wobbler

Discworld cookery masterpost

New edition ! Recipes from Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook are marked with a *, all the others are creations from talented fans (shout out to @fantasyfeasts, for providing most of these, and @sewuniversebacktogether for attempting to make troll food). Discworld themed food for everyone !


Appetizers, snacks, sandwiches

Main dishes

Pizzas

Bakery and sweets

Troll food !

Don’t forget the drinks ! Check Discworld Drinks :

lillieisabllagrace  asked:

If boxers aren't in line to get evaluated, I'd like to put them there... No hurry. :)

Ah, Boxers. Clowning cancer factories. They’re such an interesting breed and frequent visitors to the vet clinic. They’re also one of the addictive breeds, meaning that despite their flaws there are a lot of people that once they own one, are never without one ever again. You might want to sit down and have a cup of tea.

Disclaimer: These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.

Originally posted by orbo-gifs

So, the number one thing that Boxers as a breed are known for in veterinary medicine, if there one one solitary defining feature that was the reason most veterinary professionals decide against owning a boxer, a breed they would otherwise like, then at the risk of being insensitive, (since you like sparkly gifs) its…

Boxers are prone to cancer like no other breed I know, closely followed by Golden Retrievers. They develop all sorts with great ease, at unfortunately young ages with great regularity.

Mast Cell Tumors are the bane of the boxer breed. These tumors can develop anywhere on the body, including in organs like the spleen, and in any layer of the skin. These tumors are sometimes called the Great Pretenders because they can look like lots of different things. They’re easily mistaken for benign lipomas by feel, and can be misdiagnosed if they’re growing under a lipoma by FNA as it’s easy to miss a small lump with a small needle.

While a low grade MCT has a chance to be cured with surgery of detected early, a high grade one is all kinds of trouble even with modern chemotherapy options. It’s fear of these tumors that cause many vets, including myself, to be highly suspicious of every single lump on a boxer or boxer cross.

Boxers also seem highly prone to other cancers too, lymphoma being high on the list. Individuals with a white belly also get squamous cell carcinomas and cutaneous haemangiomas.

They are one of the very few breeds known to develop malignant histiocytomas, which is especially unfortunate considering that in most dogs a histiocytoma goes away all on its own in a few months, but in Boxers it will potentially kill them.

So while any lump on any dog can be a malignant cancer, Boxer’s have the added ‘fun’ of developing lumps that probably would have been fine on an other dog and look benign but sometimes actually aren’t. Can you understand my paranoia?

Boxers are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have shortened muzzles and flattened faces. There is significant individual variation within this breed, but more extreme individuals do suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS)

Their facial conformation leaves their eyes prone to numerous Eye Conditions, including but not limited to cherry eye, entropion, exposure keratopathy and corneal ulcers. They also get a particularly difficult to treat eye ulcer called ‘indolent ulcers’ which are sometimes just called ‘Boxer dog ulcers’. They also get progressive retinal atrophy which is probably more genetic than anything else.

Speaking of diseases that are names after the breed (rarely a good sign), this breed also gets an unusual gastrointestinal disease called Histiocytic Ulcerative Collitis, which is also called Boxer Dog Collitis. For brevity’s sake, think of it a bit like a type of IBD of Chron’s disease.

And while we’re still on the topic of diseases named after this breed, Boxer Cardiomyopathy, which is really a arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy that’s primarily identified in boxers, also afflicts this breed. It’s not their only heart condition though, Dilated cardiomyopathy, atrial-septal defect, subaortic stenosis and sick sinus syndrome also occur.

This is turning into a long post, isn’t it. Do you want a break? How about another gif?

Originally posted by skullvis

Okay, let’s talk some more about Boxers from a veterinary standpoint.

Boxers are prone to a couple of neurological disorders, Wobbler Syndrome is more common in larger males but degenerative myelopathy can occur in any boxer, is they live long enough to get it.

Younger boxers may develop demodex, if they’re juvenile when they do so it’s likely due to a funky immune system, which might explain a lot about this breed. Boxers that are predominantly white may also be deaf in one of both ears. It’s claimed that white boxers are more prone to cancer too, and for skin cancers this is true, but all boxers are prone to cancer. Hence the sparkly gif.

Possibly related to an interesting immune system, the breed is prone to allergies and atopy. This is a day to day annoyance on top of he life threatening/shortening conditions this breed is likely to develop.

Speaking of life threatening, the boxer dog is certainly deep chested enough to develop Gastric Dilatation Volvulus and need a trip to the emergency clinic.

And possibly the least interesting thing on this list the breed is seen relatively frequently for in the veterinary clinic is hip dysplasia.

