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#HOW DARE THEY NOT ADD GLORY
I just found you, and you are amazing! If I may, and if your requests are open, could you maybe add Vulpes as a companion since I have him as one? Or make a head cannon for him?✨
Thanks for the compliment! I’m very glad you like the content I make! My request box is pretty much always open for the time being lol. Here’s some head cannons for the Vulpes man himself, I hope you enjoy!
Vulpes Inculta
This guy possibly has the most talent of disguising himself for a mission, considering the Legions style of a hands on solution, always resulting to violence, I do believe Vulpes possibly has more skill when it comes to manipulating his enemy in more ways then one. For example: making the enemy get more aggressive and to make them act more irrationally so that they make more tactical errors in their combat against the Legion. Or to be able to persuade the enemy to join with the Legion with promises of riches and glory, just to stab the enemy in the back later. Evidence of this would probably what he did to the Twisted Hairs in pacifying them.
I think he identifies with the wolf a lot because of how it was a coping mechanism as a kid and how his parents told him stories about a spiritual wolf who has a lot of bravery and heart or something similar like that. So wolves probably helped him through a lot when indoctrinated into the Legion.
He is a devout believer of The Legion, betrayal and disloyalty is something he despises. However I think he has a bit of a differences in beliefs than Caesar and especially Legate Lanius, he wouldn’t dare speak publicly about it knowing full well what would happen to him, but I do think he has a different idea for what the Legion should become.
He’s quite interested in music, sense he hasn’t heard much music is his life, he’s quite fascinated with the topic and the different varieties(particularly the punk rock type music for some odd reason). If he’s a companion with the Courier, he’d probably listen silently to the music the Courier listens to on their strange device they call a “Pip-Boy”, truly fascinating.
Speaking of fascinating, I believe he possibly has a big interest in the Courier, I don’t think Vulpes has many friends, or at least isn’t the most social person ever, so to have someone like the Courier to talk to him about their interests he’s practically overjoyed yet confused on the inside, confused about his emotions but happy that Courier wants to spend time with him.
Also I don’t think he’s the most tech savvy, sure he knows how to use a computer but I don’t think he’d know much besides the basics sense he was raised at a very young age by Caesar’s Legion. So he’d need a bit of help when working with or around technology.
Lastly if the Courier were to go against Caesar’s Legion I don’t think he’d be 100% apposed but I think it would take some hard convincing to do so. I think maybe he would join the Courier on destroying the Legion if it was the Yes Man ending sense he might be able to respect the Courier more than the Legion maybe. I think that would be pretty epic.
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I am back!!!
After a long Hiatus I am back I left for a while because I was trying to avoid Tumblr for a while. But I'm back just in time for pride month. The reason I'm but is because of bleeds please. For those who don't know Blue's Clues support lgbtq a right. They are allies to the lgbtq a Keynesian, allow me to explain in the alphabet song they get shoes delivered oh, and they say and I quote he is for prowling Orbee case for Friday night might be remembering it slightly wrong. Regardless, they support the ride because they have the gay flag, lesbian flag, trans flag, non-binary flag Etc. But my favorite is the family song which is basically the ants go marching, but with family always being, they are most non-binary, the list goes on. That being said it's glory and they even gotten no question volved I would have preferred a RuPaul but if you take a win will you can get away. So, that being said it is wonderful. You know, so you don't get the honor of getting any sort of recognition from because I feel like it's like you're rude and they don't really benefit anyone. So I'm almost never even dislike, however I've noticed people complaining about who's sharing lgbtq way friendly content people calling it's far less than how dare they indoctrinated our children and how dare they support other people they don't like us mentality I'm sorry, if you if you homophobic messages against Blue's Clues you all needed leaking to dislike that actually breaks my dislike you because I cannot stand by and let you share your homophobic remarks stand-down Taryn I as a friend and Ally to be lgbtq a community will stand firm and lift your voice is high I will not sit by and let you all be marginalized. I'm sorry, but if you are homophobic you will no longer have a following me, if you are homophobic we can no longer be friends now, if you are uncomfortable that's different everyone has a right to be uncomfortable oh, I'm not saying you're required to be perfectly comfortable with gauge trains and whoever that's why you don't have to be comfortable you just have to be respectful you can be homophobic at home in the privacy of your own home where there are no lgbtqa people present but if you are around Yogi bpqa people you are not allowed to say homophobic remarks because your remarks could kill someone. You want to add murder to your list of reasons to go to hell alright then be my guest Lucifer has a nice one seat waiting for you in the fiery pits of hell and it ain't like hazbin hotel but there's a sweet singing demon to try to rescue you in a hotel and redeem you oh no you bring that for all eternity so sing a little song for all you homophobic.
If your homophobic and you know it go to hell if your homophobic and you know it go to hell if your homophobic and you know it and you feel like you really ought to show it if your homophobic and you know it go to hell if you hate all these lgbtqa go to hell if you hate lgbtq ain't going to hell if you don't think they have rights you act like a jerk in front of them if you had lgbtq egg building if you're against human rights go to hell if you're against human rights go to hell if you are right love what I want if you're against human rights go to hell.
Thank you and welcome to my TED Talk.
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natskier · 24 days ago
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Tell Me About The Light Behind My Eyes
Chapter 3 - What's Past Is Prologue
(words: ~6.7k, rating: M)
read on ao3
Previous Chapter
tagging: @goldbvtton
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Jaskier is just packing what scarce belongings he travels with these days when there is a knock on the door. He frowns. Yennefer has decided to remain downstairs, talking about keeping an eye open or something, but Jaskier didn’t miss how pale she has been when he first laid his eyes on her. Pale and tired and weak, if one only knows where to look. Granted, she is still the most beautiful woman on the whole Continent, and could probably still wipe out this whole town with a flick of her little finger if she so wished, but… The way she holds herself. The way she hasn’t yet threatened to cut off his balls and feed them to him if he didn’t do as she said. The entire Ciri business and even the please. Something is wrong with her, very wrong.
And it’s not like Jaskier cares about Yennefer. Nope, not at all. But, well. Call it curiosity. The smell of a good story afoot. Yeah, good, call it that. No sympathies lost here whatsoever.
Another knock tears him away from his thoughts, and he curses himself. It really has been easier to get lost in his thoughts since he’s been travelling alone. There’s something he must work on.
“Who is it?” he calls.
“It’s me, Julian,” comes the warm voice of Ewa, and Jaskier relaxes immediately. Even feels a smile bloom on his lips before he can even invite her inside. The door opens and reveals her face, sporting an equally warm smile.
“Ewa, my dear, what can I do for you?” he asks as he finishes folding the last undershirt that desperately needs a wash.
The old lady steps into the room with a grace that keeps surprising Jaskier, and closes the door behind herself. “Oh, I just came to give you your coin,” she reminds him with a glint in her eye, and it takes every ounce of self-control Jaskier possesses to not sigh at that. “No protests, boy, we’ve been over this,” she chides him knowingly, and Jaskier grins.
He watches as Ewa places a leather bag of considerable size on the small table by the window, and once again the need to protest rises in him. This is too much! There is no fucking way he made all of that in just a few days.
Before he can speak, though, Ewa waves him off and sits down on a chair to watch him pack. It is obvious that there is something on her mind, and so Jaskier waits for her to find the right words while he finishes gathering his belongings.
“That woman of yours,” she begins, and Jaskier already wants to protest, because Yennefer of fucking Vengerberg sure as all hells is not a woman of his. Or anything of his, for that matter! No. Oh no, no, no. But Ewa continues before he can voice his various thoughts, “Is she safe to travel?”
She is not safe to do anything with, Jaskier’s mind supplies immediately, but he has a feeling that might not be what Ewa means. He frowns at her.
“Does she need rest first? Food? Some tea? She looks like she does.” The old lady sighs, and Jaskier’s confusion and, frankly, bewilderment, only grow by the second. Yennefer? Needing rest? No way. Surely not.
“Sorry, whom are we talking about here?”
“Black hair, dark eyes, beautiful, yet no one dares to sit close to her. A loner with a piercing stare,” Ewa explains, and yeah, okay, she’s been talking about Yennefer all along. “Strong. But I tell you, when she first stepped into this house all my instincts told me to give her a room and two days of rest. And a good friend for a bit of a cheer.”
Jaskier lets that sink in. There’s really nothing else to do now that his bags are packed, which is a bit of a shame, too. He likes having things to do with his hands, something to let his mind focus on. Something other than Yennefer, that is.
Now that he thinks of her, though, he gets the feeling that Ewa might be right. He deflates a litte. Maybe this is not about him after all.
“I don’t really think she has friends,” Jaskier offers lamely. “Let alone know what that concept even is.” He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, suddenly restless again. A hum. “She does look a bit tired, doesn’t she? Usually, she would have threatened to cut off my balls on three different occasions by now. Huh.”
Ewa smiles knowingly and nods. “Well, lucky that she has you now,” she offers ominously and Jasker actually almost loses it right then and there.
He physically has to take a step back and finds himself almost hysterical at the mere implication that he and Yennefer might be anything… well, anything! “Oh-ho, oh no, oh sweet Ewa, oh no. No way. Nope. Nuh-uh, that woman is not my friend. And even if I did have any sympathies left for her, I can promise you, my sweet love, that I am the last person on this blasted Continent that she would ever consider a friend. Oh no. We have a... well, a history and it is none of glory.” Jaskier is vaguely aware that he has resorted to wildly gesturing again, as old habits die hard, but a situation like this requires all the gesturing, all the dramatic flourishes, anything at all possible to underline just how much he and Yennefer are not friends or any sort of acquaintances.
Ewa rises from her chair, that kind smile still on her lips, though there is a trace of disapproval or potentially just fond exasperation in her eyes. Like she knows something he doesn’t and finds his lack of insight amusing. Which, yeah, fair chance.
“Julian,” she begins patiently, though Jaskier feels a lot like he is being scolded by his governess. “You of all people should know that if this were a story -- which it might as well be, mind you… If this were a story, then you can begin your tale wherever you like. And then what is past becomes nothing but prologue.”
Jaskier stares at her, because how dare she talk in such ominous yet wise words! How dare this wonderful old lady use his own best argument against him? Because, yeah, life is a story, and you get to choose how you tell it. Yennefer, though, is not a story. She’s a legend. And Jaskier is not sure if it’s not bad luck to mess with the stuff of legends. Of course, he can’t tell Ewa that, can’t just tell her who this woman with black hair and purple eyes is.
All he can do is sigh. Which, good, because he loves the dramatic effect it gives the half-hearted glare he shoots her. “This is still never going to happen,” he waves her off, a clear and strong implication that this is final, that he is done talking about this.
Of course, Ewa ignores it. Infuriating woman! With her all-encompassing kindness towards every stray and her determination to enforce it. Jaskier loves her with his whole heart, obviously.
“You never know,” she says, like she does know. “And even if she will forever be a stranger to you, dear Julian, let me remind you that for people like us, it is a high duty to take care of strangers.”
Jaskier frowns at the implication of her words, once more appealing to his deepest need to take care of people around him. Appealing to the artist in him, the storyteller, the bard. The one who distracts from the bad things in life and emphasises love and peace. It rubs him the wrong way, to have that used against him and in favour of Yennefer, who by the way would curse him all the way to hell if he even tried to console her in any way, let alone in his usual manner. But Ewa doesn’t know that. And she doesn’t fucking listen to what he can’t possibly say.
Frustration like this is something he hasn’t felt in a while, and he almost wants to welcome it like an old friend. Almost.
Instead, he meets Ewa’s eyes firmly, his hands resting on his hips adequately. “I ask you, do not waste time and energy trying to convince me that this woman needs, of all things, a bard in her life.” He just barely manages to suppress a scoff. Then wonders why he even bothered in the first place, and scoffs after all.
Ewa doesn’t deign his dramatics with any sort of reaction, just gets up from the chair and crosses her arms in front of her chest – a mirror of Jaskier’s own pose, he realises indignantly. “Frankly, I think we all need a bard in our lives. And a friend.” She raises her eyebrows and Jaskier feels how her eyes are piercing into his very soul. “Lucky if they’re the same person.”
“Ewa,” he sighs, though he does not have any sort of comeback. Nothing to say. Nothing to add. Because everything is already out in the open; there is no love lost between him and Yennefer, and even if there was, he certainly is the last choice for a friend she would make. Ever. At all.
He’s not even sure why he entertains Ewa like this. Nothing here is up for debate.
Apparently, graciously, finally, she raises her hands and relents. “All right, all rights. Let an old lady talk until she’s blue in the face, and all. I merely came to give you what’s rightfully yours, and to make sure everything’s all right, my dear.”
Jaskier softens and gifts her a grateful smile. “Thank you, darling,” he says gently but firmly, then walks over to where the leather sack is still resting on the table where she put it. Reaching for it, he empties about half of it on the table without looking at Ewa, then pockets the rest. Behind him, Ewa tuts but thankfully doesn’t comment further, possibly having realised that arguing with Jaskier is a battle not chosen wisely.
“Thank you, Julian,” she smiles gratefully once he has turned to her again. “For everything. The town has been lighter for your presence. I’ve seen more smiles in the past few days than I have in a while. And I’m sure that young boy you taught how to play that instrument of his will follow right in your footsteps,” she winks, and Jaskier chuckles.
“Yes, that he better does! There was talent in his fingers and a twinkle in his eye. That’s more than what I started with, let me tell you.”
Ewa nods and joins his chuckle. “He also has a sizeable heart, that boy. Like you. And I’m sure that wherever you go now will be blessed with the same light, I’m sure.”
Jaskier snorts but tries not to lose his glee, not with an audience so apparently invested in all his dealings and relationships. Okay, his smile does falter, he feels that, but makes up for it with a wink.
“Well, that’s unlikely,” he shrugs, aiming for nonchalance, then shoulders his bags and walks over to the door Ewa is now holding open for him. Bending slightly, he gives her a kiss to the cheek, and grins. “But I’ll blind them if I must.”
At Ewa’s grin, he feels something deep inside him settle. And he knows right then and there that he absolutely would do that.
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Downstairs, Yennefer is just finishing a glass of undoubtedly atrociously mediocre wine when Jaskier descends the stairs. Raising her eyebrows, she sets down the glass and rises from her bench.
“What took you so long?” she snaps in lieu of greeting, and Jaskier feels his undying love for her grow ever stronger.
“Sorry, love, but I had to convince the lovely innkeeper that we do, in fact, hate each other.” He smiles at her, makes it as flat as possible, void of all warmth. He is tired, frustrated, and not at all appreciative of the several turns this day has taken. He shouldn’t take it out on Yennefer probably, as she is only the messenger of sorts, but well. She never hesitated to take everything out on him, so maybe this is their thing. Their not-at-all-friends thing.
Yennefer shrugs and puts on her coat with a grace that fills Jaskier with a deep jealousy. Well, for her grace, and also for the fine fabric the coat is made of – it seems to shine in a deep black even in the dim light of the tavern in late afternoon. Furs and feathers keeping her warm against the harshest of weathers. Ugh. Once more, Jaskier finds himself mourning the loss of his fancy attire. The finest, warmest, most shining and sparkling and expensive fabrics to adorn his noble bottom.
If nothing else, it’s another thing he can bond over with princess Cirilla.
Which is what draws him back to the present where he finds Yennefer staring at him with an entirely bored, aloof, condescending tilt to her eyebrows. If he didn’t hate her so much, he would admire her expressive features – and she would undoubtedly put a curse on his vocal chords and threaten to castrate him if he implied something positive about her again. And then, out of spite and out of the sheer opportunity to annoy her further, he would lose what little is left of his sense of self-preservation, and shower her with compliments. Both genuine and back-handed.
Oh, what a terrifying yet refreshing thought.
“Bardling, you are even more in love with your own thoughts than I remember,” she drawls and turns to leave the tavern.
Jaskier frowns at her, because what the hell is that supposed to mean? He sputters as he follows her, affronted enough to not be filled with a sense of dread and apprehension upon leaving the inn. “I beg your most likely unavailable pardon?!”
Yennefer scoffs and doesn’t bother to hold the door for him, so that it almost slams in his face. If he weren’t so frustrated, he would almost appreciate the dramatics of that. As it is, though, he doesn’t.
“When you don’t waste the air you’re breathing with unnecessary syllables, you stare.” Yennefer explains, her strides long and sure, as though she has a certain destination in mind and doesn’t just want to get away from Jaskier as soon as possible. “And when you stare, I just know you’re wasting a sizeable amount of sanity by thinking. You’re talking less than I remember, but you think more, it seems. You’re your own best audience, I would guess.”
He’s sure she aims for sniding, cutting comments. But so far, she’s right. He has indeed developed a habit of losing himself in thought spirals. And being one’s own best audience would actually make an excellent line in a song, so he keeps that in mind, thanks. Thus, no witty comebacks here, just an acknowledgement of her words. Anything else would lead to further discussion, and while he loves that usually, discussing with Yennefer is a frustrating and, frankly, terrifying affair. So, he passes.
“Bold of you to assume I have any ounce of sanity left in me,” Jaskier murmurs instead, more to himself than to her. But he is regarded with an entirely not so charming snort nonetheless. Interesting. That sounded as genuine as it would get with Yennefer.
He follows her into a dark alleyway, no traces of sunlight reaching the deepest parts of it. The perfect place to safely portal out of this town, he supposes. He just barely resists the urge to look behind himself and make sure they’re not being followed, but he knows this would make them suspicious.
Yennefer stops abruptly and turns around to fix him with a scowl that somehow manages to look like she’s exceptionally bored. Yeah, okay, he still envies her for being able to look like that.
“Have you portalled before?”
“No?” What kind of a question is that?
“Good,” she says with no indication of actually being pleased. “Don’t puke on my dress or I’ll have your guts.”
