Pres. Obama in letter to Americans: “I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th President.”
My fellow Americans,
It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.
But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.
Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers – and found grace in a Charleston church.
I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.
I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.
All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work – the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.
I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.
And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ 'We the People.’ 'We shall overcome.’
I meant to ask Feysand fluff fic I'm made you a cake
See my favorite thing as a writer is to write something totally off base of what might be expected from these prompts… I think I did that with this one… hope this is fluffy enough, friend. I’m kind of obsessed with it.
Feysand + “I made you a cake”
“Mor, have I ever told you how much I completely and totally loathe you?”
“Oh quit being dramatic,” Rhys’s cousin snapped from where she stood between him and Azriel, her hand in his. “You’re the one who said you wanted a night out downtown with all of us!”
“I meant a night out drinking, Mor. Drinking. Alcohol. The cheap kind. And lots of it, preferably.”
“There will be alcohol!”
“Yeah Rhys, didn’t you read the pamphlet?” Cassian sauntered up to his friend, hooking an arm around his shoulder. “‘Wine and Canvas Painting.’ Sounds delightful, right? A real party. I mean I personally am gonna get so– ow! Quit it!”
Mor leaned over and pinched Cassian in the side to which he yelped.
“Don’t make fun,” Mor hissed. “My friend Feyre is still in the early stages of starting her own business, and I want to support her. And you guys support me, thus, we’re going to drink wine and paint some damn canvases or so help me you two will–”
“We’re here,” Azriel cut in smoothly.
Mor gave Rhys and Cassian one last glare that would have sent other men running before sauntering up the steps and opening the door to a little shop with an overhanging sign that read, “Velaris.”
“That’s a weird name,” Rhys grumbled to himself as he followed after his friends.
Once they were inside and had taken off their coats, Rhys glanced appreciatively at the space inside. It was… nice, he would give it that. Spacious and warm and full of light.
Mor’s friend - Feyre - apparently owned this little studio and taught art classes all throughout the week. And every other Friday she taught a 21 and up class where they served wine while doing canvas paintings.
And Mor, being Mor, thought it would be a great idea to do that this very weekend instead of going out to their favorite bar, the Illyrian, like they usually did.
“Well where is this friend of yours?” Cassian grumbled. “And where is the wine? If I’m doing this I need to be drinking.”
Rhys and Azriel laughed, but quieted instantly when Mor glared at them.
“She’s probably setting up or something. But her sister and Amren are over there, come on.”
“Amren’s here?” Azriel paled. Mor ignored the other two as they snickered and walked ahead.
“Amren! Nesta!” She called out. Two girls in the back row whipped their heads around.
Rhys recognized Amren, the terrifying woman that Mor had introduced him to a few times. The other one, Nesta, must be Feyre’s sister.
Amren just looked the boys up and down and huffed before turning back around in her seat.
Nesta rolled her eyes at Amren and gave Mor a forced smile. “Hey,” she said without much enthusiasm.
Mor went to reply and sit in the open seat next to Nesta, but the next thing they knew Cassian had practically shoved her aside and was careening to sit beside the young woman.
“Well hello there,” he said in his charming voice. “I’m Cassian. And you are?”
Nesta just stared at him, completely unaffected.
“You literally just heard her say my name,” she deadpanned. She looked back over at Mor. “Mor, who the hell is this guy?”
“I’m sorry.” Mor just rolled her eyes. “I told them to be on their best behavior, but I only have one of them trained.” Azriel narrowed his eyes at her but she only giggled and moved to sit down beside Amren and Azriel followed suit on her other side.
“Oh I can be on my best behavior,” Cassian continued, clearly not taking the hint. “I can be on whatever sort of behavior you want, sweetheart.”
He leaned in close to Nesta, giving her his best seductive look.
She was thoroughly unimpressed.
“Get your face the hell away from my face before I break it.”
Cassian’s brow shot up in surprise and Azriel and Rhys both snorted in laughter. His surprise soon turned into wicked delight.
“Oh just wait sweetheart, you’ll learn to love my face. In fact I’ll bet you’ll be painting it before the night is over. Or perhaps if my charm really sways you, you might even be s–”
“Do not finish that sentence and do… not… call me sweetheart,” Nesta seethed.