Gosh, a long list never looks good, especially when three conditions are named after the breed.

Boxer’s also have a reputation for anaesthetic sensitivity. This is often exaggerated in breed circles, assuming the boxer in question doesn’t have one of the aforementioned heart conditions, but because they are brachephalic they have a higher vagal tone and are more sensitive to the common sedative acepromazine.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use acepromazine in boxers, only that you have to be careful with it. I will often use it at a tenth to a quarter the dose in young, nutty individuals before surgery, but some vets wont use it at all.

Can you see how living with one of these dogs would drive me nuts from a medical paranoia standpoint?

powerfulexistance  asked:

Anything you'd suggest someone buy when getting a standard poodle? I hope to at least have a deposit down on a puppy by the end of the year and in the meantime plan on making an amazon wishlist :) I do plan on doing 90% of the grooming. Thank you~

Hi! :D 

Honestly, besides the grooming utensils, all you’ll really need are basic puppy things! Appropriate toys, gear, food, and whatever you rely on to help you train your puppy. What kind of supplies you get will also depend on your puppy, because I know some people have very food/toy/praise motivated puppies, while others like me have pickier ones. I definitely made sure that Pazelle had toys with lots of varying textures. I would suggest getting interactive toys for sure over any other kind of toy, because poodles are second only to Border Collies in intelligence and most will need mental stimulation even as young puppies. Maybe nothing too complicated to start off with, but something like a Kong Wobbler would be good for crate training or just teaching your pup to be by itself. Pazelle is also not a heavy chewer and seems to like cuddling with stuffed animals. 

As for grooming supplies, almost every brush (except for a Furminator) is helpful. Slicker brushes  and combs are especially recommended for poodle grooming. I would also suggest buying a shammy towel to dry a wet coat, and buying both shampoo and conditioner (I personally like and use Buddy Wash’s products). I also keep leave-in shampoo and conditioner/finishing spray and use them on him about once a week. Because poodles have hair they get oily a bit faster than breeds with fur (my parents’ chipoo actually starts to smell like Frito’s when he isn’t bathed often enough and gets really waxy hair), so it’s also helpful to keep some grooming wipes. Pazelle’s ears drape into his water bowl a lot, and in the grass and mud and whatever else, so the hair around his ears gets… crunchy? He also has peed on his legs a few times, so wipes are definitely helpful for that. Depending on how heavily you’re going to groom your puppy, you’re going to need some good grooming scissors and clippers. I bought ConairPRO shears to start off with, as I’ll probably keep Pazelle in a pet/puppy clip until he’s about six months old. My breeder personally swears by Andis’s clippers for thick poodle coats over any other brand (lighter coloured poodles tend to have finer hair than darker colours, so that’s another thing to keep in mind), although I am still deciding which model I am going to get. Any heavy-duty clippers with good reviews should be adequate, though- I’ve personally only ever used a really old red Oster on my old cocker spaniels. There are tons of poodle grooming tutorials up on YouTube, and you can see how the finishes of different clippers look before you purchase. Nail clippers are also important but I’m sure you have all the basic grooming stuff for your current pupper. :D Buying a hemostat, ear powder, and ear cleaning solution (although you could use something natural instead, like white or apple cider vinegar) is probably also a good idea. 

As for sizes, Pazelle wears a small collar and harness (and sweaters! just be aware that leaving clothes on for too long can cause matting) currently, and medium toys are a good size for him. I bought him medium food bowls, which are too big for him right now, but he’ll grow into them. 

I’m super excited to see more poodle pups on here, they’re such a great breed! ^-^ I wish you the best with your future pup, and am looking forward to seeing him/her! I hope I was helpful and not too repetitive, but if you’d like more opinions and suggestions, go make an account on PoodleForum.com, as people there are really friendly, helpful, passionate, and reply pretty quickly! 

wagashihime  asked:

Have you talked about dobermans before? My family got one a year ago, and he's just too adorable, though he needs a lot of constant training and patience to be manageable(especially since he has european lineage, he's very big). But I heard they have some genetic conditions, and end up dying sooner than other big breeds. Hopefully, with good care he'll live a long and healthy life(our rottweiler is 13 yo, and still has all her teeth, and just a bit of cataracts), but I'd still like to know more

The Doberman is one of my special favorite breeds, despite their unfortunate medical concerns. I love their natural ears, I just adore them, and wish more breed enthusiasts would just let the dogs be the way they’re born instead of insisting on cosmetically altering them in such a useless way. 

Before I go into a lot of detail about this special breed, please note the general Disclaimer: These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.

