wintery landscape


I’ve never celebrated this day.  I’ve always thought it trite and ridiculous.  I still do.  But it’s clearly important to you, and I think you view it as a way to celebrate what you feel for me in a special way, and so I am returning the favour with this letter, with your breakfast in bed, and with these flowers and this small token of my affection.  That is what you are meant to do, yes?  I apologise if the details are wrong.  I’ve never paid this holiday much mind.  But, you must know that the sentiments are deeply and sincerely meant.

You have changed my life for the better, John.  From the very first moment we met, you were like a warm and glorious Spring sun rising on the bleak, wintery landscape of my life.  Your smile.  The small, but trustful gesture of lending me the use of your phone when I was in need.  The fact that you actually did show up the next day, to look at the flat.  I wasn’t sure you would.  I want you to know how thrilled I was to pull up and see you standing there waiting for me.  

And then there you were, meeting me stride-for-stride from that moment on.  I was so very shocked when you flirted with me that first night at Angelo’s, when you were so quickly digging about for my relationship status.  I know you didn’t view it as flirting, but it read that way to me, and I was stunned that you might even consider such a thing.  Most people were instantly put off by me, but not you.  You were a remarkable exception, and your companionship was something I wanted desperately, from the very beginning.  But, I was so afraid of ruining it all, so I shut you down.  

You don’t know how much and how often I have regretted that, especially as it has become clear to me that you have loved me, in your own way, from the beginning, and that if I had, perhaps, acted more favourably in that moment, we might have arrived at where we are now, in much shorter order, and with much less suffering.  Of course then we would not have Watson, and she is quite the tiny wonder, isn’t she?  So, perhaps things have turned out for the best.

And so now, here we are.  Just the two of us (well—three of us), back beneath the same roof.  And you are staying.  Forever.  

Forever.  It’s such a beautiful word.  I know there are no guarantees in life, but I know your heart, and I know when your heart is set and rooted, and when it is not, and this feels real.  This feels like always to me.  You mustn’t doubt my commitment either, John.  There has never been, and never will be anyone else.

Thank you for making me your family.  Thank you for accepting that you are mine.  I find, lately, that I am continually warmed by how right, and how sublime it is to watch one’s best friend become their family.  You are the family I choose, and I will choose you over and over, day after day, for the rest of our lives, in small ways and large, no matter what may come.  You have my word, and you have me—soul, heart, and body.

It is strange to look forward to the days ahead.  I have not felt that in years.  Not since the day I came back to London, and realised that I had grossly miscalculated, and had lost you.  But now—now I wake up every morning, eager to open my eyes, to see you lying next to me, to see how peacefully you sleep under this roof, and in this bed, and eager to see what new joys and adventures the day ahead may hold.

It’s hard to fathom the fact that it is just a little over a month since my birthday.  So much has happened since then, hasn’t it, John?  We are so different.  Still ourselves, of course, but happier, more settled.  I feel safe again.  I feel safe in this, with you, with the life we are building.  And when I say ‘safe’, I don’t mean boring.  You could never be that.  You’re an eternal mystery and adventure, and I am very eager to jump back into a case with you again later in the week.  But, I do feel rooted.  Like finally, for once, I do not have to fear losing you.  It’s nice to feel that.  For a long time I wasn’t sure I ever would.  I wasn’t sure you wanted it, wanted me, and now I know you do, and it is the best feeling in the world.

Well, I have prattled on, haven’t I, and most likely kept you from your breakfast.  So I will kiss you and then let you eat.

I love you .  I love this life we share.  I love our family.

Thank you, John.  Thank you for everything.

Yours always,



Capel-y-Ffin-Church 3, Black Mountains, Wales by Steve Ellaway
Via Flickr:
Canon 1ds Mk lll

Weekly Thorin Oakenshield Challenge # 26: If you could spend one day with Thorin …

I can’t help but imagining something that would totally fit into a domestic winter fluff AU … You know, not out to do something special, but enjoying each other’s company: sitting in front of the fire place, talking (I want to know ALL about your life, honey), cooking together, going out for a stroll in the wintery landscape, warming up with a cup of hot chocolate after that … And I’m sure I would ask force Thorin to play the harp and sing in the evening :)

So nice as that imagine sounds … Truth is: I would probably stare at him all day long and grin like the mad fangirl I am. So just another day at the office.

fluffy-rulos  asked:

OH, dude, are you still taking prompts? I didn't know! (plus i'm kinda shy at this stuff and didn't want to overwhelm you in case you had too many requests already). Maybe you could do something with Max and Johnny and that ice-skating prompt, that was part of the post "Things NOT to imagine your OTP doing" you reblogged not too long ago?

