#for me it’s thieves doing heists
Tara: "You know he's drinking again."
Eliot: "I'm not an idiot, Tara."
Tara: "I was told this was a problem."
Eliot: "Drinking's not a problem, it's a symptom."
Maggie: "There's Irish whiskey in that coffee, isn't there?"
Nate: "...Yeah. Little bit. Sorry."
Maggie: "It's not the liquor that worries me, it's the fact that you're hiding it in your coffee cup."
It's really interesting how they frame the Zanzibar Marketplace Job in this way, pretty much starting and ending the episode with these lines. Both Eliot and Maggie seem to be saying that Nate's drinking isn't a problem - but that's not it, really. What they are pointing out is the reason why he's drinking. Maggie pretty much outright states it right before her above quote: she likes the man Nate is now, but he doesn't. He's still lying to himself about not being a thief.
S2 started out with him determined not to get involved with the heist, and the crew dragging him back in despite himself. But of course the only reason that worked is because he did want in all along. He loves his crew, he loves what he does with them. He just can't separate it in his mind from what his father did, what other criminals do (the loan shark in the Bottle Job, the episode right before this, saying "we pick up where the law leaves off”).
He started out the season sober and not thieving, as though denying himself these vices would solve his problems. But he also chose to move in right above the bar where Jimmy Ford used to 'do business'. It's all connected for him, and he wouldn't have gotten over any of these issues even if they’d left him alone. But then Sophie leaves, and Nate impersonates his dad and drinks 'for the con', and once he's opened these doors he can't shut them. No more than he can resist running another con, and another, and another.
He says earlier in the season that he uses to think drinking was okay. But now he knows that he's not okay. The implication being he knows but he can manage it, or that his self-awareness of the problem counterbalances it somehow (which is obviously false).
In that line, or even perhaps those earlier bits of dialogue, you can replace "drinking" with "stealing" and the narrative impact is the same. Yes, of course Nate's alcoholism is a problem. It's dangerous, both for him and for the people who have to live with the risky choices he makes when he's drunk. But like Eliot and Maggie both point out, the drinking in itself is only a symptom. Because Nate still can't accept himself and what he does, so he punishes himself by drinking, lies to himself that this is only temporary and he doesn't enjoy it. And until he can accept who he is (and that he likes that person) the same self-destructive behavior is going to happen one way or another. If it weren't drinking it would be something else.
Stealing isn’t unequivocally bad, not the way the Leverage crew does it. But Nate hasn’t internalized that. This is another reason Tara bothers him so much, because she truly is much more mercenary, and every time she asks when she is going to get paid, or needles him about not being able to “save every lost lamb” it just reminds Nate that he’s just putting a glitzy cover on being a thief himself. He tries to make it this whole Robin Hood quest to help the little guys, but the fact is he simply enjoys the work. He likes coming up with outrageous plans and outsmarting his enemies and getting away with it. And this is something that would only be okay if he were doing it despite himself. If he didn’t like what he was doing because it’s objectively wrong but it’s the only way to help these people - then that would be fine. But if what really draws him in is the challenge, the cathartic revenge, the illegality of it all - then how is he in any way better than his father? He isn’t, he’s just dressing it up prettier as he does the same thing.
Nate never really actively applies those value judgements to the rest of the crew - at least not in an overt or malicious way. But he definitely does for himself, definitely thinks that they might enjoy the job but he should be above all that. He should be better, he’s supposed to be the ‘honest man’ after all. This is his main character problem throughout all of S2 (and somewhat, the series as a whole), and it’s why he stopped drinking as much as it is why he starts again. And - yes, the alcoholism is definitely a problem just on its own. It undoubtedly is. But it’s not the problem, it’s just a symptom, as Eliot said. And the fact that Nate is here attempting to hide that he’s drinking again, even though he and everyone around him knows he is - that’s all the more indicative of what his biggest issue really is.
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Very interested in your take on Tarantino's take (love story?) and Harvey Keitel's intent regarding Mr White and Mr Orange in Reservoir Dogs. Your posts abt Jensen improvizing Dean's super tactile touches (brushing hair etc) with Sam made me wonder. Keitel is famously method & also fond of improvizing & asking amenable costars to improvize. All the touches (carding through Orange's hair and stroking his ear before the Mexican standoff, keeping a hand on Orange after Brown dies). Was that Keitel?
I think it’s 65% Keitel and 35% Tarantino. It’s not QT’s style to have his male characters to be physically affectionate with each other and he originally wanted a younger James Wood to play White, therefore making the two men closer in age. So the pseudo-father-son relationship explaination by QT doesn’t fly.
It’s been many years since I’ve seen this film so I’m going by memory - the film started out with a fatally wounded Orange and going by White’s reaction I immediately assumed they’re old friends. Turns out they’ve only known eachother for a few weeks. Flashbacks showed us that White didn’t meet Orange until Joe started planning the diamond heist. White knew Joe and Eddie for a long time, yet he was willing to shoot and kill both of them in defense of Orange when Joe (correctly) guessed Orange is an undercover cop.
On the surface, White believes there is honor among thieves and when Orange got shot, he was defending the defenseless and believed he was doing the right thing. He believed anybody but Orange in the group had set them up and yet Orange was suffering the worse of it. Now I have difficulty believing someone of White’s age and experience truely thinks there is honor among thieves. He is way too emotionally attached to Orange for it to be a burgeoning father-son mentor relationship especially when QT had to explain their relationship in that context off-screen. Remember kids, general audience don’t follow director’s interviews or commentaries, they go with what is on screen.
SPN fans joke that Dean Winchester has one rule for Sam and a different set of rules for the world. Same here, White seems to have one set of rules when it comes to Orange and another set of rules for the rest of the world.
My guess Is Keitel took it upon himself (with QT’s blessing) to sell it as an unspoken love story otherwise the audience isn’t going to believe White would kill others so easily to try to save Orange whom he only knew for a few weeks.
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Army of the Dead’s Spinoff Star Talks Safe-Cracking and Zack Snyder’s Lessons
Matthias Schweighöfer as Dieter the safecracker in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.
Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead hasn’t even come out yet and a spin-off film is already in the can. It’ll be called Army of Thieves and it’s directed by its star, Matthias Schweighöfer, who plays a safecracker named Dieter in both films. io9 spoke to Schweighöfer about getting to play in Zack Snyder’s zombie-infested heist film and how he landed the gig to expand the universe.
In Army of the Dead, a potential zombie apocalypse has been seemingly averted when all of the undead are trapped inside a walled-off Las Vegas. However, the casinos inside still have a lot of money in them, so Dave Bautista leads a group of mercenaries to infiltrate the zombie (and zombie tiger) infested Sin City and come out with hundreds of millions of dollars. Obviously, the zombies are a big problem but the bigger issue is the elaborate, uncrackable safe at the casino. That’s where Schweighöfer’s character, Dieter, comes in. Though all the other characters are complete badasses with huge machine guns, buzzsaws, and more, he’s there for one reason and one reason only. “I read the script before and but I wasn’t sure how the safecracker was skilled with guns or weapons,” Schweighöfer’s told io9 via Zoom. “And my first step into the wardrobe department and a prop master was like, ‘Okay, he knows how to handle a fork or a spoon, but for sure nothing else.’”
To be in a huge Zack Snyder blockbuster and not blow something up might have been a disappointment to some, but not Schweighöfer. “I was super happy that I was the only one who could do everything different than all the others,” he said. “It made him very special.” So special, in fact, that as production on the film began to wind down, Snyder and Netflix executives approached Schweighöfer with an idea. “They said, ‘You know, the Dieter character is so likable and combining [him] with the heist movie, and especially the safe—we would love to tell a story about that,” the actor explained.
Schweighöfer and Omari Hardwick in Army of the Dead.
In Army of the Dead, it’s clear that Dieter has a history with the particular safe inside the casino, named the Götterdämmerung. It’s his White Whale and he believes he’s the only person in the world who can possibly crack it. Why is not explicitly explained in this film but it will be explained in Schweighöfer’s spin-off. “Zack called me and said ‘Matthias, let’s meet up’ and we met,” Schweighöfer said of how the film came to be. “And he was talking about ‘What do you think about this and that idea, that story, because we have to write it.’ And then he said, ‘Do you want direct it and star in it and do we want to produce it together?’ And I said, ‘No. There’s no reason for me to do that.’”
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Schweighöfer is a really funny guy. “I said, yes, of course,” he continues. “That was one of the best days of my life.”
While Schweighöfer can’t say much about what Army of Thieves is about, he did offer a few hints of how the universe ties together. “This is not a zombie movie, I can say, but maybe I heard maybe we have zombies in it,” he said. “But it’s not a zombie movie ... It’s a heist movie and it will be a huge, very entertaining heist movie with stuff we’ve never seen before, especially that we create our own world. So everyone should be really excited to see Dieter cracking some safes.”
Schweighöfer with the rest of the team.
Schweighöfer began acting in the late 1990s and directing in 2011. In that time he’s made several movies, as well as a TV series, but even with all that experience he still said he learned a lot from the man behind Justice League, 300, and Watchmen. “I learned that a great vision needs a lot of brave moves and a lot of trust in yourself and a great team,” Schweighöfer said. “Zack always told me ‘Matthias, dream big. Try to be always the best version of everything.’ So I really focused on that. Create your own universe. Be self-confident and trust yourself. Trust your guts. He’s like ‘Never lose being a wonderful human being ... a good dad and a good husband. But try to be a visionary.’ You have a vision because without a vision, there’s nothing.”
You’ll be able to see Snyder’s vision, Army of the Dead, in theaters this week and on Netflix next week. Schweighöfer’s vision, Army of Thieves, is still in post-production.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.
from Gizmodo https://ift.tt/3eAbE2j
Hello hello!! All these theories about the new teaser photo for Butter have been making me want to read fics with the same vibe 🤩
Do you know any fics with a theme like a heist, crime scene, casino, ocean’s 11, Miami Vice vibes? 😅 sorry if it’s too specific. It doesn’t have to be exactly like that but similar idea/vibe.
Thank youuuu ✨
Hello, hello! The new Butter concept photo does give off these vibes, right?!?! I immediately thought of Miami Vice too 🤭.
I don’t think there’s a lot? I actually thought of several fics and then I realized they’re more of mafia operations x spies/secret agents or other types of criminal aus. Here are my suggested fics:
🌷 BTS Heist AUs
Stole @silhouetted-beauty - Jungkook | series [7/7] | 62.4k | Heist AU, Thief, Con Artist!JK, Detective!Reader, kind of Star-crossed (criminal vs detective affair) | S, A, F
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
This is probably the one in this list that’s most plot-heavy on heist activities and I really love this 💛💛💛
Airplane Pt 2 @xjoonchildx - Jungkook | series [6/6] | 22k | Criminal JJK x Agent!Reader | S
I added this because it feels thrilling just to hunt for this thief who keeps escaping
Honey @gguksgalaxy - Yoongi | two shot [2/2] | 30k | Exes AU, OC was asked to bring back “Honey” for a heist, “Can you bring back your lost lover when your hands are stained with the blood of his best friend?” | A, S
heavy on angst and reconciliation between the exes too
For A Good Time, Call: The White Rabbit, Part 2 @yuudetama - Yoongi | two shot | 11.3k | Con Artists, OC is an former con artist, Yoongi suddenly showed up | A, implied F
The Heist @ttakinou - Yoongi | drabble series [7/?] | 10.5k+ | Hacker!Yoongi, Sniper!OC, based on Money Heist, FWB, Action, Drama | A, implied S
So, I saw this on my dash and took note of the fic for future reading. (I’m a sucker for Heist AUs too)
Masque + Demasqued @minstrophywife - Taehyung | two shot | Art Thief!Taehyung x Museum Curator!OC | PWP
Well this is more of pwp but con artist taehyung is so appealing
A Patient Man @7deadlysinsfics - Namjoon | one shot | 3.1k | Criminal!Namjoon, Bank Heist AU | S, A
Not sure, if there’ll be a part 2 because the ending 😱
I added an AO3 fic I really like in my 📕 October Reading List last year. It’s called 💛 Hei$t. It’s a Jungkook x Reader pairing but OT7 too since they are “fabled Korean gang of thieves” and work on heists as a group. OC is also one but from the competing group. Sadly, it hasn’t been updated recently. I guess, you can subscribe to the fic so you’ll get notified once author updates?