Originally posted by jaalalee

How can you not love those ears, just they way they are?

I haven’t met a Doberman yet who hasn’t been special in some way. I’m particularly fond of them in their senior years when this breed finally seems to develop some grasp of dignity. In their youth, these dogs often have a case of no brains or no brakes, causing them to have multiple accidents and misadventures. While crashing into other dogs and inanimate objects may leave a dog with relatively little injuries, the worst offender I had to treat required three major stitch ups, each a month apart. This was a fair effort considering that the dog had been strictly confined for two weeks after each surgery, and included having such adventures as running through a hedge and impaling self on stick. He definitely either had no brakes, or no brains. 

For a breed so energetic and prone to misadventures as pups, it seems ironic that the breed is well known for Von Willebrands Disease, a blood clotting disorder. 

Von Willebrands Disease (VWD) varies in how much of a problem affected dogs present with, and dogs with only one allele will not be as affected as dogs with two. In addition, excitement or splenic contraction can temporatily increase the amount of Von Willebrand factor circulating in the blood. 

Before genetic testing was available, a lecturer of mine defined reference ranges for Von Willebrand factor in Dobermans that were normal, carriers or affected. He’d hoped that by screening dogs, breeders would be able to eliminate carrier dogs from the gene pool, and thus the disease. 

However certain breeders quickly realized that making their dogs excited or forcing them to do strenuous exercise before the blood test would temporarily increase their Von Willebrand factor, and so a carrier of the disease would briefly show normal levels of the factor in the blood. Certain breeders would consistently do this so that their dogs, their lines, remained ‘desirable’ and without fault. 

This was understandably very frustrating from a veterinary standpoint. Here you had a perfectly useful test for identifying carriers for a genetic disease to help breeders make better decisions about breeding these dogs, and people were cheating on it. Fortunately, with the advent of a genetic test, cheating in this way is not effective. 

A second condition the Doberman is very well known for is Wobbler Syndrome, or cervical spondylomyelopathy. This is particularly common in larger males, possibly attributable to the rapid growth rate, causes a weakness in the vertebrae of the neck which compresses the spine. It’s treatable with surgery, if you’ve got a large wad of cash to blow, though some mild cases may attempt conservative treatment. In general the breed seems to have an increased vulnerability for other intervertebral disc disease, which are likely related. 

Demodex mange is yet another classical Doberman disease, particularly juvenile demodecosis in puppies. There’s probably a very interesting immune system deficit in this breed causing this predisposition, but I don’t yet know what it is. In any case, demodex are my favorite parasite. They’re cool little critters that have no anus….

Originally posted by comaniddy

… and I’m always happy to see them because they’re non-infectious. That means they won’t jump onto other dogs, or humans like me. They’re annoying to treat, but they are treatable, though often require a long course of treatment. Fortunately more and more over the counter flea products are also proving effective against demodex, so this may be less of an issue in the future. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is possibly the biggest killer of Dobies, and when they get it, they get it bad. Some surveys suggest that a full third of these dogs succumb to this condition, and the average survival time for Dobermans diagnosed with this condition is only about a third of the time for other breeds. There’s not a clear nutritional link in this breed either, though carnitine and taurine supplementation is unlikely to do any harm. Unfortunately it seems that once it develops, there’s not much we can do about it. We can keep them comfortable for a while, but we will lose that fight. There are genetic tests available for this now, but time will tell how useful they are. I’m hopeful. 

The breed is certainly deep chested enough to be prone to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV or bloat), especially in younger dogs that insist on running around like lunatics after a big meal, but it has not been as common in my experience as it has been in other breeds. 

And it is worth screening for hip dysplasia, even though only 17-18% of Dobermans seem to have hip dysplasia, despite breeding efforts that number hasn’t improved in the last decade. Personally I’d like to see more uptake of Pennhip screening instead of just the standard view. 

So there are a few conditions bothering the breed. There are also some neuropathies/myopathies that they are diagnosed with, but they may potentially be linked to wobbler syndrome. 

All of that being said, they do grow up into beautiful, dignified older dogs if given the chance. Dobies that have earned their silver muzzles have been some of my favorite patients. 

equinesanonymous replied to your photoset “angular limb deformity in a young horse, should be humanely…”

What exactly is the deformity? Like he definitely does not look right but I can’t pinpoint it. Also, what’s windswept?

the hind legs are extremely angled and move sideways, giving the term “windswept.” It can vary in degree, and location, often angular limb deformities develop in the front legs- some example pictures

it is typically only correctable at a very young age, like within a few weeks of life the foal should undergo surgery, and have a farrier to help correct it as well. The one in the original post is a yearling already, probably not fixable or stable and probably moves more like a wobblers horse than anything

youtube

BH305 - Puzzling!

