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#god this ended up a lot longer than I intended it to
adobe-outdesign · 23 days ago
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Reviews of All Scrapped Spaceword Betas
Exactly what it says in the title. This is also for my reference, as I might redesign some of these later for funsies. 
I’m only including Pokemon that were 100% scrapped (we’re not here to argue what might have become what) and aren’t evos/pre-evos of existing Pokemon. Also, I’m using the English fan-translations for the names because I don’t speak Japanese.
Flambear/Volbear/Dynabear
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Our original fire starter, and yeah, I can see why this was scrapped. For starters (heh), it looks more like a rodent that evolves into a lion than anything resembling a bear. And secondly... it doesn’t really have a clear focus, nor a memorable design. It’s just kind of a rodent-bear thing with flames tacked onto it. 
The best Pokes usually have a "catch” to them, and these guys lack that. For example, this got replaced by Cyndaquil, which has the concept of flaming spikes that form out of its back. That’s memorable. This, well, isn’t.
Possible reason for being scrapped: Lack of focus/interesting design
Pokes to fill the void: Teddiursa and Ursaring are probably the closest in terms of being bears. Something about it also reminds me of Growlithe/Arcanine, probably because it’s a fluffy fire thing that evolves into a bigger fluffy fire thing with a mane and black markings.
Cruz/Aqua/Aquaria
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This has the same problem as the Flambear line, just less extreme. It’s okay, being a little plesiosaur that evolves into a bigger plesiosaur, but it also lacks an interesting catch to it. The pearls are maybe something, but they’re not really emphasized, just kind of tacked on. Plus Dragonair kind of has the crystal neck ornaments on lock. And the horn. And the underbelly. And the water theme...
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Whoops.
I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to a plesiosaur water starter in the future, but it would probably have to be completely redesigned.
Possible reason for being scrapped: Lack of focus/interesting design; too similar to Dragonair
Pokes to fill the void: Dragonair, as mentioned above. If you want a plesiosaur, Lapras is always a thing.
Putting the rest under the cut for length.
Sunmola1/Anchorage/Grotess
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This is one of the most chaotic beta evolutions out there, aside from beta Girafarig. I can see the resemblance between Sunmola1 and Anchorage to some extent--counter-shaded blue fish with two fins and a short body--but the anchor part of the evolution comes out of nowhere. Then it sporadically turns into a gulper eel, which has nothing to do with the previous two evolutions at all.
I’ve heard some people suggest that Sunmola1 basically gets dragged into the depths and turns into a deep-sea creature due to its anchor, which is a fantastic idea. However, if that’s what they were going for here it’s not really clear, and I think it could be executed much better.
Individually, Sumola1 is a little plain. Not terrible, but I think they could do something more interesting with the little head thing. Anchorage is memorable, but there’s something very un-Pokemonish about it. I think it’s just the fact that it’s basically cut in half--I keep expecting the backsprite to show its organs or something. Grotess is also a bit too plain.
It’s also worth noting that at some point, this was the evolutionary line, which is more consistent but much less interesting (save for the middle evo’s eyes, which are pretty great).
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Possible reason for being scrapped: Lack of evolutionary consistency; some designs plain or not very fitting for Pokemon
Pokes to fill the void: Alomomola is a sunfish Pokemon. Sharpedo is a shark crossed with an object, and Grotess almost certainly became Huntail and Gorebyss.
Rinring/Bellboyant
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These two... are pretty good. They have a simple catch--black cats with bells--and the designs are nicely executed and memorable.
If I had one complaint, it’s that they maybe seems a tad unfocused in the backend of things. They’re dark types, but have a bunch of “cutesy” moves, and it’s not clear why’d they be dark apart from being black cats. They seem to have a magical girl vibe (Bellboyant looks a bit like Luna from Sailor Moon, which is probably not a coincidence), which also has nothing to do with the bells or the dark theme. I do think that the designs themselves are fine though, and that if you just focused on the sound concept a hair more you’d have a pretty great Pokemon.
Possible reason for being scrapped: Not entirely sure, these definitely would’ve been popular. Might’ve just been a balancing thing, or it lost the dev popularity contest. 
Pokes to fill the void: Skitty kind of has the same vibe as Rinring. They also remind me a bit of the Meowth line, being cat Pokemon with metal attached to them. The Purrloin line takes over the “dark-type cat” aspect.
Bomseel
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I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, it’s a very plain looking Pokemon. The idea of it balancing a fireball/bomb on its nose instead of a ball is clever and memorable enough... except that it’s dependent on it being on that pose. It can’t balance that 24/7, and once it stops all you’re left with is a plain sea lion with dark points.
However, it’s fire/water. The only fire/water we have right now is a legendary, so it would be sweet to have one that’s just a regular poke. So it’s not that the concept itself is bad, using a water-based animal and adding a fire type; it’s just more that the execution is lackluster. Give this guy a hook not related to the fireball and make the seal itself more interesting and I think you’d have something here.
Possible reason for being scrapped: Lack of interesting design
Pokes to fill the void: Volcanion is our only fire/water Pokemon for now. In terms of seals/sea lions with a circus theme, Popplio is a decent enough match.
Tigrette/Electiger
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Someone at Gamefreak hates tigerballs, because this line was planned for Gen 1, scrapped, then planned for Gen 2 and scrapped again. Which is strange, because while it’s not the best design it’s not bad either. It’s very very cute, and could definitely find an audience.
However, I’m not really sure what the premise is here. If it’s based on tiger clay bells, then it doesn’t really play into the bell theme much at all. And if it’s not... why is it so round? It’s not that the roundness is bad, but it would usually form the hook for this Pokemon, like it collects static electricity in its fur that makes it puff out or something. Maybe some dex descriptions would’ve made this clearer, who knows.
Also, Electiger is literally the exact same design as Tigrette, just bigger. It would either need a completely new final evolution or would need to show up as a single evo. 
While that sounds harsh, I do really like this design. Fix the evo, figure out/build on the hook of it being round or bell like, and maybe refine the markings a touch and it would be pretty perfect.
Possible reason for being scrapped: Not sure. Might’ve been too similar to Pikachu (both being yellow round electric type Pokemon with zig-zag tails, and og fat Pikachu was also very round). The need to rework the evolution also might’ve turned GameFreak off of it.
Pokes to fill the void: Spheal and Rowlet are both pleasantly round. Pikachu is cute and electric themed in a similar way. In terms of tigers, Raikou is also electric-type. The exact way the stripes are done here is also very similar to Litten.
Kurstraw/Pangshi
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GameFreak. GameFreak, you are telling me that we almost had a voodoo-doll Pokemon based off of Ushi-no-Toki-Mairi that evolves into a fucking jiangshi panda?? You are killing me here.
A few interesting things to note here:
Kurstraw evolves at level 1. How? Why? No idea. It could just be a placeholder, but...
The fact that Kurstraw was set to have Curse as its signature move (then called “nail”) and that it only learned this move at level 100 makes it evolving at level 1 seem intentional.
To make things more confusing, it almost seems like (and this is speculation on my part) GameFreak’s intention was to encourage players to not evolve this thing. Stats are comparable, Kurstraw only gets its signature move if you level it up to where it can’t evolve, and Kurstraw has the better moveset (getting frigging destiny bond at lv. 16, while Pangshi gets... splash (which. makes more sense when you consider it’s called “hop” in Japan but it’s still useless). If that was what they were aiming for, then that’s a really unique mechanic that would really make this poke stand out.
Design wise, Kurstraw is... well, it’s a doll with a nail rammed through it. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not very Pokemon-ish. Meanwhile, Pangshi is maybe a little too much like a Jianshi rather than being reminiscent of one, right down to the little hat. The pose, fangs, and panda colors (which resemble Jiangshi mandarin robes) are more than enough to get the hook across.
What I really love about these two are the expressions. They are just like, so dissonantly happy. Kurstraw is literally like
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and Pangshi has the dead-eyed thousand-yard stare of Espurr, except unlike Espurr it looks completely and utter deranged. It looks like if this Pokemon ended up in Mystery Dungeon, it would respond to every question with “my favorite color is blood”. Amazing.
Possible reason for being scrapped: I think these two might’ve been scrapped just because they were too scary. I mean, it’s a voodoo doll impaled on a giant nail that evolves into a literal actual corpse. The implied violence was probably just a bit much for GameFreak.
The reason I think this is, beside the fact that they have fairly solid designs, good hooks, and all of their stats and moves in place, most beta Pokemon have had their premises revisited at some point. But we’ve really never gotten a voodoo doll Pokemon since this, and we definitely haven’t gotten any jiangshi Pokemon either, which suggests the problem lied in the very concept rather than the execution.
Pokes to fill the void: People say that Kurstraw was reworked into Banette, but if anyone Pokemon resembles it to be, it would actually be Mimikyu. They both have cloth bodies with drawn-on smiley faces that resemble something cuter than them and they both want to curse you for existing.
For Pangshi... well, there’s Pancham if you’re looking for tiny pandas. If you’re after a jiangshi though, you’re out of luck.
Wolfman/Warwolf
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This Pokemon has a great hook. I mean, a Pokemon that wears a pelt that transforms it into a werewolf? Hell yeah. Not to mention it might be a reference to an obscure Nordic tale about people donning wolf pelts to turn into wolves for ten days.
Design wise, it... well, Wolfman looks almost exactly like Venonat. I’m not the only one who sees this, right?
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That aside, I think the idea could be played up a little more. Wolfman is fine, save for its Venonat-ishness, but Warwolf doesn’t do much for me, basically just being a larger version with claws and fangs. If the idea is that it turns into a werewolf by wearing the pelt, what if its evolution looked somewhat like a wolf? Or better yet, the actually body of the thing changes to fill the wolf skin more, so it looks like its a part of it? That would really elevate this Pokemon to a new level.
Possible reason for being scrapped: I’d guess that it’s the same problem as Kurstraw and Pangshi--too scary. I mean, that is a dead pelt of some kind, which means that it killed and skinned some kind of Pokemon, and that’s not getting into questions of what Pokemon they got that from.
It’s also worth noting that when we did finally get a werewolf Pokemon via Lycanroc, it was minus the pelt concept.
Pokes to fill the void: Lycanroc as our werewolf Pokemon. In terms of design, Venonat is very similar as noted above. And something about it really reminds me of Snorunt, being little critters with glowing eyes that wear a cloak of some kind and live in the cold (this line was ice-type).
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rustic-oak-mori · 3 days ago
HOMOEROTIC SPARRING?? PLEASE?? DOESNT HAVE TO BE NSFW BUT PLEASE I BREATHE FOR THIS KINDA THING
(Oh god oh god oh god oh god this shit is my fucking weakness, anon honey you are a blessing bestie. Ended up a lot longer than intended but I hope it makes up for the wait)
Sparring with Anna
Warning: j u i c y sexual tension (and mentions of hypothetical violence) so minors please dni <3
What the fuck were you thinking?
Ask Anna to spar with you, you thought. You’ll learn some self defence, Anna will feel better knowing you’re a bit safer when you’re alone. Win-win, right?
Right...?
The sheer size of your opponent, however, was something you completely glossed over in your head. Anna, your two-metre-tall, deliciously buff lover. Even with her refusing to land a hit on you, there was absolutely no way you could have possibly came out on top. She was, to put it bluntly, an immovable object.
But this revelation had yet to dawn upon you. The two of you - well, Anna - moved the living room furniture to the side, clearing a large space for your combat training. You changed into something comfortable and easy to move in and met Anna back at your makeshift ‘arena’. She smiled softly, kissing you on the forehead. Wrinkling your nose, you grumbled, “No making me go all soft. I need to be alert.”
She chuckled, holding her hands up, adhering to your wish. “Let’s get on with sparring, then. What did you want to learn?”
Ah, you hadn’t thought this through, either. You sort of just assumed things would play out how they did in the movies, punches and grabs being thrown out without prior discussion. Genius. Biting your lip in concentration, you pondered the potential scenarios in which some self defence would be life saving.
“Oh! I know,” you began. Anna’s head cocked to the side in curiosity. “What about if some creep tried to grab me, like off the street or something?”
She nodded her head and gestured for you to stand in the middle of the clearing. You obeyed, tapping your foot anxiously as Anna positioned herself behind you. Frowning, she gently pressed her lips to your hair. “I would never hurt you, милашка. No need for worry,” she reassured you, only pulling back when you audibly sighed away your nerves.
“Okay, сука would grab from behind, to scare.” She wraps her right arm around your front, in front of your bust, locking your upper arms in place. “He stop you from screaming—” she covers your mouth with her other palm, “—and lift you off ground.” Without any sign of exertion, Anna lifted you up ever so slightly, leaving you on tip-toes struggling to stay grounded.
“First, bite his hand. Hard.” You kissed her palm instead, evoking a hearty laugh. She dropped her hand, muttering under her breath, “Like baby kitten...” You rolled your eyes.
“Then you scream. Now, you need your arms free. Look at his arms. If he’s scrawny, throw him off balance. Hook leg under his kneecap, put all weight into kicking it out. You both fall back but he takes impact. He will panic, let go. Then stomp head in.” Your eyes widened and you twisted your neck to look at Anna. She furrowed her eyebrows at your confusion. “Or just...run?” That sounded far less bloody.
“But if he’s huge?”
“Kick shin. Hard.” You gently knocked your heel against her leg. “Hard,” she reiterated.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” you explained.
“You cannot hurt me, ангел,” she whispered back. Closing your eyes, you put your weight into your leg and gave her a semi-genuine kick. “Better,” she said, a proud smile in her voice. “Now, his grip will get weak. You will slip down. Stomp his foot, use free arms to reach up and grab his ears. Twist head until he lets go. Then once you are free, get in a hit and run when he is distracted.” You nodded.
Anna went to loosen her grip around you but paused. “Promise me you try?” You hesitantly agreed, taking a deep breath, focusing everything on following her instructions.
“Okay. I count down, да? Three...two...one...”
Her firm hold slipped and your feet collided with the floor. Grunting, you slammed your foot down onto Anna’s, wincing upon hearing the pained breath she let out. No. You promised her you’d try your best. She bent down to allow you to grip onto her ears, her appreciating that she is significantly taller than the average person, and you pulled her head down, attempting to twist clockwise. When she let go completely, you swivelled around and aim for her face, fully intending to stop the punch before it connected.
But you didn’t get to. Anna caught your fist with tigress reflexes, bending your arm in a way that forced you to twist sideways. Using your imbalance to her advantage, she swept your feet from beneath you and pinned you to the floor, her other hand cradling the back of your head so you didn’t hurt yourself.
Wow.
You lay under her, breathless, hands stapled to the floor above your head in her iron grasp. There was no point in struggling; you had seen this woman carry an elk over her shoulder like a sack of flour. All you could do was catch your breath, allow your eyes to trail up her thick forearms, hulking biceps, broad shoulders...
“First mistake. Do not punch his face, he sees it coming.” You swallowed and nodded slowly, sucking in a breath upon noticing her lips hovering barely half a foot above your throat. God, this woman would be the death of you.
Head still spinning, you mumble, “I still think I came out on top.”
Anna quirked her brow, confused. “You are under me, love,” she said, even more perplexed when you hummed in agreement, eyes never leaving her lips.
Then it clicked.
Smirking, Anna mused, “What happened to ‘I need to be alert’?” The way the scar on her lip curved into the smirk made your mouth dry.
Smugly, she dipped down and pressed a criminally hot kiss to the hollow of your throat. Your mind went blank.
While you stuttered, she stood up and pulled you to your feet. “Wh— You can’t just—” you stammered, blushing furiously.
“Try again. This time, flatten hand and jab throat, kick him where it hurts and run.” You gulped, still dazed from her heated outburst.
Flatten, jab, kick, run.
Flatten, jab, kick, run.
Flatten, jab, ogle as Anna’s bicep threatened to rip the fabric of her shirt as she flexed it, knowing exactly what it would do to you, why had she decided to wear a short sleeved button-up today...and then, uh, something about running?
Utterly distracted, you went for the jab, surprisingly on the mark. But Anna ducked, manoeuvred behind you, grabbed your other arm and pinned it to your back. Before you knew it you were against the wall, cheek smushed against the logs, your other hand flat against the wood to cushion the impact.
Indignantly, you stuttered, “That’s cheating! You told me what to do and then -  stopped me from doing the - thing.”
“Lesson two: fight dirty.” She laughed lowly as you told her to go fuck herself. Once again wedged between the burly Russian and a surface, you relaxed against the wall - as much as you could with her breath fanning the back of your neck. Anna released her grasp on your arm, chuckling as you let gravity do the work in bringing it back to your side, reminding her of a ragdoll. Her now free hand trailed your spine, path extending further when your breath hitched, finally resting on the curve of your behind.
“Anna?”
“Hmm...” A thumb tilted your head up and she pushed her weight into you, smiling wickedly at the strangled sound you relinquished, your chest now flush against the wall.
“Bed?” You internally pleaded that she’d use her brute strength to ruin you beneath the sheets, but didn’t trust your mouth to articulate more than single words with how fried your brain was.
Anna hummed pensively. “What’s wrong with the wall?” And as her hand slipped into your clothing, you found yourself torn, wanting to be rewarded for your efforts to beat her, but also wanting her to make you regret cursing at her moments ago.
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zed-36 · 4 days ago
@ 18: the questions weren't actually that strict! you could interpret them however you liked :) that said, im curious what you would add to the story? i love reading ur ideas and interpretations of the characters n stuff!
oh no prob, i did enjoy thinking of what i could change without adding anything new (i will talk too much if i dont contain myself) BUT since you have asked...
ill share these ideas as a general change to the series as a whole (WR and Acceleracers- also i will call Acceleracers AC for short if i need to).
There is a lot i feel needs to change- but two major points are lore (and direction of it in the story) and characters.
The lore of the series is all weird due to what changed between WR and AC, but its also too surface level. its for kids, its probably why its not so expansive. but it does leave a lot of confusion to me and while i would have to spend much more time to fully “rebuild” the world, i will give some ideas on what i would see changed.
One, at least making it make sense all the way through. i think Acceleracers had the best ideas but it shouldve been expanded on in WR- WR barely touched on actual Acceleron lore. Overall i would like to see the Accelerons 100% remade from the ground up. i LOVE aliens and alien society but i feel all we know of them is they race. and thats its. and sadly AC wasnt seen through to where we may have seen a bit more. but they need to be redone, with lore also point to exactly why the drones woke up when they did, what their drive is, etc. Why is Gelorum the way she is too, very important lor aside from characters. I wouldnt want the series to become a huge Lore Dump but there are moments where they intended to drop lore and they just. dont really do that, at least not well. Imagining the series with more extensive lore would obviously see it being longer than what it is, which i think makes sense. in the end if i was to properly write out all lore it would be a huge rebuild of 1) the Accelerons as an alien society, in depth 2) the full origins of the Drones/Gelorums (how they ended up where they did, what makes them how they are now and 3) a more cohesive plotting of events that would lead to lore revealed. also developing what “Scrim” and “clyp” were, along with the actual depth of Silencerz and how far back they go has been on my mind a lot. scrim and clyp just vanish from lore but in my headcanon backstory for Gelorum, i mention how those things existed too. if anyone has more specific questions on lore tho i can answer those individually! its just a lot to go over lol.
The characters though, oh god where do i start. not gonna touch on every individual (feel free to ask about someone and how i would rewrite them/change them), but theres a lot i would want to see different.
Theres some good ideas in the series that are just not explored much, or the actions dont feel like they have impacts. And many characters have literally zero backstory to go off of... Everyone needs at least some kinda origin in mind, doesnt have to be said but knowing where they come from is one key detail that i think is nice to drop some times. characters referncing locations, where they went, etc... its little but its good to have. In the WR comics, most of these characters do have origins! but theyre completely forgotten in the movies it seems. it would have been cool it WR tied together some of these ‘really good drivers’ and maybe they were in the same races together or something. there are 35 people and none of them seem to know each other at least not in detail- other than Vert and Alec who are clearly friends. Kurt Wylde was written to have done some “illegal” modifications in a race, what is someone there knew him? what if it brought up tension/suspicions? Things like that, its all part of where they come from and its a shame the movies just dont connect them very well.
I think theres some specific characters i will give examples to ‘rewrtiting’ and most of it is AC focused!
Kurt & Markie..... i love them, really do! but after WR i just did not like where they went. i get it, kinda ironic for Markie to become such an opposite. buuuut it was a bit much to me. first off, i would actually expand on the “crime” and that would 100% change the outcome of the two. the period between WR and AC shouldve gone different and in turn, i think wouldve changed up MM and Teku completely! i want to imagine Kurt is trying to get away from bad habits after WR but, perhaps has a really good deal with someone who had also gotten him into illegal car part business in the past. he is tempted and ropes Markie in with the idea they could do so more secretly but are caught, and while Markie is nervous and young he spills all the beans, but none of that evidence goes to Kurt and he stays silent, managing to get out of it. However instead of Kurt going to Teku and Markie going to MM.... Kurt tries to join Teku in the idea of joining a less rowdy gang, but Vert believes full Kurt let his brother take all the blame- so they dont allow him in. He goes for MM, which takes him easily but this team’s energy really doesnt help him. In turn, Markie leaves jail and Vert is swift to allow Markie into Teku because theyre friends! and it helps keep Markie in a better place, not wanting to get back into bad stuff. The important thing is tho, this switch up wouldnt result in super harcore, asshole Kurt. i feel like instead, he would be in an awkward place of wanting to improve himself but MM’s rebellious attitude coaxes him into worse attitudes. AND... very much an oppurtunity for Gelorum to manipulate him once more, as the accelechargers are much more important to acquire, with multiple, we’d loop back again. in the end though! i could imagine the story would still bring in the same scenario- Markie gets taken by drones, Kurt saves him, they rekindle and Kurt also comes to realize he shouldnt give in to the ways he used to practice.
i think for AC, in order to find more interest in the characters,  a switch up with the teams would be neat. Markie and Kur swapping was always on my mind, but i have thought about Teku!Taro. I think it would’ve been cool to throw in an background guy from WR into MM... like Harrison Lau. some more familiar faces would bring interesting dyanmics considering their backgrounds. and it think it wouldve fleshed out the teams a bit more in places they lacked.
