definite side effect if I’m drinking whiskey) and cuddled with me at that same friend’s apartment where we shared so many nights together.
And like so many men before him, I let him back into my life. I thought that by spending enough time together, I could make him fall in love with me too. An easy feat, I thought, since there were pre established feelings between us. I was dead wrong. Through every failed attempt, I stuck to my guns, thinking that eventually he’d see how much I cared for him and about him and realize, “Hey, I’ll never find another girl to love me as much as she does, I need to focus my attention on her.”
I can’t explain to you how wrong that I was. Up until this point I thought I was being successful. We would talk about our futures together, traveling the world and the children we would have together, most of these images and ideas conjured by him. I began to think that he might possibly be in love with me too, and I reveled in that feeling. The girlfriend was still not in the picture, we still avoided her name at all costs, lest even the mention of her shatter the fragile web we’d spun together.
Until she came back for good.
It’s been just over a week since he and I have talked, and I’ve never felt more empty in my whole life. He didn’t just break my heart, he ripped it out of my chest cavity and took it with him when he drove away from my house for the last time. Many times over the years I’ve thought about taking my life, even attempted to on more than one occasion. Now, that doesn’t even seem like it’s enough. I wish that I had never existed. To never be born would be better, for I never want to experience this feeling. Why humans were given emotions, I’ll never know. No animal should be subjected to this torture. Human emotions are a special kind of hell designed to prepare us for an eternity of suffering.
I wish there were a way to erase him from every iota of my being. Scientists say that every 7 years, all of the cells in our bodies are replaced with new ones. One day, I will be an entirely new person that he will never know or see. This doesn’t stop me from wishing he could. I wish he could see the crooked way I smile because he always complimented it, or the way my eyes change to gold in the light because he said it’s the thing he loved the most about me. And the evil part of me wishes he could see the bad that he did to me. How I lost 40 pounds after he broke it off with me, and the 10 after she came back, because he knows that when I’m depressed I don’t eat. I wish he could feel the cold tile of the bathroom on his cheek like I did when I cried for him to just come back. I want him to taste the tears like I have to as I write this.
But most importantly, I want him to experience this heartbreak that I’m feeling. I want her to look at him one day and say, “I’m sorry, but this is how it has to be,” and then to look at her in disbelief while he tries to hide it, even though he can feel his heart shatter and fall apart. I want him to look at her with tears in his eyes and say, “Please don’t do this. I love you,” only for her to smile sadly and say, “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
So, Davi, if you’re reading this, I hope you hurt. I hope you wake up everyday in agony over a broken heart. I hope that you realize one day what you’ve done, and I hope you feel never ending remorse for it. I hope that late at night you sit down and think to yourself, “I destroyed that girl,” because that’s exactly what you’ve done. I hope for the rest of your life you’re never happy. I hope that you wake up every day in pain and go to sleep in pain and dream of that pain. I hope that you never fulfill your dreams, and that you stay stuck in Louisa for the rest of your life. I hope that many years from now, when you see me again, being happy with someone else and giving them the love I tried to give you, that it makes you sob uncontrollably. I hope you come up to me and beg for my forgiveness. I hope you look at me and say, “I never should have let you go. If I could take it all back now I would. I love you, Nicole.”
And at that moment I will say, “It doesn’t matter.”
It was two weeks since you ran into him that night and
your emotions had finally started to calm down but your want to see
him again had grown with the knowledge he was going into enlistment,
you found yourself constantly going on instagram, checking his and
the others pages for news.
As you sat at your laptop trying to find the words to
put into your next article you found your finger wandering on the
mouse pad to instagram again, your heart sank as soon as it popped
up. The image of Jiyongs head on Seung hyun’s shoulder as he pointed
at the camera, it was his last night of freedom and he seemed to be
spending it with the ones he loved. You couldn’t bring yourself to
look through any more, the emotions springing up in you so hard it
drove you to tears. You left your computer and went to the cover of
darkness of your room, hoping to block out the world and him.