Jaskier sputters, but before he can say anything more to that, or ask if she must really raise even more questions with every word that leaves her mouth, the sorceress creates a portal, and Jaskier is frozen to the spot in the face of it. Wind that has no source – well, other than sheer chaos probably – hits his face and whips through his hair, blowing it out of his eyes. A tiny reminder of what Yennefer is capable of.
The portal looks awfully unstable and wobbly and it crackles, and well, now that he’s really thinking about it, he’s not sure he really wants to join her. Sucks for the princess, but there is no way he’s going to survive–
Before he can voice any of those very pressing concerns, though, Yennefer rolls her eyes at him and shoves him a little.
“Age before beauty,” Jaskier offers lamely, then squawks when she shoves him again. Distantly, he is reminded of the trail up the mountain across that godsforsaken shortcut the dwarves led them to. “Alright, alright,” he murmurs and steps forward.
One moment he is in an unassuming town he can’t even bother to remember the name of, the next he’s… well, somewhere else. And his stomach is decidedly against the whole thing. He has to breathe through it and swallow a few times, moving to lean against the dark wooden planks of the closest wall. His legs feel funny and, okay, closing his eyes is definitely a bad decision.
Through the haze of sudden sickness, Jaskier is vaguely aware that he is standing inside the legendary, infamous castle of witchers. Any reverence and awe he would usually feel is replaced with the urge to keep the contents of his stomach precisely in there. Nausea is the worst! He would take being kicked in the face by angry elves over feeling nauseous any day.
Quietly, a voice in the back of his mind reminds him that, wait, shouldn’t it be impossible to portal into these walls? Huh. Well. Then again, there’s probably nothing that Yennefer can’t do. You know, except being kind to him.
A second later, the portal snaps closed the very moment Yennefer steps through with a lot more grace than he did. Again, Jaskier is in grudging awe of her. But feeling sick to his stomach is definitely still the more prominent feeling here. Ugh.
“Huh, you didn’t empty your guts,” the sorceress says, one perfectly shaped eyebrow raised. “Colour me impressed.”
“M-hm,” he croaks, not yet trusting himself to open his mouth.
She looks at him with amusement. “Let’s not do this again.”
“M-hm!” he nods emphatically and the amused twinkle in her eyes deepens. The sadist.
After graciously giving him a moment to breathe through his disgraceful portal sickness, Yennefer tells him to follow her. He does, and all he sees are more wood panelling and stone floors as they cross various corridors and heavy doors on the way to another somewhere. It’s very disorienting how everything looks the same.
Finally, she leads him to a heavy double door that is the first of its kind so far, so maybe he can remember that. The other remarkable thing about this room is how warm it is, a healthy fire lit in the hearth. And well, warmth is always welcome in Jaskier’s book, so he will definitely remember all the ways to get to this room. He already feels his stomach begin to settle at the warmth.
As he lets his curious eyes wander, he realises that this giant room must be something of a common room, a living area maybe. Carpets line the walls, and furs are spread out neatly on the floor. A large, semi-open kitchen area is to his right. This huge, warm room must be where the witchers spend most of their time. Brooding in company, he imagines.
His musings abruptly come to a halt as an old man with hard features appears from the kitchen area, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, drying his hands on a rag that has seen better days. Jaskier swallows. His hair is long and white, though it seems more from age than from his witchering business. A scar runs along his left eye, all the way from his eyebrow to his cheek. It gives him a harsh look, a hardness deeper than the steely expression he presents Jaskier with.
He has a vague idea of who this might be, following the tales he has heard.
“Ah, she found you,” the man says gruffly as he eyes Jaskier with what seems like a mix of suspicion and curiosity. “Though, I must admit, from what I’ve been told about you, I expected something more...” He trails off, and Jaskier feels an amused smile creep onto his lips.
“Flamboyant? Extravagant?” he offers with a tilt of his head. “Hmm, what else. Gaudy, maybe? Though that wouldn’t be my first choice.”
The man stares at him for a beat, then gives the tiniest of nods. “Yeah, something like that,” comes the gruff reply. “Nothing so plain.”
Jaskier winces in memory of his beloved doublets that could outshine everyone else in the room. In every room. Even at court! Ugh. “I had to give up on colour right along with my name and reputation, you see.”
“Hm. Probably a wise decision.”
“Yeah, well,” Jaskier shrugs, still not sure whether he should be delighted or insulted that people keep underestimating him. Always have, always will. Granted, it’s probably more of a chance than anything else once his ego manages to get over it.
“Vesemir,” the man says suddenly and holds out his hand. Jaskier takes it with a smile.
“It’s a pleasure,” he says and finds that he means it despite the man’s gruff exterior. And probably interior. Huh. Still holding the man’s hand, he hesitates. Then decides to stick with, “Julian.”
For the briefest of moments, he sees Vesemir’s eyebrows lift in surprise before he schools his expression to casual indifference. A look even more impressive than Geralt’s. He’s aware of the name Jaskier used to go by, then. Has probably heard something about him from either Geralt or Yennefer.
The mere thought makes him bristle at what they would have told the other witchers about who was coming into their home. Probably called him useless and annoying, which, okay, fair point. But he has no intention of being completely useless while living in someone else’s house – or castle, for that matter. His good manners forbid that, as do both his conscience and his compulsion to do something with his hands lest he goes mad.
So, he swallows and feels the need to defend himself a mere minute after meeting the man. Great. “Listen, Vesemir, I don’t know what exactly you heard about me,” he begins and the old man inclines his head a bit, his face unfortunately still unreadable. “And with Yennefer and Geralt doing the talking, I’m sure I don’t even want to know. But I just want to say that I’ll do everything in my power to help Cirilla. I’m here primarily for her, not for anyone else.” Vesemir looks like he wants to say something, but Jaskier cuts him off quickly. “However. If there is anything you need, anything I can do to, uh, help or something, I’ll do that, too. I’m not as useless as I may look – or be spoken about, indeed.”
He cuts himself off before more rambling can ensue. True to form, Jaskier!
Vesemir musters him again and the bard almost twitches in trepidation under the scrutiny. But he means it. Kaer Morhen looks like it would need every helping hand it could get. And, well, Jaskier has two.
Eventually, the man gruffs again, and it’s almost as impressive as Geralt’s grunts. “You look like a young man who has two healthy arms and legs still attached to his body. In my book, that’s all I care about. And if that mouth of yours can make the little cub smile, that’s a convenient bonus.”
And that’s the end of that, it would seem.
Jaskier smiles despite himself, glad to see that he is still fluent in Witcher-Speak and hears Vesemir’s declaration for what it really is: Welcome to Kaer Morhen.
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Geralt is watching Ciri as she goes through the parkour he’s set up for her for the third time in the late afternoon hours. Even though her eyes are hidden behind a blindfold, he knows that her face is blank. Like always. Her eyes no longer puffy and red-rimmed from secret crying, but instead from exhaustion. Despite that, her movements are precise. Clean, swift, calculated. As brisk as the breeze blowing through his hair, announcing cold days ahead.
It should make him proud, that single-minded focus of hers. But it doesn’t. He knows that she doesn’t sleep, at least not much. In the beginning, her cries and nightmares kept all of them awake most nights, but after Lambert made a comment about that a few months ago, she apologised for being a bother.
That was the last time she had spoken to any of them. And it breaks Geralt’s heart to watch her every morning at breakfast, not really looking at any of them. Eating just the barest amount to keep her strength. Training for the routine. Staying alive out of spite. Because she might as well conquer everything life is throwing at her instead of giving up now.
It pains him deeply to see her like this, but he is at a complete loss. This life, it is not suited for a child, let alone a princess. He has always known that. All he can do, all he knows to do, is to watch her. So that is what he does, while his throat closes up and his heart breaks for her a little more each passing day.
Since the very first day, a bone-deep guilt has been clouding his mind, and he can’t look at himself in the mirror. He can’t even look at Ciri without feeling wrong, helpless, guilty, a monster.
But he does look at her. Always. He has to keep her safe.
But now, months and months later, Geralt still feels like Ciri is slipping through his fingers, out of his control. Same as everything else. He would think he’d be used to it by now.
Turns out, he is not. And it hurts.
Watching her as she goes through the motions she has perfected over the past few weeks, blade perfectly in her hand like it belongs there, feet landing where she intends them to… Geralt finds he is petrified.
Because it is the words she doesn’t say that get replaced with perfectly aimed strikes. It is the tears she doesn’t show that get replaced with a balled first. It is the trauma, the confusion, the never-ending pain that gets turned into a weapon.
Inevitably, it is the human that gets lost in whatever it is that keeps her up at night.
She is too much like all of them, Geralt notices miserably. And she is only eleven years old. A child. A little girl. His little girl, as Destiny would have it.
But she deserves better than this, better than him, better than them. Better than anything they could possibly give her.
Ciri deserves Jaskier. Casting his eyes away from the girl’s practiced movements and into the sky, tinged in golden red clouds from the setting sun, Geralt hopes beyond hope that Yennefer manages to find Jaskier soon.
As if answering is silent prayers immediately, there is a new sensation, a bit out of place. The feeling of a heartbeat he hasn’t heard in what feels like an eternity.
Then the familiar sound of the heavy gate opening behind him rips him away from his thoughts. Geralt watches as Ciri masters the final stretch of the parkour with bravura, then he turns around and promptly finds himself petrified for a completely different reason.
Because there he is. Jaskier, trailing behind Vesemir silently, without any rambling or complaining or opining. Head up, face carefully blank, his eyes somewhere above his shoulder.
Geralt secretly prepared himself for this all day, but nothing could have ever prepared him for this. He’s not entirely sure what exactly he had expected, but it was certainly not the picture presented before him now.
He certainly hadn’t imagined Jaskier to look like this. The brightest, most hideously colourful clothes he used to favour apparently had to make way for dark, unassuming, washed out linen. If Jaskier in scarlet or in cornflower blue had been a sight to behold, nothing in the world could have prepared Geralt for the bard dressed in all black, the clothes hanging rather loosely from his shoulders, like they are too big for him. Geralt finds he is equally unprepared for the way Jaskier’s hair is slightly longer now than he used to wear it, slightly curly, falling into his eyes until he flicks his head a little so they can rest on his brow. There is a scruff on his cheeks, though it can’t be older than three days, and it is neatly trimmed – but still, it’s a far-cry from the clean shaven bard Geralt had known for all those years.
Jaskier looks… he looks good. So good. He still has those laugh lines around his eyes and they make something inside Geralt’s stomach settle. Knowing that, despite everything, they hadn’t been replaced with a perpetual frown lets the witcher breathe easier – for some reason or other he doesn’t care to examine too closely.
He is only vaguely aware that he is staring, but with the way his arms twitch at his sides, inexplicably wanting to reach out and pull the bard into a hug… staring really is the more bearable option.
Especially since Jaskier is staring right back, at least for a full seven seconds before he tears his eyes away and leaves Geralt feeling… something. Something bad. Bereft, maybe. Yeah, that does sound like a Jaskier-word. Hm.
Geralt swallows and forces himself to look away, to turn back around to where Ciri is still standing, blade loosely in her hand but the blindfold now resting around her neck. Looking at him, then at Vesemir and Jaskier, a slight frown between her brows. Geralt winces and hopes that this is going to end well for everyone.
“Well done!” he calls, forcing a smile onto his lips. “We’ll work on your guard more tomorrow.” She nods and Geralt once more can’t read her expression. He sighs silently before calling her over and turning back around to Vesemir and Jaskier.
He can do this. He can keep it together around Jaskier, he can get a grip of his racing thoughts and heart, he can ignore the despair that has settled in his stomach the very moment he held Ciri in his arms for the first time. He can ignore the sense of impending doom, he can be there for her, train her, watch her, save her.
He can do all of this with the scent of rose and amber and wood polish surrounding him, grounding and untethering him at the same time. Fuck, since when does Jaskier smell so good?
Since when does he look so good?
Since when–
Anyway. Anyway! Geralt can do this.
Jaskier looks up and meets his eyes again for the briefest of moments.
Fuck. He can’t do this.
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Jaskier can’t do this. Well, he can and he will, but see, he doesn’t want to. He did not wake up this morning expecting to see Geralt again, and now here they are.
And Geralt looks… tired. Exhausted, apprehensive. Constipated. If Jaskier were a lesser man, he would even go so far as to say Geralt looks a bit lost. Not just because he’s been staring at Jaskier a bit too long, though that is concerning as well. But it’s more than that. The way he holds himself, those broad shoulders all but slumped over, that perpetual frown a tad deeper than Jaskier saw it last, and the scruff on his cheeks a bit more prominent.
And that doesn’t even mention the deep, dark shadows under his eyes. Worse than the time Geralt was looking for a djinn and spat at Jaskier that he couldn’t fucking sleep. He looked tired then. Now he just looks lost.
Jaskier wants to go to him, wrap his arms around him and ask what is on his mind. He wants to take him to the nearest bed, push him under the covers and not leave the room until he is sure the witcher is finally getting some sleep. That wouldn’t even be the first time, he thinks, pictures of a shared room from what feels like a lifetime ago swarming his mind.
He grudgingly acknowledges that a part of him still wants to take care of the witcher. Still wants to make sure he is okay, has enough food, enough drink, enough coin. It’s not as large a part anymore as it used to be, thankfully, but it is one of the deepest, strongest, most innate parts of himself. And that is exactly the problem.
Jaskier sighs as the painfully familiar ache settles in his chest once more. He knew seeing Geralt again would do that to him, it was why he didn’t want to come. He doesn’t deserve that ache, but knows very well there’s no cure against it. Not even time and space have been enough. Or other lovers – and Melitele knows there have been enough of those.
“Greetings, Geralt,” he calls before his thoughts can continue their spiral out of control, and is acutely aware that it comes out much too cheerful to be genuine. Even someone like Geralt would no doubt pick up on it.
The witcher barely looks at him and grunts, the nuance of which Jaskier can’t seem to figure out.
“Well, guess we’re still not talking, then,” he mutters with an air of faux nonchalance, and resists the urge to bury his hand in the too-long sleeves of his black shirt. It’s a nervous habit he has cultivated over the course of the war, but he knows the witcher would recognise it for a sign of weakness, cowering, hiding. But Jaskier is not hiding. He’s over that.
Secretly, he is glad that Geralt barely regards him. That he doesn’t immediately recognise the meaning of the grunt, that he hasn’t memorised them as well as he thought he had. Maybe, just maybe, this whole endeavour won’t end in heartbreak again. Maybe he really doesn’t care about Geralt as much anymore and only has to get used to being around him again for the pit in his stomach to settle.
As he sets eyes on a young girl slowly approaching them, all thought of the witcher and his own feelings about the situation flee from his mind immediately. He identifies her as the fugitive princess of Cintra without a single trace of doubt, her unmistakable pale blonde hair still as bright as he remembers. She looks a lot like her mother, her hair tied back with a black leather band.
Jaskier whirls to her with a gentle smile, giving her every ounce of his undivided attention. “Ah, you must be young Miss Cirilla, then.”
“It’s Ciri,” Geralt grunts from behind him, and Jaskier doesn’t even try to hide the genuine irritation he feels.
“Oh, no, no, no!” He doesn’t turn around to Geralt, just stands up straighter and inclines his head a bit. Rolling his eyes for only the princess to see, he laments, “I will not be taken down the rabbit hole of brutish discourtesy quite so easily as everyone else.” He bends down slightly to make up for his height and mirthfully winks at her. “Us nobility, we have to stick together, do we not?”
Cirilla gives him a mildly confused but entirely intrigued look. Jaskier grins, realising he has got her hooked.
“Oh dear, where are my manners?” he gasps with a tad more exaggeration than he is used to, then takes a step back and bows before the girl. “Allow me to introduce myself, little Miss Cirilla. Julian Alfred Pankratz, Viscount de Lettenhove. Delighted and at your service.”
The princess, now finally in her element, returns his flourished bow with a perfect curtsy herself. Jaskier smiles gently at her, and his heart swells tenfold in his chest when he sees her return it. There is a glint in her eye now that he could swear was not there before.
Oh, he is going to treat her like the princess she is, he decides right on the spot. It is now his one mission in life to make her smile, to teach her to keep it, and to keep her safe. Nobody will hurt her as long as Jaskier is there to prevent it. And, oh, is he here. He is so here! Geralt might regret all of his life choices, Yennefer might want to curse him, hex him, mute him. Vesemir might… well, Jaskier doesn’t know what Vesemir or the other witchers might do, except maybe join Geralt in his pity party.
But Jaskier is here to stay. Until the princess doesn’t need him anymore. He has time.
He turns slightly to look at Geralt and Vesemir, but they seem to be frozen in the face of that scene. Especially Geralt. Jaskier would have expected him to roll his eyes at his dramatics, or even to chide him, to not call her a princess, to do or say something! But he doesn’t. He almost seems like a statue, only staring at Cirilla with something akin to wonder.
The princess, in turn, is still looking at Jaskier with an intrigued half-smile, like he’s a new puzzle for her to solve. Well, maybe she would like to share her findings on that with him someday in the future. The past few years brought along one identity crisis after another.
“Now, Miss Cirilla,” he adresses her with a dramatic expression of high expectation. “Please tell me you have more regard to music than these two philistines who probably don’t know a ballad from a sea shanty.”
Another almost-smile and a nod, though not as jerking as he expected. Progress.
What’s more is that Jaskier can’t help but be delighted that he might have found a willing audience in the princess.
“Wonderful! Now, would you mind joining me inside so I can settle in and then tell you the story of how Geralt reacted with barely a grunt of acknowledgement to one of my most famous, and, dare I say, most brilliant ballads? No, wait, he actually did say more. He accused me of lying. Lying! Preposterous! Appalling, I tell you, my dear! Oh, or how about the story of my accidental lute-acquisition? Which, funnily enough, is directly linked to the other story. Would you like to hear about that? Heroics and adventure! Even friendship and love. I have the best of stories, believe you me, little Swallow.”