Another thing i think is clear is there is lots of unexplored potential. Like dyanmics i express with Markie, characters like Lani, Karma, Tork, etc... oh there is so much i would add for them. Karma has a weird thing with being mentioned to look like Gelorum, and her prefectionism too but it was never touched on. What if it caused conflict? What if it made her question their morals? Or with Tork- i would honestly just rewrite how he tackles Tone’s death and the resolution, that whole thing in movie was weird and messy and made no sense to me imo. Lanu had something going for her but she felt so disconnected from the WR characters in AC, which is a shame! oh there are so many to go over lol. i hope to tackle some of these loose ends in the fics i have in mind but yeah... there is so much to say about changing these characters!!
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blindthewind · 10 days ago
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[ID: Photo of a blue and purple tent in the middle of a field, underneath a star-filled sky. There’s a bright star standing out on the right-hand side of the image. The interior of the tent is lit up. Next to the tent are the words, “BLINDTHEWIND - camp nano april” in a serif font.]
BLINDTHEWIND — weekly NaNo update
We're rounding the corner in the last leg of Camp NaNo, and I am almost there. I need less than 10k to meet my goal, and if I go at the rate I'm going, that means I'll likely hit that goal with either one or two days to spare. Moreover, as I've mentioned in an earlier post, I've outlined the remainder of The Arcadia, and ... I had two and a half chapters left as of that post.
I now have a chapter and a half.
Honestly, it's nice to finish a second novel (probably novel at this point, tbh—I'd need to check) this month. It's nice to finish a second something, but in this case, it feels like I'm finally closing the book (no pun intended) on my last blog. As much as I liked working on The Arcadia at first, it's also hard to work on for ... a lot of reasons. Some of them are personal (it mirrors a time in my life I miss a lot), some of them are dramatic (the people who supported it the most are not people I talk to now), and some of it has to do with skill (I see it as a project that doesn't accurately represent my preferred genres or abilities—something that became painfully apparent the longer I'd heard from others about it). While I might go back to it and try to revise it at some point, I'm definitely looking forward to completing it and moving on to another project.
Speaking of, if I have any other words left in this month (that is, if I finish The Arcadia before I hit my 50k word goal), I'll put together the challenge. I ... am actually kinda doing that as we speak anyway, because it's cool to cheat a little with Camp NaNo.
Alternatively: Speaking of my next project, there's also something fun under the cut for folks who might be aware that there's been a third WIP intro on this blog for months. As in, Anima test scene, bby. (Listen, I just really want to write sci-fi/fantasy at this point, not even gonna lie.) Scroll down to the end of the post to check it out.
A lot went down this week, in other words.
CURRENT NANO WORD COUNT: 41691
EXCERPTS: [read more below—hit permalink if you’re on my blog]
I grab her plate and stand up. “Sure. And Nancy?”
“Yes?”
“You come here every other day, right?”
She nods. “At two on the dot.”
I nod in return. “I might pick up a few afternoon shifts, just as a heads-up.”
“As a heads-up,” she repeats. “Of course.”
“And I’ll be sure the dark roast’s good and hot for you.”
She cracks a grin, and this time, she looks younger. “Of course.”
I take a few steps away from her table, pause, and turn back to her. “You know … you remind me of someone too.”
Nancy raises her mug. “If you’re about to say yourself, God help you.”
[I did two and a half chapters this week, so I'm only doing excerpts from each chapter, rather than focusing on them. But Nancy is an interesting character, as I've said last week. Always meant to be in the story, but here, she comes and goes. On the other hand, she also plays a pretty key role in Etaoin's character development, because sometimes, you just need to be told from somebody very much like you that you're making a shitton of mistakes and that maybe you should fix them.]
---
“Hey, um, weird question,” I say. “Nancy said this place is basically a gay bar, and everyone here’s queer. If it’s not too personal … are you…?”
Thea looks at me blankly. “Everyone here is queer?”
“Ah,” I say, dolefully. “You’re straight.”
[This comes at the end of a heart-to-heart with Thea, yet this is also all you're getting because the heart-to-heart is serious. I'd say that it's like that one scene in Clerks where Dante and Randall just duke it out, but it's really not. It's more like, "Hey, I know you're going through a lot; you don't have to talk about it, but if you wanted to, we can set up some kind of official thing for it." Because surprise, Thea has been training to go into social work this entire time, and that's why she's been worried about Etaoin.
Anyway, you're getting this instead because for the first time, Etaoin is kinda talking to Thea like a human being.
Speaking of...]
---
I exhale, as if I’d just caught up to him across three city blocks, and one of my hands worms up to rub the back of my neck, right where my apron has been wearing away at my skin for the past ten hours. “You didn’t put her up to that, did you?” I ask.
“No, of course not.”
I shoot up. “I’m not accusing you of anything or … anything.”
“Didn’t think you were,” Russell says. “But if you had, I wouldn’t blame you. But no, kid. I didn’t even know she was thinking about offering anything to you. I just figured you needed to talk to someone, and Thea’s training to be a social worker. Put two and two together, no pun intended.”
I turn my head just slightly, just enough to look at him out of the side of my eye. “You knew about her?”
“‘Course I did,” he says. “Just like I knew Bailey wanted to talk to you, or how Sandra felt about you, or that Nancy would’ve done what she did. It doesn’t take a genius. Just takes paying attention now and then. Anyway, speaking of, don’t take Sandra’s opinion too personally, and don’t get put off by Bailey’s whole deal. Bailey’s a bleeding heart who would help anyone at the drop of a hat, and Sandra … I’m not so sure that bitch has got a heart.”
“Hey, hey! Sandra’s got a heart. If you pay her,” Duncan says softly.
You know … Nancy’s right. It’s weird I hadn’t noticed beforehand. But underneath all that banter those two go through, underneath all that swearing and back and forth and threats against each other’s lives, there’s something soft at the edges of the way Duncan looks at Russell, a purring to his words, a smoothness in his gestures. And Russell? That hard expression comes with a twinkle in his eyes, a quirk in the corners of his mouth beneath that bushy ginger beard. He stands with his chest sticking out, and every threat to throw Duncan on his face carries this weird, playful lilt.
These two are about two steps from fucking, and I feel like an idiot for not noticing about five months ago.
[Russell doesn't really get as much opportunity for characterization as I was hoping he'd have, sadly. If I ever rewrite this, I might combine Bailey's character and his, though I really do like the idea of this gruff, fatherly, actual bear presiding almost silently over the café. If anything, I might add more of an emphasis on that.]
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“I don’t believe this.” Grace slung her bag over her shoulder and backed towards the door. “Actually, wait, I do. Nico was never there before, so why would I bother expecting him to be here now? Listen, I don’t know what your name is or whatever you are, but don’t follow me, okay? Don’t protect me, don’t go after me—just stay here and leave me alone. I’ll take care of myself, just like always.”
When she left, she slammed the door behind her. The sound shocked Vee to their feet, and it stormed forward, ready to go after her.
“Wait! Grace!” it called.
Relax, Vee, Nico said. This is just what human teenagers do. They have a fit over things, but then they calm down enough to realize what they’re doing is stupid. She’ll be back. Just give her a couple of hours.
Vee reached the door and rested one of their hands on it. It exhaled, slowly, through their nostrils, eyelids fluttering shut.
“Nico,” it said, slowly, “do you know what else is out there?”
Nico didn’t respond. Vee wasn’t sure whether or not that meant he knew, but it really wanted to believe he did. Nico was smart, supposedly.
But still. There was a silence at all, and that made Vee slow down its voice, draw out every word, make sure each syllable pounded deep into the only thing of Nico it couldn’t control.
“We have been sending units to this planet for the past several years,” it said. “There are thousands of us, all over this planet. Thousands of soldiers like me out there, already coupled with hosts, looking for other bodies to recruit. And that would be the best case scenario for your sister if one of us finds her. The worst case … she would be a candidate for clearing.”
It was a euphemism, for sure, but Vee didn’t quite have the words for it. Nico did, though. Clearing meant everything not infected got cleared out. Cleaned up for a potential battle. Killed.
Vee felt Nico recoil in their head, and satisfied, it opened their eyes.
“So if you want my advice,” it said, clean up this mess, before it turns into another one.
The world around Nico swam and swayed the second he was pitched from the back of their head to the front. He stumbled and grasped onto the door handle to steady himself, the heel of one hand pressed onto his eye.
“Vee,” he moaned, “warn me before you do that.”
An electric current ran down their spine, and Nico gasped and stiffened, head tilted back until his wide eyes fixed on the ceiling.
Stop complaining, it said. And go.
And just like that, it released, and Nico swung open the door. He coughed and rubbed the back of his neck and, sluggishly, stumbled into the cold of the night.
Grace was nowhere to be found.
[owo what's this?
No, but seriously, Anima test scene. To explain, whenever I'm planning WIPs, I like to write test scenes to get a feel for how I'm going to like writing it. For The Arcadia, that was actually Nancy's introduction (to Thea, back when the story was told in third person past—which is why it went through such a dramatic shift early on), then the conversation about Katharine Hepburn's brownies (which is the style I'd eventually settled on). For Always the Bridesmaid, it was its actual, first scene. And for Anima, it's this. I make no guarantees that it will ever actually be used, but at the very least, you get to see these characters and their interactions before I start posting about them in earnest.
Just a couple of side notes:
1. Not indending this because my blog's theme breaks italics whenever you post a blockquote. I really need to change themes, tbh.
2. The pronouns are intentional. When referring to Vee in a physical sense, what I'm actually doing is referring to Vee and Nico's shared body, so those are literally plural pronouns. Vee's actual pronouns are it/its.
3. I had this lengthy Thing about these three characters and their personalities (and how they differ from the fanfiction version of them, as this is a ten-year-old fanfic with the serial numbers filed off), but because this post is already hella long, the best I can offer is to point you to my writing Discord, where that went down: https://discord.gg/wKdptffzJ6 (Not to advertise, but also, the Discord is where I'll probably be talking a bit more at length about Anima in the lead-up to the planning phases of this WIP.)
But yes. Definitely looking forward to getting started on Anima, at long last.]
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TAGLIST: (send an ask to be added/removed to any of these!)
General: @atbwrites @sereniatta @girl-like-substance @slam-dunkrai @leadhelmetcosmonaut @fourteenzero @avian-writes @veiliza @ladywithalamp @lunewell
Camp NaNo: @drippingmoon
The Arcadia: @tuoyu @write-the-stars-and-shadows @dynadratina @ayzrules @chazzawrites
Anima: @alexsidereus @odysseywritings @illustrious-rocket @mouwwie @kittensartswriting
18 notes · View notes
popculturebuffet · 13 days ago
Text
Scottrospective: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together! or Days of Summer
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Hello all you happy scottaholics! Welcome back to those of you who’ve read the rest of this retrospective and welcome to those of you just joining us. This is the Scottrospective, my look at all 6 volumes of Scott Pilgrim, the game and the movie. It’s all the video game refrenes, slice of life story telling and boob punches you can handle!
It’s been three months since I left off with “The Infinite Sadness” , and while I intended to cover this one for Valentine’s Day, my schedule got away from me and with March being full up, this ended taking till April
I”m not too put off by it though as the hiatus between these two reviews is fitting for this one both in story and out. In story there’s a couple month time skip between books, while out.. this book got delayed a few times.  
This is notable to me at least because this was the first volume of the series I bought when it came out. As i’ve brought up before I came into the series via the Free Comic Book Day Issue and the second and third volumes, picking one up later. I still have my original copies despite no longer really needing them thanks to having the color editions in general. Always will provided something dosne’t happen to them. So this was my first instalment that I got to read fresh and got to wait for and be hyped about and i’d saved enough money that I was able to pre-order it. So the experince of waiting and waiting for the book only to keep seeing it slide back is vivid in my mind as is the frustration I felt having the one thing I COULD NOT WAIT FOR, keep going further and further back. 
So with this long wait and the fact I bought this one when it came out, as I would for the next two which didn’t get delayed thank god, this volume naturally means a lot for me. When I wrote Scott Pilgrim fanfiction, this volume’s status quo is what I based it on. It was the coolest to me and the one I loved to reread the most. It has the most contained story, the most character growth at the time, and the best art due to Bryan’s style having finally hit it’s stride. Not that the art for volumes 1-3 is bad mind you, but it’s very clear his style was changing and shaping into what it is now with each one and while it’d change a bit more, this volume is where the style and quality everyone thinks of when they think of this series and the kind you see on various art done from it comes from. 
So as you can tell i’m excited for this one. Before we get started there WERE two shorter comics released between this one both for Free Comic Book day, the first of which, Free Scott Pilgrim, is the reason I got into the series and the second, the Wonderful World of Kim Pine .. was both delightful and sets up Kim moving in with Hollie for this volume. Originally I intended to cover these in this review.. but I realized they wouldn’t of helped the pacing and this review is going to be way longer than my standard as is.
So instead I came up with the compromise. I did review them.. but as bonus reviews on my patreon. For just one buck a month you can read them and help me reach my stretch goals which now include reviews of Lost at Sea, Seconds and SnotGirl, aka Bryan’s OTHER comics. You can find my patreon THROUGH THIS LINK HERE if your intrested in the exclusives or helping me reach my reviews. I also intend to do an exclusive of Monica Beetle, a short comic Bryan did starring Scott’s dad in the 70s at some point so keep your eyes peeled for that, as well as the three strips he did of Style, the comic that gave us the prototypes for Lisa and Kim. 
I will talk about their connections and setups for this volume briefly: FSP sets up the next ex as a ninja, with Roxy having a bunch of posters come to live and pummel our boy, while Wonderful World has Hollie tell Kim she can move in with her. It’s not much, hence why i made these exclusives but they are good stories, so check them out. And with that JOIN ME UNDER THE CUT, as we enter Scott’s world once more as he grapples with the past, employment, and saying the L-Word... which might be Lesbians. I don’t know. Find out bellow!
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So we open Two Months after Volume 3 with a beach birthday party! Complete with Kim in a swim suit!
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But it’s for Julie who lobs a volley ball at Scott’s head when he and Ramona try to make out. 
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I also dont’ know if “Manfiesting out of all the world’s collectives sorrows” counts as a “birth” necessarily but whatever. I love a good beach story. It’s just a fun setitng for swimming, romance and battling a giant crab with the help of the bird what lives in your backpack.
So after the beach our heroes get dinner and Ramona sweetly calls Scott the nicest guy she’s ever dated. He responds with “That’s sad”. Blunt, but entirely accruate. Julie calls it pathetic and tries to counter Ramona RIGHTFULLY saying “who the hell asked you?” something that really should come after EVERYTHING Julie said with “Back off bitch i’ts my birthday”
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So later that night Sex Bomb-Omb has a beach sing along, and I can’t help but notice Neil’s hairy legs. 
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I mean yes it does make since for a 19 year old to have leg hair, but of all the characters besides Stephen, the ONLY other character we’ve seen it with to give it to, why the character you specifically single out as “Young” it’s just a weird choice I never noticed before. 
But anyways Julie has to whine about it because she’s Julie, she can’t stand other people being happy and complains the song...
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One of my faviorite moments of the series. Knives puts a nicer spin on it, she’s here too and not over with Neil because, as we’ll find out later they broke up, but she just asks if Knives should be drinking. She shouldn’t but for fucks sake lady she was just trying to talk. I also do like that despite Julie trying to control Ramona’s love life, you know the thing the VILLIANS are doing, Ramona cannot stand her now.. and honestly probably never did. 
But Julie, SOMEHOW turns out to be right for once as Kim and Knives have disappeared later that night, and Scott elects to go look for them. Also Ramona says she wants to marry kim while drunk after Julie asks if she does. The throuple is strong with these three... serioulsy that’s my one true pairing for all three now. I mean it ballances out their collective flaws, it’s cute and Ramona is just as into her boyfriends ex as she is her actual boyfriend even when she’s not hamered. Why the fuck not?
Scott instead finds the two making out. I will confess I shipped these two when I was younger.. but I don’t. Not because their gay or anything or because I found another ship for them but because the age gap is still just as wide as it was for Scott. The game did not get this memo and made them a couple which is... ehhhhhhhhh. I mean I wouldn’t mind either being bi, but it just brings up the same problems even if their both hammered. I also question why this scene exists. No really outside of one face punchingly dickish comment from Scott later, this never comes up again and it doesn’t effect Kim’s or Knives character any. Why have this? it’s clearly not fanservice, it’s just a thing that happened. And while Scott Pilgrim as a series does have some of those, as does life and that’s fine.. this is a bit too major, i.e. Kim and Knives, two of the main cast, making out, drunkenly or not, to just.. gloss over you know? I feel Kim would feel majorly guilty for this, as she has the most active moral compass of the main group, and Knives would be massively confused but it’s just.. forgotten because I dunno. In a story that’s otherwise pretty stellar this stands out as an utter waste of potential. I’m not saying have them hook up, gay or not it’s still not better than what Scott did, but have them at least talk about it and have both grow or something from it. Sheesh. 
So we cut to.. another day. Maybe the next day I dunno but it’s August. Point is Scott and Wallace are grocery shopping and Wallace notes they can’t get fancy mayo as their barely in budget. I would’ve glossed over this scene... but @panur​ pointed out back around the Infinite Sadness review that this scene reveals something very intrestng: Scott.. is kind of a fincial burdern to Wallace. Before this while Scott mooched off him it wasn’t all that clear that Wallace was struggling. 
But here we notice that outside of some Havarti, it’s just the simplest stuff imaginable: turkey, bread, boxed mac and cheese ramen noodles... it’s nto BAD stuff, I have all of that in my house and it’s good stuff... but it’s not the kind of thing that you need to carefully budget for. Now granted part of this probably is Wallace as he likely spends a LOT on drinks, condoms and two 2 liters of diet soda a day.. but while he really needs to adress his alcohol issues, the rest is fair. He should be allowed to have as much sex and diet coke as he wants it’s his money. Same with the havarti. He earned it if he wants some really delcious cheese with herbs, seriously Havarati is the best, then that’s his bidness. But the rest of the time he’s barely managing to get  a basketfull of cheap food.. because he has to provide for Scott. It’s clearly something Scott dosen’t get and something I can relate to not getting. It took me a while to get how hard it is to budget for a full family, let alone two people on one income like Wallace has to. But Wallace is working on a nice job... but still a call center or something. He can’t pay for everything and the finccial stress is about to give as their landlord wants to meet with them. And as we’re about to learn things were even worse than we thought. 
Our heroes head home where we get a truly iconic conversation when, over margeritas (again proving my point that while Scott certainly isn’t HELPIGN wallace’s finacials, it’s not all on him)
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This will be imporant later.. both the Lesbians part and Scott’s struggle saying it. he tried earlier on the beach but couldn’t get it out and Ramona clearly didn’t want to hear it as she kapt sshhhhing him.. playfully of course but still. 
So some time later it’s moving day! Kim is moving into Hollie and Josephs, and Scott, Stephen and Jason are helping. You might be wondeirng who the hell Jason is. He’s Kim’s boyfriend. I do not likes him. Not because he’s kim’s boyfriend, getting upset because a fictional character you fancy is dating is just patently stupid. I’ts like getting upset a celebrity crush is in a relationship: you had no chance anyway why. I wasn’t even bothered as a kid. I don’t really like him.. because he has no real personaliy and no real baring on the plot and I struggle to think why Bryan included him other than for a really annoying plot twist next time, which does not help my liking him knowing what’s coming. 
But while our heroes help our heroine move in, and Scott is suprised Hollie is there despite Kim having told him a minute ago she was moving in with her, something I can relate to sadly, we get something vitally plot important; Stephen passes Joseph’s room.. and notices he has a small recording setup in his room. Stephen quickly begs him to record the band’s album and Joseph agrees if only because he finds Stephen hot. Eh i’ve seen better relationships start on less, fair enough. And yes I said relationship more on that in a bit. 
So after a brief scene of Scott and Ramona having lunch where Scott fails to know her age and when Ramona says he could just ask.. hea sks and she dosen’t tell, not a bad scene character wise just not very plot important and probably should’ve bene swapped in order with the previous scene, we get to the next day. There’s a heat wave so Wallace orders Scott to go to the mall maybe find a job. He emphasises that. 
Instead Scott just sorta bums around thirst but nto having any money.. until an old face shows up. 
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For those who forgot like Scott has, it’s Lisa Miller from the Volume 2 flashback, the girl who had a crush on Scott and was close friends with him and Kim. After a tackle hug  and some panic Scott eventually remembers.... if in a curiously unique and self serving way
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At the time this was just hilarous. Now it’s very clear foreshadowing for the big twist in Volume 6. The two catch up while Scott is very clearly attracted to her but very clearly dosen’t want to be, with Lisa wondering where kim is, finding about Ramona, etc, before offering Scott lunch as the two catch up and Scott is very conflicted about how he feels. It’s nice visual stuff as he’s blushing, something more clear in the color version and trying to desperatley sort things out. As for why Lisa’s here she’s moving to the states soon, but is staying with her sister for now. 