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this leads me to the fact that i think he did the getaway, but for a different event. we know they all know hes probably doing the getaway, even though vespa was pissy about it, even though i dont think anyone can really trusts that hed come back for them, theyre pretty sure hes doing the getaway, and i think theyre all really certain he wanted to be the one to do it. in part because he wanted to make sure juno didnt have to be, because like ive explained, failure is an old friend to him, unlike how its a nemesis to nureyev. and he did promise he wouldnt make him do it.
i think hes not being forthright, but hes also trying specifically to keep the crew out of his issues. he trusts them enough to want them safe, but not enough to let them know thats what hes doing. he had the opportunity to steal all of the elements of the heist plus the details of how to do it before it happened, but he didnt even attempt to steal any part until they pulled it off, meaning he wanted them to succeed. he also disappeared without the curemother prime or the ruby 7. we know that dark matters did not want the curemother prime, and that no one was sure about the ruby 7, so while its possible he sold them out, i dont think its likely.
i think its far more likely that someone betraying the crew was just a straight up lie from sasha (remember her plan hinged on it being impossible to turn a band of thieves against each other). its noteworthy that if rita couldnt make the call, literally none of them could, but the ruby 7 was able to remain on the entire time. i think his plan is to sell the parts of the heist or the entire heist to his debtors without the curemother prime.
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05/06/21 - instagram, goodreads
Hello friends! 🤗 I decided to do the Share the Love Stack challenge from IG and picked out a couple of my faves from my shelf. Hopefully, you'll find something new to read!
I know 3 of them are Leigh Bardugo books but guys these books are my life rn 😂
✨ The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: A great collection of Grimm-esque fairytales based in the Grishaverse! And you don't need to read any of the other books to appreciate it, too!
✨ Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: Ketterdam's finest thieves, killers, and spies come together to pull off a series of heists. A great duology that made me laugh and cry!
✨ The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton: An ordinary man finds himself recruited by an anti-anarchist police corps, and then by an underground anarchist council all in the same night. Chaos ensues!
✨ The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor: She's been watching your every move since you were born. A great villain origin story!
✨ Behind Closed Doors by Miriam Halahmy: Two teenage girls from different economic backgrounds realize they have a lot in common as they deal with mental illness, poverty, and abuse.
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It’s not a surprise that I am a big fan of Margaret Owen’s books. The Merciful Crow duology was incredible and if you haven’t read it I highly suggest you check it out. Since that duology, Margaret has become an auto-buy/read author. When I found out Margaret was doing her own spin on The Goose Girl story, I was desperate to get my hands on it immediately. Needless to say, Little Thieves did not disappoint. I read the entire book over a weekend.
The worldbuilding, similar to Merciful Crow, is lush and I ate up every little tidbit of information that was given to me. Margaret has a way with weaving worlds by including little side stories and subtle character-building that I can’t get enough of. Vanja is one of the main characters, and I loved how morally-grey she was. I hadn’t experienced Margaret writing an ambiguous/villain-esque character before, but after Vanja I need her to write more!
Vanja is looking out for number one, clever, and sarcastic AF. Her insults are on point and I could not get enough of them. She’s an angry character, and her story is one derived from pain. Emeric, a junior prefect investigating a string of robberies, is the cinnamon roll I never knew I needed. He’s awkward and clever. My favorite character, though, would have to be Ragne. Her character is incredibly amazing. I don’t want to spoil any of the other side characters because their presence throughout the story was fun to discover and fall in love with them.
This story started out with multiple heists and looked to be fast-paced, but gradually shifted into a detective story. The ending left me hoping that there will be more stories in this world just because the characters were so amazing. I need some stories from maybe the gods' perspectives. I highly recommend you pre-order this book immediately if you love heists, sarcastic antiheroines, and a beautifully-written story with a fun band of characters and a mystery to solve!
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Guns Blazing, Tides Rising (Part One)
When Kaz Brekker announces that they’ll be working with a certain Tidemaker to help with the latest heist, Jesper knows it’s not going to end well. He and Y/N L/N have a fierce rivalry, although feelings may change over a night.
series masterlist / part two
Jesper is almost one block away from the Crow Club when he senses that he isn’t alone.
Technically, he hasn’t been alone in a long time. There is no place to get away in Ketterdam, no alley left uninhabited or room without a listener. It’s certainly nothing like Novyi Zem, where you could find miles of farmland with nobody to talk to and nothing to do. No, the Barrel has never been somewhere to stay away from people.
This, however, is a different kind of presence. Jesper only notices it now, and he has no idea how long the Wraith has been following him. Sometimes he thinks she does it on purpose, walking behind him, footsteps silent as ever, just to see how long it takes him to figure out that she’s there. Jesper halts in his tracks, raising his voice to the hooded figure no doubt a pace or two behind him. “I know you’re there, Inej, and if I turn around just now you had better not do that thing where you wait two inches behind me just to make me jump.”
There is silence, as expected. Jesper turns in a slow semicircle, ready for the inevitable, yet he still stiffens just slightly to see Inej standing behind him. Jesper has been in the Barrel for a long time, and gotten used to the skulking and sneaking of the various goons. He fancies himself at least somewhat capable at figuring out when people are following him, but for some reason, he cannot do the same with Inej. Not at all.
She raises an eyebrow at him. “You did the thing.” Jesper finishes lamely. Something almost like a smile tugs at Inej’s lips. “That’s not exactly my fault. I’ve been waiting for you to notice me for a while. I’ve practically been stomping my heels against the cobblestones.” Jesper groans. “You have not. You’ve been as silent as ever, and you know that.” Inej ignores this, jerking her chin behind her, back in the direction of the Slat. “Your Crow Club endeavor will have to wait. Kaz needs you.”
Kaz Brekker needs him. “What a surprise. I’m very useful, as it turns out. Couldn’t this wait a little longer, though? I’ve heard they’ve got a new dealer over at Makker’s Wheel.” Inej just turns around, starting to walk back towards the Slat. No matter how hard Jesper tries, he cannot hear a single footstep echo against the stones. “This is more important.” Jesper raises an eyebrow. “More important than earning the Dregs money by supporting a local establishment? He doesn’t need to worry, you know, I’ve got money.”
Jesper grimaces at the look of incredulity starting to color Inej’s eyes. “Alright, it’s not a lot of money. But it is at least enough to buy a round or two. Besides,” Jesper continues, eager to shift the conversation away from his less than prosperous gambling habits, “Why did Kaz send you? He could have just delivered a note.” Inej lifts a shoulder, even the slightest of shrugs a graceful movement. “I told you, this is important.”
Jesper is intrigued by this. “Whenever you say ‘important’ more than once, it’s always good. Is it another heist? Extortion? Maybe a good clash of rival gangs?” Inej rolls her eyes. “I’m not supposed to tell you anything. That was the whole point of me going.” Jesper sighs dramatically. “You could tell me a little bit. I wouldn’t even mention it to Kaz.”
Inej instead lets her eyes trail upwards, towards the ramshackle glory of the Slat which is visible down the block. “You’ll get your information soon enough.” Her voice grows quiet, quieter than usual. It’s practically impossible to hear over the clack of footsteps on stone as pigeons and gang members alike rush to finish their business before it grows too late and the thieves come running. “I will say one thing, though. While we’re still away from prying ears.”
Jesper leans closer, fascinated. “What is it?” Inej looks up at him, and Jesper realizes that she looks almost regretful. “Don’t be too upset.” Jesper waits for more, some explanation to this excruciatingly vague statement, but nothing happens. “Don’t be upset? What, is Kaz going to cane me to death?” Inej tilts her head to the side. “There’s a plan, and it will involve some things that you won’t be too fond of. That’s all I can say for now.”
Jesper wants to pry a little further, even if he senses that the Wraith will remain silent, but the door to the Slat is already in front of him, effectively stopping any conversation. The Dregs may be Kaz’s gang, but loyalties can always be changed. Jesper has wandered the canals long enough to know that all secrets should be kept to locked doors, and even allies can turn against you. Some conversations are best when they’re not shared at all.
Jesper looks around for Kaz in the main room of the Slat, but he doesn’t see the dark-haired boy anywhere. Instead, Inej inclines her head towards the rickety set of stairs at the back of the room. “He’ll be waiting for you in his office.” Jesper moves to ask her something, anything, about what else is waiting for him there, but before he can even open his mouth to speak Inej has disappeared. It’s fascinating- Jesper hadn’t even turned away or looked elsewhere, yet she had vanished right before his open eyes. He hadn’t seen her go, just witnessed her blink away into the shadows.
Jesper stares at the empty floorboards where Inej had once stood, then, squaring his shoulders as if preparing for a particularly nerve-wracking round of cards, begins to ascend the flights of stairs. He pauses once outside the door to Kaz’s office, touching the hilts of his pearl handled revolvers for luck, then pushes open the door and steps inside.
Kaz is waiting for him, standing at his desk and running through a map spread out across the wooden surface. He looks up when he sees Jesper enter, straightening to nod once in greeting. Jesper’s eyes travel to Inej, who had somehow beat him up the stairs and is now perched, catlike, on Kaz’s windowsill.
Kaz doesn’t bother with pleasantries or questions about Jesper’s day, as per usual, just dives into an explanation. “There’s a mercher living down near the Financial District. He’s like the others- snotty, pretends to be pious, unseasonably rich for someone who just arrived at his title, but he’s strayed too far from his gilded walkways and tried to start restrictions on Fifth Harbor.”
Jesper lets out a snort. “Merchers. Always getting too big for their tie pins.” Kaz ignores this. “Under his new plan, we’d have to pay out reparations to him and also ease back on coaxing pigeons into our establishments. There’s no way in hell that would ever pass, but this mercher just happens to have some pretty significant blackmail on key members of the Merchant Council, and they’ll pass whatever bill he wants so long as he keeps his mouth shut. Unfortunately, we can’t kill him directly, but we can break into his mansion and steal his proof of the Council’s less savory transactions. Without the blackmail, the Council will never pass the bill, and we’ll be fine.”
Jesper raises an eyebrow. “As easy as that?” Kaz lifts a shoulder. “There’s a slight complication. This mercher, Joeri ter Steege, has a certain thing for oceanside views. He’s found himself a nice little inlet near the water’s edge, and access to his mansion is only available by boat. This means that any attempt to access his house would mean we would travel by water, and any boat could easily be sighted by guards that patrol the area.”
Jesper squints at Kaz. “What do you mean, only available by boat? If he’s living in an inlet, shouldn’t there be some dock connecting it to the mainland?” Inej flashes him a smile. “The merch has got himself a moat.” Jesper stares. “You’re kidding me. You’ve got to be kidding me. This merch is so extravagantly wealthy that he’s gone and got himself a moat? Ghezen’s hand, maybe I should become a banker. The things I could do.” Inej hides a laugh. “The moats you could build.”
Kaz’s hand tightens around his crow’s head cane. “Regardless of the merch’s terrible landscaping decisions, the fact remains that access will be practically impossible. To get across, we’d need a boat, and any boat would be sighted by guards. That’s why we need a Tidemaker.” Jesper’s smile starts to drop from his face. Suddenly, pieces are starting to fall into place. Inej’s warning. Kaz’s mention of a Tidemaker. Jesper shakes his head. “Don’t tell me you got the one Tidemaker I’m thinking of. Please say you brought in somebody else.”
Kaz opens his mouth to either condemn this or save Jesper’s skin, but then a voice rings out from the newly opened door and Jesper’s spirits sink into his boots. “Afraid not, Fahey. They’ve brought me.” Jesper turns around, finding himself face to face with a girl just walking into the office, hand loosely wrapped around the wooden doorframe. She tosses him a smile as if they’re old friends, when it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jesper whirls back around to face Kaz. “You didn’t. You’re really trusting her? Y/N L/N?” Kaz shrugs. “She’s the best there is, unfortunately. We need to remain hidden, and she’s the only one who won’t rat us out or let us drown.” Y/N walks further into the room, letting the door close behind her. “I appreciate the vote in confidence, but don’t worry about me. I can get you in and out, no problem. Well, the only problem will be you, sharpshooter.”
Jesper feels the sudden need to grab one (or maybe both) of his revolvers and let fly with his bullets. Can a Tidemaker wash away a hail of ammunition? Jesper’s assuming not. Kaz taps his cane against the floor. “Let’s not reach to violence just yet, Jesper. Wait until after the extraction is over.” Jesper throws one last glare Y/N’s way. “Trust me, I’ll have no problem with that.” He can wait, after all.