He pauses to look down at the girl walking next to him for any sort of reaction, ready to apologise for imposing on her time and peace of mind like that. But the tiny real smile sitting on her lips stops him. Her eyes are cast downward, her smile secret. Like she is trying it on for the first time in a while. There is still that unmistakable tension in her shoulders, but hidden behind the strands of long hair that have come loose from her ponytail, he can definitely see a smile.
Jaskier’s heart grows ten times its size and in that moment beats only for her. He decides on the spot that nothing in his life has ever mattered more than making this little girl smile. Making her happy and making her see the good things in life is now his first and only mission.
And if showing her the light means blinding the others, then so be it.
---
Masterpost | Next Chapter
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magicman111 · 27 days ago
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Amphibia AU --  ‘Quisling Marcy’ aka ‘what if Marcy *was* in cahoots with Andrias?’
Whelp, someone was gonna do this at some point so it looks like it’s gonna have to be me.
Marcy doesn’t just betray Anne, the Plantars, Sasha, etc. In this AU, she sells out all of humanity. She was still somewhat manipulated by Andrias, but here, she isn’t simply duped. She’s in proper cahoots with him.
Okay, so this is gonna require some changes to the show’s background.
In this setting, it was a clan of humans who first travelled to Amphibia and who created/brought the box with them. How did they create this wonderous box? Through making a deal with a demonic yellow triangle who does appear to exist at least in the show’s mythos.
With their allyship, Andrias and his friends created the greatest civilisation in Amphibia from the ground up. When the box was stolen by presumably a Plantar ancestor, the humans chased after them, leaving Andrias completely abandoned and their place in history eventually lost to the sands of time.
So Marcy goes through the same emotional turmoil of not wanting to be alone after her parents inform her they’re moving. She steals the box and transports herself, Anne and Sasha to Amphibia for the same canonic reason.
However, when we get to the point where she and Andrias “discover” the secret passageway, that’s where she begins to learn the truth of her own heritage. Here, not only does she find out about Andrias’ “explorer ancestors” but her own.
She is a descendant of the original humans who visited Newtopia. The ones who chased after Sprig and Polly’s ancestor back to Earth.
Andrias begins filling her head with stories and ideas of “spreading the glory of Newtopia to other worlds” and how this could be her and her friends’ destiny as the wielders of the gems.
Andrias: “Can’t you see, Marcy? You didn’t find the box by accident. You were always meant to.”
So now jump ahead to when Marcy reveals the truth in the wake of the Rebellion and Adrias pulling the rug underneath everyone’s feet.
Marcy: “It didn’t start off this way... I did it for us.”
Marcy becomes increasingly erratic and unhinged the more she explains what she did and why. While in the show, Marcy was desperately trying to justify her actions, here she’s attempting to justify something even more horrific and is steadily coming apart in front of everyone.
She says Andrias will leave Earth in “their stewardship”, which means they “can lead the Earth together and make things the way they should be. And they’ll now never have to be apart.”
When she stands in front of the mural of Andrias flanked by pretty wicked looking humans and claiming it’s “their destiny”, cue Grime whispering to Sasha,
Grime: (hushedly) “Okay, Red Flag.”
But of course, Anne and the others are not interested and are even more creeped out and aghast by Marcy’s actions than in canon. So when the battle breaks out, Marcy is forced to fight against them.
Okay, so this is already pretty bad, what Marcy has done. How can we take it up a notch? Let’s press the forward wind button for a few minutes, shall we?
Andrias: “Not so fast! You all have spunk, real chutzpah. But this ends now. Marcy...?”
(He steps aside to reveal Marcy on the  ledge in front of the shattered window pane, holding a struggling Sprig in her grasp)
Anne: “SPRIG!”
Sprig: “Guys! Don’t listen to these bullies! I’ll be fine!”
Andrias: “We’ll see.”
Marcy: “Put back the Box, or I’ll do it! I’ll--I’ll...” Anne: “You wouldn’t dare!”
Marcy: “I gave you this, Anne, and I can take it all away! Now put the Box Back!!”
(Marcy is now holding Sprig dangerously close to the outside ledge. All she has to do now is let go)
Sprig: “Anne, don’t!”
Anne: ... Polly, do what they say.”
(Polly puts the box back and the flying castle stabilizes. The Frobos take Polly and return her to the group and she hugs the remains of her fallen friend)
Polly: “Frobo...”
Anne: (to Andrias) “Okay, dude, you have what you want. Now please, just let him go. He’s my best friend. In this world or any other world.”
(After Anne says this, Marcy’s cheeks flush red and she starts hyperventilating in rage. Sprig notices this) Sprig: “Uhh, Anne...?”
Andrias: “That’s the thing about friends, isn’t it? The more you love them, the more it hurts when they go. Allow me to demonstrate.” (he looks down and gives Marcy a look to say “do it”)
(Marcy growls and without having to be asked twice flings, not drops, flings Sprig out the window)
Now this is the part in this AU where Sasha really comes into play and gets actively involved in her road to redeeming herself. On the journey to Newtopia, Marcy allowed her pilot Joe Sparrow, really letting her get a feel for riding him. When she led the Rebellion, she had the Toads take Marcy’s notes so she could learn quicker how to use the Box.
Sasha is the one who jumps out the window and calls Joe. She’s the one who rescues Sprig. And she’s the one who, after Anne curbstomps Andrias, swips the Box and just about got it to work and open the portal. Grime is the one who stays behind to hold Andrias off, yelling at her to go while she can.
When Marcy sees them making a break for it, seemingly abandoning her, she utterly. Freaks. Out.
Anne: “Sasha, hurry!”
Sasha: “Wait, where’s Mar—“
VHIRSCHT!!
Marcy is the one who impales Sasha from behind in a fit of desperation to stop them. Sasha weakly apologises to Anne for all she’s done before falling to the ground.
Marcy stands there before them, bug-eyed and stricken with horror. Her hand covers her trembling mouth. She drops her glowing sword, its hideous orange glow lighting up the bottom half of her face.
She looks from it, to Anne and the Plantars and to Sasha.
Then she starts to laugh, which quickly turns into crying, and then into a hideous combination of the two while her hands run up through her hair. The realization of what she’s done, on top of everything else has now well and truly broken her.
Sasha, on the floor, uses her last ounce of strength to hit the right button on the box, and kickstarts whatever comes next in Season Three. ... phew. That was actually pretty fun, I’m not gonna lie. Who knows? Maybe I’ll think of more to add to this as time goes on, or heck, if you wanna contribute or expand upon this, please be my guest.
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fyodarling · 28 days ago
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˗ˏˋ Naive ˎˊ˗
❱ pairing : Fyodor Dostoyevsky & Archivist!Reader ❱ word count : 600 +
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You glanced up from your statement as Fyodor walked in the office, how long had it been since you had agreed to work together? A year maybe, you weren’t entirely sure, but either way it brought a strange sense of comfort. It had been so long since you’d actually worked with other people, properly that is, on a regular basis. There was a strange comfort in the company of the Russian man, you had even gone from drinks once.
“Am interrupting you?” he asked, glancing at the running tape recorder next to you, a sight Fyodor had learned to become accustomed to.
“No I was just finishing up,” you said, folding the statement back up into it’s envelope, “a rather nasty case this one, but nothing you’d have to worry about.” You were tempted to add “hopefully” though perhaps that would have been a bit to morbid.
Fyodor merely nodded, he’d pushed once with a statement, and you’d showed it to him, in all it’s horrific glory, it only heightened his strange fascination in you. There was something about your mere presence that made him want to spill his darkest secrets, his life story, every horrific and traumatizing thing he’d both seen and caused. He never did of course, he was no fool. But then again, it was always there, that temptation just in reach. It seemed oddly fitting with your aesthetic, from your lighter covered in the designs of an eye, to the eye shaped pendant around your neck, you had so many little trinkets with the symbol - an oddity he wasn’t quite sure he could explain, nor something he was sure he wanted to know.
“I need you to look into someone,” he said, handing you the file.
Taking it and opening it, you riffled through the file, “I’ll make sure to keep an eye out,” you smiled not bothering to keep your amusement out of your tone.
“Was that a joke?” the russian asked, glancing at you with a look of cynicism. 
“Yes, much like your god,” you said offandly, leaving the dumbfounded russian to stare at you a look of pure horror and shock on his face as you reached under your desk looking for a pen you had dropped earlier. Straightening up you met his eyes, a long pause hanging in the air before you spoke again, “oh I said that out loud didn’t I?”
‘Yes!” Fyodor snapped, rather offended.
“Well in my defence, you have your god, I have my patron, so it’s all fine.”
“Your what?” The russian snapped, how could you insult him in such a horrific manner? But there was also the question of your own patron, what were you doing now? Practicing satanism? He wouldn’t quite put it past you to be frank.
“My patron,” you said off handedly, “the Eye, Beholding, The Ceaseless Watcher, It Knows You, whichever name it prefers. I’m the archivist, and therefore it’s avatar, think of Lovecraft if you will. Eldritch beings need to stick together after all, though honestly I wouldn’t really recommend it.” Your tone was so casual, and you spoke to him as if this was entirely normal, which only heightened his confusion and well, his discomfort and hatred.
“How do I know you aren’t lying?” he said, there was simply something about the concept of a god who wasn’t his own, that made anger fester within him, something that made hatred and dare he say fear stir in the pit of his stomach.
You laughed, and suddenly, your tone held the static and crackle of a corrupted tape record, something that was horribly wrong to come from any human’s mouth. Your eyes were a horribly toxic green, the colour sharp, glowing like the eye that appeared to hover over your forehead, perfectly symmetrical, staring at him unblinkingly. “I said what I said didn’t I?” your voice crackled with static and echo, “it’s best not to think about it, but don’t tell me, did you really think that abilities were the only strange thing about this world?”
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dreamer-hyun · 28 days ago
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all the lights that lead us there (are blinding)
| mlqc | shaw |
vague spoilers for ch.20+ content
he can't stay still. not really. his mind's always crackling with something some staticky noise that won't ever go— he tries to ignore it, lose himself in his music, his graffiti, his boarding, the play of electricity across his fingers late at night.
It starts like this: he's on the 330 bus at a hellishly early hour, listening to oasis's wonderwall (though he'll never admit it), the volume on his mp3 player turned up as loud as it can possibly go. just him, liam gallagher crooning in his ears, skateboard under his arm, the bass and drums thrumming through his veins like thunder.
correction: it's just him, the quaking wheels of the bus, and the girl who just got on— she's petite, delicate-looking, the kind of person he guesses is into pastels and flowers and gives people like him judgemental stares when they don't think he's looking. but when he stares at her, she stares back and for a second, it almost looks like the world could begin or end in her wide brown eyes. and maybe he wants it to.
(somehow, she seems familiar.)
he looks away first. static crackles around maybe you're gonna be the one who saves me.
and it's stupid but— 
he's on the same bus every day. maybe he looks for her whenever he gets on. maybe he never sees her.
he cycles through the rest of what's the story morning glory. stops listening to oasis. vows to go back to something his bandmates wouldn't laugh at him for.
he's waiting for the bus again, same route, same time, same driver, blasting green day as loud as it'll go.
he closes his eyes. leans his head back against the sun-flecked window, cradles his skateboard close.
the bus rattles, coughs exhaust, then jerks to a stop. the doors woosh open, woosh shut.
footsteps tap light on the linoleum floor, come to a stop close to him. he doesn't move. then static fizzles and pops loud in his ears, billie joe armstrong's voice stutters, jarring, discordant, wrong
he opens his eyes, and it's her.
her and her wide eyes.
the bus jolts, his skateboard slides, and he catches it before too much damage can be done, but she levels that stare at him, bleeding-hearted dreamer's stare, looking like she wants to save the world, bring all the sinners to justice, his skateboard too, and for a moment he forgets himself.
he makes it rain for her.
gives her the umbrella on a whim.
maybe he wants her to save the world,
maybe he wants her she to save him,
he thinks she could. he thinks she will.
she does.
only, she's as self-sacrificing as he's selfish: didn't think you were a saint, he thinks to himself, the world ending, starting anew around him, time loops bending, universes shifting, floating in and out of focus.
he closes his eyes against every universe's, every timeline's final scene: her body limp as a rag doll's, her blood spreading dark and heavy across the war torn warehouse floor.
didn't think you were a hero, either.
the world's wrong, after. he thinks (stupidly, irrationally, immature, caring in a way he hasn't been in a long, long time) that he should've done more— all he's done is give her an umbrella. for rain and a storm he'd caused. it should've been him, at the end of it all.
though in a world where he's certain he's the only one who remembers her, he isn't really sure if she remembers him.
she doesn’t quite. then she does.
didn't think you looked a hero, he says, one late night over STF documents. her hands stiffen around her pen, her eyes narrow, glitter hard and bright to match it.
what do I look like, then, she asks, voice too-soft, too-calm
he falters. they have a balance, normally. he pushes. she pushes back. this time, he knows: he's gone too far.
what do I look like, she repeats, and her voice is still hard, her eyes still glittering, but there's an undercurrent to the ice, something thinning it, making her hardness fragile,
a savior, he says, near instinctively, and pretends not to notice when she nods, looks back down at her pen, and a tear slides down her cheek, splatters dark against the paper's white.
they come together, in fits and starts:
a warning text she ignores.
an insult. then another.
then, slowly, finally. an uneasy partnership.
it starts like this:
he takes her hand, pulls her onto the stage with him. it's hard to tell with the club's flickering lights. but he thinks she's blushing. it's cute. he's not afraid to admit it. he tries to tell her as much, but it's lost between the pounding of the speakers and the roar of the crowd. he settles for another devil-may-care smile.
what's your favorite song?
what?
I said, your favorite song!
you told me you'd tell me information. important information! that's why I came!
your favorite song, he repeats for a third time, even louder. maybe it'd be annoying if it were anyone else, but he'll say it again: she's cute with that pout. 
then, hastily, as her pout deepens:
it's important information! in exchange, you'll learn how good my band is.
she snorts.
play anything, she says, and he finds his fingers straying over the strings of his bass to pluck out the opening notes of wonderwall. he doesn't dare look up to watch her expression 'til the chorus hits.
she sings along.
she looks happy. wistful happy. and maybe her smile's a little sad, and there's a glisten in her eyes when they lift to meet his, but the smile's for him, the way her gaze lingers is proof, and he'll take any smile he can get from her, no matter how sad.
oasis, huh, he says after. I knew it. your taste in music sucks.
she scoffs and reaches a hand up to knuckle his sweaty forehead, hard. he lets her. he'll take this, too.
later, he stretches a hand out, catches a raindrop, surveys it, then shrugs, half to himself. sure, it's cool to roll up to people like yeah I can cause storms (not to mention it's a hell of a handy evol in a fight) but maybe he's being stupid because when he sees her sad smile he wishes his evol could clear the clouds and bring her sunshine back instead.
he does the next best thing: he teases her. and maybe it makes her huff and pout more times than not, but it makes him happier which is really half the battle. and he's sure that behind some of those scoffs are smiles.
between their trading of barbs (always dry, quippy, light, never meant to hurt) she just goes quiet. he doesn't like quiet. he's not used to it, and from the look in her eyes when she gets that way, he can tell she doesn't like it either.
you can talk about it, you know, he says one time, and she freezes, blank stare instantly shifting to a deer-in-headlights look, then annoyance. 
talk about what?
(atta girl, he thinks. sure it's defensive, but nothing scares him more than when she's just— nothing. lifeless. trapped in the past of a time worlds away.)
he scoffs. 
your terrible taste in music? i meant— before
(and they both know what 'before' is without him having to say it aloud, saying it feels like it'd make it all the more real, it'd be wrong)
her eyes are wide again.
before? she says, and he feels it stretching between them, that distance, the void, the reminder that she and him, they don't have a before, only a now, maybe an after.
we need to talk about your taste in music, too, though. urgently, he adds quickly, musters a grin. waits for the scoff, the eye roll to come.
it doesn't. instead, she reaches up to ruffle his hair with a cheeky smile before he can react.
you're a good boy, after all, aren't you, hm?
he scowls. he goes to grab her hand, wind her fingers through his, but realizes what he's about to do seconds before his fingers brush hers— he changes trajectory, attends to his mussed hair. (there's an art to the rebel hairdo. clearly she doesn't know it.)
and he would retort, but she's still looking at him, and her smile's gone all soft, not in a sad way, but in a way that just. does things to his heart,
so when she says 'thank you,' all he can say back is 'you're welcome,' and if he sounds more sincere than he's ever before, she doesn't notice, but he is.
he's not sure when their relationship—  reluctant alliance, friendship, more shifts, but it does, it evolves, it jumps— two steps forward, sparks fly, and they're back in the same place as before. same, he says, as if lightning could ever strike the same spot twice (he knows it does, he's not stupid, not like she is, eyes so bleeding heart wide they could swallow the world in her idealism, her kindness, they could and they will, after all, they've already swallowed him, remade him whole).
his days are filled with her, his nights, too. all the restless hours the clock strikes and neither of them wants to be alone,
bus rides at strange hours and electric eye contact across a crowded club after dark (he's tuning his guitar, about to take the stage, she's sitting alone at the end of the bar, two shots away from drunk) neon lights and drive-throughs before the dawn for hangover fast food, a tired employee's voice crackling through the speaker as he tries to give the order of the whole minivan— most nights it's him and the rest of his band, but once it's just him and her, sunrise after a sleepless night at the top of an empty parking garage, he gives her a can of spray paint and pretends to drive away while she runs after the banged-up van and tries to tag him, the studio and snacks and out-of-character honesty after waking up from nightmares
(it catches him by surprise, even as her brows curve up in surprise, too. the you can stay as long as you want, even though what he means is you can stay forever.)
she's sprawled clumsy across the faded cushions of his couch, halfway to dreamland, when he catches himself reaching to brush the hair from her eyes, thumb tracing tender over the edge of her cheek.
she murmurs something under his touch, soft, indistinct, and his heart's responding murmurs give his voice to a near-unconscious reply,
maybe, he whispers, you're gonna be the one who saves me,
he's about to leave her be when her finger catches round his pinky, holds his hand close,
save me? you already have, she says, 
shut up, he says back, you're drunk.
her eyes blink open, spark bright when they lift to meet his and he's falling, he's already gone, about to make another mistake to add to the many or the one right choice in his life
not drunk, she mutters, and her eyes shutter closed.
he swallows.