So after an incdental scene with Wallace we catch up with Knives, who has broken up with Neil. And after some talk about Clash at the Demonhead, Tamra notes Knives apparently put a big x on her shrine of Scott... which baffles Knifves as she sure as hell didn’t do it and is still, sadly, obessed with Scott as ever. Granted Tamra isn’t at all helpful here claiming she did it even when she says she didn’t, is clearly confused and while yes we don’t know who else would care Tams, that just makes it all the more creepy. Stop gaslighting your bestie, she’s already got enoguh issues. She dosen’t need thinking she might have a split personality on top of the stalking, obession over a guy who has no intrest in loving her back, and attempted stabbings. Knives dosesn’t get a ton of focus in this one sadly. She kind of takes a back seat, and while sh’es not GONE from the volumle and someone close to her does impact it, she dosen’t really have any personal progression, negative or positive, like she does in every other volume, a shame since her personal jouney is one of the most intresting of the main cast. 
Anyways that night Scott hangs out with Lisa, having not gotten around to telling Ramona she exists yet and plays a game of find the Kim Pine. She goes to Neil’ and Stephen’s place for practice, but finds no one there and Neil being a dick... get used to that it’s going to get about 80 times worse soon enough. Though we do get this classic panel i’ve gotten some use out of 
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He goes to Kim’s place, but she , Hollie and Satan’s Misterss have all left to Sneaky Dee’s, the local mexican place, for something to eat and Stephen is either high or doing.. something with Joseph. 
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Yeah i’m not hiding that Stephen turns out to be gay in the final volume or cheating on Bitch and a Half with Joseph. And even if I hate Julie with the power of a frozen sun, I still dont’ think cheating on her is kosher. He could’ve just broken up with her and while part of it was likely confusion, and he could also be bi and not decided which one he wanted to be with, it’s still a dick move.. and later makes him a hypocrite but that’s a rant for next volume. 
So our heroes FINALLY find Kim, along with Hollie and Mouthface. And a nice thing I like is that Kim and Lisa are just.. increidbly close, happily catching up and making plans to hang before Lisa leaves, that despite Lisa having feelings for Scott the two ended up as close and She and Scott did and i’ts sweet to see. it’s also just.. rare to see Kim GENUINELY happy. I mean look at her
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It’s not like she HASN’T smiled across the series but normally she’s just so miserable, likely because her best friends are a grumbly asshole who forces them to hang out with a raging typhoon of bitchiness, and an insenitive asshat who she never got closure with. This is the first decent human being whose not Ramona or Hollie, and that last one’s not going to last, in a while. It’s genuinely sweet to just see her.. enjoy the moment for once, honestly engaged with someone. Ramona shows up and finally meets Lisa, who apparently was on Degrassi.. I mean she says candaian show no one ever watched, and I watched that plenty but i’d like to think she was on there for a season or two. I liked Degrassi.. I honeslty miss it and think it could use some form of revivial and think porting it to netflix was a smart decision.. what wasn’t so smart was not having the other seasons leading into it on there. Need to watch more of it. 
So the next day Ramona stumbles into Scott’s dreams and both are annoyed, with Ramona suggesting he get a job. This finally gets him to try. He asks about Wallace’s work but understandably, he dosen’t really want scott there and asks if he even knows. So Scott sets out to ask his other friends for jobs, while Knives shows up saying she’s “totally not stalking him” but someone is following HER, a mysterious spiky haired dude in a black leather jacket, shades and with a sword on his back. Whu-oh. 
He tries Second Cup, with Julie annoyed that Stephen’s recording.. it’s hard to tell if she’s annoyed because she’s a bitch or because Stephen is both gneuinely annoying right now and clearly screwing around behind her back. My take?
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But Scott realizes maybe getting a job at his Sister’s place of work who also works with his arch enemy might be stupid and backs out. He next tries Kim’s, but backs out of that too, admitting to kim it’d be stupid and Kim lists off all the reasons (His lack of resume, the fact them working together would be stresful and his ountain of late fees) why that’d be stupid, but in a jovial way. For once i’ts clear that while she’s still taking the piss out of them she isn’t mad at Scott.
In fact she genuinely helps him get a job, taking him to Stephen’s work since hers is dead right now anyway, a vegan place.  While Scott naturally compares things to a job system as he’d start as dishwasher while Stephen taught him prep, Scott agrees to genuinely take this seriously and Stephen’s boss decides “eh why not” when he asks her to employ him. Scott is gainfully employed baby! God I miss that. Seriously i’m not pimping my patreon for shits and giggles. 
But as he celebrates and Kim wishes she could punch his life in the face, they run into some trouble on the way home: Katana man who slices a motherfucking bus in half and chases them, with Scott reluctnat to fight because he has a sword and Scott does not, which is valid. He does escape though using subspace. He and Kim part awkardly and he returns home to Wallace throwing a party with two intresting charcters, a woman and a man of color, one of the few in the entire work, who are never seen again. 
The next night is practice.. or rather recording, and we start to see Neil get edged out, with him unable to come due to exams and clearly not happy about it, and Stephen just kind of ignoring anything he cares about like the dickhead he is. It dosen’t get any better as “recording” ends up just being Scott, Ramona, and Ratfaced Knacker watching bored with Joseph and Stephen work. Eventaully Scott and Ramona decide to get out of there as things are getting tensed between thing one and thing bitch, and leave.. and take Julie with them for some reason. 
So the three have dinner with Lisa, Kim, and Jason before The Mummies Curse thankfully leaves. Jason thought they were friends. 
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We also get this exchange. 
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I mean.. she is the better option. She his THE option. But before we can get the obvious answer of 
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Stephen comes in with Knives. He smuggled her in. This leads to problems when Scott returns from the bathroom to find Queen Bitch throwing a bitch fit about him having brought her and screechs at her when she dares to talk to him “How do you even know my name?” Well Ted Cruz, you see when someone is an actually thoughtful and likes other people, they keep track of things about them and don’t constnatly tear them down or assume their partneer is automatically bonking a 17 year old instead of you know, actually forming something of a friendship and not shutting her out sensing she needs this friend group. Some people are not vacous piles of vitriol who care about nothing but themself and seem to go off at the slightest thing. 
Scott takes Ramona home but finds a drunken barely awake wallace so no sexy times. Not that he could anyway as the next day is the meeting with Peter their landlord. 
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Peter reveals they’ll have to clear out by the 27th as their lease was for one year and their paid up.. as in only the first and last month. The two part melacholy knowing this sucks and isn’t a great situation. Then it’s time for Scott to work work, angelica, work work, eliza and peggy. After grueling day, can relate, he runs into  a wisp on teh wend and steels himself for a fight.. okay he bitches about it being too hot but it’s Scott. so it’s expected. He does get a hit in on his mysterious persuer.. and that’s when we meet Roxy.
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Via boob punch, something Scott’s not proud of but in his defense, as Roxy keeps complaning about it, he was blindly struggling for a hit and din’t know the next Ex, or any of them, were female.. not that Ramona didn’t suggest it loudly enough by empahsising “exes” but scott’s a bit of a fuckwit. She mentions “everyone allways remmebers you”.. which is kind of ominus and tells me she tried to hook back up with ramona despite her having a boyfriend and she rejected her. Still on good terms though. But this confusing encounter ends with Roxy vowing she’ll get him next time gadget, next time. 
So we get some assorted slice of life scenes with the band, lisa and what have you as Scott tries to get in touch with Ramona but she keeps avoiding him. THat’s not worrysome at all. And Lisa brings up high school while drunk and clearly hits on Scott. He sidesteps it with her drunkness.. but this clearly isn’t over or going to stop being a problem. 
Speaking of problems Wallace makes Scott confront the truth: He either needs to find a new place to live or commit to staying, though Wallace is trying to nudge him toward asking Ramona to move into her place. Scott starts thinking it over, it being very hard especially since, as Stephen points out this was his very first place of his own.. but Stephen also points out these things are temoporary.. right before Scott ducks from katana guy. 
At work Scott wonders who it could be, though it turns out Stephen’s met him before, as he’s brought his family in here. So he’s PROBABLY not one of the exes.. but it leaves the question why he wants to cut Scott in half like Dewey Cox’s brother. But it turns out he’s nto the only enemy Scott’s casually running into as Roxy is there too.. with Ramona. 
The two talk, clearly about Scott and Lisa with Roxy trying to convince her he’s cheating and Ramona rightfully trusting Scott: while he IS attracted to her, he’s been fighting it every step of the way. Scott storms over to find out what’s going on and while Ramona is more distracted by his new job, she eventually realizes Roxy did attack him and he simply dscribed her poorly when he mentioned the incident over the phone. Scott is confused as he dosen’t get it. Is she with one of the exes what? After some hiinting from both parties, and Roxy rightfully mocking him for not getting the obvious... he finallyg ets it in the grandest way possible. 
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So Roxy gets ready to fight and Scott can’t because sword, and gets fired in the background as he hides in Ramona’s bag and Ramona prepares to step in. Roxy screams at her for trusting him and defending him when Ramona.. just dosen’t her boyfriend to be bisected by her ex. A fight insues and a damn cool one at that. I honestly wish the movie had taken more from this, but simply didn’t have time leading it to instead be more like the envy fight with a bit of the Winfried Hailey fight from Free Scott Pilgrim. 
Roxy chases her and Ramona rightly points out Scott can’t run forever but takes him into Subspace.. where Roxy heads them off, having “taught you everything you know bitch” leading to a cool fight in the wintery version of subspace. Again why THIS wasn’t used instead I have no real idea. We also find out she’s a half ninja but she eventually leaves afer Ramona presses that button.. but Rammy is actually apologetic about it and Roxy’s “I hope you and your 24 children are happy together comment” is telling. 
Upon this readthrough of the volume.. I realized Roxy is the most layered and intresting of the exes next to Gideon himself. None of them are out and out terrible, but most of them have pretty simple motives: to kill Scott, ???, profit. Or in Todd’s case to kill scott, bang around and be a dick. But Roxy.. genuinely wants Ramona back. She’s the ONLY one who does: Gideon kinda does, but only in the sense that he wants her for his collection. But Roxy geninely still loves her, admitting so during this fight. And it’s not like she has no chance: out of the 7 exes she’s the ONLY one who parted with Ramona on anything resembling good terms. While intrestingly we don’t find out WHY they broke up, Ramona didn’t cheat on her like she did everyone else she was with. The two have coffee and hang out and Ramona geninely dosen’t even consider until Roxy tries to attack Scott that she’d really try killing him and tries her best to talk her out of it. But what holds Roxy back is her anger: She’s so bitter about the fact Ramona is bi or pan, so dedicated to viewing Ramona’s very orintation as a betryal (though Ramona calling it a phase dosen’t help and the movie RIGHTLY has Roxie comment on it and fly into a rage over it), and so driven to make sure the woman she loves dosen’t get hurt again that it blinds her to the fact Ramona dosen’t love her the same way anymore, and that while Scott is objectively a dick, and a cheater, and a greasy buttcrack pooflap, he is not a terrible person. A meh one sure, but he’s got good to him. She’s so biophobic she simply can’t see he’s a harmless moron.. well harmless to Ramona even with the cheating. He’s killed two people at this point and will kill again. Also she apparently has issues with only being a half ninja but this is never adressed. Point is Roxy’s really grown on me and is now probably my faviorite ex.  
Scott and Ramona talk it over on their way to Sneaky Dees and Scott finally asks to move in and gets a yes. His response is downright adorable. 
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So at Sneaky Dee’s Young Neil is just a bit absolutely irate with Scott.. which isn’t fair as them not playing things is entirely on the blocky face asshole. Yell at him.. which he does, pointing out that they haven’t played shows in forever, and that the lady who owns Sneaky Dees not only runs shows, in the upstairs space, but has been asking them to play. Kim is rightly curious about this and to both Stephen just keeps saying “We’re recording right now.” And some of you may of wondered why I hate him. Well while he’s not exctly stellar in the first half in the second Stephen becomes goddman insufferable, slowly destroying the band for his affair and not giving one iota of a shit what anyone else wants. He’s a selfish, egomanical cheating prick. And yes I get it their recording an album.. but doing live shows would give them extra practice, MONEY, even if likely not a lot and exposure for said album. I get professoinal bands stop touring for a bit to do an album but you are not a professional band, and said bands still often iron out the album on the road. God you suck.
But while Scott sidesteps this argument he walks into another where Ramona confronts him about lisa about liking her.. and he rightly says if there was anything, which there was not it’s in the past. And while yes he is a cheater, she does not know this yet. This plot honestly would’ve worked better if she learned about the knives thing sooner, but instead she just comes off as paranoid for listening to Roxy about something that isn’t happening. Yes Scott’s been shown to be attracted to her.. but he’s been ashamed of it, fighting it and in denial about it, and is clealry all in with Ramona. Being attracted to someone else on a phsyical level does NOT mean your relationship is doomed. 
Things get worse as he goes home to ruminate.. and instead sees a man’s Penis. And Wallace..is at his second most unsymapthetic, not letting Scott get a shirt or a bus pass or something like a decent human being for no goddamn reason. Usually when Wallace is a dick to Scott, Scott’s earned it and badly needs a slap in the face. Here he’s just being a prick because.. the plot needs him to? I dunno it dosen’t work for me. It’s in character, I just don’t have to like it. 
So with no other options.. Scott ends up at Lisa’s. And so we get the last temptation of Scott. Lisa admits, embarassed that she’s been wearing sexy dresses and what not specifically to attract him, with Scott also mentioning how things are rough, Lisa tries to fight it herself pointing out he’s with ramona.. and when Scott points out they didn’t do anything in the past Lisa points out they should’ve.. and maybe they should now. 
We fade to black as Scott ends up in a dream and finds Roxy, who naturally has the same skill and tries to Freddy Kruger him before he wakes. He finds Lisa but they didn’t do anything: Scott pushed her away and babbled about how much he loved Ramona instead. As i’ve said.... his heart was never with LIsa... and even when he was so close to giving in he couldn’t. It’s a tangible sign of growth: He screwed around on Knives with Ramona, and given how bad things were getting with Ramona, it would be oh so easy to once again ditch a relationship the minute he found something else and oh so understandable. But... he dosen’t. He loves Ramona even if he hasn’t said it, he wants to make this work, and he’s changed. She’s changed him. He’s not quite a good man yet.. bu he’s getting to be good enough. Love turned him from a skeezy dumbass into a far more loveable dumbass. Ramona’s gotten him to stop dating a teenager (even if again he cheated), face his past with envy to finally move on and now get a job. He’s realized just hwo much she means to his life and world and so he goes to tell her. 
Riggghtttt after going to get his job back and works a shift, with steven wanting to punch his life in the balls. Stephen shut the fuck up. Just because Scott is lucky and your stuck dating satan’s scrotum does not mean you get to punch his life int he balls. Kim does, because he’s put her through more shit but not you. 
He goes to second cup to talk to Stacey.. only to end up at the wrong one where Knives also now has a job... and we finally get an answer to who the mystery katana guy is...
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Yup turns out wielding giant weapons in vengance runs in the family. As for how he knows about Scott her aunt mentioned her boyfriend, everyone freaked out and obviously while her mom was mentioned as knowing in volume 1, they did not tell her dad whose brain turned into an engine of vengance and defaced the shrine. While part of it is apparnetly racisim for Scott being white the fact is he clearly saw Scott’s photograph. The guy is 5 years older. I get him being protective. Still dosen’t justify cutting off his head. His balls maybe but not his head. 
And then Scott ran, once agian finding a subspace entracne.. and this time we see inside ramona’s head and well...
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Yeah.. that’s.. kind of fucked, and Ramona isn’t happy scott saw that, though she backs down once Scott explains..a nd then gets upset over him staying at Lisa’s but before SCott can tell her he loves her it turns out Roxy stayed over. So yeah, Ramona might of cheated, she tells him to alk it off and he runs around in a psycadelic haze of emtoinal confusion. And meets.. someone new...
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Scott snaps out of his funk and ignores his doppleganger heading back for Ramona... whose fighting Mr. Chau. Scott left the door to Ramona’s head open and he followed him through Subspace. Scott lures him into the house and away from her only to run into Roxy. This leads to both of his attackers fighting and her wondering if Gideons ent him “Why does no one ever belivie in me?!” 
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She soon realize no i’ts just unrelated and calls Scotto ut on hiding behind not having a sword and behind her being a woman, caling it a flimsy excuse. I mean she’s tring to kil lhim. It’s okay to hit an enemy combatant. Scott realizes he has to stop running... and get real with ramona leading to a truly epic, romantic and heartfelt speech and given how far he’s come and just how heartfelt it is it’s a real sign of how deep he feels. Sure we’ve seen genuine chemstiry between the two.. but htis moment is a shit.. from a simple relationship.. into true love. 
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I may of only had a few but Relationships are not easy, They take work, they take time, they take patience and theyt ake love.. but if your willing to work with someone, look past some flaws and help them with the rest.. then it’s worth it. And Scott has finally realized it and for the first time in a while is running TOWARDS something difficult, actually working on this relationship and talking with his partner instead of running finding someone else or wallowing. He’s truly grown up. While he still has miles to go.. he’s taken about 50 steps forward with this. And as such given the kind of unvierse we’re in, as Ramona is genuinely touched by it he levels up a glowing sword with a heart shaped hilt coming out of his chest.. and realizing what’s happening he pulls it out....
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So Scott faces off with roxy and in an awesomly short battle, their sords clash.. and he bisects her. 
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Scott then honestly talks down Mr Chau who leaves after a nod, and Ramona tells Scott she loves him two. The two make out and all is well.
One make out fades into another, as we cut to Scott moving in with Kim and Blockhead’s help. Well kinda they only had one box but they owed him one. He and wallace comiserate over the end of their time as roomies. They’ll always be friend but it’s truly the end of an era. Also Wallace gets off another bit of dickery as he’’s very glad it all worked out for scott...
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 Now there’s the Wallace I know and love. Dickish but just the right loveable kind of douchebag with that swagger. 
Back at Knives house she’s apparenlty into somebody though who I have no idea, Mr Chau give sher his blessing and she.. apparenlty doesen’t know chinese. I dunno. As I said her subplot this go round was her weakest overall. 
And so we end with the whole gang gathered to see Lisa off. It’s a REALLY nice shot, and one of the only times Wallace is seen with the Sex Bomb omb side of the group. Oh sure he goes to their shows and what not, but generally their never in the same vincinity so while there’s no interaction I still find this neat. Seriously the whole main cast is there, it’s a really lovely shot
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Also Jason and Hollie.. who are getting awfully chummy. Whu Oh. And of course Craphole and Mouth Face are as likeable as ever. 
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So we jsut get a genuinely nice sene. Except Stephen and Julie reconciling. Fuck that. Please move on. And as everyone fondly wishes Lisa adeu and wish she stuck arond the res tof the series we end on Scott and Ramona snuggling, Scott asking her her birthday and finding out she’s 24, and they both will be come september. Scott wishes this moment could last. 
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They probperly snuggle as the volume ends on a high. 
Final Thoughts:
Yeah.. Gets it Together is, on rexamination, DEFINTELY my faviorite of the 6. Besides personal value i’ts hte best contained story, contaning lots of character development, great character moments, jokes, and EASILY the best art so far, with goregouness and creativty abounding. 
There is a problem here or there: Stephen and Julie’s subplot feels underbaked, and not just because I hates them, and there are several scenes that don’t further plot or character stuff. Ther’es also stuff that could’ve been expanded on.. but given this is still a pretty meaty graphic novel, it’s understandable why it wasn’t.. though it is why I’d love a streaming series since while the movie is excellent, a full series could expand on stuff from the books more Brian simply didn’t have time for. Knives also didn’t get a lot to do. 
But their drowned out by tons of great decisions: Lisa was a wonderful additoin to the cast and I genuinely wish she’d stuck around, adding in some energy, blending well with the Sex Bomb Omb crowd, and having great dynamics with everyone and her arc with Scott is heartbreaking,knowing she can’t have him but wanting him anyway having never gottne proper closure on the man she’s always wanted. She’s a heartbreaking character and its nice to see her end in a decent place and on good terms with Scott, having let him go for both thier sakes. 
And while Lisa is a highlight everyone is on their a game here for the most part apart from knives, girl hitler, and captain dumbass: Scott grows signfigantly but is funny as hell, Wallace has an intresting arc trying to nudge Scott out without being overt about it, scared to really confront him, Kim is in a happy and serene place for once and it shows. The villians are also intresting: While Mr Chau is a tad underbaked, he’s sitll a cool imposing presence. I do think he shoudl’ve had more to do with the plot.. but is still just so freaking cool it papers over that and him just.. disappearing after this like poor Lisa. 
Roxy is far more intresting, having clearly more going on than we see and while I wish we’d got her backstory, she’s easily the most engaging of the exes, being the only one to actively compete with Scott (All her and ramona end up doing is making out a little it turned out), and have bigger stakes than just “The glasses wearing douche asked me to beat up my exes boyfriend and I was like alright. 
All in all Gets it Together is really magical, the series high point, and just damn fun and it was a pleasure to go through
Next Month on Scott Pilgrim: It all falls down as we take a look into what once was my least faviorite Album, vs the unvierse. Two perfect assholes try and murder scott with Robutts, his relationship and band crumble and things get sad so very very sad. 
Next on this blog: More LIlo and Stitch! The Proud Family come to Kauai and get into a fight with our heroes. Also wizard kelly... who if nothing else is now far more tolerable now i’ve had to spend another volume with the wicked bitch of the west. Touche universe touche. See you at the next rainbow. 
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louccidachild · 15 days ago
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Interconnectedness
Ramadan began on the New Moon, for which I intended to participate, but for private reasons I could not partake in the first week. 
