#To everyone reading this I care about you so much you deserve to heal
neptune’s ocean (wash this blood)
Okay so, I ended up on the part of TikTok that has A Thing for Hotch’s hands, and I decided to make it angsty. And then it had a happy Mortch ending? I don’t know...
The title is a reference to Macbeth: “Will all great Neptune’s wash this blood from my hands? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” It’ll make sense when you read.
This was cathartic to write, especially given the conversation I had today. I hope it is somewhat cathartic to read. You can heal. You can move on, you can be happy, and your biggest fears may never come true, no matter what your brain says. As usual, no proofreading, or dialogue.
Word Count: 2486
Trigger Warnings: child abuse, blood, vomit, guns, death, grief/mourning, intrusive thoughts, survivors guilt
read on ao3!
He can’t bring himself to look at his hands. They’d never been something he’d actually focused on. He’d never thought they were cute the way Jack’s were, or hated how slender his fingers were, so unlike the stereotypical hero. He didn’t pause his life to watch them carry out household tasks the way Haley always had.
Haley. Haley who is dead, and gone and cold, and whose blood coats his hands like a second skin. She loved his hands. She always told him how she loved everything about him, but his hands were her favourite thing. She loved how soft they were. How strong they were. Everything about them.
In their first apartment, with the random photos and multi-coloured walls and traces of themselves and love everywhere, she had confessed this love to him. He had laughed when she couldn’t explain what she loved, or why. Haley had thrown a pillow at him in retaliation. But when they ended up laying on the sofa, both claiming they would go and clear the kitchen in a moment, she had linked their hands over her chest and kissed his knuckles.
And confessed that part of the reason she loved them was that they were so much bigger than hers. When Aaron asked her why, Haley turned away and said it was embarrassing. He convinced her to tell him. How, he wasn’t sure. But she told him.
It was because they made her feel safe.
But as he sits in the living room that had once been full of love and life and joy and her, his hands being wiped of all of his sins as though they were as easy to bury as her body, he thought about how those same hands she loved had only hurt her.
He looks down, needing to see the traces of blood before they’re removed forever. As he does so, the limbs start to blur before his eyes. His eyes swim with tears and his throat starts to close. How many times before today has he washed them? Scrubbed at the pain until the skin turned red and raw?
How many times had he succeeded at rubbing it away? At hiding it, not just from everyone else, but from himself? And how many more times would he have to repeat the motion before his hands were clean? Would they ever be clean?
He wipes the tears from his eyes. He doesn’t deserve to cry. Not now. Not after everything he has ruined.
Moments flash through his mind all at once.
Aaron Hotchner is eight.
His father is drunk- but that’s not an excuse, not now and not ever, although he will only learn that at thirteen in a boarding school meant to destroy him- and he does not understand what is going on.
But his father has taken the belt from his trousers and brought it down on too small for his age hands until he sees blood. His hands tremble uncontrollably. Tears stream down his face, but there is no sympathy or kindness waiting for him. Not this time.
The next day, he can hardly hold his pen. Nobody seems to notice or care. So he grits his teeth and bears the pain. It is the first time he finds himself doing such a thing, but it will by no means be the last.
Aaron Hotchner is fourteen.
Someone insults his mother. And they aren’t wrong. He will realise this in a few years: that his mother was just another victim, but in that moment, he is just a teenager angry at the world for letting him live. But whilst he knows it to be true, Sean does not. Sean does not understand that their mother is not perfect, and is just as broken as his brother’s spirit.
Sean is scared. No, he’s terrified that their mother is going to be taken from them and that they’ll never see her again. Aaron feels guilty for wishing that would happen- that both their parents would be taken away, and they would be carried off by someone that can love them the way a parent is meant to be.
Sean is scared, and Aaron is meant to ensure that never happens. He punches the boy.
It hurts his hand more than it hurts the other boy’s face, but he still ends up being suspended. His father hurts his hands again. It’s in that moment that he finally makes a wish: that he would never be like his father, even if he was his mirror.
Aaron is seventeen.
Somehow, he finds himself at Haley’s home. Her parents are away for the weekend. His are still in that wretched house, playing roles in front of their guests and destroying the set behind closed doors.
His hands are covered in blood because his father hit too hard.
Jessica, who is back from college, and the reason their parents are not at home, answers the door. She starts to close it when she sees that it is him. But then she sees how scared he looks, and finally understands why Haley is so protective over this boy.
She lets him in, and does not let him apologise. She summons her sister. His girlfriend.
Haley hugs him. She has suspected this for a while now- everyone has- but she’s going to be different in the way that she is going to act. His fists remain clenched at his side as she makes this decision. Because this is a mistake. He cannot ruin her as well. He needs to walk away.
But Haley and Jessica don’t let him. Haley takes his hands and in the same way Derek will twenty years later, wipes the blood away without blinking or flinching. And then Jessica bandages them up, making sure to use antiseptic to prevent infection. It stings. He doesn’t react. It’s nothing compared to his father.
He tries to ask them how they know what to do, and they both shush him. When Jessica wipes her eyes, and Haley pats her back, he remembers the days they would spend at the church, and the women that would spend hours with them, only returning to their homes when the sun went down.
It is enough to make him vomit. They clean that up without judgment.
And then, and then-
Aaron is twenty-six.
He is graduating from law school, just like he is supposed to. His hand is shaken. He does not flinch away, even though he wants to. He doesn’t recoil because Haley and Jessica are sitting in the audience, the only people he even wanted to watch him walk across the stage.
Their cheers are the only thing he can hear.
When Haley hugs him, and Jessica tells him how proud she is, he knows it isn’t just because he made it.
Aaron is twenty-eight.
He is dancing with Haley at their wedding.
Her hands are so much smaller than his. So much gentler. So much softer. So much more human. And so beautifully void of scars. So perfect.
He makes one final vow that he will never say aloud. He will always keep her safe. No matter what happens.
Hotch is thirty-two.
He shoots someone dead for the first time. The medics come running in to check the injuries on the hostages. To confirm the time and cause of death.
He drops the gun. Dave’s words- don’t let them see you break- echo somewhere in his mind, but he cannot help the display of vulnerability. His knees buckle. He hits the ground with trembling hands. He pulled the trigger that released the bullet that ended someone’s life.
On the train journey home, he pretends to be fine. Jason and Dave pretend to not notice that he is silently falling apart.
The door to his home- the only one he has ever known- closes. As Haley holds him, he cries. And then he tries to push her away because is going to destroy her. It’s in his blood. His father destroyed him, and his father destroyed him, and it is a vicious cycle that he cannot break.
But Haley does not let go.
When the tears stop, she asks. He manages to force the truth out. Haley tells him everything is okay, and that he did the right thing, that he will move on from this. Aaron pretends to believe her, and pretends he doesn’t see her shift away from him ever so slightly.
Perhaps this is the moment their marriage starts to end.
Aaron is thirty-four.
A nurse is placing his son in his arms. Haley is watching them both with a smile. He mirrors that smile. so in awe at her for giving birth.
He’s in awe of his son as well. Jack- named for Jacqueline, the mother Hotch gained from and lost to the job- is tiny. Aaron cannot quite believe he is real. Jack Gideon Hotchner is so small, but so trusting that the arms holding him will keep him safe.
So just as quickly as the awe overwhelmed him, the fear sets in. What is he doing holding a baby so small and precious? He will ruin this child. He needs to let go.
He hands the baby to Haley, and runs to the bathroom. His meagre dinner- fear for Haley had stopped him from eating properly- makes a second appearance.
Haley knows what happened- she always does. She doesn’t force him to explain what went through his head, nor does she tease him about not being able to handle the sight of childbirth like the nurses do, so blissfully unaware of the monsters that haunt his nightmares.
Instead, Haley lays Jack down in the cot beside her bed. And then she takes Aaron’s hands, covering them with her own. She presses a soft kiss to his knuckle. Almost like she is silently promising him the same thing: that he will not hurt this child the way he was.
Suddenly, he is in the present.
Aaron is thirty-nine.
He is sitting in the living room of the home he had built with Haley. The home they were supposed to raise Jack in. Together. But now she is gone. She is gone and it is all his fault.
He let George Foyet escape. And then he took too long to work out his final plan. He took too long to get to the house. So now Haley is gone. Jack will grow up without a mother and a father that cannot trust himself to touch him without causing harm.
How can he?
He has killed a man. A person. A person who had surrendered, with nothing more than his bare hands. He killed the man that had murdered Haley, in order to save Jack, but what kind of person does that make him? How is he supposed to comfort his son by hugging him and holding him when the blood would never be washed from his hands?
How could it?
He is worse than his father.
Derek leaves him after he finishes with the bandages.
He returns a few seconds, minutes, hours- Hotch doesn’t know, time has become nothing to him- later. He returns to Hotch sobbing over all the things he has loved and lost since he was born.
Derek doesn't say a word. He doesn’t need to. He knows nothing he says will make the situation better. Instead, he takes Aaron’s hands and lets the man cry.
Healing- physical and emotional- takes time. Rationally, Aaron knows it will, but it’s still a difficult thing to accept. It takes longer than he wants it to.
It angers him- that it’s taking him so long to get back to normal and move on. The grief counsellor (the one Derek urged him to see, if not for his own sake, then for Jack’s) reminds him that it’s normal. If it were anyone else, Hotch would tell them to let themselves feel, and to give themself time to mourn.
But he is supposed to be the leader of the BAU. And although he can hardly look at Jack without tears forming, he is a father. He needs to be there for his son. So whilst everyone- colleagues, family, Jack’s counsellor, his own therapist- tells him he needs to take care of himself as well, he just can’t.
He can’t bring himself to eat. He can’t bring himself to let go of the guilt. He can’t bring himself to mourn. He can’t bring himself to accept that Haley is gone, nothing more than a casket, a headstone, photos and the memories and stories her loved ones cling to.
There is so much he cannot do. Too much that he feels.
Yet no matter what seems to happen, no matter how sad he feels, how angry he gets at the world, Derek seems to stick around. When Aaron is terrified of hurting someone he loves, Derek is there to remind him he won’t. When he is so tired he can’t even sleep, but Jack wakes from a nightmare, Derek stays awake and reads to him.
When he forgets to eat.
When counselling drains him of his energy.
When his hands shake too much to point the gun at the target during his re-certification training.
When he can’t even look at his hands because of all the harm they have caused.
Derek stays, even when Aaron cannot hug his son.
Aaron Hotchner is forty-three years old.
It has been three years since Haley’s death.
Two years ago, he let go of his guilt. One year and nine months ago, he let go of his fear of moving on, as he realised he could love someone and remember her all at once. Seven months ago, he built up the courage to tell Derek how he truly felt.
Derek had kissed him, soft and gentle and perfect. It had been exactly the same and completely different to the first kiss him and Haley had shared. Because it had been perfect, and it had been unexpected, but it had been less desperate and less messy.
Derek had kissed him, and Aaron had felt peace. He knows Haley is proud of him.
Derek is watching him. The man who had lost everything and then found a way to carry on. The man who put everyone above himself, but is learning to care for himself. The man who still wakes up screaming, but who has learnt to breathe without fear of timing running out.
The man he loves.
Jack is holding an ice-cream in one hand as he and Hotch walk side by side, down to where Morgan is waiting to surprise the boy- not so little anymore- with a trip to the bowling alley for his birthday.
Jack holds his hand out for his dad to take.
And what does Aaron do?
He takes Jack’s hand in his own, without a single ounce of hesitation.
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Just random thoughts # 1
I feel like we should start considering that not everyone has the same coping mechanism as other people. Trying to explicate that someone should start doing something for themselves and just forget all the bad things that's happened to them, sounds like insensitive and thoughtless for me. I as a person, as much as possible i would always try to give positive vibes, inspiring words that come from the bottom of my heart, based on my own experiences and realizations. But, as a person myself, i also wouldn't want to advise ppl in engaging with toxic positivity, bc i never would've recommend that. I mean it's time that instead of just forgetting all your pasts, taking time for your own healing is probably much better. It would be a long process and you can only validate yourself, no one can ever tell you otherwise. You can move forward without forgiving those who hurt you, and don't get me wrong. I do believe that we forgive and forget bc we care for our own inner peace. Hence, i also believe that not everyone deserves your forgiveness. I am just being real. All the bad memories that we all had, made us broken, but may we also remember that it also made us stronger, wiser, and be the person who we are today. I wish that we all could turn this nightmare into a beautiful one but no one is in the position of saying that. We have different struggles and i am proud of everyone who overcame and is still trying no matter what, this doesn't just go for ppl who's still here but also for ppl who tried so hard and yet wasn't able to stay. I am proud for all of them still, for enduring the pain even when nobody else seems to notice and care. You may think they've failed in life. But for me, no. We don't have the right to blame them. And we shouldn't have in the first place. Only one can make the final judgment. And im not forcing you to believe me. It's up to your interpretation and beliefs. I hope that i could express this for them. If you're still reading, thanks! My dms are always open if ever you wanna share your opinion about this.
That's all i gotta say. I hope you'd share your point of view as well.
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Acceptance Timeline 2
Read on AO3
Read Acceptance Timeline 1
Genre: Angst, Fluff
Pairing: Steve x Bucky
Summary/Request(none): Steve returns the infinity stones and Peggy points out the obvious.
Word Count: 971
All that he had wanted to do was tell him how he felt. That’s it he wanted to tell Steve that he was in love with him but then Steve told him what he was doing. Where he was going or when to be more exact. Steve said that he could come with him but Bucky knew that he couldn’t go back… he wasn’t that person anymore and he couldn’t act like he was.
“Steve, you only knew her for a year. Are you sure you want to go back?”
“Yeah… she’s all that I can think about. That dance. I owe that to her at least. Maybe more if she wants but you get it right? Do you get it… why am I doing this?”
“I don’t know. Sort of I guess? But how can you leave this life behind… how can you leave everyone behind?” How could you leave me behind?
“You didn’t know her… Nat. She was brilliant and kind and the strongest woman I’ve ever met, including Peggy. I just don’t know how I could stay here without her. I don’t think I could stay in this time without knowing she’s out there somewhere.” There was silence. Long. Dreadful. Most of all sad. Tears were flowing down Steve’s face and Bucky was fighting his which were wheeling up in a dam that was about to burst. “I just, you weren’t here those five years… they were hard and lonely. Nat had her own way of dealing with it and I had mine. I know that if she was still here that I wouldn’t leave, couldn’t leave. But if you want me to stay I can. If you want me… to stay with you I can.”
“No,” he paused, realizing what he was saying, telling the man he loved. “Go be with her. Go get your happy ending. You have that right. You have that right to be selfish this one time because you damn well deserve it!” That’s when the floodgates were released.
He knew what this meant Steve on the platform, they already said their goodbyes but none of it was processing, none of it was okay. With that Bruce sent Steve back to the past. “He’s gone, '' Bucky thought. He’s going to live the rest of his life without him.
“Steve, you bloody idiot!” The brunette woman yelled, who was very tempted to whack him. “You Americans truly are blind!”
“Calm down, Peggy. What the hell are you talking about?” Replied the blond, bewildered man.
“What am I talking about? What are you talking about? Bucky’s alive and you came here?“ Her yelling was growing quieter and quieter, becoming almost sympathetic but she was still astounded by what she was hearing. “You left him, to see me, to be with me?”
Steve was stunned by this response, why would she care so much about him leaving Bucky behind?
Peggy studded his face realizing that he truly is clueless. “He loves you, dumbass! He’s IN love with you!” She was practically pleasing at this point for the man to understand.
The soldier’s face was in complete surprise, his eyebrows lifted and his mouth agape.
She knew it, she already knew that Steve loved Bucky back but this was what confirmed it, what tipped the scale. That little twinkle in his eyes, the corner of his mouth that was slightly upturned. “And you love him back.”
“No, Steve, you can’t stay here. I’ve moved on!” She really had. She had healed and him dancing with her for the firs-last time had answered those questions that had remained. The fear that he was dead, captured, tortured was gone because he was right there. A fog covered her eyes. “You have to go back, you gave me that dance and now you have to go on and live without me. Be happy without me because I’ll be just fine. Just like I have been, I'll be happy and now it’s your turn to have that! I know that you love me still but I love you too much for you to stay.”
The man stared at her having so much he could say, he gave her one last goodbye. After that, he was gone.
He knew what this meant Steve on the platform, they already said their goodbyes but none of it was processing, none of it was okay. With that Bruce sent Steve back to the past. “He’s gone, '' Bucky thought. He’s going to live the rest of his life without him.
But then there he was again, with a round case one hand and a smiling teary face, and Bucky smiled back.
Steve walked down handing Sam the case he was holding. He stood before Bucky looking him up and down. “I really am an idiot aren’t I?”
“The biggest,” the brunette beamed. Was this really happening? Did Steve really not leave him? Is he really standing before him about to do what had wanted to do for too long?
The men stared at each other for a second but just a second because in the next their lips had clashed together. They took in the moment remembering the pine smell, the birds chirping in the trees, and the surprised look on Sam’s face that they had seen the moment before. Their lips departed both of them drunk on that first kiss that was overdue by about eighty years.
“Um, do y’all need a moment? Cause we can leave.” Sam turned to Bruce motioning him to leave.
A laugh escaped Bucky’s lips. “Don’t worry we’re leaving.” He wrapped his arm around Steve’s waist and started to drag him to the car. “And that’s yours.” He motioned to the round case.
“Congrats, Captain.” Steve allowed Bucky to drag him while he saluted their friend.
Read Acceptance Timeline 1
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thinking about a c!dream redemption arc again
his possible healing is just... so important to me.
people might be saying the writers dug themselves into the hole, but the thing is, the writers know more than we do.
they know so much more about the characters and their capability to change - they don't get hung up on their actions so much they wouldn't be "able to" redeem them from it.
because everyone can change, and that's the beauty of it! everyone can get better! and that is such an important message!
someone deciding to be better will never have a long-term negative effect on any of the characters. people aren't afraid c!dream will get a redemption arc because they think it would be bad for the characters they like, but because they hold grudges. because they don't like the character to the point when they just don't want him to be happy.
but you know, that kind of doesn't matter! if they want to continue misinterpreting and dehumanizing the character - you do you i guess? but it's not like the lore is going to follow that bias, because the writers are better than that, and that's comforting to know.
after what he's been through in prison - he deserves rehabilitation. he deserves to get better, and that would provide him plenty of chances to try again, reshape the way he looks at the world.
who's to say he shouldn't take that chance?
as someone who really needed support coping with my own trauma but never got it because i emotionally isolated myself instead and never reached out, seeing c!dream be able to actually get help would make me extremely happy. and i'm sure it could help others to not make the same mistake - to realize having people besides you who care about you and who you care about is healthy. it's important.
i just really want him to be happy, because much like everyone else, he's been through a lot - and whichever interpretation you have of him, if you think of him as a person, as someone you could be sympathetic with, you'll agree he's extremely tragic.
he's made so many bad choices and so many mistakes, because he was put in such circumstances and grew so desperate and untrusting of the world he took things into his own hands and made everything worse. and he just. he's lost so much. the entire character is defined by loss.
it doesn't make me "upset" that he was abandoned and didn't get help, because he didn't reach out and he did let people leave him - but it makes me incredibly sad. it makes me empathetic. it makes me... hopeful in a way, that when he does finally get it, something he should've had a long time ago - it'll help.
i just can't see a world in which he can't return from that...
i just can't see a world in which he doesn't.
and until it does, we can theorize about it! that's right, this entire sappy post was actually an advert - go read this story/thread by @/call-me-apple. it's a brilliant take at c!dream's redemption, mindsets, regret, compensation and trauma. it encompasses everything i want from the redemption when we get it - and you know what, if we can come up with something like that? i think saying cc!dream couldn't is underestimating him greatly :]
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i’m rewatching a old timmy reading of yours (they are my fav aside armies ofc) and you’ve talked about timmy having past trauma that you feel he wants to talk about and share but doesn’t know if he can or should m and honestly it’s made me very interested in what it could be… we get so little of timmy and i know he’s a private person but i feel like it would help so many people if he opened up more. i feel like him being so closed off isn’t even really his own doing sometimes. i hope our star knows he shines so bright that it blinds us even if he feels like he’s sitting in a a dark room alone at times.
just a ps that i hope armie is doing well also 🙏🏼❤️🧿
Hello my beautiful Anon!