I know, he replies. her brow furrows.
he waits a second, a second longer, but her eyes stay closed this time. her breathing evens in the silence. the worry smooths out from between her eyes. she looks peaceful for once,
for once, he could almost imagine her happy. imagine them happy. the thought gives him courage again, to linger at her side. to lean in. to press his lips to the back of her hand.
makes it a promise, an oath sworn by someone who'd never once wanted to be loyal to anyone but himself,
someone who'd decided that there's someone he's willing to follow.
someone he wants to have. to hold.
(all the world's adventures and he wants to be hers.)
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thewriterfriends · 28 days ago
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BALLS, CERTAINLY NOT AT ANY COST
SardarSohan Singh and his family had shifted to Chandigarh. Suddenly, I had lost two close friends. Loss of company of Goga hurt me because suddenly my daredevilry and my pranks had come to a standstill because one needs a partner in such escapades. Anyone who has read the adventure blog will vouch for it. We didn’t need to read the books to plan our adventures but there’s no fun in them unless you have a partner if not many. Since Pali was elder to us and as I have said that he was different, he wasn’t our partner but his resourcefulness was important to our plans. He never questioned us why we needed what we asked him to get because he understood that the children have their needs and intrinsically they don’t like to discuss their projects or divulge the details to others who are not a party to their plans. That is because it entails a risk of a secret becoming an ‘open secret’ and parents have sharp ears and prying eyes. In addition to that, there are spies in the shapes of innocuous-looking young kids who you think have no interest in your games. Maybe, they are not interested in your games but they are the spies- real ears and the eyes of the parents. And if you think that you can buy their silence or their favour by bribing them with marbles, rare empties of cigarette packs, or even priceless pictures of the cricketers, then you are badly mistaken because they are the future voters and they are as shrewd as they come. They will take the bribe and still do what they set their mind upon. Though they also have many uses, like they can be ordered to do your bidding. They can be scolded for being sloppy and they serve as the best assistants when you need extra hands for executing an important task that requires extra hands. But they cannot be sent as emissaries to other peoples’ homes. Parents are as wary of it as they were when we were growing up although the world that we grew up in wasn’t as depraved as it is now. Still, it wasn’t as virtuous either, but then there were demons even the times of Lord Rama and Krishna too. Parents didn’t like their children to go to the homes of the people not know to them and going to the homes of the strangers or talking to them was prohibited.
I wasn’t gifted like Pali in devising methods for acquiring balls nor was I as daring, but after his family left Shimla the tough task of arranging the balls fell upon me because I was the Captain of the Mohalla team and as they say, the show must go on, the game couldn’t be given up. We thought of pooling our pocket money but “Takkas” that we got as daily allowance didn’t add up to much even if the contributions were continued for months. I decided to ask the team members to get donations from their parents like the school authorities would ask us to get from them whenever floods or famine, hit some part of the country.
We knew how they grumbled, winced, and protested but they paid. So, I lectured to my teammates,
“Parents are habituated to throwing tantrums. ”Abusing, cursing, scolding and saying ‘No’ at the outset is essential to good parenting I said, but obstinacy on part of the children, their persistent, steadfastness, whining often pays. I said, “If necessary, you can shed some crocodile tears too. “Try whatever you may have to do, but by next Sunday, if you want to continue to be the part of this team whose popularity is on the rise, you must get a contribution of five rupees each.” “This is the minimum that you should accept from them and because they tend to bargain, start by asking a higher amount, so that it may appear to them that you are grumblingly agreeing for five, but don’t agree for anything less than this.”
“We will start by buying a new ball and then add on other important gear like pads and guard etc.” I said, “The reputation of the team depends on how well it is equipped and the word spreads like wildfire.” “The team that has started getting requests for being played against from as far off places as Lower Kaithu is knocking at the doors of the state-level authorities for recognition and I am sure that some of you budding players will get included in the Ranji Trophy team of Shimla whenever our glorious town gets a chance for having its team and is asked for sending a team for inter-state matches.”
I saw the smiles spreading on all the young faces looking up at me. Their eyes were shining with hope but when my eyes fell on their Hawaichappals and tattered shoes, my own hope fell. However, my confidence in our ability to reach the pinnacle of glory in that quaint Himalayan town soared as if propelled by my own words in our praise. Our team comprised of the boys from the middle class and the poor strata of the society but they were inducted purely on merit. Even Khushal Chand the son of Jiya Lal, who cleaned our toilets was a proud member of our team. I didn’t hear from the teammates about how their struggle for getting five rupees, a formidable sum in those days, was going with their parents as I had my own battle to fight, until Sunil confronted me one day. Sunil was my classmate. He is a member of this group and sometimes reads my posts and may read this too. I don’t know if he remembers it or not. His younger brother, Kapil was one of my teammates. (I heard from him some time ago passed away two years ago.)
“ Haanbhaibahutdehshatfailarakhihai tune.” Yes buddy, you have spread quite a scare, he said. I got his point and smiled. His brother must have been pestering the parents for money as the effect of my speech seemed to have affected him severely. I said, “The contributions are voluntary, not compulsory”, but I realized that making the team a star team of Shimla will be difficult, although it was a “star-studded” team, unfortunately, it was cash-strapped.
I hadn’t got any coaching in the game, but I was good at it or so I thought. Illusion about my own ability has been my driving force. Our neighbour Mr. Raj played for the A.G. office. Their team had a good reputation in the town. They played matches with other local teams on Sundays. I got a chance of playing as one of their team as he used to take me along wherever they played. I played against some teams at Annandale Ground and at BCS when we played against them. I was a young lad of 14-15 years of age and was increasingly becoming aware of the hormonal changes taking place inside me. One Mr. K- of A.G. office team told me that he had some old balls with him at home and he would be happy to give me those. Mr. Raj might have spoken to him about our constant need for the balls. I was delighted at his graciousness and agreed to visit his apartment for collecting those on the following Sunday.
I hard learned about some people being gay but the world still looked pretty safe to the children growing up in the last century. I shouldn’t be saying this with this degree of certitude because a thought of another incident that occurred a few years before this with me has come to mind. I will tell you about that some other time, but being gay is one thing and stalking and trapping the children for realizing one’s perversions is quite another thing. I didn’t know that there were wolves in sheep’s clothing. I reached his apartment at Lower Kaithu in the afternoon.  It was a summer day and he opened the door in response to my knock after getting up from the bed, where perhaps he was taking the afternoon siesta.
The room was small and it was brilliantly warmed up by the sun as the side of the room facing the west had glass panes all over. After opening the door he went and sat on the bed again. As there were no chairs in the room, at least none in my sight, he asked me to sit on the bed. I don’t know if he had any chairs or they had been removed by him. He sat himself in the semi-reclining position with one arm resting on the knee of the leg drawn up while the other leg lay flat on the bed. What struck odd to me was that he was in his undergarments and he hadn’t chosen to put on Pajamas or pants after I entered the room. Though I was a young boy in my early teens, I had learnt enough about human anatomy through analogies drawn with the animals in the General Science books and nature had taught me some through raging testosterones in my testicles. This was fortified with a lot of other data collected in my head through the exchange of information with peers and friends. His sitting in the bed without even a Lungi certainly appeared as indecent behaviour to me.
He asked me if I had a girlfriend and whether I had done anything with her. That was a grey area. My knowledge was limited to hearsays and I could neither brag nor lie. I shook my head. I wasn’t sure about what and how to do, because I knew it wasn’t as simple as was made out to be in the General Science book with a male frog riding on top of the female and pressing her body. The details were sketchy and the scope of enlightenment was lost to us on the day it was being taught in the school by Mr. Hastir, because of the mischief played by Surinder on Upinder at the wrong time. But neither through the book and nor from the peers and friends had I learnt about the male wanting to do it with a male. I had the knowledge of a common cuss word “G&^*u” that we used liberally in the language spoken among the friends, but that was used for someone who was dimwit-stupid. It would be wrong on my part if I say that I was ignorant about it, but truthfully all I knew then was that this if done was more for the purpose of demonstrating brute force or instilling fear and drawing rather sadistic than carnal pleasures.
He put his hand around me and tried to draw me closer in an attempt to kiss me. I pushed him away. I was surprised to notice a stir in his underwear. A tiny drop had wet it too. I was not interested in any of this. Though there had been some attempts on me at some previous occasions, one of which I mentioned in my posts here, but to bargain my “Izzat” for getting some old cricket balls was a bit too much. I got up from the bed and moved towards the door. He realized that he had approached the wrong guy and so for making some amends, he broke into fake laughter and said, “ Bholetu, tebura mana laya” ( Bhole (Bhola Is my pet name)- you got offended). I didn’t answer. He got up and pulled out two old balls from the cupboard and gave them to me. I returned a fake smile, meaning that I will ignore all that happened between us and as a kind of payback for his goodwill gesture minus the largesse he wanted to give along with a set of those old used balls.
An interesting piece of text that I recently read in the book “Hilly Billy Elegy” about a sure test of finding if one was gay or not was told to the writer J.D. Vance by his grandmother when as a child he was overcome by a fear that he was perhaps gay because he had no girlfriend and his best friend was a boy and the..He say:-
I’ll never forget the time I convinced myself that I was gay. I was eight or nine, maybe younger, and I stumbled upon a broadcast by some fire-and-brimstone preacher. The man spoke about the evils of homosexuals, how they had infiltrated our society, and how they were all destined for hell absent some serious repenting. At the time, the only thing I knew about gay men was that they preferred men to women.
This described me perfectly: I disliked girls, and my best friend in the world was my buddy Bill. Oh no, I’m going to hell.   I broached this issue with Mamaw, confessing that I was gay and I was worried that I would burn in hell. She said, “Don’t be a fucking idiot, how would you know that you’re gay?” I explained my thought process. Mamaw chuckled and seemed to consider how she might explain to a boy my age. Finally she asked, “J.D., do you want to suck dicks?” I was flabbergasted. Why would someone want to do that? She repeated herself, and I said, “Of course not!” “Then,” she said, “you’re not gay. And even if you did want to suck dicks, that would be okay. God would still love you.” That settled the matter. Apparently, I didn’t have to worry about being gay anymore. Now that I’m older, I recognize the profundity of her sentiment: Gay people, though unfamiliar, threatened nothing about Mamaw’s being. There were more important things for a Christian to worry about.
In the 1960s the verb sucking could only be understood in the pretext of sucking the nipples as a part of foreplay while indulging in the act with the legally acquired wife and that too with the lights off. I think it was not expected of them and was neither offered as a bonus by the consenting wives in gratitude to the husbands they genuinely loved. I doubt if there were such husbands who fitted the bill and the wives who were willing to please them in bed. At least until I was an active part of the productive society, I never heard of any such things from people I knew, but to think that such camaraderie existed between willing male partners was normal or will become normal somewhere down the line was beyond the imagination of a straight kid who had been brought up in a conservative town tucked in the Himalayan hills.
As an Indian, it is impossible for me to think that such a conversation can take place between any members within the family and I can’t even imagine that any elder can be approached for alleviating such fears and of all the people a grandmother can speak such words to a child of nine years of age.  Maybe it can happen in American homes only. Now when the whole world is becoming sensitive to the needs of LGBTs, perhaps the parents can broach subjects with the children but back in the 1960s, I wonder how such people came to terms with their singularities.
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vemazing · 29 days ago
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shock & delight | 4 of 6
Thor: Ragnarök | Thor x Reader x Loki
→ read: part one | part two | part three
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Summary: Things finally get heated between you and Thor. The Grandmaster enjoys it.
Warnings/Info: Warning; **SMUT** ahead! | Fingering, oral sex (female and male receiving) ~ I was high on edibles for one half of this chapter and had a lot of fun writing this. Hope you enjoy it too! (:
Tagging: @aubageddon91 @arlo-sanders​
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You stand by the panorama window, longingly staring down at the display of freedom below. If you can call it that with a lunatic ruling over it. Still, anything would be better than being imprisoned on an alien trash planet like Sakaar. This is how every caged animal must feel.
Your “roommate” has been keeping himself busy by working out since breakfast and you keep wondering if not putting on a shirt was a) necessary or b) fully intentional just to mess with you.
You heave a sigh and feel eyes on you again. Thor’s piercing glance has been on you since you two have gotten out of bed. Yes, you have somehow ended up sleeping in his arms, and yes, you might have felt his morning glory press up against your thigh. Just deal with it, that’s what you keep telling yourself.
It just makes you wonder what will become of you now; you have certainly gotten closer, both on an emotional and physical level. Thor makes you feel safe and comfortable, something no man has ever achieved in your past relationships. Furthermore, no man has ever looked like him, but you’re willing to let that fact slide as an impossibly high standard.
And yet you keep reminding yourself that he is a god, a king to be, and you are, well…you. A human; one with above-average skills thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D., but -
“You know, I do enjoy seeing you in these dresses, little one. They suit you well”
You purposely stay facing the window as you try to hide the bashful smile on your lips though you fear the sudden blush creeping up your neck up to your cheeks will soon give you away.
“I hope that was not too forward of me to say, Y/N. I ap –“
“Don’t”, you cut in, swiftly turning on your heels.
Thor stops, mid-sit up, observing you curiously.
“You’re not too forward. I mean, you were naked, and we slept in the same bed, so –” You laugh self-consciously, suddenly feeling awkward as he shoots you an ambiguous smile.
“Well, I very much enjoyed that too”, he says forthright and gets off the floor. His abs and pecs flex with every deep breath he draws, and his piercing gaze fixes on you, estimating you, as you lick your lips unconsciously at the sight he presents. Mesmerizing, like a perfectly chiseled Greek marble statue, stolen straight from a museum and placed in front of you for your personal entertainment. Or torture.
“Hmm”, is the only sound you’re able to make as your throat tightens with nervosity. You clear your throat and fold your hands behind your back, a pathetic attempt to cover up the awkwardness.
But there is a shift in the air, you’re not imagining it. The tension has been there from the start, the moment you stepped into the room with Thor inside, and now it is just coming to a peak.
Thor walks towards you, searching your eyes for an unspoken permission, and your mind races as you shiver with anticipation. All you know is that you want him; you want him to want you too. You particularly want him to throw you on the bed and finally rip that damn dress off you –
“Lord of Thunder or whatever”
Thor is just out of your arms reach when her voice cuts through the silence, ruining the moment. His jaw tenses, nostrils flaring, and eyes darkening with anger as he recognizes the intruder. You must look past his broad figure to see the figure standing at the edge between corridor and the room.
“We are in the middle of something here”, Thor announces over his shoulder, his deep voice dripping with annoyance.
You bite your lip to conceal your giggle and cross your arms in front of your chest.
“Yeah, I don’t care, your majesty”, Scrapper-142 retorts cockily before waving the silver remote in her hand. “Grandmaster wants me to take you to training. He wishes your next fight with his champion to be a little more…entertaining”
“Thor” You nod your head towards the woman, urging him to turn and look with worry in your eyes. You vividly remember the pain of being electrocuted by her, and the Obedience Disc on your neck tingles tauntingly though you’re sure it’s just your imagination.
Eventually, Thor turns around, greeting her with a frown. “I would have killed the beast had your precious Grandmaster not intervened”, he growls as he marches towards the scrapper as if to strike.
“Ah ah ah”, she mocks, holding the remote up again for him to see. “You know I’m not afraid to use it”
“You truly are a coward”, Thor scoffs, coming to a halt. But 142 shrugs his comment off, squaring her shoulders while staring him down.
“Put on your armor and follow me, I don’t have all day”
You stand by, watching their banter, and something tells you there is more to it than meets the eyes. Do they know each other? Thor does as she says, albeit reluctantly; the look on his handsome face says it all.
You can hear 142 tapping her foot impatiently while Thor gets ready. “Come on now, you’ll still have plenty of time to fuck later”, she says, rolling her eyes. However, you notice the cheeky glint in his eyes as they lock with yours after her comment. You suck in a breath as you hold his gaze, and you bite your cheek to keep yourself from grinning. It is settled then; Thor does want to fuck you.
“I will be back soon, little one”, he assures you with a nod, and it looks like he wants to walk over to you, but 142 urges him on.
“And I’ll be waiting for you”, you call after him boldly. He peeks over his shoulder and winks at you before disappearing down the corridor.
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“Oh shit, fuck – shit”
You keep muttering curses under your breath as you pace around the room like a decapitated chicken, trying to wrap your head around whatever is happening or might happen soon.
Your stomach is in nervous knots, twisting and turning while your head spins out of control; what a fine agent you are. Level-headed and overconfident as ever. A scornful cackle leaves your mouth as you run your hands through your hair before walking over to the panorama window.
You should calm down; assess the situation and come up with a game plan to get off this planet, get back to Earth where you belong. What you should not do, is mess with gods and lunatics on alien planets. Let them handle their issues by themselves and worry about your own problems. Work and dating humans, and finally deciding whether to get a dog or a cat, maybe start a new hobby while you are at it.
Instead, you worry about your libido, your potential lay with the God of Thunder.
You feel a puff of wind, some movement behind you, and before you can react, a powerful arm snakes around your midst, pulling you close.
His hands are cold as they roam around your upper body; one hand settling at the base of your throat while his other hand strokes over your stomach. Your body tenses under his touch, breath hitching in your throat, choking back any coherent sentence or question thereby.
“I could not bring myself to leave without knowing you are taken care of”, Thor murmurs into your ear, his husky voice rumbling through his chest.