So here I am getting ready to kick things back into gear and hop right back into Ramadan, then this rising (AM) my head was a complete clutter. Clutter of (which I hate to admit) defeating thoughts. But to align with my journey, I am choosing the transparent route, as to not take away from the lessons and growth that I hope the Universe might help me uncover during this Radical 6. 
Radical 6 is the first 6 months of 2021. In these 6 months I will (or have been) be making radical changes in my life that get me to places in my mind and spirit where I can unlock its’ mysteries. Unlocking these doors (and sometimes prison cells) require mental and spiritual health and strength, because who knows if you’re going to be faced with wonderful epiphanies or unaddressed trauma. SO this Radical 6 is a mix of discipline, a trip into the far dimensions of the soul, and complete self-love.
I’ve learned to counter these thoughts safely by reverting back to methods that have helped me crawl out of the same or similar thoughts in the past. Most recently, I have been doing a lot of reading under the sun. And on one of these days I was reading about Interconnectedness. So today I grabbed my book and continued reading... What a saving grace. 
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Let me be real, my defeating thoughts were things pertaining to the superficial ideals that really do not resonate with who my being is on Earth during this lifetime. Society and media will reel you in to start questioning the dumbest things: your status/popularity, financial wealth by any means, your body, latest fashion, trends, your degrees, etc. 
“Interconnectedness” brought me back to MY reality and out the Matrix. All these superficial ideals were meant to divide us and keep us from really understanding our true self, as a whole People. Majority live by these standards (illusions) and end up not having a chance to tap into their power they naturally have because they have been slaving to attain the power they think they have to earn from “Superiors”. Why though? To sit superior to others? That means there is a gap; a lack of connectedness. This is dangerous in a world where we all deep down are searching for connections. 
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Interconnectedness; Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown. There is only one thing, and that which seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception, the Indian ‘maya’, as in a gallery of mirrors.
Soon after, my mind flooded with memories of short events that affirmed that I was back on track. Things started “clicking”. Does this every happen to you? You become clear-minded then all of a sudden you see ALL the connections and how those connections are even connected to you. Yeah, you are THAT powerful that Universe will orchestrate a beautiful symphony, one-of-a-kind, just to get a message to you; just to bring you TO BE. To be, or not to be.
Interconnectedness is really my theme for this Radical 6 period. And even when days are not as ideal as other days, you can be your own catalyst of change. Days/present no longer have to be ruined or defeating. Being mindful of your choices and POWER is your key to these locked doors.
This is how mystical the Universe is. I was met with an internal conflict and with some mindfulness on my part, the Universe, the Most High matched my efforts and help me lead myself out. Affirming moments:
1. I came across Synchronic last night (this movie deals with past, present, and future existing as one, shattering the illusion of time as a linear series of events).
2. Heard this on the internet: “ScienTISTS may tell you God is not real, but SCIENCE does not tell us that.”
3. Starting Ramadan, inward examination of where I am and where I want to be.
So IDK who needs to hear this (other than myself), do not let the UNnatural standards of society corrode your celestial nature of living. It is ALL an illusion and there is a much bigger masterpiece happening all around us.
...Let me know if this ever happens to you!
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mithrilwren · 16 days ago
Dating sim story! I’m intrigued 👀
Oh boy, that requires a longer explanation than most... This is an idea I toyed with writing for a long, long time, but for many reasons, ultimately decided was best to let go. So we all know that for a while, everyone being in love with Jester was the big fandom joke, right? Until it wasn’t a joke and actually everyone WAS in love with Jester, oops - but we hadn’t gotten to that point yet when I started working on this lmao. Other necessary background info: 1. There was a really fun graphic floating around, with Critical Role as a dating sim and Jester as the protagonist. 2. I fucking loved Dramatical Murder back in the day (don’t @ me) and I particularly loved how its four romance routes slowly built up your knowledge of the world until you had enough information to understand the True Route, which you didn’t unlock until you’d completed all the romances. 3. At the time of inception I was working on my incredibly long (and still, to this day, my favourite) CR fic, Only the Nightingale Sings, which ended up taking almost a full year of dedicated work to complete.
Long story already-pretty-long, I spent a fair amount of time brainstorming this fic, which involved a lot of dunamancy-induced time loop schenanigans, worldbuilding (I kept bouncing back and forth between magical modern realism and cyberpunk futurism ala DMMD), and mapping out what path the four routes (Fjord, Beau, Caleb, Yasha) would take. Trying to plan how I was going to pull them all together in the final loop/route to answer the key mystery - the disappearance/probable death of Mollymauk Tealeaf - was my biggest question mark. And since I was devoting all my time to Nightingale, I really didn’t have time to be working on a second plot-and-mystery-heavy fic, especially not one with intersecting timelines (oh god). Also, I didn’t intend romance to be the focal point of the fic (ironic, considering it was literally a dating sim AU, but the “four love interests” conceit was heavily tied into the plot, which is what I was ultimately more interested in lmao, and the final route would have featured no romance at all. Can you tell I’m a gen writer at heart?) but by the time I finished Nightingale there was enough heated conversation surrounding Jester and shipping that I decided it was probably best to shelve the idea for good. 
Anyways, that was a ridiculously over-long explanation, and as such I won’t bother with a snippet, but hopefully that was at least mildly interesting!
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hope-to-hell · 17 days ago
Hello friend! It me again with more thoughts. I was rereading Late Night and it got me thinking about the first time Sy stayed the night with them. I know he joined the cuddles at the end of And then there were Four but I feel like he wouldn't stay the ~Night~ until someone took that choice from him. Like, I just feel like he wouldn't ask for it. So maybe it was a situation where he dropped hard and Walter isn't gonna let him drive home like that. Or maybe something happens. Maybe Walter needs to leave for work and asks Sy to stay and take care of Mike and the Reader. Maybe there's an accident that means he'll have to stay the night to help keep a watchful eye on whoever's hurt. Maybe he accidentally stays up too late chatting with Mike and they accidentally fall asleep on the sofa and in the morning Walt wakes them with a smile and fresh coffee and the thought that he could get used to the sight of them. Or maybe all of these happen before it becomes a habit and he stays more often than not.
Tl;dr: I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of feels about our boys and I love them a lot and I'm glad Sy is joining the fray.
This one took a little longer than I intended, but I’ve brought more foursome for @septicace . In the Morning. Walter x Mike x Sy x Reader. Smut, angst, discussion of nightmares, anal, oral. Finally, Sy stays.
Tagging @iwillmakeyoucraveme @its--fandom--darling @indigosaurus @summersong69 @wonderlandfandomkingdom @imneonpanda @october505 @seriouslygoodlookinggents @feralrunaway @hell1129-blog @takemeback-toparadise @ashleyskywalker @cavillryarchive @critfailroll @luclittlepond @devterra @davidbuddbg @brandycranby @mary-ann84 @zealoushound @hylian-hoe
When he stays it’s not the first, not the second, not the thirdfourthfifth time you bump shoulders in the kitchen, run your hand down his spine, feel Walter’s soft smile clear across the room; this is comfort and ease and Mike breezing in with a backpack and a plate of something from god knows where but damn if it isn’t the best cake you’ve ever had.
It’s a secret, babe. If I told you then I’d have to—
Kill me?
Nah. Maybe I’d eat you out right here on the table, cake in your hair and smearing frosting all down your belly. And he’s joking, mostly. But it’s Mike, so if he did you would hardly be surprised. What is a surprise is the way he leans over to suck two of Sy’s fingers into his mouth, laving his tongue over the webbing and isn’t that a delicious sound: almost broken, with a hint of the wild and wanton behind it.
This is my body and this is my blood, Mike says when he lets Sy’s fingers go; he slips two of his own between Sy’s lips and watches with eyes dark and deadly serious as they’re licked clean. Fuck. Let’s go to bed.
And it’s a tangle of limbs on the stairs as the four of you tumble up to bed, Walter with his hands warm on your ass and when you climb the last step he takes a moment to part your cheeks and lick a filthy wet stripe from your asshole clear to the base of your neck. Mine, he’s growling in your ear but it’s affectionate, full of pleasure and approval at the way you shiver beneath his touch.
You should stay, Mike says. You haven’t heard the latest chapter yet. I wanna read it to you while I ride you hard, big guy. And he’s working the plug from his own ass while he’s still got one arm in his shirt; he’s fumbling lube and pressing it into Sy’s hands and that’s the way the evening starts.
The evening ends in a tangle of limbs, filthy with sweat and lube and come smeared everywhere; your throat is raw and you’re idly rolling a lozenge around your mouth as you nestle in Walter’s arms, legs tangled up with Mike’s and there’s Sy making like he’s gonna leave, but
Stay.
Early day tomorrow.
Bullshit. That’s Mike, peering over your shoulder. All this time and you still think you don’t belong? You’ve been in my ass, what’s so hard about being in my bed? It’s not the wrong question, not quite, but it’s a near thing; Mike has that look, those tight brows and shiny eyes and his glance back at Walter is pleading. Tell him, boss.
It’s the dreams, of course it is: memories of fire and pain, of chaos and noise and those he’d sworn to protect reduced to slabs of flesh at his feet, all turned around and rendered strange in the way of dreams. If Sy tried to explain— if I tried to explain them it wouldn’t make any sense. Not to me, not to you. But it’s ugly and it’s loud sometimes, and I— (don’t want to drive you away, don’t want to make you regret the invitation, couldn’t bear to lose this)— I don’t think you’d want it.
And Walter is rising, easing you from his arms as he flows like a landslide over Sy, covering him in the warm weight of his flesh, mouth gentle over the shell of his ear. We want you here. Dreams and all. And when you wake up frightened, when you come up swinging, we will make whatever space you need. You’re ours now.
I have to feed the dogs—
I’ll get the dogs. Mike is firm and there’s that edge, that little nascent piece of him that commands. Just be here when I get back. And he leaves.
And when Mike returns it’s with a sea of dogs; Aika slips into the bed next to Sy and lays her head across his lap; all around is warmth and hair and in this pile of warm flesh and hair you settle; the discussion isn’t over yet but it’s enough for now. It’s enough with Mike lapping lazily at your cunt before pillowing his head on your thigh; it’s enough with Walter gently running his broad palm over Sy’s cropped hair. It’s enough with the way you’re bracketed by these wonderful ridiculous men, and by what seems to be an endless sea of dogs.
It’s enough. You’re enough. Just as you are. And when you brush your fingers against Sy’s, he turns his head to you and smiles. Just a little, small and secret. And like this, at last, he drifts into sleep.
In the morning there will be coffee at sunrise, Mike and Walter talking low and easy, Sy relaxing his head against the arm you drape across his shoulder. In the morning it will all be brighter; you’ll fall into the new ritual of waking up together, but for now sleep descends and it is warm and deep. And though Sy’s dreams are never far, neither are the rest of you, and neither are the drifts of gently snoring dogs.
In the morning—
In the morning—
Sy will wake up here, with you.
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wheresmybuckyhoes · 22 days ago
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Summary: You are forced to go on a mission with Bucky, someone you don’t really get along with. What happens when hydra men get their hands on you?
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader
Warnings: Swearing, blood, violence, drinking, mentions of drugging, references to rape, angst
Well this was longer than I intended. I maaaay write a smutty part 2 if enough people like this, but I hope you firstly just enjoy this little thing I thought of. Love you x
‘You have got to be fucking kidding me’ you groan as you open the suit door to reveal a beautiful room of crimson and black, the intoxicatingly sweet scent of roses wafting through the air. You narrow your eyes, taking in the black marble bathtub, the double shower heads, the ornate fireplace and finally - the source of your anger - the king sized double bed, a bed frame delicately covered in carvings of flowers, dusted in a fading gold.
‘I’m calling Tony’ you seethed, a bratty undertone to your voice as you direct it at the man stood at the doorway, noticing a subtle eye roll adorn his face. The phone rings as you pace around the room, heavy footsteps cushioned by the soft carpet beneath you. Meanwhile Bucky moved to place your bags down on the dresser beneath the window, getting one of the straps caught between the plates on his arm, cursing under his breath as he begins to aggressively pull and twist.
Unsurprisingly, the phone continues to ring until you hear a voice from the other end say ‘Tony Stark is unavailable right now, please leave a message after the bee...’, before angrily pressing the red button on your phone to hang up. ‘Fuck. I am not sharing a bed with you, Barnes. I already hate you enough, no need to make it worse’ you warn him as you toss your phone onto the bed and run your fingers through your hair, a small action which you tend to do when stressed.
‘Obviously not doll’ Bucky breathed as he finally freed the bag from between the plates of his vibranium arm, trying to play it off so you wouldn’t laugh at him. You sighed in relief, a hand on your chest as you turn to look at him.‘Oh thank the gods. I’m sure you’ll be fine on the floor so...’ you started before Bucky held up a hand to shut you up. ‘We won’t be sharing a bed because you’ he explained, poking his metal finger lightly in your chest as he smiled down on you, ‘...will be sleeping on the floor’.
Your mouth fell slightly open, not from surprise though. You knew going on this mission was going to take a lot out of you. You and Bucky were sent on this mission by Tony and Bruce to attend one of those fancy rich people auctions as a fake couple. Your task was to intercept a small branch of hydra trying to sell illegal weapons on the black market. Natasha sniffed them out weeks ago, but she had to go help mother fucking Clint with some shit. I don’t know, or care. It’s Clint. Anyway, Tony promised he would book you a room with 2 separate beds, as you had specifically requested, but looks like the literal billionaire couldn’t even sort that one out.
‘You must be joking’ you snapped back in annoyance, glaring into his crystalline blue eyes which sparkled not so innocently with mischief. ‘Do I look like it?’ he replied, a smirk playing on his annoyingly perfect lips. ‘Do you really think I’m going to sleep on the floor?’ you questioned furiously, gazing upon Bucky with hatred by now. ‘I’d rather you not sleep here at all. That way I wouldn’t even have to look at your face’ he answers carelessly, shooting you a sarcastic smile. You rolled your eyes with an exaggerated flare, glaring at him before shoving past him to grab your bag. ‘Fine. You win this time Bucky. See you at the auction at 9’ you spoke calmly, making sure to bump into him roughly as you made your way over to the door. ‘Wait y/n I didn’t mean...’ you heard his deep voice grumble as you slammed the door as hard as you could. Now, how to get a new room?
——————————(<>)———————————
Pushing the door to your new room open, you were faced with a small single bed, a cramped bathroom and an old desk. It was still quite fancy compared to the hotels you stayed in as a child, but it was nothing compared to the room Bucky had forced you out of. Not really worth flashing that worker in the lobby for, but at least you got the room for free.
It was already 7:50 in the afternoon, and you had little over an hour before you had to be there. You flicked on the lights, and unzipped your bag. You were to wear a silky black dress with a low cut V, a slit down the side to reveal one of your legs and a skirt that fell elegantly to the floor, more than long enough to cover up the knife which will be strapped to your thigh. You spent almost all your time on making your hair and makeup look perfect, giving yourself just under 10 minutes to pull on the dress and a pair of strappy black heels. You lost your shit trying to reach the zipper at the back of the dress, furiously pulling up your thigh holster and sliding in your sharpest knife. You stormed out of the room, racing up the stairs in those heels like a queen to bitch boy’s room. You pounded on it with a clenched fist.
‘Open up’ you yelled through the door. It opened up fast enough, to reveal Bucky standing there in a black suit, in the process of doing up his tie, filling it out perfectly with his bulging muscles, smelling like heaven. Not that he looked good or anything. Definitely not hot. Nope. Bucky sort of stumbled over himself as you brushed past him, gesturing for him to shut the door with your manicured hand. As he spun back around after shutting the door, you caught his eyes trailing over your figure, subtly wide in surprise. ‘Eyes up here boy, I thought you didn’t want to have to look at me’ you whistled, pointing with your fingers. ‘Zip me up. Quickly’ you demanded, turning around.
There was a short pause before you felt Bucky’s warm breath tickle the back of your neck as his cold metal fingers gently brushed against your lower back. He zipped you up carefully, taking your hair in his flesh hand and pulling it gently to the side, sending shivers up and down your spine. God his touch made your skin burn. Before he could say anything else, you reached over to grab his knife, tossing it swiftly so it missed his head by an inch, tip landing firmly in the wooden doorframe. ‘Let’s go’ you motioned with your head, leaving Bucky with his mouth open, eyes burning into your back as he watched you leave, speechless.
You arrived at the auction just in time, showing your passes to the security guards positioned either side of the grand entrance. The knife was digging into your leg, but there was nothing you could currently do about it. You and Bucky swiftly entered, observing and mapping out the area in your heads in case a quick getaway was needed. There was the main stage, with strange looking items laid out across it, including what looked like the stolen tech Nat had described to you. There was the bar, with important looking business men sat beside it ordering drinks and talking about money and sex. There were relatively few women, but those who were present were dressed to the nines. Pearls, diamonds and emeralds sparkled tauntingly from their necks and ears, with dresses that cost more than your entire wardrobe.
You pushed down the tang of jealousy you felt as you thought about how easy these people had it. They can buy anything they want, do anything they want, and be anyone they want. Pulling your thoughts back down to earth, you gently reached out a hand to Bucky’s firm shoulder, pushing slightly so he would lean down to your height. He was pretty fucking tall, after all. ‘I’ll take the bar, that prick gives me hydra vibes. You go do what your good at and be a fuckboy, and try to get something useful out of the ladies. Double tap your earpiece if you’re in danger’ you whispered into his ear, plastering on a fake ass smile to make it seem to anyone watching like you’re just sharing something wonderful with your husband. Being so close to him made you feel all warm and tingly, and it made you slightly nervous. Little did you know, as much as Bucky had an affect on you, he was affected by you just as much if not even more.
You both went in opposite directions. Rubbing your hand up the suspicious looking man’s arm, you turned on your flirty charm and began working. ‘What’s a handsome man like you doing without a girl on your arm’ you drawled, noticing the man gesture quickly with a nod of his head for the man beside him to kindly fuck off. You sat down on the barstool, moving your hand to play with your hair. Men fell for that shit every time. ‘Waiting for someone like you’ the man flirted back, leaning in slightly making you want to cringe. ‘Oh please, I bet every women in here has gone up to you already, Mr...’ you trailed off, trying the most basic trick to getting a name. ‘Please darling, call me Eric’ he replied quickly, eagerly. ‘Let me buy you a drink. A body like yours should be treated with the upmost respect’ he spoke, as more off a demand than a question. You shifted uncomfortably in your seat at the mention of your body, internally screaming at how little respect he seemed to have for women.
As the man turned to the bartender, you quickly spun your head around to try and look for Bucky. Mother fucker had 3 girls all over him. What do you care though, your not actually married and he can do whatever he wants. If the bitch boy wants to fuck them, who cares? Not you, that’s for sure. You keep telling yourself that. You shook your head, turning your attention to the man who was now holding 2 glasses of rosé. You actually really loved rosé, so at least the drink might be nice. As he tapped his glass against yours to produce a satisfying clink, you brought the thin glass to your painted lips. The rosé was delicious and you hummed contently, but there was a slightly salty taste to it. Must be an older brand. You drank and talked with the man for a few more minutes, asking him about his job and his family. You thought you were getting somewhere valuable when you suddenly felt your head start to spin. What the fuck. You knew you were a lightweight, but not like this. You felt your mouth go dry as you looked up at the man. The bitch was smiling.
‘W...what did you do to me?’ you slurred, feeling your mind cloud and your muscles weaken with every passing second. ‘It’s ok gorgeous, it will wear of when I’m done with you. Let’s take you somewhere more private, hm? the man’s voice echoed in your ear as he gripped you roughly by the waist and started moving with you by his side to the door. That’s going to bruise. You tried to move your arm to press your earpiece signalling Bucky for help, but your arm felt weird and tired, and you couldn’t bring yourself to lift it up that high. Instead, you opted for trying to reach for your knife but the man who was sat beside the other previously caught your wrist aggressively and smirked, the 2 men sharing a god awful look. It made you want to crawl inside your skin and die. It was at that moment that it dawned upon you what exactly they wanted to do with you, with your body. You had to escape, except you couldn’t. It was too late. You were outnumbered and could feel your consciousness slipping. You don’t remember much beyond that point. A gun branded with the hydra symbol. An explosion. The taste of blood in your mouth. Cold metal on your shoulder. Shouting, screaming, crying. Black.
———————————(<>)——————————
Your eyes shot open, a head splitting migraine crushing your skull. What the fuck happened, and where the fuck were you? You felt something warm behind you, holding you close and breathing slowly. It smelt heavenly. You took a moment, taking a few slow, deep breaths as you tried to calm yourself down. You pulled the blanket off of your body to reveal a human arm curled securely around your waist, your dress still hugging your body, but the knife was gone. Your mind was still foggy, and you were confused as to why a man’s arm was grasping you. Something snapped in you as some memory of what those men tried to do came back to you, and you felt tears blur your already clouded vision.
Pulling the arm off, you pushed yourself up slowly, turning to look at what was beside you. Your eyes softened when you saw who it was. Bucky was lying beside you in the bed in the original suit, still wearing his suit and loosened tie. He looked so beautiful and peaceful like this. Your look quickly turned to one of concern as you noticed his suit was covered in fresh blood, a few cuts and grazes sprinkled across his handsome face. Your gut twisted and you felt sick as you felt the pain which Bucky must have felt receiving those. Fucking empathy. You reached out mindlessly to run your finger over one of the deeper cuts, but a metal arm flew to catch your wrist in an instant, his eyes shooting open.
‘Oh my god you’re up, you scared me y/n’ he said as his face instantly relaxed and he moved his arm from your wrist to your cheek, brushing away a tear you hadn’t noticed had fallen. ‘What the fuck happened Bucky?’ you asked, hand moving to your head in pain. ‘Shit does it hurt? Are you ok? How do you feel?’ he tried to ask but you wanted answers. Why was he being so nice? You softly batted away his arm and turned to face him in the bed. He sat up. ‘What happened, Bucky’ you asked, sternly this time.