(ah yes the prompt)

Max had a problem and this time didn’t involve spirits. He stared at his sister Zoey, who was beaming down at him. “C’mon Mr. Hardcore Parkour.” She moved without effort around him. “You can’t learn unless you try.”

He grunted, getting up on his feet once again, the same way Zoey showed him the first dozen times he fell. He was pretty sure he broke his butt, but the cold numbed whatever pain his rear would’ve been feeling half an hour ago.Which was good, because there were Doctopi lurking nearby and he didn’t want to have to explain that to any passing spectrals.  “I am trying.” He took a deep breath. The cold air felt sharp on his tongue. “Can we stop? I’m pretty sure Dad wanted us home before sunset.”

She shrugged. “Okay bro, but at this rate you’ll never be ready for your chilly date.” She teased before quickly skating to the edge of the pond before he could yell at her how much of a date it was not. By the time he shuffled his way to land, Zoey had pulled off her skating boots and changed out with grounded, none bladed ones. “About time slowbro.”

He huffed and made her help him to the nearest bench before slipping his own feet blades off in exchange for the warm, none balance threatening boots. He winced standing. “I think we’re gonna be late for dinner.”

Zoey sighed, taking her brother’s arm across her shoulders and pulled on him. “Not with that attitude.”

Keep reading

Dinner was wonderful, everypony said.  Penwright seemed to think the results of his grand experiment at cooking tasted all right, so he swallowed his doubts and accepted the thanks and complements with good grace.  Ickle had been especially interested to hear him talk about how dinner was made up of Germane dishes with his own small flourishes, like how the morel mushrooms were harvested from his parents’ land up north.  Petina even managed to get him to fess up about where he got the pumpkin pie, though everypony still thought it was delicious, especially with a couple generous scoops of ice cream to go with it.  The story seemed to make it all the better.

Finally, they all retired to the living room, where they began the gift exchange.  Penwright and Ickle went halfsies on a set of drafting instruments for Sky Brush to help him with the technical drawings he did on the side (it helped having a friend who owned an art supply store), while Penwright bought Carousel a gift certificate for the Lotus Sisters’ spa.  With all of the holiday deliveries she had to make, including a few last-minute ones that morning, she definitely deserved it.  Petina, however, only received one present, but it had kept her rapt attention practically throughout the evening.  It was a small puzzle box, but within each of its hidden compartments was a riddle leading somewhere in Penwright’s house.  It was a collaborative effort between him, Ickle, Sky Brush, and Carousel, though they apparently underestimated Petina’s ability to navigate her way through the puzzle box, as she had already opened up four of the seven compartments.  Still, she was having fun with it, though Penwright was starting to regret letting his house being the hiding place for her other gifts.  Ah well, he should’ve known the dangers when he took the job.

Finally, it came time for Penwright to give Ickle her gift.  He slid the present out from under the tree and held it up to her with his magic.  “Happy Hearth’s Warming, Ickle,” he said with a warm smile.

“Thank you, Penwright,” she said hefting the gift experimentally in her hooves, gently feeling along the sides with her hooves.  “Ooh, feels like a book!  I wonder what this one is…”

Like most of the other ponies Penwright knew (including himself), Ickle preferred to rip the wrapping paper off of her gifts, but somehow she managed to make it look elegant.  It was unwrapped completely in a respectably short time, revealing a thick tome with a stylized profile of a pegasus wearing a crested helmet on the front cover with the words Pax Pegasus: A History of the Pegasus Tribe embossed in silver underneath it.

“Oh my goodness!  This is wonderful!” she cried happily.  “Is this by the same author who wrote the one about the history of the unicorns?”

“It is indeed,” Penwright replied.  “I figured you would like it.”

“If it’s anything like the last one you gave me, I know I’ll love it!  Thank you!”  She quickly set the book down and wrapped her forelegs around him, giving him a tight hug and a quick peck on the cheek.

“You’re very welcome, Ickle,” he said, returning her hug.

She released him almost as quickly and immediately began flipping through the pages, taking note of some of the maps, diagrams, and pictures within.  “I can’t wait to sit down and read this thoroughly, it all looks so fascinating!”  She glanced back up at him.  “Does this book mention that skyvolley game that took place against the griffons?”

“The Second Battle of Cloudwall Pass?  No, that happened after the book was written,” he said.  “This book and the one about the history of the unicorns were published a little less than two hundred years ago.”

“Really?  Is this book that old then?” Sky Brush asked, his curiosity piqued.