The innuendo makes your knees weak, and goosebumps rise on your skin. If this is but a hallucination, you’d kill anyone who’d dare to bring you back to reality.
“I – I thought you left for training”, you say meekly, leaning into his broad body as his touch keeps distracting you.
“Fuck that”, he growls, and his choice of words makes you gasp. Never have you heard Thor use such foul language, but you cannot deny how much it excites you. “First, I need your taste on my tongue or else I will go mad”
You let out a surprised whimper when he rips your dress open with ease until it floats to the floor, leaving you naked in front of the large window. The silky fabric pools around your bare feet when Thor nudges them apart with his boots.
You blush deeply; both aroused and embarrassed as he keeps presenting you to the population. You’re aware how high up you are, there is no way people can see you, but still, the thought of someone witnessing this thrills you immensely.
When his hands start groping your tits, he hums approvingly, and you arch your back as he tugs at your hard nipples; rolling them between his thumb and index until the sensation gets too much. You can feel his erection through his leather pants and you purposely rub your ass against it.
“Eager, are we?”, he growls and nibbles your earlobe as one of his calloused hands finally slips between your legs. You squirm and shudder under his touch until he wraps his free arm around your body below your breasts, securing you tightly in his embrace.
“Now you better hold still, darling”
The nickname catches you off-guard, but as his fingers start exploring you, teasing your folds with more than a millennial of expertise, your mind shuts off.
“I can feel how ready you are for me”
His thick fingers tease your entrance, wetting them with your juices before rubbing circles on your clit. He switches between fast and slowly until he has you on the verge of orgasming; writhing in his grip and mewling for release, and it is a maddening sensation to be at his mercy.
“Thor…please”
The desire to have his cock fill you up and finish what he has started is becoming overwhelming as he keeps denying your orgasm, keeping you on the edge instead. Your legs are shaking, and you are sure you’re you have made a mess on the floor by now.
“Hm, this is not quite the way I want you to come”
Thor turns you around swiftly, pinning you between him and the window to keep your legs from giving way. You suck in a breath as the chilly glass hits your skin, but it only adds to the many sensations you are feeling.
Thor chuckles darkly as his hands tickle along your sides while pressing his body to yours. You feel exhausted after his torment, and yet your body is still aching for release.
“Thor –“ You reach out, wanting to feel his lips on yours, his beard scratch along your sensitive skin, but he denies you.
He grabs your wrist instead and plants a single peck to your palm.
“I am not done with you yet, darling”, he assures you with mischievous glee while lifting your left leg by the back of your knee.
You let your head fall back and rest against the window as he gets on his knees, and you can only brace yourself by helplessly gripping and pawing on his strong shoulders for support.
Thor dives right in after hitching your leg over his shoulder for better access. The tip of his tongue feels cool against your heated flesh, and though surprising, the pleasure you feel is beyond description. He frantically licks at your cunt, rolls his tongue over your clit, and has the audacity to shamelessly moan as he feasts on you.
You’re a mess when he slips two of his fingers inside, curling them sensually as he sucks on your swollen clit. You cannot help yourself when you grab a fistful of his short hair, legs ready to buckle as you come with a shout of his name, followed by a string of curses after you hit your head on the window.
However, he does not stop lapping around your cunt until you beg him to stop, tugging at his hair while doing so. He lets go off you with a lewd click of his tongue and catches you in his arms.
“I don’t think I’m able to walk just now”, you giggle bashfully while holding onto his muscular arms.
Thor scoffs before picking you up bridal style and carrying you over to the bed. It gives you a moment to study his face, the sudden stoic look in his eyes. Quite inappropriate, considering you can still see your wetness glistening on his lips and beard. You feel the urge to kiss him stronger than ever, but you swiftly bounce on the mattress as he lets you go without warning.
“I have to go before they notice my absence”, he tells you, rolling his shoulders as he squares up again. “but I expect you to return the favor when I come back. You hear me?”
You can feel the tingle of desire pool between your legs again as Thor hovers over you, staring you down with his stormy blue eyes. It is hard for you to pinpoint exactly, but now that the post-climax fog has lifted, something about him seems off.
Still, you give a nod like the obedient little shit you are, always so eager to follow orders.
“Very well then” Thor licks his lips, pleased with himself as he surveys your naked body one more time before turning on his heels to leave, fixing the front of his pants as he goes.
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The servants clean up the place while you shower, reluctantly ridding yourself of any proof that the God of Thunder has pleasured you to completion. With his mouth at that.
The image of him, a god, kneeling before you is almost enough to get you off again. You can still feel him on your skin, his fingers inside you, but there is something you crave more than his skilled fingers and tongue.
By the time supper is served, you are ready and eager, nearly buzzing with anticipation while waiting for Thor who has yet to return from his training session. The sweet ache between your legs has kept you on the edge all day, and by now you have had more than enough time to imagine a way to return the favor.
You allow yourself to enjoy a drink from the turquoise-colored booze; swiftly serving yourself a fancy glass of the sweet-smelling liquid, one that only burns your nose slightly. The taste reminds you of rum with a sugary, toasted flavor. It warms both your stomach and heart, and after your second glass, you’re hot and bothered, walking barefoot on clouds.
You giggle softly as you dance through the room but stop as you see your reflection in the panorama window. You are suddenly mesmerized by the flow of your sheer pink dress and you grip your glass a little tighter as you do another twirl.
However, you stop dead in your tracks as Thor stands at the entrance; arms crossed with an amused smile as he watches you quietly. He looks just slightly disheveled with ruffled hair and a thin layer of sweat on his forehead.
“You are quite the dancer”, he chuckles as he walks over to the table, serving himself a glass of his own with his back towards you. “I hope you were not too bored while I was gone”
The tone of his voice makes you shiver and act by default as you pull the dress of your head wordlessly, exposing yourself completely with brazen confidence. Why bother playing hard to get when you already know what you want and what he is getting to a T?
Thor nearly chokes as soon as he turns around, dropping the food in his hand as he gapes at your naked body.
“Well, I thought about what I’d like to do to you as soon as you come back”, you tell him honestly as you stride towards him, swaying your hips lasciviously. When you come to stand in front of Thor, you notice his enlarged pupils, darkening his eyes as he gazes down at you with lust. Finally, you manage to wrap your arms around his neck to pull him into a kiss, and this time he lets you.
His beard scratches your skin as your lips meet just the way you previously imagined, and a moan escapes your lips when his strong hands become active at last, roaming over your back before squeezing your ass cheeks enthusiastically enough to spread your cunt open.
Thor deepens the kiss, one hand gripping you by your neck as his tongue slips into your mouth as skilled as it had toyed with your clit before. Suddenly, he breaks the kiss, and you gasp for air you didn’t remember needing, and his mouth wanders, kissing down your throat before latching and sucking a bruise on your neck.
You huff and pant as he marks you wherever his mouth goes, down to the valley of your breasts where he pinches your nipples. As soon as you feel his hot tongue further down at your stomach, just above your mound, you tug at his hair, stopping him in his tracks.
“No”, you breathe heavily, though it takes all your will power to keep him from eating you out again.
“Would you like me to stop, little one?”
You bite your lips as you peer down at him, again kneeling before you with an eager twinkle yet concerned gentleness in his dark blue eyes.
“Actually”, you purr, licking your lips lewdly as your eyes flick to the visible bulge in his pants. “I think it’s your turn now, your majesty”
Thor lets you shove him down onto the closest chair; you don’t hesitate nor waste time as you drop to your knees between his thighs to unzip his pants and free his erection. His cock is heavy in your palm, girthy and bigger than expected even though you have seen it before. The sight makes your mouth water.
Your tongue darts out, licking pre-cum off the tip while holding eye contact with Thor; you want to see his reaction after all. His chest heaves as he sucks in a breath through his teeth. You give a pleased purr as you get a first taste of him, warm and salty.
His hand grips the edge of the table as you start sucking on his tip before licking up and down the shaft. One of your hands works on his length, stroking what your mouth cannot reach while the other one gently massages his balls.
You make sure to give him the sloppiest head you have ever given; drooling and moaning on his cock until his eyes roll back in his skull, thighs jerking as you suck him off. Thor pants and groans freely like no man has with you before and it is enough to make your cunt twitch with want.
Thinking ‘fuck it’, you act on your thoughts and take your hand off his sac to slip it between your thighs instead, toying with your clit while licking your tongue from his balls up his shaft and continue sucking his cock. He lets his head fall back with a groan while his other hand takes a fistful of your hair, tugging gently whenever his hips jerk and rut in your mouth.
“I am close, little one –“, Thor grits through his clenched jaw. However, as he tries to pull you off his cock, you slap his large hand away swiftly. “Don’t –“, you gag around his length, greedy to let him finish down your throat, ignoring the soreness in your jaw.
Thor grunts at your response, feeling your throat vibrating as you try to speak but choke on his cock instead. Your eagerness to please and let him finish in your mouth makes his chest swell with arrogant pride, and he doesn’t have to say it, you can see it in his eyes as he watches you in adoration.
You retrieve your slick fingers from your cunt and use it to jerk him, quickening your pace while he writhes under your mercy.
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Meanwhile, somewhere in the Grandmaster’s tower, another explicit party is being thrown, a special entertainment the main event this time.
Loki’s grip stiffens around the cup in his hand as blood keeps flowing down his nether region, tightening his pants for the second time today. His eyes are glued to one of the many monitors around the room, but every single one of them shows the same image anyway.
You, sucking on his brother’s cock feverishly like your life depends on it. Loki despises himself for enjoying it so much though he does wish it would be him instead. A sudden slap on his ass makes him lose his focus.
“See? All they needed was a bit of my love potion”, the Grandmaster chuckles as he takes a sip from his glass filled with turquoise liquid. Loki looks at him, but bites his tongue, forcing a smile.
“A brilliant idea, really”
“Exactly. Look at them” The Grandmaster tilts his head, ravished with delight. “ah, I wish I could join”
Loki watches the strange individual make his way through the party guests, over to his concubines. The women look beyond uncomfortable as the Grandmaster gropes them, not daring to disobey their master while his bodyguard is present.
Loki rolls his eyes before peeking at the monitor once more, perfectly timed as Thor coming in your mouth and coating your lips with his semen is on display. Suddenly, various moans and raunchy noises are coming from different directions of the room. An orgy indeed.
But Loki doesn’t feel like messing around tonight, he has already got a visual on what he wants. His cock twitches in his tight pants as he watches Thor lead you to the bed, his erection still prominent as he hasn’t yet had enough of you.
Loki licks his lips, and he swears he can still taste your sweet cunt on his tongue.
continue with part five → we could form an attachment
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xxmistressofflamexx · a month ago
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Kid Pirates, Straw Hats, bounties and the World Government
Sooo... I wanted to send @bluecreationdefendor-blog​ this very interesting analysis about how the marines are calculating the bounties of the pirates (and why the Kid Pirates aren’t that extremely bad and gruesome as some might think), but sadly I didn’t find the original post anymore ;_;)/ (I could swear I reblogged it, but under what tag?! I really need a good tag system...I am too chaotic for this...) So I decided to write a summary of the post out of my memory. And hey, if you are the original writer of said analysis and recognised your thoughts and work in this little summary, please write me, so I can give you the credits or delete this one and reblog yours :)
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Well then, let’s dive into it, shall we?
Basically to summerize the original post up, it was talking about how in the world of One Piece the marines and the government are actually basing bounties on.
You can basically see it with how Luffy's bounty was raised during the story:
- First one: 30 Million. It came after he defeated Arlong. Not because Luffy defeated that gruesome pirate but because the marine officer (who was a complice to Arlong and who got hit and humiliated by Luffy and co.) was being VERY petty and wanted Luffy to be dead as a payback.
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- Second Raise: 100 Million. He defeated Crocodile. But interesting thing is: they significantly didn't mention Luffy defeating Crocodile in the newspapers, instead they gave Smoker the credits for defeating the pirate and being the one who freed Alabasta. This move can be interpreted different ways, most likely they lied because they don’t want to give Luffy, a dirty pirate in their eyes, the credits for something, they as the WG should have taken care of. Because instead of helping Alabasta (I think they knew about the distress of the kingdom), they turned a blind eye towards what was going on (similar to what happened to Nami’s island). To make matters worse, Crocodile was one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, the guys the World Government set into position. So instead of taking responsibility they created a new story in the newspapers about the Alabasta incident and giving Luffy (and Zoro) a high bounty, which means they are seeing them as a serious threat towards their system.
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- Third Raise: 300 Million. That was a significantly high jump from 100-300. Why? Because Luffy and the others actively challenged the world government in the form of Enies Lobby – and defeated their lapdogs aka CP9. Although it was Spandam, who destroyed the island with a Buster Call, they gave the Straw Hats the fault for this desaster in the news --> the World Government couldn’t conceal this incident anymore, so they pushed their mistakes onto Luffy and Co. The Straw Hat Pirates are now officially being viewed as a huge threat and enemy of the WG.
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- Forth raise: 400 Million. Again, Luffy got this bounty raise, because he openly challenged (again) the marines (and the World Government) at Marineford. It wasn’t helpful that he is also the son of Dragon, who is the declared number 1 enemy of the World Government. Again the reason is, he is a threat to their whole system.
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- Fifth raise: 500 Million. That was after the Dressrosa incident. Again, he took one of the warlords out, the guys who are put into position from the World Government and freed Dressrosa. Luffy was also forming his grand fleet and new alliances, meaning he is now a much bigger threat than before.
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- Current/last raise for the time being: 1,5 billion. That was the highest and most significant jump. Not only because he defeated Katakuri (I am not quite sure, if this message got out, need to reread the whole section again). But from the point of view of the government (through the newspapers), Luffy challenged one of the 4 emperors with top tier alliances (like Bege/Firetank Pirates, Fishmen Pirates and apparantely the infamous Germa 66). AND he made it out alive, the world order got shaken with Big Mom wanting his head. Of course Morgans aka the newspapers exaggerated a lot in there...  The World Government didn’t know what will happen now afterwards. They were at a loss. But they knew: if they keep on letting Luffy and his friends run wild, they will smash their poor fragile system into pieces - sooner or later.
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So keep this information in mind, while I am digging into the bounty of the Kid pirates now …
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From the above (Cocoyasi Village (Nami), Alabasta and Dressrosa (you can also add Drum Island)) you can see one significant pattern: The World Government didn’t care about the wellbeing of the civilians. Even with them asking for help. Marines and Co. knew about the problems, but they never did anything to help the people in need. Instead they turned a blind eye towards the civilians or even worked with the pirates in question together. It was always a little pirate crew (Straw Hats) who intervened – and then suddenly the marines were interested in the situation and taking action, too. Because how DARE pirates getting all the glory for helping OUR people? With that knowledge, Kid apparently getting such a high bounty because of civilian attacks only is with looking at this aspect, quite unlikely or better: not really comprehensible.
From Luffy’s bounty raises and the jumps within you can see one significant pattern: Luffy’s bounty (and the bounty of his crew) jumped extremely, whenever he/they challenged one of the institutions of the World Government directly (like defeating Warlords, Enies Lobby, Marineford). He never got a raise when it was only about civilians. He got his high bounty, because the World Government saw him as a significant threat to them and their system. And knowing how the WG spread rumors and straight up lies about the Straw Hats through the newspapers and cover up the truth about their involvement on the islands, there’s a high chance they are doing the same with other pirate crews, too.
Keeping this in mind, it would be likely that Kid and his buddies got their high bounty, not because of civilian attacks, but with them openly challenging the World Government and their established systems, too, by attacking for example a marine base or anything else big and important for their system. Knowing Kid, who always wanted to make a big name out of himself (fearlessly challenging Big Mom and planning an attack on Shanks), there is a high chance that he recklessly attacking the marines or one of their bigger bases to get the glory, prompting the marines to classify him and his rowdy crew as one of the higher threats towards the World Government.
I wouldn’t say that Kid is not aggressive towards people (he and his men are likely not as happy clappy, kind and lovely as the Straw Hats), but I think he is not as gruesome as we all think he is. He is just a rough pirate, like every other pirate, too.
It is quite hard to get a grasp of his personality (damn you, little to no screen time...!) but by now, we all know one thing about Kid: He wants to be known as a big name. Therefore he would do anything to get to be known, like doing things that gets him into the news (alliances with other big names, attacking emperors, etc.). With how the world (government) is treating normal people, he wouldn’t get much fame with attacking civilians only.
(and, this is my personal thought: I don’t think he would do this out of fun either. This man has an agenda: Being Pirate King - and he is ambitious enough to pursue this goal relentlessly)
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We sometimes forget what it is to be a ‘real’ pirate in the OP World, because we are spending a lot of time with Luffy and his friends, who ARE definitely a very unusual crew. They are probably the only crew who didn’t kill anyone on their journey (as far as I know)  and even Law himself is exasperated about them being too nice and their shenanigans being so ‘un-piratey’ (or -ish? Anyways, you know what I mean :’D).
So yeah to conclude this long ass wall of text: There’s a high chance Kid and Killer got their high bounty because they openly challenged the World Government and their system aka the Marines as the reckless ass clowns they are. Of course there would be likely colleteral damage within the civilians during these attacks (And we all know how the newspapers like to exaggerate (looking at you, Morgans...)), but I don’t think the Kid Pirates would openly attack and torture people out of fun.
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Thank you for coming to my TED talk (and for staying till the end) - here have a cookie 🍪
(feel definitely free to add your own thoughts to this^^)
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finnicksannie · a month ago
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THGagain (apologies if I’m not sticking to the schedule, I’m behind and also a maverick)
Chapter 2 Liveblog
Something that I like about Collins’s writing is how she often will ground Katniss in her actual experiences. Instead of saying, “I feel like the wind is knocked out of me”, she describes a time where Katniss actually experienced it (while also providing some context for Katniss’s real life experiences of climbing trees for hunting... which will come in handy in a little bit, I bet).