‘Those hydra fuckers must have drugged you or something. I saw them trying to touch you, carrying you out of the room, you looked like you were dead, y/n. I set of a small explosion, nothing dangerous, just enough to get all the civilians shitting their pants and running out, but the building started to collapse. When I got to you they tried to shoot me, the gunshots went of right by your ear. Might explain the headache. I got you out though, thank the gods’ he explained, genuine concern in his eyes.
‘Where are they now?’ you asked trying to get out of bed but feeling another wave of dizziness hit you like a truck. You sat down. Bucky looked down and twiddled your knife between his fingers. ‘Dead’ he replied softly. ‘I killed most of them. I couldn’t get the one who spiked your drink. The blood isn’t mine’. Your hand flew to your mouth automatically. Obviously you had killed before, it wasn’t the death that shocked you. It was the fact he had risked his life like that just to save someone he claimed to hate so much.
‘Why?’ you blurted out, reaching out a hand to tilt his head up gently to look at you. Your heart was skipping every other beat. ‘I don’t know what I would have done if something would have happened to you, y/n’ he replied simply, eyes lingering on your lips as yours lingered on his. ‘They were going to...’ you whispered, before Bucky reached a flesh hand out to cup the side of your face, quickly whispering back ‘I know doll, I know. I was never going to let them do that to you’. ‘But I thought you hated me?’ you sighed, watching conflicting emotions dance in his eyes. You didn’t notice how you held your breath, or how dry your throat was, or how your headache seemingly disappears as your lips finally brushed against the winter soldier’s when he pulled you in, answering your question.
It was so gently, his metal hand sliding down to your waist and pulling you closer to him. You wrapped your hands around his neck as you moved to straddle his lap, feeling his tongue swipe your bottom lip. You opened your mouth to let him in, moaning gently at the feeling of your tongue brushing against his. You kissed him with passion, and he kissed you with longing, both emotions mixing together and causing a comforting warmth to spread all over your body. He pulled away. You frowned. ‘Why’d you stop?’ Bucky laughed lightly and you felt the vibrations from his voice travel through you pleasantly. ‘We still have work to do’ he replied simply, pulling that dazzling smile of his you so rarely saw. ‘I still hate you Bucky’ you mumbled in annoyance.
He lifted you of him with ease, holding you up kindly and making sure you could stand on your own. You wobbled a bit on those 4 inch fucking heels he hadn’t bothered to remove from your feet, but gained your balance and reached for your knife that lay dangerously on the bed. Bucky began to walk to the door. ‘Wait...we aren’t gonna talk about...’ you didn’t finish your sentence, as Bucky had turned around and interrupted smugly ‘about you wanting to fuck me? Later doll, we have shit to do now’. It was his turn to leave, and your turn to watch him walk out. ‘Fucking wanker’ you muttered under your breath as you followed. ‘I heard that’ he shouted from outside the room. It was time to kill the fucker who dared to drug you.
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dfroza · 26 days ago
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to become as “One” body is truly a sacred thing
and to promise another your trust for a whole lifetime.
this is what marriage is as seen in Today’s reading of the Scriptures from the New Testament with chapter 10 in the book of Mark:
From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.”
* * *
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”
Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”
He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”
Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”
That got their attention. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked.
Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”
Peter tried another angle: “We left everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.”
Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next. “Listen to me carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.”
James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came up to him. “Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.”
“What is it? I’ll see what I can do.”
“Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.”
Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?”
“Sure,” they said. “Why not?”
Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.”
When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”
* * *
They spent some time in Jericho. As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road. When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, “Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped in his tracks. “Call him over.”
They called him. “It’s your lucky day! Get up! He’s calling you to come!” Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus.
Jesus said, “What can I do for you?”
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“On your way,” said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”
In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road.
The Book of Mark, Chapter 10 (The Message)
Today’s paired chapter of the Testaments is the 2nd chapter of the book of Job where Job’s great trial continues and even his wife tells him to “curse God and die!” but he refuses:
Now one day, it was time for the sons of God, God’s heavenly messengers, to present themselves to the Eternal One to give reports and receive instructions. The Accuser was with them there again, also ready to present himself to Him.
Eternal One (to the Accuser): Where have you been?
The Accuser: Oh, roaming here and there, running about the earth and observing its inhabitants.
Eternal One: Well, have you looked into the man, Job, My servant? He is unlike any other person on the whole earth—a very good man—his character spotless, his integrity unquestioned. In fact, he so believes in Me that he seeks, in all things, to honor Me and deliberately avoids evil in all of his affairs. And I have found him to be unswervingly committed, despite the fact that you provoked Me to wreck him for no particular reason, to take away My protection and his prosperity.
The Accuser: Well, as they say, “Skin for skin!” It is easy to be so pious in the face of such health. Surely a man will give what he has for the sake of his own life, so now extend Your hand! Afflict him, both bone and body, and he will curse You, right to Your face.
Eternal One: Well then, this is how it will be: he is now in your hand. One thing, though: you will not take his life. Job must not be killed.
With that, the Accuser left the court and the Eternal’s presence, and he infected Job with a painful skin disease. From the soles of his feet to the crown of his head, his body was covered with boils. Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape his wounds, and while he sat in the ashes just outside of town, his wife found him.
Job’s Wife: Will you still not swerve in your commitments? Curse God and die!
Job: You’re speaking nonsense like some depraved woman. Are we to accept the good that comes from God, but not accept the bad?
Throughout all of this, Job did not sin with his mouth; he would not curse God as the Accuser predicted.
Now Job had three friends: Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamath. When these three received word of the horror that had befallen Job, they left their homes, and agreed to meet together to mourn with and comfort their friend.
The Book of Job, Chapter 2 (The Voice)
my personal reading of the Scriptures for friday, April 9 of 2021 with a paired chapter from each Testament of the Bible, along with Today’s Psalms and Proverbs
A post by John Parsons about seeing who we truly are in Light:
Part of the process of "teshuvah" - of turning to God - is turning to yourself, that is, learning to honestly observe yourself. Often it is not that we sometimes entertain bad thoughts, but rather we engage in a process of bad thinking, or more accurately, we unquestioningly accept assumptions based on fear and fantasy. Because of this, our reasoning becomes distorted and we lose our ability to see what is real. We then "play god" by justifying ourselves, unaware how we are being driven by fear and a profound sense of inadequacy. The remedy is to change your thinking, to question the assumptions at work in your reasoning, and to gain new perspective. For example, instead of seeing angrily, see your own anger and then ask what really lies behind it. Is it pride? fear? hurt? Look deeper and then come to God... Confession means making peace with reality, “owning” the truth about what’s inside your heart. Often we do not find lasting deliverance because we fail to see the real issue. You can pray all day to be free from lust, for example, but the real issue might be fear of intimacy or fear of rejection, and so on.
Undoubtedly the root of a lot of suffering comes from the vain attempt to fill the infinite emptiness we feel with something other than God. The pride of the ego puts the self as the center, but this comes from a place of inner poverty... We demand to be the center because we are afraid we are nothing. Only the Lord can save us from ourselves - and we rely on Him to correct our thinking and show us the way of inner honesty and truth (Psalm 51:6).
The unexamined life -- especially as a follower of Yeshua -- is not worth living, and the practice of suppressing the truth about our sinful condition can lead to self-deception and even death (1 Cor. 11:30). "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:7-8). “Therefore, confess (ἐξομολογέω, lit. 'confess out') your sins to one another and pray (εὔχομαι) for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person (tzaddik) works great power” (James 5:16).
Notice the link between confessing our sins and praying for one another with healing... Being "yashar" - honest and upright - produces spiritual power and life. The word translated “pray” (euchomai) means to “wish (εὐχὴ) for oneself (or for another) the good.” Prayer is always reciprocal, as King David said in Psalm 35:13: "may what I prayed for happen to me!" (literally, tefillati al-cheki tashuv - "may it return upon my own breast").
We must begin by asking God for courage and strength... We must let go of the fear that we will discover the truth about who we really are -- about what we've done, what we've thought, about who we've allowed ourselves to become. Confession (ὁμολογία) means bringing yourself naked before the Divine Light to agree with the truth about who you are. Indeed, the word homologeo literally means "saying the same thing" - from ὁμός (same) and λόγος (word). We need to confess the truth if we are to be free from the pain of the past. When King David wrote, "The LORD is my Light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1), he implied that he should even be free of fear of himself and of his past.... We also need to understand our sin in relationship to the wounds of the Savior, since without that connection, our repentance will be vain indeed.... [Hebrew for Christians]
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Addendum: What is Sin?
The New Testament connects moral evil (or sin) with the absence of faith in the Lord: πᾶν δὲ ὃ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως, ἁμαρτία ἐστίν, "All that is not from faith is sin" (Rom 14:23). Sin is also defined as rebellion and anarchy of the heart: ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία, i.e., "sin is lawlessness (i.e., anomia: ἀνομία), that is, the repudiation of God's authority as the definer and judge of moral reality (1 John 3:4). The apostle John further defined sin as "unrighteousness": Πᾶσα ἀδικία ἁμαρτία ἐστίν, "all unrighteousness is sin" (1 John 5:17), which may be further correlated with Paul's statement that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all "ungodliness" (i.e., ἀσέβεια, profanity, lack of reverence for the gift of life) and unrighteousness of men (i.e., ἀδικία, injustice, cruelty), who by their unrighteousness suppress (i.e., κατέχω, put down, "smother") the truth, because what can be known about God is manifest in them (φανερόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐτοῖς, that is, it appears within them), because God himself has revealed it to them" (Rom. 1:18-19).
Sin therefore may be defined as the willful denial or disregard of reality, the deliberate squelching of the voice of conscience (i.e., consciousness of what is morally right and wrong), and the idolatrous exaltation of the ego as the ultimate concern of life. A life characterized by the ongoing practice of sin is marked by anarchy and chaos (תהוּ ובהוּ) that inevitably leads to loss and trouble. The "payback" for sin is death which is retribution for walking contrary to the truth. “The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek. 18:20). The divine judgment upon sin is spiritual and eternal separation from the reality and blessing of the Divine Presence... Hell is therefore the dreadful spiritual condition of living in a state of unending delusion and despair, removed from sanity and the truth of love that sets the soul free. - jjp
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4.8.21 • Facebook
Today’s message from the Institute for Creation Research
April 9, 2021
Pleasures at God's Right Hand
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
The 16th Psalm contains the Bible’s first reference to the resurrected Christ at the “right hand” of His heavenly Father, and this is important, for there are 20 other such references that follow this one. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). This latter verse is quoted no less than five times in the New Testament (Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13).
Then there are seven references to Christ being at God’s right hand in Paul’s epistles (Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2), and seven in other books of the New Testament (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 7:55-56). Lastly, “[Jesus Christ] is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Peter 3:22). It is noteworthy that the first reference speaks of Christ’s great joy at God’s right hand; the last of His great power there.
One additional activity there is mentioned: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). In fact, His continual intercessory ministry on our behalf is His main activity in God’s immediate presence during this present age (note Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; etc.).
Soon He will become God’s strong right hand of power, manifested until all His enemies become His footstool and we, His people, are taken up to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Then we shall enjoy with Him the pleasures and fullness of joy at God’s right hand forevermore. HMM
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unknownwriting · a month ago
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Summary- Xiao lantern festival hc
Character(s)- Zhongli, Beidou
Warnings- very small bit of angst with Zhongli
A/n- the event may have ended but that doesn’t mean there can’t still be hc 😌 hope you enjoy these late hc 💕
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Zhongli
This man is so excited for the festival. He can’t sit still. He wants to be apart of it all, the planning, the preparation, the cooking, the decorations, the material gathering. All of it.
Zhongli is an old soul literally so he enjoys these type of things. This type of stuff is always so rich in culture and lore. So he enjoys and admires all the time and effort put into it
With Zhongli being the founder and the god of Lyiue, it always makes him happy to know that the citizens still respect and admire him and the yakshas
Zhongli drags you to everything too. The planning, preparations, the material gathering, all of it. Which you don’t mind, seeing Zhongli happy and reminiscing about the old days makes you happy but also reminds you just how old he is
He always tells you fun facts and the stores behind everything. How the xiao lanterns came to be, why they cook the food a certain way, why they use qingxin flowers, why they still worships him and yakshas
It definitely information over load and you can hardly remember anything by the end of the night but your happy anyways. Hearing him talk about the old days makes you feel really really small but it’s not everyday you get to hear the real reason behind things. So although another it makes you feel really small it made you feel special at the same time
Just as traditions says, the 2 of you make wishes on the xiao lanterns. Y’all end up making the same wish too: a long and happy relationship. After making the wish, Zhongli gets a bit quiet afterwards. Because he knows your not a god or immortal, so just like ever mortal your going to pass on sooner or later.
He doesn’t want to admit it but he things about that a lot more than he should. It haunts his thoughts. You know it haunts his thoughts to, so as soon as Zhongli went quiet you quickly grabbed his hand and pulled him to the next attraction.
As you pull him along he looks down and questions you, and while a smile you replied, “Don’t think about the future. Im here and now so let’s enjoy it.”
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Beidou
Haidjwowns queen 💕👑
She is so excited for the exclusive achohal that’s going to be there. She will definitely drag you along to sample it all. And definitely the food too.
Beidou is the type of person who would stand up all night just to party. I mean hello she’s a pirate. So when the festival comes around you might as well get use to very little sleep.
Bc she’s been at sea for so long, there still a lot of things on land she has to get use to. So it take a little longer to enjoy the festival bc first y’all need to get use to land. Once y’all are, Beidou is dragging you everywhere.
Very competitive when it comes to the mini games. Even if it something small like ring toss, Beidou will play to win. So you end up walking home with a lot more stuffed animals than you intended.
Absolutely loves making Xiao lanterns with you. It’s her favorite time she gets to spend with you. It’s nice break from all the pirating y’all do. Beidou herself isn’t that good at making the Xiao lanterns but she loves watching the way you work.
With the 2 of y’all being use to the sea it feels a bit awkward on land, so y’all don’t stay longer than y’all have too. Maybe about a week then y’all head back to the ship
Even tho y’all head back to the ship, that doesn’t mean y’all leave the port. The ship lingers around the port until the end bc even tho y’all don’t wanna stay on land doesn’t mean y’all still don’t celebrate. With the crew together again it’s time to party like pirates.
Drinks, singing, occasional fights, and laughter all filled the ship as the crew partied all night long. While they partied you and Beidou began to enjoy the view from the ship and began talk about random things. This was the route for a while until all the Xiao lanterns were released into the sky.
By far the prettiest sight the 2 of you seen, but Beidou was only in a trance for so long before her attention turned to her. The way you eyes lit up in the sky and the smile that painted your lips. She was so lucky to have found someone as pretty as you.
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sml8180 · a month ago
Text
CiN Behind the Scenes ~ Ch 3: Infiltration
Original Upload Date: 9 September, 2020
Length on Google Docs: ~11 pages
Docs Word Count: 3,651
Reference Tally: 3
NOTICE: This chapter contained content featuring Janus’ father, who is Homophobic and Transphobic. As such, he misgenders and dead-names Janus throughout their conversation, and things do get physical between them at the end of their argument. I’ll be putting bold notices by any sections talking about this content, so that you can skip those sections if you so choose.
1) This was, obviously, a pretty long chapter. I think the average chapter length for this story was around 8 or so pages, with a few breaking 10 pages, and at least one hitting 12+.
        A) Fun Fact: This entire universe was originally going to be a 10-chapter idea and end at that. Obviously, I got really into it, considering Chaos is Normal on its own ended up 22 chapters.
2) You do not wanna know how much I looked into different types of hidden/wear-able cameras for this chapter. You really don’t. I did learn some really interesting stuff, though.
        A) The cameras Remy and Remus wear in this chapter are based on some stuff I found. Technically speaking, neither camera (nor any of the others I feature later in the story) are really out of the realm of possibility in the real world. Maybe a bit advanced, but they could be possible.
3) The team trying to get cameras going and clear, along with audio stuff is honestly fun to write. Similar segments pop up in other chapters, and it’s always amusing to me, for some reason.
4) “I was born first and you know it, Remus” is a line I forgot I wrote, but adore, honestly.
        A) My older brother and I have a 10-year gap in age, so I was literally winging every single sibling moment that goes down between the twins. Hopefully they mostly came out okay.
5) Apparently there’s still a typo in the original Doc that I managed to correct immediately before posing. Uh....
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Dunno how I didn’t catch that going through before I got it into the Ao3 editor, but I did catch it before actually hitting Post on the chapter. So... At least there’s that?
6) I love writing Janus and Virgil being good friends/caring about one another. It’s just something I love.
7) Having Virgil and Janus get spotted by Remy and Remus (as well as by Logan, and Roman, via the camera feeds) is honestly something I originally didn’t really intend to put in. But, I felt like having these passing glimpses of the teens made things feel a little more connected when I went through and added it as an experiment, so I kept it in.
8) Giving Remy and Remus their various nicknames and codenames in this chapter was too fun.
        A) Calling Remy “Sandman” was something I really wanted to do at some point in the story, and the opportunity seamlessly presented itself here, so I couldn’t resist.
        B) Later in the chapter, Remus claims that members of the Venom Order (who all use a sort of codename, to protect their identities; hence why Virgil goes by Spider and Janus goes by Deceit) call him “Beetlejuice” literally came from the fact that while writing this chapter, I was listening to the “Beetlejuice” musical soundtrack a lot, and uh... Yeah, it kinda just happened from there. Opened up the perfect opportunity for a joke in a later chapter, too.
9) Logan having to divide their attention between the cameras, Remy and Remus’ audio, and having to listen to make sure Patton and Emile are alright is something I planned from the start of the story. I wanted this to happen at least once. Logan has been protective and even at times a bit paranoid over Patton’s safety for most of the boy’s life, and this is an example of them doing their best to make sure he’s safe, despite the fact they’re doing something extremely dangerous just upstairs.
10) I can’t help but headcanon that Janus almost always wears layers not just to help with dysphoria, but also because he fidgets with the top layer of his clothes when he gets nervous. As such, he has a lot of hoodies, jackets, and vests in his wardrobe.
        A) He also wears layers because he just likes how it looks. Yes, this is me projecting. I like layered looks, okay?
NOTICE: This is where I’m covering the conversation between Janus and his father. This section does describe Transphobia, abuse, and emotionally-distant “parenting” (if you can call anything Janus’ father does parenting at all). There will be a second notice once we are beyond that particular section, so simply scroll to that point if you don’t wish to read these next few points.
11) I wrote Janus’ father as being a very cold sort of parent. If he weren’t a Homophobic, Transphobic, all-around piece of shit, he’d still be a bad parent. He hardly gives a damn when his son does well, and only ever really responds if he feels Janus has done something wrong (like, y’know, existing, since Janus is trans, and Joseph refuses to see him as his son).
12) Joseph repeatedly misgenders and dead-names Janus throughout the conversation, and it was really hard to write. I had to check my work several times to make sure things were “correct”, and I didn’t have any slips that Joseph wouldn’t make.
        A) If any of you hated Joseph immediately once he opened his mouth, then I did my job. I wanted everyone to hate this asshole. I hated this asshole, and I created him. So, yeah, fuck Joseph “Viper” Prescott.
        B) Luckily, I didn’t need to write a ton of Joseph in this story (and likely won’t need to in future stories), because I really hated him from the start, in the “I created you to be awful, and god damn, you are awful” way.
13) Janus telling Joseph off by saying “I am your son! If you can’t see that, then you’re fucking blind, old man!” was a line I wanted to include some form of from the start of the chapter, and it went through a few different iterations before I finally decided I liked this one best.
        A) Also, Janus immediately realizing he went too far with that statement is intended to be a relatable moment (as we’ve probably all had that moment of, “I shouldn’t have said that”), but also intended to show that Janus knows how his father reacts to that kind of thing, and the resulting “Anxiety vs Might as well go all in” sort of conflict Janus has is there to hint that things really aren’t good at home, and it really has changed the way Janus tends to think and approach some situations.
14) Depicting the very quick emotional shifts with Joseph was another thing I had trouble with, but for a very different reason. I have ADHD (I don’t keep this secret, I’ve posted about it and make an effort to be open about the various ups and downs I deal with as a result), and it has a big impact on my writing style. It’s why I try to be descriptive (especially when it comes to places and character body language, expression, emotion, and clothing), since the details help me keep track of tone, location, and the like.
With Joseph, though, I had to throw some of that out the window. I try to keep emotional shifts for characters consistent, and at least hint to them coming up, to make it easier for myself (and other readers who might also have a hard time with sudden shifts and cues like that) to keep track of things. I couldn’t do that with Joseph. Because of how I wanted to portray him in this story (especially this chapter), I had to make things sudden. Hence the sudden and quick way he lashed out (though the inciting force is “clear”; he was angry concerning Janus’ comments), and the rapid shift to him once again being cold and stoic once he’d struck Janus and the teen was on the ground. It was hard to keep it draft-level quick, rather than going through and “refining” it.
NOTICE: We’re done talking about all the really bad stuff. There’s some talk of the aftermath, but all the really explicit things are out of the way, so it should be safe to continue.
15) Virgil is basically me at any gathering. Just, stick to the edges, people-watch, and silently panic if anyone approaches.
16) I think this is the closest Virgil gets to really flying off the handle in this story. I don’t think I ever have him get this close to going and physically fighting someone at any other point, and damn do I wish I had, honestly. Virgil is really protective of Janus, and seeing his friend (read: crush) in his current state sets him off. He’s still fuming when Janus gets his attention again and is clearly desperate to just get out of there, but he pulls himself together and helps Janus out, because he knows that going after Joseph won’t be the helpful thing in this situation.