Rhys was just about to go sit on the other side of Azriel to avoid all of… that, when someone bumped into him from behind.
“Oh, oh I’m so sorry! I just… well I can’t really see right now so…”
Rhys turned to the voice only to be met with a stack of canvases stacked way too high for one person to be carrying. The stranger’s face was hidden behind the stack and it was clear she couldn’t see anything in front of her. He chuckled.
“Do you need some help there?” He offered.
“Nope!” The female voice chirped brightly. “Nope I am perfectly fine. Just fine.”
“Really?” He drawled. “Well then by all means, continue your trek.”
The person froze.
“Right. Yes. Continuing now.”
The woman turned slightly to the left, then slightly to the right. She took a small step forward only to bump into Rhys’s other shoulder.
“Dammit,” she hissed under her breath.
Rhys laughed openly, reaching forward to take half the stack off of her hands.
“Here, allow me.”
When the stack was considerably lowered, Rhys finally saw the stranger’s face - and felt like he had been sucker punched.
With her eyeline free now, the girl blew a stray strand of messy hair away from her face. Her eyes were blue-gray and absolutely stunning. She had a single purple streak of paint on her cheek that he had a feeling she had no idea was even there.
And then she smiled up at him.
“Thanks,” she said, clearly not noticing that he wasn’t even breathing. “Are you here for the class?”
“I uh…” he stumbled, unable to tear his eyes from hers.
What the hell was wrong with him, he didn’t get nervous around girls? Especially not ones with paint on their face and a stubborn attitude to boot.
“Feyre!” Mor shouted suddenly, and the next thing Rhys knew his cousin was shoving him out of the way to give the woman an awkward hug over the canvases she held.
“Hey, Mor,” she said in a strained voice, giving Rhys a look that said ‘save me’ over Mor’s shoulder.
“I told you we would come.” Mor pulled back with a grin. “I brought Az, who you know, and then Cassian is the one over there about to get his balls ripped off by your sister, and it looks like you’ve already met my cousin, Rhys.”
“Yeah we… ran into each other,” Feyre said, smiling over at Rhys.
He could’ve died a happy man right then.
“Well I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got to get the class started,” she continued apologetically.
“Oh it’s fine,” Mor said quickly as Feyre started to make her way up to the front of the room. Rhys followed awkwardly with his half of the canvases. “Oh and happy birthday!” Mor shouted suddenly.
Feyre froze, whirling towards Mor but running into Rhys yet again.
“It’s your birthday?” Rhys asked, his head cocked to the side.
Feyre paled. “Yes, but don’t say anything else please. I hate celebrating my birthday, it’s just so awkward.”
Rhys grinned, his earlier awkwardness melting away and turning into his usual suave because now he had an in with this girl.
“My lips are sealed Feyre, darling,” he said softly as he sat down his stack of canvases and stepped closer to her. She looked up at him a bit nervously.
“Allow me to formally introduce myself since my cousin thought she needed to do it for me,” he said smoothly, extending his hand. “I’m Rhysand.”
He noticed her shiver and grinned a bit wider.
“Feyre,” she replied, taking his hand. “Feyre Archeron. And please don’t call me darling.”
Rhys laughed, walking backwards towards his seat.
“Whatever you say, Feyre, darling.”
“You know if you keep calling me darling I’ll have to come up with a name for you too. How about prick?”
Ohhhh, he liked this girl already. His smile said as much.
He finally made it back to his seat, plopping down next to Azriel. Cassian and Nesta were still at each other’s throats.
Rhys was watching Feyre as she set up her own easel when Mor leaned across Azriel and pinched his arm.
“Ouch! What, Mor?”
Mor grinned like a fox.
“I knew you two would hit it off.”
“You… you planned this?”
Mor only laughed, leaning back in her seat and grabbing the glass of red wine in front of her as she spoke to Amren. Rhys looked at Azriel incredulously.
He just shrugged as if to say, ‘what can you do?’
The class started, and Rhys found himself captivated by Feyre yet again. She spoke about painting reverently, it was clear this was her passion. Her eyes lit up and her voice took on a tone he could listen to for the rest of his life.
