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kaithatguy · 7 days ago
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magnussondillard40 · a day ago
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Best Part Of Me || Karl Heisenberg ||
A/n: Now that I know his name, I can actually write about him.   Now that I fought him and read is journal { damn they were sad } I can actually write about him.
This is also kinda tied to my sense’s story with Ethan! cause I love Ethan 
Spoilers for the game: This takes place before and after the events of the game minus me changing a few things.
Prompts Used: “You're the best part of me”
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All he wanted to do was drink, dealing with Miranda and Dimitrescu....well everyone was just getting on his nerves. Leaving the small village was easy enough though he always hated stepping in the city. To many scents tended to hurt his nose.
Slipping into the pub he slipped back into a darkened corner, once he ordered a beer for himself the man was about to settle in his seat until a soft laugh got his attention. Shifting his body, his eyes went wide for a moment as he took your appearance in. Now you were something, perfect body in his eyes and the smile...what a killer. Slowly licking his lips he made his way over to you, now you were different, different than the people of that dinky village so you must be a tourist. 
Blinking you turned your attention to the voice, a lazy smile slipped on your lips as you spotted the man. He was tall, a lot taller than you not to mention the large hat he wore covered his face. Part of you knew he must be handsome and his voice, damn he must sound good in bed. Shaking your head you watched your friend slip out from the chair once they spotted someone else to talk to, the man taking their place.
“Beautiful huh? Got a name stranger.”
Slipping off his hat Karl looked you over, his arms crossing over your chest. “Karl.”
“Karl...that’s it?
“Christ..Karl Heisenberg.”
Laughing you sipped at your drink biting your lip. “See was that so hard?” you teased the man. “Y/n... Y/n L/n.”
“Well Y/n...since you look like a fish out of water, I’d be happy to give you a tour.” Giving you a wink, he placed his hat on your head as you slipped out of the chair. 
“Perfect! I was waiting for a handsome tour guide.”
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You never thought a week vacation your turn into you staying with the man for a year. What you thought would be a one night stand or at least a fling turned into something more. You found yourself really falling for the man and while he was cocky at first you could see he was hiding behind a lot of pain.
Karl Heisenberg never thought that he’d find himself falling in love, let alone someone normal, something not like him...not a monster. When he first felt the flicker of something he tried to push you away, god he tried but he just couldn’t. You were the first thing that made him something other than the hate and self loathing. He found himself spending less time with his so called family and more time with you.
So when you told him that you were pregnant he was excited, the man couldn’t have felt more happier. While he knew he had to keep the news away from them, he couldn’t let Miranda find out you were pregnant. He wasn’t going to let that bitch or anyone else take you let alone touch you or his unborn child or else all hell would break lose.
But then of course Ethan Winters had to come in ruin it, he was going to ask the man for help to take the bitch down but you had to walk in. Belly round with his child. He forced himself to not snap at you, you shouldn’t be here. It was too dangerous. 
“Karl...this needs to need to let him go.”
“But he.” The man snapped turning to face you though his gaze softened as he noticed your cheeks stained with tears. “Y/n..please.” Ignoring Ethan he stepped closer to you. His arms slowly wrapping around your waist as he pressed his had to yours. “This is the only way to keep you safe...our child safe.”
“At the cost of what?.” Pulling out of Karl’s arm you watched as the man you knew as Ethan struggled to stand. “I’m not going to stand here and watch you get yourself killed, stand here and watch you use a child. Tell me...what would you do if you were in his place? Would you want someone using your child..” Letting your arms wrap around your stomach you glanced down refusing to look at the man. “What would you do if Miranda wanted our child Karl.”
Digging his nails into his palm, he took a small step forward then placed his hand on your belly. He didn’t even want to think about that, it made him sick to his stomach on what that woman would do. 
“You're the best part of me” He pressed his head against yours. “You gotta know that...” Sighing he turned to glare at the man, his lips raising into a snarl. “Get the fuck out of my sight before I change my mind, but you better hurry cause that bitch want’s your kid...that Rose is fucking powerful Ethan.” Tipping his hat to the man he wrapped his arms around your waist as he tugged you away from the baffled man.
Karl knew that the bolder punching bastard was around and he was positive that the bastard was going to destroy his factory so he wanted to get you out of here way before any of that shit happened. Not looking back the man easily carried you on his back, the man was thankful that one of those idiot agents left a truck behind. Glancing around the man watched as a large tree started to grow in the distance when he stole the damn car driving off, he only relaxed when knew he was far away from that damn village.
“Thank you Karl.” Giving him a smile you rested your hand on your stomach as the other grasped his free hand. 
Snorting, Heisenberg gave your hand a squeeze. “Don’t mention it beautiful.”
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Six years, Karl Heisenberg couldn’t believe that six years had passed since all that crap. Now living in the states the man was happy to put his fucked up life behind him. He was a father now and while he may have to hide what he could do from some noisy neighbors, it didn’t mean that he couldn’t entertain his kids. While he hated Miranda for what she did to him he still enjoyed seeing the smile on his children's faces whenever he’d bend a piece of metal.
Relaxing on the couch he glanced over spotting his newborn son sleeping in his playpen. You must have been reading to the twins and he was sure the eldest, his five year old was fast a sleep. Titling his head up he watched you slip out one of the rooms, a yawn escaping your lips as you walked over to your husband.
Smiling you slipped into his arms, nuzzling into his neck. “Is he asleep?”
“Hmm, mean’s we can have some fun if you’d like.” He joked as his hand rested on your hips, you let out a laugh feeling his beard tickle your skin. 
“As much as I’d love for you to ravage me, I’m just tired.” yawning you gave him a lazy kiss.
Returning it, the man gave you a nod as he held you closer to his chest. “Hmp...I’ll let you get some sleep then, you deserve it Y/n.” 
Smiling against his chest, you let your eyes drift closed feeling your husbands fingers run down your back. Sighing Karl let his fingers play with your hair, you really were the best thing that happened to him. Thanks to you he felt happy, thanks to you he actually had a family that cared about him and thanks to you he was still alive because deep down he knew that Ethan would have ended his life.
“Hmp..” his eyes drifted towards the card lying on the coffee table, a picture of Ethan Winters with his wife, along with little Rose and a few other children. “I always knew he was a tough bastard...good for you Winters.”
Closing his eyes, Heisenberg smiled as he let himself fall asleep with his arms still holding you. “I love my family.”
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tahanijamilss · 2 days ago
SUMMARY —it's the last year of Hogwarts when Lily Evans realizes that James Potter has changed. and with the rest of the school year, so does their relationship.
I consider myself to be a sensible person, if someone had told me a year ago that I would have been dancing with James Potter, I would have laughed in their face — it's uncanny how things change.
I had been hurrying to the train at the start of my seventh year after a fight with Petunia. I used to call her Tuney, different from now when we were little but then again, so many things had been different when we were little. For one, we never used to fight — now it's become a daily occurrence, it isn't a proper vacation for me unless we fight. Because when we don't, something is strange with Petunia. Petunia hates strange, therefore, there hasn't been a single summer that passed without us fighting. Or winter. Or autumn. Or spring. It's unreal how fast and how much things change when you let them to. It's a hard pill to swallow — change. So I don't let it. I pretend that it has always been this way, Tuney and I fighting. And it has, only that when we were little, they used to be playful fights, not ones where Tuney used to call me a freak and mean it. I would pretend that she doesn't mean it even now but it's a bit hard to when Petunia calls me a freak every time she sees me and when she doesn't call me a freak, she goes back to ignoring me. It used to hurt before, now it hurts a bit less. It still hurts, just a bit less. Time really does heal. And when I healed, I changed. I stopped letting Petunia's words have a hold on me — I can see it bothers her, but I'm too bitter to care. There is a part in me that revels in the irritation I cause her when I give no reaction to her harsh words, then there's a part in me that is ashamed because of this sadistic quality ingrained in me and there is also a part in me that cries a little when she calls me such words. It's not the words that hurt, it's the intent that does. Petunia could call me all the horrible things in the world and I wouldn't cry if she didn't mean them, but it hurts when she calls me even the smallest of profanities, just because she means it.
When I was little, I wanted to fix things with her. Things — a relationship that had broken just because I was a witch and Petunia wasn't — but I can't. I can't pretend everything is alright when it's not and I cannot pretend that her words don't affect me when they do, even if it's the littlest bit. It's on matters like these I wish I had Potter's persistence. Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate Potter, per se. I just dislike him immensely. It sounds very much like a cliché story, the fact that Potter asks me out and I decline his extravagant proposals. Everyone says that I will eventually fall in love with him and have a son with my green eyes and his black hair. Marlene even goes as far as to say that he will have glasses. I tell them it's a load of cobblers. I will fall in love with Potter when he becomes head boy — which will never happen, he is incredibly immature. Professor Dumbledore wouldn't give such a huge responsibility to an immature baby like him. He doesn't look like a baby but anyone who knows him knows he has the mindset of one. And just like a baby, he thinks everyone is like him. When it's the complete opposite ! People want to be like him. And by 'people, I mean Gryffindor's up until year five. When they reach year six, they realize that having a mindset of a child won't help them much in the wizarding world — I call it 'the phase where everyone gets their senses', Potter calls it 'when everyone becomes a boring old prat'. I ignore him. Unfortunately for me, however, he doesn't ignore me. He annoys me at any chance he can.
In the words of fourth years, it's called being 'romantic'. In my words, it's called being stupid and creepy. Romantic people don't give you lilies on every valentine just because your name is Lily. He very well knows that I like roses more than Lilies, but he does it because it's fun. It's annoying. Very annoying. I'm a challenge to him, I always have been. We met at the train to Hogwarts in our first year and got into a fight — Since then, he has pestered me as well he could. Until the fourth year, it used to be calling me 'redhead Lily' as an insult, and I laughed in his face every time he called me that. Attaching the name of my hair color before my name as a prefix doesn't sound much of an insult to me. And I pity those, to whom it sounds like an insult. Except for Sirius Black, he's equally as annoying, if not more. It's just that he is mildly good-looking in comparison to the boys who study at Hogwarts. But he doesn't pay much attention to that fact. In our sixth year, which was last year, Marlene asked him to be her valentine, to which he declined very insensitively. He said a blunt and rude 'No' to her face, without even trying to keep his tone polite or giving an explanation. He hardly ever dates. Sure, I've seen him with a few girls here and there, but he discards them after one day. One thing, however, I can tolerate about Sirius Black is that he might snog girls or go on dates with a select few — he doesn't treat them like objects. Despite being declared as one of the most good looking boys in our year (and the whole of Hogwarts, for that matter), he doesn't sleep with every girl, I doubt he has slept with even one or snog every girl every day or date a new one every day. Up until his rude rejection of Marlene, she used to keep us up to date about what was happening in Black's very personal life.
Now, this could range from dates to kisses to nothing, and in the 'Marlene Devastation Meter' Alice and I had come up with, a ten was the highest loss she could face, which was when Black went on one of his rare dates to a five when it was a kiss to a one when it was nothing. We hit a jackpot when it was the last option, which happened far more than the first two combined. Black was an incredibly secretive yet bubbly person, so it didn't come as much of a surprise to me when he rejected Marlene so brutally. Not as much as Marlene though, she was devastated. If we thought we had hit the worst score on the devastation meter when he went on dates, we had been painfully wrong. Marlene had spent the whole day sobbing in bed and refusing to talk to us. And when she did, we all had called Black the foulest of names — and unlike she normally did, she didn't stop us. Alice, Marlene, and I had met in my first year. We became friends by my third year and we became best friends after they comforted me after the . . . incident in our fifth year. I feel my eyes film over with tears as I think of it, then I blink back my tears and shake my head. No use crying over spilled milk, Lily, no use. I continue walking through the train as I search for a compartment where Alice and Marlene are sitting. Fortunately, it doesn't take much time before I find them — chatting and laughing like we all always do. Only I'm not there, I shake my head, I'm being ridiculous. It's not like they will wait for me, it's not like their world hangs on mine. But for a brief moment, I can help but think it did. It's that moment they see me and welcome me inside,
"Alice was just telling me about how much fun she had in Spain this summer! What did you do?" Marlene asks me and I'm pleased to see that she isn't looking as gloomy as she did when she left for her home, another consequence of Black's brutal rejection. I choose my answer as carefully as I can, trying to obliterate all thoughts of Petunia and our fights which lasted nearly all summer long, and say,
"Well, we went to the United States of America for around five days before we came back. American culture is really different from British culture, did you know? People admire fall foliage. I mean, it is pretty but not so much as to stare at it for so long! Americans also put quite a lot of effort into cleaning things on their own, that's a beautiful thing, in my opinion. Their pancakes are also so thick! And they call actual pancakes crepes and —" my rambling is interrupted by Alice after which my face contorts into one of annoyance before I realize why she interrupted me.
"Wait, Lily, is that the head-girl badge?" Alice asks with barely hidden wonder and childlike excitement.
Oh. Ohhh. This is why she interrupted me, I realize. Between my argument with Petunia and the hurry to find Marlene and Alice, I had nearly forgotten that I had gotten the head-girl badge this summer. My annoyance now forgotten, a newfound shyness caused me to nod sheepishly while looking down at the floor. Mum and Dad had been beyond pleased when they had realized that I had become head-girl. Mum had been a head girl before me and her mum before her, it was the same with Dad, except he wasn't much of a legacy. He was the only head boy in his family as far as they had known and they had been extremely pleased for him. It was the same with my parents, except they had thought that I was somewhat of a different person than my classmates now — I gave lectures on Charms, the subject I was best at and was as good as the teachers — until I explained to them that being head girl of a magical school wasn't much different than being head girl of a normal, non-magical school.
"Oh my Merlin, Lily, that's amazing! Why didn't you tell us? Nevermind that! How does it feel to be a head girl? Don't you feel amazing?" asks Marlene in a single breath, a gorgeous smile etched on her pretty face, it's baffling how Black could say no to my best friend. My answer is cut short as Alice interrupts me once again.
"Wait, Lily, aren't you supposed to organize the perfect meeting?" asked Alice concernedly.
Shite. My eyes widen as I realize I should have met up with my fellow head boy by now and should have organized the meeting by now. I'm going straight to hell, I think to myself as I nod, sit up, and nearly run out of the compartment to find the one which was described in the letter that was sent to me along with the head girl badge. The head boy would be there by now, the thought only succeeds in adding more to my panic. I do not fancy making a horrible impression on someone that I would have to work with for the rest of the year. Not to mention, he must be a great person — being the head boy. After all, such a position was an honor.
I come to a halt as I stop right in front of the door of the compartment, making sure to rearrange my hair and to put a smile on my face. Mum told me I look better with a smile and I smile because I know I'd frown if I didn't smile. I knock on the compartment door politely instead of barging in, which was my first instinct, because I don't want him to dislike me more than what I'm sure he already does. I did make him wait for . . . thirty minutes, I realize as I look at my muggle watch, wanting nothing more than to rip it off my wrist because of the frustration it causes me. It's only once the door opens and I stare into the eyes of the person who has opened it do I realize that my frustration is going to increase tenfold.
Because right in front of me stands one James Potter, his eyes as wide as mine are and his face betraying all the shock he is trying to undoubtedly conceal from me and one glimmering head boy badge on his neatly pressed sweater. My jaw drops.
It takes me a moment to gain my senses as I stare at Potter in complete and utter shock, him doing the same to me. I try to speak something but it seems my throat has closed itself completely and no voice comes out of my mouth, I just stare at him like a complete idiot with my jaw dropped. If anyone could see me right now, they would call me a fool. It's the sound of Potter clearing his throat which brings me back to my senses and I finally speak something,
"Potter, what in the name of Merlin are you doing in the prefects' compartment?" I ask him, although it sounds more like a reprimand except there's a question mark at the end of it — even though I know exactly what he is doing there.
"Well, I am head boy, Evans," He says, looking as uneasy as I feel, which surprises me. James Potter doesn't look uneasy, he's an annoying arse who lives off embarrassing others.
"Oh," I say, having nothing more to say. His confession has stunned me to the point where I can't think properly. The only thing I remember is that Potter is apparently head boy and I have to work with him for the rest of the year. Sometimes, I really dislike my life. I can't hate it because I don't hate Potter, so I will just have to settle for dislike.
The perfect meeting goes well, which is a surprise in itself. Seeing as I was considerably late and Potter was the head boy. Once the meeting is over and I plan to leave, or more like, run away from any and everything Potter, I hear the sound of his voice and I know I've lost my chance because I am not in the mood for fighting with him and I am sure he will annoy me a lot. Surprisingly, however, it's not a cocky remark or declaration of love that comes out of his mouth. Instead, I watch him open and close his mouth several times, fumbling with his fingers for a while before speaking at the same time I speak, having lost my patience,
"Look, if it's nothing, I need to — "
"I think we should call a — "
I cringe and drop my head in embarrassment. Now, Potter and I are speaking at the same time as the other. Isn't that what everyone dreams of in their life? Certainly not me. Almost as if by some unspoken agreement, I keep quiet and he speaks,
"I think we should call, uh, a truce." My eyes shoot upright to his and this only seems to increase what seems like nervousness in him. Meanwhile, I am trying my best to hide the shock I'm feeling, but looking at his face, I'm sure I can't. James Potter is not the head-boy type, James Potter is not peaceful, James Potter is incapable of any emotion other than being a baby and cockiness. Perhaps he is . . . changing, I think before I snort internally — as if that would ever happen. He isn't capable of change but I nod nevertheless. If he wants to play this game of maturity, I will indulge him. It will only ever help me, I do not want to deal with a baby for the rest of my year. It seems, however, he takes my silence as a no because he begins again, this time sounding a lot more nervous.
"Uh, It's best for both of us, I mean. To call a truce. We will have to work for the rest of them together so I think it's best if we um, call a truce" He says, stuttering and tripping over his words ever so often. This only adds to my shock as I have to stop myself to keep my jaw from dropping again. Who died and replaced this . . . imposter with James Potter? James Potter doesn't stutter, he's very self-assured and conceited. He doesn't do things because they are better, he does things if and because they are fun. He isn't the type of person to be the head boy, he's the type of person to be suspended because of picking fights with the head boy. Despite the shock, I'm feeling, I somehow manage to nod my head and find my voice,
"Yes, you're right" Then I reprimand myself internally for how shocked I sound before I clear my throat and say the words again, much firmer this time,
"Yes, you're correct."
It's in November that I notice how much he has truly changed. He's stopped bullying or ridiculing people for the sake of it and has started acting more like how an actual head boy acts. We have even become sort of friends. Earlier, I would have asked you if you had gone mad had you told me I would become friends with James Potter, but now, the idea of us ever being anything less than friends pulls me up short.
It started as a small arrangement when he realized I was not as good at Transfiguration and I realized that he was not as good at Herbology as the other. So he following me out of the History of Magic class, the subject was positively mundane and useless — out of breath, he just called my name and spoke,
"So, I noticed you that you got an Exceeds Expectations on Transfiguration —" I rolled my eyes to speak about how I knew I wasn't perfect at Transfiguration and even though he was, I did not need his stupid criticism before he spoke,
"You're really good at Herbology, you're the only one who got an Outstanding. I got an Acceptable in Herbology. But I need to have good grades to get into the Auror program, and so do you in Transfiguration. You're better at Transfiguration than I am at Herbology but what do you say? We could help each other?"
I don't what comes over me as I nod and the word 'Yes' slips out of my mouth. He pulls up his mouth in a goofy grin before running off while I stand there, dazed, and wondering what exactly just happened.
I can feel my eyes moving of their own accord. If such questions persist, I'm positive I will roll my eyes and offend the sixth year in front of me and I do not want to do that. Thankfully, Marlene comes to my rescue,
"Yes, Potter is not being an arse and No, You don't need Lily's permission to ask Potter out. Or well, in your words. No, Potter is not asking Lily out as far as we know and No, you don't need to ask Lily whether or not it is 'allowed' to ask him our or not. You can leave now" she says, her tone bored as she answers the third similar question that a girl has asked me. It's been five times that this question has been asked by now — two times by boys and three times by girls.
Is it honestly so hard to believe that Potter is over me? It's a relief, honestly. It's so much better to walk through the halls or eat in the great hall without the constant fear of him embarrassing or ambushing me. It makes me feel so much freer. Then, of course, there is a part of me that feels sadness and the idea pulls me up short. I have not like Potter, I never will so why do I feel such . . . sadness whenever I think of who he used to be and who he is now, it is a very short amount and in no way comparable to how much better I feel, it's a small hole, a very small one.
"Hey, Lily" I turn around as I hear his voice, and smile slightly. I would have never smiled at the sight of him a few months ago, now he has gotten slightly tolerable.
"James," I say amiably, somewhere along the way, I stopped calling him 'Potter' and resorted to calling him, James. We already were acting like friends, there was no use calling him by 'Potter' and not James.
"So what are you doing here? Choosing to Transfiguration with your benevolent teacher? I must say, though, I'm a very busy person" he speaks, the corners of his mouths are slightly tilted up. I can't think of a clever reply. I would think he was flirting with me if he didn't have that playful glimmer in his eyes, he's been long over me. I know that. It's just a hard pill to swallow — change. But I don't let it affect me, I never have. I finally find my voice as I choose my words carefully, he's nothing if not perceptive.