Thank you for stopping by and thank you for watching my readings. 🥺 💗 (Which reminds me I still have that Armie Pluto Retrograde reading to share with everyone!) Yes, these topics come in strongly in my readings for Timmy. I feel with his moon in Pisces, his emotions are so dreamy in nature but there is so much more going on. I also feel whenever Timmy is ready to share about whatever he needs to put out there for himself, emotionally, mentally, and so forth, he will. He also has to much earth energy in his natal chart, it helps ground him, keep to himself also as you mentioned.
Sometimes, I feel he is testing the waters (connected to his emotions) by sharing bits and pieces with the world. Although I also feel this certain High Priestess attitude about him as well. “Only those deserving of me, the me that is hidden, will know my true self.” This doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for his fans and others kept in the dark of his true feelings, not at all. This is how he knows to protect himself best. Just like everyone else, Timmy is going through his own healing process, learning about himself, sharing this with those he trusts deeply.
Yes, a lot of what’s hidden in the material world, from the public, could be connected to other forces. Again, I feel this is Timmy protecting himself the best way he knows how. It is not right or wrong, there is no such thing when we go by our own intuition, to do what’s best for us. It’s hard to explain sometimes. I was talking to a friend yesterday, explaining to them how there is a difference from say a flight or fight response with fear or doubt attached than going by raw intuition. Always aim to go with the raw intuitive nature of what comes through from your core. These are the life altering lessons we gain from the Universe. It takes time to tell the difference, but we got the rest of our lives. 💗
AND YES, TIMMY SHINES SO BRIGHT even when he doesn’t feel so! I also feel, sometimes, we just need a friend to share this darkness within with. It is okay. It is healthy and normal, especially if you open up to it, acknowledge it, not letting it govern your decisions. Putting it out there! I would love to do shadow work with you, Timmy! ❤️ 🧿 Haha, I swear it’s nothing weird! 😂 ANYWAY, enough of my babbling. (Saying the same for you Armie! Let’s all do shadow work together! PSA: only if you feel ready for it, fam 💗 )
Thank you again for leaving this really beautiful message, lovely! Sending you the best healing and feel good vibes your way!! 🤗 🤗 🤗
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Analysis Pro NH Anti NS
Naruto Manga Part 2
While Neji is unconsious, Hinata takes his place to scout the area around them. Shino tells her to not overextend and she responds that the war is about protecting Naruto and that failure is not an option. She has an interesting flashback of Naruto. We see his flabbergasted reaction after seeing Hinata and he then puts out a big smile. What’s interesting about this flashback is that it’s most likely before Pain’s invasion of Konoha because the building behind them seems to be intact.
Just before Hinata gets attacked by the Zetsu clones, Naruto comes out of nowhere and protects her. He apologizes to her for ”running late”.
He reassure her that everything’s alright now that he is here. He has a very proud smirk on his face. You can tell that he feels great about saving her.
Hinata apologizes for everyone’s suspision of him and she then starts having doubts and starts feeling depressed, falling into an old self. She wants to protect Naruto so much, only to be protected instead. She begins to doubt. Naruto then does his deepest reading of emotions yet and senses her depression and comforts her by saying that she has saved him atleast twice now.
What were those two times she saved him? The Proud Failure Speech and Pain. Showing he remembers BOTH TIMES. The other times (as he says ”atleast” two times) could be referring to when she wanted to help him cheat in the exam and when she gave him some healing ointment. But still, this shows that he remembers both those times he thinks she saved him.
Which she did, if she hadn’t done that Proud Failure peptalk he wouldn’t have had the confident and motivation to fight Neji as he was scared out of his mind of fighting him. He most likely would have been killed as he was depressed beyond belief of fighting him and was really doubting himself. That’s why he told Hinata on the training grounds that his tough guy behaviour was an act and that he was in reality just really frustrated all the time. (Also foreshadowing their future relationship, being able to open up to her about something so personal).
And of course if she hadn’t interfered against Pain, Naruto would have been taken by the Akatsuki and later been killed by the Bijuu extraction. (Also where was Sakura in all that? Since she knew he was being taken why didn’t she do anything? It means she didn’t care, Naruto deserves better than that).
Naruto reassures her that he can see her depressed feelings through her eyes and he then tells her that she is strong. Naruto doesn’t even understand how romantic he makes himself sound (seeing emotions through eyes is defiantly something i would consider romantic. Also a paralell of Hinata being able to tell that he was the real Naruto by looking at his eyes). Everyone else seems to get the hint that Naruto likes Hinata and Neji even pairs them up as a couple later. It’s often so that people around you can tell you’re true feelings for someone while you are completly blind to them. This is the case for Naruto anyway. He also has a flashback of Hinata jumping in on Pain. He knows who really saved him that day.
Hinata feels so confident after Naruto’s previous behaviour that she reveals that after the war ends she’ll be walking next to him, holding hands (which basically means she was gonna try to actually make a move on him. Since before that she didn’t actually try to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Also a foreshadowing to an event that will happen soon). Lets analyze this for a moment. Kishimoto spending time to remind us of Naruto and Hinata’s moments, and also forge new ones, remind us of her drive. If anyone was doubting how it would end, this is the point you really should have stopped. Actually, likely should have many chapters ago.
Hinata asks if Naruto’s OK and he responds to her with a ”HELL YEAH”. Kiba comments on how he acts tough in front of Hinata. Remember that he saw what happened between them previously with the ”in you’re eyes” moment, so he now thinks that Naruto likes her. (Naruto hasn’t realised himself though, his obvious feelings for her).
Naruto completly ignored everyone else when Hinata appeared. He only screams out her name. He is clearly very hypersensitive to her presence on the battlefield. Even though he’s acknowledged that she’s strong, he is still very protective of her. That’s nothing new, we saw how he reacted to her getting stabbed by Pain and her fight with Neji in the chunnin exams.
Next part: Part 12
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10
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holyyyshit you have a sab au please infodump to me abt it if you would like to ohhhmvgod i read “wilbur as kaz and niki as inej” and i think i’m going to melt that’s soooooooooihnndjkfmf
ok ok it's not super developed, mostly just character placements and random ideas, also this is mostly book soc based so mild, mild spoilers!!! because sab netflix version is like the prequel. anyway:
so first of all, wilbur as kaz, because of course he is (also two of my fav characters ever have way too many similarities it's a bit of a pattern lmao). wilbur is a hardened barrel boss, who keeps walls high up around himself because he's been hurt too many times to trust people. however, he's built himself a crew of people he trusts in tommy and niki (jesper and inej).
tommy is constantly trying to prove himself to wilbur, constantly trying to be more than just associates, but wilbur constantly keeps him at arm's length and he just- doesn't get why. tommy himself is a sharpshooter, a gambler, and a bit reckless, and it's this that he gets reprimanded by wilbur for the most. he and tubbo (wylan) get on like a house on fire, of course.
niki, on the other hand, takes exactly none of wilbur's shit. she knows he's a good man, knows he has the capability to open up, but also knows that she isn't going to be the one to do it for him. she has bigger dreams than fixing someone, she's gonna get her ship and fucking kill some slavers because it's what she deserves!
just "I'll have you without armor, or I will not have you all" type beat
and yet. these guys care for each other so much. wilbur would kill just about everyone for her, but he would never admit it, and he's so impressed with her, always. they see right through eachother.
techno, my favorite placement, is nina. a passionate grisha heartrender with the ability to stop heartbeats, but also heal wounds, albeit more clumsily.
his relationship with phil is at the forefront here. phil is taught to hate all grisha as a druskelle (witchhunter), and believes them all to be heartless monsters until circumstances literally force him and techno together.
and techno is- funny? and sarcastic? he grumbles and mocks phil but saves his life without question, like of course he would, and actually gets phil to laugh a few times. they slowly warm up to each other as they realize how easily they fit together, how well they fight together, until, of course, misunderstanding forces them apart and makes phil hate techno again.
wylan is tubbo, and it's not just because they're both dsylexic lmao. (they're also explosions guys). no, but tubbo is their demolitions man, new to the team and severely underestimated due to being perceived as nonthreatening. in fact, he's mainly brought on because his dad is schlatt (van eck), and he serves as a wonderful hostage, until they realize just how valuable he is. he's a hidden badass and has a storyline focusing around discovering self worth.
also ranboo is kuwei but that's more ck than soc
beyond removing the romance, the story would progress as usual with a few small changes. I'm mostly excited about lock pic wilbur, niki with knives and incorporating the menagerie backstory, the wilbur calls tommy his brother by accident during an argument scene, and any phil and techno scenes.
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Hey the latest chapter of time heals (chapter 7) made me cry . I have been in a similar situation .
I am going to rant and I am so sorry for it but it means a lot to me that I could connect in some way to your character ...
Me and this certain guy called 'A' are from the same hometown and read in the same kindergarten (back then I didn't get close to him) after that I changed schools at the age of 6 . Then at the age of 11 he transferred to my school too . Then at the age of 12 he asked me out after liking me for a while . We dated for 2 years until my family and teachers found out and we had to separate . Then we reconnected again at the age of 15 ( mind you all this while we were at the same school ) then we were in the same school till 16 .
We went our different ways for high school but we kept talking . I went to a different city and he went to a different one .
And then I saw the mask fall ..
Idk what it was but he was distant . Not like just physically . He was just unreachable . He would ask me to stay up late to talk to him till 4 in the morning .I used to have classes at 7 in the morning but still made the efforts to talk to him . The friends in my highschool time were of no use too . They too gave me anxiety .( That's a story for a different time )
Then I left that town (not my home town but the one where I was studying for my first year of highschool)
And went to the city he was at
Now the last year of highschool
He had promised me to be loving and caring once we were together .
But.... As destiny would have it
He slipped even further . He even denied talking to me at times . By the month of October if I called him one too many times he would pick up the phone and shout at me 'dont you fucking understand if someone is not picking up calls he or she is busy ?' . We were supposed to meet that day . And I had been waiting for him outside our spot . I went back to my hostel and cried a lot it wasn't the first instant . He would only call me at nights if he need to 'relieve' himself . But If I did the same he would just say he is tired .
One day I sat him down to ask seriously what he wants and he said 'just leave me alone . Don't you understand priorities change and ppl change ???' 'i don't feel anything for you anymore' ' I don't love you'
My whole world shattered . With those words .
New year of 2020:-
Then I met him on his birthday made it the best birthday in the world ever . Gift , letters , even some private time .and then I left that town.
And it's just a fraction of the whole story . This all is up till 2019 the things that happen in 2020 and 2021 are even worse. But I guess I ranted a lot .
Thanks for reading . If you even read it through .
But I wish I was half as strong as TIME HEALS character to pull myself through . But I still have to deal with untreated anxiety . The lockdown and virus are also just making it difficult to get any help .
But anyways I would love to write to you the whole story . But I bored you by the end for one ask .🥺 M sorry .
Love you and your writing 💗.
Muha muha muha .... Hope you keep writing !!!!! Love you a lottttt!!!!!!!! You don't know how much your writing can effect !!! Lots of love from this end of the the screen . 💗💗💞
oh no please never! feel! sorry! for! ranting! to me! My blog is a safe space for everyone and I'm so happy that you felt comfortable enough to rant and put your thoughts out there, that's already a courageous thing to do.
I hope that when you say that you left that town, you also mean that you left him because he does not deserve you. Sure, people change, priorities change. But you don't use someone to your own benefit whenever you want, disregard their feelings KNOWINGLY, because he knows you were waiting for him, and then makes you feel guilty about his disrespect. What he *was* (because I truly hope that you either left, or that he changed, but I doubted someone with such a despicable behavior can change like that) doing was plainly rude and manipulative.
I know my words are not much, but you're doing amazing love. I hope that you'll find a way to overcome your anxiety with time. It takes time, ofc, but it will get easier with time, at least, I truly hope that it will for you. Lockdown and virus definitely suck. I've been on the waiting list for therapy for like, 4 months lmao. So I totally get that, getting help is a hardship in itself, accepting that you need help is a whole step, but then getting that help is even another story. I truly hope that you are okay and will get help soon if you are looking for it. Always feel free to message me or anything, truly. I'd be more than happy to talk if you need to (though I might take time to answer lol, I'm just a slow person TT)
You didn't bore me at all love, if anything, I'm really moved that I was able to reach you and maybe bring you a little piece of comfort. I truly hope life will be kinder with you because you didn't deserve to be treated this way. I also hope that my opinion about that person you spoke about didn't hurt you, I don't mean to potentially slander someone that you might still love, but this was really an asshole move. I have strong opinion about people like, but still, I apologize if I crossed the line.
Just know that you are loved, I support you with all my heart. You're worth way more than what this person gave you. I hope you'll find comfort and love soon.
Please stay healthy and take well care! Thank you so, so much for taking the time to share your story. It really means a lot. I totally don't realize how my writing may affect people; though I do hope it will always be positively with only positive outcome.
Take well care love! I love you too !
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Since I am now up to date with the anime, I figured I might as well update my:
Ranking Naruto's Next Gen Kids
1. Shinki - For all the same reasons as before. I have a soft spot for his story, his relationship to Gaara and feel he could be such an interesting character if the series just gave him the screen time he deserved.
2. Himawari - For all the same reasons as before. She's sweet, she's fun but she's also got skill to one day being a total Kunoichi Goddess. (You know, if that's what she wants to do as a career, of course!)
3. Kawaki - In a short space of time he definitely pushed his way high up my list. Like Shinki, part of this is because of my love for adoption stories, but also because he just in general is such an interesting character. He has a tragic backstory that reminds me a lot of Gaara and I'm not gonna lie, I was just so happy to see Naruto giving him a hug. The boy needs it. The only thing that kept him from over taking Himawari is actually the flashforward we saw in the first episode. I'm just not that great a fan of it and it does sour my enjoyment just a tiny bit. That said, I'm still very excited to see more of him and truly hope he gets a happy ending otherwise I'm gonna be pissed.
4. Wasabi - Same as before. She doesn't get as much focus as other characters, but all the episodes with her in are always enjoyable to me and I'd love the chance to see her grow and build as a character.
5. Yodo - Same as before. My obvious bias for the Sand influences me a lot and so do my own headcanons that I make - you know, those essays we're all writing that read way too much into the two seconds of screen time she got.
6. Araya - Same as before and same as above. Now I just need this whole team to at least get one episode where we can properly see them show off and prove they are strong in their own right and not just hanging off Shinki's coattail.
7. Inojin - The episode where Inojin used his Sensory Perception really pushed him up a spot for me. I liked seeing how great a mum Ino was to him, and it was refreshing to have the kid characters be their own person rather than constantly copying their parents. I look forward to the kind of man Inojin could grow into.
8. Sarada - I still very much enjoy her! ... But she did drop a bit in my list. I just didn't like how she's become kind of stuck up with Kawaki, constantly nagging and moaning at him. I wouldn't mind if she did this at first and then relaxed a bit, but even after she literally saw him have an episode of PTSD, she still complained about his attitude. Like the dude's been through hell. Maybe let him mope and heal a little first before you expect him to act like everyone else.
9. Tsubaki - So, a big big big reason I like this character is because of how different she is. It's just so interesting to bring in a samurai character to join in on a ninja team. The personality isn't entirely original (the whole too-strict-for-her-own-good) but at the same time it works in regards to her story so I don't mind it so much and I'm looking forward to seeing her continue to grow and accept new things around her.
10. Metal - For all the reasons I put last time. Even if his design is lazy, I like his personality and I think it would be interesting to further develop him in a way that separates him from his dad.
11. Sumire - She has dropped a bit and that's just because she hasn't really done anything lately. Having her join the Ninja Tec Team was a cool change, but unless they actually do something with that, it isn't that attention grabbing and now I could take her or leave her either way.
12. Shikadai - Same as before. Due to his lack of having his own character or story, I don't really feel anything for him. He's just kind of these and it's disappointing in a way and I'm still just gonna be hoping they do something different and interesting with him later on.
13. Boruto - Same as before. I just don't personally care for him and while he's not a bad character, I do not find him all that interesting to watch. The only moments of him I truly enjoy are when he's being an adorable big brother to Himawari and just honestly want to see more of that more than anything.
13. Chocho - Same as before. Not a bad character but her personality is a little off putting and I'm not bothered about her. I feel like one way that could make her more interesting would be if they actually showed more of her relationship with her mum since we really don't know anything about them really.
14. Namida - Same as before. A good episode here and there but a lot of that is due to Wasabi more than it is her. I feel like she - and a lot of characters - biggest problem is a lack of screen time and build. Maybe if we saw more of her, I might change my mind but so far she still doesn't really impress.
15. Iwabee - Same as before. Not a bad character, just not interesting to me. The reason he's dropped down a spot is more just because Namida is just slightly more interesting to me than he is the more we see of them both.
16. Denki - Same as before, however I will say I don't necessarily feel an urge to skip his scenes. Now he's more on the line of Iwabee in the sense that I have no feelings what so ever and just barely react to him being on screen.
17. Mitsuki - Same as before. I don't like him. He's more annoying to me than anything and I feel like he's the most unoriginal character related to an already existing character. I don't even know how I'd improve him because I honestly would just rather getting rid of him somehow if I didn't know it would make him a forced martyr for the other characters.
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To my first girlfriend...
Hey (+++), I hope you are doing fine and living each day of your life to the fullest. Maybe you wonder why I am writing you. To say it short, I want to get better, get healthy. To live also my life to the fullest. Abandon these deep and heavy depressive feelings. And that’s why this blog has to come to an end. And it should end with the reason it started. With you.
Meeting you was unexpected and innocent. It wasn’t planed, and no one of us could imagine where it would end. It just happened. Somehow, it’s kind of daring how well we linked. We were like to pieces of the same puzzle, which were originally at the opposite site of the picture. I read our chats to wake up these intense memories and feelings that were between our lives. And it was wonderful to experience this journey again.
Until today, I see beauty in you. A girl, which went through hell. Which get hurt too many times, a person, who struggles a lot with the world - like me. She does not deserve this. All the more astonishing, what an incredible woman now wanders the world. An intelligent, humorous human, which loves all kind of animals, especially dogs. Gosh, it is calming to see her with dogs, a bit like peace. She loves to laugh; she loves to make others laugh. And I hate it, when she is sad. Because there are too many reasons to be sad. I want to hold her, protecting her like a groin for a few seconds from this cruel world. I hope I could lift you up in the past, at least for a few moments.