17) Logan flexing their fingers before starting to really get to work once Remy patches them into the Order system is honestly something I have a habit of doing when I start writing, especially if it’s cold, since the joints in my hands tend to get stiff and lock up a little. Also, I really couldn’t resist the really obvious spy/hacker bit. The opportunity was right in front of me, and you all know by now I take the opportunities when they come.
18) I originally didn’t want to leave the chapter where it ended, since it was a pretty decent cliff-hanger and felt like an awkward stopping point at the time. That being said, I’m glad I did it. This and most of Chapter 4 were going to be one entity, but that would’ve ended up way longer (Chapter 4 ended up roughly 8 pages on its own), and it would’ve been a lot of fairly heavy content all in one go, so it was better broken up. It made me very glad for the little POV shifts throughout, because it gave me a clean place to cut the chapter apart and made it a little less awkward.
And, I think that’s about it for this one! This was a really long chapter (probably the longest I’d ever written as of when I wrote it), and it was full of stuff to help kick off future interactions in the story.
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drreporting · a month ago
Prompt Omelia sharing a bath together something sweet please
Baby Bath
“I forgot how tiring it is manufacturing a human being,” Amelia muttered, half sarcastically, as she leaned her back against Owen’s chest, resting her head in the crook of his neck. “Thank god the nausea is gone.”
“Well, I can put you on the schedule for less hours at work…” He stopped as soon as he saw those piercing blues staring up at him accusingly. “Never mind,” he finished, chuckling as he rubbed her shoulders, splashing water over them to distract her from her irritation.
“I hope this isn’t the chief of surgery speaking to me right now,” she chimed, closing her eyes as she smirked, her jaw evidently tense.
Over the past couple of weeks, she and Owen had challenged each other on numerous occasions during work, causing a lot of tension amidst staff members and patients with their arguments. It was hard to pick a side when one side was the chief of neurosurgery, and the other side was the chief of surgery, especially when they were engaged to each other. Picking a side at work meant picking a side in their relationship, and many of the doctors there had realized long ago that it made no sense to do either, far less both. The power struggle was evident between the two, but no one would openly admit that as the reason for all their squabbles. Owen was coddling her because she was pregnant, and she was being arrogantly independent to counteract it. Something had to give.
Their most recent fight had been catalyzed by Owen rearranging Amelia’s surgeries so that she would spend less time on her feet while working. To say that had sent Amelia over the edge, was an understatement; she hated being micromanaged. The action had led to an all-out yelling session right outside the OR that was supposed to be ready for her surgery, and Owen had unfortunately made the mistake of exercising his full control, as chief of surgery. He’d basically given her a ‘time-out’ in front of all their colleagues, as though she were a resident, and banished her to his office where her subordinates assumed, she would receive the actual punishment for her public disrespect. Although she complied, she obviously did not respond well to it in the end. By the time he’d made it there to privately address their argument, she’d torn up the entire room, the mess of it all making it known how angry she was. It was like a hurricane had torn through his office.
“Amelia, what is wrong with you?” Owen exclaimed as he observed his fiancée pelting all the papers off his desk, and across the room.
“Why are you undermining me in front of my students?” she yelled at him, “I am the chief of neurosurgery-”
“Well, you’re not acting like it,” he responded blandly, hinting at the mini tantrum she appeared to be having in his office, “You’re being completely irrational…”
“I had a surgery booked.”
“And you’re pregnant and you’ve already logged almost 30 hours in the past two days, so no,” he cut her off, raising a hand to silence her, “No more long hours.” Before he could continue his lecture, a knock came to the door, and Derek peaked through the crack, just in time to see the mess. He chose to ignore it, knowing he had more important matters at hand, and went ahead with his inquiry.
“Hey Hunt, is the patient prepped for OR 1 as yet?” Derek asked, not knowing of the yelling match, or its origin.
Before Owen could get a word out, Amelia turned to her brother and yelled, “Get out!” He froze, looking at Derek with a bit of shock on his face. He had not expected her to yell at him.
Derek looked between the two before looking back at his sister. “Okay then…” As soon as he exited the room, she glared at Owen once more.
“Amelia, just…please-”
“No,” she cut him off this time, raising her hand; the hurricane had only just begun, “You cannot use your power to boss me around and undermine me, just because I am pregnant with your child!” she yelled at him, clearly enough for some of the doctors outside to hear, “I am not your property, and I am not a plant!” It was hard to keep a straight face when she had just compared herself to a plant, but Owen knew it would be counterintuitive to laugh right now. They had yet to announce to the rest of the hospital the good news, so he was sure those eavesdropping doctors would do the job for them, and probably spread the news of their most recent fight too.
“You don’t know how to take care of yourself.” She furrowed her eyebrows at him in disgust. How could he have the audacity to say that?
“I know how to take care of myself,” she growled, her fists clenched as though she was ready to pummel him, “Let’s not forget that I had to birth and raise Ryan, all by myself!” She pressed a palm to her forehead as she tried to regain control of her emotions. “You just don’t know how to stop controlling people.”
“I am not controlling you, Amelia,” he disagreed, “Look, can we just simmer down a bit?”
“So, what is it that you’re doing?” she accused him, folding her arms. Owen sighed and scratched the back of his head.
Walking to her, he squeezed her arms and looked down at her. “I just want you to be safe and I want the baby to be healthy, and you’re not being safe!”
“Owen, I’m pregnant, not dying,” she reminded him, “And Arizona has not said anything about me staying off of my feet. For god’s sake, I’m only two and half months along!”
He sighed, knowing she was a little right but not wanting to admit it. He was worried about her; this was his first child. “Amelia, could you just please follow my orders and stay home more?”
“No,” she said, pulling herself out of his grasp, “I am no longer just your subordinate, Owen. You asked me to marry you, I am pregnant with your child!” He frowned at her as he truly began to feel the shame of the way he acted. “You cannot just give me orders, like an intern, and expect me to follow you like we’re living in the 1950’s!” He folded his arms and averted his eyes to the floor, clenching his jaw. She was right, and he knew it, and he’d already done the damage. “You undermined me and embarrassed me today, in front of my subordinates. You made it seem like I was handicapped!”
“Amelia…”
“Can I start parking in the cripple spot too?” she vulgarly asked, pointing in the general direction of the car park. Owen pinched the bridge of his nose, not knowing what else to say. Amelia walked towards him, intending to walk past him, but not before saying, “This is getting ridiculous now, Owen. Last week, you were sending interns, with keto meals, to take my vitals every six hours. This week, you’re running my department for me.” He felt terrible because he knew now; he was overdoing it. He had been stifling her this entire time, and he thought he was being caring, and truthfully he couldn’t help but wonder if this is how Cristina felt too; if that was why she truly left. “It’s either you give up being chief, or…” She frowned; she couldn’t say the words. She just fiddled with the engagement ring on her finger, wondering if she had really thought this marriage thing through with him. “I can’t do this anymore; something has to give.” And with that, she left.
That fight had been just a few days ago, so it was still fresh in their minds as they sat in the bathtub together. Amelia had not broken up with him, but she had stopped wearing the engagement ring, so he didn’t know where they stood. Quite frankly, he was surprised that she’d even invited him in the tub with her. Everything was all so confusing these days, and he hoped it was just the hormones, and not them falling apart.
“This is not the chief speaking to you,” he laughed uncomfortably, deep in thought now. “Actually, I’ve been thinking about some stuff…” He didn’t know where to start, but thankfully she did.
“I have too,” she affirmed, “I’m sorry for making you feel like you have to choose between your job and me. It’s just that the micromanaging…”
“Amelia, I get it,” he cut her off, cupping his hands around her stomach. She looked up at him, the curiosity sparkling in her eyes. “I’ve been entirely too pushy with you, as of recently.”
She quirked an eyebrow at him. “Go on…”
He smiled as he looked down at her, already sensing that she would forgive him. “I think I got caught up worrying about all the ways you could get hurt.” He shifted uncomfortably as he looked around, adding, “I’ve always wanted to be a dad, it’s been my dream since…I don’t know. But I’ve never been through a pregnancy before, and honestly, it’s scary.” She watched him with concern, sensing that he was being vulnerable. “All the baby articles online, all the medical knowledge, it’s always racing through my mind when I see you.” He furrowed his brows and frowned, and Amelia could feel his pulse quickening, his heart thumping against her back. “I know you’ve been through the baby thing already, but this is my first child, Amelia. And I…”  He looked back at her again, his gaze a mixture of worry, fear, and love. “I want her to be perfect, and happy and healthy, and I don’t want to have to worry about if you are standing too long, or not eating enough, and if it will hurt her. Or hurt you.” He squeezed his arms around her stomach a little tighter. “I don’t want you to hurt yourself, more than anything.”
“Owen I’m not going to hurt myself,” she giggled, softened by his caring words. Initially, she felt like he was being a control freak, but now she was hearing otherwise; he was just experiencing anxiety. “You can be a caring father, and not control my every move, at the same time.”
“That sounds more like an oxymoron,” Owen grumbled unenthusiastically. Amelia sat up in the tub, and Owen followed, his hands holding either sides of her waist as he helped her up and out of the water to get to her towel. “How am I supposed to do that?” He got out of the tub and wrapped his towel around his waist before joining Amelia by the mirror sink, standing behind her. She had already begun combing her hair and appeared to be purposely ignoring Owen.
“You can start by answering this question,” Amelia quipped, twisting, and pointing the comb at him behind her as she put on a gameshow voice, “What colour do you think our baby’s hair will be?”
Owen raised his eyebrows in confusion. “Amelia, what does this have to do with anything?”
“Just answer,” she prompted him, shaking the comb in front of his face like a mic.
Owen smirked as he looked at her in the mirror; she was entirely too playfully attractive for him not to entertain this little game. “Okay. Red.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her and grinned.
“I think so too,” she agreed. She faced the mirror again and leaned into his chest, a dreamy look on her face as she slowly twirled a strand of her wet hair around her fingers. “I think it’ll be a girl.”
“I hope it is,” Owen sighed peacefully, wrapping his arms around her waist as he lightly rested his chin on the top of her head, “And I hope her eyes are blue like yours.”
“With rosy skin,” she added to the imagination.
“Rosy,” Owen repeated, liking the way it sounded in his voice, “Let’s call her that.”
With an amused grin on her face, she said, “We don’t know if it’s a girl.”
“It’s definitely a girl,” Owen feigned ignorantly, making Amelia giggle again, “I can feel it right here.” He softly poked a finger in her side, knowing she would jump.
“Don’t tickle me!” she exclaimed, shying away from his steady grip on her waist. He smiled as he watched her in the mirror, knowing in his heart that it would be a girl. It had to be.
“Rosalie,” Amelia whispered once they settled into each other’s embrace, “Rosie, for short.”
“I love it,” Owen grinned even wider. He looked down at her, turning her in his arms as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I love you.”
She smiled up at him, returning the kiss, but on his mouth. “How could you not?” And she was right. It was impossible not to love her, which was the reminder he needed to finally make his mind up.
“I’m thinking of giving up being the chief,” he said against her lips as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
Taken aback, Amelia pulled away from him to look at him. “Really?” He nodded; his eyes hooded with love. “Just like that?”
“You said it yourself,” he whispered, “How could I not love you?”
She smiled with a questioning look. “Are you sure?”
“I want to be around more,” he explained, “I don’t want to miss out on our baby’s life because I’m sorting through paperwork and yelling at doctors.” He looked her up and down, truly looked at her. “I want to take care of you, and not in the chief-y way.”
“Well, you’ve convinced me,” she relented, grinning at him, “but I think you’ll miss the job.”
“Are you crazy? I hate paperwork,” he dramatically exclaimed, filling her neck with kisses, “And I hate dealing with doctors’ problems.”
“Hmm, I don’t know, you seemed to enjoy it,” she played along, “Bossing people around, telling them where to stick their budgets. It was kinda hot.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked, and she nodded playfully, stealing a quick kiss from him. “Well, as your boss, I order you to take off your towel.”
“Or else what?”
“Or else,” he began, turning her around while he unraveled her from the towel, “you will be punished.” He faced her back towards him, his hand making its way to her rear and spanking her once. He was delighted to hear her gasp of surprise, and more so when he saw the shocked expression, she gave him in the mirror.
“You see, this is how we got here in the first place,” she reminded him, laughing.
“The spanking, or the sex?” he sought to confirm, dotting the back of her neck with kisses.
“Both,” she giggled.
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pomegranates-and-blood · a month ago
Text
ἀλήθεια (Chapter 1, Vοσταλγία AU)
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ἀλήθεια Masterlist
Pairing: Freydis/Reader, Ivar/Reader (past)
Word Count: 2.9k
Warnings: The usual, plus like a lot of angst, a lot of it. (Sort of, I’m not very good with death/violence) graphic descriptions of death.
A/N: The first part of the AU of Nostalgia for Freydis/Reader! This is a deviation from Chapter 37, so beware for spoilers, and also...prepare for pain. Anyhow, I hope you like this!
She finds you sitting on that same clearing from so long ago, sitting almost in the same place. Only this time, you are twirling your wedding ring on your finger.
It is still clear as day, the memory of that time she found you praying on that small clearing, the mark of tears on your face doing nothing to diminish the fire in your eyes. She remembers, because that is the night she realized there was something more to you, something more to the way she saw you, something more to the way she felt greedy and possessive over your attention, something more to the way she felt about you.
Fitting, she supposes, that it was that night when you told her Ivar was forcing you to marry him. She never doubted something back then she called love -now knows better, and calls obsession, calls need, calls selfishness- was what made him bring you to Kattegat, and so Freydis wasn’t really surprised to hear he intended to make you his wife.
It still hurt. If she is honest, it still does.
She remembers what you looked like that night, the defeated edge and the anger and the desperation. She remembers what your hand felt like in hers, warm and tethering and hers. She remembers the way you lived up to the name they give you when you pulled promises of helping you escape from her lips, as if she were under a spell -and maybe she was, maybe she still is-.
And just like that night she approaches silently even though she knows you are aware of her presence, and just like that night her heart pulls in her chest.
Freydis is used to your pain, she is used to your anger; she has been a witness to both many times before.
But this, this is nothing like pain, nothing like anger. This is devastation, and wrath.
She never saw devastation quite like the one that is written in the way your spine isn’t as straight anymore, in the way your voice cracks and breaks and you still talk, in the way you tell her the Greeks were attacked, and they will be attacked again.
There’s a strange air around you, like all that is alive and warm comes to die willingly at your feet, like through the cracks of your broken heart seeps in all the warmth of the earth as if to try to heal it.
Freydis still sits by your side, shoulder to shoulder.
She asks by whom.
And she can’t help but think she has never actually seen wrath before, not until now, not until she sees the gentleness in your eyes fade away in but a breath, not until your expression -always so honest, so alive- gives in to nothingness, not until she hears none of the usual warmth when you say Ivar.
And she realizes maybe it isn’t willingly that the warmth comes to die at your feet, but that your touch that has given so much is also capable -willing- to take it all, even life; and maybe it isn’t a soft heart needing the earth to tend and mend it, but it is the woman that had wars started and ended in her name -for a chance at her love- that demands the world pay for the mistake of trying to break her.
Many times she has looked at you and thought of the spring you always spoke so fondly of. She thought of warmth and gentle breezes and flower crowns.
She looks at you now and thinks of the rage of a storm clouding the skies and ravaging the warm earth with strikes of hail and lightning, she thinks of thorns and poison ivies and vines wrapped tightly around the throats of the undeserving, and yet in the devastation and the wrath there’s still you.
And she reaches for your hand.
You hold hers back so tightly she still feels the ghost of your touch when you’ve left her behind, your back straightened once again, but your eyes dead -so dead, so unlike yours- when you go to face the King.
____
She waits for the world to shake and tremble, she waits for Kattegat’s streets to be a swirl of madness as they did when you were made queen, she waits for word to spread of how the queen has died at the hands of her husband.
She waits, but nothing happens. The earth isn’t split in two, even though she knows you are.
A part of her, a part of her that grows stronger with each passing moment since you left that clearing, begs her to go to the longhouse. She knows she could never kill him -but she wants to-, she knows she couldn’t even try to fight him -but she needs to-.
She doesn’t want to leave you alone.
Night falls, and she tries sleeping, even if her body feels jittery and something in the back of her mind reminds her why she always found ways to hold on to small bits of control. Because there is men like him, and there’s monsters like him, that are willing and able to take everything from her, in ways that are worse than she ever imagined, in ways she can do nothing against.
She stands in front of you, watching you as you carefully finish braiding together a wreath of flowers. The distant door to the longhouse is forced open, and your hands still.
“My love, where are you?” He calls out, and Freydis watches, unable to move, as you close your eyes where you stand and take a deep breath. A cleansing breath. A last breath.
The wreath of flowers falls from your hand.
You start walking, and it feels as if thick vines trap her, but she still fights, she still tries reaching you, pleading with you not to go.
“I’m here.” You tell him, eerily calm.
“Come here,” Ivar calls, still slightly manic, still lost and erratic as big eyes look over you. Freydis takes steps twin to yours, but feels like she is watching from afar when he extends a hand, “I need you.”
Freydis cries and pleads, screams and rages, but neither of you listen. She wishes you could just listen, because…she knows how this tale goes, she knows how this ends.
He kisses you, and for the first time she wishes that kiss to never end. His hand caresses the side of your face, and for the first time she pleads he holds you close and you let him.
But he turns you around in his grip, your back to his chest, his nose buried in your hair as he whispers something Freydis can’t hear, but that she knows doesn’t matter. Won’t matter.
Because she knows what happens now. She doesn’t know how, but she knows.
And all she can do is watch.
The scream is caught in her throat as she watches pull tight at the metal cord, choking you. You both fall to the ground, but it is Freydis who breaks.
You fight, of course you do, and she claws and tears at herself trying to reach you, trying to save you. But she can’t, and your neck bruises and bleeds, your body loses its strength, and your gasps and whimpers fade to nothing.
You fade to nothing.
There’s a deafening moment of silence that follows the moment she realizes you are no longer in this world, a moment where she realizes there is a world without you and she is stuck living in it, a moment where at the fading of your voice and your laughter it feels like it is the rest of the world that has died instead.
She watches, frozen and trembling, as Ivar sits up. Her stomach churns at the way your head lolls lifelessly at the movement. She wants to scream, she wants to fight, she wants to…Gods, please, anything but this.
Shaking fingers move your hair away from your face, but Freydis cannot focus on how that makes her feel sick, and the king’s body is shaken by cries that sound more like a wounded animal’s than a man’s, but Freydis cannot find it in her to think it fitting for a monster.
No, all she can focus on is the metal around your neck. It looks so much like chains.
You died with chains around you. She remembers your voice, quiet and warm, telling her about the thing you feared the most about death; and she has to look at your dead body and remember she will never hear your voice again, and that she failed at keeping you from dying how you most feared: chained.
She wakes up screaming, and blindly stumbles out of the room, towards the entrance of the home. She has to find you, she has to-…
“She won’t die, child of Freyja,” A voice behind her says, and she turns around with a gasp, finding a woman sitting on one of the flimsy chairs with all the poise of who sits on a throne. Her blind eyes feel all-seeing as the woman tilts her head to the side, so reminiscent of…you. “Her death isn’t his to have.”
The woman smiles, and only then Freydis notices the way her full lips are stained with a shade of red that looks sweet.
She blinks, and the wooden roof of her bedroom greets her. She closes her eyes, clutching the pendant that hangs from her neck, and tells herself everything will be alright.
She was always a good liar, after all.
____
“Tomorrow, there will be-…I will be dead tomorrow,” You explain, and though Freydis feels her heart squeeze in her chest, you speak too calmly to be considering your own death. A deep breath, and, “A thrall, she…she looks like me, she will be dead in our-…in his bed come morning. Ivar will know it’s not me, of course, but…tis not something one survives, leaving Ivar the Boneless, everyone knows that.”
Freydis bites back words -accusations, really- that you are still protecting him, protecting his pride, his image, his reputation. That you are still trying to find a way to spare him the pain.
You breathe something that in a life before this could have been a chuckle, but now only sounds bitter and broken.
“Kattegat will see its queen die, I’m sure that surprises no one. Especially with a…a foreign witch on the throne of a realm she never belonged to.”
“You’re leaving.” The shieldmaiden states, instead of replying to your strange and manic words. Freydis is almost grateful she speaks, because she knows you would have kept on talking.
You meet Valdís’ gaze and in your eyes shines what in a weaker woman would be desperation. But all Freydis sees is determination, and relentlessness, and the stubbornness of something warm and alive trying to survive the winter.
“I have no choice. These are my people, he-…I need to return to those who are still alive. If I wait any longer…if I wait, I may not have life or freedom to make this choice, Valdís,” You raise your chin, but the tears clog your throat and make your voice break. Still, you push on, a rueful smile on your lips, “You know to me there isn’t a difference in losing either.”
The shieldmaiden nods, what Freydis would swear are tears shining in her pale eyes, and embraces you tightly. You barely move to return the embrace, and she has a feeling she understands why.
“I love you, witch. May we meet in the life after this one.”
You look up at Valdís broad frame, and your expression trembles, your breath trembles past your lips in a sob you mask in a pitiful and bittersweet laugh that whispers what you cannot, it won’t happen, not to us, Valhalla and the Underworld will never be one and the same.
“If my mother-…if you ever meet Sieghild, if she returns here,” You close your eyes as you step back, “Tell her I couldn’t survive till the spring. Tell her I love her, and that I hope her Gods and mine keep her.”
Valdís nods her head again, the clear tell of gritted teeth as she looks away from you.