"Alice dragged Marlene and me here, she says Frank is going to be here," I say referring to the boy Alice has liked for a while now. I can see how the mention of Marlene affects James, his face becomes somber — mildly. I would have never been able to notice the change before, it's hard to ignore it now. I open my mouth to say that it was not his fault for what Sirius did before he beats me to it,
"I'm sorry about that. I don't even know why I'm apologizing, it's not exactly my fault." he pauses to laugh. It's a soft sound, not like the boisterous one I've heard over the years.
"Sirius is . . . complicated. His family wasn't exactly the best and he isn't very . . . affectionate. He doesn't like making connections with people because he feels like they will disappoint him. Marlene's a great girl, Sirius is just . . . different. I'm sorry for what happened, Lily and I haven't been able to say it before but I really am. It was Sirius' fault and I'm really sorry for how Marlene felt" His voice is somber now, though nowhere near morbid. He's trying to keep this lighthearted but I can see through the cracks, I have spent the entirety of my magical education pretending — pretending that the word, mudblood means nothing to me, Petunia's words don't hurt, and that Sev wasn't a person who hated people like me. I would say he was lying, but it's hard to say that when he's saying it with so much sincerity. I can see it in his hazel eyes. He feels remorse. And I nod, smiling at him as I stick my hand out to him — a truce. It's the same thing we did at the start of this year, a handshake — and he takes it with a smile. His hazel eyes are shining and the corners of his mouth are tilted upwards.
And then when he leaves for quidditch, I am left thinking. Maybe James Potter isn't that bad of a person, maybe he never was that bad of a person. Just buried under layers and layers of arrogance. It's a nice thought. Change isn't that bad.
It's in January when we begin arguing about whether Shakespeare was a good author or not. When he told me that he had, indeed, read Romeo and Juliet — I had been shocked, unbelieving of him. But in these three weeks, he has said things to make me reconsider my decision. Just this morning, Marlene asked me,
"Is it true that Potter actually said and I quote 'thou art v'ry quaint' to you yesterday?" She asks me disbelievingly as I feel the heat creep up my cheeks. It's Shakespearean English translating to 'you are very pretty'. Thankfully, Marlene doesn't know that. A fourth-year old pureblood saw us and told her friend that she saw James speaking the language used in Romeo and Juliet. Her friend told her friend who told her friend and well, it spread all over Hogwarts.
I am brought back to our argument in the library when he says,
"Romeo and Juliet died for each other, Lily. That's true love." he insists on saying that dying for the other is an act of true love. I call it stupidity.
"How did we even reach this point, James? I just said that Shakespeare isn't that good of a writer." I say exasperatedly at his attempts to deflect a conversation he knows he will inevitably fail.
"That's exactly what I'm saying, Lily. Shakespeare is such an amazing writer because his characters are good. The storyline of 'Romeo and Juliet' is beautiful so Shakespeare is a very good writer" he says in a tone that one would use with a child. I instantly dislike that tone of voice.
"Shakespeare is not so good, James. Wasn't Romeo in love with Rosaline? Why did he instantly 'fall in love with Juliet then? Wasn't he supposed to love Rosaline?" I say, putting air quotes around 'fall in love.
"Maybe he looked into her eyes," he says, and I look at him like he's mad. I almost think he's joking, until I look into his eyes. They're far too sincere for him to be joking. Eyes really are the window to the soul, at least in James' case.
"What?" I ask, after a few moments of silence, waiting for him to elaborate his statement.
"They say eyes are the window to the soul. Don't we fall in love with someone because of the instant connection of the soul? Okay, let me try something" he says the last sentence upon my disbelieving look. If I had known that James was so barmy, I would have never become friends with him.
"Look in my eyes — "
"What?!" I shriek before Madam Pince's glare shuts me up from where she stands, as I look down and mumble an apology I am sure she hasn't heard. When I look up, he sitting beside me and I nearly jump.
"What are you doing. Aren't you sitting there?" I say, pointing to the chair in front of me.
"Yes, but let's just try out my theory, okay? Just look into my eyes," he says, sounding serious but it's doesn't fool me because he breaks his serious avatar by laughing out loud as I hit him lightly, nowhere near amused.
"First go back."
"Tell me you'll look into my eyes, then"
"James," I say, drawing out each syllable.
"Lily," he says petulantly, drawing out each letter as well before I groan and mumble my 'yes' as I hear him shuffle and move back to his spot.
"Do we have to do this?" I ask like a child when an offended expression crosses his face and he says,
"Remember to never believe you, ever again," he says, putting on an angry front before the corners of his mouth tilt up and he says,
"Don't worry, Lily. You just have to look into my eyes and tell me some stuff about yourself. Okay? If you're not fine with it, then we'll not do it" He adds the last sentence concernedly as I roll my eyes and nod,
"Okay, let's do this," I say, smiling slightly as his eyes light up. I stare at his eyes, bored before he urges me to speak,
"Okay. Um, My name is Lily Evans" We both laugh at that basic piece of information, his eyes crinkle at the corners when he laughs, It's very . . . cute.
"My favorite colors are orange and lavender. I also like gold" I say, still staring into his eyes before I realize that his eyes are not hazel. Well, they are but not exactly hazel. They have some very tiny blue flecks in them. You have to look very close to see them, but it's worth it — his eyes are stunning.
"And my favorite flowers are roses, not lilies" I pretend to say angrily but he can see right through me as his eyes dance and it looks like he is on the verge of laughing once again — his eyes have begun to crinkle at the corners as I see the corners of his mouth tilt up slightly, no wonder thinking of the countless time he's brought me lilies and I've thrown them on his head after tearing them apart.
"I live in Britain" we both laugh again, "and I have an elder sister"
Suddenly, I want to stop staring at his eyes — I want to look down, play with the hem of my sweater, maybe, while I share such facts with him. It's not that I don't want to share such facts, It's that it's hard to look into his eyes and say them because it feels like he will figure out whether I'm lying or not — But I don't want him to win so I continue,
"My sister and I" My voice cracks at the thought of Petunia, it's barely noticeable but James has noticed it because of the concern that appears on his face immediately. As I begin to continue, his voice cuts me off,
"Well, there isn't much to say about me. I'm James Potter" We both laugh again, despite the shock I'm feeling at him interrupting me. He looks very . . . pretty now. Something I never thought I'd say about a male. They prefer more 'male' adjectives such as handsome and debonair, but I can't think of calling him anything but pretty at this point. His hazel eyes are lit up, the flecks of blue in them dancing — his black hair is mussed up and he looks so carefree. I haven't seen anyone look so carefree, and it's a relieving thought, really. The thought of War hits me like piles of bricks but even that doesn't waver my good mood. Maybe because I'm so close to him that I can smell the scent of honey off of him. It smells sweet.
"You two, get out! Nothing inappropriate will ever happen in my library. OUT!" Madam Pince's voice interrupts me and it's only then that I realize that I'm very close to him. As in, my face is very close to his face. I feel the heat creep up my neck as I avert my eyes from his, and look down at my watch, surprised to find that it's time for dinner. Perhaps even a little late. Suddenly, I hear a sound and look over to see a couple of books on the floor, James' scared expression and Madam Pince's murderous one. Everyone knows Madam Pince loves her books over her children, even though she doesn't have any — but she would if she did. My eyes widen as James sticks his hand in front of me, both of us listening to obscenities from Madam Pince. I hear her voice shouting from the library as a few students stare at us in bewilderment — a head boy and head girl getting shouted at by the librarian, isn't a very lasting impression.
We finally come to a stop, it's a basement corridor, I think — but I'm too busy trying to catch my breath to care.
"Are you hungry?" the abruptness of James' question makes me jump. I'm hungry, very hungry, and running down so many stairs and through so many corridors has definitely not helped but I lie.
"No" It's a very unconvincing lie, I have always been bad at lying so it doesn't come as much of a surprise to me when James raises his eyebrows. I open my mouth to say I'm not hungry at all but my stomach growls, answering James' unspoken question. I scowl at his amused expression and open my mouth to ask him what exactly he is going to do to solve that problem when he tickles a random pear on a painting, and to my surprise — the pear begins to . . . giggle? and turns into what looks like a green knob. My jaw drops.
"And I present to you, Miss. Lily Evans — the magnificent kitchens of Hogwarts' he bows, trying to impersonate someone from Shakespeare undoubtedly — and failing and I playfully roll my eyes as I curtsy, pretending to play along,
"Thank you, my good sir," I say in a fake posh accent as I fan myself with my hand pretending I have a fan in it — and he laughs again for what seems like the hundredth time that day, and I find myself laughing along. I always do that — laugh along whenever he laughs. For some reason, his laughter is infectious.
The next thing I know, I'm eating chocolate cake the house-elves have prepared and we are playing some game where we ask questions to the other while I stare into his eyes and answer the questions he asks while he stares into mine and does the same — it's basic but very fun,
"Happiest memory?" I ask him once he's done with his question.
"The day I came to Hogwarts. I met Sirius that day. He was so different. It's not the memory that I like, in all honesty, it's the comparison between before and now. Sirius has changed from before, for better and for worse, but the fact that I'm still here to see it is what matters so much to me" I am blown away by the intensity of his words and the sincere and soft look in his eyes, he's being honest. I can always look into his eyes to tell me the truth.
"What about you? Happiest Memory?" he asks, whisking me back to reality. I mull over the answer to his question as I try to put my answer into coherent sentences.
"It was before I got my Hogwarts letter, actually. Before I got to know that magic existed. When I was around seven, Petunia — my sister, and I went to this carnival where we played fun games and had these multi-colored lollipops. The day before I got to know of magic. It wasn't that magic was some horrible thing, more like the fact that Petunia and I acted like . . . sisters. We still do. We were just closer back then" I don't know why I've told him that. And for a moment, I regret it. But I don't have time to compose my thoughts before he pulls me into a hug. It's nothing flirtatious or provocative — it's a sweet gesture. I stiffen for a minute before my muscles begin to relax and I hug him back. It's just this — these circumstances, this chocolate cake, and just this small hug which makes tears begin to form and for them to start dropping. It's too soon that he pulls away and looks into my eyes. His eyes widen and his look mirrors panic right before I initiate the next hug. He has the same reaction I did, but eventually, he hugs me back, he's not holding on too tightly to suffocate me or too loosely to make me make like I'm the only one hugging him — it's just the right amount. He's not very handsy or very cold, he's perfect, honestly.
When we pull away, he comforts me with nice words and sweet gestures — and I'm left thinking how I could have ever thought that this . . . boy was anything but kind and sweet and good.
It becomes a normal occurrence after that — for us to meet each other in the kitchens. It feels exhilarating, honestly — to have someone to share my thoughts with, and with time, I find myself looking forward to our rendezvous. Not much of rendezvous', though, we just talk about our lives — what we want them to be, what our aspirations are, and more.
It's in March when we start talking outside of just kitchens and libraries — places which almost no one visits. And it's not just studying we talk about, we talk about many things — ranging from the newest quidditch broom set, although he is the one who does all the talking when it comes to that topic — and about the meaning of poems in English Literature, although I'm the one who does most of the talking. But by some mutual agreement, the other listens. And somewhere along the way in our initially one-sided conversations — I find myself listening to him interpreting the meanings of poems or challenging my thoughts and I find myself trying to find new strategies for quidditch — half of them work, I don't bother with the other half.
I remember when Marlene brought up the question two weeks after our constant conversations in public, where everyone used to stare with their jaw dropped — they still do, now I just know it will happen and don't let it bother James or me.
"Soo, What's up with you and Potter," she said, straight to the point with her blunt question as Alice elbowed her in the side. I raised my eyebrows in silent question as she sighed and began,
"You and Potter seem to be spending a great deal of time together. Is there anything we should know about? We are your best friends" she said.
"What? Whatever would give you that idea. James and I just friends." I had said while they stared disbelievingly at me.
"Wow, so it's James now, huh?" she had said teasingly as Alice tried to hold back her giggles, I just stared at her disbelievingly.
"Whatever, I call bagsy on being the godmother for your first child." Marlene had said as I had rolled my eyes and ignored her, instead choosing to read the poem that James had recommended to me.
The meaning of the same poem is the one we are arguing about now.
"Yes, but he was romanticizing a relationship that never truly existed. Therefore, the title, a dream within a dream." I said my stance firm as I was positive that I was going to win this argument.
"Romanticizing a relationship? You could just say that there never was a relationship to romanticize and even that would make more sense than your current 'logic' does." James begins, equally as stubborn as me,
"The whole point of the poem is that Edgar Allen Poe is regretting letting the love of life go and he regrets it. Now he feels like it never truly happened because the girl isn't there anymore — which means he thinks that it's a dream. A dream he dreamed when he was dreaming?" the last sentence comes off as a question because it makes as much sense to him as it does to me.
"What?" I deadpan and he laughs, his eyes losing their defensive look and adopting his typical lighthearted expression as we begin arguing again.
This time, I win. But I tell him I appreciate and like his approach to the world — and I mean it.
It's in May that our friendship seems to transform into something else. It's been long coming, I knew that. And so did he. Featherlight touches, short glances we would pull away from when caught. I realize that when I'm waiting for him to come for our picnic, not exactly a picnic, though. It was more like sitting somewhere in Hogsmeade, any place where there was grass and eating sponge and chocolate cakes. My favourite is Sponge and I know his is chocolate. We're also going to drink mango juice and orange juice, mango is both of our favourites but I told him earlier mango juice with chocolate cake would be too much sugar. So he said that he was going to drink orange juice, he hates it — and we both know it yet, he's doing it to annoy me. It's antics like these at which I roll my eyes at. We're not going on a date, per se, Marlene and Alice think we are — but we deny such rumors. We are going on a friendly picnic, we told everyone that it for something headboy and headgirl related because the latter would be better than declaring that we were going on a friendly picnic. Hardly anyone would believe us. Even now they do — I only dread think what would have happened had we told them about the friendly picnic.
"Lily!" I turn around as the site of James greets me, he's dressed up in a yellow shirt and blue pants — anyone else would have looked comical, the way the shades contrast — but I can't help but think how good he looks. Especially considering the fact that I'm wearing a yellow dress too which ends just a few centimetres above my knee. It seems the same thought crosses his mind as he smiles and looks at our matching clothes, saying,
"Matching clothes, huh?" he asks me teasingly, while I respond with,
"If I had known you were going to were yellow or blue, I would have never worn them in my life" I say melodramatically, doing what I hope is good enough to make him laugh. My efforts are rewarded when he laughs and I giggle along. Even if don't want to, I can never help myself when it comes to him. His laughter is infectious — his very presence is enough to light up a room. He's just like that, I can never find an explanation — it just is. Like magic just is and how yellow is yellow, he's enough. More than enough, actually — I realize this while he's removing the chocolate and sponge cakes from the basket he was carrying them in.
And thirty minutes later, having finished our respective cakes and while drinking our juices, we're playing the same game where he asks me questions and I answer them — and vice versa. Anyone who doesn't play this game is missing out on a lot of happiness, I think to myself as I ask James question after question — then he begins asking me questions. We stare into each other's eyes, an unspoken rule for this specific game.
"Favorite Spell?"
"Uh, Wingardium Leviosa? Or maybe the Crinus Muto?" I say, not being able to decide which spell I like better.
"Crinus Muto? I bet you can't even perform it" James says, and I see a challenging gaze as I continue staring into his eyes. As I raise my eyebrows. I take out my wand which he had earlier placed into the basket and point the tip of my wand towards him, enjoying the way he jumped.
"Care to test that theory?" I say teasingly. He raises his eyebrows and says,
"Bring it on, redhead Lily" referring to the nickname he had given me in first year — and I'm stuck between rolling my eyes and laughing. In the end, I do both. I point my wand at time and say,
"Crinus Muto"
And then laugh at the green haired male who now has long hair in front of me.
It's in July that changes begin in our friendship, we're more comfortable. His eyes linger on me longer than they normally do in the Great Hall and everywhere else, our kitchen meetings become more constant and the only thing we discuss about is no longer just quidditch and English Literature.
It's in the middle of one of our kitchen meetings when he says something,
"You know what would make this even more fun?" He asks.
"Oh, this is fun? I'm sorry, I didn't realize sitting and eating was fun" I deadpanned but my amused expression probably gave it away as he smiled in a very obvious fake way and said,
"Let me amend my statement, You know what would make this fun?" He asked, grinning as I shook my head, awaiting a response,
"Oh, come on, Lily"
"We're head boy and head girl, James. We're not supposed to do this stuff, what if someone finds out?" I ask anxiously because I know that he won't stop even if I beg him to. He rolls his eyes, gets up, disappears somewhere into the kitchen and brings out a bottle of Butterbeer, grinning even more widely when he saw my dumbfounded expression.
"How — How did you get that?" I ask, too shocked by the sight in front of me to ask anything else, as he winks and says,
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
"James" I dragged each syllable out on purpose, intent on having him tell me the truth.
"Come on, Lily. Here" he points to the glass where he has just poured a generous amount of Butterbeer. I shake my head and take the glass, clinking it against the one in his hand, reveling in his dumbfounded expression. He was probably thinking I wouldn't drink it, I think smugly as I take the first sip of Butterbeer.
Five similar drinks later, I have no idea what I'm doing or where I'm going, I realize. James is right behind me as he leads me to what I can assume is the Gryffindor Tower, except he hasn't had that much to drink. Our walk to the Tower is peaceful, only speaking one in a while. We're just in front of the staircase of the dormitories when he abruptly asks me a question,
"Lily, would you consider us . . . friends?" he asks me, and I have to turn to look at him at the shock of the question and ridiculousness of it. Even through the haze of the beer, I understand the question and am just about to make a comment that I think would be witty when I look into his eyes — it's when I realize that this is an actual question he is asking me and not just a joke. His eyes scream honesty. It's as if I'm looking into his eyes for the first time, they're hazel with flecks of blue — but I already know that. They're also so expressive, this boy I'm standing in front of, I realize, is so vulnerable. And I can see it in the way he stands, the way he asks me the question and in the way his eyes are pools of honesty right now. Somehow, my gaze falls to his lips and the next thing I know, I'm cupping his face and I'm kissing him.
It's not the kind of kiss I've read about in novels. We don't open our mouths or use our tongues or whatever is written in those trashy novels Alice reads and I have read sometimes. It's just a kiss where I press my lips on his. Yet, that's enough to be a firework in itself. I don't feel a firework, it's his lips that explode a sense of euphoria in me. It's sweet and he smells of honey and strawberries — and a lot of Butterbeer, I realize. I'm engulfed in a never ending cycle of kisses, euphoria and honey. And this cycle is so much better than in the books that Alice reads — it's different, somehow. Sweeter.
Then I pull away — look at the dazed expression he has and stumble back to my room.
It's in July where we talk again after weeks of avoiding each other — or rather, me avoiding him. It's unpredictable, really, how he catches, or finds, me. Rumors have been circulating — they say that our affair isn't going on anymore and we've 'broken' up — I resist telling people that we never were anything to begin with. Even though there could have been. I like James Potter, I don't know how I do or when I started liking him — I just know that I like him and how to deal with it is exactly what I'm contemplating when he finds me in the Common Room. I'm sitting, watching the fireplace and the next thing I know, the room has emptied and the person there besides me is one James Potter.
"James." I say stiffly.
"Lily" he responds, nervous.
"If you will —" I begin to say
"Can we talk somewhere —" He starts just when I do and we laugh together. And just like that, the tension is broken. I feel free, laughing after so long, after trying to hide myself from James, and it's then I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"Okay" I say and he looks at me questioningly.
"Let's go talk somewhere else. That's what you wanted to say, right?" I ask him and he nods.
Despite our earlier laugh, things are different now, as we walk through the library. The tension is so thick that it can be cut with a knife. Then, he speaks,
"You're a great friend, Lily." he begins. Is this how rejection feels like? I wonder. I can feel my skin begin to turn hot, the air is too hot and I can feel it begin to suffocate me. Is this what is going to happen? He's going to say I'm a great friend and then he's going to say that he's over me. I take a deep breath, everything is going to be fine. So what if James rejects me —
"Why did you . . . kiss me, Lily?" I hear the question and considering the concerned look on his face and the tone of his voice, I decide that it isn't the first time he's asked his question. I don't know what to answer, exactly. He's looking at me with concern and he's asking me the question which I am so embarrassed of. In a moment of impulsiveness, the answer tumbles off my mouth.
"I like you" I say and then regret it as soon as I say it. He doesn't look concerned now, more like astonished.
"A — As a friend? right?" he asks me, his expression is one of surprise and he looks like he's second guessing himself. I'm sure I was going to nod my head and say yes but somehow, the opposite happened. This was honestly one of the worst moments in my life.
"No" I said, hating how meek my voice sounded.
"Oh" he says, still in surprise — after which, we fall into a silence. Although, it's far from comfortable, every second I am anticipating the possible outcomes of my answers and it's only when he begins to turn away do I breath an internal sigh of relief. At the same time, however, my gut wrenches from the subtle rejection — About a year ago, I would have been thrilled, but now, it doesn't feel half as thrilling — And all I want to do is bury myself into a deep dark hole I (hopefully) will never come out off. So when I feel lips pressed to mine in a soft kiss, I don't know whether it is the shock or misery that causes me to stay still — Almost numb.