Thus far in the course you’ve learned what puzzle feeding and hard chewing can offer your dog in terms of enrichment. But puzzle toys are worth so much more than they are typically given credit for. As confidence-builders, as personality assessment tools, even as a means to decide how best to teach a particular dog.

One of the homework items for The Whole Picture is food puzzles. Not a new concept for us but something I haven’t done much with Chandra, other than the food Tornado when she was really young, and recently the Kong Wobbler for most of her meals. Solstice did a lot more of this stuff since it was part of the confidence-boosting in the teeter foundation class.

For this class, we observe how they solve the puzzle, how they use their nose, how they use their paws, etc. Do they dive right in, are they methodical, do they ask for help. 

This is a long video but I didn’t feel like there was much to cut since there were a variety of different items. What is interesting is that even though Chandra starts out getting the “easy” cookies from under the black bowl, she doesn’t finish that item and instead goes through all the “harder” items getting those cookies before coming back to the black bowl. It appears that aside from the black bowl, once she picks an item, she generally sticks with it until she gets all the food from it, instead of bouncing back and forth looking for easier cookies. She was more methodical and less frantic than I would have expected given her high food drive. :)

6

Distressed Pudding, from Night Watch by Terry Pratchett!

This has been a very distressing pudding to make. I’ve had a long period of messing up Strawberry Wobblers, burning the first batch of pudding, and then accidentally deleting the photos of the good batch. But ah, all is better when you bathe in the ooey gooey warmth of some homestyle cookin’:

‘Well,’ said Sam, 'she says she’s going to make you some Distressed Pudding, sarge. She makes great Distressed Pudding, our mum.’

The best, thought Vimes, staring into the middle distance. Oh, gods. The very best. No one has ever done it better.

Keep reading

Granny said, in a voice laden with suspicion that was all the worse because she wasn’t yet quite sure what it was suspicious of: “It is a cookery book, isn’t it?”
“Oh, yes,” said Nanny hurriedly, avoiding Granny’s gaze. “Yes. Recipes and that. Yes.”
Granny glared at her. “Just recipes?”
“Yes. Oh, yes. Yes. And some… cookery anecdotes, yes.”
Granny went on glaring.
Nanny gave in.
“Er… look under Famous Carrot and Oyster Pie,” she said. “Page 25.”
Granny turned the pages. Her lips moved silently. Then: “I see. Anything else?”
“Er… Cinnamon and Marshmallow Fingers… Page 17…”
Granny looked it up.
“And?”
“Er… Celery Astonishment… page 10.”
Granny looked that up, too.
“Can’t say it astonished me,” she said. “And?”
“Er… well, more or less all of Humorous Puddings and Cake Decoration. That’s all of Chapter Six. I done illustrations for that.”
Granny turned to Chapter Six. She had to turn the book around a couple of times.
“What one you looking at?” said Nanny Ogg, because an author is always keen to get feedback.
Strawberry Wobbler,” said Granny.
“Ah. That one always gets a laugh.”
It did not appear to be obtaining one from Granny. She carefully closed the book.
“Gytha,” she said, “this is me askin’ you this. Is there any page in this book, is there any single recipe, which does not in some way relate to… goings-on?”
Nanny Ogg, her face as red as her apples, seemed to give this some lengthy consideration.
“Porridge,” she said, eventually.
“Really?”
“Yes. Er. No, I tell a lie, it’s got my special honey mixture in it.”
Granny turned a page.
“What about this one? Maids of Honour?”
Weeelll, they starts out as Maids of Honour,” said Nanny, fidgeting with her feet, “but they ends up Tarts.”
Granny looked at the front cover again. The Joye of Snacks.
“An’ you actually set out to–”
“It just sort of turned out that way, really.”

– on the Joye of Snacks | Terry Pratchett, Maskerade

(added links to corresponding Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook quotes. Canonically, Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook was published sometime after the Joye of Snacks and Goatberger and Mr. Cropper made her take out all the fun stuff.)