The problem with Y/N L/N is this: she keeps finding a way to meddle with everything he does. First, Jesper was on a heist by himself, breaking into a stronghold of the Dime Lions to snatch up an encoded message left by Pekka Rollins. He was doing fine until a wave of water cascaded in through the windows, knocking him aside and thoroughly drenching the paper. It was useless now, both to Rollins and to Kaz. Y/N had only bothered to toss a wink across the room before leaving, allowing her wave to soak Jesper’s boots while she was at it.
The second time was during a shootout. She’d been hired to the other side, although Jesper hadn’t known it yet. Jesper was just about to fire upon the lousy goon who’d hired her when she’d used her powers again, this time specifically intending to ruin his guns. His precious pearl-handled revolvers, soaked through with water. It had taken him forever to get the saltwater out of every crack and groove in the metal, and during all of that time he’d vowed to himself that he’d be the one to darken her doorway and make Y/N regret ever stepping foot against him again.
Jesper had won the third time. This time, he was the unexpected guest, and she was seconds away from drowning an entire swath of gang members to protect a secret. She was just raising her hands to move the water into place when a gunshot sounded from out of nowhere and she was knocked sideways, hand already raising to the stain of red starting to bloom out from her arm. It wouldn’t kill her, unfortunately, but it was enough to give the gang members time to escape. Some of them were Dregs, after all, and Jesper had some friends to protect. That isn’t to say that he didn’t walk away with a smile, just that he had multiple motives.
Needless to say, he didn’t exactly have the best history with Y/N L/N. And now Kaz was asking him to have her back during a heist? It sounds like a joke. Unfortunately, Jesper has a sinking feeling that there’s no getting out of this. If he’s going to have to depend on Y/N for his life, things might not exactly go according to plan. He has no idea where Y/N’s loyalties lie, he reasons, but Jesper thinks there might be more to it than that.
The group meets up at the water’s edge. The canals bleed into the harbor here, and Jesper can just make out the lights of Joeri ter Steege’s mansion across the glittering black of the waves. He can also make out a slight tension in Kaz’s grip on his cane as he takes in the sight of the undulating water, but that isn’t for him to notice. Y/N melts out of the shadows, a blue lining on her coat the only indication that she might still cling to Ravkan traditions for Grisha. “Well?” She asks, walking past them as if not expecting an answer, “Are we ready?”
Y/N spreads her hands and the water of the harbor flickers and shifts on the surface. As Jesper watches, Y/N steps forward, and the water solidifies under her feet as if she’s walking on glass instead of the tides. She pushes her hands apart, and the area of solid water expands until it’s large enough to act as a bridge. She turns to the rest of the group. “We can walk from here. It’ll be faster than a boat, and far more quiet.”
Kaz nods, beginning to walk after her on the bridge of water. Before his feet leave the ground, his mouth moves once. “No mourners.” Jesper nods. “No funerals.” They won’t be able to speak as freely at the mercher’s island, so this will do best. Jesper considers the unmoving waves one last time, then follows him. He’s half expecting Y/N to let the water liquify under his feet just a little bit, out of spite, but it holds. They continue along the harbor, and if Jesper turns his head he can see the bridge rippling back into normal water after they pass by it. It raises the hairs on the back of his neck to see his escape route disappear so quickly, but Jesper does his best to quiet the voice of warning. Kaz would never bring Y/N in if he thought she would betray them, and even if he did, Kaz would have another way out. That’s just the way Dirtyhands worked.
All the same, Jesper feels a little better when his heels land on solid ground once more. Kaz doesn’t have to say a word, just points at the roof. Jesper nods, remembering the plan. He and Y/N split away from Kaz and Inej, heading towards the roof for their line of entry. When Jesper had heard this part of the plan, he had complained viciously. Why should he have to go scale the building alone with Y/N? Why couldn’t Inej go instead? In the end, it hadn’t mattered- the plan needed them both there, so that’s where they would go.
Jesper doesn’t exactly have Inej’s skill in climbing, but ter Steege makes it easy. There are balconies and handholds practically everywhere, as if the merch is offering free mansion climbing lessons to anyone interested. Jesper supposes that one would be less concerned about robberies if you had a moat, but still. You have that much money, you might as well pretend to make it hard for light-fingered con artists.
Soon enough, Jesper and Y/N are standing on the roof, staring down at the fourth skylight from the left. This is where they’ll enter, once it reaches eleven bells and it’s time to move. Now, however, all they can do is wait as Kaz and Inej get into position. Jesper carefully sits down, letting his long legs prop up against the tiles of the roof. Y/N sits next to him, staring up at the sky. The moon is out tonight, the pale light illuminating her eyes and dusting her cheeks.
Distantly, Jesper realizes that he’s never seen her like this- letting her guard down for once. He’s not shooting at her, she’s not trying to drown him, it’s almost like a peace offering. Y/N must be having the same thoughts, because she turns to face him. The moonlight still stays on her face, as if unwilling to let go. Jesper has the sudden thought that he wouldn’t want to do the same either, if he had the opportunity to linger here, then shakes himself mentally.
Y/N’s voice is quiet, a whisper cutting through his thoughts and scattering them to the wind. “Do you ever wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t been fighting when we first met each other? Would we have been friends like you and Kaz?” Jesper chuckles in spite of himself. “If you think Kaz Brekker makes friends, I’m starting to think that you’ve suffered a head injury.”
Y/N rolls her eyes. “He trusts you. That’s rare.” Jesper shrugs, conceding this. He keeps speaking, though, even when he has just decided to remain silent. “I think we could have been close. We have similar interests.” Y/N raises an eyebrow. “Money? A good time?” Jesper flashes her a grin, easy as flipping a coin and landing it square in your palm. “Exactly. See? We already understand each other perfectly.”
Y/N lets out a short laugh at that, moonlight still teasing at the corner of her lips. Jesper’s eyes linger longer than they should. Curse his tendencies to start rivalries with the prettiest of enemies- it’s beginning to get him into trouble. Y/N’s head tilts towards the tides below, and then she stands. “It’s time. The bells are about to ring.” Jesper mourns the moment lost, then stands and takes his position by the skylight. He waits for the bells to begin to toll, then grabs his revolver, spinning it back and forth in his palm like a nervous tic before firing four times at the corners of the window, exactly where the locks will hold.
He doesn’t miss the way Y/N’s eyes track the spin of the gun, or the admirative tug of her lips into a half smile. However, now is no longer the time for schoolboy glances, and Jesper kneels at the window, carefully removing it from its frame. This is their entrance, and they would do well to hurry along.
The plan almost goes well. Almost. They manage to break into the mercher’s office, stealing the documents and meeting up with Kaz and Inej to get out, but just as they’re about to cross through the main atrium of the mansion, a loud dissonance of bells breaks out. An alarm. Jesper sees identical looks of panic reflected on every face- this was not supposed to happen. Not at all. They don’t hesitate, just run. Jesper’s lived in the Barrel long enough to remember this one lesson: when you can’t count on gangs or anyone to have your back, your feet always will. Just remember to keep moving.
They’re almost to the water’s edge when the shots ring out. Guards have followed them out of the building and fire even as their feet pound down the beach. Jesper’s revolvers are in his hands before another second can pass, bullets aimed with precision as he runs. They’re almost to the water when he hears a sound from behind him that draws all breath from his lungs. From here, it almost sounds like a cry of pain. It’s soft, as if someone’s trying not to draw attention, but Jesper hears it nonetheless.
He turns around and his stomach clenches with horror as he realizes he was right. Y/N is stumbling, clutching a terrible scarlet stain across her chest. It’s deep, too deep, and far too close to her heart to be safe. Y/N has time to fling her arms up, casting out the bridge of water once more, before she falls to the ground. All of a sudden, Jesper’s vision tunnels. He can only see two things: Y/N, hand limp over the spreading blood, and the guards, pistols still smoking.
Jesper’s shots ring out again and again. He can’t hear anything other than a buzzing in his ears, something that might be his pulse or just a sign that he’s gone mad. To be honest, Jesper’s not sure that he cares. Bullets careen through the air, curving around pillars and corners to reach their targets. His da would panic to see him, grab Jesper by his shoulders and tell him to be more careful. Anyone could know now, could see the way the bullets fly through the air as if guided by an invisible hand and figure out what that means, but Jesper doesn’t think about that for a second. All he can think about is revenge, and making sure that every single body falls to the ground.
Jesper’s haze leaves him, and he realizes that all of the guards are dead. All of them. Then his guns are back in their holsters, and he’s scrambling towards Y/N. When he picks her up, she feels cold. Too cold. Blood is staining his hands now, turning the long fingers red, but he barely notices at all. His heels flash down the beach, then onto the water, which is still solid. It must be killing her to keep this up, but she’s still doing it.
Jesper swore that it took far longer to make the trip over the harbor, but it feels like he’s barely taken a few steps before he’s on the other side and the water bridge is swallowed up by the tides once more. Kaz and Inej have just made it onto the other side, and their eyes widen at the crazed look on Jesper and the bloodied form of Y/N in his arms. Jesper doesn’t have time to consider this, and he shouts at them as he runs. “Get a healer! Get somebody- Nina, maybe. Anybody.”
Inej takes off into the streets, but Kaz remains, giving Jesper a particular look. “I remember you saying something about how Y/N was your rival. This is your chance, you know. The Barrel can be a ruthless place, and nobody would suspect you if she never made it back.” Jesper has the feeling that this is a test, some challenge placed before him to see how he’ll respond, but he can’t find it within himself to care. Jesper has always had an affinity for the odds, but this once, it’s not enough. “No. I’m getting her out. I need a Healer.”
Kaz steps back, allowing Jesper to pass, but not before he sees the appraising look in his eyes. Kaz nods once, briefly, and then Jesper is around the corner and sprinting headlong towards the Slat. A Healer is indeed waiting there, and holds out her arms to receive Y/N. For a second, Jesper’s arms clench around her body, unwilling to give her up, and then he forces his arms to relax and she’s gone, carried away into another room.
Jesper is left with the blood staining his shirt and the decision staining his conscience. If Y/N died, was it his fault? Should he care this much? He’s not sure that question can even be answered. The Healer comes out eventually, nodding at him. She’s not ready to have visitors, or at least she won’t be awake to see them, but that doesn’t stop Jesper from disappearing into her room the second the Healer leaves.
Jesper feels his throat close up when he sees her. Y/N is lying stiff and unmoving on a narrow bed, breath unnaturally slow and eyes closed. It’s strange- he’s seen her fiery and powerful, glowing as a Grisha does after they use their powers, but now she looks seconds from death. Jesper’s feet carry him woodenly over to the bed, and he stands there for a moment before reaching down and taking her hand. He doesn’t expect to feel anything at all, yet there’s a slight pressure and her eyelids flicker open.
“What, trying to finish the job?” A slight smile cracks Y/N’s lips, and Jesper feels like he could cry out in relief. Maybe it’s time he takes up Inej’s saints after all. “You’re alright?” She nods, although even this small movement appears to hurt. “As well as one can. I think I have someone to thank for that, though.” Jesper nods slowly. “Yeah, the Healer was great. We should keep her around just in case.”
Y/N laughs, the sound undamaged even as her blood still stains the bandages. “You’re impossible. I’m talking about you.” Jesper’s cheeks feel hot. “Oh.” Now this is unreal- usually he’s the one eliciting blushes, never the other way around. “I couldn’t just leave you there, you know.” She nods once, smiling, and then her eyelids seem too heavy to stay open and she starts to drift off to sleep once more. If Jesper happened to stay with her even after her eyes shut, and even if a kiss just happened to be pressed to her cheek, well, that was nobody’s business but his own.
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P5R: Rebel Girl (A FeMC Story/P5R Rework) Chapter 41: Varying Kinds of Trash
Monday was the clean up day the school had organized. Instead of classes, students had to go to the park to clean it up. However, only half the day was mandatory. Monday was also the day the Phantom Thieves would meet up to plan the Madarame heist. Ren woke up, stretched a bit, and then proceeded to get ready for the day.
One her way to Shujin to pick up her gym clothes, she heard someone say “Hey beautiful” in a slimy voice. She looked and was horrified at the sight. One that was all too familiar. Sumire was being harassed by someone. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” Sumire insisted.
“OK OK” the guy said. He looked her over. “So, you go to Shujin, huh? I’ve heard things are getting a bit rough there.” He took out his phone. “If you need anything, we can exchange numbers. You can give me a call, and I’ll be over in a jiff.”
“Please stop,” Sumire told him.
“Huh?” the guy said.
“Sumire…” Morgana lamented from the bag. He looked at Ren. “Huh?”