It's only when James pulls away and smiles — he usual goofy grin, do I know everything is alright. Everything is going to be alright. It might not be alright now, it might not be alright for as long as I can think of, but in the end, it will be alright. Then his voice breaks my thoughts,
"So, doth thee wanteth to wend on a date with me?" He speaks in what seems like Shakespearean English and I do what comes to my mind,
And then we're left kissing, covered by shelves and at the risk of being found out by Madam Pince anytime — but this time, the fact doesn't bother me as it normally would.
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Soulmate AU
Bucky x F!Reader Part1/?
Summary: When you turn 18 you get the name of a song on your wrist. That is the song you and your soulmate share. It is also how you can communicate with them.
Warnings: Lots of fluff, brief mentions of death, therapy, implied winter soldier, anxiety (bucky and reader)
Word Count: 1,543
A/N: So I was listening to a song that reminded me of Bucky when I thought of this idea if you know of someone who thought of it first just lmk. I’m probably going to make this a series. Master list will hopefully be up soon. As with any of my work unedited. All my own original work. (All Rights Reserved) Gif not my own.
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At age 18 everyone was blessed with the ability to see the song their soulmate shared. So when you turn 18 on August 5th you were more than excited. You couldn’t wait till you found the one. You currently had a boyfriend Killian. His name was harsh but he wasn’t if anything he was the perfect boyfriend. Telling you no matter what you and he would stay together because he loved you. So when yours and his songs didn’t match up your heart broke a little bit. You could’ve sworn that Killian was the one for you. He had gotten He’s a Pirate by Klaus Badeit and you got It’s Been a Long, Long Time by Harry James you wondered if the universe could screw up. I mean you and Killian might have been meant to be. He stayed with you even though you both knew that he wasn't happy. So you finally decided to let him go. Let him find his soulmate. It was just your luck that he was your best friend's soulmate. That night you decided it was time for you to try to meet your soulmate. So you played the song. The pleasant melody lulling you to a soft slumber. You could feel your body falling. Soon you the falling feeling stop and you open your eyes. You were in a dimly lit room. The decor seems to be a 1940s aesthetic. You found comfort in it. It seemed homely. A simple fridge in the corner curtain blocking the natural light coming from the window above the sink. You called out "Hello sorry it took so long to come."
There was no reply. Maybe he hadn't had his 18th birthday yet. That was always a possibility. So you waited. Every night for about 2 years you would try and contact him. You had started believing that you didn't have a soulmate. But then how could you have a song on your arm. Then a chilling thought came to your mind. Maybe he was in a relationship and didn't want to be with you. No, he was your soulmate how could he not want to be with you. You and he were destined to be together. It didn't matter you hadn't needed a man before to make you happy so why should you now. Eventually, you just stopped trying. Stopped wondering if your soulmate was out there. You had given up. If he wanted to know you he would have reached out by now.
Buckys life had not been all sunshine and daisies like he had planned. He had planned to find his soulmate go fight in the war and return to you. That dream was crushed when he realized he didn't have a soulmate. He tried the night of his 18 birthday and months after that. Either you didn't turn 18 for another year or to or you didn't exist. Looking back on it now he was happy that he never found you. He couldn't believe the heartache that you would face if you had found out he had died or if you had found out what he had done. "James," Dr.Raynor's voice cutting through his haze. "James the point of these sessions is to talk out your problems. What's been on your mind?"
He looks down to where he poorly hid the letter etched on his skin.
"Your thinking about her. Aren't you? Why don't you try contacting her?"
"Because what kind of soulmate would I be if one day I show up and say hey so I am alive I do exist but we can't be together cause I killed a bunch of people?"
"Why don't you let her decide that? Why are you taking away her right to know that she at least has a soulmate? What's stopping you from trying?"
Her words made sense but you couldn't let her know that they did. Maybe he did owe it to you that he shows up at least once. So he did. He turned on It’s Been a Long, Long Time by Harry James and began drifting off into peace. The familiar feeling of failing is greeted by the scent of his old home. For some reason, he always ended up here. He calls out "Hello" to his surprise someone responds.
"Hello," an uncertain voice speaks out. His voice is angelic.
"Hey," you step into the natural light. Hoping that maybe he will too.
"Wow, you are even prettier than I could ever imagine." You giggle a little bit.
"You must have been picturing a toad cause that's the only way I would be prettier than you imagined."
"Oh no, I was definitely picturing an angel." He said stepping into the light. He steps with caution as if any moment could be his last. You had seen this before in your father. When he came back from the war. Other than the obvious caution in his step he was quite handsome. He had a little bit of stubble which you didn't mind. His piercing blue eyes made you feel safe. He was all you dreamed of when you thought of the perfect man. HE had a leather jacket and gloves on. A pair of jeans cover his legs while he wears military-style boots. Giving you further evidence he is a vetran.
"Well, you yourself are quite handsome." His features softened. You maybe even saw a small smile.
"I'm sorry it took so long for us to meet. I just don't believe I deserve love after all I have done. So I came here to show you that I exist but I should be leaving."
"Wait-" you cried out before he vanished. Tears stream down your face. As the song ends you are pulled out of the dream.
The next morning you wake up clutching a pillow. Your cheeks were tear-stained. Had last night really happened? You had met your soulmate and he left all in one night. All you wanted was to be in his arms. You had to find him. To show him that he does indeed deserve love.
He had met you. Like Dr.Raynor suggested but when he saw how beautiful how innocent you were he could let him corrupt you. His heart broke when you called out to him but he couldn't let that get to him. How could he expect you to deal with him let alone love him with the fact that he had killed so many people? You deserved better but his heart and entire body betrayed him. His body was betraying him. He wanted to feel your touch on his skin. To heal all your wounds the ones he had caused and the ones others have caused.
"How did it go?" Dr. Raynor asked
"It went amazing doc. I told her she was better than I could've imagined she told me I was handsome and then I left her there. I left here there to deal with the pain alone. I hurt her like I like hurt everyone else. So maybe your little plan to unite u to helo me didn't work."
"James you have to open up to someone if not your soulmate sam or I find someone because one day you are going to find a challenge you can face alone and you are going to get yourself seriously hurt."
That rung true but he already hurt you would you be there tonight. He hoped you would be. Maybe he could right this wrong before he made it worse.
You wanted to try again tonight. Try and contact him again against all of your friend's opinions but you had to find him. He was your soulmate. It didn't matter how many times he hurt you. You would always go back. So you put on the song on repeat and felt the feeling of falling. Allowing yourself to feel welcome in the kitchen you always seemed to find yourself in. You walked into the light first and called out "Hello. Listen I know last night you said I deserved better but I don't want better. I want y-"
You were cut off before you could finish "Listen what I said last night I meant. I am not a good guy. I can't explain this feeling. I can't explain the way when I am with you I feel safe. So I am sorry for what I said yesterday but I was hoping we could just meet here for now. I know it may not be what you want but it's all I can handle right now."
"Yes. Please yes, I will take whatever you are offering." You reach out to touch him. He flinches a bit but lets you. You wrapped your arms around his neck and interlaced your fingers hoping he gets the hint you want to dance. He does He carefully wraps his arms around your waist. He is wearing the same outfit as the first time you met him. You didn't mind your mindless start dancing in the kitchen. It's about 2 or 3 minutes later you realize you are now dancing by yourself. You laugh a little at the fact that you were dancing alone. When you pull yourself out of reality.
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Adopting Bangtan 01
Kim Namjoon, age 6
It’s growing dark outside when you leave the school building. You’ve finished with your tutoring for the day and are ready to go home, kick your feet up, and lose your mind in a few hours of Netflix. Some kimchi and convenience store ramen sounds like a really great dinner plan.
“Excuse me, kid,” you say to the young boy sitting against the tires of your car. He can’t be much older than six, but he’s engrossed in what looks to be a thick chapter book.
“Hm?” He starts. A red skull cap covers his head, but you can see that his dark hair cut evenly across his eyebrows. His eyes are bright, even if he seems confused by your interruption.
“It’s time for me to go home. Think you can move out of the way? Maybe someplace a little warmer?” The kid blinks up at you once, then calls you by name. “Yeah, that’s me.”
“Can I…” The kid bites his lip in hesitation. “I was told to wait for you. That you’ll take care of me from now on.”
“That I’ll do what now?” Maybe your Korean isn’t as good as you thought. It sounded like the kid asked to live with you.
“Is that true? Will you be my new parent?”
You aren’t sure what to say in the face of wide, innocent eyes and rosy cheeks. It isn’t the kid’s fault that some jerk just left him to wait for a stranger, but it also isn’t your responsibility to take care of every child thrown your way. “A kid wasn’t in my plans tonight,” you tell him in the end. He might be young, but he deserves the truth.
“But I’ve sat here forever!” he cries. The way his face fell at your words, tentative joy descending into childish hurt and confusion has your heart clenching. Then you notice how he’s shivering in the late winter cold. He’s only wearing a hoodie and hat, no gloves, no scarf; the Korean winter is too biting for the little warmth his clothes provide. Internally, you sigh. The right thing to do would be taking him to the local police station and letting them sort it out there. But right now, you’re tired and don’t actually know where said police station is located. There’s no doubt in your mind that the kid is also tired and hungry, as well as cold and confused. You can fix at least three of those things by bringing him home with you.
“Okay, kid, get in the car,” you tell him. “Back seat. Buckle your belt. I’ll take you home for the night, okay?” The frown is immediately replaced with the brightest grin you’ve ever seen on a child’s face, and you hate to ruin that but -- “It’s only for tonight, okay? Tomorrow, when I get off work, we’ll go to the police station and see if we can find your family, okay?” The kid’s expression does fall a bit, but he nods emphatically at the arrangement.
“I’ll be good, I promise!”
Kim Namjoon did indeed live up to his promise. He was an intelligent, thoughtful, and inquisitive kid, who also made great conversation for only being six. He was also a slippery brat, as a month later, he was still in your house, still eating your food, and seemingly carving himself a place in your heart. You were beginning to find yourself reluctant to take Namjoon to the police and give up your new buddy. It was nice coming home to someone, especially someone who looked at you as if you were the only thing bringing color into an otherwise black and white world.
After three months, you realize you’ve already decided to keep the kid. It wasn’t easy finding yourself a sudden caretaker, and Namjoon wasn’t exactly an obedient child one hundred percent of the time, but the two of you have grown close.
Which was why you finally chose to take him to the police station.
“But… I thought…” The look on Namjoon’s face threatens to break your heart, but not nearly as much as the distress in his voice. “I thought you were letting me stay? Wasn’t I good? I can be better, I promise! Please, don’t send me away!”
“Shh…” you try soothing the kid, brushing your fingers through his hair, making soft noises in the process. He clings to you, pulling the fabric of your shirt tight, and you suddenly realize that you should have actually talked to the kid before you got in the car. “Hey, I’m not trying to get rid of you, okay?” You tell him gently. “But if I want to keep you we have to do it right, okay? I have to let the police know you were abandoned with me, then ask how I go about adopting you. If I adopt you, I can put you in school and you can make friends and learn the math I can’t teach you and you won’t be lonely when I have to go to work, because you’ll be at school. Okay?”
“You promise?” Namjoon’s voice comes out smaller than you’re used to, childish and insecure.
“Of course I promise.”
02, 03, 04
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rwboydivision · 6 days ago
It’s really unfair that most of the people I ship Qrow with are dead. T_T
Summer is either dead, or has been irreversibly transformed into a monster. If she is alive in Grimm form, it would probably be a mercy at this point to kill her. I could easily write an angst fic about Qrow having to be the one to do it. But, my personal theory, is that Raven already put Summer out of her misery. (I could also write fic where her transformation is reversible by magic, and she becomes a living human woman again....but, I know this is unrealistic.)
Clover is dead. I know a lot of Fair Game shippers were hoping Qrow could use the Staff Of Creation to revive him. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Even if it were theoretically possible, Salem has the staff now. 😞’s strongly implied that he drowned when Atlas fell. I know some Ironqrow shippers said “well, we didn’t see his body, so maybe he survived somehow!” But, he sustained pretty heavy injuries before the fall. He could barely move when Cinder called checkmate, so this seems unlikely. Even if he lived.....whatever bond they had with each other, has been destroyed. Qrow was 100% ready to kill Ironwood, before Robyn pleaded with him to stop.
Ozpin....technically he’s not “dead”, but he no longer has his own body. Ozpin’s new vessel is in his early teens, and Qrow would never make advances towards an underage person. Even if Ozpin wanted to be with Qrow, Oscar does not.
Qrow and Winter had a lot of...tension in the first few volumes, but the last few seasons of the show haven’t developed this further at all. They barely interacted during the Atlas arc, so I don’t see this going anywhere in V9.
Tai and Qrow....well, I really love them together. They have a long-standing history. But, they’re on opposite sides of Remnant rn, so I don’t have high hopes of them interacting much in V9 either.
Qrow and Robyn.....honestly, I think this has a high chance of becoming canon. They had some interesting scenes together in V8 (talking about their Semblances in jail, her talking him out of assassinating Ironwood, etc.) Qrow and Robyn were together when Atlas fell. So, I anticipate that they’ll have a lot of scenes together in V9, too. I don’t ship it as hard as the other pairings I listed above. But, I want Qrow to be happy with someone. He deserves it.
Maybe that’s why I’m writing a Qrow/OC fic rn. I can’t promise when the first chapter of that story will be posted, because I have several other projects I’m working on at the same time (To be specific: I’m writing fics for OzQrow Week, QroWin Week, TaiQrow Week, and Lucky Ironqrow Week. Is it obvious that I’m a Qrow stan? ^^; )
If anyone wants to hear more about Alice (my OC) tho, hmu lol
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daily-art-news · 7 days ago
Sean-Kierre Lyons’s Flower Warriors and Cracker Flags
Drop in Water, 2017, crackers, acrylic, and resin.
If, in the winter of 2017, you had walked along Gates Avenue—which stretches from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, to Fresh Pond, Queens—you would have found its midpoint conspicuously marked by a version of the Confederate flag. The migratory art gallery Housing, then located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, had recently installed Sean-Kierre Lyons’s Drop in Water (2017) in its storefront window. Like most of Lyons’s works, the flag was a piece of Civil War–era paraphernalia with a twist, as if someone, somewhere along the way, had seized the means of production and then freaked it. Premium brand saltines were glued to a wooden backing, slicked with resin, and detailed in white and blue acrylic paint. Displayed as part of a group show that also included works by Parker Bright and Isis Swaby, the flag was intended as a visual pun: the crackers might put crackers on blast, but Lyons didn’t intend for anyone to feel hurt. Drop in Water, however, was a signifier with a life of its own: eventually, someone threw a brick. The window shattered, but the crackers remained intact—that is, until the work was moved into the building’s basement for storage, where it was eaten by rats.
Most vexed historical symbols are destined to meet one of two fates: either they are elevated to the status of totems by those who insist on their endurance, or they are swept into archives and curiosity cabinets, where they are regarded as the cursed vestiges of a shameful past. Excavating malign reminders of the antebellum South, Lyons suffuses collective memory with childlike whimsy. During a recent studio visit, the self-taught artist—who was born in Salinas, California, and raised in Brooklyn—told me that whenever an emblem is sentenced to the annals of history, “there’s life behind it, somewhere else.”
Resurrections are not necessarily endorsements. Lyons’s works that evoke the afterlife of the Confederacy are winking, even crass. The artist’s portraiture, on the other hand, is celebratory. Every drawing included in “In Battle Petals Fall,” their 2020 solo exhibition at Fortnight Institute in the East Village, looks like a party. Facial features are derived from the hyperbolic aesthetics of minstrelsy, but seem a little more real, more intimate—despite the fact that eyes and teeth double as pistils and stamens, crowned with a psychedelic weave of petals. Lyons calls the colored-pencil figures “flower warriors,” and each is derived from a loved one: a friend, a housemate, their dad. Were the renditions not so spot on, it would be tempting to call them avatars. (During our studio visit, Lyons showed me a drawing of a figure made up entirely of clouds, in which I immediately recognized their studio mate, Precious Okoyomon.) Each brandishes accessories like absurdist armor: a vine becomes a jump rope; a white hood, absent its body, is toted like a bag of found treasure.
View of Lyons’s exhibition “Mmhhmm,” 2019, at Larrie, New York.
Before Lyons turned to drawing last year, they tended to work in sculpture. “Mmhhmm,” their 2019 solo show at Larrie on the Lower East Side, featured a new cracker flag, this time with the coiled rattlesnake and DON’T TREAD ON ME inscription from the Gadsden banner, as well as an immersive Astroturf-lined installation populated by plush objects wearing affable expressions. Ladybugs, flowers, and even a pack of Newports wore sewn-on lips curled into vacant smiles, and little humanlike figures dressed in bunny suits bore grins so large they might be mistaken for grimaces. If encountered individually, the items might look like interlopers from the land of misfit toys. But viewed together, and accompanied by the flower warriors, they are clearly transplants from another realm, where even hints of pain are expressed through the coy aesthetics of cuteness, and repose is a battle stance in disguise. “If you come off as a whimsical bitch,” Lyons told me, “people are really surprised when you turn up.”
The sculptures and drawings belong to a single ongoing narrative, detailed in a notebook that describes a world populated by flower warriors who live in harmony with their evolving environment. Alongside ladybugs and humanlike creatures, they harvest sustenance from the earth. Inevitably, there are villains—in this case, wasps named after Confederate generals—but when a flower warrior dies, everyone helps to usher in new life. “These characters were made without our permission,” Lyons said, referring to the imagined traits and habits of Black life that were codified into minstrelsy. Cultivating the thwarted lives sentenced to death in the archive is “a way of honoring them, and giving these entities a way to exist where they can live their lives out, and have more than just shaking their hands and tap dancing. They can defend themselves now, and they have families.” The flags, humanoids, and flower warriors are not the ephemera of a lost history, but the building blocks of an alternate present, where “everything is a Black figure, and everything has consciousness.”
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slomps-stomp · 9 days ago
Bluebird Summer~ Part 2: A New Nest
Trigger warning: Mention of child abuse
Word count: 9,534
Luckily, Shane’s new foster family wasn’t that far away. The social workers estimated it’d be about an hour.
“You got very lucky,” he heard one of the men tell him from the front seat, as he clutched Bax. Oh, how much he wished it were the days when Emily had given him Bax, or when the two of them and Ollivander played birds together on the playground. Now everything would be different. He might not ever see Ollivander or Emily ever again. “Usually they don’t take kids away in situations like this, but that hot car incident just barely got your case looked into.”
“Hot car incident?” Shane asked, his voice cracking a little.
“When you were about two years old, from what I’ve heard, your parents left you in the car to burn up. Luckily, they found you just before it was too late, but your parents still got in a ton of hot water for it. Good on you for speaking up.”
Shane felt hot tears come to his eyes. “But I might not see my mother or friends ever again.”
“Things will be better without your mother, Shane,” the other man said. “She’s been horrible to you, and no little kiddo like yourself deserves that kind of treatment. You’re going to get put with a very nice foster family- they’re people you even know, which is another reason why you’re such a lucky duck, and if things go well then you’ll get to live with your aunt after all the adult drama is over.”
It was too much for Shane to handle, and he started to break down. “I want my mom! I want Marnie! I just-” He sniffed. “I just want someone to love me!”
“Oh, kiddo…” The first guy said, looking back at Shane sympathetically while also keeping the other eye on the road. “You’ll find someone who loves you, okay? I know your aunt does, and I know Mrs. Burrows and her daughters love you too. What do you call her again?”
“Ms. Hannah!” Shane exclaimed. “I didn’t know she did foster care?” “Us either. But, she specifically asked that you be assigned to her, and the government obliged, and you’re going to her. At most, it should be a few weeks, not long. Ms. Hannah will take great care of you, and everything should be fine.”
Shane wasn’t so sure, though. Without his mom, everything seemed so dark and lonely, like no one would love him ever again. It was cold, and he had goosebumps and was shivering. Probably because he was wearing a tee shirt for the first time since his mom said he was no longer allowed to wear tees, because they would reveal his bruised body. Now his purple-stained arms were on full display, the pattern looking like he’d covered himself in blackberry jam. As they drove to the country, Shane tried to absorb all the sights he usually did, and the fall air was cool, just nippy enough to show that winter would be on its way. He was hungry too, but he wouldn’t tell the men that. He didn’t want to hear some essay on it, all he wanted to do was go home, eat, and sleep, with his mother and father in the room next to him. And now they were both gone, leaving Shane all alone with Ms. Hannah and these two weird guys.
He fell asleep in the car, his little head going into dreamland. He dreamt of being in a big field, where there were all sorts of animals he could play with, from chickens to the big cows like the ones at Marnie’s farm. When he was littler, he would be able to walk under the cows, touch their big bellies and feel so tiny compared to them. Now, he was about as tall as a cow, and no longer experienced that same wonder that he did before. Now he could come up to a cow and stroke its head, looking into its big, brown eyes. But chickens would always be his favorite. Maybe, if he went to go live with Marnie, he could finally have chickens of his own! That would be one good thing about losing his mother, he guessed. Was he really so shallow that he would rather have chickens than a mother?