What the zoobidey flip-flop-bop did you just say about me, you flippidy zoob woobity? I’ll have you know I zooped and flooped to the top of my class in the zobbler wobbler, and I’ve rop-wop-flopped in numerous shoobidy doobidies on floppity pudding, and I have over 300 shibbidy bops. I am trained in flap-floppities and I’m the top doober in the entire shibbidy. You are nothing to zoobidy-me but just another zoobidy. I will zoop you the blop out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this floobidy Earth, mark my flibbidy flop. You think you can flop away with zoobing that doobie-woobie to me over the Interzoobies? Think again, flap-flopper. As we speak I am zipping my blopping bloop of flobbidies across the boopidy and your floopidy is being flopped right now so you better poopidy for the big zoobidy flop party, son. You’re jeeber zeebered, son. I can be anywhere, any-flopping-time, and I can zoop and woop you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my boobidy shoobidies. Not only am I extensively zooped in zip-wop, but I have access to the entire zabber of the Zap Wop Muggity Top and I will zoop it to its full extent to flap your flobbity flob off the face of the zoobie, you zabber wabber. If only you could have known what zopping fury your little “zoopity” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have zooped up. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you flapping babbling shooby-wooper. I will zip zop all over you and you will drown in it. You’re zooped, son.

Tucker

“With great power comes great responsibility” - Voltaire. With one of the most powerful tools in today’s world so easily accessible at our fingertips - it is so easy to forget the responsibility we have when we sit down at a keyboard. Social media has the power to do many great things, but it also possesses the power to very easily cause a great deal of damage to so many people. Words have the ability to spread like wildfire - regardless of the amount of truth they hold.

Last Thursday, my beloved Tucker was euthanized at the Ontario Veterinary College. It was after a long four months of failed treatments and exhausted efforts that we finally took him to the experts to find out why he just would not get better. It was there that Tucker was diagnosed with chronic wobbler syndrome and severe arthritis, on top of the issues that we already knew existed. My veterinarian, the neurologist AND the general veterinarian all at the OVC agreed that the only and most humane option for Tucker was to euthanize him. Tucker was in too much pain to even enjoy the comfort of human touch, and if the wobbler’s syndrome did not make him collapse first, the arthritis surely would.

Tucker was diagnosed with kissing spine (overriding spinous processes) in March 2015. After two months of stretches, injections, massage, chiropractic work, regular work in a Pessoa Lunging System and riding attempting to engage the core, I actually felt that Tucker’s condition had gone downhill, rather than progressing. It was to the point where I did not feel right riding him because his reactions to me mounting asking him to bend, move forward and engage clearly told me he was in awful pain. He was tripping more and more as I rode him and his hind end would sometimes falter and almost give out under saddle. It was then that I consulted my veterinarian about what I was feeling and we decided to move Tucker to be in his private care.

Over the month of May Tucker was put into a rehab program. My vet continued to treat him, adding in shockwave therapy to the prior treatments. Although Tucker’s back seemed to improve, there were other blatantly obvious issues that prevented him from being able to engage his hind end and ever work on the bit. His hind end basically felt broken. Through more radiographs and by watching the way he walked, Tucker was diagnosed with degenerative hock issues that caused his hocks to twist - moving in a way that hocks are not meant to move and putting a great deal of stress on the joint.

We needed to find out what the root of these hind end and neck problems was. The last option was to send Tucker to the OVC for a neurological work up. It was there after examinations and radiographs that we found the root of Tucker’s problems and he was diagnosed as a chronic wobbler with severe arthritis, kissing spine and degenerative hock issues and the decision - the only option that there was - to euthanize him was made.

As Tucker’s owner and the one who was forced to make this heartbreaking decision, it was my wish to be the first to share this with all of you and memorialize our special boy. However, I was robbed of that right. I have been judged unjustly and unfairly by many, even those I once considered friends.
It is on that note that I would like to point out that no, I did not “euthanize Tucker for the insurance money so I could have a fancy new toy” or “amazingly find a vet to euthanize a perfectly healthy horse”. Therefore I don’t agree that I should “rot in hell”, that there should be “shame on my entire family” or that my deceased “father wouldn’t be proud of the scum that I’ve become” as I have been told throughout this process. These are only a few of the many vicious things that were said about or to me by people who do not know any of the background information behind this situation, and chose not to ask, or those who even had the nerve to claim that I was lying about Tucker’s condition.
We did absolutely everything we could for him. There is no cure or rehab for wobbler’s syndrome. It is the end of the road. Furthermore, a horse who cannot engage the hind end due to twisting hocks and wobblers cannot stretch the back to help minimize the pain of the kissing spine. Tucker’s body was working against itself. There was nothing else that could be done.

I would like to express my thanks to those who shared their disgust with what was being said about me and offered their condolences to my family and me.  Thank you for knowing my character enough to see through all of this and for knowing that I would not be capable of doing that to a horse. Thank you for also supporting my decision and knowing that I did everything with Tucker’s best interest at heart.