I could write endlessly about her deeply beautiful soul, and I’m not exaggerating here. But I know, that she is struggling also with something else. I know that you don’t feel pretty in still too much occasions. And I already told you, that it is a pity that you cannot see yourself with the eyes of others. ‘Cause you would realize then, that you are a truly pretty little thing. Darling, everything is fine with you, everything is fine with your body. I lose myself in your eyes, and your blond hair gives me rest. To be honest, you are to date one of the most stunning persons I have ever seen. I hope, that I could give you the feeling that you are a wonderful person when we were together. Your body is a palace. I love every detail of it. And that is why the sex was so amazing (it was, right?). But a palace is only holy when it's honored by the owner, I know that. It might take time, but you will get there, I promise.
(+++), we laughed quite a lot, didn’t we? I think we had quite a fun time. Why didn’t it work out then? I think on the one site; we were too young, too toxic, because, and that is the other site, we were too sensitive. And yes, I mean we. I never told you how fragile I was, I still am. Every small stimulus can create a big chaos in my head. Maybe it is the same for you. And when both people are too emotional, the relationship can be pretty hard. Especially, when both are too unexperienced to deal with it. But you know what? We are a mess, because we think too much. Think too much because we feel too much. And that is as we care too much. Care about everyone and everything. And I love that. That is the point that I like the most about you. Your emotionality. It touches me every time, really deep. To that place, which has been dark for far too long. Only because of this dimension We were You and Me, and I kinda loved how You and I were together.
Maybe you understand now, why I struggled with the relationship. Because of this sensitivity, you hurt me several times, unconsciously. When you lied to me, it was shattering. I don’t have this kind of natural trust, you know that. But I was willing to build this, for you. It cut my breath when you did this to me. But I’m not angry at you, I know that there are things that I have to work on by myself. But this scars only heal very, very slowly. I also felt bad in our relationship as we mainly talked about you. About your feelings, your concerns, your problems. With that, we marginalized the other part of the relationship, me. But it wasn’t only your responsibility, also mine. So, again, I’m not mad at you, really. I was never. At the end of our contact, you shattered me again. It really hurt when you framed me as “using you like a toy”, or letting me into your life only to ruin it, like a chaotic, uncontrollable storm. I think I react in that way because I have a whole different perception. When we broke up, you contacted me quite often ‘cause you were feeling bad. You know, I put my own feelings, my own suffering aside to try to help you, every time. And don’t get me wrong, I do not regret this. But apparently, it was not reciprocal. When I got weak, you directly rejected me. Picturing me as the most toxic thing there has ever been. (+++), when I wrote you in November, it wasn’t because I wanted some crazy sex or something. It was because I wanted to fight for our relationship, fight with you. To overcome these obstacles. That is why I drove to your place, because I was so motivated. You can imagine, that your response destroyed me, completely.
But I accepted your decision, because it was the right one. I knew it back then, and I still feel the same about it. It was right for both of us, and I’m so proud of you for that. ‘Cause I know it was not easy. Hard to distance yourself from me, hard to survive. Gosh, I’m so proud. You are such a strong person. You ever were. Mrs.(Sch++++++ing), you can be proud of yourself.
I don’t like it when people are fighting, I really do. I hate it, when we are kind of fighting. Our time was way too precious to just ignore ourselves now. I know it is naïve, but I just want that everyone gets along with each other. It really troubles me, because you mean a lot to me. When you liked this picture here on Tumblr, I was worried. Worried that you can’t find closure as well. Because I was ready to accept the status quo, as long as you are dealing well with it. This situation gave me incentives to question it. That is why I wrote you in the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, we had different perceptions about how to proceed. I can accept this. We both have to deal with life, that’s why it's okay. Nevertheless, I was sad about this.
With the passing of time, the hope of mutual reconciliation erodes. But I don’t want to suffer because of it anymore. No more nightly weaknesses, which ended in visiting your profile on Tumblr, Insta or Facebook. No more daily thoughts about you, because yes, I think of you every day. Wondering how you are doing right now, dreaming about the past. I want to live the life I want, I want to fight destiny, ‘cause destiny is a bi***. This letter is directed to eternity, linked with several emotions, memories and hopes - Maybe, someday, I can fly freely like one of the birds, you love so much - So, at the end there are only two things left to say. Saying sorry, and saying thank you.
I’m sorry that I was so bad in communicating. I am sorry for giving you incentives to feel bad. Sorry that I was passive-aggressive sometimes. Sorry that I demanded so much of you. Sorry for not showing you my empathy. Sorry for letting you alone. Sorry for not holding you like I should. Sorry that I didn’t hold your hand in public, I should have given a fu** about others opinions. Sorry for being weird around your family, I’m bad at meeting relatives of others. Sorry that you had to defend me against your family. Sorry that I couldn’t show you that I’m also so damn jealous, that I could really understand you. Sorry that I could not love you. Sorry for not being the person you needed. Sorry, that you had to deal with me. Sorry for everything.
Apart from these melancholy regrets, I try to frame things positively. So, thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for laughing at my jokes, laughing about me. Thanks for your presents. Thank you for your trust, for being weak in my presence. Thanks for giving me a home. Thanks for your patience and your endurance. Thank you for giving me the feeling to be loved. Thank you for these wonderful memories. Playing PlayStation and board games, going for walks – especially with Amy, petting dogs, listening to music such as Vona or Jason Mraz, dancing and singing together, talking about deep topics and dump ones, lying in bed with each other. Thank you, that you dealt with me for such a long time. That you believed in me, that you fought for us, you little fighter. Thanks for being my first girlfriend, the first person that made me so happy. Thank you for doing me forget about the bad things in the world, for healing me a bit. Thanks for being here, not only by me, but in this world. Right now, I’m kind of crying. Because I celebrate the time I had with you, and I embrace the fact that the world has such a wonderful person in it. I forgive the world, because it has such beautiful persons within it. Thank you for being you.
As always: I am there for you. Every time, even if you might hate me. I won’t close this door of my heart. Still, there is a room for you. A room that will be yours for eternity. No matter what, there is always this one person that is willing to give you shelter. Please, darling, don’t forget that.
So, please greet Balou and Lola from me, and if Balou isn’t there anymore, my Rasengan should hit you really strong!
You will be happy, (+++). Give it time. You are strong. I have confidence in you. You will get there.
This is the end. End of suffering. I am free now. And you too.
Listening to “I’m yours”, a little tear leaves me eye, and a gentle smile appears in my face. I might get to like the idea, that more intense feelings were in play back then...
I love you.
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okayo so continuation of the excerpt i posted wayyy back about bendis and nasar, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND NOTHING NADA RIEN DU TOUT (find it under the where stories go to die tag) (+completely IGNORE the shitty worldbuilding you’re just here for the feels) (++ this is still somewhat relevant since even though the story has drastically changed, the characters are still the same so i guess i could almost call that a AU) (+++ it gets violent at the beginning)
One day, when she’s practicing touch, she notices the scars. There’s one on her stomach and one on her chest. There’s one on her cheek and one on her ankle. She’s happy— no, at peace with them. Because they’re a reminder. Of what she lost and what she gained. They’re a reminder that she survived. A reminder that she lived and that she will keep living. They’re a goal. They’re a promise.
One day, when she’s practicing sound, she hears something she doesn't like. At all. Nasar left this morning and she’s alone in the forest where everything but the trees and the birds is quiet. He told her to stay put but. She hears it and she can’t unhear it.
“...from the institute… bad shape but good batch.”
“Boss will be pleased… the Bel kid and his…”
“...magic users? Damn, kids these days.”
“Right? Look at all the good it does them.”
There’s something like a struggle, a harsh sound and a whimper. And she knows. She just— she knows. But Nasar is not here and she can barely walk ten minutes without falling face first on the ground. And this is a forest with trees and roots and— and there’s nothing she can do and it’s been a while since she last felt so helpless she almost forgot the hows and the whys.
The footsteps and the voices get clearer and— and she does something stupidstupidstupid but she can’t. She can’t help it. She hopes Nasar will get there before they get close enough but he doesn’t. She thumbs at the little blade he gave her (“To protect yourself.”) and wonders how he’ll feel when he finds her dead body. When they pass by the trees she’s hiding behind, she lunges. Her war cry is cut short when a foot hits her in the chest and she hits a trunk. It hurts but she gets up and focuses on the sounds. There’s a harsh laugh, nothing like Nasar’s and she doesn’t have time to separate and analyse and compartmentalize because there’s a hand in her hair and it yanks. She’s dangling from the ground and trashing and snarling and— and maybe she’s crying, too, because her scalp is burning and it hurts.
“There’s a wild one. Look at that. Very… feral,” someone says in her face and she doesn’t think and just— She doesn’t know how because she’s a kid and they’re a grown adult but. She didn’t let go of the blade and they don’t seem to care and. She plunges it in flesh. Again and again and again and for as long as it takes for them to let her go. “Fucking… hell. What— What the fuck,” the voice says, and then, seething, “What the fuck.”
The threads— she thinks there might be four people. She’s not sure. She doesn't now because there’s a fist in her gut and she falls to her knees. Someone is laughing and it’s mean. She wants Nasar. She wants. She wants. But there’s a fist in her face. Again and again and again. And she can’t hear anything but the blood in her ears and her bones breaking and. And she thinks about Nasar and how he will find her dead body.
But then. Then. The voice without a voice, the presence. Greedy, with its grudges. The magic. Hers.
did you forget that you were born in blood
did you forget that you were born in war
did you forget that you must live
Her threads. They feel alive and she forgot about them like one forget about one’s body. It’s here, always, but. One only remembers when it hurts.
And so, they lunge, too. Wrap themselves around the toxic ones and yank, too. They slither around a hand and two. They slither up, up, up an arm and two. And they crush. They crush and she thinks she can hear the bones breaking. They crush and she thinks she can hear the screams. They crush hard, unforgiving and she feels the how dare you. There’s a bundle of them crawling up a leg, a torso and then a neck. The snake-like threads yank and the crack echoes through her bones. She wants to throw up and she wants to black out but there’s another one.
did you forget that you were born for blood
did you forget that you were born for war
did you forget that you must live
They weave their way to a foot, they yank at an ankle, at a knee, they yank at a whole damn pelvis and for good measure, they wrap themselves around a neck and crushcrushcrush until there’s nothing left to crush but blood and bones.
She throws up. She throws up and she’s shaking and crying and she can’t hear anything but the headache pounding in her ears. Her body hurts. Everything smells like blood. Her threads smell— feel like blood as they wrap around her with nothing of the vicious killing intent from before. From a moment ago. They wrap around her limbs gently, like a caress. They wrap around her body and she throws up again. They wrap, wrap, wrap until they’re a mockery of the cocoon she likes to make with Nasar’s.
She doesn’t know how long she stays like that. She doesn’t know. But something touches her and she lashes out like an animal with no escape route. She trashes and trashes and trashes until she notices everything still hurts. She trashes because she can’t hear and she can’t see and she doesn’t— Hands take a hold of her own and bring them to a face.
There’s a long nose and lots of eyebrows. There’s a beard and some wrinkles. She realizes there’s threads, too. Sharp but somehow soft. She sobs and goes limp in Nasar’s arms. Her own threads are still wrapped around her and she knows they’re healing her. She wishes they wouldn’t. Because she doesn’t like them. She doesn’t. She doesn’t. She doesn’t. She doesn’t. She— She shudders as she remembers what they did (what she did?).
She doesn’t know how long she stays like that. Wrapped in her threads and his arms. She’s being spoon fed and drinks greedily from a flask. She sleeps a lot but does not dream. She moves only if she’s moved and can’t think much. When she wakes, however briefly, she hears voices like they’re behind a wall or in a bottle. There’s two. One familiar and one unknown. Sometimes she thinks she can feel something wet but warm nuzzling at her cheek. She wants to reach out. She wants. She wants. She— she sleeps.
When she wakes up for good and her threads go back to hide in her body, there’s voices. Nasar’s and someone else’s. Her head is pillowed on something warm and. And there’s fur in her mouth and in her nose. She sneezes. And the nuzzling is back. She wants to reach out, so she does. It’s a snout. A tongue licks at her wrist. There’s pointy ears and she’s sure there’s a tail around her middle. It feels like a dog but she can’t be sure.
There's a hand in her hair and she flinches. She flinches so hard and ugly that the creature yelps. "Hey, hey," it's Ringo Nasar, her friend—protector—bounty-huntermurderer— her friend and his voice is soft when he says it's me. It shakes a little when he says you're fine. She grabs his arm and clings so hard and ugly that the man yelps. He yelps and she laughs. It's a small sound full of tears and relief and something like love. It sounds like a thank you and she hopes he hears it. "I'm not going anywhere," he says, soft, gentle, kind— kinder than most things, kinder than she deserves maybe.
At once, she remembers what she did, what her threads— what they did. She shudders. Hard and uglyuglyugly— Two lives. She took two lives and she's not sure she can ever forget the sound of breaking bones and the feel of someone else's blood on her threads. She took two lives and Nasar will not have to find her dead body. She took two lives and she lives.
She feels like throwing up but has almost nothing in her belly and knows it would be a really bad idea to puke on Nasar's cloak. She prepares for a word vomit instead but— "You don't have to talk about it now," he says and she remembers the dog-creature-familiar and the unknown voice. She reaches for sharp silver threads and it soothes raw wounds. "The dog is Remus," he says, "the kid is Valko."
There's some angry sputtering and a he's a wolf and she remembers the two lives she took and the three lives she saved. It’s not very much but it’s hers and the boy’s and his familiar— his familiar. It hurts to even think about and she buries deeper in her friend—protec— her friend’s chest. Her threads are somewhere she can’t see, chastise in a blind spot as she clutches harder at the silver ones. She can see the wolf’s and almost reaches out when she remembers the warm and fuzzy feelings his nuzzling brought but. She’s good where she is and the warm and fuzzy feelings are there, too.
Later, when she lets go of her friend but never of his threads, and everyone is settled around a fire, she notices the boy’s. They look like brimming, boiling water made of anger, desperation and sadness. She’s sure they taste like it, too. But they also look drooping and mopping and something like a pout. It’s both funny and miserable to look at them and she wonders if the boy knows they’re green. Instead, she asks, “What is the Institute?”
The threads quiver. “It’s a school for people like us,” he says and she knows he’s not looking at her, “there’s two in the land alone. A dozen in the country.”
“Do they— do you—”
“Thank you,” he says quickly, quietly, like it burns him, like it frees him, “thank you. I— we wouldn’t… There’s things far worse than death out there and— and we would be it if you didn’t— if you hadn’t…” The threads flutter, quaver. The threads say everything he cannot. Then, he huffs a little laugh and his threads say just how fake it is. “Soft magic is a real pain. Not very useful against— against anything.”
She waits for a bit or two because these are words she ever only heard in passing. “Soft magic?”
“Yeah,” he pauses, “have you never— I mean. Ah,” he sighs when Nasar’s threads sharpen in her hands, “they categorize magic. At the Institute. More like, umbrella terms or— whatever. Soft and hard magic at both ends of the spectrum. Intermediate’s in the middle.”
She doesn’t ask him to demonstrate. She wants to but she doesn’t because it feels like he’s embarrassed or ashamed or both and she doesn’t like it. His threads seem flighty at best and she doesn’t want to scare them— him— away. “What did… what happened? What did it look like?” she asks because there’s no way she can ever know but she wants to so desperately it hurts her brain.
He explains. He explains how he saw everything, half-dazed, half-unconscious. He explains the threads (“They were orange.”) and the deaths (“They crushed until— until they didn’t.”). He explains how they came from right in the middle of your chest and how they wrapped themselves around her after. He explains the magic in the air (“I think I still got some stuck in my lungs.”) and how it was so potent it froze him in place. How it was so potent he could do nothing but watch you (kill-destroy-annihi—). Nasar says it was so potent he knew from a mile away how much trouble she was in.
When they go to sleep that night, all she can think about are her orange threads and the silver ones and the greens and the familiar’s. Before she falls asleep, she wonders if Paprika’s threads would have felt as kind as her and as brave, too. She wonders if Miss Cyn’s are warm and soft and like a smile. She wonders where the dead threads go.
Nasar takes it upon himself to see the boy and his familiar home safely. He surprises her every day and she likes him more each time. They travel far, far away from the forest and the stinky towns and the boy grabs her arm when she trips over roots. He grabs her arm when there’s a tree ahead and he grabs her arm when she stumbles over thin air. His familiar hovers behind and nudges her in the right direction when she wanders off the path. Nasar doesn’t say anything but he guffaws when it ends in flailing limbs and a three bodies pile on the ground.
When they stop to rest and Nasar helps her work on her braille, the green threads are curious and they watch over her shoulder as her fingers work the letters. When they stop to rest and Nasar lands her Little Death, the green threads are interested and they watch as she tries and fails to juggle the heavy weapon around. When they stop to rest and Nasar tells her about the smell of ships and seas and ropes, the green threads are thoughtful and they watch as she asks questions she didn’t know she had. The green threads are curious and interested and thoughtful but the boy is distant and aloof and stiff.
So she asks him if he knows braille and when he answers with a I don’t need to she hands him her book and gives him directions. She asks him if he knows anything about swords and when he answers with a some she demands he teaches her. She asks him if he ever saw the sea and when he answers with a no she tells him what she thinks it looks like. The green threads are content and the boy slumps a little.
They become friends and he tells her about his familiar. He tells how he awakened early and how the wolf didn’t find him for a long while after that. He tells her about the day he did and how it was the best of them all (“Like all the wrongs were righted. Like it made sense.”) and how they never parted from each other since. He tells her how much he loves him (“He’s like a limb. Or— a soul, yeah. Like my soul.”) and how he thinks he would die without him ("If anything were to happen to him…I don't want to think about it.").
She listens carefully and wants to tell him how he would live instead. She wants to tell him how he would feel cut in half and how his thoughts would feel lonely sometimes. Instead, she tells him about Ringo. She tells him how much of a good teacher he was to Nasar ("Because he protects.") and how he gave him Little Death even though it was his. She tells him how she thinks he's dead and how much she's sad about it ("Why?", "I would like to thank him.", "...Why?", "Because he gave me Nasar."). She tells him I miss someone I never met and how she will have a sword named after him someday.
The familiar— Remus— is always near. His threads are fluffy and she wants to pet them but doesn't ask because threads are special and a familiar even more so. It doesn’t keep her from the cuddle fest and she's grateful. He lets her talk to him and even though he never answers, she knows he is listening. He lets her lay close at night and it keeps the frowns and the nightmares at bay. He lets her pet him and be clingy and laughs in his ears and she feels warm.
One day, Valko decides that you can't keep walking into trees every other minute and that he's going to do something about it. He decides she needs a stick or a cane or something and she tells him yes, I do but ends up with a branch instead. He asks why she doesn't have one yet and she says she never really thought about it until now (silver threads tremble with something like shame and she reaches out). She tells him how she doesn’t like crowds much and how towns are difficult to deal with (green threads shake with something like intrigue and she recoils a bit). He tells her oh, so that's why we're in the middle of fucking nowhere and she says mind your language.