Ren was having a conniption. The girl she liked was in the midst of getting harassed. Yet she knew, she KNEW, that doing something was what got her in trouble last time. It could get her in trouble again, and it would jeopardize more than herself. It would jeopardize the Phantom Thieves, and by extension, the world.
However, Ren couldn’t let this go. Come Hell or high water, she knew she had to stop this. She dashed over. “She told you to stop,” she said, confronting the creep.
“Huh?” the man said.
“Senpai?” Sumire said.
The man looked over. “Is she your friend?” he asked. He grinned a slimy grin. “We can all be friends here. There’s no need to get jealous.”
“I’d prefer not to,” Ren said.
“What was that?” the guy jerked.
“She SAID she doesn’t want to!” Sumire interrupted with force, taking both the creep and Ren by surprise. “And I SUGGEST you respect her wishes.”
The perv got angry.”Maybe YOU ought to learn some manners.” He lifted his hand in an attempt to strike one of them. However, someone grabbed his hand before he could unleash his anger. The three of them looked over to see that it was Kosuke. Kosuke gave the man a look that could kill.
The attempted playboy was scared. He broke off from Kosuke’s grasp, put his hands in his pockets, and regained his composure. “Tch” he said in a huff. “Fine! Be like that. You’re not special anyway.” He walked off, frustrated.
The girls sighed in relief. “You alright?” Kosuke asked. The girls looked up at him. They nodded. “Good.” He rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry.” The girls were confused. “I’m sure you could have handled a creep like him on your own. I didn’t mean to underestimate you.”
Ren chuckled slightly. “It’s OK. When it comes to people like that, I’ll take all the help I can get.”
“Fair,” Kosuke chuckled back. He then realized. “Hey. You’re that girl from the coffee shop, right?” Ren nodded. “Thought so. Hey, just so you know, your portrait will be ready tonight. Will you be at the coffee shop then?”
Ren got slightly embarrassed. “I’ll be there, yeah.”
“Great,” Kosuke said. He began to walk off.
“Wait!” Ren called out. Kosuke turned back. “Uh, how much do I owe you?”
Kosuke grinned. “It’s alright. You can have it for free.”
“Are you sure?” Ren asked.
Kosuke nodded. “Positive.”
“Well, if you say so…” Ren said, sounding unsure. She bowed. “Thank you.” Kosuke nodded and walked off.
Ren and Sumire began walking towards Shujin. “So, that’s Kosuke?” Sumire asked. Ren nodded. “Hmmmm. He seems nice, despite...you know…everything…”
“I bet he is usually nice,” Ren explained. “Remember, we had to fight Shiho before, and she’s practically the salt of the Earth.”
“...You’re right,” Sumire said. She sighed. “I guess I should have known that. I know what it’s like to change dramatically when faced with difficult situations…”
Ren looked over at her. “I get it,” she said. Sumire looked up. “It’s jarring because you’ve only seen his mean side. I’m sure if you knew him better, you might see that kind of interaction as the norm, rather than the exception.”
Sumire thought about that. “I guess that that’s how Yusuke-senpai sees him then. Usually, anyways...”
Ren was shocked. “Hm. I guess you’re right.” She smiled, gazing at Sumire as the two continued heading to the school. Upon arrival, they headed to the locker room to get changed. Once they got into their gym clothes, they headed out towards the park for cleaning.
“OK everyone!” Makoto called out on her megaphone. “Today, we are doing our part to clean up the park. You will be split into groups of four. Each group will be given a section to clean. A lunch will be provided. After lunch, you can decide to stay, or leave if you would prefer. Now, find your assignments, and get cleaning!”
The students checked the assignment list. To their surprise, Ren, Ann, Ryuji, and Sumire were in a group together. “For real?!” Ryuji wondered.
“That’s quite the coincidence” Ann remarked.
Makoto walked up to them and just said “You’re welcome” before leaving.
There was a slight pause. “I guess Niijima-senpai did that for us.” Sumire concluded.
“Huh” Ryuji said.
“Well, I guess we can’t let a good thing go to waste,” Ren said. “Let’s get cleaning and see how far in our planning we can get.” The others nodded.
“Wait, what’s Morgana going to do?” Ann asked.
They all looked at Ren. Morgana popped out of the bag. “I guess just keep me close.” The teens nodded and started cleaning.
“So, do we have any ideas for what the card should say?” Ryuji said. “Cause I’ve been thinking, and boy howdy, do I have some ideas.”
“I think we should let Yusuke handle writing it,” Ann said.
“Yeah, this is kind of personal to him,” Sumire added.
“Oh. Sure. That makes sense” Ryuji said. He sighed. “I guess it’s mostly his demons we’re tackling here.”
“It’s fine,” Ren said. “Believe me, I have some choice words for him as well. But I think it worked for Kamoshida because we all had a bone to pick with him on a personal level.”
“RIght…” Ryuji said.
Sumire was thinking. “How should we distribute it?”
Morgana popped out. “That’s a good question.”
“Hmmm” Ann thought. “If we send it to Madarame’s house, he’s sure to get it.”
“Yeah, but I doubt that Kosuke would see it” Ren reminded them. “We need something that gets his attention too.”
“What about the exhibit itself?” Sumire asked.
“Good thinking!” Ryuji said. “Kosuke’s guarding the place as it is.”
“Right, even if he’s not there, he’s in charge,” Ren said. “I’m sure they’d call him in for such an event.”
“Wait!” Ann said. “That place is guarded by cameras and stuff. If anyone gets caught, they’ll know for sure it’s us!”
“Well, almost anyone…” Morgana said. They all looked at him. “I mean, I look like a cat to most people. If they saw me, we’d be clear.”
After a slight pause, Sumire said “Right. And since your fur is black, and we’ll be doing this at night, you’ll be harder to spot.”
“How does that help?” Ryuji asked.
“It’s simple,” Ren said. “If Morgana’s hard to see, they can’t trace it back to me.” Sumire nodded.
“Oh. I see” Ryuji said.
“Wait!” Ren said. She sighed. “I can’t take Morgana tonight.”
“Why not?” Ann asked.
“Because Kosuke told me he’d be bringing my portrait in tonight” Ren explained.
“Wait, when did he tell you that?” Ryuji asked.
“This morning,” Sumire said. Ann and Ryuji got really confused. “The two of us ran into him.”
“I see,” Ryuji said.
“What’s he like?” Ann asked. “Out here I mean.”
Sumire smiled gently. “He’s actually really sweet and considerate.”
Ann was shocked. “Wow. I did not expect that.”
“Neither did I” Sumire explained. “But it makes sense when you think about it. In the end, he’s only after Madarame.”
“Right…” Ann said.
Morgana looked on uncomfortably. “Sumire…”
Sumire smiled. “It’s fine.”
“What is?” Ryuji asked.
“Oh, uh, it’s just the circumstances of him crossing paths with us weren’t ideal” Sumire told them.
“‘Weren’t ideal’ how?” Ann asked.
“Well…” Sumire began.
“Some creep was trying to get close with Sumire,” Ren said.
“WHAT?!” Ryuji said.
“I stepped into help, and then Kosuke came to help when he tried making a pass at both of us,” Ren continued.
“Well, he jumped in when he threatened to hit us when we didn’t comply” Sumire clarified.
“That’s… not better,” Ryuji said.
“Ugh!” Ann grunted. She sighed. “Well, I’m glad that things didn’t get worse.”
Sumire nodded. “Thanks.”
“So, where were we?” Ryuj asked. “I got so mad thinking about that guy I lost track.”
“Oh, right,” Sumire said. “We were talking about how to distribute the calling card.”
“Ohhhhh, riiiiiiiiight” Ryuji said. “Ren can’t do it because she’s meeting with Kosuke tonight. Yeah, I’m caught up now.”
“Well, I don’t think my parents would want me out so late,” Sumire said.
“Yeah, I don’t want to walk in and wake up my mom,” Ryuji added.
“I guess I’ll do it,” Ann said. “My parents just left for a business trip, so I’ll be fine.”
“When did they leave?” Ryuji asked.
“Just last night” Ann said. “And it’s only for about a week, but still.”
“Hey” Ryuji said, placing his hand on her shoulder. “If you need anything, you can always give me a call.”
Ann smiled. “Thanks.”
Ryuji let go. “So, is that everything?”
“I think so,” Ren said. “We’d need to meet up with Yusuke and Jose to finalize everything, but this is pretty much everything I could think of.”
“Well then, let's finish cleaning up,” Ann cheered. They continued to clean the area they were given.
“OK everyone!” Makoto called out. “It’s time for lunch. Please line up in an orderly fashion.”
As the students began to line up, the thieves managed to be first in line. Upon getting to their food, they were greeted with a surprise. “Dr. Maruki?” Sumire called out.
“Hi” he responded.
“What are you doing here?” Ann asked.
“I’m doing my part to help,” Maruki answered. “I, and some other students, spent all morning preparing lunch for you all.” Ren looked on and saw that most of the students helping Maruki were girls helplessly infatuated with him. Although to Ren’s surprise, she noticed one of the guys helping him was infatuated with him as well.
“You can cook?” Ryuji asked.
Maruki chortled. “It’s a skill you need to develop once you start living on your own. Although I’m not as good a cook as…” The thieves looked at him as he made no attempt to finish his sentence. “Well, anyway, enjoy your food.”
“Uhhh, not as good as who?” Ryuji asked.
“Don’t worry about it,” Maruki said. “For right now, just enjoy some food.”
“Uhhhhhhh, OK?” Ryuji said.
“Let’s not push it for now,” Ren whispered. She walked up to get some food. “Thank you, Dr. Maruki.”
“You’re quite welcome,” he replied.
The thieves took their lunch to a bench and began eating. “So, what do we do after lunch?” Ryuji asked.
“Well...” Ann pondered. “There’s not much we can do. We’d have to wait for Yusuke and Jose to be done with school before doing anything.”
“I suppose that’s true,” Ryuji said.
“We could stay here and clean,” Sumire said. “We’re allowed to do that after all. And… I dunno, I’ve been having fun.”
“Not a bad idea,” Morgana said.
“You’re just saying that because you don’t have to clean,” Ren noted.
“Hey! That’s not… entirely true” Morgana defended.
“So it’s partially true?” Ann questioned.
Morgana continued. “It’s a nice look. You were all called out by the principal, were you not? This might help improve your image.”
“I getcha,” Ren said. “Plus, it’s a nice deterrent. People might not think we're the menacing Phantom Thieves if we’re among the few who stick around on a cleaning day.”
“...I guess” Ryuji relented.
“Were you not having a good time, Ryuji-senpai?” Sumire asked.
“Not entirely…” Ryuji said. “But I guess hanging out with you all has been fun in its own way.”
“Well, it sounds like we have a plan,” Ren said. “Let’s finish lunch and continue cleaning.” The others cheered, and they continued eating.
After they were done, They messaged Yusuke and Jose about meeting up, then they spent the rest of what would be their school day cleaning up some more. However, since most of the other students and staff were gone, they were a bit more free to just have fun at times. Once they got a reply from Yusuke, the group headed out.
They met up at the access hall. “So, are we ready to make a move?” Yusuke asked.
“Almost” Ren said. “We need to go over a few things first.” Ren explained to Jose and Yusuke what she and the others had discussed.
“I see…” Yusuke said. “Well, as much as I would love to write such a calling card, Madarame would recognize my prose immediately.”
“Oh” Ren said.
“Hey, why don’t I write it, and you can punch it up a little?” Ryuji offered.
Yusuke smirked. “What a marvelous idea.”
“Um, where?” Jose asked. The thieves looked around.
“I guess this place isn’t really conducive for writing, huh” Ren lamented.
“Condu-whu?” Ryuji wondered.
“It’s not a good place to write,” Sumire said.
“Oh. Why didn’t you say so?” Ryuji asked.
“She did,” Morgana replied.
“May I suggest that beef bowl place you took me to Ryuji?” Yusuke asked. “I’ve been wanting to go again.”
“Do they allow cats?” Ann asked, looking at Morgana.
“I don’t think so,” Ryuji said.
Yusuke looked sad. “Perhaps another day.”
“The diner on Central Street it is then!” Jose said.
“Would it look suspicious if we kept going there though?” Ryuji asked.
“Not really,” Jose pointed out. “I’ve seen groups of people going there daily. It wouldn’t seem odd in the slightest.”
“It is kind of a popular place,” Ann added.
“And thei cuisine is excellent” Yusuke said.