Due to the ongoing discussions on Facebook regarding this, I feel it necessary to clear up many misconceptions, falsehoods and confront the vicious gossip concerning the tragic events of the past week. By making a courteous phone call to share the outcome of the day with a certain individual, I did not deserve to become a target. I have worked hard for the thirteen years I have been involved with horses to maintain a professional and respectable reputation as a rider, competitor and horse owner. To have that all stripped from me because of someone’s unjustified reaction to a necessary and medically informed decision is unforgivable and unjustified. The attempt to publicly shame and discredit me has robbed me of the comfort of visiting places I love - such as horse shows and tack shops - without wondering how far the untruths about me have spread. As I was the one who witnessed firsthand the declining health of Tucker, the one who worked and communicated with Dr. Oberbichler to treat him, the one present with him at the Ontario Veterinary College for the neurological workup, and the one Dr. Smith Maxie and Dr. Kenney shared the results of their findings with, it is me who shares the truth regarding the painful decision that had to be made that day.

MMFD Fic: "No Alarms and No Surprises" - Chapter 1

Finn never told her he loves her outside the chippy, and the Friends Zone closed in on them with the slam of a prison door. Now it’s four years later and things are changing whether he likes it or not.

Chapter 1

There were many moments in which he could have told her along the way. He’d let them all go. Wasted. He could have told her at the very beginning, when she broke his heart in the cupboard, or at his nan’s funeral, when she found him crying behind the trees and held his hand, or after she stood up in front of an entire wedding party and told them all the truth about herself, but he had been struck by how brave and lovely she was, plus the fact that she had basically looked straight at Archie and confessed that she’s been fantasizing about him… so Finn did nothing. And The Friends Zone closed in on them with the slam of a prison door.

+++

It would have been perfect to tell her on her last night before going to Uni, when they spent the entire evening walking around town, talking and being sentimental, trying to prepare themselves to be apart from each other for the first time in three years. They were standing on the bridge, looking down the River Welland rushing by, Rae leaned over to look further down, and her hair seemed to be taking flight. Finn’s fingers reached, of their own accord, to touch the ends of it, but then she turned to him and he shoved his hand inside his pocket instead. Her eyes were shining with unshed tears.

“Shit,” he said. “I was gonna cry.”

Rae shook her head and wiped her eyes. “Well, you can’t, you know the deal. Only one of us is allowed to fall apart at any given moment.”

“Yeah, tha’s the deal.” It only took a small gesture of invitation from him to have her tuck herself into his side in a hug. “Wha’ you crying for, silly girl?”

“Just can’t believe I’m finally out of here, and already I want to be back.”

“Just wait, you’ll get to London and you’ll forget all about us little people.” He always said these things jokingly, but inside he was terrified that it’ll go exactly like that. She’ll go and be brilliant in a place where they appreciate brilliant people like her, and he’ll be just a boy she knew once, who isn’t all that brilliant, who doesn’t really do anything much or knows where he’s going.

“Hey, so, I got this for ya.” She said, pulling something from her coat pocket and dangling it in front of him.

“What’s this? We didn’t say we’re doing presents.”

Rae shrugged, still attached to his side, then nudged him teasingly. “Guess I’m a better friend than you, ey?”

Reluctantly, he let go of her so he could unwrap the crappy wrapper and silly bow. Inside he found a pack of a dozen cheap plastic cigarette lighters with naked ladies drawn on them. He barked a laugh. “You nutter!”

“That way when you lose them every fucking where, you’ll always have a spare.”

He looked up at her, his eyes were probably a little shiny. “I liked it better when you were the one always finding them for me.”

Rae’s eyes left his, she looked down. “Well… now we need a plan B.”

He looked at the naked ladies again, then hugged her to him hard. “Thanks, Rae. I’ll take care of them as if they were my babies.”

“Yeah… you’ll lose them all within two months.” She joked, and he protested, and they both laughed even though it wasn’t that funny. The whole moment felt unstable and desperate. Then Rae sighed, “Finn…?”, and her voice shuddered on that one syllable. Finn didn’t know why, but his heart, already beating fast, began to really pound then.

“Yeah?”

But she didn’t continue, and she moved out of his embrace and grabbed the banister with both hands, turning her face from him.

“Rae?”

“What if I told ya…” Her voice died down, then she took a deep breath and tried again. “What if I– what would you say if I told ya…”

Finn wasn’t even breathing. He just stood there like a complete knob until she finally turned, her face flushed, and she shook her head and laughed a little. “If I told you I plan on calling you in all hours of the day and night, whenever the mood strikes me. Like, if I’m in a swanky London club and it’s 3AM and they’re playing our song, I’m calling you and I don’t even care.”