He woke up after going over a large bump, and found that he was still grumpy, tired, nervous, hungry, thirsty, and needed to go to the bathroom. “Are we there yet?”
“Yep, almost there,” the first guy said. “Do we need to stop?”
“No,” Shane replied politely, kicking his feet. “I just want to go home. To mom. To normal stuff. Not Ms. Hannah, not Marnie, not anyone else. I just want things to go back to the way they used to be.” “I know, but things will be better from now on, as soon as all the custody hearings are over,” the first guy promised. Look, we’re just at the bus stop. We’ll walk you to the Burrows’ home.”
Shane felt like throwing up after getting off the car, and he did, right on the side of the road. “Woah, do you get carsick, kiddo?” “I’m just nervous,” he admitted while trying to clean off his mouth. “I don’t like change. I miss my mom.”
“I know, son, I know,” the second guy assured. “Ms. Hannah will help. You should even be able to visit Aunt Marnie while you’re with her, as long as the court doesn’t oppose it.”
“Maybe she’ll let me have chickens,” Shane told the men calmly. “I want chickens. I always have.”
“Well, that’s one good thing about this whole situation!” The other man said. “Now, come on, let’s get to Ms. Hannah’s so you can get some food!”
Shane was down for food, so he followed the two men to the Burrows’ home. He felt so anxious, nervous, and afraid, which usually weren’t emotions visiting Emily evoked. But this wasn’t just a visit, this was a stay, and he was not enthusiastic. In fact, he was terrified. What if Ms. Hannah didn’t like him anymore? What if Emily just wanted to play with her new friends and not him? Would he even continue going to school? A pit of dread formed in his stomach, and he wished, once again, that he was just back home.
One of the men knocked on the door to the Burrows’ place, and Ms. Hannah appeared at the door. “Oh, Shane, it’s so good to see you!” She exclaimed, getting down to give him a warm hug. “I’m sure you’re hungry- I made dinner already for you, it’s inside. Hopefully hot dogs and macaroni will be sufficient.”
“What does sufficient mean?”
“It means good. Do you like hot dogs and macaroni?”
Shane nodded, and Ms. Hannah seemed a bit relieved. “That’s good. Usually I cook something fancier, but I had to tidy up my room. You’ll be sleeping in there, by the way, and I’ll sleep on the couch. You can’t stay with the girls, obviously, and you need to have your own room until you move in with Marnie.
“You have no idea that I’ll actually end up living with her,” Shane grumbled. “Mom could still be my mom.”
Ms. Hannah sighed. “Oh, hopefully not.”
Shane felt that pit of dread turn into a boiling pot of anger. How dare people be speaking about his mother in this manner, all the time? Sure, his mother had done bad things to him, but she was his mother, and he loved her! He wanted to scream. He wanted to scream at Ms. Hannah that he wanted his mother, and then bang his head against the wall. But Ms. Hannah’s hospitality was too generous for him to do that in good faith. Right now, he could have been with some complete stranger who didn’t give a single hoot about him, but he was with Ms. Hannah, and Emily, and Haley. He couldn’t bring himself to be angry at her, or at least speak on it. So, the anger manifested itself in tears pouring down his red cheeks, letting out little whimpers as he tried to hold them back. He wanted to tell Ms. Hannah why he was crying when she started to fuss, but he didn’t want to be reminded of what his mother had done anymore. He just wanted to see her for the perfect woman he’d seen her as, and not this monster everyone else did. So, he simply asked, “M-may I have some m-mac and cheese, please?”
“Of course. You must be starving.”
So his new caretaker gave him a heaping plateful of the stuff, which he quickly scarfed down. It reminded him of home, in a way. Good old Joja brand boxed macaroni. The taste of home. The taste of happiness.
That night, Shane had trouble falling asleep. Ms. Hannah’s bed was so big he felt lost between all the sheets and thick, hand-quilted comforter, but at least it was better than the couch. He stirred, rolling over on his side, and then on his back, and then even on his stomach. No matter what he tried, sleep wouldn’t overcome him. He wanted to cry, but his tear ducts seemed dry from crying so much, and his head was pounding from the headache that came with crying so much. He wanted to wake up Ms. Hannah or Emily and ask them to stay up with him, build a pillowfort, take his mind off his mother and tire him out. But that would be rude, to bother them. So he stayed awake all night, wanting to cry, the pit of dread growing, and just wishing that he had his mother.
It turned out that he would, in fact, still be going to school, but Ms. Hannah had decided that it was a good idea to give her two kids and Shane a day off to get used to their new life.
“I’m sorry about your mom,” Emily apologized, touching Shane’s shoulder gently. “And I’m sorry for not talking to you much recently. All the girls just love me now.”
Shane sighed, not really wanting to respond, or talk. “All the boys love you too. Everyone loves you. So why would you want to hang out with a loser?”
“You’re not a loser!” Emily argued, looking shocked. “You’re cool, and I like you! I just have a lot of other friends now…” Emily could tell this discussion with Shane was a lost cause, though, as he was looking to his feet, glaring at her. So she left him alone, walking away.
Haley, though, three years younger than her sister, was much more persistent.
“Do you want to play?” She asked, following after him. “I’m really good,” he replied grumpily, just wanting a minute to himself to cry.
“I have all sorts of things to play with, though! I can do your makeup! Or your nails!”
“Boys don’t get their nails done,” Shane protested.
“Says who?”
Shane thought. Who had said that? “Um… Nobody.”
“So let me do your nails!” Haley demanded. “If you don’t like it, you can wash it off later.” She harrumphed.
Shane thought about it for a few seconds. I mean… It couldn’t be too bad. “Okay, fine! But only once!”
“Yay! What color do you want?”
“Blue and green, I guess,” he requested, sitting down still for Haley. He didn’t like the time getting his nails done gave him to think. In fact, it led to him thinking too much, thinking about his mother. I mean, what she’d done to him wasn’t all that bad, really. She was being unfairly punished for things she couldn’t control! She didn’t mean to bruise and beat Shane, it just happened sometimes. It was an accident, surely. She didn’t know any better. Her parents must have done the same.
Shane shivered. He certainly hoped that wasn’t the case. He remembered how much his mother had hurt him, the bruises she’d left on his body, and how much her words had carved into his small heart, leaving him to bleed as he tried to understand her cruel words. She’d even done worse that he’d entirely forgotten about. Like how he hadn’t even remembered he’d been left for dead in a hot car.
“You have nice nails,” Haley said, interrupting his thoughts. “It’s a shame that you won’t be staying forever. You’re so still, you’re an even better client than Mom! You don’t talk much, though.”
“Well,” Shane sighed. “I was thinking about stuff. Scary stuff. Bad stuff.”
“Oh.” Haley looked down to Shane’s painted nails. “Well, Mom keeps saying that things are going to get better, okay? And they will… I think.” Then, she kissed his cheek and pranced away. Yuck!
Haley quickly took quite the liking to Shane, and he found that, when the two were home, Haley spent most of her time padding after him with wide eyes.
“I think someone likes you, Shane,” Ms Hannah pointed out as Haley watched Shane from afar.
“Well, you can tell her I’m not interested,” Shane replied, which just made Ms. Hannah laugh.
Things were fine with the Burrows, and Shane became more and more content with being the apple of Haley’s eye. He even got used to getting his nails painted daily (he’d wash it off before he went to school the next day- there was no need to get bullied), and the sessions became almost therapeutic as Haley taught Shane to do her nails. He liked brushing the paint on so gently, coating each nail in a different shade. He’d always enjoyed making art, but had never been good at it. This, on the other hand, was a kind of art he couldn’t be bad at. He just had to make sure he didn’t get polish on Haley’s fingers. The intricacy even took his mind off of things like how much he missed his mother, or the nervousness of knowing that Marnie and his mother were fighting for custody as he painted. He could only think about painting Haley’s nails perfectly.
“Will you visit us when you go to live with your new family?” Haley asked, her eyes big and pleading.
“I hope so. I dunno if Mom would let me, and I dunno if Marnie is gonna ever come back to the ranch or stay in Zuzu.”
“We’ve talked about it, and she’ll come back as soon as all of this is over,” Ms. Hannah interrupted. “According to her, your Mom didn’t even show up at the first court hearing, Shane. If she’s a no-show at the next one, Marnie gets automatic custody.”
“That means you’ll be our neighbor!” Haley said excitedly. “So you can visit any time! Right, Mom?”
Ms. Hannah smiled, and nodded. “Shane’s always been welcome in this household, and always will be.”
Things were surprisingly normal at the Burrows’. Emily was fairly reserved, and spent most of her time at school and home talking with her friends over the phone. Shane and Haley kept growing closer and closer. She was the little sister Shane had never had, a friend who would be with him through everything. She idolized him, her perfect nail model. And while it took a while to get used to, he liked that just fine.
“Are you sure you can’t stay here with us?” Haley asked as the two built a pillow fort. “Because, you’re the best friend I’ve ever had. Even if we’re neighbors, I don’t want you to go.”
Shane had been so worried about the past and the future, he realized he hadn’t been thinking about the present all that much. He thought deeply. Did he actually want to leave the Burrows’? After all of this? Deep down, something told him he didn’t. He wanted to stay with them, because they were the first people who made him feel loved. Emily had always been a good friend, but now that they were drifting apart things were different. But Ms. Hannah made him feel like a son, and Haley a superhero. And there was no doubt in his mind and heart that he loved all three of them. And even though he loved Aunt Marnie, and loved his mother, why would he want to leave what seemed like a perfect family?
He shyly approached Ms. Hannah about it one morning as she changed the sheets on his bed. “Ms. Hannah? Can I just stay here forever?”
She sighed. “I’m afraid not. I really can’t handle taking on another child, and Emmett should be coming home soon. There’s just no room in this house for another person. Besides, Marnie’s already one-to-zero on the custody hearings. You’re going to live with her, and you can come visit anytime you’d like. But you can’t stay. Not forever.”
Shane stared at the ground, his bottom lip pouty. “But I love you. And I love Haley and Emily. Why can’t I stay, Ms. Hannah?”
“I already told you, there’s no room. I’m sorry. Trust me, you’re a perfectly nice young boy and I’d take you in if I could, and if there weren’t already Marnie. It’s almost over, Shane. You’ll go to your real home soon.”
“We should get heading for school!” Shane exclaimed, trying not to show the pain he was in knowing that he wasn’t loved or wanted in this household. He must have not been loved or wanted at all. Ms. Hannah must have not loved him. Haley probably didn’t either. And Emily? Come on, she’d been ignoring him for the past few months. How could she care? He should just give up on ever finding anyone who would truly care. Aunt Marnie hadn’t even bothered visiting him, so he doubted she cared either. How could anybody ever care about him? It was probably impossible.
Shane was at school when he heard the news. He’d been called down to the office, and immediately assumed he was in trouble for playing games on his computer.
“Shane, your foster parent would like to talk to you,” the vice principal told him, handing him the phone. “It’s about your mother.”
“Marnie’s going to pick you up today!” Ms. Hannah said excitedly. “We’re already bringing all your things over, and you’ll be living with her from now on. Isn’t that exciting? We’ll be neighbors!”
And, while Shane found some parts enthralling, he was equally just as nervous as he was when arriving at the Burrows’, and he found himself not wanting to leave at all once again. “I hate being shifted around from home to home so much,” Shane complained. “Why can’t I just stay in one place?” “Marnie’s house should be your permanent home, honey. And again, you should be able to visit our place whenever you’d like. I’ve already talked with the school, and I’m going to come pick you and the girls up early so we can get you settled in.”
Shane sighed, hanging up without saying goodbye first. A new home, once again. Hopefully he’d adjust like he did at the Burrows’, hopefully everything would be okay.
Shane’s memory of being carted off from school, an hour away, to Marnie’s place, likely because he’d decided to nap the entire time. He’d stayed up late the past night, hyperfocusing on all the things he could remember his mother doing to him, and it had tuckered him right out. So, he slept peacefully.
Marnie was more than nervous. Fuck, she was terrified. She was only twenty-nine, and would already be having a ten year old child? Her brother had never been the most responsible person alive, so she wasn’t surprised when he’d had a baby out of wedlock, just to hastily marry the woman as soon as the little one was born. But she’d fallen in love with that little baby, even back when he looked just like every other baby with a swath of black hair on his forehead. But to her, this was her first nephew, The new light of her life. It even made her wish that she had a child of her own, so she could experience that wonder with her own kin. But, she had no partner, as cute as that new mayor from down the street was. And she’d known since she was young that she would never have children of her own, declared barren at age 12 due to a chronic illness. She remembered the crushing reality of that statement; she was to have no descendants, no one to care for her when she was elderly, no kin. Only her older brother, Dublin, and her younger brother, Craig. Craig, who was crazy about that new girl he’d just met. Marnie had forgotten her name, but those two were a pair of lovebirds if she’d ever seen one. Dublin and Paula, not so much. No one in her family had even heard from Dublin since those last messages had been sent, declaring he would no longer be a part of little Shane’s life. Marnie had been so worried she’d gone overboard and filed a missing person’s report, only for the police to say that they knew where he was, and he was safe- he just didn’t want to talk to any of his family. He was running away to start a new life.
She waited anxiously at the bus stop for Shane to arrive, so he could take the ride back home with Hannah and her kids back to the valley. Stardew Valley, a place Marnie and all three of her siblings had grown up in. The valley would probably do good for Shane, as it was an excellent place to raise a family, and he could finally fulfill his lifelong dream of owning chickens! Marnie couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he realized he’d be living with his flock of hens full-time. Maybe he’d want to sleep in the chicken coop! She chuckled a little at the thought, until she saw Ms. Hannah’s car pulled up. A sleepy Shane hopped out, accompanied by a jittery Emily and a crying Haley. “Does he have to go?” Haley cried to her mother. “Can’t he please stay?”
Shane got down to Haley’s level, and looked her in the eyes softly. “I promise I’ll visit all the time. I’m not going that far”
The two hugged, and Marnie smiled at the fact her new child was making friends. “Have you told him about the homeschooling yet?” Marnie asked Hannah, which made her look sheepish.
“I haven’t told him at all, actually,” she admitted, looking to the ground.
“Homeschooling?” Shane gasped. “What do you mean homeschooling?”
“Well, I think I’m going to homeschool you for a few months, just so you can finally get settled into this new way of life,” Marnie explained, trying to sound kind and reassuring. “I know school can be pretty stressful, so I thought it would be nice for you to just do school at home instead of having to make a two hour bus trip daily, if only for a few months.” “I like that idea,” Shane said with a mischievous grin. “No school!” “Well, you’d still be doing schoolwork at home,” Marnie reminded, but Shane seemed too excited about the prospect of not having to go to school to care. “Come on, Shane, let’s get going.”
“I’m going to miss you so much,” Haley sniveled, still insisting upon standing next to Shane at every opportunity, holding his hand and cuddling up into him. “Please visit every day.”
“I promise I will,” Shane took her hands in hers, and hugged the younger girl again. Marnie was touched by their connection, and wondered how long they’d been friends. Could it have really just been in the past few weeks? This whole custody event had felt like two years of court and worry. But Marnie had to keep reminding herself that Shane would be happier now, and so would she.
“Can I sit next to you, Aunt Marnie?” Shane asked politely as they entered the creaky bus doors, grabbing her hand after releasing Haley.
“Of course,” she replied, sighing a little. Aunt Marnie. She would never be a mother to this child, and she needed to realize this. It was something she’d needed to realize since she first laid eyes on him, but now it would be harder to cope with than ever. To him, she would just be Aunt Marnie. Pauline would always be Mom.
“I’m so scared,” he admitted, sitting in the seat next to her. “What if I’m not a good kid?”
“Shane, I know you. You’re a good kid, and you’re not going to cause any trouble that I can’t handle.”
“But what if…” Shane bit his lip, clearly afraid the question he was going to ask was going to sound bad. “What if you don’t like me anymore once I live with you?” “Shane, I’ll always love you,” Marnie promised.
“But what if I’m bad?”
“Why are you so worried about this?” Marnie asked curiously.
“Because…” He sniffed. “What if I’m so bad that you don’t want me anymore and you give me away or punish me like Mom did?”
“I don’t plan on giving you away, and I certainly don’t plan on punishing you like that.” Marnie felt herself getting a little frustrated at Shane’s constant questioning, only because she didn’t want to say the wrong thing and make him hate her. “Why don’t we just sit and have a nice car ride?”
But Shane couldn’t have it in his heart to have a good car ride. All he could think about was his mother and father. “I miss Mom and Dad,” he whined, wiggling around in his seat. “At least I wouldn’t be on this dumb bus if Mom and Dad were here. “ Marnie paused, not knowing how to react. “Well, you do want to live with me, no?” “I’d rather be with Mom and Dad,” he grumbled tearfully. “I wish I was with Ms. Hannah too. I like Haley and Emily a lot,” he admitted, and blushed a little. “Not like that, though.”
Marnie sighed, glad there was a chance to change the subject. “Is there anyone you do like?”
Shane sighed. “No, but sorry for being so mean to you. I just miss Mommy and Daddy. It’s not fair that they didn’t love me. And I just wish that they did.”
“Well, Shane, I’m not sure how much better this will make you feel, but I love you. And you’re going to be okay with me.”
Shane wiggled, obviously not comfortable. “Can I get my chicken from my bag?”
“Of course. Go on ahead.”
And so, Shane pulled out Bax, and drifted off to sleep not much after.
Sleepy angel, Marnie smiled, gently putting her sweater over Shane. Being this child’s guardian wouldn’t be easy, but she was prepared for the challenge.
Shane woke up when Marnie ushered him off the bus. “Aw, Aunt Marnie, I was napping!” He complained, following her off of the vehicle and holding onto Bax for dear life.
“You can nap when we get to the house. Trust me, I’ve got a nice bed all made up for you!”
Shane yawned, sleepy and wanting to go back to bed. He barely inspected Aunt Marnie’s house as he crawled into bed, and fell fast asleep once again.
Shane couldn’t sleep forever, though. The next morning, he opened his green eyes to a rooster crow, and rolled back over in bed. All he wanted to do was sleep. When he was asleep, he didn’t have to think. Getting to sleep was the hard part. He’d just stay awake all night until he physically couldn’t stay awake anymore, and ended up passing out. He hadn’t changed into his pajamas the previous night, and instead threw them on upon awakening- a shirt with a hen on it and a pair of comfy pants embroidered with Junimos, little magical creatures that appeared in Shane’s favorite TV shows from when he was a child. He felt a little too old for these PJs, but Marnie hopefully wouldn’t judge, and he just wanted some comfortable clothing.
Before getting up and asking for something to fill his starving belly, Shane investigated his room. The carpet was a very peculiar shade of purple, almost that of a dark lavender, and the wallpaper was pink with little white hearts on it. There was a giant blue bear, a small television set, and all of Shane’s stuff packed up in boxes. Had he been put into a girl’s room? Oh well, he wasn’t going to complain. He had a nice bed and a giant blue bear, what more could he ask for?
Walking out of his room, his feet touched a rough floor covered in hay.
“Hey, so my favorite nephew’s finally awake!” Marnie exclaimed from the kitchen as she flipped a pancake. “How did you sleep, dude?”
Shane didn’t think he’d ever been called dude before. “I slept good.” He yawned. “I’m still sleepy.”
“Do you need to go back to bed?”
“No, I need to be awake for a change.” He sniffed the air, smelling a sweet syrupy scent that was certainly syrup. “Can we have maple syrup on pancakes?”
“Of course. And, you know, last night I made up a fresh batch of whipped cream, so we can have some of that too!”
Shane watched carefully as Marnie continued to pour batter into the griddle and flip the pancakes, thinking that this was possibly too good to be true. Back at home, breakfast had been, at most, a microwaved egg sandwich that had been sitting in the freezer for ages. He didn’t even remember the last time he’d had pancakes! And he wasn’t even sure if he’d had maple syrup on them before, unless they were getting McJoja’s drive-through.
When the pancakes were done, Shane was so excited he went a little overboard on all the toppings. He smeared an entire knob of butter on the pancakes, soaked them in syrup, and topped it all off with whipped cream. Marnie didn’t complain, only saying, “Remember, fork in your left hand, knife in your right.”
Not long after gulping down the last bite of pancake, Shane got a horrible case of the hiccups. He managed to say, “That was good,” before hiccuping up a storm. “Thank you,” he said through hiccups, taking a big drink of water. It almost felt as if he couldn’t breathe, but thankfully the water made his hiccups disappear as if they’d never been there.
“I’m glad you like my cooking!” Marnie thanked, taking Shane’s dishes away. “I thought that, for your first day here, I’d make you a big breakfast.” “Can Haley and Emily and Ms. Hannah come visit?” Shane asked enthusiastically, looking to the door. Even though he just woke up, all he could think about was how much fun it was going to be to be neighbors with his two best friends, and how good Marnie’s pancakes were.