This little detail about a boy from the Seam... I had always assumed they were divided by gender (like in the movie). But going back a few pages it seems they were divided by age.
Oh, the ducktail. This visual makes me so sad (probably also because they did do this bit well in the movies, and I can see it clearly).
I like how Katniss doesn’t think about it at all. We don’t know what she’s going to do before she does it. Because it is sheer instinct on Katniss’s part.
Wait hang on... District 12 hasn’t had a volunteer in ‘decades’? They’ve had a volunteer before? Wahhhhhhhh... I wonder if maybe they had one or two after Haymitch won, or if it’s something that was more common back when there was a more fair chance (before the Career training really got going, or even before the Gamemakers starting upping the ante) but after the reward system was put in place. Hmmm. Also, Katniss saying that in some districts people are eager to risk their lives, the volunteering is complicated... This is obvious foreshadowing to finding out about the Careers, but I wonder if there are some in-between districts where volunteers are more common.
“Don’t want her to steal all the glory, do we?” I’m not one to give Effie the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes I wonder when she says stuff like this if she actually believes it, or if she’s putting on a show for the cameras. I feel like it is somewhere in between sometimes. Definitely something I will be paying attention to.
“I don’t expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim’s place, and now it seems I have become someone precious.” A martyr. This is Katniss turning into a martyr, a sacrifice. A symbol. I do think D12 probably cared about Katniss much more than she thinks, but there is some wisdom to her perception here. This is our first glimpse of the power of symbolic figures.
“Now I am truly in danger of crying, but fortunately Haymitch chooses this time to come staggering across the stage to congratulate me.” Lmao. Yeah, what coincidental timing. It is fascinating to see how Katniss views Haymitch here, because she’s seeing him through the lens of how he portrays himself and misses the moments where he’s being clever or intuitive. At the same time, I don’t think him falling offstage was on purpose. I think he’s really very drunk because this is the worst part of his life every year.
“But I know I was right about not running off. Because who else would have volunteered for Prim?” Ugh I could wax poetic about Collins’s ability to plant big worldview questions in small moments. Katniss cannot simply ignore and escape the systemic issues in her society, because they affect the people she cares about. She would never be able to just leave Panem and forgot what was going on there.
Look at the different between how Effie drew Prim’s name last chapter and Peeta’s name this chapter:
Prim: “She reaches in, digs her hand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper.”
Peeta: “Haymitch is whisked away on a stretcher and Effie Trinket is trying to get the ball rolling again... she crosses to the ball that contains the boys’ names and grabs the first slip she encounters.”
Effie’s behavior when drawing Peeta’s name is influenced by Katniss volunteering. When she was drawing Prim’s name she was trying to create extra drama and excitement, but after Katniss volunteered and all the chaos with Haymitch ensued, Effie just wanted to get the show on the road. So she just picked Peeta’s name from the top. If Katniss hadn’t volunteered, Effie likely would have dug around and tried to make the boy’s reaping more dramatic as well... and Peeta likely wouldn’t have been picked. It’s the butterfly effect, and it really adds to the whole theme of odds and chance.
Katniss: Peeta Mellark! (affectionate)
The whole thing about Peeta’s brother and family devotion only going so far is sad but realistic. I love my siblings but I don’t know if I would have had the bravery to take their place in a fight to the death as a teenager. Especially in D12 where they all assume if they’re reaped then they’re dead. What Katniss does IS the radical thing. And it makes sense for her character and the relationship she has with her sister, who Katniss has had to take care of for the last few years. Katniss in many ways is like Prim’s parent. The love she has for her is radical, and not the type you would often see between siblings of this age (imagine for a second if parents were allowed to volunteer for their children. The reaping would look entirely different).
The Treaty of Treason probably is very dull, but I would love to hear it lol. I love worldbuilding.
“Our only real interaction happened years ago. He’s probably forgotten it. But I haven’t and I know I never will....” SUZANNE!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU! (Screams in Mockingjay)
“The district had given us a small amount of money as compensation for his death, enough to cover one month of grieving at which time my mother would be expected to get a job.” Okay this is not NEARLY enough time. A month??? I’m going to have to remember this when I do my TBOSAS re-read, because I’m curious how much money and time Snow’s family was given for his father’s death. A whole lot more, I’m willing to bet (not that you can quantify grief and loss, but it demonstrates the disparity between economic hardship in the Capitol vs District 12).
“... who still polished my father’s shaving mirror each night because he’d hated the layer of coal dust that settled on everything in the Seam.” This is probably just a stray detail, but I’m noting it because it is another thing that suggests Mr. Everdeen felt out of place in the Seam (and was second-generation Covey perhaps?)
The commonality of starvation in D12 and Katniss’s casual “who hasn’t seen the victims?” hits hard, especially as someone who doesn’t regularly see people starving to death. It helps drive the point home that this is a tangible part of her reality.
“Suddenly a voice was screaming at me and I looked up to see the baker’s wife, telling me to move on and did i want her to call the Peacekeepers and how sick she was of having those brats from the Seam pawing through her trash.” This really reminds me of when people complain about homeless people digging through trash, and I think it is supposed to. Specifically it makes me think about people getting upset about homeless people going through trash bins to pull out recyclable cans and bottles (because I used to live in a state where you could deposit them for 10c apiece) and it’s such a stupid thing to get upset over. If someone is willing to go through your trash, then they must really need to go through your trash.
The fact that Katniss didn’t even know Peeta’s name because he stuck with the town kids really shows how divided they were. I mean, with a population of only 8 thousand people, their school must have been quite small.
“I heard the woman screaming again and the sound of a blow,” PEEEETAAAAAAAAAAAAA. MY SWEET BOY. YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS.
Also she called him “You stupid creature” what the hell what the actual hell I hate this woman.
I’m going to pause for a second and say that what I love about this series is that a less interesting, talented writer could have easily turned this into a series where Katniss was in love with Peeta before they entered the arena (or even had Gale be the one to go in) and have romantic love be her motivation and angst about not wanting to kill him. But no. Katniss is compromised from the very beginning because of the compassion that Peeta showed her on a very human level. He showed her love. Maybe partly because he had a little crush on her, but also because he is a kind human being. He showed Katniss kindness and compassion and humanity and love and that is why Katniss can never totally shut him out. And eventually that human connection turns into a beautiful, radical, (and yes romantic) love, but at the beginning it is just this simple human connection. He showed her compassion and saved her life and Katniss can never forget that. The revolution starts with simple, unselfish human kindness
With all that out of the way... it is really hilarious that Katniss caught Peeta staring at her because he obviously had a crush on her, and her reaction is “I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people.” Lol. Girl.
Katniss asks “Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won’t seem sincere if I’m trying to slit his throat” and now I want to look out for the first time she says those exact words to him.
I think Collins is a great writer but sometimes her analogies send me. “His [hands] are as solid and warm as those loaves of bread.” A little over the top there Suzanne. Also: “Peeta looks me right in the eye and gives my hand what I think is meant to be a reassuring squeeze. Maybe it’s just a nervous spasm.” There is a river in Egypt and its name is Katniss.
“Odds are someone else will kill him before I do. Of course, the odds have not been very dependable of late.”
I mean, she’s not... wrong. Someone else doesn’t kill Peeta.
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ifyhunter529 · a month ago
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Hunt Showdown Twitch
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I had a lot of fun last week streaming Hunt: Showdown for the Twitch Drops campaign. Here are some of the better fight and funny moments in 60fps and full HD.
That's right - this time around, you can earn extra Event Points by watching participating Hunt: Showdown livestreams on Twitch- you'll earn 10 points for every 30 minutes you watch. To start earning those extra Twitch Drop Event Points, you'll need to link up your Twitch account, which you can do right here.
Hunt Showdown Twitch Prime
Hunt Showdown Twitch Drops
Hunt Showdown Twitch Drop
Hunt Showdown Twitch Link
Worn and ragged from their travels, Hunters gather to prepare for what is to come. With each passing day, their obsession grows: never-ending, all-consuming. An obsession that we share. From behind the curtains several Hunters emerge, leaders of their bloodlines--the backbone around which the Association is built. Their wisdom, their trials, and their torments clear the way for those who follow—and may make the difference between glory and defeat.
Hunt: Showdown Seen Sat, Apr 17 at 4:20. DE Hunt: Showdown Seen Sat, Apr 17 at 16:30. EN Hunt: Showdown Seen Sun, Apr 18 at 12:30. This site is not affiliated with Twitch or any of their partners. The Most Watched Hunt: Showdown Twitch Streamers, April 2021. Ranked by the total viewership hours (hours live x average viewers) in the last 30 days. Hunt Twitch Streamers. Posted by 9 months ago. Hunt Twitch Streamers. I've been watching a lot of Hunt showdown streamers recently, and the top streamers are great at the game and their streams are really fun. Unfortunately the view count never seems to go above 1k, sitting around 100-300 viewers.
So listen, and prepare yourself for all that is to come. Join us on our journey. Learn all you can while there is still time to contemplate success from the safety and comfort of your arm chair.
Gunplay experience
Lead Designer Dennis Schwarz and Senior Environment Artist Alexander Asmus, weapons experts both, impart their knowledge of the Hunt gunplay experience in our debut stream. Hear tales of the firearms that keep Hunters alive and monsters at bay—from conception to creation—and watch as they pull back the curtain to show off weapons in the editor, the foundation for every spell they cast. Then, follow Dennis and Lead Artist Marcel Schaika on several bounty hunts, or skip ahead to a Q&A focused on gunplay.
The world of Hunt
Knowledge of the land is an advantage on the hunt. In our second stream, Level Design Director Chris Auty, Lead Artist Marcel Schaika, and Audio Director Florian Füsslin discuss the world of Hunt: as it was in the past, as it is now, and as it will be in the future. In the editor, the group detail the environmental creation processes before testing their mettle in the field on several bounty hunts. Level Design was the topic for the Q&A that followed.
Progression and ranking system
Many requested we illuminate this subject with haste as without progress and rank, success is but a ghost. Lead Game Director Dennis Schwarz and Senior Game Designer Andreas Liebeskind spoke of the progression and ranking systems and bloodline rewards awaiting those who dare to pursue the glories of the Hunt in our third livestream.
Diving back into the world of Hunt, they then showed the menu, Hunter recruitment system, store, and the mission select area. However, due to a rift between the digital and the real, gameplay was not possible. Instead, Dennis and Andreas were joined by Lead Character Artist Florian Reschenhofer, and the conversation continued on the subject of Hunters' skins, artwork, and tiers for Early Access.
++
For now, we must rest. But we will return soon with more tidings. Watch this space.
Come, Hunter, stop and warm your hands at our hearth awhile. Let us lend you courage with gifts befitting the season! In contrast to that infamous storm of February past, New Orleans has yet to see snow this season. But to face the corruption that plagues the bayous is to feel the icy, tendrilled hand of death penetrate sense and soul. You know of what I speak.
However, Winter's bounty is plentiful for those who know where to find it - and what to do with it. You have fought long and hard throughout this long, dark time, dear Hunter, and as we turn the page of the year we hope we can begin a new chapter of success and glory for the American Hunter's Association. You have fought long and hard, and earned a spot of mischief and a cup of hearty cheer. May the season's delights warm your spirits, though if they do not, a little gold should do the trick.
Sincerely,
PHJ
The Hunt: Showdown winter event - Blood & Ice - starts today! That means that from now until December 30, 2020, you'll have the chance to earn Event Points that you can use to unlock exclusive winter-themed Legendary equipment.
How to Earn Event Points
Event Points can be used to help you speed up your progression, and speeding up your progression means getting to those sweet event rewards even faster.
Earn Event Points by:
-Destroying gift boxes scattered around the world
-Destroying gift boxes beneath the Christmas trees
Hunt Showdown Twitch Prime
-Defeating a boss, then destroying the gift box the boss drops alongside the Bounty
-Investigating an event-themed Clue or Rift
-Watching Hunt: Showdown Twitch streams
That's right - this time around, you can earn extra Event Points by watching participating Hunt: Showdown livestreams on Twitch-- you'll earn 10 points for every 30 minutes you watch.
To start earning those extra Twitch Drop Event Points, you'll need to link up your Twitch account, which you can do right here. Once your account is linked, all you need to do is watch participating Hunt: Showdown live streams (find a list of participating streamers here.), and you'll already start racking up points. You can earn up to 100 Event Points per day via Twitch Drop, and a total of up to 300 Event Points total via Twitch Drop during the event.
Daily Event Point Caps
There is daily cap on the amount of Event Points you can earn each day. But - pay attention this part is new – once you hit the Event Point cap for the day, you can still play the event, but instead of receiving Event Points, you will be rewarded with Hunter XP for the rest of that day
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On the first day, you will cap out at 200 points. Once you hit the cap for that day, you can still play the event, but you won't rack up any more Event Points in-game (there is an exception for earning them via Twitch stream, which we'll explain in a minute). On the second day, your point total caps out at 400. On the third day of the event your points cap out at 600. On the fourth day of the event, your points cap out at 1000. After that there is no further daily cap - so lock yourself in for a full two weeks of Hunt-style holiday cheer! Once you've capped out, you can still receive10,000 more points, and as a bonus we will convert them into Hunt Dollars at the end of the event.
When you reach one of these caps and switch over to earning Hunter XP, this is how much you can expect to earn:
-Destroy 1 gift box, earn 50 Hunter XP
-Destroy gift boxes under a Christmas tree, earn up to 150 Hunter XP (I.e., 3 gift boxes x 50 XP per box)
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-Destroy the gift box dropped by the boss, earn up to 250 Hunter XP (I.e. 5 gift boxes dropped by the boss x 50 XP per box)
-Investigate themed clue, earn 200 Hunter XP
Twitch Drop Points
As we explained above, Hunt's winter event has a daily cap on the amount of Event Points you can earn each day. But because this time around we've added a way for you to earn points by watching participating Hunt streams on Twitch, we're making a bit of an exception to how the cap works.
So let's take day one of the event as an example. On day one of the event, you can earn up to 200 Event Points. If your in-game Event Points plus your Twitch-earned Event Points add up to more than 200, those extra Event Points will be saved and added to your Event Point total the following day.
Break down:
-You earn 150 Event Points in game.
-You earn 100 Event Points watching Hunt streams on Twitch.
-The daily cap for that day is 200 Event Points.
=You will receive 200 Event Points for the day, and the leftover 50 points you earned via Twitch will be added to your Event Point total the next day.
But remember: this only works when the extra Event Points were earned via Twitch. You can do this on multiple days, and your Twitch Event Points will continue to carry over.
Event Gear
If you login to Hunt at least once during the event, we have a special holiday gift for you! Everyone who logs on during Blood & Ice will receive Cold Snap, our new Legendary First Aid Kit.
The First Aid Kit is part of a bunch of new winter-themed gear we created exclusively for this event. To earn it all, you'll need 1000 Event Points. Here's what's waiting for you:
Cold Snap
This First Aid Kit is designed to bind wounds in cooler climates. Clasped with a snowflake-stamped buckle, this is sure to ward off death's icy hand - for a while.
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Hailstorm
Though rage burned hot within the Siberian sniper who first bore this elite Mosin, each shot taken was as coldly calculated as the frost that trimmed the dark line of pines from which it easily picked off grunts with precision, one by bloody one.
Winter Rose
A white rose blooming in winter was once thought to be an omen of death. In the case of this rose-engraved Vetterli, that omen rings true with every shot, though the sight of its metallic bloom would be an omen of impending death in any season.
Nutcracker
These ornate Dusters were fashioned from what was once a fine table ornament - and now they can crack a lot more than just walnuts.
And a New Legendary Hunter!
The Skinflint
One dreary winter's night Timothy Stone bore witness to three strange apparitions, each bearing portents of his past, present, and future. Whether real or an invention of his warped mind, the experience convinced Stone to pledge his life to the AHA, where he would become known for being slow to his wallet but quick to his rifle. Ever the accountant, his ledger now contains a reckoning of the souls he has removed from this Earth.
***
Hunt Showdown Twitch Drops
So, now you know what to expect, and how it will all work. We hope to see you in the bayous, smashing some presents, or over on Twitch watching a few Hunt streams. :-) If you have questions, stop by our social media channels and let us know:
Discord + XboxClub + Facebook + Twitter + Instagram + Xbox + Steam
Hunt Showdown Twitch Drop
Don't own a copy of Hunt yet? Get one now!
Hunt Showdown Twitch Link
Get a copy for PC on Steam or in the Crytek store, for Xbox in the Microsoft Store, and for PS4 in the PlayStation Store.
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spirit-of-vengeance · a month ago
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@spxcemuses @xxstar-bluesxx @mr-mansnoozie
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In many AUs, Rozália's/Cindy's horse Vihar has grown to her so much that she became a recurring companion like Amber. The horse is in the 15-16th century verse, the Dancing through History verse and now, my current obsession: Western verse.
History:
Cindy's father emigrated from Hungary to America after the unsuccessful 1848-49 uprising, he was a lesser noble, only could save a few of his possessions and his two prized horses: a Lipizzan stallion and an extremely rare Akhal Teke mare. He married and had a daughter, thinking he could live a life free from the horrors of war but then shit happened (this will be expanded in an another headcanon post); both him and his wife died, both horses seized, he only could carry Cindy whom later became Karma out of the burning house before rushing back for his wife.
The horses mated while held captive in a few years, giving birth to a filly. Due to both parents being too old to be sold for good money for racing and by built they were incapable of physical labor, the snatchers shot the stallion after the filly was born, the mare killed after the young foal was half year old. Cindy heard about the auction she couldn't help herself. Her duel for Vihar was her first official gunfight at the age of 18; Now Cindy is 25, Vihar is 6; both of them in their peak physical prime. The name Vihar is also symbolic a little, Vihar means storm; and Karma is the lightning with her speed of her own.