He played that moment in his head over and over, for months after that. How he froze, half way between amazingly relieved and excruciatingly disappointed, knowing full well that she’d bottled it and didn’t say what was really on her mind, that he only had to prod a little bit, to ask her one time, and she’d tell him the thing she didn’t say. He remembers vividly letting the moment go. Remembers how she looked on that bridge, with the wind lifting her hair and waving it about. His eyes focused on her smiling lips, he took a step closer with a surge of intention he couldn’t name… and the thoughts came rushing - this is stupid, she’s leaving in the morning, what was the point. He kissed her cheek, and spent the following three weeks trying not to throw himself off that bridge.

+++

And there were a million other, less perfect but totally legitimate moments that had gone past since the 20p all those years ago, where he could have turned to his best mate, the person closest to him in the world, and tell her what’s really on his mind.

She was the one whose opinion mattered the most, the person he told all his secrets to. He could tell her anything. But he couldn’t tell her this. Once they’d become mates, he couldn’t see his way out. They went on like that, day after day, year after year, until what they had was this relationship, this… best–mate–dom, where he was spending all his energy keeping her from knowing. And after a while it just becomes what they do, what they are. She has Chloe and Archie and he has Chop, but it’s nothing like what they are to each other. They pride themselves on telling each other everything – every small insignificant thing and every big painful secret. Almost.

He always tells her about the girls he’s dating, looking in her eyes, looking to see if it bothers her to hear. He knew Rae thought he was good looking, she said it more than enough times (albeit while taking the piss, or in an off-hand kind of way, like – ‘course that girl will go for ya, how could she resist the fittest lad in all of Lincolnshire and the surrounding districts?), but that was just what mates do, and fuck that.

So he goes into detail about his dates, what they did, what made this one special. And Rae rolls her eyes and says – yeah, yeah, they’re all special. When she meets them, if it ever goes that far, she’s the kindest, nicest person to them, and he watches her befriending the girls when deep down he’s hoping she’ll throw a wobbler. From time to time comes along a girl that Rae thinks is a twat, or kinda dumb, or likes the wrong music, and then she’s snobbish and bitchy to her, and him and her have an argument about it, and secretly he loves that, he imagines that she’s sick with jealousy, can’t sleep and can’t think of him with any other girl but her.

Sometimes he fancies that she really does feel that way about him, but she’s just as good an actress as he is and covers her true feelings. When he shares his sex life with her, she reacts the way he would, if she ever told him anything about her sex life. Which she doesn’t. They can talk about her insecurities and how she feels like no one will ever love her, and he can reassure her that it’s bullshit and she’s beautiful, and they can talk about how she doesn’t believe him. And when he tells her she’s attractive she says – all evidence to the contrary – and they can go back and forth about that for hours, but they never talk about any real experiences she’s having.

He knows she goes on dates, very sparsely, like, once in a blue moon, and nothing much happens when she does. And he’s sad for her because she’s sad, but he’s glad for himself because he’s a petty little fucker.

He doesn’t get why on earth she would not have dates. Doesn’t know if it’s because no one is asking her, or because she turns them down for some reason. With all their mutual soul searching, they never go into that. Finn knows that Rae is considered “a big girl”, and she has a way about her, kinda loud and boisterous, and some guys don’t like that. So he kinda gets it but he doesn’t get it, ‘cause, yeah, she’s big, some people might call her fat (they just better not do it within his earshot), but can’t they see that she’s also, just… incredible? He thinks she’s gorgeous. The funniest, most interesting, fucking sexiest person he knows. Sometimes he doesn’t know how he got so lucky as to have her in his life, but sometimes he feels like fucking Job, cursed with this relationship, this fucking friendship with a girl that is perfect for him in every way, except that he’s a coward and he never told her, and she hates herself so she doesn’t even notice.

+++

And he can’t say anything now, it’s too late, it’s way past late. It’s been more than three years and she’s told him very intimate details about herself and all her little fears, and he’s so proud that he’s the one she tells, he’s the keeper of all her shit. All her insecurities about herself and how she hates her body, the way she used to hurt herself when she was younger – she’s doing so much better, and he’s a part of what changed for her. All that hurt was before she’d met him, he reminds himself some nights when she’s in a bad way and he can’t sleep with worry over her. He has to believe that their friendship made a difference, that having him and the rest of the gang in her life, constantly telling her in different ways how much she’s wanted and important – made her stronger, less sad, less likely to hurt herself if shit goes bad. She can come talk to him in the middle of the fucking night if she needs, and she knows that, and he has to believe that makes a difference. What makes that possible is trust, they have trust.