“Well, technically we’re supposed to be in a process called cocooning, where you’re supposed to pretty much stay in this house, alone, with only me, but since Ms. Hannah and her kids were your foster family and very good friends of mine, I don’t think it will affect how you settle in. Having a friend or two will probably be helpful, in fact, as I can’t give you a little sibling to play with. I don’t want you to get lonely. But they can come over later, okay? I just want you to get used to the household. I want you to get used to being here, what it’s like, having me as your guardian. What would you like to do today?” She asked, folding her hands on the table. It was a question Shane didn’t think he'd ever been asked before. “We can play in your room, just chill and watch TV, explore the ranch…”
“Can I meet the chickens?” Shane asked excitedly. “My chickens?” “Of course,” Marnie smiled, taking Shane’s small hand and leading him to the barn. Shane was absolutely astounded by all the life he saw. There were cows in their stalls, chewing their fodder, chickens pecking at the ground in search of corn, an old fat pig that was laying in the sun provided by a skylight, and a goat nursing a kid. Shane didn’t think he’d ever seen anything more incredible in his whole life. “Aunt Marnie, you’ve got so many animals!” He cried, not knowing which ones to pet first. “This is so much better than ants! What are their names? What do they like to eat?”
“Well, that pig is named Ulysses, and have we had him at the ranch for some time! He likes to eat all the scraps I bring him out, and he’s so old and fat there’s not much he’s good for except lying out in the sun and digging in mud. But that’s all right with me, he’s more of a pet than a barn animal. The goat is Harlan, and oh boy, do I have a story about how we got her…”
Shane was introduced to every one of Marnie’s animals, and fell in love with each and every one of them. Each one had a unique story, a favorite hobby, something that made them stand out from every other animal in the barn.
“Are there any other kids in town?” Shane asked as the two walked out of the barn and back to the ranch house.
“Nope. Pretty sure Chicken Nugget’s the only one. Nobody else has goats-”
“Not goat kids, people kids!” Shane laughed. “Like me and Haley.” “Oh, well, not really. A new couple just moved in the other day with their son and daughter, but the daughter is only about four. Sebastian… that’s the son, is about seven or eight.”
“Haley’s only seven, and we get along all right,” Shane told his aunt. “Maybe Sebastian and I could be friends!” “Maybe I’ll introduce you when we’re done cocooning,” Marnie said. “Now, I have to go watch the store for a few hours- you think you can entertain yourself while I’m busy?” “Yes ma’am!” He replied obediently, and went to his room to hang out. There wasn’t a lot to do, but Marnie had something that Shane hadn’t really gotten access to a lot of in his previous home. Books. He leafed through the pages of each one, looking for something interesting. A Farmer’s Guide To Breeding Goats. Women In Business. The Five Love Languages. How To Hook A Bachelor… And Keep Him!
Shane decided that the last book would probably be the most interesting, but was quickly stopped from reading it by a bell at the door. Intrigued, he snuck out of his room and to the front of the house, where he saw Marnie conversing with an elderly man.
“I’d be interested in buying that kid you’ve been raising,” he told her with a smile. “What did you say you named her again?” Marnie grinned. “Chicken Nugget.”
“You’re gonna take Chicken Nugget?” Shane peeped out from the corner, looking at the man with pleading eyes. “Please don’t eat her!” “Oh, I’d never dream of it. Goat meat isn’t good for eating. I just need a milker, and someone to eat all the poison ivy that’s been growing in my yard. You got a son, Marnie?” The old man asked.
Marnie sighed. “I’ve told you, Herb, my nephew is going to be living with me. This is Shane. Say hello, Shane.” “Hello, Herb,” he waved shyly.
“Ah, I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten. My memory is increasingly poor these days, eh?” He chuckled. “I’ve got a grandson about your age, Shane. Maybe the next time he visits he can come over on a playdate.”
“I’m a little old for playdates.” Shane raised an eyebrow, which made both Marnie and old Herb laugh. “Your Aunt Marnie still has playdates with that fine young man down the street, don’t you, Marnie?” Herb teased, which made Marnie go pink.
“Lewis and I are friends strictly on business terms!” She scolded. “Shane, don’t listen to him. Herb is the biggest teaser on this side of the Gem Sea, and he never lets you forget that.”
“Chicken Nugget will have a good home with me,” Herb assured, handing Marnie a purse of gold coins. “You can come visit anytime you’d like.” “Thanks, Herb.”
“He’s funny,” Shane noted after the man’s disappearance. “He’s a grandpa?” “Yes, I knew his kids growing up. He’s lived on that old farm since he was a young man,” Marnie explained. “Don’t get your hopes up about his grandkid, though. He rarely visits, and I’ve even forgotten his name.”
“Oh.” Shane looked to the ground, a little disappointed. “Well, at least I got Emily and Haley!” “Yes, of course.”
Just a few weeks later, little Chicken Nugget was back home.
“I can’t believe Herb passed away,” Marnie sighed, leading Chicken Nugget back into the barn. “He’s been living in this valley since before both you or I was born, and now he’s just gone? I should call his sons. They’re probably heartbroken.”
Shane usually tried to avoid thinking about death, but today he was intrigued by it. He had so many questions! Questions he’d had before, sure, but now he was even more curious.
“Marnie? What happens to us when we die?”
“We go up and join Yoba,” she told him softly.
“No, I mean, what happens to our bodies?” He asked curiously. “I know our souls go up to Yoba, but where do the bodies go?”
“Well… some bodies go in the ground. Some people burn, and keep the ashes. Some bodies go into the ocean. Shane, why are you asking me these things?”
“I want to know what’s going to happen to me when I die,” he admitted.
“Aren’t you afraid?” Marnie wondered.
“No, not really.” Shane admitted with a shrug. “It happens to all of us, right? Just like, I dunno… peeing. And no one thinks peeing is scary.”
Marine sighed, and gave Shane a hug. “What am I going to do with you, kid?” Shane raised an eyebrow. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that you’re confusing me, but I love you anyway. Now, do you want to go help me milk the cows?”
Life was well with Marnie. Shane learned his math, his language arts, his science, his history… Marnie was a good teacher, and never was too harsh on him when he made a mistake.
“You got a C in math, a B in social studies, an A in science, and an A in language arts and reading! You’re such a smart kid!” She encouraged, giving him a big hug. “I think this is a cause for celebration!” “What kind of celebration?” He questioned. He still wasn’t quite used to Marnie’s overt kindness yet. Sometimes, when she’d reach out to touch him, he’d flinch. She was just trying to be nice, but Marnie quickly understood he didn’t like physical touch.
“I promise I won’t hurt you, though,” she assured. “You’re going to be fine. I’ll never lay a hand on you if you don’t want me to.”
“You’ve never been skiing, have you?”
He shook his head. He didn’t even know that much about skiing, he’d only ever seen it on TV before.
“Well, how would you like to go?”
Shane paused and thought. “I dunno. What if I fall?”
“Then I’ll help you get back up.”
“What if I get hurt?”
“Then I’ll take care of you. I promise you’ll be fine.”
Shane was hesitant, but soon enough the two were on the way to the mountains, Shane wrapped up from head to toe in a snowsuit.
“I feel like a marshmallow,” Shane said as the two rode the train to a nearby mountain town.
“Wait until you actually get in skis! You’re going to feel so much different than you usually do,” Marnie told him excitedly. “I think you’re going to love skiing.” Shane wasn’t so sure, but he would believe his aunt. She’d never lied to him before, to his knowledge, so he had no reason to distrust her about this skiing thing.
“We’re here! Don’t worry about getting rentals, you can just ski on my old equipment.” Marnie strapped Shane into his ski boots, and made him waddle up to the ski hill. The boots were heavy on his feet. He felt like a horse, with his boots clopping along! But he got used to it, and put his feet in the skis after Marnie carried them up.
“I don’t think we’re going to go beyond the bunny hill today,” Marnie told Shane. “That’s the short little hill over there.” She pointed to a blue chairlift, which didn’t go that far up the mountain. That was reassuring for Shane, at least. If he didn’t like skiing, he could just ski right to the lodge and decide not to ski any further. “It shouldn’t be too hard! I’ll teach you how to ski, and everything will be just fine.”
Shane felt a little nervous as he and Marnie rode up the chair, with Shane boarding and exiting the chair perfectly fine. It was actually getting down the mountain that would be the hard part.
“You see, you can make your skis look like either pizza or french fries by moving your feet. Make sure to turn, though! Turn left, then right, then left, then right, until you’re at the bottom of the chairlift. Now, just follow me!”
Shane tried his best as he turned after Marnie, but he didn’t fall, which was reassuring.
“You okay?” Marnie asked Shane, to which he nodded. “Let’s do that again!”
And so Shane spent the rest of the day tearing up the slopes, until he was too exhausted to go further.
“So, I take it you like skiing?” Marnie was taking off her skis as she asked him this.
“A lot! Can we get dinner? I’m starving,” he said, getting out of his own skis with assistance.
“Of course, there’s a really good restaurant around here that I think you’ll love,” Marnie told him, unbuckling his ski helmet for him.
So Shane was carted off again to a new location, a restaurant on the mountainside. Shane, of course, ordered a dinner that was probably far too big for him to possibly eat, and shamelessly chowed down on the hot food.
“This is the best!” He exclaimed, chomping on a rib. “Thank you, Aunt Marnie.”
“No problem, honey,” Marnie assured. “Trust me, that’s not even the best part! Come on, back here,” she beckoned. The curiosity overwhelmed him, and he followed Marnie back to where they’d gone into the restaurant, only to see that there was a second entrance that he hadn’t noticed previously. Marnie swung open the door, and Shane was presented what looked like possibly the best arcade he’d ever seen. “Woah! This is so cool!” He cried, running quickly to a claw machine. “Can I play? I’m good at these!” He assured Marnie, looking to her with pleading eyes.
“Shane, you absolute dear. Why would I take you to an arcade and not let you play? I just have to get you a card…”
After a few minutes of painful waiting, Marnie finally set up the card with Shane’s credit on it (she admitted to not knowing how to work technology all that well), and Shane was winning plush after plush.
“Wow, you really are good at claw machines,” Marnie commented, holding one of Shane’s prizes tightly. “I always thought those things were scams.”
“Nah, you just have to find one with a good claw,” Shane explained, hooking a frog plush and bringing it over to the drop box. “Give these away.”
“Huh?” Marnie raised her eyebrow. “You don’t want them?” “No, I have Bax and Curry already. Give these to some other kids. Like, little kids. I don’t need ‘em.”
After Shane’s credits ran out, Marnie and Shane went to the car empty-handed. Shane had managed to give away every plush to a child who wanted one. “That was pretty generous of you, Shane,” Marnie told him on the way back to the train station.
“Well, I didn’t need all those things for myself,” Shane responded. “I thought it’d be nice to give stuff away. Besides, I like little kids. They’re funny.” “Do you think you’ll ever want kids one day?” Marnie asked Shane, quite seriously.
Shane took a second to think about it. “Um… I don’t think so. What if I’m not a good dad?” Shane worried.
“You would be,” Marnie argued. “Besides, you don’t need to think about it much now. If you do have kids, it’ll be far in the future,” Marnie comforted.
“What about you?” Shane wondered. “Are you ever gonna have kids?”
Marnie sighed. “When I was very little, just a little older than you, I was told I’d never be able to have children. You’re my miracle child.”
“Aw,” Shane said. “That’s sad.”
“It really is, but I have you.” Marnie smiled. “We make a good team, don’t we?”
“Yep!” Shane grinned back, holding her hand.
“It’ll just be the two of us, and that’s okay,” Marnie told him. “Just me, you, and the chickens.”
“And Haley and Emily and Hannah,” Shane reminded.
“Yes, Marnie said. Them too.”
“A flood? Oh, geez, that’s awful… Yes, of course you can stay with us until everything is clear. You do know Shane’s staying with us now, right?”
Shane was playing with his new MegaStation X that he’d gotten for his birthday from the Burrows’ family, and hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation until his name had been brought up.
“What’s going on, Marnie?” Shane asked, looking up from his game.
“Uncle Craig and his girlfriend are going to come stay with us. Their house flooded, and they don’t have another place to stay.”
“But where are they going to sleep?” Shane wondered.
“I’ll put an air mattress out in the living room. Have you ever met Uncle Craig?”
Shane shook his head. “Dad always complained about Uncle Craig. He said he was a hippie. Is that a swear?” Shane covered his mouth in shame, in case he’d said something wrong.
Marnie laughed loudly. “No, hippie isn’t a swear. It just means that Uncle Craig dresses and acts a little differently than you or I. He’s cool and fun, though. Although, I’m going to have to monitor your sweet intake around him! Back when were were kids, he would spend all his pocket money on sweets, and would always make sure to share. He’s still a kid at heart, so I doubt he’s changed.”
And he hadn’t changed much. At all. Uncle Craig and his girlfriend, Myra, arrived later that night, put their suitcases in the kitchen, and immediately flocked to Shane. “Woah, buddy, you’ve grown so big!” Uncle Craig told Shane, putting his hand to the top of Shane’s head and measuring up to about his chest. “I remember when you were just a little baby! Haven’t seen you since.”
“You must be Craig’s favorite nephew! I’ve heard a lot about you, mainly how much you’ve been absent in our lives,” Myra said.
“That’s me!” Shane bragged, puffing out his chest a little. “And I’m here now.”
“Aren’t you a little muscleman?” Uncle Craig teased. That was when Shane tried to figure out what his dad didn’t like about Uncle Craig. He was wearing a straw hat and had long, dirty blonde hair, and wide framed glasses. Myra had long, dark hair, olive skin, and bead necklaces and a bandana around her head. What was so weird about them? Shane would never understand the shallowness of some people.
“Wanna play Junimo Kart Deluxe?” Shane offered, plugging in some extra controllers. “I’m not that good, so you’ll probably beat me.”
“I’m pretty tired,” Myra admitted, yawning. “I’m going to go crash on the couch, if you don’t mind.”
“That’s fine,” Craig told her. “Just get some rest, okay?”
Shane looked at him, puzzled. “Aren’t you going to go with her?”
“Sometimes, even people in love need a little time to themselves. Besides, I need to show you just how awesome at Junimo Kart Deluxe I am.”
The two played, with Uncle Craig always seeming to beat Shane by just a whisker, when Shane’s mind suddenly became filled with even more questions than previously. He felt like every day he had some new question about the world. But should he ask Uncle Craig? “Why did my dad hate you?” He asked. “Do you know where my dad is?”
Uncle Craig sighed. “I haven’t heard from your dad since you were born. We always were very different people, and wanted to live very different lifestyles, and when it came time to be adults we decided that we were just not compatible people. I still love your father, but I’m sort of mad at him for being a deadbeat. I wish he was there to take care of you, yknow?”
“I have Aunt Marnie, so it’s not like I’m all alone,” Shane pointed out. “Besides… I think I like Aunt Marnie more than my parents anyways.”
“I’m not surprised.” Uncle Craig put down his controller. “Since we’re being so open with each other, can I tell you something, Shaney-Delanie?”
“If you don’t like it, I won’t call you that,” Uncle Craig said, seeming a little sheepish.
“No, it’s fine. So, what’s up?” “You’re going to have a little cousin pretty soon,” Uncle Craig confided in him. “Myra and I haven’t told anyone yet, because we’re worried about judgement, but I know you won’t judge. We’re thinking of naming them Camille, or Thomas. What do you think?”
“I think I’m excited to have a cousin!” Shane exclaimed, eyes sparkling. “I’ll have someone new to play with, and it’ll kind of be like being a big brother!”
“Would you like to be a big brother?” Uncle Craig asked.
“I always wanted to be one, but Mom always said she didn’t have time for another kid. I’ll get to be the new baby’s big cousin, though!” Shane said happily. “Does Myra know? Does Aunt Marnie?”
“We’re going to tell your aunt pretty soon, within our stay here. And, yes, of course Myra knows. She’s the one carrying the baby, after all. Goof,” he teased, ruffling Shane’s hair.
Shane found that he and Uncle Craig were going to be great friends, as they stayed up all night playing Junimo Kart Deluxe and Journey Of The Prairie King, laughing and having a great time. Even if Uncle Craig did look funny, and even if, as he’d told Shane, he didn’t eat any meat or animal products, and even if he said that he would marry Myra not immediately, but when they had the funds for a big wedding, Shane found it hard to not adore him.
Marnie and Shane were going through some of Shane’s math assignments when Marnie received a call on her corded phone.
“Hello, this is Marnie’s Ranch and Animal Supply! How may I help you? … Oh, Craig! Oh, no way! That’s so exciting! We’ll be over as soon as the hospital allows visitors. Okay, bye now!”
Marnie hung up, and turned back to Shane excitedly. “Myra and Craig are having their baby! The baby should be here within the day. Isn’t this wonderful, Shane?” “I’m finally going to be a big cousin!” He exclaimed, hugging Marnie. “Do you think they’ll let me hold the baby?”
“Possibly! Actually, knowing your Uncle Craig, definitely. He was so excited when your father had you because he finally got to spend time with a baby, and was practically begging to hold you. He always said that you two were going to be good friends, and it looks like his prediction rang true.”
“I love you, Auntie,” Shane told her. “I can’t wait for the baby to come.”
“Me either, Shane. Me either.”
Shane was so excited that night that he found he couldn’t sleep. All he could think about was the new baby. What would they look like? Would it be a boy or a girl? What was he like when he was a baby? So many good questions, and no answers. He didn’t want to bother Marnie, or Uncle Craig or Myra when they went to go visit, so he decided to keep them to himself. Even still, his excitement was unprecedented.
Eventually, he’d ended up falling asleep in his room with the pink wallpaper and white hearts, which still to this day didn’t bother him as much as he thought it should have. He hadn’t dreamed, at least not that he could remember, which he found peculiar. He assumed he would have been dreaming of babies all night long, but he guessed not.
He wandered into Marnie’s room, where he was planning on waking her up and asking if the baby had been born yet, but he noticed Marnie wasn’t alone. There was… some man in her bed. The mayor, no less! Shane frankly felt like vomiting and walked out, not wanting to disturb whatever was going on in there. He played on his MegaStation X until Marnie came to wake him up, but she could immediately tell that something wasn’t right with him.
“Shane, are you okay?” She wondered.
“Why was Mayor Lewis in your bed?” He immediately asked in an accusing tone.
Marnie got very flustered. “We were cuddling.”
Shane didn’t seem to fully believe her, and raised his eyebrow. “Are you two dating?”
“Sort of,” Marnie blushed.
“Then why didn’t you tell me?”
“We’re too nervous to make it official,” Marnie admitted. “Well, he is.”
Shane still seemed a little suspicious, but figured it was best not to ask. “Do you know if the baby’s been born yet?”
“Oh my goodness, I didn’t even think of asking!” Marnie cried. “I’ll call them right now.”
Marnie did so. “Yes, the baby was born last night, Shane. We can go visit.”
“Yay!” The secret of Marnie’s affair was brushed from his mind as the two traveled to Zuzu City on the bus to go see Uncle Craig, Myra, and their new baby.
“Did they say whether it’s a boy or a girl?” Shane asked curiously.
“It’s a girl! They said her name is Camille,” Marnie told him. “She’s apparently very cute!”
“All babies are cute,” Shane debated. “But I bet she is pretty cute.”
The more Shane thought about it, the more he felt himself warming up to the idea of him being a father. It’d probably be fun to have kids running around the house. He could teach them how to read and write, and how to play games, and how to be kind and respectful. Plus, he’d always have someone to play with and love. He’d never be alone.
“I think I’ll be a dad when I’m older,” Shane decided. “I want to have a baby like Uncle Craig.”
“That’s great! I promise I’ll spoil your children spoiled rotten,” Marnie half-joked, smiling. “I love you.”
“Love you too.” Shane realized that he’d heard those words so many times around Marnie that it wasn’t even a shock to hear that anymore. That he was loved. It used to be such a foreign concept, but now it was just the truth. He was loved, and he loved Marnie too. He had a guardian who really, truly cared about him, and it was spectacular.
Soon enough, they arrived at the hospital, and Shane was practically skipping down the hospital halls to meet his new cousin.
“Hey, bud!” Uncle Craig opened up his arms for Shane, and he ran into them. “How’s it going?”
“Good, but how are you doing? How’s the baby? And what about Myra?” Shane asked.
“We’re all doing great! Camille and Myra are having some mommy-daughter time right now- she’s nursing. You can go visit as soon as they’re done. Do you want to go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee cake?”
Shane nodded, and in a few minutes he returned with coffee cake, and was ready to go in to meet his cousin.
She was a lot smaller than Shane expected. He’d never seen someone so tiny in his whole life. Her hair was dark, like her mother’s, but her eyes were blue, like her father’s. They might darken as time went on, but Shane chose to believe otherwise.
“She’s so small…” Shane cooed, towards her to say hello. “Myra, will she grab my finger?”
“No, she’s still too little. Would you like to hold her?”
“Yes, please!”
“Just make sure you support her head,” Myra instructed. “And be very gentle.” She handed baby Camille to Shane, who did exactly as she said. “Hi, little Camille. I love you.”
She just gargled and made baby noises, looking up at Shane with her bright blue eyes.
“I’m gonna be your cousin!” He told her. “And I’m going to be the best cousin ever. I’ll make sure you’re safe. Forever.”
And baby Camille just gargled.
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osir-ethria · 10 days ago
Head canon time: Yang angst that might be off from canon but hey, I like this better. (Dunno if someone has said this before but here we go.)
I’ve gotta give Yang best older sister reward, despite me being a huge fan of Winter.