“Not the book itself, no, it’d be in the Canterlot Library then.  These are more modern reprints from about fifty years ago,” Penwright replied.  “Good thing I know a bookstore owner in St. Luna who specializes in these kinds of things.”

“Ha!  That’s it!” Petina cried out, giving everypony in the room a bit of a start.  She set her puzzle box down and stood up, pointing the paper with the riddle on it at Penwright and grinning victoriously.  “I now know where you hid my next present.  Thanks for the hint, Penny!”  And with that, she trotted up the stairs, humming a merry tune.

“Told you you should’ve made them harder,” Carousel said when she was out of earshot.

“Riddles aren’t my strong point, okay?” Penwright retorted mildly.

“You’re just upset that you’re out of the betting pool,” Sky Brush countered with a small chuckle.

“She probably knew what time I betted on and did the easy ones first just to spite me,” Penwright muttered, though he had to grin as well.

“Found it!” Petina called as she trotted back down the stairs, holding an envelope aloft with her magic.  “Nestled between two books, very clever.  And two of my own books, too!  How very thoughtful.”  She quickly opened the envelope and read the piece of paper inside.  “And it looks like this is…oh my, Sky Brush, you shouldn’t have.”  She sidled up to the pegasus stallion and gave him a lingering kiss.  “Though I am glad you did,” she added with a wink.

“Oh, what did he get you?” Ickle asked.

Petina paused and thought for a bit.  “Normally, I wouldn’t mind saying so, but in this case I’ll save Penwright any embarrassment and keep it a secret for now,” she said, throwing a smirk in his direction.  “After all, he was kind enough to make us all dinner.”

“I appreciate that,” Penwright replied dryly.

“Hey Petina, since you’re up,” Carousel said, “maybe now’s a good time to get Ickle’s gift for Penwright.”

“Ah!  Good idea!” she said, opening up the back door and stepping outside on the porch.

“Wait, what?  It’s outside?” Penwright asked in bemusement.

“Well, it’s a bit too big to just carry inside and leave propped against the wall,” Carousel replied.  “It would’ve been a big distraction, anyway.”

“Fair point, but how long was it out there?”

“We hid it there before we started caroling at your front door,” said Sky Brush.  “You might want to get a lock for the gate to your fence.”

Outside the window looking out on his back yard, Penwright saw Petina levitate a large, flat parcel about the size of a large movie poster wrapped in waterproof packaging over to his porch.  She undid a few strings and the covering fell away, revealing the present’s gift wrapping.  He glanced over at Ickle, an eyebrow raised in curiosity.  Ickle just smiled warmly, eager to see him open it.

“Happy Hearth’s Warming,” she said as Petina presented it to him.

“Now this is interesting,” he said as he took hold of the present with his magic.  He quickly tore the wrapping paper off, revealing a canvas covered in a riot of color splatters, mostly reds and yellows but also some blue and green in there as well.  The first thing Penwright thought of when he looked at it was of a pony standing under a tree in autumn, though set on a wintery landscape.  The split-second impression disappeared as he looked at it some more, but he grasped the significance of it soon after.

“Ooh, this is one of your dreamcatcher abstract paintings!” he said excitedly.

Ickled nodded.  “It is!  I hope it will give you lots of inspiring dreams.”

“Then this is getting hung over my bed tonight, then,” Penwright declared.  He stood up and walked over to Ickle, giving the top of her head a nuzzle.  “This will be a gift that keeps on giving.  Thank you, Ickle.”

“You’re very welcome, Penwright,” she replied happily.

The moment lasted for a few seconds more before Petina spoke up.  “Oh, why didn’t I think of that before?”  She lifted the edge of the skirt around the base of the Hearth’s Warming tree and pulled out a small box hidden under there.  “Ooh, a ring, perhaps?”  She glanced over at Ickle.  “Better hope Penwright didn’t buy this, otherwise this will be rather awkward for all of us.”  She paused, then winked at Penwright.  “The answer’ll be yes, pending Ickle’s permission, of course.  She gets first dips on you.  And don’t worry, Ickle, I’m willing to share.”

Ickle blushed slightly, though she chuckled along with everypony else (save Penwright, who just rolled his eyes).  Petina opened up the small box, revealing a key with a small tag attached.  “‘Find and solve the final riddle to find the lock,’” she read aloud.  “Well, best get back at it.”  As she stepped back to her place, she leaned over and whispered into Penwright’s ear.

“I left something for you under your bed,” she said just loud enough for Ickle to hear.  “Happy Hearth’s Warming!”

Penwright glanced over at Ickle, whose blush deepened a little as she held back a chuckle.  “Yeah, thanks, Petina,” he replied dryly, trying not to imagine what it might be.