So he can’t very well turn around and tell her that there was something else going on all these years, can he. That every time she’d climbed into his bed to cry on his shoulder, half of him was with her, while the other half was busy trying to conceal her effect on him. Forever aware that he can’t change things, Finn’s just watching his life unfold next to hers, completely miserable and completely happy at the same time. The moments come, and he lets them go.

TBC…

A Rexsoka drabble for constantlyregretful! Happy Birthday, dear!!


The day before Empire Day snuck by each year without fanfare by the Empire or anyone else under its rule. It was a day Ahsoka turned somber, deviating from her normal routine to just spend a quiet day inside the ship on whatever planet they happened to be. This year they were docked at a space station orbiting the coral moon of Rugosa– as close as they’d dared to get to Naboo since the end of the war. 

Ahsoka didn’t even register the sound of the ship door closing with a clang that shivered through the entire hull of the ship. She continued to sit hunched on her cot– like a Kiros bird in a nest of blankets– and stare at the wall when Rex entered the sleeping cabin laden with bags. 

His own bunk opposite hers sank squeakily under the weight of so many supplies, but Ahsoka still failed to notice. 

“I got you your jiggly dessert,” he said amid a ruffle of bags, lifting the flimsi-cups of purple tinted cream to show her. “Nykberry flavored.” 

Ahsoka stared on and Rex dropped the packaged milk wobblers back into the bag.

She sat there, her mind about five years in the past when she still wore her akul tooth headdress and Padawan beads. Even at the height of the war, those times commanding armies over whole planets-turned-battlefields seemed so much simpler than this. The Empire was not as easy to fool as the Separatists had been; the Empire wasn’t going to stop hunting them. And on the anniversary of Order 66, all Ahsoka dwelled on were the Jedi victims of that hunt. 

Ahsoka didn’t cry anymore; the years since that horrific ordeal of which she’d sensed the faintest ripple had since drained her of tears. Now she just stared at the wall with the deadest gaze, cycling through names and faces of Jedi and padawans she’d known at one time but in five years hadn’t discovered if they were dead or not. There was no use crying about the unknown fate of hundreds. Like she promised herself every year on this day, she would expend all her energy to find survivors. And every year this new promise heralded a clammy chill at the realization that she hadn’t succeeded yet. Not once.

A softness enveloped her then, startling Ahsoka right out of her despair. She hadn’t even felt her own bunk sink, but there was Rex sitting behind her, the fluffiest blanket in the ship wrapped around her shoulders, held in place by him. Ahsoka barely even looked back before Rex pulled her against his chest and folded both his arms around her, bestowing the most comfortable feeling of security she could recall experiencing in years. 

“Rex! You’re back…”

The curve of her montral fit perfectly against his neck, and when he spoke his voice vibrated into her very bones. “I’ve been back awhile. You were like this when I left two hours ago… how are you doing?”

Snug. Almost too snug. Her arms pinned under the blanket in his embrace would’ve been an unsettling feeling if it’d been anyone other than Rex. “I could be better. What’re we doing for Empire Day?” 

It was the same question every year for nearly half a decade.

“How about something that doesn’t get us on the Empire’s radar this time?”

Ahsoka tried to look up at him, but only succeeded in scratching her face along his rare stubble. “Going soft already?”

“There’s nothing soft about not landing high-profile bounties on our heads. We need to be smart about this. Just because you have the Force doesn’t mean you’re immune to laser blasts.”

His voice thrumming through her montral was calming enough to put her to sleep. 

“Worry about yourself, old man,” Ahsoka said, the laziest smile creeping across her face. She would’ve run a finger through his dark stubble if she wasn’t restrained.

“Old, eh?” He wasn’t quite as old as Master Kenobi had been. “You need the Force to help you beat me sparring.” A well-placed nudge to her ribs poked a squeak right out of her.

“Sorry,” she said between her giggles. “Can’t fathom what you’re alluding to.”

“Uh huh,” he said, gravelly, sending something she could only describe as a good chill down her spine. 

“Maybe we should take a few days off, forget the upcoming holiday and find pleasanter ways to spend the time,” suggested Rex. “We could always explore the moons of Eufreyes, outside the ice rings of Tigrin. They sound exciting.”

“The tourist destination?” It took extra energy just to voice the words that’d taken so long to string together in her head; the warmth of the blanket was shutting down all her faculties. “With what money?”

Rex’s following explanation, long and no doubt well thought out, went in one montral and out the other without a trace. Whatever else he said was lost to the blackness.