Ren smiled. “I guess being a place that’s welcoming has it’s advantages. Let’s go.” The group proceeded to make way to the diner.
While Ryuji was drafting the calling card, Ann took out something from her bag. “Hey Yusuke.” Yusuke looked at her. Ann slipped him a piece of paper. “Could you perhaps redesign our logo?” Yusuke looked at the piece of paper. “I designed it when we sent our calling card to Kamoshida… but I think it needs a bit of touching up.”
Yusuke looked it over. “Just to confirm,” he began, “what is this a picture of?”
“It’s a thief peering through a top hat,” Ann explained.
Yusuke looked at the image again. “That’s what I thought.” Yusuke continued to look. “Ah! I think I have something!” He sketched something. He showed the rest of the group. “What do you think?”
They all looked at it. “I like it,” Jose said.
“Me too!” Ann exclaimed. “It had the spirit of the original, but there’s something fierce that wasn’t there before.”
“It looks really cool, Yusuke-senpai!” Sumire chimed in.
“You did a really good job,” Ren said.
“Thank you,” Yusuke said. “Although I would like to thank Ann for her guidance.”
“Aww, you’re too kind,” Ann said.
“You could say that again,” Ryuji said.
“What was that?!” Ann snarled.
“N-nothing!” Ryuji whimpered. “Good job Yusuke, good job.”
“That’s what I thought,” Ann said.
“You’re doing excellent as chief artist for the Phantom Thieves” Morgana said.
“Why does Yusuke get to be chief artist?” Jose asked. “I’m an artist too.”
“Well, uh…” Morgana panicked.
“You can both be chief artist” Ren offered.
“Huh. OK” Jose smiled.
“What a splendid solution,” Yusuke said.
“That worked?” Ryuji said. “Anyways, I think I have the calling card written out.” He handed it to Yusuke. “What do you think?”
“Hm” Yusuke said, observing it. “Question: How long have you and Ann known each other?”
“Since middle school” Ryuji answered.
“But we were pretty close,” Ann said. “Wait, why are you asking that?”
“I’m getting a similar feeling looking over both your logo and Ryuji’s calling card” Yusuke said.
“Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense” Ann said.
“I’ll see what I can do,” Yusuke said. He took some time, but he rewrote Ryuji’s calling card. “There. A nice combination of mine and Ryuji’s work.”
“Wait” Ryuji called out. “Should it go through a few more people to hide your voice?”
“I think this is fine enough,” Yusuke said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ryuji asked.
“It means your style and his clash a lot” Ann giggled.
“Um, didn’t he say that Ryuji’s card reminded him of your drawing?” Jose asked.
“Yeah, and-” Ann answered. “Hey!”
“My apologies,” Yusuke said. “It’s just… very different from what I’m used to.”
“We do go to Kosei,” Jose said. “The people there are top notch artists.”
Ann kept her glare for a bit. She dropped it to say “Well, in that case, I’ll forgive you.”
“Yeah. What she said” Ryuji tagged on.
“Well, it seems like we’re pretty much set,” Ren said. “All that’s left to do is drop it off.”
“I’m ready!” Ann said.
“A whole evening with Lady Ann” Morgana said, grinning ear to ear.
“Before you go, I have a question,” Ren said. “Is it not possible for Jose to do it?” They all looked at her. “I just don’t want him feeling left out.”
Jose smiled. “It’s OK. I’m fine with being more of an observer for now. And I can’t go. The dorms have a fairly strict nighttime policy. You can go out, but you have to sign out and state your reason.
“Yeah, I guess I can see where that’d be a problem,” Ryuji said. “You can’t just say ‘delivering Phantom Thief calling card’, otherwise they’ll get you.”
They looked at Ryuji confused. “I was thinking more ‘this outing corresponds to witness accounts and security data’” Jose explained.
“Oh” Ryuji said, embarrassed. “That too, I suppose…”
“Ryuji…” Ann said, facepalming.
“Alright then” Ren said. “I’ll message you once the coast is clear Ann.” Ann nodded. “Are we all set then? Tomorrow’s our only shot at getting Madarame’s treasure. Failure is not an option.” They all nodded. “Let’s get a good night’s rest, and bring the storm tomorrow.”
They all began to leave. Morgana slid between Ren’s bag and Ann’s. Ann took the calling card with the new logo and headed off, while everyone else returned home.
While in LeBlanc, Ren was working on some schoolwork when she and Sojiro heard the door open. They looked up, and sure enough it was Kosuke carrying a canvas. “Hi,” he said. He set the canvas down in the booth across from Ren. “What do you think? I call it ‘Portrait of a Girl in Love’.”
Ren was absolutely stunned. “It’s...amazing,” she said.
“Heh heh” Kosuke giggled. “I’m glad you like it. It’s been a while since I got to paint something like that. It felt really good to do. Thank you for being such a wonderful subject.”
Ren smiled. “Thank you for painting such a beautiful painting.”
As Kosuke was about to leave, Sojiro called out. “Wait!” Kosuke stopped. Sojiro threw down a wad of cash on the counter. “Here.”
Kosuke walked over. “What’s this?”
“Heh. Don’t think I’m letting you leave without paying you for that painting” Sojiro told him.
“Oh, it’s fine,” Kosuke said.
“I insist,” Sojiro said.
Kosuke looked at Sojiro, and then the money. “Well, if you insist.” He took the money. “Thank you.” He left.
Sojiro looked at Ren and the painting. “It really is a nice painting.” Ren nodded. “Were you planning on paying him for it?”
Ren was taken back a little. “Well, I ran into him this morning and he said he would give it to me or free after I asked about it.”
“I see,” Sojiro said. “What a wonderfully peculiar man.”
Ren smiled. “I agree.”
“Well, I’m gonna call it here,” Sojiro said. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight” Ren called out. Sojiro left. Ren messaged Ann. Ann and Morgana had just finished, and started to head over to LeBlanc. Ren changed into her pajamas and hung up her painting in her room while she was waiting.
She got the arrival message from Ann, and went down to meet her to pick up Morgana. “How’d it go?” Ren asked.
“It went purr-fectly” Morgana said.
“Ugh” Ann said. “I was nervous the entire time. But it went well, so that’s good.”
Ren nodded. “Thanks.”
“No problem!” Ann said. “I should be heading home now. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight” Ren said.
“Goodnight Lady Ann” Morgana called out. Ren carried Morgana up to her room and plopped the both of them on the bed. Ren got under the covers, while Morgana curled up, and the two fell asleep almost instantly.
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@teardownheaven TELL THE PEOPLE WHY MAL WOULD BE A BITCHIN' WARLOCK, HENRY
It is incredibly important going into this post that I make clear one thing - Maledos is a thief, and a Liar, and at his best you will never know he’s done either. He is a prime example of the ‘then let me be evil’ trope, even if not a particularly extravagant one. Having been told that he will amount to nothing but trouble for those around him from the time he was little more than a toddler, he reached a breaking point at the ripe old age of twelve with regards to just how much shit he was willing to take from other people without giving some back.
He is a devotee of Mask, The Shadowlord, Master of All Thieves. While he is not a zealot of the sorts that would make a good cleric, he views every successful heist as an act of worship to his god. In fact, Maledos views pickpocketing in much the same way that someone who worships a good aligned god may see the distribution of alms - as a little act of worship, something that you do both because you can, and you should, but also because it’s something that his god would approve of.
The shadows are his home, and he thrives among their comfort and safety more than he does anywhere else. He views his his natural talent for theft, for everything from snagging sweet rolls to grand heists, as a gift from Mask, and he intends not to waste it.
Which is why, should Mask approach him with an offer, an offer for power and favor in return for acts of service.... He wouldn’t hesitate. It would never even cross his mind to turn it down. Mask is not a good god, but Maledos is not a good person, and he would be the perfect candidate for a celestial warlock who’s patron was none other than The Shadowlord himself.
Cress’ Underated Book trilogy Recs that no one asked for
1. The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Statement: Teenagers learn how to break the law after a 200 year old girl who seems to be the key to saving the universe, stows away on their ship.
Read this book if you like: Space fic, Sci fi, chaotic idiots, spaceships, teenagers being bi and doing crime
2. Arc of Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Statement: Utopia? as if such things exist.
This book is a dystopian set about 2000 years in the future about a world that has overcome death, disease and a benevolent AI keeps things running smoothly, there’s just the issue of the scythes.
So thought provoking and very carefully written, can be a bit plot driven
Just read it ok
Read if you like: Futuristic, dystopian, ‘utopia more like u-nope-ia’, rivals to lovers, plot twists-so many plot twists
3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Statement: NOT ‘the other six of crows!”
This book is so overlooked because it's similar to Six of Crows but it is honestly so good, the author writes beautifully and the characters are well thought out.
About a group of thieves of different ethnics, sexualities and skill sets are given a job to steal an Babel Fragment.
Read if you like: Heists, History, morally grey characters, magic, pinning, be gay do crimes
Feel free to contact me with questions/comments/the start of what could be a very stupid discussion!!
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WIP Wednesday! I really need to start numbering these...
More Misguided Wingman! We are in the final stretch ladies gents and miscellaneous like myself! Enjoy this excerpt from chapter 6, hopefully snagging a piece that I’ve just added rather than one further back will push me to be a smidge more productive. Cause y’all. I’m this close. I’m going bananas. I may actually have this out by May like I wanted. I’m so excited.
As per usual I am untagged and not gonna tag anyone (except @moodypear so you don’t miss it, but if you wanna share then definitely do that too) and I’m putting the bulk of this under a cut so my writing tag is less of a slog to get through.
He tucked his phone back into his pocket as he and the rest of the Phantom Thieves made their way into the gift shop. Jason had recommended it the night before on the merits of being close enough to the usual tourist hotspots to have a nice selection, but far enough away from the hotel that they wouldn’t be fighting nearly as many other students for the good stuff. In retrospect, Akira probably should have questioned why a local would know so much about gift shops, but why think twice when Ono had been right about the hotel shop being jam packed with students from Shujin and Kosei? And yeah, maybe it wasn’t that weird to know the stores around one’s usual hangout spots, but at the same time he probably couldn’t point a tourist to a gift shop in Tokyo with a gun to his head. That was beside the point, though.
The point was, Akira was having a difficult time focusing on the plans Ryuji and Yusuke were making about gift selection with a very familiar smirk and head of blond curls peeking around a nearby sunglasses rack. Jason clearly thought he was being slick as he pretended to adjust and tidy up stock. Although, judging by the nametag, he may have only been half pretending. Akira forced his attention back to his friends as Ann and Makoto broke off in one direction and Ryuji pulled him and Yusuke into something resembling a team huddle.
“We’ve come all the way to Hawaii, so I think it’d be best for our gifts to focus on impact rather than taste.” Yusuke had found himself caught up in Ryuji’s energy, the two of them laying out a plan with the same seriousness that went into a Palace heist. Akira only half-registered the words because Ono had chosen that moment to lean around the display he’d been “rearranging” and wink at him. Akira scowled back. Maybe that was a little harsh, it wasn’t as though it was Ono’s fault Akira had woken up with a pit of regret in his stomach--nevermind, he was actually starting to understand why Ryuji was inexplicably irritated by the guy after the last too-cocky flirtatious look he’d shot the Thief.
“Mmhm, well said.” Ryuji nodded seriously, oblivious to the exchange. “In that case, let’s see about findin’ something we wouldn’t necessarily buy ourselves, but we’d be happy to get as a gift.” It was definitely a good plan. If only Akira had been able to focus on it rather than the heat rising to his cheeks. He nodded halfheartedly at Ryuji’s addition, hoping for a little more in the way of a proper game plan. Unfortunately his fellow Phantom Thieves considered those two points enough to work off of and broke abruptly off from the huddle to start scouring the shelves. Which left him alone in the middle of the shop with no friends as a buffer. Akira pivoted on his heel and walked in the direction opposite the sunglasses rack, feeling dark eyes on his back the entire time. He ducked behind a shelf full of... something, not actually paying attention to anything but the distance between him and his ill-advised fling.