You approach Freydis, and she sees some of your resolve crumble, as if the goodbye hurts you as much as it would hurt her.
“Freydis…”
“Don’t say goodbye,” She advises you, stepping forward. “I am not leaving you alone.”
Your lips part, something quite close to a sob leaving your throat. Still, you shake your head. Stubborn woman.
“N-No, Freydis, I can’t...I can’t ask this of you.”
It is foolish, since you remind her now more than ever of the skittish and distrusting woman that was first brought to Kattegat; but Freydis still reaches forward, grasps your hand in hers.
“Wherever your Gods or mine take you, I shall be at your side,” She vows, as quietly as she can, looking directly into your eyes. Her mind was made long before she even told you those words for the first time. “I swore by it. You aren’t alone.”
You return the hold of your hand on hers, and that is all the answer she needs. With nothing but the clothes at her back and an amulet of Freyja hanging from her neck, Freydis leaves it all behind.
____
She feels like you have been on the run for an eternity, it feels like her legs burn from days of walking, and her body is being pulled to the earth by unseen vines wrapped around her.
By the way you lean against a tree and take careful breaths, she would think you feel the same. But then she catches the faraway look in your eyes as you look back at the direction you came from, and even if you are so far now from Kattegat that this isn’t even considered its border anymore Freydis knows to you it feels like it is still behind you, breathing down your neck.
You meet her eyes, and she doesn’t hesitate to straighten her back and motion for you to continue walking. She doesn’t mind walking for as long as she has to, not for you.
You find a hunter’s camp near the city you say the Greeks had settled at, and you silently agree to spend the night there.
Before the dim fire you two are able to start, Freydis sits and watches the shadows battle the light of the flames, darkness and light, life and death, fighting for the bigger portion of your soul.
The tears make a silent trail down your cheeks as you twirl the golden ring in your hand. The engraved flowers seem to mock you, standing out even more now that the ring is dirtied and muddied from days on the run.
“Did I make a mistake?” You ask her, big eyes filled with a mix of nostalgia and hope she is so used to seeing in your gaze, but that now more than ever, maybe because so much has changed and so much remains the same, it breaks her heart all the more.
And she doesn’t have an answer to give you. She wishes she could tell you coming back would be the right choice, that there’s more waiting at your back than whatever you are facing now. She wishes she could tell you that it was the right choice to leave it all, that you belong to Greece and that there is hope to be found after all that has happened.
But she can’t do either of those things, because she doesn’t know.
And how she wishes she did, if only to make the lost look in your eyes disappear, if only to somehow protect you from the desperate and broken hope that makes your breaths shallow.
“Do you think you did?” Is what she asks instead.
You meet her eyes, unwavering. And shake your head.
Your answer breaks you further than any of hers could, and your face crumples in pain.
It isn’t just the fear of them finding you what keeps you quiet, it is grief cutting any sound from leaving your throat even as you bow your back and part your lips in a scream. The rage and the pain threaten to break you at the seams, and desperate hands clutch at your hair, your own arms wrapped around you as you fold in over yourself, as if to keep yourself together.
All Freydis can do is put her own arms around you, bring you close to her and let you shake and cry and break.
Your breaths never find a regular pattern, scattered and shaking, more labored and pained whenever your hands tighten and you feel the press of that damn ring against your skin. You never lose the tension in your frame, not once in the whole night does your pain leave you for long enough to let you rest, you hold yourself tightly and desperately under your own control.
You tell her it hurts, you tell her you have been torn apart, and the way your voice breaks and shakes around the shape of her name makes her wish she had anything other than quiet and warmth to give you.
When the first rays of the new day try piercing the darkness of the forest around you, there’s a defeated kind of resilience to the way you stand up and walk away.
She moves to follow, but you tell her to stay and rest, and that you will return soon.
When you do, there isn’t a ring in your finger anymore.
____ ____ ____
So, what do you think?
Ivar attacking the Greeks is something I considered a lot for the plot of Nostalgia, but it was something so unforgivable that I couldn’t put in the main story, so here goes. I hope you like this Freydis, and idk, that you like the pairing. Of course they won’t get there anytime soon cause Reader truly loved Ivar and is going to have to grieve that relationship, but I like these two together, a lot.
Enough rambling! Please let me know what you think! Also, if you don’t want to be tagged in this AU, lemme know! I know Freydis isn’t for everyone, so feel free to ask me to take you off the list for this one! Love ya!
Taglist: @youbloodymadgenius​ @heavenly1927​ @toe-vind-ek-jou​ @xbellaxcarolinax​ @pieces-by-me​ @angelofthorr​ @samsationalwilson​ @peachyboneless​ @1950schick​ @punkrocknpearls​ @ietss​   @itsmysticalmystery​ @revolution-starter​ @chibisgotovalhalla​ @the-a-word-2214​ @fae-sedai​ @crazybunnyladysworld​   @funmadnessandbadassvikings @stupiddarkkside​ @aprilivar​ @msrawog​  
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diavolosthots · a month ago
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DARK DECEPTION CHAPTER 19
READ CHAPTER 18 HERE
Warnings: flashbacks to the previous chapter, mentions of injury and death
Pairing(s): Lucifer x reader, michael, the brothers, Barbatos
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Loud… everything was so loud. There was shuffling and the clinging of metal. There were too many people, too many voices both which he recognized and which he didn’t. His eyes couldn’t open and everything hurt, he wasn't going to lie, but his pride also didn’t allow him to actually groan out in pain, or, at least not very loudly. People were touching him, he could feel them. They worked on his wings and for a moment, he was so out of it, he about attacked someone for touching him in the first place, but then he remembered. He remembered nearly everything. The pain, the breaking of Diavolo’s wings right beneath him and then the head in his hands. He remembered the pure rage that filled him, and he remembered Satan. He’s still not sure how the fourth born did this, binding them back together. Lucifer hadn’t felt that kind of anger, that kind of power, since the celestial war, and he never thought he would feel it again, either. “Satan….” His eyes slowly opened as worry settled into his mind, and he had to blink a few times in order to focus on the picture in front of him. 
A soft hand, a gentle touch, cupped his cheek and Lucifer leaned into it. It felt familiar and comforting; it felt like you. He turned his head a bit, groaning when the pain rushed through him and right now, he wasn’t trying to hide it. “(Y/N)....” his mouth felt dry, his throat and voice hoarse. It felt as if there were sand stuck in his throat and talking hurt more than anything, well, almost. Tears were streaming down your face and he could tell that you had been crying for longer than you would ever willingly admit to him. One of his hands was held firmly by yours, the other one still cupping his cheek. “Lucifer…” it was a sob, a noise of relief, and if he wasn’t so bandaged up right now, you could throw yourself at him. “I was so worried….” You were. After Lucifer left, you begged Michael to let you run after him, or at least that he ran after him, but the angel locked you in that room. You had no idea what was going on and paced the space until your feet hurt. It felt like eternity to you until Michael finally returned and decided to bring you down, “it’s not pretty…” and it wasn’t.
You remember seeing the bodies. You didn’t know what happened, at all. Some demons were still fighting with each other, others were on the ground. You found Beelzebub first, who was all scratched up and beaten, but still standing which you deemed as good. Belphegor was with him too so at least you knew those two were fine. “Where is he?” But neither of them had an answer. You found Asmo with Mammon and Levi and you almost screamed when you saw the very open, very gaping, very bloody wound in Levi’s abdomen, barely held together by Mammon and Asmo. Mammon’s leg was broken, very clearly so, but nothing he wouldn’t survive. And for some reason Asmo, although exhausted, still looked good. Levi worried you though and you doubted he was even conscious anymore, “get…. Get him to the house… clean the wound…. Asmo, please…” but you didn’t know if they ever made it, not at that point at least. And then Satan… his golden hair stood out and you ran over there as quickly as you can. He was face down and right beside him was Lucifer, holding onto his hand. Neither of them reacted to you and you freaked out, screaming for Michael who you hoped was still there. 
And that’s how you ended up here. Michael had carried Lucifer to the house, ordering some angels down to help the rest of the brothers. For a very long time, Michael worked on Lucifer’s wings, barely speaking to you or anyone for that matter, and if he said anything at all, it was mumbled, almost as if he was embarrassed, or ashamed. Beelzebub stayed the whole time and Belphegor and Asmodeus made their own little nests in Lucifer’s room, watching over the eldest as the five of you hoped for the best. “I was so worried…. You didn’t wake up….” Lucifer could hear your pain and it pained him more than any physical pain he felt at the moment. “I… I made a promise…. I didn’t intend on breaking it…” he forced a soft grin, although it truly did nothing but hurt him; it was worth it. You laughed softly, letting yourself fall onto him as you hugged him tightly. Pain shot through him and he groaned loudly, carefully lifting his hands to place them on your back and he wished he could hold you tighter. 
“I’m sorry… Darling…” you shook your head, quickly pulling back to look at him. “No I am… I’m sorry for not fighting… I’m sorry for going with him…” A hand was placed on your shoulder and you quickly turned your head, seeing Michael look down at you, “it’s not your fault little one.” the angel looked at you for another moment before looking at Lucifer, “you have a lot to clean up, Lucifer, but my task here is done. You should heal just fine, as should everyone else. Don’t forget your promise to me…. But I will take my leave now.” You looked confused at Lucifer and then back at Michael, “promise?” but the angel only smiled, stroking gently through your hair, “don’t worry, child. It’s nothing bad. Take care of him, hm?” And then, in the blink of an eye, Michael was gone. Lucifer smiled softly, still, although the confusion was written everywhere on your face, “don’t worry….” “What did you promise him?!” You were freaking out. A promise? Made by Lucifer? To Michael? This can’t be good. Lucifer’s hand reached out slowly to grasp yours again as he swallowed thickly, “I promised… to mend our relationship… to try again…” and he hated making that promise, but for you he would do anything, including putting his pride aside and forgiving Michael. 
The words rung in your ears and you know you understood them, but you couldn’t believe them. Fresh tears spilled over as you nodded at him, looking at Beel and Belphegor on the other end of the room, and then at Asmo who took it upon himself to give you some tissues, “thank you….” Lucifer nodded, closing his eyes again, “my brothers… they’re okay…?” Asmo laughed softly behind you and nodded eagerly, “yeah… Michael brought some of his cute friends with him… they stitched everyone up.” Belphegor walked up on the other side of the bed and held up his bandaged arm, “they were pretty nice…. Levi is making it, too, and Satan just needed some rest. He slept almost as long as you.” Lucifer turned his head toward Belphegor, raising an eyebrow, “how long was I sleeping, as you put it?” “About a week.” It was Beelzebub who spoke. Lucifer’s eyes went wide and he almost immediately went to sit up, groaning loudly when his wings hurt him and he felt the pressure of your hand pushing him back down, “oh no…. You’re not going anywhere! Your wings are taking forever to heal. You had a few broken ribs too and it’ll take a while, even with Michael’s help.” 
God, he hated this. He feels useless right now. “The house is still standing…. Seems like you three didn’t do too bad.” Belphegor rolled his eyes, walking over to the door, “there he is. Lucifer is back everyone, we can leave now.” It made you laugh, genuinely, and it’s nice to see that nothing can truly ever keep Lucifer away. When Belphegor opens the door, though, he gets interrupted by Satan pushing Mammon, who’s sitting in a wheelchair, in through the door, and Levi kind of wobbling after them, “Lucifer! I knew you would make it!” You smiled at the rest of them and then looked back at Lucifer, who seems like his usual self, “is this a family meeting now? I’m glad to see you all alive. “ Especially Levi. For a while, he didn’t think the third born would make it, but his eyes actually ended up falling on Satan, “what was that?” The blond smiled smugly at him before shrugging, “it was more of a theory than anything until I tried it… but I figured since I was made from your anger, maybe you needed that anger in order to win… I didn’t think it would work so well, though.” 
“Are ya kiddin’ me?! Ya knocked the whole Devildom out!” Mammon wasn’t even exaggerating. The wave that pushed through everyone was immense and none of them ever felt anything like that. “It was amazing!” You were confused, looking between Mammon, Satan, and then back at Lucifer, who only shook his head. “No worries…. It just helped us win…” He sighed softly, closing his eyes again and holding your hand tightly, “I still need rest but… do whatever you six want for a while.. Just make sure the house is still standing for when I can walk again.” “well… actually..” Levi started and the way his tone sounded, it didn’t make Lucifer too happy so he opened his eyes again and glared at the third born, “Leviathan I swear…” but the otaku shook his head, “there’s something you need to know….” not another war, please. Please don’t let it be another war. Leviathan stepped aside, letting Barbatos enter the room. The servant was smiling as always, his hands folded behind his back. 
“Glad to see you alive and well, My Lord.” 
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crusherthedoctor · a month ago
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Sonic Heroes: Sweet or Shite? - Part 1: SILVER
There are some heroes I like. And there are some heroes I don’t like. But why do I feel about them the way I do? That’s where this comes in.
This is a series in which I go into slightly more detail about my thoughts on the heroes in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, and why I think they either work well, or fall flat (or somewhere in-between). I’ll be giving my stance on their designs, their personalities, and what they had to show for themselves over the course of time. Two things to keep in mind:
1. These reviews will be focusing mainly on game portrayals. Though alternate media will occasionally be mentioned, it'll be for the sake of adding onto a point if a portrayal is similar enough, or to compare and contrast if a portrayal is different enough.
2. These are just my own personal thoughts. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions! I don’t bite. :>
Anyhow, for today’s installment, I decided to challenge myself by starting off with a complicated one. Born from the future, and never content to stay put in said future, it's the saviour whose debut came from the most unfortunate game... Silver the Hedgehog.
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The Gist: Once upon a time, in the distant future, there was an idealistic young hedgehog named Silver, gifted with the power of telekinesis for reasons unknown. With his amazing potential, he was truly destined for a wonderful, prosperous li-just kidding, it was shit.
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“All two of us.”
For as long as he knew, the world was forever plagued by Iblis, the terrible Flames of Disaster. Cities stood in ruin, flames stood high, the floor was lava... it was a bitter life to be certain, all thanks to Iblis. Not even defeating the titular creature did much good, since it would simply come back to be a shitty boss fight another day. What was he - and his friend, Blaze, a character we definitely never saw before and definitely didn't have a completely different backstory before - to do?
Trust the first person he sees, of course. Even if they look like they might be related to the same Flames of Disaster that he fights so constantly.
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If he had eyelids, he'd be winking at the camera.
This mysterious fellow, Mephiles the Dark, informed Silver that if he were to wipe out Iblis for real, he would need to take a trip into the past, and eliminate the root of the problem... Sonic the Hedgehog? That was what Mephiles claimed, yes. What was his proof? There was no proof.
That was good enough for Silver.
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Oh look, it's Fleetway Sonic.
After an elaborate series of events, which should sound exciting but really isn't because it was just Silver going “Iblis Trigger grrr” in varying tones of voice, he was finally able to corner the blue hedgehog... twice! And despite having less fighting know-how than the hero who saved the world plenty of times, he effortlessly came close to killing the blue hedgehog... twice!
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This looks like a jobbing for...
Why twice? The first time was halted by Sonic's friend Amy Rose, who Silver had met beforehand after she mistook him for Sonic, an understandable mistake that even the keenest of eyes would be forgiven for making.
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The second time was also interrupted, this time by Shadow the Hedgehog. There's only room for one controversial non-blue male hedgehog in this franchise, sonny boy. Actually, his reasons were more benevolent than that: he wanted to show Silver the truth about what was going on, by time travelling to the incident that gave birth to Iblis. Why was one able to to this, so long as more than one Chaos Emerald was present? No one knew.
That was good enough for Silver.
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“I challenge you to a dumb-off.”
As it turned out, Iblis was one half of a sun god called Solaris, the other half being the aforementioned Mephiles. The Duke of Soleanna wanted to reunite with his late wife by harnessing Solaris' power, which succeeded from a certain point of view since he's dead now too. The resulting blunder split Solaris into two halves. One half was all brawn, with little capacity for intelligence. The other half was Iblis.
Understanding the error of his ways, and after making peace with Sonic, Silver went back to the future to try something different, which consisted of doing the same thing he always did. Luckily for him, the script decided it would work this time, albeit at the cost of Blaze sacrificing herself... Maybe? Sort of? It’s not entirely clear what happened to her, and it’s not like this was the last we ever saw of her.
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~La laaaaaa, la laaaaaa, la laaaaaa, heading to a better game, la laaaaaa~
But ohhhhh nooooo, turns out THAT didn't solve anything either! In the present, Sonic was killed by Mephiles, after the latter realised he should probably do that already if he wanted to make any progress at all with his plan. This incident led to Iblis being brought into the present, and they fused to become the omnipotent Solaris once more. Such power... such divinity... such devastation...
Actually, he was really easy. The antlion from Underground Zone was harder.
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Manchild robots - 1, god of time - 0.
With their super forms in tow, Silver, Shadow, and the revived Sonic joined forces to defeat Solaris, with Sonic in particular going the extra step in retconning Solaris out of existence entirely. Since time itself reset, meaning Iblis was no longer a memory, Silver's timeline was given a second chance. What was he to look forward to in this new, promising future?
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Shit.
The Design: Let's take a closer look at Silver's appearance, shall we?
Or rather, a certain thing that's wrong with it.
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He's holding up fifteen fingers.
Yes, you all know what I'm pointing to: the hairstyle. Let it be known that I'm very aware of the intention behind this design choice. It's supposed to be based on the Japanese Red Maple Leaf, which holds a lot of relevant symbolism for Silver's character. This is a fine idea in theory, and I can respect the intent and the creativity.
But here's the thing: If it looks like a ganja leaf, people are going to say it looks like a ganja leaf. I know some fans will gnash their teeth at me saying this, but the fact of the matter is that intentions and ideas, no matter how good they may be on paper, don't always translate well into the final product. Unleashed Secret Rings Black Knight Sonic '06 in general is certainly no stranger to showcasing examples of that, and Silver's hairstyle is no exception. There are ways to incorporate symbolism in a character’s design without making them look like meme bait in the process, and no amount of “umm ackshually” will change that, I'm afraid.
That said, there's another reason why I'm staying clean of Silver marijuana: it doesn't work for a hedgehog character. With the other hedgehogs, their hairstyles are simple and get the point across: Sonic's goes without saying, Shadow's is more angular to befit a slightly rougher hero, and Amy's is a cute bob cut of sorts. But Silver? Even without the ganja, you've still got the two tentacles making up the back of his head.
I'd rather not be reminded of hentai quills, thanks.
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“I thought Crusher-san would like it :’(”
I do find it hilarious that they went through numerous designs for Silver, and this was what they chose to go with. Some of his prototype designs may have fared better had any of them been used instead... but we didn't end up with any of those ones. We ended up with this one, therefore I'm judging this one.
But don’t worry, it’s not all bad with Silver...
The Personality: As far as actual character goes, Silver's personality is as straightfoward as most characters in the series, yet it's no less interesting, because it took a while for it to fully evolve to what it currently is. The seeds of his character - a good-natured yet awkward and rather insecure kind of guy, who doesn't fully understand how the present time works - have always been there, but it was often downplayed in earlier titles due to him being hungry for Iblis Trigger blood... or being an arsehole for no reason.
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Although to be fair, everyone in Rivals is an arsehole for no reason.
Eventually though, after the writers gave him a Snickers, these traits got more opportunity to shine. Mostly in side media admittedly, but it's been noted in the games as well. With no Iblis to angst over, he's proven to be a surprisingly bubbly chap, who just wants to know how you're all doing, fellow anthro kids. And whereas his naivety was previously used for intended tragedy to benefit the evil plan of a guy who thought taking the -istoph- out of Mephistopheles would make him inconspicuous, now it's been used for a bunch of low-key contexts that do a much better job at endearing him to the player.
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Finally, something I can relate to.
Hell, he even seems to have learned from the Mephiles incident, as he was quick to make it clear to the next shadowy deep-voiced anthro with demonic eyes he met that he wasn't gonna fall for any of them fibs no more, ya hear?
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“YouTube and Twitter don’t count.”
All in all, it works well enough, in my opinion. His personality does pave the way for some funny and wholesome moments, and since they’re no longer trying to build him up like he’s Shadow 2.0, he's nowhere near as much of a tool as he was before. So I guess you could say... I like it?
Does this mean I can say that I like the character as a whole then, design and '06-induced idiocy aside?
Well, not quite...
The Execution: This is where the complication part comes into play. We know now that I like his personality, not so much his design, but that's only the half of it. It would be more accurate to say that I like his personality... and dislike everything else.
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Aside from that, obviously.
For starters, the creation process for his character and story was summed up with, in their own words, “Think Trunks from Dragon Ball Z”. So he comes off as rather lazy and uninspired. Now I'm not expecting my Sonic characters to be 100% unique, there's always going to be similarities to other franchises no matter what you do, even if subconsciously or by complete coincidence. Taking inspiration in itself is no big deal at all.
But... was that it? Copying a DBZ character to such a blatant extent? Was there no other thought put into it?
Naturally, this ties into an overarching problem: the franchise's mid-00's habit of trying way too hard to be the anthro Dragon Ball Z. Sonic has had DBZ influences since the early days, with the Chaos Emeralds and Super Sonic, but it didn't assimilate itself into every waking aspect of his universe. It was merely an additional flavor that added to the complete package, in the same way that a Death Star with a moustache didn't mean the franchise was suddenly Star Wars the Hedgehog.
But come the turn of the millenium, nearly every main title in the series ended with Super Sonic and/or Super Shadow saving the day, while everyone else either stood around being useless, or only helping in ways that no one actually cares about. Including the in-universe President apparently, since only Sonic and Shadow were featured in the photo on his desk.