Then when the actual canvas painting began, she walked around the room and answered questions, helping here and there. She stopped by Rhys’s row a couple of times, but only long enough to chat with her sister, Amren, or Mor before skittering off to another place in the room.
Rhys huffed as she avoiding his gaze for what felt like the hundredth time that night.
Mor giggled. “The chase not working out how it usually does for you, cousin?” She teased.
“Neither is his painting,” Azriel murmured.
Rhys cursed his brother, elbowing him in the side.
“What do you mean?” Mor asked. “What’s wrong with your… Rhysand!” She shouted, leaning across Azriel and smacking him in the chest. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Stop hitting me!” Rhys hissed. The rest of the class - and Feyre, he observed - was watching them. “And mind your own business. I know what I’m doing.”
“Oh do you?” Mor drawled. “Well then by all means, show us your wooing skills.”
Before Rhys could say another word, Feyre had sauntered up right next to him.
“Everything okay back here guys?”
“Oh yes,” Mor said before Rhys could get a word in edgewise. “Az and I were just observing how wonderful Rhys’s painting is.”
Oh Rhys was going to kill his cousin.
“That’s great!” Feyre said enthusiastically, meeting Rhys’s eyes finally.
“Yeah, super great. Go ahead, Rhys.” Mor propped her chin in her hand with a sly grin. “Show her.”
“Well, Mor,” he seethed, turning his easel so Feyre couldn’t see his painting. “I actually wanted to show Feyre darling here my painting when the class was over.”
“Oh but it’s just SO good Rhys, show her now.”
“Yeah, show me,” Feyre jumped back in. Rhys melted at her soft smile, feeling a bit like a prick now. “I bet it’s great.”
“Oh for goodness sake.”
Mor leaned across Azriel for a third time, turning Rhys’s easel towards Feyre herself.
Feyre’s jaw dropped when she saw that Rhys had painted a… cake.
A terrible looking cake with blue frosting and candles that looked like sticks. And in black paint he had written across the top, “Happy Birthday, Feyre Darling.”
She was silent for a few seconds and Rhys thought she might have stopped breathing.
“I made you a cake,” Rhys finally said. It sounded infinitely stupider when he said it out loud. “Since it’s your birthday and I just thought… you’re smiling. Is that a good thing? Did I do something right or are you showing me pity?”
Feyre snorted, covering her mouth with her hand.
“I love it,” she said in between her laughter. “I mean it looks… utterly horrendous–”
“Hey now, this is exquisite.”
“But it’s very sweet of you,” she said, meeting his eyes with a genuine smile.
Rhys felt his own lips tilting upward at the corners of their own accord.
“Anything for you, Feyre darling.”
Feyre’s smile dropped and she rolled her eyes.
“You had to go and ruin it, didn’t you, you prick. Call me darling one more time tonight and I won’t go out with you when you ask me after class.”
“Oh I’m asking you on a date now, am I?” He asked, mouth turned up in wicked delight.
“Well you better. You already made me cake,” she gestured to the painting. “Now you have to buy me dinner.”
He met her teasing eyes and realized he was already in deep shit and he didn’t mind at all.
I avoided mirrors yesterday. I avoided them until I got home and then I stood in front of the one in my bathroom squeezing my stomach, poking it in and poking it out and weighing myself and thinking about how my chest used to stick out much further than my stomach. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. I told myself I was fat. I told myself I needed to eat less. I told myself I needed to stop eating entirely. I told myself I wasn’t writing enough, wasn’t reading enough, wasn’t studying His Word enough, wasn’t good enough, wasn’t enough, wasn’t enough, wasn’t enough.
And then I climbed in bed. I climbed in bed and my pillow touched my head and I thought to myself, If only I could see myself how God sees me.
You see, if I could see myself how God sees me, I would see a woman who has survived, and who is strong, and who loves fiercely with all her heart and all her soul and all her mind. I would see a woman who is tall, and smart, and kind, and forgiving, who cries at everything because she is filled with emotion. I would see a woman who hikes, who runs, who does yoga, who reads, who writes, who meditates on His Word day and night.
If I could see myself how God sees me, I would see that I am more than enough.
Prompt: Reader and Lin share their second date. Lin’s brain is worried that his heart is already too invested.