Irrational as it was, the guilt from the day before had come back in full force and then some, made even worse by Jason’s appearance. It was part of why he’d been so determined to make sure Ryuji was alright; equal parts concern for his best friend’s wellbeing, and need to assuage the feeling like Akira had ignored his texts while out cheating on him. He knew it was ridiculous, especially considering he was very much not in a relationship with Ryuji and, again, he was the one who set Akira up on the date in the first place. Still, his too-small hiding spot was not a place for logic, it was a place for him and… butter coffee, apparently. Weird. He straightened up from where he’d been hunched behind the unusual snacks to survey the shop and get a bead on Ono. Unfortunately, he seemed to have disappeared into thin air--
--Or maybe he’d just walked up behind Akira. Really, what was it with him and murmuring right against Akira’s ear? Jason was lucky that the phantom thief wasn’t prone to flailing when he was startled, at least not in the real world, otherwise he’d have caught an elbow in the face at that point. Possibly more than once. Akira still startled hard enough to send several items cascading off the shelves, leaving both him and Ono scrambling to pick up the mess.
“You really need to be more aware of a guy’s personal bubble,” Akira finally responded, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
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Pavo, Phoenix and Puppis!!!!
Thank you for the ask anon! ^_^
Pavo - Where do you get inspiration from?
Oh good gods, everywhere.
Sometimes it’s a random line in a song that will spark an idea in my brain. Sometimes it’s a prompt online. Sometimes I’ll see or hear something when I’m out of the house that sparks an idea. Sometimes it’s a random factoid. Sometimes it’s a film, or a tv show, or book where I’ll be like; “Hmmm, I love this premise, but I would have done it differently...” and then I end up redeveloping a whole idea.
Sometimes it’s talking with friends or family and I’ll start randomly philosophising and end up with a character living rent-free in my brain at the end of the discussion.
For Stolen, my initial inspiration was the random thought “What if a complete amateur managed to break into a thieves guild, successfully steal the guild masters heist plans, get out unnoticed, and then try to sell them back to him the following day?”
One of my other projects began by asking myself; “What if ‘demons’ are just souls that have been tortured in the underworld for too long?”
and a third project began when I wanted to dabble in sci-fi, so I took the “rules” I’d written for a fantasy bounty hunters guild, and shoved them into a futuristic space setting to see what would happen.
Phoenix - How do you develop your ideas?
Whatever my initial spark of inspiration, a story or plot usually forms for me around a “What if?” question.
So, using Stolen as my primary example, I started with;
What if a complete amateur managed to break into a thieves guild, successfully steal the guild masters heist plans, get out unnoticed, and then try to sell them back to him the following day?
That was interesting to me because there are so many questions surrounding this situation. Why would an amateur take a risk like that? How would the guild master react?
So I have a lot of plot bunny “What if?” questions that float around my brain, but the ones that make me ask more questions are usually the ones that stick. At that point, my next step in developing the idea is to create the characters.
The characters are the backbone of my writing because if I can’t make you care about the characters, then you’re not going to care about my plot. I can write the most epic and engaging plot in the world, but if you are viewing it through the eyes of my characters so if you don’t care about them the plot is useless.
So I start there. A “What if?” question that makes me ask more questions, and then character development. Once I have both of those I work backwards to figure out the motivations of the characters. Once I have the characters' motivations, I’ve usually got the beginnings of a plot because a plot is just how your characters react and respond to a situation.
Then I figure out an end game. How do I want the story to end?
Now I have the beginning, the inciting incidence, and at least the first pinch point, and the grand finale, I just have to figure out the climax of the story, but by now I usually have enough threads that I can tie it all together once I’ve tossed in some side characters and their subplots.
Then I lay it out in bullet point format, and start writing. I don’t give myself concrete outlines, I find that stifles my ability to write, so I just make sure I have a list of guidelines, and how I get to each of those waymarks is my story.
Puppis - Give us a piece of advice! (about anything)
@noire-pandora tagging you too! I’ve not got to your ask in my inbox yet, but I know this one was included in there too <3
If any of you reading this are in any of my discord with me, then you will have heard this piece of advice before but it’s really my best piece of advice, whether you’re writing fanfiction or memoirs or an original novel.
Write For Yourself.
(This also applies to any creative project. Do it for you, not anyone else)
Ignore the numbers on your likes, kudos’, reblogs, or reviews. It’s lovely to have them, of course it is, but don’t start counting points because that’s not what your creative project is about.
Write what you want to write. Write what you enjoy reading. Write what you enjoy writing. Write the tough stuff. Write the hard to see stuff. Write the stuff that makes you cry or breaks your heart. Write it because you want to see it written.
If you are invested in your work, and if you love your work, and if it’s enough for you to simply see it exist then it’s impossible to fail. It really is. You either love it and then you’ve succeeded because you’ve created something you love, or you don’t love it and you’ve succeeded because you’ve learnt something about the project in the process of creating it.
If you try to judge the value of your writing on other people’s opinions then it’s always going to hurt because you can't please everyone. It’s an impossible task.
If other people like your work, that’s fantastic and wonderful, but consider it a bonus, and not your be-all-end-all reason to create. You, and your work, is worth more than other people subjective evaluation.
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Tagged By: @smilepal
(Vic is in a relationship with @smilepal s Hiro and Johnny who survives and gets a body, and they are happily living together, because fuck cannon 😂)
Layer 01: The Outside
-Name: Victory (Vic, V mostly, only her dad called her victory) Devin
-Eye Color: Brown
-Hair Style/Color: Blue green curly hair, that's always up in a bun or a braid. She has the sides shaved until after The Heist. She lets it grow out to hide the bullet scar on her temple. She didn't really notice it herself, but it made the boys sad. Sometimes she will rarely have her hair down at home.
-Clothing Style: Functional and comfortable clothing, reinforced with armor weave. Mostly wears browns, greens and blacks because she's used to blending into the badlands.
-Best Physical Feature: In her opinion? Her lean muscles/control over her body. In mine? Tall lady please step on me.
Layer 02: The Inside
-Fears: Failing her family again. Dying alone. Needles. Dogs. Loss of control of her body (bondage, drugs etc.).
-Guilty Pleasures: Explosives. They're so imprecise and generally not conducive to her fighting style but damn they're pretty. And actually physical books. Its not worth the extra money but ooo they smell so good.
-Biggest Pet-peeves: Hiro and Johnny taking hour long showers/leaving all the lights on. Improper gun/knife stance/holding. Food thieves.
hthr th door-Ambitions for the Future: For her found family to all be happy, safe and healthy.
Layer 03: Thoughts
-First thought waking up: Its not really a thought, but just taking in the soft emotion of being safe in a warm bed with her boys nearby. And then immediately "what's for breakfast" 😂
-What they think about most: Escape/fight plans. Food. Her partners.
-What they think about right before bed: Whether the door is locked and the alarms set. Then about the people she meet and interacted with throughout the day, mostly little things, like how she should fix the old lady down the halls A/C tomorrow or how she should bring Hiro to see Vik tomorrow about the slight twitch in his cyberware.
-What they think their good quality is: V see's herself as the protector/soldier since that was her role in her old clan before coming to NC. So she would probably say that her best quality is her fighting and battle planning abilities.
Layer 04: Either Or
-Single or group dates: Since V has two partners, group dates. Though its hard to call them 'dates', since its usually V tricking her two emotionally constipated boys into a nice day out that they only realize is a date when they get home.
-To be loved or respected: Loved. Vic is a soft soul. She wants to be loved. If you don't respect her she doesn't care at all unless you physically attack her.
-Beauty or Brains: Brains. Vic isn't materialistic or vain at all.
-Dogs or Cats: If she has to choose between the two, cats. She's started getting used to them since moving in with Hiro, but she didn't have any interactions with them before. Their aren't many cats in the badlands and if you do run into one he's probably a feral bastard. She's actively afraid of dogs, as she's been attacked by them before.
Layer 05: Do They...
-Lie?: Rarely. And when she does she's awful at it.
-Believe in themselves?: Mostly yes. Vic is pretty secure in who she is and what she can do. However she's had a rough couple of years in a row, and they've made her question herself a bit.
-Believe in love?: Yes. V believes in familial, platonic and sexual love. She falls in love easily and is very open about her love and tells her loved ones that she loves them often. Scared the crap out of Jackie when she told him she loved him. She didn't explain she meant platonically 😂
-Want someone?: Yes, previously and currently. She has an ex gf, Merrill, from her nomad years, and has been holding a torch/eventually dates her roommate Hiro Oda and Johnny Silverhand.
-Been on stage?: Maybe once or twice she's dragged onstage by an enthusiastic Kerry or Johnny, but she hates it. She doesn't like people paying that much attention to her. She's a sniper for gods sake, she's used to quietly sitting in a corner unnoticed.
-Done drugs?: Not really. Has smoked weed occasionally with her sister as a teen, but that's it. She has a crippling fear of needles so its a literal fight to even get her to take an airhypo. Johnny usually ends up holding her down while Hiro injects 😂
-Changed who they were to fit in?: No. V is charismatic and just so fucking oblivious to social roles? rules? that she wouldn't even think of the need to change herself. Her nomad clan was a mishmash of a complete clusterfuck of personalities so she never really would get the idea of different being bad. She's also just generally awful at lying/faking 😂😅
-Favorite Color: Green, like the bright luscious plant green. It was a rare color in the desert.
-Favorite Animal: Hawks. It was her old family's nickname for her, and she loved to watch them soar above them while they drive across the desert.
-Favorite Book: Watership Down. Vic loves the classics and often stays home reading while the boys go out clubbing. Watership Down is her favorite because it's about protecting clan, vicious battles and cute bunnies.
-Favorite Game: The 'pretend you don't see or understand Hiro/Johnny's blatant sexual come ons/flirting until they snap' game
-Day their next birthday will be: She'll be 29 some point in November. Unsure in the exact date.
-How old they will be: 29
Layer 09: I...
-I Love: Food. Her Rifle. Her Knives. Hiro. Johnny. Viper. Michael. Vik. Misty. Panam. Judy. Mitch. Their cats. The wind in my hair. Barry. The food cart guy outside their apartment. Delamain. Oh that chinese place down the street- I'm just going to cut her off there.
-I Feel: Happy. Content. (Guilty. A failure.)
-I Hide: From needles. Hiro and Johnny are always trying to stop her from eating 'perfectly safe' food. So she hides that from them. Her sadness. Her nightmares.
-I Miss: Viper, Michael and Jackie. My clan before we joined Snake Nation. Not living in any fixed place. It was nice not being tied down to one place.
-I Wish: that I never have to find a new family again.
There you go @smilepal I finally finished 😂 you only tagged me three days ago.
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Sorry I Took So Long- i fucking love heist au's so i am very excited to learn more about this one
Funny story, Museum Heist is actually the ship name for the young justice (show) Ot3 Dick Grayson/Wally West/Artemis Crock. Because their names make Rob-Wall-Art which equals a museum heist.
That being said, you've suddenly inspired me to write a heist/thieves au (just imagine... Museum Heist pulling a museum heist!). I'll add it to my list :-)
The actual story of the fic I'm writing though is based off the soulmate au idea that your soulmark is the first words you hear your soulmate say to you when they fall in love with you. I find this version really interesting, and more meaningful than just when you first meet.
In this, Wally and Artemis find out they're soulmates pretty early on, and are aware they have a 'Third'. Dick, on the other hand, doesn't know. Due to the design of his mark, he thinks he just has one soulmate. The story goes through their early years with subtle pining ultimately focuses on the end, where it's revealed they're all soulmates.
Now here's a snippet!
“Do you think he hates me?” Wally muttered out the question, not really searching for an answer. But Artemis gave him one anyway.
“No. This is Dick we’re talking about, he doesn’t hate you, you idiot.”
Wally nodded, accepting the words. He saw one of the younger guys almost land a hit to Dick’s shoulder blades, and then see the former Boy Wonder sweep gracefully around, curling out of the way.
“Do you think he still loves me?”
This question gave Artemis pause. She was silent for a long time, so long, in fact, that Wally was worried she’d never never answer.
But then he heard her sigh a little bit, and stretch out in her seat. “Yes,” she said, “Yes I do. He’s… not the kind of person to just let go or fall out of love. Besides, have you seen yourself with him? You two are thick as thieves - so close. There’s no way he doesn’t still love you.”
Wally smiled at her, and took her hand in his. “Thanks, Arty.”
“That’s what I’m here for.”
They both looked back towards the training area to find that Dick was staring at them. Well, really Artemis. The emotions on his face were indecipherable.
Then, Dick’s eyes met his own, and Wally stopped breathing. They maintained eye contact for what seemed like an eternity, not daring to look away. Then, Wally realised what Dick seemed to be conveying: apprehension. Maybe a hint of fear? It shocked him that Dick would look like that. To think that Wally had been stressing about what Dick would think of him and not that Dick was worried about his own opinion.
Wally glanced at Artemis, who was still looking at the acrobat, and then back at his best friend.