About Vihar:
She is half Akhal Teke:
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Half Lipizzan:
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And here is she in her full glory:
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This makes her the perfect combination of endurance, extreme speed and Akhal Teke is famous for their intelligence & great established relationship with their riders. Vihar is slightly built more sturdy than the Akhal Teke given by her Lipizzan heritage -she is still lean, thin mane and head but with more muscled body- but that doesn't hinder her speed too much. She also can withstand heat, deserts, needs low water consumption and a special trait: the skin is thin so the veins show through when under pressure and she can sweat blood when the smaller veins rupture due to the intense activity (not as harmful as it sounds).
Due to her first months spent in captivity, losing her parents, Vihar's temperament is similar to Cindy's she's as aggressive as a stallion, extremely protective of Cindy. She is more than willing to bite, trample or even kick if the situation wishes for it and only accepts Cindy as her rider.
The inseparable bond between them:
Cindy fully treats Vihar as a family member (now she's the only remaining family member of hers at the age of 25) , talks to her all time & she's sure she can understand at least half of it. When Vihar is scared/sad Cindy switches to Hungarian because her voice is actually smoother when using her mother language & when she won her through the duel she talked to her in Hungarian to contrast the language her captors used.
By growing up together into the bounty hunting business, Cindy is more than aware of her limits, capabilities, she knows when to push a little further given by the indication of the veins coming to surface. Instead of sharp commands she whispers in Hungarian to her, how she is the fastest, the best, she can push a little more as encouragement. Vihar excels in chasing, close combat🤣 endurance, dodging; sometimes it is like Cindy is riding a slippery cat instead of a horse. She is actually a world class racehorse despite coming from a mixed breed, so far no one managed to be faster than her. However high jumps aren't in her arsenal so Cindy always takes the longer route to avoid the obstacle instead of risking an injury (and losing the built up speed); long jumps where the momentum matters more are not as dangerous.
Cindy has recurring nightmares about being carried out from the burning house by her father with the promise he will be back with her mom; only they never came out and she watched their house burn to ashes. When she wakes up in a fright and cold sweat Vihar is always there to comfort her. One of Cindy's greatest fears is Vihar getting injured, almost all of her scars are a result of her standing between her and a bullet, knife or even bullwhip when a criminal was smart enough to catch on their deep emotional bond. But once someone dares to try to hurt her horse; hell is considered a dream compared to her wrath. Vihar is her last remaining family member and she viciously protects her from every harm and this gesture is mutual.
Other information:
Vihar is very expressive either verbally or non verbally, always answering when Cindy talks to her, seemingly understanding a lot.
Given by their emotional bond she can ride her without a saddle if the situation wishes for it and due to her acrobat heritage on her mom's side, Cindy can pull off some great stunts on horseback.
Cindy's aim, even during riding full speed is still legendary, she is in perfect sync of Vihar's movements, she knows exactly when, during which mid motion pull the trigger for a straight shot.
Vihar is afraid of snakes but really likes cats, even to the point of letting them sit on her back.
When surrounded, Vihar has learned that her hind leg kick can shatter skulls.
Cindy never lets her carry corpses -not like she even wants to do it in the first place- because she doesn't want to add foreign weight she's not used to & afraid of injuring her
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neonacity · a month ago
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Black Daisies: Chapter 3
Preview:
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
An NCT mafia AU with OT23. Summary: Working for the mafia comes with many layers. There’s excitement, violence, loss, and betrayals. Yet there’s also friendship, family, loyalty, and code. The last thing it needs? Love and all the complexities it brings.
TW: violence, death, mentions of drugs and other illegal activities. If you’re uncomfortable with any of these, feel free to skip. Author’s note: This is purely a work of fiction. In no way am I supporting all the illegal activities and behaviors that might be mentioned in the story nor am I implying that any member of NCT acts whichever way I may write them here--they’re all sweetiepies that need to be protected!
Chapter: 1/ First Stage
Chapter: 2/Overture
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“What’s your favorite flower, noona?” The girl, barely the age of ten, looked up from her spot on the grass at the boy across from her. Her fingers slowed down from wreathing the buds of blooms she had gathered on her lap as she mulled over the question.
“Hmm… I like daisies.”
The raven-haired boy turned his head slightly to the side as if surprised by her answer. 
“Daisies? Why?”
“Why not?” The girl asked with a lilting laugh, her hands working again to finish her wreath.
“I dunno… I just…” His nose scrunched as he tried to look for the right words. For someone so young, he sure is someone who takes great care of what he says or does.
“Daisies are so plain… They don’t fit you.”
“Hey, that’s not true.” The girl moved to tuck her legs under her to find a more comfortable position. “They’re very pretty. Simple, but very pretty,” she bit the inside of her cheek for a bit as she remembered something. “Also, Mama told me they mean new beginnings. I like that very much.” 
“Mm…”
She looked up again at the apparent dissatisfaction of her playmate. He can be so stubborn sometimes. Even though he’s still a kid, he loves acting like a grown-up, especially in front of her. Still, she looks at him like a precious little brother so she decided to smile and humor him for now.
“What kind of flower do you think will fit me then?” 
The boy looked at the stalk he was playing between his fingers thoughtfully before giving a quiet answer.
“A rose.”
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The silence enveloping the room was deafening. The situation was the exact opposite of the energy of the headquarters just an hour ago, with everyone looking so tense in their seats. I tried to look as small as possible on the quiet spot next to my computer, the best place where I can look as invisible as I can be. I felt the seat next to me creak and barely managed to break a smile as I looked up at the boy who took it. 
“Hey, Jaehyun.”
He gave me a slight nod, his dimples showing just a little bit as he quirked his lips into a tense smile. Even he looks nervous, and he’s not usually one to be affected by anything.
“Can I sit beside you?”
I gave a feeble wave of my hand to tell him yes, not really minding the quiet company for now. He’s usually such a calming presence to everyone, though he does seem a little off today more than usual. I saw his gaze move towards the front of the room where the woman in red was currently standing, her expression composed as usual. Nobody knows her name, only her alias, but even then, her face is a prominent one in the family.
From her looks, one can assume her to be in her early 30s. She had the composure and air that can rival the most cold-hearted of ice queens, evident from years of being trained in whatever she was designed to do. But while her face and presence are something that can make any man fall on their knees, she remains untouchable in a few ways. 
“It must be serious, huh?”
I looked back at the boy next to me in surprise. I was so deep into my thoughts I almost forgot he was still there.
“I’m sorry?”
His gaze didn’t move from the woman standing in front of the room. “It must be serious for her to be here… the mistress of the Don.”
My jaw tightened a little bit at the truth behind his words. The Don is not one who often shows his presence to everyone. Usually, it would be his advisers who will get in touch with any of us, a power move that has kept his presence—and that of his family—almost detached from the criminal empire he has built. Whenever he would call the rest for a meeting, however, she would always come first to herald his arrival, like an Angel of Death opening the paths for the Devil himself. 
“Yeah… must be,” I croaked, barely finding my voice. As if on cue, the steel doors of the headquarters opened, causing everyone to either freeze on their seat or slightly flinch. I tried my best to keep my head down, my peripheral vision barely catching the black coat of the man who walked into the room with a choking presence.
For a moment, no sound other than heavy footsteps were heard on the expansive floor. Nobody dared to breathe until the Don spoke. He took the spot in front of the room, his mistress moving slightly to the side to give him way. 
Eyes like a hawk scanned the cluster of men and boys in front of him. His eyes barely touched the spot where I was, but I knew… I knew that was more than enough. 
“I called you here today to give an important announcement,” he finally spoke, his voice steady, commanding. He need not raise it with how quiet everyone was. 
“As all of you know, this family has a long history. My leadership was passed down to me by my father, and him, by his father before him. As much as I take pride from being its head for decades, the time has finally come for some new blood, if I must say, to run it.”
Cold seeped into my veins at his words until they sank to the pits of my stomach. Around me, all the members started giving subtle confused looks at each other.
“I have come to announce that I am stepping down from my position as Head of the Family.”
My heart raced, blood pumping loudly in my ears. The members did not dare say anything, though the glances they exchanged told me they’re much in shock as I am. Unfortunately, that’s not the only bomb that was about to be dropped tonight.
“I’m sure everyone here is aware of the tradition of our family. By our law, leadership shall be automatically passed down to the ruling head’s heir,” he stopped, his stern gaze sweeping over the crowd in front of him again. “To my great disappointment, however, my successor refused to accept their birthright.” 
My heart started racing faster than it had already been, the organ working so hard it felt like it would burst through my chest.
“Because of that, I am opening the position to all members of the family. Capos, generals, and soldiers alike. Each and every one of you here is a candidate to be the next head of the family.” 
...until it stopped working altogether. 
For the first time since he came in, my eyes snapped towards the man in front of the room. I was not the only one giving him the same look—everyone was shocked to silence as they processed his words. 
“The rules are simple. If you want to be considered, you should come up with something that can bring glory to the family. Add to our wealth, our influence, or power, I do not care. But it must be done with discretion, so that our identity is not betrayed to normal society and our rivals. Other than that…you are free to do anything you like.”
At that, his mistress stepped a little closer to him once again. She spoke in a well-rehearsed tone, devoid of emotions. For a half-second though, her eyes seemed to flicker with something else. I'm not sure if it was just my imagination, but her gaze momentarily stopped on me and Jaehyun before snapping back to the rest of the crowd. 
“Everyone here has two months to work on whatever plan they have in mind. We will deliberate who will take the position of the head after that.” 
“Wait—” 
Taeyong, who has barely moved a muscle on his seat since the announcement, finally stood up. His perfect features looked strained with worry as he addressed the woman. 
“When you say… you can do anything you like…” his gaze moved towards the Don, but it was the female who gave him his answer.
“Anything you like. The family code is waived for the next two months."
"No betrayal… or death of a brother shall be held against any of you.”
Chapter 4: Crescendo
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dapandapod · a month ago
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Longing for you
Written for the Witcher Bog Fluff Battle!  The prompt was:   Dancing!  It’s 1821 words, and I gave myself feelings. Here on Ao3, enjoy <3
The ballroom is sparkling in all its glory.
The chandeliers are newly polished and gleaming in the candlelight, the dance floor big and filled with couples of all shapes and sizes.
Jaskier lives for this.
Lives for watching the happiness on their faces, the subtle seduction of a wanted partner, the romancing of a loved one. The small touches, the twirls, the dramatic lifts and dips. He always get a front row view, best place in the house; on the stage.
With him on the podium is a small ensemble of other bards, playing various instruments and harmonizing with his words every now and then.
It is a lovely night. The only thing that is missing is a partner of his own.
Oh how he longs to dance, to be out on the floor. To have a hand in his, to lead or to be led through the intricate moves, someone's heartbeat close to his. He is aching with it, honestly, and the good thing with that is that it adds an extra flair to his music.
Or so he’s been told. Repeatedly.
So he holds on to that ache and longing, pouring it out for the ballroom to enjoy. This is a very well paying gig after all, and they certainly can use the money.
They, as in him and Geralt. They picked up the pieces after the mountain. Used words, talked about it, and things are as they were before.
Alright, no. It’s better, more like an actual friendship.
The barbs don’t sting anymore, and there are smiles now. Finding Ciri probably helped. She is with Yennefer right now, learning how to handle her magic.
So Geralt and Jaskier set out on the road again. And if Jaskier wasn’t so hopelessly in love with his witcher, everything would have been perfect.
Jaskiers eyes search for Geralt in the crowd, knowing him preferring to be a wallflower on these kinds of nights.
This song has no words, lucky for him, because when he spots that white mop of hair, Geralt is already watching him.
His chest flutters, flips, tingles, and he can’t help the small smile on his lips.
Geralt is standing closer than he expected, and Jaskier can see him break into a soft smile too.
Fuck, he is a goner.
His cheeks burn, so he breaks the stare, takes a breath, and looks back out on the crowd. Fuck he wants to be there. He wants to dance with Geralt, knowing full well it will never happen.
Not only because he is always the entertainment and rarely gets the opportunity, but because Geralt would never. Especially not with him.
Another bard comes to take Jaskiers place and hour or so later. It is going to be a long night, so they are taking turns. That’s what it is when royalty marries.
The second Jaskier leaves the podium he goes to find Geralt. How can he not? His throat is parched, so he should probably find himself something to drink too.
Geralt is where Jaskier saw him last, leaning against the wall. Only, there is a lady there now. A small, petite lady with big eyes, with a hand on Geralt's arm. And he is letting her.
Jaskier frowns.
And when Geralt smiles down at her, Jaskier knows he can’t go there.
So he turns, and finds himself a drink.
Too weak for his state of mind, but a blessing for his throat. He can’t look back. Won’t.
He feels raw, having poured out his longing in his music again. It’s not as obvious as it could be, this time, but he still feels exposed.
Suddenly he feels so alone.
In a sea of strangers, he finds himself standing on the edge of it all. Watching the couples twirl, and a pang of longing punches him in the gut.
This will not do.
Jaskier drains his drink and gives it to a bypassing servant and sets his aim for the gardens.
The garden is equally magical. Small lanterns are hung everywhere, some with colored glass, lighting the pathways and hedges.
Out here it’s calmer.
Some people are strolling arm in arm, some sit and whisper on benches. Jaskier takes aim towards the gazebo, where a single bard with a violin plays for the dancers there. He leans against a pillar, arms crossed and head leaning against the cold stone, and pretends. Pretends that he could be among them.
He is so lost in this fantasy that he doesn’t notice someone approaching. He startles when Geralt's arm touches his, and looks up to see Geralt standing right next to him.
“You disappeared.” Geralt says, nudging him again. That is a thing they do now, touching.
“Yes. You seemed busy, and I decided I needed some air.” Jaskier says, half truths and almosts on his tongue.
He looks away, studying the man playing violin rather than the dancers.
“You sang really well today.” Geralt says, and that’s new. Jaskier looks back at him with big eyes and mouth half agape.
“I- uh… Thanks.” Jaskier unfolds his arms and stands up straight. “You look nice tonight.”
And yes, he really does. Once again, Jaskier managed to squeeze Geralt into some finery, the doublet has golden details that brings out his eyes. Jaskeir especially likes it because of the barely there floral pattern, hidden around the waist. And Geralt, for once, didn’t protest when Jaskier presented it. Just draggin a finger over the fabric and put it on without complaint.
It felt oddly intimate, and Jaskier feels like he in some secret way marked him as his. His witcher, even though he knows full well he is not. Geralt is his own, and never someone else's. Not even Yennefers.
And now those golden details does its job, the small lanterns and the golden threads makes Geralt look otherworldly. Jaskier swallows thickly, ignoring the pitter patter of his heart. Why does he keep doing this to himself?
Geralt tilts his head questioningly.
“What’s wrong? Are you sad?” Geralt asks.
Ah. So something is showing on his face after all. Geralt has gotten better at picking up those things from Jaskier, for good and for bad.
“It’s nothing.” Jaskier says, smiling despite himself. “I just never get to dance, is all. Is what it is to be a bard sometimes.”
They stand in silence for a few beats. Jaskier watches the dance, slow and gentle and intimate, the violin achingly sweet.
“Do you want to dance?” Geralt asks. Jaskier looks back at him quizzically.
“Yes?”
Only when Geralt takes his hand in his does the coin drop.
“Oh you meant with- oh.” Jaskier mumbles when Geralt leads him out on the floor and then stands to face him. “Do you know how to…?”
Geralt smirks, and it punches the air out of Jaskiers lungs. It doesn’t feel real, and then Geralt's hands snake around his waist.
“I have been alive for a very long time, Jaskier.” he says, and leads them through the steps. Jaskier lets his own arms rest over Geralts, so close to his shoulders. It feels too much almost, but it’s tempting.
Together they dance across the floor, so much smoother than jaskier had anticipated. Their eyes never stray from each other, and Jaskier can feel himself smiling. Again it strikes him, how unreal it feels. Almost enough to make him want to pinch himself.
“Having fun?” Geralt asks, and the gentle smile is painful, so painful. Jaskiers fingers curl in the fabric of Geralt's doublet.
“Yes. Thank you, Geralt, for doing this for me.” He says.
“My pleasure.” Geralt says back, pulling him just a little closer, and oh. Jaskier draws in a shuddering breath.
“Geralt?”
“Jaskier?” The way his name falls off Geralt's tongue. It’s intoxicating.
“Why are you dancing with me?” Jaskier asks, despite his fears, despite the terror of being left again.
“You wanted to dance?” Geralt says simply, tilting his head in question again.
“Yes, but you don’t? You never do? And you could have danced with the lady inside?” And Jaskier has to look away now, finally. He can’t look at Geralt when he asks, he can only be so brave.
Geralt doesn’t reply at first. They dance, fluent and flawless, turning among the other couples.
“You don’t know?” Geralt asks, so quietly Jaskier isn’t sure he was meant to hear.
“Don’t know what?” Jaskier dares a look, and Geralt's eyes are fixed on him, his arms tightening and pulling him just a little closer.
They are almost touching now, only inches separating them. He steers them to a corner of the gazebo, out of the way of the other dancers, and stops.
Geralt draws in a breath, as if preparing to say something hard, still holding Jaskeir close. Jaskier can’t breathe, his eyes unwillingly dropping to those parted lips so close to his, and then back up to those amber eyes.
“I care for you, Jaskier. I care about your happiness, about your smiles, everything that makes up you.”
“Geralt.” Jaskier breathes, burning, shattering, breaking and healing all at the same time.
“I love you.” Geralt says and Jaskier feels his eyes sting, his chin wrinkle. Fuck.
“I wanted you to know, because… I’m not the best at words, but I don’t want to lose you again.”
Brave, brave witcher. He looks terrified, with every word he looks terrified but determined, and Jaskier can’t help himself.
Finally he lets his hands slide up over those shoulders, wrapping around them, and then he leans in.