Author’s Note: I really wasn’t sure if a second part was ever going to come out, but I really enjoyed writing part one and have hit a bit of a block with my other prompts. SO here we are! Hope you enjoy! Might visit this prompt more later? Who knows.
Anyone who knew Lin in the slightest bit knew one thing for sure about him: he was horrible at keeping his cool.
That became rather evident to you exactly one hour after you departed from the diner, your phone vibrating incessantly on your nightstand. Text after text flooded in.
You groggily reached over to silence it, falling back into bed and immediately falling asleep.
You slept on and off throughout the day, either curled up in bed or on your couch with your laptop perched on your lap. While it was your day off, you did like to stay on top of e-mails and up-to-date on any announcements.
You were an assistant to some higher up who drank too many coffees and had too many suspicious late night meetings with a woman named Stacey for you to really like him. But, the job paid well and he no longer sent you on boring tasks just to fill the time.
He expected a lot out of you, and trusted you to do some heavy lifting. You were very grateful you hadn’t visited his regular dry cleaners in over a year. This is why you had to do some casual work from home, to keep your position as his ‘go to girl’.
After answering the last email, you finally decided to glance at your phone, silently perched on your armrest.
14 new messages.
You typed in your password and started scrolling. There were a few normal ones. Your mom confirming your weekly lunch date. The group chat you had with some college friends to keep up to date with any major happenings was on full blast. Someone had recently been engaged, so you’ve been avoiding that group like the plague - knowing you were the only one without a ring on your finger.
6 unread messages from Lin.
I Google’d where you should take someone on a second date. It said to go on a ghost tour? I say we do anything but that.
I just realized you’re probably sleeping.
I’ll stop now.
BTW. The diner was totally our first date. No take backs.
Alright I’ll be quiet now.
MINI GOLFING. It’s like regular golfing, but it’s small.
You giggled at the final suggestion, pausing for a moment to think of something clever. You blanked, completely enthralled that you had not only gone on a date with him less than ten hours ago, but he was already insistent on another one.
Mini sports are my specialty. Name a time and place, I’m all yours.
The day after a show was always a time for reflection for Freestyle Love Supreme. They’d all go out to lunch - It was Chris’ turn to pick, he wisely chose a Ramen joint - and argue incessantly about who was the best the night before.
“Shock - brilliant as always.” Anthony ‘Two Touch’ gave kudos. Shock nodded appreciatively in between slurps of noodles.
“Can we all take a moment to talk about the most impressive display we all saw last night?” Arthur cut in, “Subway Girl.”
Everyone cheered in agreement - all throwing Lin shocked looks. What did the Subway Girl see in him?
“What happened with that?” Anthony pushed, everyone leaning forward in anticipation of some juicy details.
Just as Lin opened his mouth, his phone buzzed in his pocket. He immediately unlocked it, grinning to see your reply.
“Speaking of Subway Girl.” Chris told the group, glancing over Lin’s shoulder at the text, “Did you text her six times?”
The group all let out groans, taking pity on Lin’s dumbstruck expression.
“What, what’s wrong with that?”
Everyone tsked at his naivety, Lin was still so uneducated in the realm of relationships.
“That’s desperate, man.” Bill informed him. “Shows you’re too interested.”
“No. That’s not how she took it.”
“How do you know that?” Bill shot back.
“Were going out again tomorrow night.” Lin smugly confirmed, shooting you a text with a time and place. “For your information - I am really interested. I want her to know I’m really interested. I hope she’s really interested in me too. If texting her six times in a row is desperate than I am the most desperate motherfucker in the entire world.”
Chris smirked at the defensiveness, remembering a time when they had had a similar conversation when Chris first started dating his wife.
Is ten minutes too soon to call her again?
Do you really like her?
Way too much.
Then you should have called her five minutes ago.
The nearly 48 hours you spent apart was complete torture for the both of you, and you were relieved to be riding in a cab knowing Lin would be at the other end of the ride.
Lin was waiting by the entrance on a bench, legs jiggling and, as usual, his hands were stuffed in his pockets. He quickly stood as you approached, unsure if tonight would be like the one before now that there was an official label.
“Hello.” Without anything else to do, he saluted you, just as you had a few nights before. You giggled as you saluted back.