Dick bit his lip.
Then Wally smiled. A soft, lopsided kind that was barely there. But it was there. And Dick saw.
He looked away, but not before Wally could spot the tiniest quirk of lips in return.
pick a fic from the this list and send me an ask about it
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The Gilded Poppy Meets Marinette
First of all, I hit 1000 followers last night! Thank you all so much, this is so cool. If there is anything special y’all want me to do for 1000 followers, let me know.
This is an idea that I saw and talked about with @anastasian-dreamer and @musicfeedsmysoul12 and I loved it so much. I just had to write it out! I will write another one where the Poppy helps to defeat Hawkmoth. Find it here. I hope you all like it!
Nikolai and Remy had met the Dupain-Chengs not long after they met each other. They were only 15 and had not yet mastered being thieves. They needed food and they decided to try stealing from a popular local bakery. The plan was for Remy to talk to the bakers and distract them, while Nikolai grabbed some bread. The plan, however didn’t work at all. Sabine caught Nikolai the instant he touched the bread. But instead of getting mad and calling the police, Sabine gave them the bread with a smile. Sabine could tell they were living on the streets when they came in and since the bakery was doing well, Sabine didn’t see the harm in giving the boys free food. The boys thanked them and left the bakery with their stomachs full.
That wasn’t the last time they went to Tom and Sabine’s bakery. They often went there and the couple always gave them free food. They grew close with the family and one day met their daughter Marinette. The boys were in the bakery, talking to the couple as they ate when a young girl, who couldn’t have been older than six, came into the room. The little girl looked at the teen boys and with a big smile on her face, asked her mother, “Mama, are they the ones you give all the bread to? Can they come play with me?” Sabine looked at the little girl with a kind smile, “If they want to Marinette.” That is how Remy and Nikolai found themselves being led into the most pink bedroom they had ever seen, with a plate full of fresh cookies and one very excited six year old. As they played with Marinette, the two boys agreed to make sure no harm ever came to this little girl and her parents, and to make sure to pay them back for their kindness.
Years went by, and the Gilded Poppy was now a well known group of thieves made up of six people. Despite being busy with their heists, Remy and Nikolai always made a point to visit their favorite bakery every time they were in Paris. The rest of the Gilded Poppy often came with them and had also grown to care for the Dupain-Cheng family. Remy and Nikolai acted as older brothers for Marinette and the rest of the Poppy were like the crazy aunts and uncles of their weird family. Jett, Remy, and Zoe often got up to crazy schemes (nothing illegal, but always funny) with Marinette, the four of them constantly laughing. Vivienne would talk to Marinette for hours about fashion and her latest designs. Remy and Nikolai had also started sending the family expensive gifts to pay back their kindness from all those years ago.
On one trip to the bakery, as they ate their food and talked with Tom and Sabine, the door to the bakery was flung open by Marinette, who rushed by and up to her room without a word, very clearly upset. Tom and Sabine just looked resigned at this point. They knew this was likely the work of that liar Lila Rossi, but there wasn’t much they had been able to do to help Marinette. They supported her as best they could at home, but they hadn’t made any progress with the school. When Nikolai asked what was wrong, they told the Poppy the whole story. Needless to say the Poppy was furious that some third rate con-woman had been making life hard for Marinette. And they were going to try there best to stop it right now.
For the next few days, they followed the liar around discreetly. They listened to all her lies and listened to the class falling for them. Any time that Lila lied and said Marinette was bullying her, the Poppy had a hard time not jumping in right then, but they knew they needed to wait for the right lie at the right moment. So they watched as the liar continued to lie about everything under the sun and the class isolate Marinette more and more. The only person that seemed to stand by her was Adrien Agreste. Other than that, all her other friends had abandoned her, and it made the Poppy furious. But they soon got their perfect moment to intervene.
Marinette was away at a doctor’s appointment and Lila was using the opportunity to come up with the most outlandish lies she could say, since the designer wasn’t there to mess anything up. She was telling the class about some of her ‘adventures in Italy’ when she came up with a new story. The Gilded Poppy was in the news a lot lately, so Lila claimed to have almost caught them once during a heist in Venice. She told the class she had risked her safety to safeguard a priceless painting and how the Poppy had threatened her, but she still did what she thought was right. Alya was looking at Lila with stars in her eyes. “Wow Lila! That is amazing. No wonder you are Ladybug’s best friend, you are already like a hero.” The class fawned over their friend’s ‘heroic deeds’ not knowing they were being listened to by a certain conman.
Remy couldn’t believe the idiocy of this liar and the class. He and Nikolai really needed to convince Tom and Sabine to move Marinette out of this class. But that is a discussion for another time. For now, the liar had backed herself into a corner and Remy would be able to put an end to this madness. He quickly fell into character and approached the class. “Pardon me, but did I hear your story about the Gilded Poppy correctly?” Lila smiled at the stranger, always looking to charm and amaze the people she met. “Yes, it is true. If it wasn’t for me, they would have stolen that masterpiece.” Remy put on his most charming smile, making sure he sounded calm and happy. “That is amazing. I am a true crime author and am writing a book about the Gilded Poppy. I would love to include your story in my book. When did this happen? What were they trying to steal? And where were they stealing it? Tell me everything.” Remy knew the girl would take the bait. From what he could tell, this girl lied for attention and fame, so the offer to be in a book would be too good to resist. Remy smirked as Lila jumped into a story about how last August, the Poppy had tried to steal the famous Ginevra de’ Benci painting from the Museo Correr and ending her tale with how the Poppy had threatened to kill her for stopping them.
Lila had finished her story and expected this author to be as astonished and fooled as the class. But instead she was met with a confused look. Remy made sure he looked perfectly confused before innocently asking, “Young lady, what are you talking about? Please don’t waste my time with made up stories.” The class looked confused at the man in front of them, before Nino spoke up. “What do you mean sir? Lila isn’t lying.” Remy looked at the class with a practiced cool look. “I do not wish to be rude, but she is lying. I have several accounts, including witnesses, police reports, and news articles that put the Poppy in New York from last July to September. They weren’t in Venice. They also are notoriously non-violent. They wouldn’t threaten to kill you. Also, the painting you mentioned is famously held in the National Art Gallery in Washington D.C., not the Museo Correr in Venice. You can all look this up, it is common knowledge.” The class all pulled out their phones, trying to prove that their friend wasn’t lying. Trying to defend her against this author. But they couldn’t find anything. They saw that everything this author said was true. About the Poppy, about the painting, everything. They quickly turned to their friend, now realizing that she was a liar. They started yelling at her and the school courtyard dissolved into chaos. It was so chaotic that no one noticed that Remy had disappeared.
Things got a lot better for Marinette after that. Lila was exposed as the liar she is and the chaos of that day even drew Mr. Damocles out of his office. Once he found out what happened and the extent of Lila’s lies, Lila was expelled from school. The class did apologize to Marinette, but the friendships were already to damaged to be mended by a simple apology. Remy and Nikolai did end up convincing Tom and Sabine to switch Marinette out of that class. Now Marinette was in Mrs. Mendeleiev’s class and was much happier. She had made a bunch of new friends and the class had a lot less drama going on. The Poppy was just happy to see their dear Marinette happy again and was glad they could help her.
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Last week was Spring Break, and I used that time to watch many movies but finish up "Money Heist." It is a show I had wanted to watch for a long time, and I finally got around to it this year. It is a show that is right up my alley; after all, I am a sucker for a heist movie.
There are four parts(seasons) on Netflix, and a fifth and final has finished filming, but there is no release date just yet. The first two parts follow a group of thieves who rob the Royal Mint of Spain, and parts three and four follow them as they steal gold from the Bank of Spain.
I am going to go light on plot details to avoid spoilers as much as possible. The short version of the review is this: I really loved the first two parts. Parts three and four are not nearly as good, and the storytelling is not as tight, but I did enjoy them.
Let's look at the first two parts and talk about the good. The Professor (Álvaro Morte) recruits eight other criminals to help him pull off the greatest heist in history. The story is thrilling. The Professor is a brilliant man and plans for (almost) every eventuality. He knows the hostage negotiation playbook backward and forwards. Every time you think the gang will get caught, we find out that The Professor planned for that eventuality.
Those first two seasons are so great, and the storytelling is so tight. It reminded me of the first season of "Prison Break." Both shows start with the idea that there is an endpoint; there is a goal in mind. It was fun to watch the twists and turns of both shows.
Every season of "Prison Break" after season one, it got progressively worse. Once they got out of prison, the show suffered. While the later seasons/parts of "Money Heist" do not approach that level, they did come close. Things got more dramatic and complicated, and that made the overall storytelling suffer. I still enjoyed the show. The characters kept me engaged. Parts one and two make you care about them and root for them that I was able to look past the overly dramatic parts of the plot and not get caught up in the things that bothered me.
A fifth and final part is coming at some point after September 2021. I am excited to see how this story wraps up. The last episode leaves off in an exciting place with some wins for both sides. It will be interesting to see how things play out.
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I think about how easily things can be stolen. Pack of cigarettes on the table? Easy swipe. I don’t steal the things. But I notice how accessible they are. I also notice how trusting some people are with their things, and the untrusting protectiveness of others.
During adolescence I had to learn how to survive. And quickly. My parents divorced. My sister and I chose to stay with our father in our childhood home, custody was supposed to be shared, but we never saw mom by choice. All three of the remaining family in that house were children. My sister too young to really realize how drastic things had changed. My father old enough to, and chronically drunk in an angry rage. And me.
I got bored of Mac and cheese, ichiban noodles, and spaghetti and meat sauce. I watched food network. I stole twenty bucks from dad to buy corn dogs, slurpees and chips from 7-11. He didn’t notice. I was hungry. We needed groceries. We needed cloths and supplies for school throughout the year, not just in September. Asking him just made him more angry. The only thing I could get away with was asking to order delivery and rent a movie, and even that was on the condition of enough empty coors light cans.
It started first with a job. A&W. My best friend worked there. My dad promised to give me a ride when my friend couldn’t, which was most of the time. Quickly, reliance became a problem. I couldn’t get to work because my dad couldn’t leave his shop. I couldn’t get home because now he was drunk. But at least now I had money for corn dogs and some nice ingredients from the valley IGA. Some of my friends started getting their licences. My dad didn’t have the patience or time to teach me to drive. Him having the mechanic shop gave me access to the many vehicles he would park in the driveway. He’d hang the keys for the vehicles right in the kitchen. At first I would steal the vehicles while he was at work, go quickly shop, and then come home and meticulously put everything back. Later on when I was older and wanted to go places at night I would push the vehicles out of the gravel driveway after I had jumped or crawled out of a window..but then I got bolder when I realized that nine and a half times out of ten he’d be passed out cold on the couch and I’d start the things right there in the driveway but keep the lights off until I was coming out of the culdesac.
I needed more money eventually and my dad wouldn’t give if I asked. I should be grateful he used his RRSP’s as money towards the custody battle because my mom cleaned him out. I’d learned to watch how he was acting out of necessity and picked up a few things. He was superstitious. He believed in ghosts and the afterlife. He was untrusting of institutions, meaning he was probably hiding money in the house. I’m not sure if I concluded this myself or if he drunkenly had boasted to me that he was hiding money so my mother wouldn’t know about it. It didn’t take a genius to figure out all you had to do was look. My dad loved watching heist movies like The Italian Job and Oceans Eleven. I looked. I found in a jacket pocket in his closet his, now mine and our stash.
I know he must have suspected. My father is not an unintelligent man. He moved the stash once, into his gun cabinet. He also moved the gun cabinet keys frequently after a while. I always found them, even if after some delay. If he ever reads this, I hope he finds solace in the fact that no, he was not just drunk and that careless with his twenties, fifties and hundreds. I suspect he always knew that, couldn’t prove it, and had some guilt anyways so we never spoke about it. He never asked how weird pantry and fridge items or cloths would appear either, except the couple times he got phone calls from local business owners about us thieving, and one of those times was my sister and I had nothing to do with it. The other time I made her take the blame because I was the secret get away driver and we desperately needed to keep that a secret from him because I did not even have a learners license yet. I am sorry to the small business owners that I ripped off, I felt that I had to do what I had to do and I was an unsupervised teen but that isn’t an excuse.
I don’t know how no one in that small town never ever said anything to my dad (or my mom) about the two young girls driving around and buying cart fulls of groceries without an adult. I even almost got us t boned one time, coming out of the Safeway parking lot onto the highway. The people in the other vehicle saw my face at the red light coming into town, they knew and were customers of my father. I’m sure he never heard about this either.