The day before they reach the Institute, he tells her about his magic. He tells her it's soft and meek and his voice is small and dejected. He tells her about shifters and a dad who wasn't one. He tells her about a boy who was supposed to be a wolf. He tells her about genetics and she's a little confused. At the end of it, he tells her just how funny he thinks it is that his familiar is a wolf but he can never be. He shrugs against her shoulder and tells her he got the sense of smell and hearing and— everything, I have everything but the wolf.
"You have the wolf," she says.
His thread feels fond when she grabs one, but there's longing there, where she thumbs at its middle. It's a little bit rough but all kind of soft. "I know."
She tells him about his threads. She tells him they're green and how she thinks they're more like moss than leaf but can't be sure because she forgot the little things. She tells him she hopes he looks just like they feel, half-tree, half-child. He tells her I am fourteen, thank you very much and what the hell. She laughs and tells him about birds and nests and he says duh. She tells him how trees can be homes. She tells him how they can be red and gold but she likes them green best. She tells him trees can look old when they're young. She tells him they can be damaged or marked or cracked but can never be moved. He says holy shit, I am a tree and she smiles warm and soft.
When the Institute is in front of her, she's surprised. They went around cities on their way but she thought the school for people like her (child—murderer—magic-user) would be in one. She's wrong. She's terribly wrong and they find themselves in the middle of fucking nowhere ("Shut it!") and green threads are restless. There's a pair of them in front of what she thinks are gates. They look muted somehow. Blurry. A not-even-a-color white.
She realizes she never asked how Valko found himself in the hands of slavers and why he was so far from home. She realizes he never told her. She realizes she never asked if he was alone before her and why he fakes laugh so often. She realizes she doesn't know him very much and she's sad.
They leave him with the muted threads and snot on his jacket. The wolf gets a hug and a lot of thank yous and apologies and petting. They wait until he's let in. They wait until she sees his threads for the last time.
That night, when she's settled in Nasar's cocoon and thinking about a boy and a wolf, she says, "The Institute. Didn't it— didn't it feel odd to you?"
The silver threads tighten around her, "Wait, do you mean the part where they send children to war or was it more about the titanic fortress?"
"...but. We're not at war."
He sighs like it pains him, "There's always a war somewhere, kid."
"Is it— is it like a military? Because those were downtown all the time and Miss Cynn always said they were like leeches but I never understood what that means because I don't know what a leech looks like or what it is—"
"They’re like vampires, they suck blood and happiness out of you."
"—and they were not really nice to the children and women but they were always nice to the drunk men pissing on Madam K’s shoes. I think that one is fair because Madam K was kind of mean sometimes and if they hadn’t pissed on her shoes, I might have—"
"That’s very bold of you."
"—but. Valko was not like that. I mean… I don’t think he was."
"He was not like that. And yes, like a military," he sighs like it burns him, "Young magic-users are given the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn how to harness, how to control, how to— how to optimize themselves, yeah," he chuckles lowly, "with the best teachers in the world."
"Do you— do you mean for them?"
"Bendis. This world will take every chance it gets— every last one of them— to walk all over you. And these kids… these kids are running out of luck."
"Do you mean luck or—"
"I mean luck. Those people... Bravery means death. Recklessness means death. And not in a Greater Good way but in a look-how-wrong-they-were way. The only way out is… deserting. Which is— it’s a terrible idea."
"Deserters are hunted down. Once you get in, you can’t get out. If you were to leave... ", he sighs like it haunts him, "I— he never asked."
"...We didn’t, either."
His threads buzz with confusion and regrets and protector-friend-protector-prote— They hum with a sort of disquiet she never felt from him before. "I know."
"...You know a lot about them."
"Mh. People seldom differ, kid. Give them power and they will abuse it. It's really that simple."
"What does seldom means and how—"
They stop in a quiet inn, and Nasar leaves in the morning. She decides she has things To Do Today. She takes the branch with her and only runs into thirty two people (to whom she asks directions every time) before she finds the library. The librarian is harder to find still but when she asks her if they have any books in braille, brown threads brighten considerably and she hears a smack and a woman's voice says it's your lucky day! before it leads her to an empty section of the room. There's three books and one of them she already has. She's almost certain another one is about pirates but the last one. The last one says universal spellbook and she reads until she can't. She doesn’t understand everything and when she does it's about rankings and soft-hard-intermediate and category and— she steals the book.
When Nasar comes back and his threads are clean but he smells like blood, he tells her good job and helps her decipher the book. He tells her what he knows about magic ("Everyone has it. There's a hereditary thing going on and awakenings rituals everywhere.") and she levels him with an unimpressed look. He tells her what he thinks he knows ("There's something like neutral magic— the one out there, you know? Not inside us. The magic of the trees and the seas. The one we don't incubate until it implodes, yeah?”) and she goes for his neck. He tells her the spellbook is what we can do with it and she gasps so loud because I didn't know that. Why didn't I kno— "The only way to learn this stuff is through institutes. Or whatever-council approved tutor. This is just a book of spells. Nowhere does it tell you how to— how to cast them. It tells you plenty about their nature but not the way you need to— to work the magic. Universal means for everyone. But everyone is too big a number."
"But people must have tried—"
"They do try. All the time. Sometimes they die trying and they're lucky. Sometimes they get caught and— It's ugly."
She reads the book still. She reads it until she knows the twenty six spells ranked between the letter F and the letter D. She reads it until she knows the difference between soft and intermediate and hard ones. She reads until she knows their categories and common uses and her brain itches. She reads. She reads. She reads. Until the day she doesn’t.
It's late and she's waiting for Nasar in another smelly inn room. When he comes, she has a pillowcase tied around her head and cotton in her ears. He takes her hands from the book and presents them with a cane. It's long and sturdy and nothing like the branch that broke after fifteen minutes a few days ago. She cries a lot. But mostly, she smiles until she can’t.
Walking becomes easier but she makes sure to be as good without the cane as she is with it. It's difficult and it takes time but she wants a sword named Ringo. It's difficult and it takes time until she remembers her threads (orange-murderer-magic) and decides they might be useful. It's difficult and it takes time because she remembers the bones and blood and death on them and how it stuck for days. It's difficult and it takes time but they're like eyes who can see everything she can't.
At night, she dreams about a boy who was supposed to be a wolf and the wolf who is like a limb. She dreams about a tree overrun by moss and a sword without a name. She dreams about a woman with a soft smile and calloused hands who is so kind she tells an orphan girl to run, run away before— and she never remembers how it ends. She dreams about silver threads and spellbooks and institutes and child-soldiers. She dreams about green .
They leave this town and the next, and she's got a book under an arm and a cane in her hand. She asks Ringo Nasar for more books about magic and his threads are not very happy but he asks when's your birthday? and she gets a book about bloodlines. She asks Ringo Nasar when's your birthday? and when he says I'm not sure she decides to give him one like Miss Cyn had for her. She realizes she doesn't know what to get him because Ringo Nasar does not like many things but Little Death and Bendis. But he gets a knife she found under a mattress and a stolen book about pirates. He gets hugs and kisses on the face and his laugh is so loud it echoes in her heart.
They lull themselves to sleep with whispered stories of a girl and her sword. She tells him how the sword saves the girl every single time and he tells her how the girl saves herself. He tells her how the girl becomes sword in the end and she tells him how the sword becomes him.
The fire crackles at the night and her threads reach out. Tentative. Hesitant. They reach out. And there's no violence in the way orange wraps around silver. And there's no wrath where it weaves its way up, up, up. But Nasar stiffens and she thinks she might have done something wrong even if she didn't mean— But then his threads answer. They answer. They— she doesn’t know how he's doing it, if he's doing it, but his threads intertwine with hers and she thinks. She thinks she might be feeling his soul.
It feels like his threads and his sword and his leg. It feels like rainy days in shitty inn rooms and cold nights in the woods. It feels like it's known too many ends and not nearly enough beginnings. It feels like both the wielder and the weapon and how sometimes they're the same. But it feels like cocoons and laughter and comfort. It feels like all the pieces that make Ringo Nasar and more.
“You feel like the sea,” he says quietly. And she thinks she understands.
She wakes with the sun and notices a new thread. It’s a little odd looking but she doesn’t mind. She doesn’t mind because it starts in her chest and ends in his. And it feels like chosen birthdays and hushed voices.
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( oranges in october )
You’d think that just because he had wings and he flies, that makes him an Icarus. Icarus fell to his death. He did not resurface, he did not live beyond that power. Sam Wilson soared high into the missiles of war and came back battered and red, dripping love and death as he stands in the aftermath of it all. You think he was an Icarus when he was actually Apollo. Anyone who gets too close to him falls to the ocean waves, then sooner than later, he’s left singing eulogies as his heart rattles in a cage.
He’s sadness in a bottle. He’s got a lot of baggage, and it took so much of him to figure out how he was going to carry it.
If you ever wondered why tragedy is always romanticized, it was because the red was too much, and what else is there to do? They made songs out of the fallen and poems from their last breaths. Sam Wilson gasped, “Let him live. Let me catch him,” and his arms caught the air that whisked Riley away. He only had a few regrets.
Sam’s thoughts ran that day. He wondered what would have happened if he did catch him. Would Riley say some ridiculous remark, or would he be shaken, overcome with the trauma of near-death? Would Riley cry, or would he be quiet, forever empty? Would Sam never have left the Air Force or would he be more careful, a never-ending feeling of death following him? It was no use anyway. All that Sam thinks of was What if I never met Riley? What if Sam never loved a man so much his death shattered his very soul. He’s battered. Gold can’t glue him back together. He’s seen so much red, it’s bleeding in his heart.
They buried an empty coffin.
Maybe if he had never let himself love then he wouldn’t get hurt. If Sam never let himself be vulnerable, maybe he could think of death as a missing person. Gone from your world, but somewhere out there living their best life, now that would be quite the belief. Sam wouldn’t have to spend so many nights alone if he had only let himself believe that. What if I never met him? He thinks that he would be better off okay.
It’s selfish, he knows, but seeing it happen and pretend it never did was something awfully wrong to him. It was like driving through an empty highway in the dark, speeding by with your headlights the only source of light, and suddenly by your right, you see the mangled corpse of some dead thing on the side of the road. You were too late, you couldn’t stop now or turn back around. It was dream-like, it always was. Sam couldn’t turn back and save it. It was like he didn’t know him anymore.
He’s screaming in his head because Riley wasn’t supposed to die young. That man had ambitions and plans. The world hadn’t had the right to do something so cruel.
If anyone tried to touch his hand, it would only go through. Sam couldn’t feel himself as he mourned. It’s all falling apart.
The thing is, it wasn’t just Riley. It was everyone who ever tried to be close to him. He’s a grown man whose most feared words were still, “Your mother isn’t coming home” and he wouldn’t even know how to begin to explain it. He knows he doesn’t owe an explanation about his grievances, but the thing that terrifies himself is the fact that he can’t even begin to explain anything. Sam can’t say how much he loved these people to even begin to comprehend how much it hurts. It’s a pool of love that drained itself every time he tried to do so. He can’t reach the seafloor.
Sometimes he thinks his remorse is just an overreaction, and then he becomes numb to the point it’s his normal to grieve this deeply.
He’s trying. He’s trying so hard. Please believe him when he says it.
He sees himself break and he doesn't even know what from. He's falling so slow he braces for the impact before he even brought out his wings. God, he’s trying, believe him when he says it.
Sam knows he's shattered. He's looking like a lost cause. Like a bruise pressed every time he sees it, he's screaming for the ache. He wants to live but at the same time, he wants every tear he shed to drown him. Heaven sighs at their angel, and Sam's going down like Babylon.
He's lonely, after the war. He's curled into his sheets as if everything was too loud to look at. He left the Air Force then he's looking up into the sky, wondering if every pararescue was an angel in disguise. Sam’s eyes were tired and he wished for a kiss goodnight.
Forgive him. He's sad and lonely. He wants to romanticize every single quiver of life before he loses it.
Goddamn, how he loses it. Sam walked alone on the pavement and dropped his umbrella, feels the first drop of rain on his cheek like a lover's kiss. And, oh, he's gone mad — mad with loneliness. He wants to kiss the sun all of the sudden but his tongue tasted like ashes from the war he died to escape from. He's losing his mind deciding if he's allowed to love again, and now he's shattered as he thinks about it.
Is a kiss any less lovely if it had been a different set of lips? Sam's turned to Shakespeare just wondering about it. He's still trying, believe him. It's just that the wounds on his back ran deeper than the trenches in the ocean and no one seemed to want to even acknowledge the depths of it. No one wanted a scar so deep they'd have to fill it with love to dig out the doubt.
War made poor boys angry and Sam might be one of them, he doesn't know. The pull of heaven’s light is enough to blind him but he knows the books, don't trust his own faith as much as he's used to. He's praying blindly and confesses as if he's got the right to in the first place.
If repentance was a kiss, Sam wouldn't even think he'd deserve to think about it.
He moves sluggish but that’s what depression does to you. It takes all of his might to even hold his niece in his arms without crying and then his sister's whispering in his ear, "I love you, Sam, but don't you ever hurt yourself." He finds himself in front of the VA Hospital in D.C. and suddenly he’s crying in the car as he drives home afterward. It was like an ocean wave cleansed his soul, but the shore was still a mess, he knew as much, but he'd watched the water ebb and flow for as long as the day burns bright.
There are years of healing after that, and he knows he’s trying, believes it some days but sometimes he forgets. It felt like eons finding help. Sam tells himself that war kept chasing him when in reality he just misses it, jumps at the first sight of danger, and follows it through the depths of hell. It wasn’t his fault — no one’s fault really. Who was to predict that Sam would be an Avenger?
No one thinks that what he does is like war, but Sam could sense the familiarity. He’s soaring into the sky and he’s kicking helicopters by the tail. He’s following orders and sending them out, back on a team so different from his own that it grounds him into reality. This isn’t war, he thinks, it’s just what your body wants you to think.
Sometimes he’s falling and he feels like he’s in another dream. Other times, he’s dreaming and he screams. But he knew that he shouldn’t regret what he had lost, all he needed was to take care of what he has now before he loses it later. You know, Natasha Romanoff once said that he was the embodiment of the present, so aware of your surroundings, you pick out exit strategies as if you made the floorplan. You don’t think of how the past is haunting you or even think of what you could have.
I’m trying to get through the day, he says to himself and her. Little things like these keep me okay.
Years pass and he finds what he could have had a little too late. He appreciated what he had had with his closest friends but he feels like pouring alcohol on a wound that never truly healed. Sam finds out Natasha was gone and he breaks even further, grief becoming too much of a permanent thing in his life.
He's singing Ave Maria as he's dying.
( read more on AO3 )
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The B.A.R.C. Method
*Do this in the morning (bonus points if you also do it before bed).*
The Setup: Set your phone on airplane mode the night before so when you wake up there won’t be any notifications or messages to draw you into autopilot mode and keep you from your practice.
When you awaken, go to the bathroom if you need to, drink some water (we’re usually dehydrated upon waking), go outside your house (front or back) to get your blood moving and return to your bed, couch or chair and SIT UP.
Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes (per letter) and increase or decrease this as needed.
Remember, the point isn’t to rush through the process and get it done—it’s to feel and heal.
Breath (15 Minutes)
*Do this in the morning before The ARC Method*
(Bonus points if you also do it before bed).
How it Works: Our Inner Child desires to stay in a perpetual state of overstimulation because this prevents them from having to come face to face with the intense hurt they have suffered during childhood and adolescence.
This causes our mind to be extremely mentally alert while our body is physically tense and exhausted.
When we place our undivided attention on the breath, we automatically begin relaxing the body.
When this happens, our Consciousness expands and we begin having a peaceful experience of our healing process vs. it being very intense or uncomfortable.
This also accelerates our healing greatly.
We are not trying to control our breath—merely merge our undivided attention with it.
Notice how your body is breathing right now, without trying to slow it down or breathe more deeply, simply continue to rest your focus upon it as you inhale… and exhale.. inhale… exhale.
Allow your body to breathe however it wants but let your attention settle into a gentle rhythm.
Every time you inhale say to yourself:
“I am mentally alert.”
Every time you exhale say to yourself:
“And physically relaxed.”
Then gently but firmly relax your body.
Do this for 15 minutes.
If your attention wanders, gently bring it back to noticing the inhale and exhale.
However, stay mentally alert because the only time our body gets this relaxed is during sleep.
This means that as you begin to marry being mentally alert and physically relaxed you may feel the tendency to drift off to sleep.
Simply begin to walk around your house and get your body moving to keep yourself suspended and allow this deep healing to take place.
Our Inner Child may say:
“Okay, now what?”
“There’s something better I have to do.”
Simply stay with the breath.
When we focus on our breath, that feeling of emotional or energetic discomfort starts to melt away.
All of that “What SHOULD I be doing?” energy evaporates and is replaced with feeling very peaceful and totally at ease.
This is where heart centered impulses are born.
From this space, you can welcome and embrace everything and everyone The Universe sends your way to help trigger and heal more layers of your Core Wounds—bringing you closer to awakening to your full potential.
A is for Acknowledgment (15 Minutes)
How it Works: Self-Love = how often we notice what we’re doing right—and we’re always doing everything right.
What we’re doing with Letter A acknowledging everything that we’re doing right from thinking to existing in order to spark enthusiasm for our experience.
This will lift the fog of judgment off of any perceived experience by realizing that we’re doing so well.
This will build self-love and make us feel good about ourselves.
Choose either your Inner Child, this Physical Body or your Consciousness to acknowledge.
Step 1: Acknowledge everything you’re doing well.
Step 2: Do this continually until you spark enthusiasm.
*You’ll know you’ve sparked enthusiasm when your acknowledgements become more exaggerated, dramatic, funny or simply the Letter becomes more fun to use.*
“I don’t like that I’m feeling so angry / depressed / tense / overwhelmed but I’m doing an amazing job feeling it.”
R is for Respect (15 Minutes)
How It Works: With Letter R we’re practicing loving what arises by offering love to wherever our attention lands.
Place your hand over your heart (this will help you relax) and then say to yourself:
“I love you, Inner Child.”
You can also say things like:
“I love this sadness.”
“I love this floor.”
“I love those clouds.”
“I love that I’m triggered.”
“I love breathing.”
“I love walking.”
“I love the one who can’t handle this.”
“I love the one who is upset.”
“I love the one who is overstimulated.”
Your Get Out Of Hell Free Card
When you’re experiencing especially intense or uncomfortable emotions, I created this mantra for you to cycle through until you gain relief:
“Hey, Inner Child.
I’m not going to leave you under any circumstances.
I don’t care if there’s a million dollars sitting in front of me, the hottest person on earth or the coolest celebrity wanting to be my friend.
I’m not going to abandon you.
I’m not going to neglect you.
I love you.
I’m here for you.
I’m sorry you’re suffering.
I’m sorry you’re in pain.
I’m sorry you’re hurting.
I’m sorry this is unbearable.
Please let me know what I can do to help.
Please show me how to love you.
Just read that or mentally repeat it 20 times.
Then switch to the normal use of R or continue reading / repeating this one as needed.
A condensed version:
“Hey, Inner Child.
I’m not leaving you.
I’m not abandoning you.
I love you.
I’m here for you.