Yang and Ruby had lost their mother at a young age and I head canon both Tai and Qrow to be mentally unavailable. Both of them started drinking heavily because of it. By no means were they abusive but they were very pulled away and just there existing but non-existent. Yang probably had to learn how to cook at a young age and the only times did their two adult figures snap out of it was if they were in danger or they had to do a job. Qrow probably went on more life risking missions when he began drinking, rarely being around to help them, and Tai probably shut down all together pulling himself away from his kids. He was probably thinking that by pulling himself away he’d protect them from his grief but all it did was hurt them and become a selfish act to hide away.
Yang caught on pretty quick. She would have most likely have gotten hungry and went to ask Tai to make something but instead found him dazed. Trying to snap him out of it wouldn’t of worked despite however many punches he wasn’t responding. So her next best option was to take some money from his wallet and go buy some food for the two of them after they had become really hungry. After having to do this for the next week she’d have clicked that he wasn’t going to snap out of it any time soon so she started teaching herself how to cook.
I actually head canon Yang to be a pretty amazing cook but doesn’t do it or purposefully messes up because she gets bad memories from that time. She’d also be the one to teach Ruby how to bake and Ruby, out of respect for Yang, would keep quiet about it.
She’d go on jobs to get money despite being young. Tai finally snapped out of it when Yang was on her last four years. He tried to say he raised them and helped them out, as well as Qrow, but Yang snapped and yelled about how she was the one raising Ruby while they were morning over a death for 8 years. The guys weren’t allowed into the house until a month had passed by.
While I’m sure Weiss would have called Yang slacking, I actually doubt that she is entirely like that. I think she kept perfect grades during Signal academy because she didn’t have faith in her father and uncle and strived to make a better life for Ruby. She’d make sure that she’d be a huntress, a strong one so she could keep Ruby safe.
When she got into Beacon she was in full honesty, really happy. Her goal is to travel and see more because she’s been trapped in patch but further more she wanted to make sure Ruby was steady and had a strong role model. When Ruby told Yang that she was skipped ahead two years Yang was split on emotions. She was proud of Ruby and to see her training be recognized but also worried. She’s just lost out on finishing what I’m going to call ‘high school’ and will become a huntress at an early age. What if she gets hurt, dies, what if Yang herself dies and leaves Ruby.
Now throughout this time, Yang would tell stories about their mother from all the jobs she’d tell her about and how cool and strong she was. Ruby was always enthralled with their mom despite not knowing her to well. She looked up to her a lot, and Yang was happy for her when it came to that. Yang was also rather sad, all the things she’s done for Ruby and she’s not the person Ruby looks up to?
Well that’s what Yang thinks but I’d say Ruby always put Summer as second best. Despite knowing she was ready to help the people and all, she looked up to Yang more. Her older sister threw away her childhood to ensure she could have hers and she can see that Yang deals with abandonment issues by the time the Fall of Beacon was over. I also think that’s why she’d approve of Blake and Yang because Yang has finally found something other than Ruby that makes her extremely happy. Weiss too but she’s put on the sibling aspect and Blake was the first person to come back.
Anyways sad, angst head canon for Yang growing up and her devotion to her sister.
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cordys-babe · 12 days ago
At The Bottom Of The Well Lies My Heart
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^ "I'm one of the few alive ones they let come and go", tag if you use :) Also: Apocalypse Billie Dean Supremacy. (BITCH THAT HAIR AUUAUUAUGH)
Billie Dean Howard x Fem!Reader
Following the strange going-ons at the family BnB, Y/N calls up a particular specialist in the field of the supernatural.
A/N: I was hooked on this idea ever since I wrote it, and I am so happy that it's finally in the works. Also, to all of my international peeps, the Oregon Coast is located on the west side of the US and is very mild and rainy, especially in the winter/fall months. It's not tropical in the slightest; there's a lot of trees everywhere. Like big Evergreen trees. It's also located next to the Pacific Ocean, so it's gonna be kinda cold and stormy. This is also on a bit of a fastrack, and I will be doing some time skips due to the nature of the series. NOT a slow burn lmao.
Also, special thanks go to @delias-bitch-craft for encouraging this and giving me all the juicy details about Billie, (you're an angel). I hope this is may be a bit of consolation after the stint I pulled with tagging you in another Hey Mamas Billie post.
Warnings: Mild Swearing, f l i r t y Billie. Like so much flirting it's suffocating. You've been warned, okay?
The rush of the morning check-outs proved to be far more tiring than I could have predicted. Last night's booking had been full to the brim, all of the rooms having been booked by 4:30 that afternoon. When I had agreed to take on the family business and settle for the "quaint" life, I should have remembered that living directly on the Oregon Coast meant tourists, and in the late September air, people still couldn't tire of the salty air of the beach. Luckily for me, this would be the last sunny weekend of the year, which meant fewer visitors and solitude. Lots of solitude. The kind that kept me stuffed up in the cozy library as rain relentlessly drummed against the window panes for hours.
It wasn't that I was averse to solitude, as a severe introvert I enjoyed the time spent alone with a good book. The problem was that I didn't have someone to share it with. No lover, friend, or even sibling to laugh with while we drank tea. All of my siblings had left the state as soon as they turned 18, leaving me, the middle child, as the one and the only person who would care for our treasured family heirloom. I'm happy for them, they got away while they still could. It's hard to stay sane when your only company for days on end is the sweet, but clueless cook dubbed Aunt Cassie by my father. The darling can hold a conversation, but how she does so without a brain is beyond my understanding.
The guest book lies in front of me, all guests had checked out early Sunday morning, leaving not even one straggler to keep me company. The wind howled against the old wooden window panes and the tell-tale dark grey of rain clouds clustered over the sky. There would be a rainstorm soon, and a violent one by the looks of it. Now would be a good time as any to get started on my chores.
"Vinny?" I call, looking for the stout maid.
"I'm over here!" she croaks, peering out at me from the kitchen.
"Hey, how are you?" I smile, giving the older woman a quick hug.
"Oh, I'm good dear, just chatting with Cassie before I get started on clearing the rooms,"
"Well, there's no rush. We won't be expecting many people," I chuckle, glancing at the ominous sky.
"Are you sure? I thought we had a lady coming in to check on the house!" Aunt Cassie chirps from behind the dishwasher.
Maybe I haven't given Cassie enough credit. Dementia has taken much of what I remember to be her witty and sarcastic personality, instead turning her into a doleful shell of who she once was. To say I was surprised by her sharp memory was an understatement.
"You're absolutely right Auntie!"
"Of course I am. I may have a case of CRS, but I'm not completely gone!"
"CRS?" I ask.
"Yes, CRS. Can't. Remember. Shit." she spells out.
"Well if Cassie isn't getting her humor back," Vinny twitters.
"I'll leave you two to enjoy your morning. I'm gonna check the guest book one more time,"
"No, no. Have a cup of coffee first. I can see the bags from here." Aunt Cassie insists.
Fifteen minutes later I leave the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee, two croissants, and a platter of assorted fruit topped with yogurt. I had already eaten a few minutes ago, but there was no leaving the kitchen without a plate of food. Settling down at the tiny reception desk, I flip through the guest book as I sip my coffee. I almost make it to the list of arrivals when the sound of a bell jingling alerts me of a newcomer.
The rush of the cold fall air spreads through the entryway as a figure steps in. Carrying nothing but a small handbag and a satchel, my view of them is temporarily obscured by the tip of her umbrella. Quickly closing the black contraption, I finally take a glimpse of the figure. She has the most beautiful hair I've ever seen in my life. It flows down her shoulders like a waterfall, every hair settling like the angels themselves placed them there. Adorned in a form-fitting flora dress and matching cardigan, I can hardly speak. Dressed to a T, and completely aware of the way her presence affects me, she glides through the air like a goddess.
"Good morning doll, are you the receptionist, or the manager?" she croons, biting her lip ever so playfully.
"Both, I suppose," I chuckle.
"A powerhouse of ambition I see,"
"Hardly," I blush. "The establishment is family owned and operated, I'm just the newest victim of my Grandfather's vision,"
"Well I suppose I have him to thank for this wonderful view," she replies, eyes trained on me like a hound.
I'm at a loss for words, desperately trying to come up with a response. Something. Anything. I'd rather not be a complete fool in front of this magnificent woman, but I've been flustered to the point where I can hardly remember my own name.
"I'm Billie Dean Howard, but you can call me Bille. It's what my friends call me," she winks, gracefully extending her hand which I shake with no qualms.
Her hands are so soft, delicate, and smooth like silk. The softest scent of cigarette smoke and a floral number hang in the air, and I'm intoxicated as soon as it reaches my lungs.
"Nice to meet you, Bille. I'm Y/N L/N, but please call me Y/N," I stutter. The effect she has on me is unbearable, and I curse myself for my incompetence.
"That's such a pretty name, but not half as pretty as my name when it comes out of your lips," she flirts.
I gasp, and she smirks, biting her lip with more force. I would almost brush off her flirting as something she does with everyone, but I don't want to lose this idea that we might have something. She's far too entrancing to lose due to my self-doubt.
"Your room is number four, I can lead you there if you'd like,"
"I would love that, doll,"
I lead her up the stairs and down the hall until I reach the bedroom door, unlocking it and handing her the key. She walks through the room with confidence, not like she owns the place, but close. Turning towards me once more, I see a glimmer of playfulness in her smile.
"So darling, when are we going to discuss your little problem?" she smirks.
"What-, what problem," I blush.
"The ghost problem sweetheart, the one you hired me for?"
I nervously chuckle as I put two and two together. The medium. That's Billie. The one I had contacted last week and who had agreed to come on very short notice.
"Yea, sorry. It's been a busy few weeks with the end of tourist season and all,"
"Oh, it's quite alright doll, I've been there before," she winks.
“Thanks for understanding. When would you like to start?” I ask, wincing at how professional I sound. My customer service voice has a terrible habit of creeping into my tone when I’m nervous.
“Not today. I flew over from Georgia and I am in need of a rest,”
We both laugh a little at the statement. Misery loves company, and I’m convinced we might have a few customer service stories, although mine would never top hers.
“It sounds like you are in for a busy day. Is there anything I can help you with in the meantime?”
“Thank you for asking babe,” she winks draping a hand over my shoulder so casually. It blows my mind how she manages to flirt so nonchalantly. “If you wouldn’t mind I’d like a tour of the place, get a feel for the house,”
“I’ll find you in an hour,”
“Sounds like a deal.”
I wish I could say that I returned to my work in a timely manner, but my tasks evolved into nothing more than meandering around the halls, completing little tasks as I thought of them. Sooner than I had thought, the hour is up and I begin tracing my footsteps back to Billie's door. Raising my hand to the door, I am about to knock when I feel the touch of a palm on my shoulder.
"I see you have a knack for staying on schedule," Billie whispers into my ear, and I struggle to retain my composure, a shiver begging to shoot up my spine.
"I do try,"
"Well then, is there a library here? I do enjoy the company of the fireplace with a good book," she winks.
"Yes, let me take you there," I breathlessly reply, turning to walk the other way.
Billie quickly links her arm in mine, the light click of her heels against the carpet sinking into the background of my mind. What is happening to me? I've hardly met her and here I am being reduced into nothing but a flustered and frantic mess. Even her smell is clouding my senses! The mixed scent of cigarettes and Chanel No. 5 whirls around in the air, encompassing my head in a fog. It makes me more agreeable, more vulnerable, bendable, and everything I swore I wouldn't be if I ever tasted of love. If Billie Dean is the sun, then I am Saturn, set to my own path in space, following my own trajectory, but still ultimately bound to her gravitational pull.
Everything is happening too soon. The way she giggles at some light-hearted joke, the look in those eyes, so warm and full, the color of liquor in a bottle that pulls you down, makes you lose your wits. I can't breathe when we settle down in a chair together, when we share our favorite stories, when we giggle like children.
"You are too much fun, doll!" Billie laughs, throwing her head back, curls bouncing in the air.
"I don't deserve half the credit, you are the true comedian!"
"Trying to flatter me, are you?" she smirks, biting her lip mischievously. "None of your best lines are gonna work on me, you know that?"
"My lines? Babe, you've been flirting with me since you got here. Don't act like you don't have a part in this," I reproach, dramatically rolling my eyes.
"I'm not denying my part in this," she chuckles, "I'm just saying it's gonna take a lot more than some witty lines and good company to get in my bed,"
"Woah, woah, woah!" I stutter, defensively throwing up my hands, "That is not where I'm going with this. I don't do one-night stands, ever,"
"Good," Billie smirks, leaning towards me until our noses touch. "I don't know if I could live with having you for just one night,"
One of her acrylic-tipped hands snakes around my back, settling at the nape of my neck. Her bourbon eyes are lidded in the dim light of the fireplace. My hands cup her face on instinct, and I revel in the feeling of her hair at my fingertips. It's so soft, and I have to resist the urge to bury my hands in it. The same knowing smirk graces her lips, and my eyes are drawn there.
"Are you sure you want this?” She whispers in my lips.
“Are you?”
Her lips crash onto mine in a blistering frenzy. The subtle taste of alcohol, cigarette, and cherries? She engulfs me, her tongue sliding into my mouth until all I can taste, all I can feel, all I know is Billie.
@ninaahs, @sapphicforsarahh, @winters-witch-bitch (just let me know if you want to be added/removed from my list :))
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aion-rsa · 12 days ago
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Contessa Val Started Out as a Different Character
This Falcon and the Winter Soldier article contains spoilers.
One of the most surprising reveals from Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was the introduction of Seinfeld and Veep star (and all-around comic legend) Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, also known in the Marvel comic book canon as Madame Hydra.
While it remains to be seen how faithful the character will be to her comic book origins and narratives, it’s clear from the start that the Contessa (Val for short) is a schemer and string-puller who has leverage in some very high places.
In episode five, right after John Walker (Wyatt Russell) is stripped of his Captain America title and drummed out of the service entirely for publicly killing a Flag-Smasher, she approaches him immediately afterwards and suggests he take her call when it comes.
And in the show’s finale, she oversees John — his blood now coursing with super-soldier serum — suiting up as U.S. Agent, his moniker in the comics as well. It’s made pretty clear that Val has plans for John, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe has plans for Val to return as well.
What makes this even more intriguing is that, according to TFATWS head writer Malcolm Spellman, the character that approached John did not start out as the Contessa.
“That character existed before she was Val,” Spellman reveals. “And then, as we were building out the story, someone from Marvel says, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if this was the Contessa?’”
When asked specifically if the first version of the character was someone else from the comics or a character original to the series, Spellman doesn’t, uh, spell it out directly. “Initially, before she became Val, she was a very similar character who was shady,” he says. “Was she CIA? Was she connected to S.H.I.E.L.D.? We didn’t know who she was. She was this mysterious character who has plans for John Walker. And then she just came to life when someone said, ‘What about making her Val?’”
This kind of jibes with a recent report in Vanity Fair that suggested the Contessa was originally slated to make her debut in the next Marvel theatrical film, Black Widow. While she may still be in that movie, the constant reshuffling of its release date (from May 2020 to last fall to, finally, this July) gave the Marvel brain trust an opportunity to introduce the character earlier via TFATWS.
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Spellman says that Val’s debut on the series is just one example of how Marvel bends its own bigger picture narrative needs to the story that its individual creators are already telling (most people assume it’s actually the opposite): “Marvel will, first and foremost, ask you to create what you want to create,” he insists. “And they’re working right there side by side with you. They build the connectivity to the MCU after you build the purest version of your story. Then they see what would naturally fit.”
He cites another example of the same approach from the show: “Madripoor,” he explains. “We created this crazy city based on a real place. There’s a real city where there’s a block of restaurants lined up where you can eat endangered species. There’s open gun bazaars. We knew we wanted to send them to a place like that for the story. Once we had that naturally in the story, the idea comes to make it Madripoor, and everyone geeks out because we know what it means.”
We suspect we’ll be seeing more of both the Contessa and Madripoor as the MCU moves forward (according to a new article from EW, Louis-Dreyfus is “game for it”), but in the meantime, both remain illustrations of how Marvel continues its uncanny success at crafting stories that general audiences can enjoy, while seasoning them with characters and references that fans “geek out” over.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming on Disney+.
The post The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Contessa Val Started Out as a Different Character appeared first on Den of Geek.
from Den of Geek
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khaleesisexual · 13 days ago
ok as promised here's my whole thedosian astrology spiral in one big post
underneath a read more bc i love you all
starting w my tags from the first post bc context:
#bc i saw a post that put the zodiac seasons (for thedas) roughly from the 20th of one month to the 20th of the next #like it is irl #but the zodiac seasons coincide w the actual seasons #the start of aries season is the vernal equinox #the start of cancer season is the summer solstice #the start of libra season is the autumnal equinox #the start of capricorn season is the winter solstice #and (to my knowledge??) the seasons in thedas start with their annum holidays or whatever #wintersend = beginning of spring #summerday = beginning of summer #all souls day = beginning of fall #satinalia = beginning of winter #(someone PLEASE correct me if im wrong on that) #well i know summerday and satinalia are right but #ANYWAY #using that logic the zodiac seasons would also start on those days #thedas-aries season would run from the 1st to the 30th of guardian #thedas-taurus would be 1-30 drakonis #thedas-gemini would be 1-30 cloudreach #so that thedas-cancer aka the start of summer aka summerday aka THE FIRST OF BLOOMINGTIDE #kSLFdfslkdFDKs #anyway. now i have to be Right about this#my previous hyperfixation and my current one.....coming make me into a Massive Bitch<3
when would the zodiac signs' seasons take place in the thedosian calendar?
so bc the zodiac signs are based on constellations and all the lore etc that accompanies them i'm not even gonna touch that (YET.....yet...) but since spring, summer, autumn, and winter start on the first days of guardian, bloomingtide, august, and firstfall, respectively, so would those particular seasons of the zodiac
thedas-equivalent-of-aries season would just be 1-30 guardian, bc irl the beginning of aries season coincides with the beginning of spring and continues until the sun moves into taurus; all the cardinal signs (aries, cancer, libra, capricorn) begin on the first of the season like that, so we can assume that – IF there are 12 zodiac signs in thedas – the sun is in each sign for approximately a month. so that in 3 months the next cardinal sign can coincide w the beginning of that season
imo it makes sense that (if we're assuming thedas also has 12 signs and that their sun spends roughly equal time in all of them) four of them would coincide w the beginning of the seasons. so like yeah thedas is fake and for all we know they have 10 zodiac signs and they all start on wildly different days, but then everything is just shooting in the dark and where's the fun in that. obviously the changing of the seasons is important to them bc their holidays center around them, therefore i don't think it's wildly out of the blue to think that whatever star sign system they have going on would similarly coincide w the changing seasons
again i'm not currently bothering with picking constellations/symbols/stories/traits/etc for each sign so i'll just say first, second, third etc. point being the seasons of the zodiac would actually be like they are below, rather than how they are irl (aka the 20th-ish of each month to the 20th-ish of the next; it's like that irl bc our calendar is stupid and the beginning of the seasons randomly happens 2/3 of the way thru the month):
first sign = begins spring, 1-30 guardian
second sign ≈ 1-30 drakonis
third sign ≈ 1-30 cloudreach
fourth sign = begins summer, 1-30 bloomingtide
fifth sign ≈ 1-30 justinian
sixth sign ≈ 1-30 solace
seventh sign = begins autumn, 1-30 august
eighth sign ≈ 1-30 kingsway
ninth sign ≈ 1-30 harvestmere
tenth sign = begins winter, 1-30 firstfall
eleventh sign ≈ 1-30 haring
twelfth sign ≈ 1-30 wintermarch
okay so we have cardinal signs, what about fixed and mutable signs?
the cardinal signs are CALLED the cardinal signs bc they begin the seasons; they're the ~get up and goers~ of the zodiac, motivated, leaders, trail blazers, energetic, etc. they litchrally bring in the changes of the season so that makes sense right
so IF we are to continue w that logic — and here's where i'm getting (even more) conjecture-y, but i feel p confident that since 4 of the 5 major holidays in thedas are based on the changing seasons aka thats important — then the traits of the thedas-equivalent of those signs would also have similarities to the irl cardinal signs (namely the traits listed above)
but there are also FIXED signs and MUTABLE signs: so called bc fixed signs are firmly planted in the middle of each season (taurus in spring, leo in summer, scorpio in autumn, aquarius in winter) and bc mutable signs precede the major change from one season to the next (gemini from spring to summer, virgo from summer to autumn, sagittarius from autumn to winter, pisces from winter-to-spring)
and again bc these are based on the seasons, it also makes sense to me that, generally speaking, the signs in the middle and at the end of the seasons would also be distinct in some way. and probably have similarities to irl fixed and mutable signs, tho i'm not as obstinate about that as i am abt the cardinal signs. but anyway MOVING ON
[the one section with the fan-made sky map ended up being relatively useless even tho the sky map was in fact very cool]
general disclaimer that at this point i’m literally just. straight up guessing lmao
also since we only have so many constellations we see in-game, and since they each come with a codex giving us at least a little background info (aka CRUMBS), any suggestions of which constellations are part of the zodiac are based on those specifically. obviously in real life theres a bazillion constellations that aren’t part of the zodiac, but we do not have the luxury of knowing every constellation in thedas so i am going with what we got
the thedosian constellation map (the canon one) is different than the fan-made sky map, but because i highly doubt anyone at bioware could’ve predicted someone would be As Insane As I Am Being Right Now about it, i don’t think they probably put a lot of thought into making it lmao. the fan made sky map DID have thought put into it tho, and it actually features the constellations we see in-game, so i’m going w that one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
AND. i’m gonna look at the names of the months (both the fancy ancient tevinter names and the ~low/common~ names) in comparison w the constellations we have at our disposal bc why the fuck wouldn’t they be related in some way. this has no basis in any deeper logic than “maybe the fact that the ‘common’ name for this month is drakonis has somethinng to do with the constellation draconis idfk” but like. it’s literally the same name but with one letter (that makes the same sound) changed. i don’t think i’m asking too much here lmao
signs that start the seasons
wintersend is canonically associated with the old god urthemiel; the codex entry for the constellation bellitanus states it (is believed that it) was originally associated with urthemiel. using the same reasoning as with satinalis/satinalia, i’m gonna assume that bellitanus-as-a-zodiac-season would start with wintersend and last through the whole of guardian
summerday was once called andoralis, dedicated to the old god andoral; the codex entry for the constellation servani states it is thought to be representative of andoral, but where the wiki says andoral is the god of unity, the codex says andoral was the god of slaves. (doesn’t clarify if andoral is like, a figure to which the enslaved would turn to in their plight, as like a savior? or whether andoral is...just associated with slaves in some way.) i have no idea what the fuck to do w that except assume bioware is back on their bullshit! i’m gonna come back to this later
all soul’s day was once funalis, dedicated to dumat, old god of silence; the codex entry for the constellation silentir (which literally means ‘silence’ lmao) is usually said to represent dumat. so by this logic we might say the zodiac season for silentir begins with all soul’s day and ends with the last day of august
the constellation satinalis is canonically associated with satinalia, so it makes sense to me that if satinalis is part of the zodiac, its season would start with satinalia / last through the month in which the holiday takes place. aka firstfall
with these in mind, we have (tentatively) 3 of our 4 cardinal signs aka the signs that begin the seasons: bellitanus for spring, silentir for autumn, and satinalis for winter
looking at the fan-made sky map, these aren’t super evenly spaced apart (but then again neither are irl constellations perfectly proportioned so whatever!) HOWEVER. they do still, at least vaguely 😭, follow a clockwise pattern in the correct order of guardian/spring → summerday/bloomingtide → all soul’s day/august → satinalia/firstfall. it’s about the small victories ok *inquisitor ameridan voice* take moments of happiness where you find them or whatever
what about the other 8 signs???
great question!!! haha!!!