I don’t steal anything now. I make a conscious effort not to. I think that’s why I notice the thoughts noticing the accessibility of things?
@fatexbound asked: (Inbox call) "RenRen, hey!" Ryuji called out as soon as he saw the other walking around the school and beamed at him. "You got any plans? Wanna come to the arcade with me and play some games?" He wasn't supposed to be wasting money like that, but it was only for a little while. No harm in that.
Ren looked up when his name was called, startled out of his thoughts and thankful for it. The more popular the Phantom Thieves got, the more his mind was occupied by their next heist, the public’s opinion of them, how his friends -- his team -- was doing before and after each trip into the Metaverse... He’d thought nothing of it when he agreed to be the leader back when it was just him, Ryuji, Morgana, and Ann, but now it was getting overwhelming. Leave it to Ryuji to snap him out of his funk, thankfully. He could afford to be a normal teenager for a few hours, right?
“Don’t tempt me with a good time,” Ren called back, walking over to Ryuji with a grin on his face. “All I planned to do was study, so I can be tempted to the arcade for a few hours. Just don’t tell Makoto -- I don’t need to be yelled at about slacking.”
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WE POPPIN OFF HOLY SHIT
so remember the screenshots from the crime boys au we made? me and @heretakesomeblue (with a lovely addition from @rebloglandfornerds in the end) made so so so so so much more
for people who are confused as what the fuck am i talking about: Lupin III inspired AU that just went wild and i love it, wilbur tommy and tubbo are wanted thieves named the crimeboys nobody knows their faces or their real names, they are masters at what they do, schlatt and quackity are cops, dadza is a streamer and a retired thief who taught the crime boys. Wilbur messes with e v e r y o n e
here comes a summary (under ze cut) cause there are too many screenshots to fit in and read:
okay let’s maybe start with Phil our lovely Phil and then progress the story because oh man a lot has happened since (i dont know where to start so i just go with the flow, i think in the end we gonna go to the backstories lmao)
- he was a master thief, never caught rn is a streamer
- wilbur calls him during heists, during escapes and he just,,,,talks about eating sand or anteaters, tommy screams in the backgroud its amazing, phone out of sight everything on speaker, tubbo plays with tnt, if you listen really really closely you can hear te jewels jumping down in their car, everyone thinks it’s sand and the boys just play along with the bit like chat suddenly hears ,,TUBBO NOT YOU TOO’’ in a hight pitched voice, then a crunch and then Wilbur says ,,SEE I TOLD YOU IT’S GOOD’’ or there is a boom on the background (tubbo lit a tnt:)) and they blame it on ikea shelves.
- chat loves them, they openly talk about being the crime boys (as said before they literally are named the crime boys on wanted posters) and they all say ,,wow kinnies’’ or phil says ,,listen i don’t control who these motherfuckers kin’’ nobody ever suspects anything
- the boys are fucking cryptic alright, they just say stuff that shouldn’t happen in their life. Wilbur especially and Tubbo he is the tnt chaos child here
- wilbur learned embroidery and made Phil an amazingly ugly sign saying lie laugh crime and dadza proudly hung it on the wall so stream could see (pretty much like hanging your childs drawing on fridge)
- momza is a crime mom okay, her and Phil did not meet on twicth they met doing crime >:)
- technoblade as a thief is a lone wolf, he is Wilburs twin (not biological but they had a bday on the same day and wil just decided yes twin, we’re gonna get to backstories later) he doesnt work with the main boys cause of different goals, the boys just steal and he wants to like sabotage goverments. Also he lives far away and stays far away because he is worried that people who are after him will get his family too. he wears a pig mask while doing his crimes, the boys frequently borrow his weapons (he has a whole collection)
- haha technoblade is also a streamer here :))) goes by the same name as the thief and everyone just passes it as ,,ooo kinnies’’ again.
- when it comes to stremers ranboo is one of them, he is just a normal dude who tubbo bothers, but we get to him later
let’s go to quackity because that’s where the story progresses I think
- so quackity is a cop working with schlatt to catch the boys and they always escape them
- wilbur at some point decides to bother the living shit out of quackity, it starts in finding the guy in like random places like coffeshops, bus stops and stuff, he is always in disguise (to make it funnier he just changes his hair and nobody notices) and just talking with him (to be fair he enjoys big Qs presence, that’s why he bothers him, in this au wilbur bothers the living shit out of everyone he cares about) and we agreed that nobody knows his name and the crime boys always go by something like super ridiculous like ,,BIG MAN’’ or ,,WIFE HAVER’’ or ,,BIG CRIME’’ or even BIG LAW, also fish fucker. Thats a frequent one. and sand jesus came in once. as well as just crime boy, first name crime last boy. anyway everytime he’s about to leave he introduces himself with a new fucked up name. Quackity takes a moment to process and when he realies that motherfucker is the thief Wilbur is already gone.
- sometimes he doesn’t introduce himself and does a perfect show of just being a normal guy or a local, then he yoinks quackitys stuff, its almost always business phones he has a collection (like the stolen photos room, he has a dark wardrobe with fucking phones). he calls schlatt with them. not only. He starts calling quackity too. It’s really fucking funny. He just casually calls him during stealing stuff or heists. The first time it happened Quackity freaked out, his own number is calling him what the fuck. is it a blackmail? while the dude picks up and is just like ,,eyup quackity, big man, big q, what’s up?’’
,,what do you want’’
,,nothin much hows your day going?’’
and while calling he does the most abstract think like taking well protected jewels out of their glass case and after a while of just casually talking you hear Wilbur go
,,OOH I GOT IT’’
* alarm goes off *
,,oh no wait-” and then just ,,well anyway what did you have for dinner?’’
,,hey bog Q hows your job?”
Quackity, chasing them in a car after another heist ,,WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN HOWS MY JOB”
sometimes quacity calls one of his missing business phones and wilbur always picks up, super casual. where he keeps the phones actually? nobody knows.
- wilbur has insanely big pockets, everything is there, even tubbo sometimes.
- he pretty much bullies quackity to self care by asking that, bog q has a stressing job he doesn’t eat much and he always gets embarrassed when he has to tell Wilbur what he had for dinner and its nothing so he starts making himself better dinners and yea <3 them
- also really funny thing, they live like next street to each other, nearly everyday they ride the same bus, and wilbur is not in disguise, they talk sometimes, quackity never notices until schlatt catches them once (tommy and wilbur to be exact) and he just stares and like ,,oh my god you are the bus guy’’ and ilbur laughs to tears. Quackity is in shock thus doesn’t notice the tubbo with an axe behind them who just fucking,,,,knocks schlatt out and runs with his brothers. Quackity was too in shock to chase them.
- tubbo is a wild card, he is pure chaos, ppl underestimate him but he is the secret weapon. Tommy is insanely good at lockpicking.
- anyway back to big Q. Because of the phone calls all the time he actually becomes friends with Wilbur, they have fun, he talks with tommy sometimes (Tommy caught him undercover as Mexican Dream once) he just grows fond of the boys, and when they always escape them he just laughs, it’s kinda fun, they don’t do any actual harm just steal from millionaires and other rich motherfuckers, no one gets hurt.
- because of that he gets fired. at first he struggles with rent and the crime boys secretly help him out, upon asked they always deny it.
- then quackity just,,,also becomes a streamer, and joins phil, having no idea of any connections and at some point they chillin and wilbur fucking, wilbur just fucking joins and like ,,hey dad:)))’’ and quackity freezes. tommy and tubbo are there too. and philza is just ,,hey sons’’. they can hear police sirens in the background. Techno joins too like ,,oh hey dad, hey wilbur’’ and Quackity almost screams. he also met the thief Technoblade before, getting scared to death and well, he recognizes the voice :))))
- it takes him so much time to get used to this, also this is when he learns wilburs real name and after so many ,,fish fucker’’ or ,,sand jesus’’ or any weird other name wilbur had this just sees so mundane. He is surprised with Tommys name as well. And Tubbo he just ,,well at least Tubbo is somewhat original’’ ad they reply with ,,oh no thats a nickname too’’ but never tell him what it stands for. Tubbo is just Tubbo. but at some point he gets used to this and even helps them from home with crime stuff. and learning philza is a retired thief was a shock.
now now okay time for some plot thingies.
- after quackity left in his place incomes Dream. The Dream smp Dream. This guy tends to go overboard and every coworker felt weird vibes from him but no evidence (dont worry wilbur lies in this one and its not that much angst, no stuck in prison nothing like that, but warning: we talk about shooting in a moment)
- so dream now works with schlatt and he is,,,,,he is idk y’know that vibe. He is there to kill or to just make them suffer. (remember that the crime boys stole from dream many times) And in one heist when they run Wilbur gets separated and shot, not deadly but shot. The boys find him by hearing a gunshot and run (tubbo knows how to drive, Wilbur taught him just in case and Tommy knows how to change gears he did it many times when wilbur was driving and had one hand full) Tubbo calls Philza, Phil is streaming and he asks him for help but cant explain everything yet this is the most serious he ever talked. Quackity and Technoblade are in the call too and all of them collectively end stream and go help them out.
- Wilbur heals from the wound slowly but he does, and also quackity is isiting him for the first time in his life.
- now something important to mention: they live in a shitty small apartment, they have only things that they need, wilbur still sleeps in their old camarvan that was their first car that helped them out in crimes (its too old and ran down now to use it, they got the old car that phil used in his crime tho, invincible). Tubbo and Tommy sleep on one big bed cause brothers. Big Q is really surprised by this, shouldn’t they have a giant home? a lot of money? Well they don’t steal for themselves, they used to steal for a living and now they steal for their loved ones to have easy life, for people not to end up like they did when they were kids, to give others a better life. (i promise the backstories will come in a moment jkjsdiw) i think that this screenshot of what my friend wrote explains it perfectly:
now back to plot :)))
- during Wilburs healing Tommy and Tubbo try doing a heist alone, to prove that they can or just because they couldnt stay home this long. Thats when something like the finale fro s2 happens, he goes overboard, much much overboard. Even Schlatt is like ,,dude thats a little too much don’t you think?’’
finally the other cops decide to arrest Dream, they let Tubbo and Tommy go. Or they run away.
- During Wilburs helaing even Schlatt gets worried and almost cries seeing him alive.
NOW TO RANBOO OMG THAT IS GOING TO BE LONG AF HOLY SHIT
-Ranboo is just a normal dude. Just a streamer streaming minecraft woth Phil.
-Tubbo bothers him a whole whole lot and let me tell you he is cryptic af. He like sometimes slips in parts of his life that nobody realistically should lie through. Ranboo just doesn’t ask. like he joins and
Tubbo:,,hey sexy, I just defused a bomb’’
Ranboo:i-in-in in a video game?
- Wilbur ad Tommy do too (tommy jelous arc) and well they all are cryptiiic. Philza is sometimes scary too, like ranboo asks him once about how to get rid of blood from a nosebleed that got on a t-shirt and he gives him very detaiked instructions.
one day Tubbo joins just like ,,we’re doing a family roadtrip wanna join?’’
ranboo: wait reall-
tubbo: we’re doing a heist >:]
ranboo: oh of course of course.
he doesnt believe him but he joins anyway. They are actually doing a heist. Ranboo freaks out upon learning that technoblade is actually the thief technoblade, quackity is there too as he now is part of the family. And they are actually family and he thought they are just,,,,roleplaying as streamers. Momza is there too. First heist after Wilbur fully heals. Ranboo enjoys it a lot actually. Him and Tommy bond over how impressive Ranboo found his lockpicking skills impressive. Wilbur adopts Ranboo into the brother circle. He shows him how to crime :)))) it’s fun. He now has a crime family that cares for him very much.
now this aint the end yet lmao, you thought. We have somehow included a l’manburg boom in it but made it funny.
- wilbur when he sees a button he h a s to press it. Once it was connected to sth, he had no idea. He blew up a whole newly build neighborhood. Nobody was there yet, nobody died but also nobody knew why was there tnt under it in the first place. That started a big investigation inolving schlatt and * drum rolls * DETECTIVE JACK MANIFOLD. The crime boys help from the shadows because they are interested as well and because Wilbur made it his goal to steal Jacks’ glasses while he’s awake. We probably will expand on that some day so yes,,,,there will be much more reading.
NOW TO THE BACKSTORIES
imma just post screenshots this is long enough XDDD
jesus i made that so long. That’s all for today of the crime boys.
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