I’m sorry that you’re upset.
I’m sorry that you’re hurting.
I’m sorry this is unbearable.
Please show me how to love you.”
C is for Care (15 Minutes)
How It Works: Most of the time we’re under the spell of our Inner Child’s conditioning which drives us to run away from our emotions and try to earn love from others.
With Letter C, we’re opening a dialogue with our Inner Child and fully embracing them.
Step 1. Tune into the energy of your Inner Child and acknowledge how they’re feeling.
“Hey, Inner Child - I can see that you’re feeling really unsafe right now.”
Step 2. Thank your Inner Child for sharing these thoughts / emotions with you.
“Thank you for being vulnerable with me. Thank you for feeling safe enough to share these feelings with me because you love and trust me.”
Step 3. Tell your Inner Child that you’re sorry they’re in pain.
“I’m sorry you're feeling upset / suffering / in pain / hurting / (the emotion itself) right now but I love you so much.
Thanks for letting me know you need more love and attention - not less.
You have a right to feel this because… (you were abused / hurt / etc.) you didn’t do anything wrong, it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t deserve that, you’re not to blame, there’s nothing wrong with you. I’m sorry you were wounded so badly.
But I admire you so much for surviving the pain, neglect and abuse that created those feelings, patterns and conditioning.”
Step 4. Tell them you love what they shared.
“Thank you for sharing all this (shame, fear, anxiety) with me, I love it.”
Step 5. Tell them you love them.
“I love you exactly the way you are. I’m not going to abandon you. I love you. It’s okay if you have more to share with me. You are filled with unlimited value.”
What Do I Do Now?
I encourage you to select one of the letters and marry it with your day.
Keep noticing the breath while you 👇🏻
B.) Keep breathing and focusing on that.
A.) Keep acknowledging how great you are.
B.) Keep offering appreciation for your body.
C.) Keep giving your Inner Child loving statements.
Helpful Questions to Navigate Through Life
What does my Heart want me to do right now?
What does my Heart want me to say right now?
Helpful Tips For Healing
If the resistance to healing feels like it’s too much to handle and nothing is working—make a request of your Inner Child to help you.
“Inner Child, I’m really struggling with embracing / accepting / loving this right now and would appreciate some help. Please help me love this emotion like it’s never been loved before. Thank you. I love you.”
Identify which form of Resistance creeps up when you’re applying this method:
Suppression: Feeling a piece of your emotions and then stuffing them back down or pushing them to the edges of your awareness and labeling them as “wrong” or behaving as if they shouldn’t be allowed to exist.
Distraction: Thinking about your life, what you’re feeling, if you’re doing it right, what you should be doing, what you need to get done—compulsive thinking that is inherently stressful, worrisome and filled with anxiety.
Numbing: Having sex, a drink, a smoke, doing drugs, watching movies to take the “edge off” your emotions. (Anything that allows you to lose awareness for what you’re thinking or feeling.)
Once you identify what form of resistance is cropping up, start applying one of the letters from The BARC Method to start embracing your healing process.
A process to embrace difficult emotions:
Use this when you’re having trouble loving what arises:
“I want to hurry up and love you so I can / this will...”
Whatever your answer is is what we’re making a priority, use this little mental exercise to uncover what you think will bring you relief and reaffirm that the only thing which will actually truly bring you lasting peace is embracing this next wave of hurt that’s ready to be healed.
Another process to embrace difficult emotions:
Simply being honest with what you’re feeling is incredibly powerful, especially when combined with requesting help instead of letting the frustration or hopelessness of not being able to embrace an emotion build.
Use this when you’re having trouble accepting something:
“I’m having a hard time accepting and loving (insert emotion or situation), Inner Child can you please help me love and accept this? Universe, can you please help me love and accept this? Thank you. I love you.”
Other Helpful Mantras
While inhaling you can say: “I’m mentally alert aware thoughts are appearing as resistance.” While exhaling you can say: “ I’m physically relaxed and focused on the breath.” Alternatively, you can say “I love the one who feels this.” while focusing on the breath.
Thank you for showing me you deserve more love, not less. How can I give you more love? Hear response and say “I can do X” Then do it! Alternatively you can say… “And my Heart wants to tell you” Then give your Inner Child the response.
Within the Circles: Chapter 5 (+ Epilogue)
The final chapter and epilogue of "Within the Circles" have been posted to AO3!
After the harrowing experience, Aziraphale and Crowley start the healing process. But recovery from this sort of trauma is never easy. Featuring the return of Anathema and Newt, who I don't write about nearly enough.
Crowley didn’t want to linger in the awful basement, but there was too much down there that would be dangerous if discovered, more than he could handle on his own. Fortunately, one of the necromancers had left a mobile in the wreckage.
When Anathema and Newt arrived, Crowley—human-shaped again—was still picking his way through magic ingredients, while Aziraphale rested in the corner, wrapped in a red cloak.
“Here,” Newt said, kneeling next to the angel. “You’re not really either of our sizes, but I think Shadwell’s old jumper should fit you, and Tracy had this skirt. It’s not ideal—”
“I think this will do marvelously,” Aziraphale said with a weak smile. “Thank you, young man.”
“And, ah, Tracy also found a pair of sunglasses…?”
They were extraordinarily pink, but Crowley wore them anyway.
Next, Anathema looked the angel over, Crowley hovering behind, ready to throw her across the room at the first sign of magic. “If I had to guess, it’s this one.” She pointed to a symbol drawn onto Aziraphale’s shoulder with Sharpie, then traced again by a blade, leaving bright red cuts. “Power regulation, basically a surge protector. Whatever she was siphoning off you, it was just different enough from a demon to get, mmmph, major feedback.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” Newt pointed out.
“It’s all it takes.” Crowley said, shooing the witch away so he could sit beside his husband again, help him pull the jumper on. “I…I’ve seen them fail for…much less.”
A long pause. Crowley tried not to think about the questions on everyone’s mind. It wasn’t any of their business, except in a way it was now. He did his best to push all those thoughts aside.
“I’m just glad no one was badly hurt,” Aziraphale said with a shaky smile.
“Except you,” Crowley grumbled, not even trying to hide the fact that he was fussing. “And one human had a few broken bones, but as I understand, he really deserved it.” No, that didn’t help. There was a pinch of horror around Aziraphale’s eyes, but he didn’t say anything yet. “Here, something’s missing.” Crowley tugged the rumpled bowtie out of his pocket.
“Oh!” his angel’s face lit up. He quickly looped it around his neck, struggling to tie the knot with trembling fingers. Crowley helped—though his own fingers were just as bad—and eventually there was a crooked tartan bow in place below his chin. “Yes. I feel worlds better now.”
Crowley leaned close and kissed him, gently, almost afraid that Aziraphale would break—or that he would. “Just a bit longer, Angel. Few things to take care of. Then we can go home.”
“Of course, darling.”
Aziraphale was holding together surprisingly well, but Crowley knew. All those times he’d been summoned cut him deep, the pain, the humiliation, piling on in layer after layer until they smothered him in darkness—
He wished he knew what to say. Words were too fucking hard.
Crowley stumbled over to where he’d gathered the shit the summoners had left behind. A sack full of Aziraphale’s beautiful feathers, another of his hair. A cooler with vials of blood, faintly glinting gold. A jar of clear liquid marked Angel Tears that almost made him wish he’d let Aziraphale rip the bastards apart.
“What do you think?”
“Based on the prices we saw, a million pounds, at least,” Newt said, earning a glare from the demon. “Sorry. Just…” He hunched back over the computer, and a few seconds later it was an inert hunk of metal and plastic, any information about angels lost to the universe. He started on the phones next.
“Don’t know about the feathers,” Anathema said, “but for the rest…probably dispose of it all in a river. Running water’s a reliable way to neutralize the power. But there’s still a lot.”
“Is that a problem?”
She squeezed his shoulder, tried to give an encouraging smile. “No. We’ll take care of it.”
“Nhhh.” Crowley looked down at his feet. “Thankyou.”
“Thank you for calling.”
He nodded, turning away. “Mmmmh. We’ll take the feathers. Figure out something to do with them.”
“What about that thing?” Newt gestured to a hollow stone column, a deep red glow inside. “Looks…really dangerous.”
“Less than you might think.” Crowley leaned against the energy well. All the power that had been drained from Aziraphale as he was interrogated was stored in there, a flickering amorphous cloud of light. “They used to just let it dissipate into the air, until someone figured out how to collect it. But it’s inert like this, and I’ve got no idea how to activate it, so I usually just…” he shoved at the stone until it tipped over, clattering against the concrete floor. The light inside fluttered weakly and went out.
“Well. That’s alright then. Last of the electronics,” Newt added, tossing a black-screened phone against the wall. “We’ll need some equipment for all that.” He gestured vaguely to the rings embedded in the floor. “Hammer. Prybar. Maybe acid.”
“Or just demolish the place entirely,” Anathema suggested.
Her boyfriend nodded. “If you can think of a way to convince them this is our property, I’ll call those fellows who did the renovations for us.”
“You don’t have to,” Crowley objected.
“I think I do.” Newt looked at the circles and shuddered. “Unless you were thinking of stealing one of those diggers up the street. Then, by all means…”
“Nnnnnn.” The demon rolled his shoulders until they popped. “Think I’ll leave this one to the contractors.”
“And that just leaves…” Anathema nudged the books with her toe—grimoire, spell book, and notebooks full of dangerous information about angels. “How do you all feel about a bonfire?”
“That sounds lovely,” Aziraphale said, staggering to his feet. “Though I’m afraid my weekend plans involve recovering in bed with my husband. I’m going to be quite busy with that.”
“Ahhhh, shit.” Crowley ran his fingers through his hair. “The bed! I…I de-manifested it. Not going to have the energy to bring it back for a couple days.”
The angel snapped his fingers, frowning. “I appear to be out as well. I may have overdone things a touch.” That would be something to discuss later. Three times, summoners had driven Crowley into a berserk rage, draining him even of reserves of energy he couldn’t normally access. Aziraphale had apparently discovered the angelic equivalent and it was…chilling.
The two humans glanced at each other. “We’ve got a spare room now,” Anathema said. “Looks like it’s about to have its first guests.”
“Oh, no,” Crowley said.
“That sounds lovely!”
“A weekend in the countryside, just what we need.”
“No, no, no, no.”
“Crowley, dear, what is the matter?”
“I am not riding all the way to Oxfordshire in that disaster he calls a car!”
Read the rest on AO3!
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My mental health ruined us - Break up
I apologise for this being so long, very appreciated if you care to read it all. Thank you.
TW: bad language
My girlfriend broke up with me, and it was no one else's fault but my own. my mental health and childhood abuse made me become someone i'm truly not. it had been building up over time, it got worse, we just kept falling out frequently over what i can now say as such TINY, UNIMPORTANT THINGS. like it literally meant NOTHING, that shit doesn't even matter now and i would make it into such a big thing?? why the fuck. the only thing that mattered was US and i sadly didn't always see that in the heat of the moment. i took what we had and was going to have, for granted. all i saw was the bad things, when there was so much good and my impulsiveness ruined everything. i wish i fucking saw that at the time.
this is what i do, i overreact, have tantrums and become aggressive and defensive, just like a little kid. i have so many issues. what we had was special. no girl ever wanted me in the way she did. she had plans and ideas for our future and me being a stupid fucking socially anxious FUCK who worries about EVERYTHING and hates change would tense up and act like i don't want that stuff??? all because i was terrified and didn't feel mentally ready?? imagine not wanting to live a happy life with a girl who was all for you? haha imagine. what a fucking idiot i was. i will never not be angry at myself. all i needed to do was let go of my worries, my fears, my weird attachment to things (because i have an issue with change, it's most likely to be an autistic thing) and just let my heart take control, but nah. it's over for good, she won't ever want me again and i don't blame her.
i became emotionally abusive towards her, paranoid, overprotective, controlling, generally an awful person who hurt her without actually meaning to. i had things that triggered me, because i'm so broken inside from my past. i just wanted the best for her, i cared [too much] about her wellbeing to the point it became excessive.
at first, she wanted me to push and help her get into a routine of self care and other basics, because she also struggled with her mental health. we done that for a while, and then she wanted me to stop because she felt like i was mummy-fying her too much, which i can understand. i didn't take this too well though, because i didnt feel good or helpful enough and felt un-needed. also my brain which takes things literal couldn't understand why i wasn't needed anymore. in my head, i was doing it purely out of love and care to help her, to help her wellbeing and mental health. i didn't know i was damaging all of that. "i thought i was helping?"
she was living an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle and so was i, but not as bad, and i feel like whilst i did really care for her changing for the better, i also projected my own insecurities and issues onto her. if she failed to be consistent with the self-care checklist she made after doing well for a few days, or weeks, i would be mean and take it out on her, like it was her fault, but it wasn't. she did not deserve that. i failed to remember that she also had days where her mental health took a toll on her and just like me, didn't have it in her to care for herself some days. i should have supported her more. i should have made her feel fully safe and secure with me. instead of TELLING her to do things, i should have just suggested and accepted when she wasn't up for it. i felt like i failed her whenever she "failed" herself. i couldn't help but feel responsibility. i realise i got this way, because i feel like i am a failure and this was the one thing that made me feel enough. i loved her, she loved me, i wanted to be the one to make her happy and in a way "cure" her from her struggles, but no one can cure anyone, me of all people should know that.
i felt like being the one to help her become healthier would also help me feel like i am worth something. i don't have any self love or esteem. i see myself as nothing. i have never felt good enough or worth anything for anyone. i thought that by helping someone i love and care for be happier and healthier was a win for both her and i. it made me feel good to know that i help her. it really wasn't malicious, i never wanted to control her to be horrible or have power or self gain. i admit i can be a control freak with things, even to my family and that all comes from my childhood of having my power/control taken away from me. i never got listened to as a kid and still to this day don't. i would be neglected.
there were times when she started speaking to new people who she classed as her friends and i would shamefully get jealous and worry that she prefers them over me and be paranoid if she was cheating, even though i knew how incredibly loyal she was. deep inside i knew she'd never cheat, but i had a voice in the back of my head coming up with all kinds of scenarios and anxieties. i don't know why i'm this way. i self sabotaged our relationship. i made her feel like she should be weary about telling me she's got a new friend and that she shouldn't make new friends when that wasn't the case at all. it's not that i didn't want her to have friends, it was just my insecurities and low self worth playing tricks on me, not feeling like i am enough. i am such a piece of shit.
i am a lost and broken soul with no idea who i am. i am trying to figure out my life purpose, i want to become a better, nicer person. i take all of my inner bottled up anger out on everyone and i make myself even more miserable, as well as others. it isn't right. i always wish i was never born in the first place, it's not fair. i have gone through my whole life in fear, loneliness and sorrow. i don't know how to get out of this rut i have been stuck in for years. i'm too scared to make irl friends and get close to people and open up. my social anxiety is ruining my entire existence. it ruined us because i was too scared to let myself have a future with her, mainly because i'm not out to my family. we were still yet to meet.
after i hurt her, i would immediately feel so shit and regretful. it would make me feel suicidal because i knew what i done was wrong. people see this as playing victim right? not the case for me. i hate every inch of myself, i honestly would zone out and see this other part of "me" be a dick and i had no control over it. even when she told me to stop, i didn't listen. all i saw was red. it was a battle between the real me and the broken me. the real me could not believe what i had made her feel, what i had done. still to this day i can't forgive myself for the hurt and damage i caused. i have fully accepted that i emotionally abused her and i am so not fucking proud of that. i cry about it a lot. it makes me sick to my stomach. i abused her. i abused the most beautiful, kind souled, golden hearted girl and i never meant to. i don't want to be known as an abuser. i wasn't born as this monster. i think that the environment that i have grew up in hasn't helped. i haven't seen what a healthy, safe, loving relationship is like with my own eyes. my family is very dysfunctional. i wish i broke that curse with her.
she really did love me. i loved her with all my heart. i had good, pure intentions but they didn't always come across that way, unfortunately. the amount of regret and empathy i have is substantial. nothing i say will ever make it ok, it won't take back the pain i made her feel, even if she says she forgives me. it's such a hard pill to swallow- abuse is abuse. i'm struggling to live with the facts. i don't want her to be afraid of me, or feel like she has to have a guard up, or be made to feel like she's walking on egg shells. she's had to heal an awful lot and i have had to also heal, learn and grow from my mistakes. i do not want to be that person anymore. i have to get help, i have to get therapy, grow up mentally, build up my self love, self esteem, confidence, be more open to accepting other people's opinions, not forcing things onto people, thinking about what i actually do/say before doing it, think about the consequences, be as loving as i can possibly be, relax.
she tried so hard for us to work, done everything she could. all she wanted was to be in a happy, safe, healthy, loving relationship. it was me who kept letting my dumb fucking brain act up whenever something changed, or something she promised wasn't set in stone. i can't handle people changing their mind and not sticking to what they say. it makes me feel incredibly uneasy and anxious. i am a person who likes people to be consistent, it's makes me feel safe. my whole life has been full of ups and down, no consistency, no safety. i wanted that for a change.
i 100% think that her and i would have lasted if i had fixed all of these issues years ago. i would give anything to be able to go back and change my behaviour towards her, prove to not just her but myself that i am capable of so much and that i finally deserve the love i kept pushing away out of fear. i wish she knew exactly how much she truly meant to me. i won't be able to find anyone else like her and frankly, i don't want anyone else. she was my best friend. we would have been so goofy and cute. i have so much more to say.
Words cannot describe how much I miss her and being in eachothers lives. I wish we could at least be friends.
submitted by /u/ShonziTho
from Mental Health https://ift.tt/3vapk9S
THE JEDI AND HIS DUCHESS - Chapter 20
SUMMARY: Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Satine get a front row seat to the horrors of war. Satine starts to realize the challenges that await her as she steps into her role as a boss babe. Obi-Wan faces an array of traumatic triggers that dredge up memories of his torture. Qui-Gon is everyone's favorite stoic Jedi dad.
This chapter is kind of heavy...but it serves a purpose, I promise. Here's a tissue box. Come cry with me.
The next day Satine, accompanied by the Jedi and her retinue, ventured into the city to see that those in need were cared for properly. Her passion and concern for all Mandalorians deepened as she went from one facility to the next, meeting with displaced persons living in government shelters, asking them what they required to get back on their feet. The day was long and emotionally draining, and by the time they reached their final destination even Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, despite their stoic Jedi diplomacy, were feeling depleted. Devastation and suffering were ever-present in Kalevala and the urgent need for relief was overwhelming.
The late afternoon darkened with storm clouds, a perfect mirror to the retinue’s heavy mood. The day’s last stop was at a military hospital where Satine wished to personally address the men and women who had fought to defend the city during the war’s most harrowing months. She made her way from cot to cot, holding the soldiers’ hands, thanking them for their bravery, and promising that their sacrifices would not be in vain.
All the while, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon remained near her side, silent and vigilant, suppressing their empathetic vulnerability as the Force seized around them, shivering from the Mandalorian people’s constant pain. On several occasions, particularly around children and the wounded, Jinn registered his apprentice’s unguarded thoughts.
Jedi neutrality precludes the real help that is needed by these people, Kenobi agonized.
Though the young man’s face revealed nothing of his inner turmoil, Qui-Gon could sense that Obi-Wan was fighting hard to repress his feelings, that the level of suffering they witnessed was more than the young man was prepared to process.