✨I Am Once Again About To Start Guessing Wildly✨
because even tho the “cardinal signs” go clockwise and in order, there’s still an uneven amount of constellations BETWEEN them. there should be 2 between each but, for example, silentir and satinalis only have tenebrium between them. and there are fucking....TEN constellations between satinalis and bellitanus so we’re going to have to get even more creative somehow<3 lmao these are all taken from the codex entries for the constellations (the names are links!)
TOTH: tevinter old god of fire, thats p much it. the codex does say sometimes toth is depicted as a “flaming orb” which maybe i truly have succumbed to the brain worms but i hear ‘orb’ and ‘god’ and ‘flame’ (aka light/energy/etc or perhaps idk a fucking explosion) and yall already know where my dumb ass is going w that 🥴
since the rules are made up and the points dont matter, i have decided Fuck Bioware, toth is going with summerday now. i dont give a rats ass about andoral since apparently they dont care to tell us what he was actually god of, so welcome toth you are now in charge of the beginning of summer bc i said so
TENEBRIUM: associated with lusacan, tevinter old god of darkess/night. also obvious associations with falon’din, elven god of death, whose sacred animal is an owl
pea brain analysis: its dark in winter lol; slightly larger, maybe lima-bean-sized brain analysis: the beginning of a new year (aka first day aka first of wintermarch) could hypothetically be associated w the past ‘dying.’ and also the holiday was originally an annual check to make sure everyone was alive, so i don’t see why gods of death can’t be associated w making sure all your loved ones weren’t taken by said god of death lol
ELUVIA: commonly called “sacrifice,” it’s (apparently) based on an orlesian tale in which a woman is saved from a “””lustful mage””” (i love bioware i love this frachise) by being placed in the sky and becoming a constellation. before this inspiring tale that is definitely not anti mage propaganda, eluvia may have represented razikale, tevinter old god of mystery. the imagery of this constellation is a seated woman with a cloud right above her - literally like her head is in the clouds (also bc it sounds like ‘eluvian’ i’m like 👀)
i’m inclined to pair this one up with cloudreach both bc the ancient tevinter name is “eluviesta” and bc the woman in the story is literally. in the clouds. simple enough
PERAQUIALUS: it’s a boat! but apparently a “primitive vessel” sailed by ancient peoples like the neromenians. according to the codex the translation is usually ‘across the sea’ rather than ‘boat’ but that doesnt rly help me lol
sorry my beloved. before me stand 10 beautiful constellations but i only have 9 pictures in my hands. you are not thedas’s next top zodiac sign
DRACONIS: obviously its a dragon lol
i think the drakonis (the month) / draconis (this constellation) correlation is. pretty evident lmao and since we have all but thrown credible hypothesizing out the window, why NOT?? why not make drakonis the season of draconis!!! 🤡
FERVENIAL: an oak; some believe it could be representative of andruil, elven goddess of the hunt, as the vir tanadhal (“way of the three trees”) is her whole thing
sigh idk *spins wheel* leaves start changing color in mid-late autumn so *spins wheel again* fervenial can go with harvestmere which is thedas-october it’s fine
JUDEX: a big ol sword, sometimes called the “sword of mercy,” referring to pre-andrastian concepts of justice in ancient tevinter
speaking of pulling ideas right out of my ass, if this constellation is associated w justice it makes sense to me that its season would be in the month of justinian. bc again why the fuck not!
EQUINOR: the stallion / a horse, sometimes depicted as a seated griffon. some speculate the original imagery was a halla, linking the constellation to the elven god ghilan’nain aka “mother of the halla”
i am really grasping at straws here HAHA but the word haring (as a gerund/present participle of the verb ‘hare’) can mean to run or go with great speed. horses go fast, ghilan’nain is invoked when elves want to travel quickly, blah blah blah. whatever
SOLIUM: the sun; one interpretation is that it indicates an ancient fascination with ALL objects in the sky (aka both the sun and moon[s]), another interpretation associates it with the elven god elgar’nan, aka “eldest of the sun”
alright i know the name ‘solas’ means pride in elvhen and the word ‘solace’ means like comfort/consolation, neither of which have jack shit to do with the sun, so i shouldn’t assume solis is associated with solium exclusively bc they start with ‘sol’ and sol means sun in...a lot of irl languages lol HOWEVER. i have an even worse reasoning we can fall back on which is that it’s in summer and it’s...fucking sunny??? LMAO im so sorry
FENRIR: the white wolf 👁👄👁 scholars apparently dont know wtf to do w this one; obviously there is a case to be made about its association with fen’harel
i have talked myself in circles on this one but whenever i try to type it out it makes Zero Fucking Sense lmao so. i may come back and edit this but for now just know it’s going with kingsway and i want yall to know i do have some stupid nebulous reasoning for that in my silly little brain but communicating it is simply not in the cards for me today god bless 🙏
alright so what bullshit have you proposed at the end of all this EXTREMELY shaky guesswork, queen?
Bellitanus: begins spring, 1-30 Guardian
Draconis: 1-30 Drakonis
Eluvia: 1-30 Cloudreach
Toth: begins summer, 1-30 Bloomingtide
Judex: 1-30 Justinian
Solium: 1-30 Solace
Silentir: begins autumn, 1-30 August
Fenrir: 1-30 Kingsway
Fervenial: 1-30 Harvestmere
Satinalis: begins winter, 1-30 Firstfall
Equinor: 1-30 Haring
Tenebrium: 1-30 Wintermarch
next time i have a death wish i will come back and speculate what kind of traits would be associated w these signs (based on the ~lore~ surrounding the constellations, their tentative places as cardinal/fixed/mutable, etc) but i just wasted precious hours of my life on this and i cant look at it anymore!!!
also want to reiterate that, regarding the post i saw earlier that i disagreed with, my refutation of that argument ended like 2 reblogs many sections ago lol. the only thing i feel confident defending is that the different seasons of the zodiac would – based on the actual changing 4 seasons – start on the first of each month and end on the last day of each month, as opposed to the way it is in real life western astrology
all this other bullshit is just for fun (??? i guess????) and based ALMOST entirely on my own assumptions. informed by actual shit from the games ofc but mainly me just
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EDIT: would like to add that i don't have world of thedas or any other supplementary shit; all i have at my disposal is the 3 games, their DLCs, and the wiki lol. so if there's anything here that WOT (or smth else) contradicts please lmk! and also sorry for any typos lmao
hope yall enjoyed witnessing this fully unhinged moment w me bye<3
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intelligible-scream · 13 days ago
Gen 2 Explanation -- Pokémon Remakes
According to the Games/Anime:
Entei - The Volcano Pokémon, a pure Fire type, unknown gender, 6′11″ tall, weighs 436.5 pounds, represents the flames that burned the Brass Tower, and whenever Entei roars, a volcano erupts somewhere in the world. Entei’s fire is said to be hotter than magma. 
Raikou - The Thunder Pokémon, a pure Electric type, unknown gender, 6′03″ tall, weighs 392.4 pounds, can fly through clouds during thunderstorms, and is distrustful of most humans. It represents the speed of lightning and the lightning that struck Brass Tower. Its barks are like thunder and can send shockwaves through the air and ground. 
Suicune - The Aurora  Pokémon, a pure Water type, unknown gender, 6′07″ tall, weighs 412.3 pounds, can walk across water and purify any murky waters. It travels after the north winds, and is the closest one to Ho-oh and connected to the Unown. Suicune represents the rain that drenched the fires of Brass Tower. 
Ho-oh - The Rainbow Pokémon, a Fire and Flying type, unknown gender, 12′06″ tall, weighs 438.7 pounds, those who bear witness to it are promised eternal happiness. It is has the power to resurrect the dead, and flies the skies in search for a trainer with a pure heart.
Lugia - The Diving Pokémon, a Psychic and Flying type, unknown gender, 17′01″ tall, weighs 476.2 pounds, monitors the Bird Trio. It can create storms, it’s wings are able to produce a 40-day hurricane in a single flap. It is referred to as the Guardian of the Seas and is extremely intelligent. 
Celebi - The Time Travel Pokémon, a Psychic and Grass type, unknown gender, 2′ tall, weighs 11 pounds, known as the Voice of the Forest. Plants flourish in its presence and it has healing powers. It often maintains its current timeline as to prevent time distortions, anomalies, or loops. 
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My Take on Gen 2 Legendaries/Mythicals:
Entei - Entei likes to monitor the nearby volcanoes in the Johto, Kalos, and Kanto regions. Entei has the power to erupt a nearby volcano with a roar at will. Entei is a male in my remakes and has fire hot enough to turn igneous rocks into lava within minutes. Entei cannot verbally or telepathically speak, but can understand body language very well. He is highly intelligent. He likes to lead wild Pokémon to safety and defends towns from erupting volcanoes. Entei is the most independent canine with the Legendary Beasts, and is the middle sibling. 
Raikou - Raikou monitors thunderstorms -- whether natural or caused by Zapdos -- and likes to jump the clouds to travel. Raikou is male in my remakes and can send shockwaves from his bark at will. Raikou doesn’t care much for people, and prefers to stay in the wild. Raikou circulates the regions between Kalos, Johto, and Kanto. Raikou is the oldest of the Legendary Beasts. 
Suicune - Suicune is nomadic, and always searches for watering holes to purify. Suicune is a female in my remakes. Suicune tends to help flourish environments with Celebi and also calls to Ho-oh when she has to. Suicune also monitors both seasons of winter and summer in the regions of Kalos, Johto, and Kanto. Suicune is the youngest of the Legendary Beasts, but very mature. People in small villages see her toward the north where the winds rest, and her howls can be heard on the nights the aurora borealis tears through the skies. 
Ho-oh - Ho-oh is nomadic, but stays in the same three regions as the Legendary Beasts. Ho-oh is a male in my remakes, and now stands at fifteen feet tall and weighs closer to 500 pounds due to his hollow bones. Ho-oh’s fire are as hot as the flames expelled from Moltres. Ho-oh is the father of the Legendary Beasts, having created them from the fall of Brass Tower. Ho-oh can speak telepathically occasionally, only to those he feels worthy. He is intelligent enough to know no-one is pure-hearted, but he wants someone that he knows that would always do the right thing, even in the toughest situations. It is said his tears can heal even the most fatal wounds. Ho-oh is the youngest of the Tower Duo.
Lugia - Lugia is a female in my remakes and always isolates herself. She can create storms at will with her wings, but will be absolutely incapable of that power if her wings are damaged in any way. Her roars are like music and anyone who hears her bellows cannot help but falter in her voice. She speaks telepathically to anyone who deserves it. She is the mother of the Legendary Birds and always monitors their doings. It is believed whenever she bellows a song, she is calling for either Kyogre or Palkia to her aid, or simply, trying to captivate anyone within an ear’s distance. Lugia has many routes within the ocean, but she is only ever seen around the coasts of Johto and Kanto. She is the oldest of the Tower Duo. Even though she is considered female, she is also considered asexual. A fisherman once discovered a metallic, silver egg the size of a basketball. Upon inspection, the egg was indeed made entirely of silver with tracings of Lugia’s DNA. 
Celebi - It is believed that there is more than one Celebi -- wrong. There is only one, but that one Celebi has many alternate universe versions of it due to the vast and branching timeline. This one Celebi is female and is the daughter of Dialga. While Dialga rests and keeps track of the time spent, he left it to Celebi monitor the alternate timelines. Celebi remains in touch with Suicune, often wanting her aid to purify environments. Celebi never leaves the Johto region. She is very sensitive to her environment, and once she’s emotionally attached to someone, she always craves their attention. 
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Disclaimer: These Pokémon remakes are for fun and by no means meant to replace the Pokémon franchise. 
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apocalypticpenguins · 14 days ago
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After finding what they are looking for Ezekiel and Gracie now have to escape the hell that is New Sodom.
The earth quakes beneath them as the blobs of flesh Ezekiel has nicknamed “Sinners” chase the penguin pair.
Ezekiel and Gracie have to make sure that their hazmat suits aren’t punctured, one breath of the strange orange fog could be fatal.
A piece of concrete falls from a building and strikes Gracie on the head. She’s okay but knocked out cold. Ezekiel is left to defend the both of them.
Their oxygen tanks are running low, Ezekiel seeks shelter inside a cathedral.
The Emperor penguin is given precious time to check up on his King penguin companion. She’s still out cold but not showing any symptoms that her condition is severe.
Ezekiel finds a cellphone. On it are the recordings of a resident. Ezekiel discovers the real name of New Sodom and the fate of its residents.
The city wasn’t hit that bad by the bombs, there were still casualties and destruction but many of the residents were able to survive. Things started going bad when the fog rolled in. The recorder notes how the normal fog has suddenly turned orange, They think it could be a result of the bombs causing a failure from the oil refinery in a neighboring town. The recorder and the other survivors take shelter in the same cathedral Ezekiel and Gracie are in and seal up all the cracks and entrances to prevent the toxic cloud from getting in. 
The residents share any food and medical supplies with one another but their supply quickly runs out do to how they didn’t have that much time to prepare before the bombs dropped. The residents are forced to go out and scavenge, they make sure to wear mask and clothing that covers all of their body before they go out.
This goes on for a few months but the recorder starts to worry when everyone starts developing a cough. The recorder notes that the buildings are starting to look a bit strange, as if someone took a spray bottle of water and sprayed a painting. They also inform that the nuclear winter seems to be fading away and the temperature seems to be warming up a bit.
The recorder says things seem to be getting worse. They are considering leaving the city since it has been a year since the incident and they haven’t run into any more survivors. The recorder says that they fear everyone has radiation poisoning, they tell about how their and other survivors hair is falling out and how many seem to be getting ill by the day. The survivor says their going to Su** Tower tomorrow morning to see if they can get a strong signal out to call for help.
The recorder is crying. They retail the events that happened that day. As they said yesterday they headed out for S**ro Tower. The city was eerily quiet and the recorder notes how they would’ve given anything to hear the sound of the cities traffic even though it was a sound they hated before the bombs. The recorder told how they looked up at the radio tower and saw that it was melting and leaning heavily to one side, they worried the radio tower wouldn’t function do to the damage it has taken. They continue up the road that leads to the radio tower and as they reach the half way point the reporter sees the silhouette of two people. At first the recorder was thrilled, happy to see other living souls after so long of the post war just being them and the other original survivors. The silhouettes don’t respond to the recorders shouts to them. The recorder gets worried and cautiously approaches the two figures who they can now define as male. When the figure are finally revealed the recorder is horrified, the two males look like they have melted into each other. The two see the recorder and yell out in agony. Their words are slightly garbled but the recorder can make out the words “kill us, it hurts”. The recorder breaks down sobbing, confessing that they couldn’t do it, they feel horrible for not giving relief to those poor souls.
Only sounds of bombs going off can be heard with multiple sounds of sobbing accompanying it.
The recorder’s voice sounds very raspy. They say that them and the other survivors are in the basement of the cathedral. The recorder says yesterday the city was bombarded. The recorder doesn’t know by who but they go on to say that they weren’t hit by an atomic bomb but with whatever is causing the orange fog. The bombs flew in from the East which makes the recorder question if their own country could’ve done this to them. As a result of the bombing the fog has become thicker and expanded more throughout the city. The survivors are scared and the fog affecting them like it did the two melted men.
The recorder says its getting harder to go out to scavenge. The fog has taken over the city and it is affecting everything. Even canned food is effected as the tin it is held in has melted and exposed the food to the elements. Any animal that managed to survive the atomic bomb has been affected by the fog, turning them into melted mutants. The recorder sniffles as they say some of their group decided to end things during the previous night, they discovered the bodies this morning. The recorder says things are hopeless here and that they should’ve stayed home with their family back in Oklahoma, sure their family didn’t like the recorders lifestyle, but the recorder says they would gladly put up with their parents homophobia then the hell that has been brought to the city. Their final words are to their parents apologizing for leaving home and that they want to go back. The recorder tells their parents that they still love them and wants to work things out with them if the recorder survives this.
The final recording ends and Ezekiel’s presence has woken up a dragon looking mutant. It attacks the penguin and his unconscious friend. Ezekiel is unable to fight back and has to look for a way to escape. Ezekiel tried to fire of a few rounds to fend off the beast but the bullets are unable to pierce the dragon’s bone like scales. All the penguin can do is look for a way to escape.