You woke up the next day with a groggy head, like you
had a hangover but you hadn’t drank a drop, the tears that drained
you to sleep were obviously the cause. You freshened yourself up with
a shower but a feeling of emptiness remained, you decided not to go
into work today and just work from home instead, a flexibility that
your new job offered. You sat at your computer with a coffee in hand,
ready to finally make a start on your next article when an email
popped up. You hesitated for a moment before clicking on it, it was
from Jiyong, it simply read ‘Please watch this’ and was accompanied
by a video. You let out a sigh and sat your coffee down before
clicking it. The video started with a shot of Seung hyun, you could
tell straight away he was drunk.
“Just because I don’t have candy canes coming out of my ass doesn’t mean I’m not festive.”
Nico slams the door to his locker shut and collapses against it, cross. Will hums vaguely from beside him, his head buried in a book.
“Surely it’s against their regulations or something? I mean, she full-on snorted at me.”
“I asked for an almond and toffee macchiato and I got an eye-roll. It’s not even a particularly Christmassy drink.”
Nico scowls at Will. Will doesn’t look up from his book. His eyes are at half-mast, and the book droops in his grip.
“You’re not listening at all, are you?” Nico asks, slightly amused.
Nico sighs. “You remember that party last month that I didn’t want to go to, the one you dragged me to? I’m the one who gave the punch the extra kick. Mind you, this isn’t me apologising. It was funny to see you trip over that hedge.”
That had been hilarious. Nico fondly recalls the way Will had wobbled towards the flowerbeds, imaginary sword raised aloft in an attempt to destroy his foe.
His foe being a hedge that had been cut into the shape of a Greek monster by the art students on campus, which Will had then proceeded to fall into whilst Nico pissed himself laughing.
Will flips a page, brow furrowed. He’s mouthing the words as he reads them, a habit of his that Nico’s always found quite cute, really. He finds a surprising amount of things about Will cute, now that he thinks about it.
“I broke your iPod. That’s why I haven’t given it back yet.” He feels a little guiltier about this than he did over the Drunk Incident. It had been an accident, unlike pouring tequila into the punch. That had been active decision. The iPod had been a tired, ridiculous mistake.
Will still doesn’t look up from his book. Nico doesn’t understand how someone can be so determinedly focused whilst simultaneously being half-asleep. It’s a skill that he hasn’t yet mastered, so he supposed it has something to do with Will being in his last year of college.
Will still doesn’t make a move. Nico says fondly, shaking his head, and gives up trying to make him respond.
“I’m festive,” Nico grumbles, rounding back to his original topic. He thinks of the barista from this morning, the girl with the pierced eyebrow who had scoffed at him. “I like Christmas. Just because I wear black doesn’t mean I’m allergic to holidays. Especially not ones where you get food and presents.”
His phone beeps in his pocket, reminding him to walk to his next lecture, unless he wants to slink in late. He’ll probably end up doing that anyway, if only in an effort not to slip and fall on his ass on the icy sidewalks.
“Wasn’t all bad though,” Nico mumbles, prodding at the lock-screen of his phone. “The guy behind me was cute, he didn’t like the barista either. And he was pretty good at the whole flirting thing, which you know I’m not so good at. Don’t think I did too bad, though.”
There’s a strangled noise from beside him, followed by a loud thud and a stream of swear words.
Nico blinks down at Will, whose sprawled on the floor, face bright red.
“You weren’t even moving,” Nico says blankly. “How did you fall over just standing there?”
“What did you say?” Will demands, scrambling to his feet. His book remains on the floor, forgotten, pages slightly crushed.
“What?” Nico says. “About your iPod? Because that was an accident and I was tired. And I wouldn’t have said anything if I knew you were listening.”
“No,” Will says, shaking his head insistently. “No. About the guy. He flirted?”
“Oh, yeah,” Nico says, brightening. He turns to dig around in his locker, vaguely recalling that there’s a chocolate bar in there somewhere. It’s nowhere near lunchtime and he needs sustenance.
“Oh yeah?” Will asks. His voice is oddly light. Nico side-eyes him and double takes.
Will’s face is still all red, fixed into a deliberately mild expression that makes him look oddly pained. He’s leaned up against his locker, hip tilted and one hand behind his head. Nico watches, slightly worried, as Will runs a hand through his hair and his eyes go all intense and squinty.