Why can’t we do something?
Qui-Gon felt his Padawan think this question over and over. He wished he could offer the boy a word of comfort, but he could think of nothing reassuring to say. It was not the Jedi’s place to proffer anything; they were not diplomats, they were not senatorial representatives, they were not in a position to grant intergalactic aid. Their job was to protect the regent. Jinn took a small modicum of comfort from the idea that they were at least contributing on that minor level, but it was hardly enough to put his conscience at ease. Therefore he understood Kenobi’s distress.
They moved through the different floors, gradually working their way toward the restricted level, a place where enemy combatants received treatment for their wounds. The moment the lift doors opened and they stepped onto the ward, Obi-Wan was struck by an icy wave of desperation that coursed through the Force. The hopeless, the forgotten, the shameful were housed on this floor. Each bed held an aching, embittered, restless soul.
The palpable despair was made all the worse by the squalid conditions; each patient was bound to their cot with electrobinders and many had bandages that obviously needed changing. The room stank of neglect. A quick look around made it clear that these wounded were not receiving equal care. Obi-Wan’s brow furrowed. These people need compassion, not further humiliation and punishment. Their spirits are broken.
He felt anger flash through Satine as she tightened her hands into fists, her arms rigid at her side. She steadied herself with a deep breath then walked up to the nearest bed that held a middle-aged man whose right arm, despite being heavily bandaged, was handcuffed to the guardrail. Obi-Wan was not standing close enough to hear what Satine said to the soldier, but after a few short moments she sat on the man’s bed and took his hand in hers. The enemy smiled up at her with tears in his eyes and nodded. The Duchess placed a hand on his cheek and spoke more loudly so the rest of the room could hear, “You are a brave son of Mandalore.”
Satine rose and made her way to the nurse’s station, calling the head doctor to her side. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon flanked her and were able to hear the conversation even though she spoke quietly. “There is a marked difference in the level of care these patients are receiving compared to the other wards in this hospital.” The doctor opened his mouth to defend himself but Satine raised a finger, silencing him. “They may have been our enemy several weeks ago, but the war is over. They deserve compassion, Doctor. They are still Mandalorians. We will heal our world by healing the wounds that divided us. That starts with you.” She glared with steely eyes at the man. “I dare not tell you how to do your job, but if I do not see improved conditions here within one week you will have me to answer to. Is that understood?”
The doctor swallowed nervously before nodding his assent.
Satine carried on, moving from bed to bed, taking extra time with each patient. Some were openly hostile while others were so starved for affection that even their enemy’s kindness softened their radicalism. Some were wary of her motives while others agreed that fighting had brought no good to either side and peace was the only option.
Everyone she encountered challenged her in different ways, but the most difficult was a young man about Obi-Wan’s age. He had suffered immeasurable injury, his face speckled with fierce scars, his skin the color of white, bloodless stone. His eyes were open but empty as he stared at the ceiling.
For a moment the Duchess hesitated. This boy’s scars, his languid body, his youthful face brought back a flash of Draboon, of holding Obi-Wan in her arms in a makeshift tent while he moaned in pain and struggled to breathe. Instinctively she locked eyes with the young Jedi. Thanks to Ygraine and her healers, the scars on Kenobi’s face were starting to fade, but not long ago he had been as badly wounded as this boy. Satine’s heart clenched at the memory.
Obi-Wan stood at the foot of the bed, sensing the Duchess’s sudden emotion. He knew they were having the same thought, Qui-Gon included. He repressed the shiver that tried to creep up his spine. Rwygan’s bloody claws flashed through his memory, sending an anxious spike through his nerves. But he had become skilled at controlling his reactions, subduing his emotions only with a blink and a tightening of his jaw.
The Duchess centered herself, letting the memory pass as she approached the boy, Qui-Gon near her side for protection. “Hello,” she said gently. “What’s your name?”
There was no reaction, not even a slight flutter.
“I promise you will be cared for, my dear,” Satine said, her tone comforting and warm.
Again, no reaction.
Either he could not hear her or would not hear her, she wasn’t sure which. Something in his haunted appearance filled her with dread. More than any other person she met that day, she felt as though she were deeply intruding on this boy’s vulnerability. She decided it was best to step away. “I will leave you in peace.” Before she left his side, she placed her hand on his—he was missing several fingers. “You are not forgotten,” she whispered. “You are Mandalore’s beloved son and you will be honored.”
She rose, biting back a sob that suddenly threatened to escape her throat. This horrible war had extended so far and so deeply into her world that she didn’t know how they would ever recover. Many had suffered and all for what? She had much for which to atone. Satine stepped close to Qui-Gon, resisting the urge to bury her face in his robes. “I’d like to go home now.”
“Of course, my lady.” He gestured for her retinue and they made to leave.
Just as the others walked away, Obi-Wan’s gaze was drawn to the name on the chart that hung off the injured boy’s bed. Jacen G. The name humanized this lifeless being. “I wish you well, Jacen,” Kenobi said quietly.
Despair stabbed through the Jedi when the Mandalorian boy slowly closed his pale purple eyes and blinked large tears down his temples. The Force crushed through Obi-Wan’s senses, turning his blood to ice. Not lifeless. Just hopeless. Empty.
Kenobi could take no more. He turned on his heel and hurried after his master.
The storm continued to build, bringing torrential rain that fell in large, fat drops. The wind and thunder were the only sounds at dinner. Those whom had gone with Satine on the city tour did not feel like talking. The Duchess and her courtiers sat in their palatial dining hall, eating food cooked by chefs, while the rest of Mandalore suffered. The mood was less than jovial to say the least.
Qui-Gon watched Obi-Wan move food around on his plate, never taking any bites. He was worried about his apprentice. Kenobi put on a strong front, but deep down carried the horrors of what the bounty hunters had perpetrated on him. Perhaps it was too soon for Obi-Wan to bear witness to the suffering of others. Maybe Qui-Gon should have told the young man to stay behind; he should have tried to protect him, tried to insulate him against emotional triggers.
“I’m all right, Master,” Kenobi whispered, as though reading his mind.
The older Jedi was startled by his apprentice’s perceptiveness.
“I know you’re worried about me but I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?” Jinn whispered back.
Qui-Gon nodded his acceptance.
Obi-Wan appreciated his master’s concern and his wish to protect him, but the young Jedi knew there wasn’t anything anyone could do to help. He must face his demons on his own. Kenobi was certain this day would haunt him for many reasons, but he understood it was his responsibility to find a way to process all the feelings it stirred up.
His thoughts were interrupted when Satine suddenly pushed back from the table and dropped her fork. “I find I have no appetite,” she said, rising to her feet. “I wish to retire early.” Her retinue made to stand in deference but she waved them back to their seats. “No, please sit. Finish your meals.” She sought Qui-Gon’s gaze. “I am ready for this day to be over.”
The Jedi escorted her back to her quarters, all three of them silent and morose. Qui-Gon offered to spend the evening standing guard on the balcony but Obi-Wan insisted his Master take the indoor watch. “I wouldn’t want you catching a cold and dying on me, old man,” Kenobi teased good-naturedly, hoping that Qui-Gon hadn’t detected the emotional pain radiating through his heart. He wanted to be alone, tucked away on the dark, rainy balcony where he could address his grief in private.
Satine lay in bed for hours, tossing and turning as the day replayed in her mind. Mandalorians were suffering and her heart ached with the knowledge. The government wasn’t able to work fast enough; many more would die because the leadership couldn’t muster the needed resources, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Their hands were tied; the war had decimated supply lines, exhausted fuel reserves, and interrupted communications. Just because the war was over didn’t mean everything magically went back to normal.
And here she was, lying in a large comfortable bed in a glass palace.
Rageful tears burned her eyes as she threw back the covers and leapt out of the downy blankets. She paced the room in the dark, her emotions vacillating between anguish and anger. As duchess, she was in a position of power that would allow her to truly make a difference; she was a symbol of strength and stability. But she began to understand how alienating and hypocritical it was to be a “woman of the people.” She felt the suffering of her citizens in a way she could not explain; it was deeply moving and almost frightening. But despite her personal losses—traumas that helped her empathize with those who suffered—she had a fine home with clean food, water, and clothes. She had comforts most Mandalorians only dreamt about. The incongruity made her loath herself.
Satine stared at her luxurious bed with contempt.
She could not solve all these issues in one day.
But she would not sleep in that bed until the rest of Mandalore had safe places to rest their heads.
The Duchess grabbed a blanket and lay down on the floor in front of the fire that crackled on the durasteel hearth. She stared into the flames and tried to pretend that she was in the Draboonian forest with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon by her side. Slowly, however, her thoughts drifted back to all she had seen that day; starving children weak with hunger, angry adults who had lost their homes, and enemy soldiers chained to their beds in the hospital. The boy with the empty eyes.
There was too much hardship in the world.
She wished she could do more to help.
She buried her face in her blanket. Satine cried and cried until she fell asleep.
A few restless hours later, thunder ripped through the sky, mercifully waking her from a horrendous nightmare that shook her to her core. She stood, tears still wet on her cheeks as she moved across the room to the wall of glass panels and the door that led to her balcony. She stopped, frozen in place, staring out at Obi-Wan who sat sleeping, wrapped in his cloak.
There was no doubt that he, too, was lost in a horrible dream.
Something bad had happened.
He wasn’t just injured.
He was dying.
Obi-Wan took a wheezing breath and pressed a hand to his abdomen, trying to stop the bleeding. He noticed his arm was covered in Trandoshen bites, blood seeping from the punctures. His fingers were broken. His face was numb.
He could feel Rwygan hovering somewhere behind him but he couldn’t turn his head to look.
Someone coughed nearby.
Obi-Wan shifted his gaze and fear stabbed through him as saw Satine laying a few feet away, her body curled on its side. Something dark and murky drifted over her, something massive and horned. Perhaps some sort of beast? Though he couldn’t quite make it out, Kenobi could sense its alignment with the Dark Side of the Force. Satine was in danger. He had to get her away from this dark creature.
“Obi?” she murmured.
He had to protect her.
“Sa…” Obi-Wan hissed in pain as he tried to reach for her. He looked down to find his collarbone was broken and out of alignment.
He was running out of time, loosing blood too quickly.
Desperately, he reached for her again, extending his bloody fingers.
She reached back, their fingertips brushing.
“I’ve failed,” she whispered. “Look at them all.”
Obi-Wan realized they were encircled by suffering; insatiable hunger, desperate thirst, ceaseless pain, debilitating fear.
The Mandalorians they had met earlier that day surrounded Obi-Wan and Satine and watched as the two lovers suffered in a public reckoning.
Kenobi’s demon hovered in the background just as did the Duchess’s.
How can I help us all? he thought desperately.
He was finally able to close his fingers around Satine’s, but she didn’t clutch him back. He realized that she was dying too. They would languish together, Mandalorians and all. He couldn’t help any of them.
“No!” he cried. “Satine, don’t let go.”
Weakly, she lifted her eyes to his.
“Remember, my dear Obi-Wan,” she whispered. “I’ve loved you always…”
…Obi-Wan’s eyes wrenched open with a jolt as thunder cracked through the dark sky. He was sitting in a corner on Satine’s balcony, tucked under a small overhang, thoroughly soaked despite having a cloak tightly wrapped around him.
He looked down at his body, still feeling panicked from his nightmare. Pushing his sleeves up and touching his chest, he fought to reassure himself that his injuries were healed and he was safe. Even so, a shudder ran up his spine. He quickly got to his feet, his chest heaving as he tried to steady his breath.
No more visions! he thought angrily. This was just a dream.
Deep down he knew he was wrong.
This wasn’t just a dream; whether a premonition or not, it was most certainly symbolic. He clearly feared failing to protect Satine. Now that he understood, he would make a more conscious effort to be vigilant.
But who was the dark figure that threatened her?
Obi-Wan spun around quickly, staring into her bedroom, worried that the dream foretold imminent danger. He was surprised to see her staring back, standing just on the other side of the glass door. Something was wrong, he could tell by looking at her.
For a long, strange moment they stood frozen in place, their eyes locked, their bodies separated by icy glass.
Rain pattered off Obi-Wan’s face, running down his nose and splashing off his eyelashes.
Pain. So much pain.
He could sense they had both been stretched beyond their tethers, both haunted by the suffering they had seen. Obi-Wan could feel Satine in the Force in a way he had never been able. He realized that he was open, like an exposed nerve. After months of exhausting control, this horrible day, followed by the brutal nightmare, left him pervious to the Force in a new way.
I need…something, Satine’s heart sobbed. I need…
He could feel her deepest thoughts. He had never been able to register them before.
And her thoughts and feelings were identical to his. All night his subconscious had been twisting, crying over and over, I need…something…
Obi-Wan suddenly knew what they needed.
He opened the glass door that separated them, stepped inside, and pulled her into his arms.
She buried herself in the crook of his neck as she choked back a single sob.
Rainwater poured off his clothes and pooled on the floor under his boots.
“All those people,” she whispered, her chin trembling as she began to cry again.
“I know,” he whispered back, cupping his strong hand around the back of her head and holding her closer.
“I feel so helpless.”
Obi-Wan’s chest contracted. Once again, her feelings mirrored his own. It dawned on him that helplessness was the worst thing he could imagine. Why be a Jedi if you could do nothing to help those in need? He knew such a question over simplified the situation, that life was never so cut and dried, but he also knew that it was hard to stare directly into misery’s eyes and say, I can do nothing.
“Obi,” Satine sobbed.
“It’s all right, dearest,” he soothed. “We’ll find a way.”
“I know you’re hurting too.” She kissed his wet cheek. “I could see it in your eyes all day.”
His chest tightened again.
“What can I do for you?” she asked, cupping his cold face in her warm hands.
Intense emotion rose up in him as he realized that he did not have to support them both, that they would support each other. Satine offered him what he gave. Their love was equitable—though they had not yet called it love.
“Just don’t let go,” he whispered.
They slowly sank to the floor and wrapped around each other, their tears mixing with the Mandalorian rain.
That last line is sooo dramatic...but I don't care LOL!!!
NEXT CHAPTER: We check back in with grown up Obi-Wan and Satine in her private chambers on Coruscant. (There's something beautiful about having a cup of tea with another person.) Then things get much more dangerous on Mandalore. If you thought the whump was over you were WRONG!!!!! #PoorObiWan
Thank you for reading!
Reblogs, likes, and comments are very welcome!
READ IT ON AO3 - Kudos and Comments Welcome :-)
READ CHAPTER 1
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READ CHAPTER 5
READ CHAPTER 6
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READ CHAPTER 8
READ CHAPTER 9
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READ CHAPTER 11
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READ CHAPTER 14
READ CHAPTER 15
READ CHAPTER 16
READ CHAPTER 17
READ CHAPTER 18
READ CHAPTER 19
READ CHAPTER 20
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The Prophecy (Ragnar x OFC imagine)
Hello lovelies. So this is a totally random idea that came out of nowhere and we just have to imagine that Ragnar and Brida aren’t a thing 🤣 I feel like I might need to write a second part to this in the future! Once again thanks to the angel that is @magravenwrites for reading this for me first!
Warnings: violence, death
Taglist: @magravenwrites @mrsalwayswrite @morosemagick @solinarimoon @emilyhufflepufftlk @shadow-of-wonder @thebohemianpenguin @dadddysbaby (if I’ve forgotten to tag you, or if you want to be tagged/removed then just give me a shout)
They were coming. She had seen it. They were near. She could feel it.The sun was rising in the sky; a golden ball of light welcoming a brand new day. Revna dressed with hands that trembled excitedly. Today was the day her father would die. The man who had fathered more bastard children than a dog in the street, Revna would not be sad to see him meet his demise. He was evil and so was Revna’s half brother, Sven. The one-eyed’s future was cloudy; she had not seen it the way she had her father’s. In her dreams she knew that her father would die at the hands of Ragnar Ragnarson, but she didn’t see anything of Sven. In Revna’s dreams, the air around him was always grey; it was uncertain. The Gods were yet undecided about his fate.
“You are awake early, Revna,” her father commented when she entered the great hall. His eyes appraised her warmly in the dark blue she wore; the same shade as her eyes and those of her mother before her.
Of every slave girl her father had whelped bastards on, her mother had been the only one that he had held any sort of affection for. When she had lost her life upon bringing Revna into the world, it had hurt her father in a way that neither he nor anyone else understood. The only way he had been able to bring himself any sort of comfort was to treat his bastard daughter as though she was not. He treated her as though she was as important as Sven while his other bastards were treated with contempt. But that did not mean that Revna cared for him. She despised him and wished that she could be the one to send him to Niflheim, for he was not worthy of Valhalla. But that honour would rightfully go to another who deserved it much more than she did.
“Yes, you are not usually awake so early,” Sven commented, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand after downing a cup of ale.
“How would you know, Sven? You do not usually rise from your whore and piss filled bed before noon,” Revna eyed him with disdain, fingering the bracelet on her wrist as she took her seat at the table and smiled to the slave who brought her food. She thought of one of her brother’s, the only one she shared any sort of relationship with, who wore a bracelet identical to hers. She had already asked the gods to keep him safe and whole during the upcoming battle, and when she had seen Sihtric in her dream the night before he had been smiling and he had been hugging her tightly.
“Do not wind your brother up,” Kjartan smirked at his daughter. “His whore has been misbehaving again and we had to tie her up last night so she would co operate.”
Revna dropped the spoon in her hand and it clanged loudly on the wooden plate as her stomach lurched at the thought of the gentle red haired woman who lived in the vault downstairs. Over the past years, Revna had watched Thrya become more broken until she had gone all but mad in her agony. Once, she had tried to befriend their prisoner; she had even told her of her dreams and prophecies but Thyra did not want her friendship nor her reassurance that her brothers were coming for her. All she wanted was death.
“Here come the tears,” Sven chuckled as Revna’s bottom lip trembled, despite her trying to stop it.
“Well at least I have some compassion for the woman you supposedly love.”
“I do love her,” Sven banged the table angrily.
“Yet you allow her to be whored and humiliated,” Revna spat, standing angrily to her feet. “You love no one and nothing, Sven Kjartansson.”
“Revna,” Kjartan’s tone was warning.
“You killed her family not because you loved her and desired to be with her,” Revna would not be deterred. “You killed them out of spite and jealously and hatred because you are a monster.”
“That is enough!” Kjartan roared, standing to his feet and grabbing Revna angrily by the hair before slapping her soundly across the face. The rage was seething from him but Revna was not afraid; not of his words and not of the pain he could inflict. His face softened and remorse appeared in place of anger, and he reached out a hand to touch the reddening mark on Revna’s cheek. “Forgive me, daughter. I had no wish to hurt you, but you speak as though you do not care for our family’s honour. What we did to Ragnar the Fearless and his family was out of honour and you know that.”
“And what you do to Thyra?” she whispered.
Kjartan dropped his hand and eyed his daughter with an expression that even she could not read.
“Eat your breakfast,” he said before disappearing out into the courtyard with Sven hot on his heels.
Revna sat down but she could not find her appetite again. Instead, she sat and she waited for the shouts to come that they were under siege. And she did not have to wait for long.
… … …
“You wish to fight me, baby Ragnar?”