As the night wore on and the sun began to set, you began to discover many new things about Lin. He still lived in his old neighborhood just outside of Washington Heights, a few doors down from his parents. He drank coffee like his life depended on it. He was very bad at mini golf.
“Just aim for the hole!” It was the final course - 18th hole. Par 3. You were desperate for any sign of improvement.
“I’m trying!” He whined, swinging his putter wildly. Finally, he succumbed to just kicking his ball into the hole, ending the misery that was watching him poorly attempt a golf stroke.
“What are you good at?” You questioned as he dipped down to retrieve his golf ball, just as you did fifteen minutes ago when you sank yours after three hits.
He stopped for a moment to think, his eyes scanning the mini golf course. He lit up, reaching for your hand.
“I’ll show you.”
After returning your putters and golf balls to the front desk, he tugged you along to the arcade.
The smell of pizza and the sound of screaming children clogged your senses. The blinking lights were overwhelming and you suddenly felt like a child again. You fought the urge to dominate the skeeball machine - just as you had as a kid - and instead let him pull you to the gigantic claw machine tucked away in the back.
“Don’t question my gift. I didn’t ask for it, I just do as the God’s command.” He snatched his wallet from his back pocket, forfeiting the three dollars the machine required.
You had never seen him so focused, eyes trained to the moving claw as he controlled the machine before you. He moved around, getting just the right angle. You laughed as he aggressively pushed the down button, sealing his fate.
He backed away as the claw made a slow descent on a teddy bear in the corner. You gaped as the claws wrapped around its torso, lifting it up and towards the shoot.
“How did you do that?” You cried as he retrieved the bear, a confident grin spread across his face as he held it out to you.
“Sold my soul.” He shrugged as you held the bear close - a token of what appeared to be your second date.
“Whoever got your soul definitely got the short end of the stick.” You balanced the bear on one hip, like a child. He groaned, holding his hand to his heart.
“Ouch. That hurt.” He grinned as you absentmindedly tugged the bear a little closer. “To think I wanted a third date.” He lead the way out of the arcade, back into the cold crisp air of the city. the sun had long made its descent and only the aged streetlights lit the sidewalk.
Cars passed by, headlights a quick flash as you and Lin stood, neither wanting to go home.
“Wanted? Past tense?” You inquired, breath visible in the air.
“Now I’m not so sure. If only I could be convin-” Your hand found the lapel of his coat, using it to guide your lips to his.
He smiled into the soft kiss - completely unrushed as if you would have a lifetime to continue sharing them. His presence against yours was warm, a nice contrast to the harsh cold air against your face.
He pulled back before he got carried away, a second longer and he wasn’t sure he could restrain himself.
“Alright, I’m convinced.” You weren’t sure when his arm had made its way around your waist, but his firm hold was keeping you grounded, “When can I see you again?”
“Tomorrow night?” You proposed.
“Holy shit, I honestly don’t know if I can wait that long.” He sighed, “I’ll try, though.” His troubled eyes concerned you.
“Speak your mind, Miranda.” You urged.
“I just-” He hesitated, scanning your face and the small, comforting smile you provided, “I’m very nervous that one of these nights you’re going to realize how dumb I am.” He breathed a laugh, cutting the tension of the sentence, but the truth was there.
“You are many things Lin-Manuel, but dumb is certainly not one of them.” Your words didn’t seem to offer much comfort, “I can’t be sure as to what you’re feeling. But I can tell you that you and your stupid freestyle rapping has me hooked. I’m not gonna question it, I’m not gonna push it aside. I’ve never felt like this before and it feels good.”
He took this in for a moment, squinting in search of any falsity. When he found none, he pulled back with a smirk.
“Alright, let’s get you a cab so I can call you in five minutes to set up our third date.”
If I include Jimmy in Naga!Verse (as Castiel’s twin brother), should he already have a child or not?
His partner would be Amelia, a friendly alpha demon. The idea is that demons can’t have children with other demons. And that they have to ‘hire’ outsiders, for example omega angels, to have offspring. So I’m thinking that they might wait with children, just to prove to critics that Jimmy is in fact not selling his services and that it’s a legitimate union. (Or maybe the council in angel city is asking him to wait so that the first legitimate grandchild of the current queen isn’t demon offspring.)