“Your face is doing something concerning,” Nico says slowly, inching away.
Will scowls and stands up properly, crossing his arms over his chest.
“He shouldn’t have flirted with you,” Will says stoutly.
Nico glances at him like he’s crazy. “And why’s that? He was attractive. I’m not in a relationship. Or am I that repulsive that people shouldn’t flirt with me?”
Will’s eyes go wide and he freezes.
“No!” he splutters. “No, that’s not what I meant!”
Nico puts his hands on his hips and immediately regrets it. He can picture Piper’s knowing grin in his head, the one that says I’m glad you’re finally embracing your sassy stereotypes. Nico’s already gay, he doesn’t need the hand gestures to go with it.
“What is it then? What is it that makes me so undateable? Is it the lack of holiday spirit?” Nico demands, glaring. He doesn’t know why this is bugging him so much, except he does, because yeah, he hates the cold weather, and yes, it’s not his favourite season, but Nico loves Christmas. He doesn’t like people assuming that he hates it just because of what he looks like.
“No, what, of course not,” Will says, shaking his head. “I mean, when I first met you, it was Christmas and I sort of assumed that you hated it. Your face was always sort of impassive and there wasn’t a bauble in sight, it was kind of tragic really.”
“But!” he says hurriedly, when Nico glares harder. “But, I know that’s not true now! I know you secretly love mince pies and I know you don’t go to sleep until four in the morning on Christmas Eve. And yeah, I used to think the all black outfit was a bit miserable, but I just find it cute now, especially since I know you have one of those Santa hats under your bed that Bianca sewed for you.”
Nico stares at him. “What?”
Will stares back, and Nico sees the moment the realisation hits him.
“What?” he says, high-pitched.
“You just called me cute,” Nico says blankly. “You think I’m cute?”
“The bell rang,” Will says, backing up.
Nico reaches out and grabs his sleeve. “There aren’t bells in college. You think I’m cute?”
Will sighs and deflates against his locker, giving up his sleeve to Nico’s increasingly shocked grip.
“That wasn’t how I planned to tell you, but yes,” Will says. He looks grouchy, like Nico ruined something for him.
“You made a plan? Isn’t that a little pathetic?”
Nico inches closer. He slips his hand down Will’s sleeve until their fingertips graze each other, and then he slowly, hesitantly tangles them together. He glances up and returns Will’s stunned look with a small, cautious smile.
“It was a very extravagant plan, I’ll have you know. There was mistletoe involved,” Will says. Nico watches him swallow. “And it wasn’t going to be in the college hallway. And I wasn’t going to be half-asleep and wearing clothes from yesterday.”
Nico looks at him, properly. He has smudges beneath his soft, sweet eyes. His dusty blonde hair sticks up all over the place, the way Nico’s does when he sleeps funny. Will, who normally wears odd combinations of clothes, looks comfortable and soft in a pale blue sweater and dark jeans. His hand is warm in Nico’s.
Nico smiles. “You look cute to me.”
Will’s face scrunches up in protest, but he can’t help the red that rushes to his ears.
“I’m not cute,” Will says, tugging Nico closer. “I’m made of muscles and masculinity. Apollo himself might as well have fathered me.”
Nico narrows his eyes. “I don’t think I want to date someone so big-headed. Maybe I’ll go call that guy from the coffee-shop.”
Will tilts his chin up. “You got his number?”
Nico smirks, but Will wipes it away with a sweet smile and a kiss.
Nico can taste cinnamon gum. Their lips brush chastely against each other, soft and dry. Shivers zip up the back of his spine. Will makes a small, content noise, and they part.
“That part exceeded any and all plans I could have ever made,” Will says, a little hoarsely.
Nico grins up at him. “You can’t have another one until we go on a date. I’m not that easy.”
Will laughs, drags a finger down the bridge of Nico’s nose playfully. Nico mock-scowls at him, batting his hand away, and then watches with mild confusion as Will’s expression shifts into dawning realisation, followed by outrage.