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jeonchemstudy · 14 days ago
college tips
ya girl is graduating in a couple of weeks so i wanted to dish out some last minute advice extracting every bit of wisdom possible from my last brain cell for those of y’all going to college soon 
general stuff
you don’t really understand how gross communal bathrooms are until you’ve been in one. they might say they’re cleaned regularly, but they’re not. get shower flip flops (the plastic ones) and use them so you don’t get some weird foot fungus
when selecting a dorm room (if you can), always take into account the fact that the elevator is probably going to break at some point. and also that it will probably smell pretty bad most of the time. 
get a nice backpack. one that’s big and roomy, that can hold a lot of stuff and fits comfortably on your back. sometimes when your dorm is far from the rest of your classes, you’re not going to go back to your room until late, so it’s best to just carry everything around with you all day and you don’t want to break your back doing so. 
keep an emergency stash of stuff in your backpack at all times. you never know what will happen during the day and you don’t want to have to go back to your room to get it. my emergency pack consisted of stationery stuff (pen, pencil, highlighter in case i left my pencil bag at home), medicine like advil and pepto bismol, feminine hygiene products, a phone charger, eyeglass cleaning wipes, and vaseline. always keep a second phone charger in your bag, even if it’s one of those cheap dinky ones. you NEVER want to be without a phone charger. 
whenever i was in the cafeteria, i used the coffee cups to load up on cereal or fruit in case i got hungry and wanted a snack during class. professors generally don’t care whether you eat or not in class. just do it quietly. 
never, ever, ever run out of snacks in your dorm room. you never know when you’ll get hungry at night and want something to eat, and you do not want to put in the effort to leave and get food, OR spend money for grubhub. 
hydroflasks are heavy and expensive. don’t get one. get something cheaper and easier to lug around campus, and if you’re into iced tea or coffee, get something you can put that in too. 
bring an umbrella and comfortable rain boots. rain coats will not do jack, i tell you, when you’re getting soaked. just get an umbrella
if you’re from the southern US or from california, trust me on this: get a winter jacket. a good winter jacket. you never know when the next cold snap will be in the fall or winter and you don’t want to be walking around campus freezing your ass off. 
set your clothes out the night before. this will save you a couple minutes of sleep when you have to wake up and go to class, plus checking the weather before you head out is always helpful.
emergen-c is a vitamin c supplement that you can put in your water and drink. if you feel a bit drowsy or sick, you will feel better after drinking this. tip from a doctor i shadowed
academic stuff
sometimes sitting in the front isn’t helpful at all. maybe you’re someone who wants to fidget or doodle without distracting people, maybe you’re just uncomfortable sitting close to the professor if they’re one of those types who goes around calling on people, or maybe you want to sit near friends who can clarify things as the class drags on. that is ok. do what works for you. but sometimes people talk pretty loudly in the back and in that case you have to move. just move. it doesn’t matter if you seem rude, just move because you have to focus. 
ask questions. you are probably not the only person with that question in the room. i know some profs can make it feel awkward to ask because they can act elitist, but it’s your right to learn in that class. you paid to be there. you’re paying them to be there 
if you email a professor and they don’t reply within five days, email them again. don’t feel like you’re bothering them. they’re probably just busy and forgot to reply. 
office hours aren’t always necessary. some people love office hours because they’re good at hanging out with people and talking to them, and they can basically have the professor teach the material again. some people, like me, want to learn what’s going on before going, or even without going. most of the time you might not even need it. the one time i would always recommend you go is figuring out what you did wrong on a test if you don’t already know what you did. 
don’t study in your room. i’m actually serious about this, don’t study in your room. study somewhere outside your room, whether it’s in a dorm communal space or the library, a coffee shop, or whatever. separate your schoolwork from your place of rest, and keep them separate. once work and rest time begin to blur together, you’ll start having a much worse time in school. 
if you get a drop on a test, don’t slack off for the first one just because you have a drop. study for each one like it’s the last one you’ll take. you never know when you might get sick or have some emergency 
social stuff
if you’re not into clubs or parties, just don’t bother. they’re loud and a lot of people get drunk and throw up on the floor so. don’t even 
join a club because you actually care about it, not for the brownie points. don’t get roped into doing a bunch of stuff you hate
you won’t find your best friends in the first semester of college unless you have impeccable luck. if you’re like the rest of us, you have to be patient for them to fall into your life. when you do find them, you’ll know. 
you also might not find a significant other in college. you might not even want a significant other. all of this is ok. you might see everyone dating but remember you’re living your best life right now and it doesn’t matter in the long run
do what you need to do for you, not other people. in college you have the freedom to do what you want with friends, but if you need to get stuff done or you’re just not in the mindset or physical health to hang out, say no. you need to live your life for you 
i hope even one piece of advice here will help you. if you have any other specific questions, please feel free to ask or drop into my inbox :)))
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famedroleplay · 16 days ago
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faceclaim: shin ryujin, member of itzy
legal name: rowan han
stage name: rowan
pronouns: she / her
birth date: september 20, 1998
position: maknae / main dancer / lead rapper of femme fatale
claims: n / a
triggers: divorce
it’s hard to make friends when you’re not in the same place for longer than six months. fall, rowan’s in san diego with mom. winter break, seoul with dad. then finish out the rest of the school year with mom. summer with dad. back and forth, back and forth. it’s been that way since she was eight. it was hell then and it was hell when she made ‘the choice.’
age fourteen, she decides to stay with dad permanently. maybe there’s something to the fact that mom was only around when it was time for her to be the bad cop, and dad was fun and vacations and happy times. or maybe it was the fact that mom kept making her take ballet at her studio, plastering her pictures on the wall as an example to the other little girls, which did rowan little to no favors.
she liked to dance, because she wasn’t very good at talking, but liking dancing and being forced to dance were two very different things. mom wanted her to go professional. dad didn’t care what she did, as long as she was happy; thus it was a no-brainer.
so she goes to seoul for high school and beyond. dad has to adjust to being a parent full-time now. he doesn’t know her favorite food, what size clothes she wears, or that she hasn’t fit into her childhood bed for three years and has only been squeezing in there for a maximum of three months because she didn’t know how to tell him she outgrew it. there’s a learning curve for both of them, but they make it work.
mom calls sometimes to complain about her grades. rowan has no idea where she’s getting that information, but it’s probably bumbling dad. ever since the divorce, he had to make himself look like the 24/7 good guy, after all. but when he tells mom about the youtube channel, it’s an unquestionably bad move.
they’re not popular by any means. it’s just four girls doing dance covers of idol groups. at most, they net seven hundred views, and statistics show that most people only watch for the first 45 seconds or so before dipping. it’s not a viable career, and anyone with eyes can see that. mom visits to give an intervention — which, predictably, doesn’t do a thing.
“but i’m dumb,” rowan mutters into her rice, “so it’s not like i’m gonna get a better job.”
all it takes is dumb luck to make it big.
surprise, surprise, she starts disappearing from the channel. with her gone, the views dwindle, and the three other girls move on with their lives.
not rowan. not after a scout approached her during a public shoot, pointedly ignoring the others beyond appeasing smiles and a greeting. she’s the only one that got invited to audition, which should be a badge of honor — and it is. but it’s also the reason none of them were happy for her after the fact, and she slowly started getting iced out of the friend group.
but there’s no matter! she passes the audition, and theoretically, everything should work out in gold star, right?
theoretically, yes. the personality and image maintenance classes work wonders for her, and rowan transforms from a girl with very niche interests and tendency to be soft-spoken into someone execs say definitely has to become the mood-maker in whatever group she ends up in. her dancing is stellar, and it’s no doubt because of a solid foundation and years of experience. the rapping, she can learn to grow in. when it’s time to put femme fatale together, she likes to think she was a top contender.
all of that nearly falls apart when they start asking why the trainees have chosen this life. there will be high expectations placed upon femme fatale’s shoulders, naturally, and so beyond just their skill and being personable, the girls should be able to withstand the trials and tribulations of actually being in the public eye. rowan agrees — but somehow she doesn’t see the issue with saying she decided to become an idol because ‘it was fun.’
not because she adored the music, not because she felt like this was something she had to do. when she elaborated, it sounded like she was treading these lines: it was a way for her to express herself. but the doubt lingered. the job isn’t a fad, and the contracts she signed won’t just magically go away when she feels such a lifestyle isn’t convenient for her anymore. her flippancy had nearly cost her the job.
it was luck that got her foot in the door, but it was pure skill that got her into the group. she realized she was on thin ice, and so she worked her ass off to prove that she was worth it to the bigwigs. though it worked out in her favor, rowan knew they would always be watching her. so much for living her best life.
but in the four years since debut, nothing substantially terrible has happened to her yet, and so she feels like it’s time to finally breathe. being an idol was just an extended campaign of sorts, full of dexterity and performance checks. she’s rolled pretty good stats, so it all works out.
it’s exciting to think of the double life she leads. to think that quiet, subdued rowan who couldn’t find the courage to speak to someone who didn’t approach her first was also an ending fairy and a moodmaker and a playfully clingy maknae. it may not be her true self that she’s putting out there, but rowan’s at least projecting a persona she doesn’t absolutely hate. femme fatale’s a success, she’s happy with this ‘new her’; everyone wins in the end.
in her mind, it’s all a (numbers) game. so what could possibly go wrong?
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meh-beans · 18 days ago
Back to practicing some angst, I saw someone mention something about non-happy Sally and Wilbur and this crept out of my brain space so uh, yea...
" I feel like you don't love me anymore."
Sally stopped, having just risen from her chair.
"'Don't love you', What do you mean?"
Wilbur ran his fork lightly across his plate, creating rifts in his uneaten food.
"I feel like you don't want me"
She sighed, placing her clean plate back onto the table.
"I can never understand why you feel like this sometimes. I've shown you more than love and want, and yet you doubt me at every turn."
He swallowed, trying to find the words to explain, Sally deserved that at least.
"I- I see that you love me, but... I don't feel it."
She ran a hand across her face as she leaned against their table, she looked tired, he shouldn't have said anything...
"My dear, what must I do to fix you. I've tried everything to make you happy! I left my life to be with you, I went along with your little plans, I even agreed to live in this!-"
She held up her arms, gesturing to their home. It was small, and didn't keep the winter cold out nor the summer heat. It's floors creaked and dipped in places, even the ceiling drooped inward, leading to Wilbur having to duck in their little kitchen. But to him, it was meant to be a home, his dream.
"-isn't this what *you* wanted, Hm?"
Wilbur set his fork down, and brought his hand to his chest, trying to stop the shaking.
"Yes, I know how much you've done for me. My darling..."
Sally huffed.
"You say I don't love you, yet call me darling."
"I didn't say you don't love me, I said I don't feel-"
She slammed her hand against the table.
"I know what you said!"
Silence filled the room, until Sally colappsed into a chair, placing her head in her hand's.
He watched silently, before standing up from his own and stepping over to her. He leaned down until he was on one knee, and placed a hand against her back.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything."
Sally sighed again, turning to face him.
"Why, why must you say it anyway. If you hadn't we wouldn't be doing this all over again."
It was true, this wasn't the first time Wilbur had voiced this fear, nor was it the first time they had this argument.
"I just wanted you to know-"
She pushed away from him.
"Know what? You say this everytime yet never fully explain yourself."
He pulled back as well, by now he should just be apologizing, but?
"You never let me explain myself.-"
He stood up.
"-I feel horrible saying it out loud, but maybe it's something I should tell you. Isn't that what love is built on? Truth and trust and-"
"You feel horrible? Then why keep saying it! If you're making yourself feel worse why keep doing it."
Sally stood up as well, grabbing her dishes and turning towards their sink.
"Do you also 'feel' like you want to make me feel horrible too?!-"
Her plate and utensils clattered into the sink as she dropped them in.
"No, Sally please. I never want to make you feel these things too, and honestly I feel so selfish just asking you to lov-
"Well you are!"
She turned to him again, anger written across her beautiful face.
"You are a selfish man, Wilbur. Because, apparently this-"
She pulled off her ring, the one Wilbur had worked so hard to give her, and held it in the air between them, shaking.
"-isn't good enough for you!!"
It fell, clinking against the floor as it spun, before landing softly on its side.
"Maybe *you* are the one who's not loving enough! Maybe *you* are the one who hasn't given enough!!-"
He stared down at the ring, her words falling over him.
"-You always say that maybe you'll get that next big job, that maybe you'll get that gig, that *maybe* you'll make that deal! Well maybe's arn't cutting it. I left everything I loved for you, for this!"
She grabbed a clean plate and threw it against the ground.
Wilbur ignored how pieces of it bounced off of him and fell at his feet. The broken bits laying around her ring.
He took a shaking breath, preparing to apologize and ask her forgiveness when a shrill cry sounded through the thin walls.
Sally groaned.
"Now look at what you've done, you've awoken our poor baby."
She pushed past him, making her way into their room.
Tearing his eyes away from the floor, he hurried after.
Sally had taken Fundy out of the crib, now holding the newborn in her arms.
Wilbur hated how he felt so empty looking at them like this now, when only a month before he had handed her their child for the first time and felt such happiness and warmth.
But now, everything was cold.
Sally's shoulders were stiff, as she held Fundy in a squeezing grip, the baby still crying.
He approached slowly, holding his arms out, but Sally pulled back.
"No. Why should I let you hold our daughter, when your the reason she's crying, why she's here in this place."
"Sally please, let me just-"
"Let you what? Hold her? Show her love? What has your love ever done for us."
Her words stung, sinking into his heart like needles.
"M-my darling, Sally, you don't mean-"
She stepped back.
"Don't you dare. Don't you dare put words into my mouth Wilbur! I've spent the last two years dealing with your little fantasies, your 'dreams'. This is life, not some fairy tale! Yet you treat it, me, as such."
She readjusted Fundy in her arms.
"Gods, you even treat our child that way. What is it you call her? Your little 'champion'? You live in your head Wilbur. What kind of father, husband, is that."
Wilbur's arms fell to his sides, hands curling into fists.
"I never meant for it to be like this, I just wanted to give you both a happy life..."
"A happy life?! I-"
"Sally please, I know how much you've waited and sacrificed for me, but I'm still trying. I've been working as much as I can! I've given all I can give to you, I've loved you with all I have, and I know it's not much, but maybe-"
He paused, taking in his own words.
"You just can't escape it can you."
She shook her head, laughing lightly.
"I can't believe I fell for this, for all your charm and lies... You know what?"
She shoved Fundy into his arms, and made her way to their closet.
"Stay in your fantasy. Live out your little dreams."
Pulling out a travel bag, she began filling it with her clothes and items.
Wilbur just watched, his throat felt clogged, no words could get out.
As she threw another item into the bag she paused over a framed photo, picking it up gently, she looked it over.
" called our little family your symphony."
Sally pulled the photo out, running a a finger along their happy faces.
"Maybe you can find a new one, without me."
Ugh, angry dialogue why must you be so hard to write ;-;...
Anyways, sorry for it being so messy pacing wise, also if you don't mind feedback is greatly appreciated.
Thanks =]
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verymuchimmortalcat · 20 days ago
Maribat March Day 6: Miraculous Side Effects
Marinette Wayne had come back to the manor for Winter Break. It had been slightly over a year since she had last visited. Usually, she spent both summers and winters at the manor and returned to Paris for the school year, however, with the whole Hawkmoth situation she hadn’t been to the Manor since the summer before last. Her family knew she was Ladybug, she had told them pretty much straight away so that they could help with her and Cat Noir’s training. They had ended up planning the whole thing over video calls and dad had given her a list of teachers in Paris she could learn from. She also already had the basic defence lessons her family had found necessary, which was admittedly a lot more than what a normal family would consider necessary. But no one ever claimed that the Bats were a normal family. She missed her older siblings. Being the youngest of the bunch, with Damian being two years elder to her, wasn’t always fun. She occasionally felt left out especially since she didn’t live in Gotham nor was she a vigilante, but she knew they all tried their best to drag her into their chaos. Marinette did occasionally walk away from that chaos, but only when she knew joining them would incur Alfred’s wrath and no one sane wants that. Not that she would be classified as sane by anyone outside Gotham.
She had finally managed to come to Gotham this year as there was a team of heroes in Paris, instead of just her and Cat, and she would be needed only in the case of an Akuma attack. Marinette, however was slightly worried, she had spent all of last winter sluggish because of the low temperatures. Ladybugs hibernate at temperatures below 35°F, Paris thankfully didn’t hit such low temperatures, but Gotham tends to reach temperatures below 30°F. Slightly extended exposure to those temperatures and she would fall into hibernation, she could be woken up but it would take time and warmth to do so.
She had told Alfred before her arrival. She had thought he would be able to help most after dealing with their stubborn family and their injuries for years now. Cass had asked Marinette herself when she noticed that the longer she spent in colder temperatures the more sleepy she became and Marinette had told Cass. Cass had accepted the answer and moved on. Not mentioning it to her later, and Marinette assumed if anything happened the two of them would take care of telling the others and didn’t bother with telling the rest of the family.
Her break went well. The first three weeks of her vacation went without any problems. She stuck to doing day patrols with Duke, when the temperatures were higher and it wouldn’t affect her too much. She spent time with all her siblings. Hung out with Jason in the library whenever he was in the library with her sketch book and convinced him to take her out on his bike on one of the warmer days. Dick taught her the trapeze at her request. She and Tim just casually spent time with each other, with Cass occasionally joining in. Stephanie dragged her out on a shopping trip with Babs and Cass for a whole day right before Christmas. She spent time with Damian by helping him with his several pets. She joined Alfred every morning to help with breakfast and dragged her dad to spend time with him whenever she felt he wasn’t letting loose enough. She ended up dragging him around quite often.
On her last week there, She and Jason were hanging out in the Library after dinner and before Jason had to leave for Patrol, and while Marinette realised it was cold she didn’t think too much of it, she was inside the manor, she doubted the temperature would drop down that much. However, someone had left a window open and Marinette fell asleep while Jason was too absorbed in his book to notice.
Jason had been in the Library along with Marinette for nearly an hour, reading, when he suddenly realised it was starting to get unbearably cold. Getting up he found that a window a slight bit away from them had been left open. Closing it, he returned to his spot to find that Marinette had fallen asleep. Chuckling, he lifted her up easily and carried her to her room where he tucked her in and left to join the others in the cave for Patrol and didn’t think much of it.
Sometime around one in the afternoon, the next day, Bruce asks, “Has anyone seen Marinette today?”
“She was sleeping when I checked in on her a few hours back, I just thought she had slept late and left her alone, she doesn’t tend to sleep for long she should be up soon,” Dick answers.
“But she wasn’t awake last night,” both Tim and Jason say at once.
Tim continues, “Alfred asked me to check on her before I went to bed, since she usually checks in on him and she hadn’t done so last night, she was sound asleep in her bed.” He then looks at Jason silently questioning when he had last seen Marinette.
“She fell asleep while we were in the library, and I put her in bed, that was before I came down to the cave for Patrol, so maybe around 10?”
“Shit. That’s been nearly fourteen hours, she barely sleeps seven on a good day.”
And then they all rush to check on her.
Stephanie walks into Wayne manor to find absolute chaos; the boys keep screaming at each other and her attempts to find out why are in vain. She heads to the kitchen to find Alfred; he’s making tea calmly while the other occupants of the manor run around like headless chickens.
“Hey Alfie, why are the rest of them running around in a panic?”
“Hello Miss Stephanie, I believe Miss Cassandra informed you of Miss Marinette’s hibernation problems,” she nods and he continues, “I think Miss Marinette believed that Miss Cassandra had told the rest of the family and didn’t bother with telling them herself. Last night, she was sitting in the library with a window open and she fell into hibernation.”
“Oh, why don’t you just tell the others, won’t it help wake Nette up?”
“I’ve already turned up the thermostat in her room and ensured that she has enough blankets, she should be awake in a few hours. As for why I haven’t informed the masters, I’m hoping this teaches them a lesson about hiding injuries. Would you like a cup of tea, Miss Stephanie?”
Steph laughs and accepts his offer and asks him if she can stay for dinner. She doesn’t want to miss out on the mayhem that is going to be unleashed when Marinette wakes up. Maybe that’s why Cass didn’t tell the boys.
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thoughtsmuses · 21 days ago
Story Of A Street Dog
Story Of A Street Dog ---- MOTI A Pariah
  Well, let me introduce myself to you all I am Moti and you may call me a street dog, stray dog. Pariah , a dirty filthy animal etc … it doesn’t matter to me not anymore cause in the end … I will still remain the same- a Street Dog…A Pariah for you all. Want to have a peep into my daily life…well here’s my story for you…. I begin my day every morning around 6 am when I am kicked and shooed away by the sweepers and at times stones are thrown at me or a stick poked into my bony body reminding me that night is over and day beckons me…I shake myself and come out of my dreamy night and begin searching for tit-bits usually I manage to find some stale bread, rotis and if lucky half eaten chicken , mutton bones… but it’s never comes easily as I have to compete with many other neighborhood dogs many a times I get bitten and hurt in the process of grabbing a bite …but that’s life my friend for us street dogs we have to grab before someone else takes it. Not all days are bad, some days if I am lucky I come across a kind and gentle family which feeds me milk and biscuits… some even pat me on my head and say loving words while I thank them with a wagging tail and full belly…. But there are days too when I am shouted at, yelled at… stones thrown on me..abused and chased by kids and I have to run for my life and hide under the drain which is filthy and smelly to save my life all for a piece of bread. What makes me wonder is the amount of food people throw away…without a second thought of feeding us …but I guess in the end its God’s way of providing us with food…Man’s anger or hatred against us is something I have never been able to understand… while on one hand the houses which house breeded dogs who are same like us are given good food, water , milk etc…are care for, loved, hugged and played with and  we are chased away from the street because the so called Breeded Pets are on their way… what humans fail to see is that in the end we are all the same race just different breeds….so why this big hue and cry???? The most difficult and tough times are in winter when we have to shiver and cuddle up against each other for body warmth while our well placed brothers and sisters wear coats and are inside warm rooms fully sated and with a warm bed and blanket… or in summers when we have to hunt for water and many a times drink from dirty drains… or outside hotels and restaurants…we have to take shelter from heat and rains under cars and many a times we are crushed under the very car we take shelter from…. while our well to do friends up there are in nice air-conditioned rooms or cars ..go for walks with a nice shiny collar and leash and if we try coming close to them we are hit with sticks, kicked and shoed again and again…..which bewilders me….as they are so called dog lovers and if they can shower so much love and affection on their breeded upper class pets why not us…why be mean to us…we are not asking you to take us into your homes but can’t we just lie and sleep outside your homes and be given a meal a day… is it too much to ask for….How can man differentiate between two creatures of the same species. Who is there to take care of us when we fall sick… are too weak to walk and find food for ourselves…too old and frail to move …no one… the hard and harsh reality hits me: that I and my fellow friends are all alone in this cruel, selfish world and we have to fend for ourselves or else just lie and wait for a speeding car, truck, bus to crush us and take away what little life there was in us… But In the end, I must admit… my life in the street toughens me and make me ready to face all hardships in life… it makes me a fighter and also a sharer with my fellow beings and running carefree with my friends , tugging at them, playing with them, barking at times chasing a car etc make my dull, monotonous life worth living. I don’t’ mind being reborn as a DOG in my next life …but can God be just a little bit partial and give me a better life to live… can I have the taste of both lives one outside on the streets and one inside where I am surrounded with warmth, love and happiness….. Well it seems a dream for many of us but you never know…the grass is always greener on the other side….Lastly for me the word “ PARIAH” stands for :
P: for Pretty and Perfect
A : for Adorable
R: for Reliable                                                      
I : for Intelligent
A: for Alert and Lovable
H: for Humble
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