Revna stepped out of the hall with no feeling whatsoever at what she had just witnessed. In fact, the knowledge that her father had seen his only legitimate son being mauled to death by Thyra’s dogs right before his own death made Revna smile.
“No, I wish to fight you.”
Revna’s eyes fell upon Ragnar Ragnarsson and she felt something inside of her spark like kindling to a flame. It was knowing of some sort. His fate and hers were intertwined in a way that went far beyond the killing of Kjartan the Cruel.
Both armies moved to make the square and Revna heard shouts begging Ragnar not to fight one on one with Kjartan. Even though she knew the outcome favoured him, she could not help but allow doubt to creep into her mind. Her father was a formidable opponent, a fierce fighter and also a dirty one.
As her father used words of Thyra to rile up Ragnar, Revna scanned the attacking army until she caught sight of her brother. Sihtric nodded when he saw her, his eyes smiling warmly even if his face did not. He held up his wrist, touching the bracelet there and Revna did the same.
The fight was intense. It was more than just two men fighting for land or for a fortress; it was fight of honour and of blood. Revna gasped when Ragnar fell to the ground and she found herself horrified by the thought that her prophecy might be wrong, but when he stood once more she let out a sigh of relief. The fighting continued; the clash of metal upon metal that spoke more anger than words ever could and when Kjartan’s sword was flung from his hand only to land at Revna’s feet, he hurried to his daughter who bent down and retrieved it without hesitation.
“Give it to me, Revna,” he demanded, holding his hand out and peering over his shoulder at Ragnar who was holding back and waiting. “Hurry, give me my sword, daughter.”
Revna looked into her father’s eyes; saw the desperation there and also saw the love for her there. Without warning, she stepped forward and plunged the sword into his stomach where he could be wounded but not mortally, watching his face crumble into a mixture of surprise and agony.
“That is for Sihtric,” she growled, thinking of the unspeakable ways in which her father had treated the only sibling and human Revna had ever cared for. She twisted the sword, relishing the sound of her father’s pained grunt. “And that is for Thyra.”
She pulled the sword from his body and threw it behind her, where it was far from her father or any of his men’s reach.
“Finish him,” she looked at Ragnar now.
With each stab of sword and knife that pierced her father’s skin, Revna knew she should have been upset or at least disturbed in the same way that everyone else was. After all, what honour was there in desecrating a body in such a way? Kjartan the Cruel, though, had no honour and as such deserved none in death.
Revna was unaware of anyone else as she approached Ragnar. His pain was palpable and it hurt all who witnessed it. Kneeling down, Revna touched his shoulder and placed a hand over his own. Ragnar looked at her and when she touched his face with the hand covered in her father’s blood, he closed his eyes and leaned into her while sobs wracked his body. No one around them could hear the soft words she murmured to him, but Ragnar would remember them for as long as he lived.
… … …
“We are leaving.”
Revna looked at her brother and nodded. It had been some time since he had last left Dunholm, and in many ways he had still seemed to be a boy. Now though, he was most definitely a man.
“And you wish for me to come?” she smiled.
“I do,” Sihtric nodded. “What is there for you here now?”
“I am not sure,” Revna shrugged, glancing behind her to the new Earl of Dunholm who smiled at her warmly. “But I know that for now at least, my fate lies here.”
“And your body will lie with Earl Ragnar?” Sihtric muttered, raising an eyebrow.
Snorting, Revna hit him playfully in the chest, but she did not deny his words. Dunholm had been the place of her birth. It had been the place of her worst days and yesterday had been the best day. Now, Dunholm held a new future for Revna Kjartansdottir; a future with a son who now avenged his parents’ death and now sought to heal his heart while capturing hers.
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I'm still reading you latest awesome essay but I wanna point out before I forget in the process: Shadow Weaver as you said used Adora as a puppet against Catra, and then almost immediately Light Hope does the same by using fighting simulations that are designed to make She-Ra comfortable into killing Catra and "letting go"
:: Adora and the darkness within-
Hey! Thanks so much for the kind review! And thanks for bringing this up, because you're exactly right. It not so cute like it seems- (Adora becomes completely useless in s2ep1 the second Catra shows up ☺️- turning her sword into a coffee mug and then a flute!? lol!!). That said, the meaning behind Adora's training is indeed something that's actually very scary to watch...
But it couldn't possibly be like that, right? After all, Adora wouldn't really do it, because when she puts her sword to Catra's throat in White Out, Catra then flirtatiously teases her...
.. Sadly, that's not the end of this, Adora does internalize to this brutal conditioning after all. (spoiler warn ⚠️) Adora thinks of herself as a solider, and does continue drilling hard on the idea of killing Catra. And, she almost does so- if you don't know to what I'm referring, it has to do with the one other 100% canon SPOP source material- I'll cover it below in the spoiler section.
Just... know that Adora really does internalize this concept-that she must kill her best friend as part of her 'destiny' (more later.)
It's this belief in 'destiny' by which Light Hope is still able to continue to manipulate Adora, even after she refuses to leave her friends behind, to "let go". Destiny is a concept that's so important to Adora's perception of self value that Light Hope uses it against her, towards the goal of her evil purposes, and of getting Adora to "let go." If Light Hope can get Adora to kill Catra, that's a whole lot of 'letting go' all at once. It would have broken Adora, she never would have recovered. It's so terrifying.
Where does this belief that Adora must do anything to fulfill 'destiny' come from, why is she so concerned with it that she stops thinking any further? Why must it be Adora's burden to do this horrible thing ?
For instance, we know Adora does show wisdom by refusing to leave her friends behind- she's not willing to give in to Light Hope's idea that she should seclude herself in the woods. Adora knows that something isn't right with Light Hope. And yet, isn't Catra also Adora's friend- one which she hurtfully turned against to enact a false destiny, much like how she played favorite to their abuser in the Horde, and whom Adora is now plotting to kill ?
What's really going on is something that's very ugly- despite the cute overtones to lighten the mood. Light Hope is using Adora's sense of duty against her to get her to potentially do something that's very hurtful to herself, and to the person who loves her most. What's so wrong with Adora's 'destiny', that she's got to kill someone she loves? How can that be right, is the only answer for this that war is terrible, or is the war on Etheria even what we think it is, or is it something different? And, is Adora killing Catra for it the right choice ?
Why- that's the big question. Why is it Adora's, or She-ra's, job to save the Princesses from the Horde? Why does Angella feel the need to make this Adora's burden? Could the Rebellion really not have done it themselves, or did they just give up out of grief? As Catra says in s5ep9: "Why does it have to be Adora?"
Like Catra says in s5- this is exactly right: all throughout SPOP, nothing about Adora's situation is right, or fair... it never was. Everyone is just forcing their burdens on her... and she ends up a desperately anxious person because of it.
And it's all a lie, a set up to make Adora fail- just like Mara did.
Like Mara, Adora was "never meant to succeed. They made a plan for" (..her) -it's history, all over again, and everything Adora thinks she's doing for 'destiny' and to end the war is part of this lie. That includes the 'destiny' as Angella describes it for her: it's just another likely set up: "I know the legend of warrior of the one the First Ones called She-ra, they said she would return to us in the hour of our greatest need to bring balance to Etheria". How, exactly ? By winning the war at any cost ?
This is also almost certainly a myth started by the First Ones to prepare the next She-ra for failure, as part of their plan to use the weapon. A deception purposefully implanted within cultural beliefs, meant to further enable their betrayals- Light Hope and the First Ones never had any intention of bringing balance to Etheria, they only wish to use the weapon. And again, why is it Adora's job to save the rebellion from the Horde???
Angella and the rebellion gave up on that all on their own, back when Adora was just a small child. Also... keep in mind that Shadow Weaver was allowed to run to the horde, where there was no accountability for her crimes and where she had complete control over little Adora and Catra, which she used to abuse the heck out of them. Considering how the Princesses gave up trying to fight the Horde when Adora was but a small, defenseless child, why is this war supposedly Adora's burden?? There's nothing fair about it.
We see Adora's legitimate feelings of pain, anger, desperation, and sorrow from how she's been forced into her position- everyone is hurting her with their burdens. It puts Adora in a constant state of anxiety, and her feelings of frustration and anger at this is well deserved.
And yet... what's so interesting about Adora's situation is that her anger towards Catra is perhaps the least deserved: even though Catra is fighting against her in a war which is wrong. Adora might feel mad at Catra for refusing to follow her as she enacts her beliefs in this false 'destiny', and Catra instead makes doing so harder for Adora by fighting back against her, and yet, Adora's not even doing the right thing in the first place as her entire destiny is a lie to use her as a weapon. Catra simply refuses to just accept her friend as this person who just turns on people who mean something to her, supposing evil upon them all while making no effort to understand them any deeper. Adora really is doing the wrong thing by enabling Light Hope's evil... and she can't even see it...
Well... in short, what Angella told Adora about her 'destiny' seemed to make sense- and so she went with it. It's not so much that Adora is naive as that they all are- Angella is naively playing into the First Ones deceptions, too. Adora is supposedly there to "bring balance" through 'destiny' by saving them from the Horde. So, for 'destiny', she assumes that she must be willing to do whatever she has to win that war- she has to hurt Catra...
Deception, and more deception- what even is the war on Etheria ? Where does Hordak even come from, other than Light Hope purposely crashing him on Etheria to set a conflict? It's a cruel war that likely started with the First Ones purposely bringing Hordak to Etheria, and it's not Adora's fault that the rebellion couldn't deal with Hordak- she was a small child when the rebellion fell apart. And, Adora's agreeing to win this war at any cost is a bridge too far... if she were to kill Catra, the damage to her own psyche... it would be beyond comprehension. When we see her talking to Light Hope in s2ep1, we finally get to see how Adora is all kinds of hurt by Catra's refusal of her, she's all broken up inside: "she's in my head". Catra wasn't supposed to be Adora's enemy: Adora couldn't realize this, and she made her one by essentially giving in to the prejudiced views of the rebellion.
Long story short, the war isn't quite what we think it is. Instead- who, really, are She-ra's greatest enemies? Next to Horde Prime and the First Ones, Hordak hardly even measures...
Adora's biggest enemy, as She-ra, is, in fact, the First Ones: and we know that because of Mara. We know Horde Prime must have existed as a threat in Mara's time, yet Mara considered her own people, and the weapon which they created, to be so much greater an enemy that she gave up everything to stop them. And just like Mara, what the First Ones want to do to Adora is so evil it outweighs anything having to do with the war on Etheria- the entire planet is at stake if Adora doesn't wake up to the reality of how the First Ones intend to use her for their evil...
What the First Ones did was always the original betrayal..
... this original betrayal is the reason for everything to do with Adora's situation- it's why she becomes She-ra, but also why she does ends up in Shadow Weaver's care, who wanted to use Adora's power for her own benefit and abused her because of it. It's all to do with the original betrayal of the First Ones by bringing her to Etheria to be part of their weapon...
But, Adora is a soldier, she's been trained to expect violence as a necessity of solving problems her entire life, and so she has a really hard time realizing that the entire concept of this belief is wrong and that she's being manipulated. Light Hope uses her belief in 'destiny' and false belief in duty before all else, including love, to control her- as a soldier, Adora does what she told (within reason) because what Light Hope tells her is what she expects to hear. Light Hope tells her that killing Catra will help end this war and fulfill her 'destiny', so she drills the moment of killing Catra to do it. But what hurtful act is too much, what price is too high, what cost to her own morality is too dark? How terrifying it would be for Adora if she actually did kill Catra...
So, here's the warn for LotFP spoilers 🚨🚨 -more good discussion is yet to come- and I promise not to spoil anything more than necessary for you folks-
(..If you really don't want spoilers, now's your chance)
So... Adora does actually make the decision to try to kill Catra.
In LotFP, it's obvious that Adora had continued drilling the idea of killing Catra, over and over, with Light Hope following White Out. Because- like in White Out- Adora gets a chance to hit Catra- and this time she doesn't hesitate.
Adora consciously attempts to kill Catra. Keep in mind that Adora still had no idea how to heal at that point. Why does Adora try to do that, and what makes her believe she has to do it?
(*p.s- I won't go over how LotFP happens after s2ep5, but if you've been wondering when it took place- yup)
The rebellion may talk a cute game around being more 'humane' with war... but, that's mostly Bow. When it comes to it, both Glimmer and Adora at times choose actions that cross the line into the downright sinister to end the war- no act is too dark for them. Adora comes terrifyingly close to killing Catra because of it...
Luckily for Catra, in the moment of Adora's brutal confusion over her being conditioned to take Catra's life, Catra finally has someone in her life that will take care of her, and Scorpia steps in to protect Catra.
Scorpia then rightly tells Adora off for her continued, out of control, bloodlust towards Catra, willing to murder her friend for what turns out to be an evil destiny, anyways. Catra was never planning to take things that far- she only tries to bring Adora low, or capture her... and to force Adora to confront how naive she is. Why should Adora bear such a burden of the war, at such potential emotional cost to herself and to Catra's life?
The result is that Adora ends up suitably chastised for her actions in LotFP, and you can start to see a change in her behavior following it in s3ep3-ep6: she's realized she can't just kill Catra. She also begins to realize that Light Hope has been manipulating her, and that she's been living a lie.
Unfortunately, Adora's actions before this realization comes at a cost: SPOP is very clear about consequences: it leaves Catra desperately afraid after seeing the love of her life constantly trying to kill her. Each time Adora sees Catra following Promise, 3 times in total, she ends up trying to kill her- unwittingly during the Battle of Brightmoon, possessed during White Out, and then as a conscious decision in LotFP. Is that acceptable behavior ?
This cruel behavior Adora so hurtfully has towards Catra for false destiny sets up Catra's biggest mistake and her following mental break down:
Catra desperately looks elsewhere for any kind of support- the person she loves wants to kill her... and Hordak is being hurtful and threatening her. So, Catra decides to try to get Shadow Weaver to help her. After all, why not- nobody can be THAT evil, right??? She must have SOME humanity...
That's a mistake, as Shadow Weaver is all bad, and all that Catra gets for trusting her is more horrible emotional wounds and so much more damage that by the time Adora sees Catra in s3ep3, she's one bad hit from totally losing her mind. And the hit comes... and she does... and Adora simply cannot reach Catra through her grief and her anger.
Even though Adora changes her behavior towards Catra in s3ep3-ep6- showing deference for her past mistakes, love for Catra, humility, Catra is too far gone to hear it- she only sees protecting herself from further harm at any cost- that includes pulling the switch and winning the war. It was how she was going to finally be safe...
Everything proceeds to fall apart, so much chaos ensues. One thing that's so scary about Adora's behavior is that it shows she was fighting while having no idea where her line was: what action was too much, too sinister, in service of her 'destiny'? She didn't really understand her own feelings, her own darkness.... and if Adora had taken Catra's life... it's real scary to think about. Fighting without knowing your own moral beliefs and convictions is always scary, it was scary to see for both Adora and Catra.
And so, by the time Portal happens... there's not much Adora can do for Catra. She's too hurt to hear Adora's pleas of love. All she can really do is ask Catra to be better, to heal herself. As Adora says:
"You made your choice, now live with it!*
She's right, Catra can't live with herself- she's been corrupted by her grief and her fear- and in s4 we see as Catra's anger begins to break down into something else.
Catra is stuck in a downward spiral, and at least Adora is always trying to be better, even if she didn't know what that really is. Can we say the same about Catra? No not really.
One last appreciation-
Scorpia is a good, smart, interpersonal person, she realizes Catra's needs, she protects her like no one else ever has, including Adora. Yeah, Catra doesn't really deserve her, (also- Scorpia was always Catra's best source of healthy emotional support, something Catra should have worked harder at accepting), but it's really good for people like Catra to see someone show care for them, besides. And, Scorpia also stops Adora from doing something she herself never would have recovered from.
Hooray for Scorpia! Hooray!! Without her, no kiss, no saving the universe. Hooray!! for Scorpia!! She's the best- 🖤♥️🤍
Happy 1 year anniversary to Catradora kiss!! 🎉🏳️🌈 💞🎉🥰
Everything in SPOP is always a team effort. Scorpia deserves Adora's gratitude, after all, Scorpia saved Catra from Adora's own hurtful confusion. How scary it is that Adora came so close to taking the life of her future lover... 😥
Thanks as always for a like or a ✨✨✨rebloggg✨✨✨ and let me know if you have questions or concerns! I will gladly answer them-
::Here's a link to the original post to which this refers- all links are on tumblr
🥰 Got time for one more fast and fun read about Catradora love to help the author out? Check on this quick read-💞🏳️🌈
LotFP = Legend of the Fire Princess
Here's the total list of more reading if you'd like to read more 🙂 -
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Bro I feel the need to write wilbur fanfic for you that is quality but i've no clue what on earth to write about, im surprised there is any fanfiction at all for dsmp like,, what do you write about? alt timelines? au? warrior cats /j?
Anon, I. Love you /p. Ighdhdhdhd. Thank you so much! Don't feel pressured to write anything! But if you want to hear more of my thoughts on dsmp fanfic, some author recommendations, and some Wilbur fic ideas I've got, feel free to stick around and read this ramble!
Part 1: Classic Patch, Rambling Again
Honestly, anon, dsmp fanfic isn't that different from any other fanfic. The main discrepancy I'd point out is how the average fanfic often centers around a ship, but there's still plenty of gen fic out there in other fandoms! Other than that, dsmp fic is very similar to other fic-- you've got your interpretations of canon, your canon divergence, your aus of various flavors from "follows the exact same plot but in another world or with other elements" to "the only thing remotely the same is the characters." And actually… now that I'm thinking about it… Another big difference from other fandom fic is this almost complete lack of crossover fic (crossover defined as the in-universe interaction of the distinct worlds and/or characters of separate works, not the retelling of one work through the lens of another or where all the characters of x work replace all the characters of y work)-- the closest things I've seen have been hermitcraft crossovers, but I don't see any big crossovers with other fandoms or stories where the premise is "x character somehow finds themself in y other world" (ie: RWBY's Remnant, the MCU, etc.). [Edit: Just as I’m saying this, I found a bnha crossover Wilbur-centric fic that so far (I’m only a few chapters in) seems pretty cool actually. I might end up reccing it if it keeps it up. But my point still stands. This kind of fic is rare.]
Some generally popular dsmp fic premises include the ever-common highschool au, various modern aus where Philza adopts the other sleepy boys, dsmp canon retellings (trying to adapt the story of the dsmp with their own creative spin into novel form), canon divergence involving stopping Wilbur from blowing up L'manberg and/or Phil not killing him, modern au zombie apocalypse au, other work aus of the dsmp where the characters of the dsmp take up the roles of the characters from the other work and follow that work's plot, and pre-canon works that act as effective prologues for the author's interpretations of characters. As you may have noticed, a commonality in dsmp fics is playing with canon, and based on my personal experience with fic over the years the dsmp fandom is a bit more centralized around exploring canon than other fandoms.
And then… of course… when you're talking about Wilbur, you get the Fics I Back Out Of. The ones about beating him up, about killing him, about a nice perfect DadSchlatt (or Techno-- Techno has also become decently popular for this) swooping in and saving Tommy from the Evil Evil Wilbur's physical abuse, about Wilbur being Stereotypical Carboard Cutout Physically Abusive Villain with some elements of Ableism Sprinkled on Top, about a personality/character-less Wilbur just yelling at and beating up every other adult character for their failings all the while self-flagellating his own wrongdoings and making it his sole goal to Protect All Children, about locking him in a basement or a blank obsidian room (which was more common in fics before the Prison Arc) and treating him poorly and just expecting him to magically heal.