Geralt meets him in the kiss, pulling him flush to his body. It’s hard to breathe, all the feelings contained in his chest fighting to break loose.
The kiss is short, just like Jaskiers breath, and instead he presses his forehead to Geralts, just to be close.
“Fuck.” Jaskier whispers, trying to piece himself back together. “Fuck.”
Geralt smiles and nudges his nose against his. One of his hands to cup Jaskiers cheek.
“Ever the poet.” He teases, kissing the corner of his mouth.
“Fuck off.”
“Alright.” Geralt says, and makes to pull away, but Jaskier grips him tightly.
“No.” He whines. “No, stay.”
“As long as you’ll have me.” Geralt says, and leans his cheek against Jaskier.
“Say it again.” Jaskier begs.
“I love you,”
“I love you too. Have loved you for years."
They stand there for what seems like ages, closely together. Eventually they have to part, Jaskier has to get up on the podium again. But this time, when he sings, the aching is another. He can’t help but to watch Geralt, where he waits by the wall, watching him.
And when the night ends, the sun rising above them, Geralt and Jaskier retreats, ignoring Jaskiers room in favour of Geralts. They hold each other close in sleep, sweaty and warm, but not letting go.
Waking up makes Jaskiers chest ache for an entirely different reason.
Love.
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christianstevefinnell · a month ago
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THE "MILLENNIUM" IS NOT . . .by David Vaughn Elliott    The very thought of a thousand-year reign of Christ excites the imagination. Usually this period is termed "the millennium" from the Latin meaning "one thousand years." This much-talked-about thousand years, or millennium, is named only six times in Scripture. Moreover, all six times are in the same text: Revelation 20:1-7. With such scant mention in the Bible, students should be very careful in trying to reach a conclusion regarding the meaning of this period of time. WHAT REVELATION 20:1-7 DOES NOT SAY    Before examining what Revelation 20 does say, it is very enlightening to notice what it does not say: 1 - It does not say where Christ is during this period, whether in heaven or on earth. 2 - It does not say where the martyrs are during this period. 3 - Although it does mention "the first resurrection" and "the second death," it does not mention "the second resurrection." 4 - It does not say that Satan is powerless during the thousand years. 5 - It does not say that the thousand years is a period of great peace with no persecution. 6 - It does not even mention the Jews, Jerusalem or any temple. 7 - It does not say that everyone on earth is in subjection to Christ during the thousand years. 8 - It does not offer any "second opportunity" for salvation. 9 - It does not say that the "reign" is a physical, earthly one, like David's reign.      There is so much that Revelation 20 does not say, one wonders where all the ideas about "the millennium" come from. The reply is simple: they come by connecting other texts to Revelation 20 (not to mention the addition of ideas that are not found anywhere in the Bible). However, before proceeding to other texts, there are further considerations to keep in mind. NO ONE INTERPRETS IT ALL LITERALLY    The claim is made that the "thousand" years, and what is connected to the thousand years, must be understood literally. However, the text is admittedly filled with symbols, thereby placing in question a literal interpretation of those parts of the text that are not as clear.      No one understands that the dragon/serpent is literal. In fact, the book itself very specifically and very clearly says otherwise. In both 20:2 and 12:9, the inspired writer says that the dragon, the "serpent of old" is Satan, the Devil.    No one understands "the beast" mentioned in 20:4 as a literal four-legged animal. The reference, of course, is to chapter 13, which in turn is based on Daniel 7. Daniel 7:23 says, "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth." Most interpreters recognize that the beast represents Rome at some time in history. Even those who do not apply it to Rome understand that the beast is a symbol of some anti-Christian power.      Then there is the chain, the key and the seal. Does anyone see them as literal? Is not Satan a spirit being, albeit an evil spirit? Can a physical chain bind an evil spirit? Would a literal, physical seal be any deterrent to him?      The book of Revelation is a highly symbolical book. Jesus himself explains that the seven lampstands are the seven churches and the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches (1:20). Whether one understands "angels" here as heavenly beings or earthly "messengers," Jesus confirms what is seen in other Bible prophecies--namely, that stars in prophecy often represent outstanding individuals, just like "Olympic stars" today.      Symbols continue throughout Revelation to the very last chapter, where Jesus calls himself "the Bright and Morning Star" (22:16). The next verse speaks of "the bride," a reference to Christ's church. With all this figurative language throughout the book and in chapter 20 itself, there is no inherent necessity that other elements in the chapter be interpreted literally.   "THOUSAND" IN THE BIBLE    English dictionaries give these definitions for "thousand": "a very large number," "a great number or amount." This use is very common in our daily language. Mom says, "I told you a thousand times to clean up your room." Or consider the "Thousand Islands" in the Saint Lawrence River, which include more than 1,500 islands.      There are several prophecies in Daniel and Revelation with numerical values: 3 1/2, 42, 62, 69, 1260, 1290, 1335. Such numbers are quite definite and specific. The number "1,000," however, is a very "round number," frequently used to express an indefinitely large amount, whether in English, or Spanish or Russian--or in the Bible.    In Deuteronomy 1:11, Moses expresses to Israel: "May the LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are." Israel at that time consisted of 600,000 men of war, not counting women and children. A very conservative estimate would be that, with women and children, they totaled two million. A thousand times two million is two billion! Was Moses literally wishing they would number two billion? Or was he simply using "thousand" like we often do?    In Psalms 50:10, God says: "Every beast of the forest [is] Mine, [And] the cattle on a thousand hills." How about the rest of the hills? Would anyone dare limit God's ownership to a strict 1,000 count? Certainly not.    Consider also Psalm 105:8,9: "He remembers His covenant [to Abraham] forever, The word [which] He commanded, for a thousand generations." A generation is the average span of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring, about 30 years. A thousand generations would be 30,000 years! Literally, the text says that God commanded (or remembers) His covenant for 30,000 years. But wait. There are no "generations" in eternity. Thus, if we force 1,000 here to be an exact number, the world must continue for 30,000 years from the time of Abraham, which is 26,000 years into our future. Unless you can accept that Jesus will not return for 26,000 years, you are forced to understand "thousand" in Psalm 105 as an unspecified large number.    In short, in the Bible, just as in common-every-day English, 1,000 is often used as an indefinitely large number. There is no reason why the same cannot be true in Revelation 20.   OTHER SCRIPTURE MUST BE STUDIED    From all the above, it is very clear that Revelation 20:1-7 cannot possibly be understood by itself. It raises too many questions. Everyone's explanation is based more on other Scriptures than on Revelation 20 itself.      There are at least two major views of the matter. On the one hand, there are those who connect "the millennium" to all the Old Testament kingdom prophecies. They say that Jesus did not fulfill those prophecies at His first coming. They say that because the Jews rejected the kingdom, Jesus had to postpone the kingdom's arrival. They believe in a literal future one-thousand-year reign, in which all the Old Testament prophecies will be literally fulfilled via an earthly kingdom centering around Israel, Jerusalem and a rebuilt temple.      On the other hand, there are those who also say that the "thousand years" is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the kingdom. However, they say that those prophecies are not something yet to be fulfilled in our future. They say that Jesus was not a failure--that He accomplished the work He came on earth to do. They say that God set up His kingdom on schedule just as Daniel and Jesus had prophesied. They say the kingdom of God is not a physical kingdom, nor a Jewish kingdom. They say the kingdom is spiritual, it is for Jew and Gentile alike and it is here now. They say that the expression "a thousand years" is a general term expressing an indefinitely long period of time.      It is clear that a person's understanding of "the millennium" is very much influenced by his understanding of the kingdom prophecies and their fulfillment. That is why the present Insight is not the first, but rather the sixth, in a series. A consideration of many facts about the kingdom, as examined in five previous long Insights, is absolutely necessary as a prerequisite to delving into something as difficult as Revelation 20.   TWO FUTURE RESURRECTIONS?  WHAT DID JESUS SAY?    A superficial glance at Revelation 20 would appear to uphold the idea that there are two future resurrections, separated by one thousand years. It seems to say that there will be a "first resurrection," that of the righteous, before the thousand years, followed by a "second resurrection," that of the wicked, after the thousand years.    Such a concept, however, does not harmonize with Jesus' teaching on the subject. For example, Jesus taught that on "the last day," the righteous will be raised from the dead and the wicked will be judged. It will be the end. There is no room in Jesus' "last day" teaching for one thousand years to follow the resurrection of the righteous. Likewise, in the parable of the tares, Jesus clearly taught that saints and sinners must live together in this world until the end. Not only so, but He adds, "First gather together the tares." There is no way to harmonize this parable with the concept of taking the wheat out first, allowing the tares to continue in the world after that. (For greater detail on Jesus' teaching regarding "the last day" and the parable of the tares, see Insight #78: "The Rapture.")      The Judgment, as taught by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46, leaves no room for two resurrections separated by a thousand-year reign. Verses 31 and 32 clearly identify the time of the judgment as taking place when Christ returns: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides [his] sheep from the goats." This judgment pronounces who will enter the kingdom (in its future phase) and who will not. "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'... Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels' " (verses 34,41).      What did Jesus mean by "inherit the kingdom"? Not a mere thousand years. Listen to His final words regarding both goats and sheep: "These will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (verse 46). No millennium here. According to Jesus, the judgment is followed by eternity. According to Jesus, the future phase of the kingdom is equated to "eternal life." A RECOGNITION OF WHAT JESUS SAID    In the January, 1999, issue of "Midnight Call," Norbert Lieth offered an amazing admission of what has just been said. Discussing the writing of 1 Thessalonians 4, he says, "Until then, the doctrine of the first resurrection had been a mystery. It wasn't taught in the Old Testament, nor in the Gospels." Referring to the writing of 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians, he says, "Only in them was the mystery of the Rapture revealed (1st Corinthians 15:51-53). Until then, it was believed that the resurrection of all the dead would take place on the last day (Daniel 12:2 and 13, John 5:25-29 and 11:24)." Mr. Lieth thus admits Jesus taught "the resurrection of all the dead would take place on the last day"!      According to the "Midnight Call," the Rapture was a new doctrine revealed 20 or more years after Jesus' ascension. There is no inherent problem with that--the Spirit was leading the apostles into all truth (John 16:12,13). The problem is that the supposed new revelation contradicts the clear teaching of Jesus. Mr. Lieth admits the contradiction. He admits that Jesus taught the opposite of two future resurrections. When Mr. Lieth says, "it was believed," according to his own context, he is saying, "Jesus believed." In other words, Jesus did not believe Mr. Lieth's doctrine.     It is plain for all to see that Jesus' doctrine says all the dead will be resurrected the same time, on "the last day." Therefore, the doctrine of two future resurrections, separated by "the millennium," is a doctrine that opposes the clear teaching of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   THE KINGDOM IN REVELATION    Previous Insights offered detailed evidence of the existence of the kingdom of God in the first century A.D.--evidence in the four Gospels, in the book of Acts and in the epistles of Peter and Paul. Now it is time to examine the book of Revelation, outside of chapter 20.    In the opening verses of the book (1:9), John says: "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ." John was already "in the tribulation"! John was already "in the kingdom"!    In 1:5,6, John speaks of "Jesus Christ... who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father." Some Greek manuscripts read "kings" while others read "kingdom." There is little difference in ultimate meaning. Revelation 20:6 says, "they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." "Priests and reign." That is practically a repeat of 1:6 "kingdom and priests" or "kings and priests." Moreover, 1:6 reads, "has made us." That is past tense. It expresses an accomplished fact, a present reality. We are reigning now!      Revelation 2:11 promises, "He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death." Avoiding the second death is thus a blessing for all faithful Christians. Therefore, Revelation 20:6 is neither stating a new truth nor a truth reserved for a special group of Christians when it says, "Blessed and holy [is] he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power." This is speaking of all Christians.    Verse 1:5 also says, "Jesus Christ... the ruler over the kings of the earth." Jesus is ruler now! We all know what type of ruler He is: a King. Jesus is king now! In 3:21, Jesus says of himself, "I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Jesus is on the throne now! Under the seventh trumpet (11:15), there are "loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become [the] [kingdoms] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Whatever historical date one places on the fulfillment of the seventh trumpet, notice that Jesus' reign is "forever and ever." It is eternal, as Daniel 2:44 prophesied. Any interpretation of Revelation 20 that limits the kingdom of God and Christ to one thousand years is simply not in harmony with the rest of Scripture. RELATIONSHIP OF CHAPTERS 12 AND 20    Revelation 12, regarding the woman, the dragon, the male child and war in heaven, is not without its difficulties; but consider verses 10 and 11:    "Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.' "    First, note that salvation and the kingdom arrive at the same time--at the time Satan is "cast down" out of heaven. What is the earliest possible point in history for the arrival of salvation and the kingdom of God? Verse 11 says that the war was won "by the blood of the Lamb." So all of this must necessarily have taken place after Calvary.      A more difficult question: what is the latest possible point in history for the arrival of salvation, the kingdom and the casting down of Satan? Verses 13 and 14 say that, after Satan was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman and she fled into the wilderness, where she remained for "time and times and half a time." Therefore, salvation and the kingdom had to arrive some time before the persecution of the woman for "time and times and half a time."      It is generally understood by all that the "time and times and half a time" is a reference to 3 1/2 years, or 1260 days as stated in 12:6. Whether this is 1260 literal days, or a figurative day-for-a-year interpretation, is a question for another study.      The prevailing view among futurists is that the 3 1/2 prophetic years refers to the second half of "the tribulation," which is followed by the arrival of the kingdom in "the millennium." However, this does not agree with Revelation 12. Revelation 12 says that at the moment Satan is cast out of heaven, a loud voice in heaven declares, "Now salvation... and the kingdom of our God... have come." The persecution of the woman for 3 1/2 years comes after Satan is cast down, thus after the arrival of the kingdom. Futurists, however, teach that the 3 1/2 years take place before the arrival of the kingdom in "the millennium." Such an interpretation of Revelation 20, that places the 3 1/2 years before the arrival of the kingdom cannot harmonize with Revelation 12.    Chapter 12 clearly points to three events as simultaneous: the casting down of Satan, the arrival of salvation and the arrival of the kingdom. If the kingdom is not here yet, then salvation is not here yet. By the same token, if salvation is here now, the kingdom is here now! All this agrees exactly with what John had already affirmed in 1:9: "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom." John, in 95 A.D. declared that he was already in the kingdom.   THE MILLENNIUM IS NOT...    Most of the beliefs that anyone has about "the millennium" are not based on Revelation 20. Beliefs about the millennium are derived from other sources.    Based on other Scripture, it has been shown that:  1 - The millennium is not a period of time between the bodily resurrection of the righteous and the bodily resurrection of the wicked. 2 - The millennium is not a yet future arrival of Jesus' kingdom in which he will fulfill what He failed to fulfill when He first came. 3 - The millennium is not some time yet future when Jesus for the first time will sit on His throne and reign as King. 4 - The millennium is not a period of time that will arrive 2,000 years after salvation arrived in the world.      What then is the millennium of Revelation 20? Future long Insights, Lord willing, will explore how the expressions of Revelation 20 can be harmonized with the rest of the New Testament. In particular, there will be a study on what the rest of the New Testament teaches about the first resurrection and another study on what it teaches about the binding of Satan.   (Scripture in the preceding article is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
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The Art Of Fasting
“Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15NET
Many times from age thirteen up, I watched Mom lock herself into the old washhouse. She’d take a jug of water, a blanket, her Bible and the promise box. Mom stayed there alone with God until she had the deep assurance all would be well. Doc told her several times, ‘that lump looks suspicious.’ Jesus was called in for a second opinion through fasting and prayer. God answered her prayer with the lumps disappearing.
Mother was at her wits end. She’d raised me in church. Why did I go wild? With my lifestyle filled with sin, Mom decided something had to change. In later years she told me, ‘I didn’t know how to pray before you became a teenager.’
Seventy years of Israel’s captivity by Babylon had past. It was time to return to Israel. Daniel, probably nearing the age of 85, sought the Lord in fasting and prayer to fulfill His prophecy. Daniel 10:2-3NKJV “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” This was his second known fast.
During every fast satan always comes to tempt you to quit. He tells you— you’re not doing it right: nothing will change: you’re going to make yourself sick: you’re not supposed to fast to receive anything from God: and the list goes on ad nauseam.
Why does satan fight against the fast? It builds faith in God, as you hear His Word in private with Him. It allows God to bring us to repentance and change in our lives. It disciplines our flesh to wait upon God, to hear and recognize His voice. It breaks strongholds in us or someone we’re praying for, allowing God’s Light to penetrate the darkness. It adds years of spiritual growth in days. It reveals God’s hidden things and show His glory. It moves the hand of God. It brings conviction to lost souls.
If satan can’t prevent your fasting, he’ll get you to tell everyone you’re fasting. Jesus taught Matthew 6:16-18NLT “…when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, …But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Folks the bridegroom isn’t here. We’ve came to the place where the lost art of fasting needs to be revived in America. Our nation is at a crossroads where much of the church is either asleep or dead. Wolves in sheep’s clothing have starting preaching lies. The government is trying to destroy the nation, and sell out to communism.
Reading Isaiah 58 would be wise, because fasting isn’t just doing without food. Diabetics don’t dare do a total fast as Jesus did for forty days, where during that time satan came to tempt Him. See Matthew 4:1-11. A total fast would kill the diabetic but fasting a meat, or potato, other things can be fasted— Sleep, negative word fast, doing without a certain pleasure, even sex is can be fasted, see 1Corinthians 7:5.
Fasting brings results. Are you ready to get serious before God for your nation, your family, your friends? God is our only hope. Fast and pray friends. The answer will come. It’s your choice. You choose.
PRAYER: Father God stir our hearts to come before You in fasting and pray Your will into being accomplished, in Jesus’ name I pray.
by Debbie Veilleux Copyright 2021 You have my permission to reblog this devotional for others. Please keep my name with this devotional as author. Thank you.
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