Which… Yeah… Even when those aren't straight up the premise of a fic, they pop up all too often.
The long and short of it is: the dsmp fanfic landscape tends to be a bit more centralized around canon retellings, canon divergence in a few select plot points, pre-canon, and the most common types of aus you see in other fandoms. And, unfortunately, when the fandom is both so enamored with canon and is rife with misconceptions about canon due to a variety of reasons [personal bias, the medium of the story and difficulty to watch every viewpoint, internalized bigotry *cough* ableism *cough* (but also racism-- as a white person I feel unqualified to talk about this topic, but. There are. Whooo, there are some wild fics out there involving Quackity. Fics that can be Questionable At Best), retcons and semi-lore and a story full little imperfections]. Well. When you combine that obsession with canon with just how prolific misconceptions are, you get fic that treats its "contentious" characters… poorly. Mischaracterization appears more prevalent in fic because the dsmp fandom is both particularly attuned to writing canon centralized stories AND misconceptions on canon run rampant within fandom. This mischaracterization can be seen in fics involving Techno or Phil, but really the two characters who fall victim to misconceptions the most and are therefore portrayed… questionably… are Tommy and Wilbur.
So, I've quickly rattled off some general similarities and differences between dsmp fic and other fanfic, some popular dsmp fic premises, some dsmp fic plots that make me… uncomfortable, and the reason mischaracterization is so prevalent in fics. I… really do ramble. So let's try to get back on track to addressing your initial point, anon: what could you write about?
Well, you could take what I've already said and go feral-- just treat dsmp fanfic like any other fic and go wild, or follow the trends of the current dsmp fic landscape. But maybe you need some more specific inspiration for Wilbur Fic. So…
Part 2: Patchwork Recs Some Authors
I initially planned to make a big post with some in-depth reviews and recommendations of my fave authors when it comes to Wilbur's character, and I do have some drafts saved but I just. Keep losing steam for it and/or suffering from Executive Dysfunction. I'll probably slowly post reviews for these folks individually as I find the energy, but for now I'm just gonna name them all and give some brief details. This at least will give them some well-deserved attention, even if you, anon, are the only person in my audience who hasn't read their works.
(I. Do not know how many folks that follow me are familiar with these folks. I just tend to assume everyone knows these folks because their fics are Good and I assume Wilbur enthusiasts have read all of the Good fics.)
Though there are other authors whose works I've enjoyed and other individual works I like, these are the authors I trust wholeheartedly:
@general-light ao3: KadeAK (zacixn); schlattcoindealer --Their contributions to the Wilbur wiki are invaluable, and their firm grasp of his character (both his strengths and his flaws) shows through in all of their works. One of the two main veteran authors whose works were a beacon in the darkness of the Wilbur bashing of the S1 dsmp fic landscape.
@nic-takes-ls ao3: nic_takes_Ls --The second of the two main veteran authors. "The Bombs In Your Head & How To Make Them Stop" has lived in my head rent free ever since the first time I read it.
@onecanonlife ao3: angelsdemonsducks --Wilbur who is complex and morally grey and flawed and fucks up but is still depicted as a person worth sympathy and understanding and the chance to change, my beloved. All of their works are good, but please go read "careful son (you got dreamer's plans)" Every time a new chapter comes out, I reread the fic from the start. And sometimes I just reread chapter 7 over and over again-- no spoilers, it's just my fave chapter.
@i-patrichor ao3: patrichor --Everything it writes slaps, and it's written a nice variety of works. If I'm looking for good fic and I fail to find something to read, I just reread its entire library of fic. Whatever you like to see in fics, its probably got something that'll appeal to you.
Part 3: Generic Patchwork Prompts
But maybe authors don't give you as much inspo as a solid prompt or idea. I feel you. So how about I throw out some material to work with? Some Wilbur fics I'd personally be interested in reading? Since this post is already long, I'll be keeping things pretty broad and basic, but if you want more specifics or details on my personal aus, feel free to ask and I'll get back to you… *looks at my askbox* … Eventually. ^^;
Eggpire Wilbur: I know the Crimson isn't everyone's fave part of the dsmp, but as I've said I love a good story involving supernatural mind control/persuasion. I'd love to see more fics exploring what would happen if Wilbur fell to the influence of the Egg. The fics I've read that do explore this are very… hit or miss. But basically, I'd love to see more fics exploring what the Egg would offer Wilbur and a more vulnerable, weaker side of Wilbur (as I say in this reply).
Wilbur Wins: cc!Wilbur has already shared the basic plot of the Alternate Wilbur Wins the Election Timeline, and yet… I haven't seen many if any fics exploring this? Wtf? Give me Wilbur struggling to lead, still spiraling but less destructive than his Pogtopia Arc, maybe some spare therapy for the poor man? Give me him peacefully and willingly ceding power-- give me the Good Timeline.
Co-Presidents: Speaking of divergence from the Election arc, I'd love to see fic where Wilbur and Quackity pooled their votes and became co-presidents. I just love those two as a duo and with the direction of canon up in the air… I'd love an assuredly healthy depiction of their friendship and the rule they could've had. You can even add in some conflict over the morality of forming a coalition as they did, if you want.
Modern Gambling AU: Vaguely inspired by Kaiji (great anime if you love Suffering), Wilbur is a down on his luck zillennial struggling with debt. One day he comes to find that his father has flown the coop and left him bearing the weight of his debt as well-- he now owes big money to shady people who want repayment soon. Against his better judgement, he agrees to participate in an underground gambling ring where the payout is astonishly high, but the risk is… life-changing. Sometimes life-ending. These desperate gamblers are prey to the whims of the rich who finance these endeavors to be entertained by the very few who succeed and the vast majority who suffer. Along the way he makes friends and enemies as he struggles to ensure his own safety, but… will he have to crush some people beneath his feet to secure his own fate? What lengths will Wilbur go to in order to merely break even? And if he was tempted with not just payment of his debt but wealth the likes of which he's never known… what would he do?
Pokémon AU: Dsmp but there's pokémon. See my dsmp pokémon au tag.
Bleach AU: What it says on the tin, but with some unique spins on things, not following the plot of Bleach all too closely. (This AU of mine is still in the early stages of development) Tommy is a rowdy teenager with the ability to see ghosts. His world turns upside down when a young man crashes into his life (literally) and claims to be a soul reaper. This man, Wilbur, offers to share his powers with Tommy so that the teen can help ghosts move on to the afterlife and fight off the dangerous Hollows that threaten the world. The first arc follows Tommy taking down Hollows monster of the week style, hanging out with friends, and making new friends. But once again the status quo is disrupted when soul reapers arrive to arrest Wilbur for crimes committed against the Soul Society-- crimes he'd been hiding from by using Tommy and his friends as a spiritual shield, so to speak, to avoid detection. Tommy and co feel betrayed and used, even as Wilbur pleads with them that he truly did grow to care for them and come to see them as friends. Ultimately, Wilbur willingly leaves for the Soul Society and his inevitable execution, but in his absence his friends come to realize that their friendship was real, and they prepare to charge in and rescue him from his captors.
Wilburs of Ghostbur's Past AU: An au idea I've had since Wilbur died lmao, so it's a little dated but eh. Phil attempts to resurrect an unwilling Ghostbur, but it goes awry with a burst of light and a sharp shattering sound. Oops! Now there are a bunch of Wilburs from various stages of his life running around! A child Wilbur appears before Tommy and Ranboo, interrupting them as they try to plan burning George's house. As Fundy gazes wistfully across the ocean, a young newly-turned-father Wilbur appears and plops into the ocean, immediately starting to drown and prompting Fundy to help him. Tubbo finds President Soot tearing apart the presedential office in a confused, paranoid frenzy-- this is NOT his office. General Soot knocks on the door of a lone cabin in a snowy landscape, freezing and anxious and utterly perplexed. And Wilbur, Wilbur who pressed the button, appears in the remnants of the button room with Phil and Ghostbur. And he's pissed about being alive. And he is panicking. After a bit of arguing, he runs away. After living with the various Wilburs for a while, everyone realizes that in order for Ghostbur to be revived, the other Wilburs need to be absorbed by him. And in order for that to happen, those Wilburs need to be accepted-- not necessarily forgiven, but understood-- by everyone around them and by Ghostbur himself. But that poses a problem because… "Vilbur" (as dubbed by the group of them, don't worry it's not an endorsement of the term and there's later a heartfelt moment where everyone realizes calling him Vilbur is fucked up actually) seems to have teamed up with Dream. And accepting him, understaning him, is truly the great, final challenge… Along with dealing with whatever scheme Dream has concocted.
Crossover: What's your favorite non-dsmp fictional media? Just. Plop Wilbur in there. Explore how he interacts with the world and characters. If you need some explanation for it-- Wilbur is in train limbo for however long or short a time you want when suddenly a train comes round and takes him to the world of your desired fictional work. That's it. I just like wild crossovers. It's the KH fan in me. Just yeet Wilbur into another fictional universe, I don't care where, just have fun with it!
Joke Skunkbur AU: Wilbur is a skunk. That's it. That's the fic. Keep it as close to canon or as far from canon as you want. Throw in raccooninnit. Or just have everyone be human except for Skunkbur. Maybe Plan Bomb isn't actually detonating proper explosives, maybe it's just a big old stink bomb.
I've got other ideas sitting around here somewhere, but those were what immediately came to mind! But again, if you ever wanna hear more details about my own aus or you want more prompts, hit me up! I tend to have a lot of ideas swirling around. But I hope that at least something I've provided here was helpful to you, anon! And while I'm glad that you think of me, don't feel pressured to try to write anything unless you want to! But if you do, or if anyone else takes any inspiration from me, please. Send me your fics. I will read them. I am starving.
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our Creator already knows exactly who we are.
and still, some people try to hide by refusing to acknowledge spiritual truth.
for it is Love that leads us into the Heart of Light by being open in heart to welcome the entrance of the Spirit within, becoming the Temple that holds the eternal as its treasure in the inner room of the heart (the instrumental womb) where rebirth occurs (inside, Anew)
to illuminate our thought-lives with the spiritual truth of grace as a new covenant with our Creator.
A line from Today’s reading in the book of John:
“But Jesus saw through to the heart of humankind, and He chose not to give them what they requested. He didn’t need anyone to prove to Him the character of humanity. He knew what man was made of.”
and the whole chapter from The Voice translation that begins with a wedding scene:
Three days later, they all went to celebrate a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was invited together with Him and His disciples. While they were celebrating, the wine ran out; and Jesus’ mother hurried over to her son.
Mary: The host stands on the brink of embarrassment; there are many guests, and there is no more wine.
Jesus: Dear woman, is it our problem they miscalculated when buying wine and inviting guests? My time has not arrived.
But she turned to the servants.
Mary: Do whatever my son tells you.
In that area were six massive stone water pots that could each hold 20 to 30 gallons. They were typically used for Jewish purification rites. Jesus’ instructions were clear:
Jesus: Fill each water pot with water until it’s ready to spill over the top; then fill a cup, and deliver it to the headwaiter.
They did exactly as they were instructed. After tasting the water that had become wine, the headwaiter couldn’t figure out where such wine came from (even though the servants knew), and he called over the bridegroom in amazement.
Headwaiter: This wine is delectable. Why would you save the most exquisite fruit of the vine? A host would generally serve the good wine first and, when his inebriated guests don’t notice or care, he would serve the inferior wine. You have held back the best for last.
Jesus performed this miracle, the first of His signs, in Cana of Galilee. They did not know how this happened; but when the disciples and the servants witnessed this miracle, their faith blossomed.
Jesus then gathered His clan—His family members and disciples—for a journey to Capernaum where they lingered several days. The time was near to celebrate the Passover, the festival commemorating when God rescued His children from slavery in Egypt, so Jesus went to Jerusalem for the celebration. Upon arriving, He entered the temple to worship. But the porches and colonnades were filled with merchants selling sacrificial animals (such as doves, oxen, and sheep) and exchanging money. Jesus fashioned a whip of cords and used it with skill driving out animals; He scattered the money and overturned the tables, emptying profiteers from the house of God. There were dove merchants still standing around, and Jesus reprimanded them.
Jesus: What are you still doing here? Get all your stuff, and haul it out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a place for your own profit!
The disciples were astounded, but they remembered that the Hebrew Scriptures said, “Jealous devotion for God’s house consumes me.” Some of the Jews cried out to Him in unison.
Jews: Who gave You the right to shut us down? If it is God, then show us a sign.
Jesus: You want a sign? Here it is. Destroy this temple, and I will rebuild it in 3 days.
Jews: Three days? This temple took more than 46 years to complete. You think You can replicate that feat in 3 days?
The true temple was His body. His disciples remembered this bold prediction after He was resurrected. Because of this knowledge, their faith in the Hebrew Scriptures and in Jesus’ teachings grew.
During the Passover feast in Jerusalem, the crowds were watching Jesus closely; and many began to believe in Him because of the signs He was doing. But Jesus saw through to the heart of humankind, and He chose not to give them what they requested. He didn’t need anyone to prove to Him the character of humanity. He knew what man was made of.
The Book of John, Chapter 2 (The Voice)
Today’s paired chapter of the Testaments is the 34th chapter of the book of Job:
Elihu’s Second Speech
“So, my fine friends—listen to me,
and see what you think of this.
Isn’t it just common sense—
as common as the sense of taste—
To put our heads together
and figure out what’s going on here?
“We’ve all heard Job say, ‘I’m in the right,
but God won’t give me a fair trial.
When I defend myself, I’m called a liar to my face.
I’ve done nothing wrong, and I get punished anyway.’
Have you ever heard anything to beat this?
Does nothing faze this man Job?
Do you think he’s spent too much time in bad company,
hanging out with the wrong crowd,
So that now he’s parroting their line:
‘It doesn’t pay to try to please God’?
“You’re veterans in dealing with these matters;
certainly we’re of one mind on this.
It’s impossible for God to do anything evil;
no way can the Mighty One do wrong.
He makes us pay for exactly what we’ve done—no more, no less.
Our chickens always come home to roost.
It’s impossible for God to do anything wicked,
for the Mighty One to subvert justice.
He’s the one who runs the earth!
He cradles the whole world in his hand!
If he decided to hold his breath,
every man, woman, and child would die for lack of air.
“So, Job, use your head;
this is all pretty obvious.
Can someone who hates order, keep order?
Do you dare condemn the righteous, mighty God?
Doesn’t God always tell it like it is,
exposing corrupt rulers as scoundrels and criminals?
Does he play favorites with the rich and famous and slight the poor?
Isn’t he equally responsible to everybody?
Don’t people who deserve it die without notice?
Don’t wicked rulers tumble to their doom?
When the so-called great ones are wiped out,
we know God is working behind the scenes.
“He has his eyes on every man and woman.
He doesn’t miss a trick.
There is no night dark enough, no shadow deep enough,
to hide those who do evil.
God doesn’t need to gather any more evidence;
their sin is an open-and-shut case.
He deposes the so-called high and mighty without asking questions,
and replaces them at once with others.
Nobody gets by with anything; overnight,
judgment is signed, sealed, and delivered.
He punishes the wicked for their wickedness
out in the open where everyone can see it,
Because they quit following him,
no longer even thought about him or his ways.
Their apostasy was announced by the cry of the poor;
the cry of the afflicted got God’s attention.
“If God is silent, what’s that to you?
If he turns his face away, what can you do about it?
But whether silent or hidden, he’s there, ruling,
so that those who hate God won’t take over
and ruin people’s lives.
“So why don’t you simply confess to God?
Say, ‘I sinned, but I’ll sin no more.
Teach me to see what I still don’t see.
Whatever evil I’ve done, I’ll do it no more.’
Just because you refuse to live on God’s terms,
do you think he should start living on yours?
You choose. I can’t do it for you.
Tell me what you decide.
“All right-thinking people say—
and the wise who have listened to me concur—
‘Job is an ignoramus.
He talks utter nonsense.’
Job, you need to be pushed to the wall and called to account
for wickedly talking back to God the way you have.
You’ve compounded your original sin
by rebelling against God’s discipline,
Defiantly shaking your fist at God,
piling up indictments against the Almighty One.”
The Book of Job, Chapter 34 (The Message)
my personal reading of the Scriptures for Tuesday, may 11 of 2021 with a paired chapter from each Testament of the Bible along with Today’s Proverbs and Psalms
A post by John Parsons that looks into the secret place of the heart:
Our Torah portion this week (Bamidbar) begins: “The LORD spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, in the tent of meeting (ohel mo’ed), on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt” (Num. 1:1). Note again that the LORD spoke in the desert (ba-midbar) of Sinai, and that the Hebrew word for “desert” (i.e., midbar: מדבר) shares the same root as “word” (i.e., davar: דבר), which suggests that we hear the Word of God in a place of emptiness, brokenness and ongoing need. But note further that the LORD spoke in the “tent of meeting” (אהל מועד), which may be read as the tent of "mo’ed" (מוֹעֵד), or “holiday.” We celebrate our need for God’s healing and turn to him in a state of gratitude, even despite our sinful condition (Psalm 119:71). We take courage and draw near, renewed in trust. That is why the verse says it was “the first day of the second month” (חדש השני בשנה) -- the word “month” (chodesh) can be read as “new” (chadash), suggesting it was a time of renewal, a time to celebrate a new beginning (Acts 2:1-4). When David prayed in his need: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10), the Hebrew may be read: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew within me ruach nachon (רוח נכון) - a spirit of “Yes” (כן). As Paul said of Messiah our Healer: “All the promises of God find their ‘Yes’ in him” (2 Cor. 1:20).
Our Heavenly Father sees in secret... "The deepest thing in our nature is this region of heart in which we dwell alone with our willingnesses and our unwillingnesses, our faiths and our fears" (William James). It is there, in the secret place of the heart, that the sound of the "knock" is either heard or disregarded (Rev 3:20). May the Lord give us the willingness to do His will and the courage to believe in His love. May we all be strong in faith, not staggering over the heavenly promises, but giving glory to God for the miracle of Yeshua our LORD. May we all be rooted and grounded in love so that we are empowered to apprehend the very “breadth and length and height and depth” of the love of God given to us in Messiah, so that we shall all be filled with all the fullness of God. [Hebrew for Christians]
5.10.21 • Facebook
Today’s message from the Institute for Creation Research
May 11, 2021
Things Worth Knowing
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)
Although the book of 1 John is well known for its use of the word “love,” various words such as “know,” “perceive,” and “behold” occur almost as often.
Several of these words refer to the work of Christ in salvation. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5). “We know that we have passed from death unto life” (1 John 3:14), and “hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). This knowledge brings great comfort and assurance: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
This knowledge should bring us into a life of submission and service: “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:5). Similarly, “he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:24; see also 1 John 4:13).
This gives us confidence in prayer: “And this is the confidence that we have in him,...if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us,...we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
The culmination of a life marked by salvation, assurance, empowering, and victory will be that we will be with Him and be like Him. “Behold [same word as ‘know’], what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). JDM