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Amy smiled. “I guess the rest of us can go fuck ourselves, huh?”
This reached its peak with - of course - Sonic '06, with Silver in particular being an obvious result of this then-ongoing trend. And yes, it would be unfair to use him as a scapegoat, considering it was already a problem long before he turned up. But moreso than even Shadow, it's an era that Silver is forever a relic of, for better or for worse.
But it doesn't stop there. Since Silver is considered a mainstay character, his gimmick of being from the future also creates problems of its own, because in order for him to make further appearances, he keeps turning up for little explained reason, and thus he suffers the Deadly Six problem of being shoved into places where he doesn't belong, for fanservice's own sake. Take Sonic Colours DS for example, where he went back in time JUST to check out Eggman's theme park... Okay...?
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On one hand, I’d visit it too, since it's made by Eggman. On the other hand, I’d stay clear of it, since it's made by Eggman.
And when there IS a justification with more weight to it? It's just recycling the '06 routine of trying to avert his ruined future, which isn't much better. The cause may differ depending on the story, but if his future is a permanent shitehole for one reason or another, he might as well cut out the middle man and stay in the present altogether, since that's where his friends are anyway. But they seem intent on not doing that, despite the future schtick being a noose around his neck at this point.
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In hindsight, maybe this was a hint to how the rest of the arc would turn out.
And then there's his dynamic with a certain purple cat... No, not Big. The other one.
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“I’m here, by the way.”
Simply put: I don't like this dynamic. At all. Or rather, I don't like how they keep milking it. Blaze's backstory was radically changed to justify her presence in Silver's future, and it really shows, since she barely even shows up half the time, as if the developers themselves forgot she was in the game. But her backstory has since been restored to her original alternate dimension interpretation, so hanging around with the grey hedgehog is all good now, right?
To be brutally honest, I probably wouldn't care for this dynamic regardless. But I would be more willing to tolerate it, and I'd refrain from groaning every time they're seen together... if they weren't intent on playing it up so much in spite of '06 being wiped out, sometimes with a bit of commentary involving their thoughts and memories, which only succeeds at making things more confusing. If Blaze is around, Silver will be nearby, and if he's not at first, he will be soon enough. This franchise does have a problem in general with restricting who's allowed to interact with who (I personally believe Sonic Heroes may have led to this, or at least it accelerated it), but I'd argue it's at its most insufferable here, with Blaze's potential and her entire world taking a backseat to being the sidekick of Ganja Man.
And you might say “Well, it's part of the franchise now, so you'll just have to accept it”. To which I ask: Have you accepted Two Worlds? Have you accepted Solo Sonica? Have you accepted Sonic's friends not doing much as of late?
Yeah. That's what I thought. “It’s just how it is” doesn’t mean you can’t criticise it.
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Meanwhile, Marine is lucky enough to get so much as a shout out.
So yeah, I have quite an extensive list of grievances involving poor Silver. But... very little of it has to do with him, right? They're all indirect problems that he just so happens to be linked to, as opposed to someone like Chris Thorndyke, who is genuinely a shit character through and through. This is more comparable to Tails being bitchy in Lost World, or Amy being manipulative in Chronicles, or Sonic being a smug dumbass in IDW, or Shadow not wearing a Hawaiian shirt in Boom. Frustrating, regrettable, but not really the character's own fault.
Yet even after all that, there's one last kick in the teeth... How do you fix all this? And how do you fix it when he's since gained a sizable fandom, many of whom like him for these very attributes? If you leave it as it is, you're stuck with this big, awkward mess that everyone pretends to ignore. If you try to do something about it, you'll get complaints about disrespecting the True Silver Spirit, and you’ll get questions about why you didn't create a new character instead... And if you did use a new character for the sake of a clean slate, THEN you'd get complaints about not using Silver.
It's a tough call to be sure, and it's such a shame because like I said, I do appreciate his personality, so I can't say he's bad outright. But with all this... clutter, I can only put him in the average category. So, in he goes.
Crusher Gives Silver a: Thumbs Sideways!
Well, I'm glad this one's out of the way. Putting my thoughts into words with Silver was harder than it should have been. I do slightly regret starting this series off on a rather downer note, but rest assured, it's a lot more positive from this point onwards, since while I have higher praise for some heroes more than others, the hero characters as a whole fare a lot better than the majority of villains not named Eggman.
I guess you could say that I hope to show why Sonic's friends aren't as shitty as the haters would suggest. ;)
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mytrashcanlife · a month ago
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Ashes to Ashes Jasper X Reader Part 5
It took four days. Four day for the venom to take over. Four days of absolute anguish for the Cullen family. But when you did wake up, it was so much worse than they imagined. You didn’t panic at first. They weren’t expecting denial, or a sense of calm. You jolted awake and immediately sat up. You look around and notice that you are no longer in the kitchen where you remembered fainting. Rosalie is the first speak to you in your confusion.
“(y/n) you’re awake. Thank god, I’m so sorry this happened.”
“What? Rosalie it’s not your fault I fainted. I was probably just dehydrated. I forget to drink water sometimes. I’m sorry I scared you, but really I’m fine. How long was I out? A few minutes?”
“Four days.”
“What? No. If I was in a coma Carlisle would have taken me to the hospital.”
“Oh no.”
“Rosalie what’s wrong?”
“Carlisle!”
“Why are you calling him?” Carlisle and the rest of the family come upstairs to see you.
“She’s awake! Oh, thank god.”
“She doesn’t know.”
“What? What don’t I know?” Carlisle looks at you with guilt in his eyes.
“ (y/n) something happened.”
“Yeah I know I didn’t drink enough water I over-heated and I fainted. It happens all the time. You know this. Carlisle I’m fine just thirsty. See?”
You grab the water bottle you keep on your bedside table and try to drink it, but you move a little too fast and know over the lamp. “Sorry. I’m a little clumsy when I’ve been unconscious for a few minutes.” You take a sip of the water, but the second you try to swallow it you throw it right back up. Violently coughing on the liquid as it makes its way back up your throat. “Okay maybe I am a little sick. That’s weird.” Rosalie leans over to your desk and grabs a mirror.
“(y/n) I’m going to show you something, but I need you stay calm okay?”
“Rosie what is going on?”
She held up the mirror and you saw yourself, but it wasn’t you. Your skin was much paler than usual, and all signs of your usual acne were gone. You looked like you had died, but then you saw your eyes. Red eyes staring back at you instead of (e/c) ones, and you lost it. Your scream frightens even Emmet.
“CARLISLE!”
“Why does everyone always yell at me?”
“Carlisle my eyes are red! I look like a damn ghost, something is wrong! You’re a doctor fix me!”
“(y/n) I can’t fix this”
“WHY NOT?”
Jasper was behind the others in the doorway. He could feel the fear coming off of her in waves.
The others were obviously not prepared for this conversation. He thought about joining in, but Edward gave him a look and he decided to let the others try first. Edward decides to try calming her down.
“Okay (y/n) I need you to calm down. You want Carlisle to fix the problem right? To do that he has to diagnose it, so what are your symptoms?”
“I…I fainted in the kitchen and then apparently I slept for four days. I feel dehydrated and hungry, but I can’t even swallow water. And my eyes are red. And everything is so loud, and bright. This feels like a bad hangover, but worse.”
“Okay. Now tell me where have you heard those symptoms before? Red eyes, thirst, aversion to light…”
“Edward you aren’t making any sense. That sounds like a…” You look up at Carlisle wide eyed and trembling. You shake your head furiously “No…Don’t say it”
“Yes.”
“I’m a vampire? No! no that’s not possible. Vampires aren’t real. They’re horror stories you tell children, so they won’t sneak out after dark, they don’t exist.”
“They do. We are a family of them.”
“But nobody bit me.”
“You are correct nobody bit you, because we never had any intention of turning you, but you don’t actually need to be bitten you just have to get venom in your bloodstream, and it will take over from there.”
“So, if none of you bit me then how did I end up with venom in my blood?”
“You remember that necklace Jane gave you?”
“Yeah, I broke it. It was so fragile I didn’t realize, I cut my hand on it trying to pick it back up and that’s when…I fainted. NO. You can’t be telling me I turned because I cut my hand on glass that had Venom on it. You can’t!”
“I do believe that’s what happened yes.” You sat there in bed for a few moments in silence.
“I don’t believe you. I’m going for a walk.” You stand up to cross the room but you’re down the stairs before you can blink, with the rest of the family right behind you. “What was that?”
“That was a small demonstration of the speed you now possess.”
Jasper could feel the fear rise up again as the realization of what had happened finally hit you.
“So, you’re all vampires? That’s what you’ve been hiding from me? That’s what all this was about you didn’t want me to know?” Edward answers you
“Yes (y/n), you have to understand, we never wanted you to turn, and we aren’t allowed to tell humans about us unless we intend to turn them.”
“So, what you just thought I was never going to figure it out? You thought I’d grow old get a husband and some kids and never noticed my family wasn’t ageing?”
“Not exactly.”
“Then what was the plan? If you weren’t going to turn me exactly how did you think I was never going to catch on?”
“You were going to college”
“So what? You think I wouldn’t visit?” You look around at Your family as they look down with guilty expressions on their faces. Your eyes widen once more in realization “I was never going to get to visit was I? You were planning to never see me again after I left. You were planning to abandon me?” Jasper was concerned now. In the past few months he’d seen you feel a lot of emotions, fear, joy, sadness, but not this. This was pure Rage.
Carlisle tries to defend himself.
“It’s not like that”
“Yes it is Carlisle. You were going to abandon me like everyone else does. Fine then, I’ll just go.”
Alice finally returning from her trip had picked a very bad moment to walk through the door.
“Guys I’m ba-oh my god, (y/n) what happened?”
“Don’t worry about it. I was just leaving.”
You ran. You ran into the woods, and climbed cliff sides as fast as you could. You knew they’d send somebody after you but at that moment you didn’t care. If they were just going to leave you then you might as well save them the trouble. Alice turned to Jasper in shock.
“I didn’t do it.”
Rosalie jumped to his defense for once.
“He didn’t. The Volturi did. Sneaky little bastards.”
“What happened? I was gone for a week and I come back to this? This was not the vision!”
“Yes, it was Alice. You just didn’t realize it.”
“Well someone has to go get her before she hurts someone!”
Carlisle spoke up “I’ll go get her. This is my fault anyway.”
Jasper had enough, “No I think you’ve done enough.”
While they were arguing they failed to realize that Emmet was already gone. He was barely behind you for miles.
“(y/n) please just stop for a minute and talk to me. It’s me. Emmet, Your big brother.” You stopped and turned around
“You lied to me. You were going to leave me.”
“No (y/n) we hadn’t thought this through. You remember how you came to us in the first place right? We got into this situation and put our own lives on the line to help you because we couldn’t just leave you. I know you’re starving, and you’re scared but please just come home.”
You were about to listen to him when a man walked by. It happened so fast you barely had time to register what you were doing before you draining the poor man. The hunger was too much, but once it subsided you were left cowering on the ground with the corpse of an innocent and your hands covered in blood. Emmet tried to pull you off of him, but you sent him flying backwards into a nearby tree. Carlisle Caught up to you and looked down at you in disappointment, and pity.
“(y/n) it’s okay.”
“NO THIS IS NOT OKAY!”
“Do you understand now? Do you understand what you are?”
“I’M A MONSTER”
“No. You are not a monster. You are new to this. It’s going to be okay. Please just come home we can help you.”
Emmet joins Carlisle and reaches his hand out to you. You reach to take it but hesitate and pull back. You look down and shake your head.
“I can’t-“
“You can. I did. We all did. Even jasper did. You wanna know why he acted like he did? It’s because he is new to our lifestyle. We don’t feed on humans we survive on animal blood alone. Jasper is new to that. You were a constant test for him. That is why he was so cold around you. He did it. So, can you.”
You look up at the mention of his name. You pause a moment to think.
“Okay.” You grab Emmet’s hand and the three of you rush back to the house.
The second you enter the house the whole family is staring at you. Rosalie and Alice help you clean up and get some new clothes on. Burning the bloodied ones in the process. You wait until midnight to go to Jasper’s room. You knock on the door
“Come in” shut the door behind you and lean against it.
“I need to talk to you. Somewhere the others can’t hear.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
The two of you leave through the window in his bedroom and run off into the forest. You follow him until he climbs up to the top of a tree in the center of the forest. He sits at the top leaning on one branch and you sit on another branch across from him.
“What do you need to talk about?”
“Carlisle said something when I ran off…He said that you were also new to their lifestyle and that the only reason you were cold to me was because you had to try really hard to not kill me.”
“That was part of it”
“If you were afraid to hurt me, why did you pick me up from that gas station?”
“Because you were scared, and I knew I wouldn’t hurt you.”
“How did you know that though?”
“Because I never wanted you to be one of us. You were bright, and happy. You embodied the opposite to everything we are.”
“But you didn’t have to turn me. You could have just killed me.”
“I wouldn’t do that. I don’t think I could if I wanted to.”
“But Carlisle said-“
“Carlisle is wrong. Why did you ask me all the way out here for this?”
“I didn’t. There’s something else I need to ask you.”
“Ask.”
“You never lied to me right?”
“Of course not.”
“Good. Don’t start now. How hard is it?” Jasper looks at you with a sadness in his eyes, while he thinks for a second about how to answer that. Finally, he leans forward and looks you In the eyes.
“It hurts like hell. It’s agonizing. You want human blood so much you’ll go through a hundred lions and it won’t be enough to satiate you. You’ll want to give up and run away, but don’t. Because once the withdrawals subside it gets easier. It gets better.”
“one more question.”
“shoot”
“Will I be okay?”
“Yes.” You lean over to his side of the treetop and he envelops you in his arms. You both stay there for a bit. Sometimes people just need a hug, at midnight.
“Okay. Let’s go home. And don’t tell anyone about this.”
“My lips are sealed.” You looked jasper in the eyes, those golden eyes, and smile. The two of you sneak back in through the same window and Jasper distracts the others while you sneak up to your room. You lay down, knowing you won’t be sleeping again, but as you look up at your ceiling you feel like everything is going to be alright.
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popculturebuffet · a month ago
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Final Space: And Into The Fire Review or Now with 110% More Homoerotic Telepathy
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Welcome  new and old to my first Final Space review! If you’ve never seen the blog before, and given this is the first “new” series i’ve covered as it come out in some time that’s probably quite a few of you, welcome. I’m Jake, I do recaps and reviews of various animated shows and comics, mostly just stuff I want to do, often on comission (5 dollars an episode if theres any episode of the first two seasons of this show or any episode of any other show you’d like tos ee me cover), or for my patreon patreon.com/popculturebuffet. And it is my utmost honor to add this show to my rotating roster of shows I cover as they come out. 
I friggin love Final Space. I was intrigued by it back when TBS released the animatics alongside Close Enough (Wth the two shows ironically finally together on HBO max as of earlier this month), for their doomed block. I heard a lot of good things about season 1.. and let it get away from me, not watching it till Season 2. But both seasons had more than enough to pull me in with intriguging characters, even greater jokes and a truly unique idea for a premise involving giant monsters, an edltrich god and lots of cookies. 
So while it took an extra year given Covid, I’m super friggin pumped to get into season 3 at long last after the hell of a cliffhanger, especially since ironically last night I saw Steven Yeun’s oscar nominated performance in “Minari”. Now i get to watch him play a cat teenager again too.. and in a few days Mark friggin Grayson. It’s a good week to be a fan of his is what i’m saying and a good week in general. 
Previously on Final Space Yo!: Since it’s been a year and while the series provides  a recap , I’m going to be doing these anyway so:
Our heroes finally got all 5 dimensional keys and freed Bolo, and in the process also freed Avacato from Invictus, the horrifying entity controlling final space. Meanwhile Tribore got Sheryl to stop being a selfish prick and she joined the team trying to be a better mother from now on. But freeing Bolo came at a high cost as Nightfall sacrified herself as the sixth key (KVN was natrually both Gary and Bolo’s first choice, but was inllegible. ) So we ended the season with our heroes entering Final Space and Gary reuniting with Quinn.... while Invictus loomed. So over a year later we finally get some answers so join me under the cut for spoilers, recaps, and homoerotic text ahoy. 
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Something i’m doing since both the roster keeps changing.. and as I correctly guessed from the trailer, and the general tone of the promos for this season, that everyone won’t be all together all season.. or even in one piece.. i’ll be doing a silver age style roll call to let us know who all we have on the Team Squad for the episode Roll Call: Gary, Quinn, Avacato, Little Cato, Ash, Fox, KVN, HUE, AVA, Sheryl, Bolo, and Tribore
So we pick up right where we left off, Gary tearfully reuniting with Quinn, with Quinn wishing he hadn’t come for her, and Gary being Gary naturally having ignored that, and actually been more determined since that made it forbidden which made it extra tempting and him want to extra do it. God I missed this glorious idiot let me tell you. 
So things are quickly interrupted by invictus, who turns out to be a giant flaming head.. thing... and chases them and the crimson light, which has to start speeding with our heroes tethered to the outside, Quinn holding onto Gary. 
So we get one hell of a thrilling chase as the Crimson Light outspeeds the demon head and runs into two titans, but Bolo shows up to take out one, with Mooncake trying his dimension shattering blast thingy on Invictus.. and naturlaly g ven this is the big bad we need to show off how horrying they are, and it does NOTHING. But Gary catches his little buddy so we’re alright. 
Sheryl also shows off her badass bonafieds by LIGHTFOLDING THROUGH A TITAN... granted she still has some parenting skills to learn as “lightfolding while your son is hanging out the back through an edltrich god” really isn’t a motherly thing to do.. but neither is trying to murder your child several times or blaming him for how shitty your life turned out so ANYTHING is a step up for her. 
But.. it’s not enough. While she does manage to kill ONE the Crimson Light is too badly damaged to go on and we get two tragic deaths in one go... The Team Squad is forced to abandon the Crimson Light.. and AVA is too damaged to Upload into HUE. “I’m Sad” “For who?” “For you.. and for us. “ God damn Tom Kenny is amazing. You don’t need me telling you that, but sometimes you need a reminder. 
So our heroes end up on a desolate mystery world, stranded in final space with no ship, no suplies and no hope. The only thing to do now is survivie and hope they can continue the mission at some point. 
ONE MONTH LATER
Things have not gotten any better, as naturally , our heroes have only found weird cartoon eyed worms that regrow their heads when you bite them off. So while this means unlimited food, it’s also disgusting and Garry hates it. “This may be a head but it tastes like a butt”. Quinn and Tribore are with him and Quinn hasn’t been ready to talk about her experiences trapped in this hellscape and still isn’t but being a good dude, Gary dosen’t push her on it. Though the weird red veiny thing on her arm tells me maybe one of you should speed that up before she explodes or gets cronnenburgy. Just saying. I’ll also say i’m not huge on the one month time skip, as while I feel they probably have a reason for being that specific i’ts a bit TOO long and I question why have that long a period of a jump, not the longest but still long enough for things to happen with nothing changingin that time? Still it’s a minor nitpick in an otherwise fantastic episode so I can let it go, I just don’t get it. 
What we do get is some Gary Corpses dropping and Invictius puppeting them... i’m with gary that is bowel openingly scary. I also do like how despite the FAR more dire circumstances, they still get in the requisite shenanigans this series requires. I’ts not to the network mandated subplot levels where it distracts, but it’s enough to help ease the terror of the situation and isn’t around for situations like the opening where it really SHOULDN’T be. As the series always has when something big happens, the bollocks goes away. Once we’re in between we can get back to literal pissing contests, KVN leading a crowd to their deaths and HUE in a pimp hat like god intended. 
So yeah our heroes have to outrun the horrible horde of Gary’s, though Little Cato catches on something’s wrong as Tribore makes gary cary him as foreshadowing for later and Sends mooncake down to asssit. Our heroes escape.. but a cave in happens.
After the break, Gary wakes up confused with the party now split in two: Gary, Quinn, KVN, Tribore and HUE on one side and Avacato, Ash, Fox, Little Cato and Sheryl on the other. So Gary does the logical thing... and take his shirt off telling Avacato to feel him. 
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I mean I didn’t even ship them before this scene but... Gary claims because of their bond he can telepahtically connect with Avacato. That’s normal Gary shenanigans.. except not only does he shrug off his girlfriend asking why they can’t do that.. but it WORKS. We have a scene of the two telepahtically talking in a wheatfield that is so homerotic I guarantee there only wasn’t the Careless Whisper sax because they couldn’t afford it.. or their saving it for later this season. Look sometimes you don’t ship a ship because you just.. dont’ care that strongly one way or another and sometimes you just need an incredibly gay scene to see the light. Same thing happened with Weblena same thing here. 
Fox also says “that was glorious to watch” same man. That was freaking art. So our heroes split up into three plots. As usual for me
Team Gary: So yeah... Triobore’s pregnant. No way to really softball into that. He’s been pregnant this whole time. So we get a stupid and mildly horrifying gross out sequence with Gary having to look Triobore in teh eyes and Quinn having to “uncork him”. Which is code for ... you know what i’m not going to say it. If you’ve seen the episode you know and if not your better off not visualizing it trust me. Point is this whole sequence is dumb and the worst part of the episode by far. And the series CAN do good gross out. While Olan Rodgers regrets it, the pissing contest was one of the funniest scenes of season 2, and managed to make a gross idea on paper actually pretty damn funny. This.. this is just “Haha males giving birth and tribore’s an asshole”. There’s no joke here just a .. plug. .. gah.. the vomit is rising let me tell you. 
We do get something good out of this nightmare, Tribore’s son who hatches as the army of gary’s dig their way in, Quanstranstro, who rapidly ages into a stylsih spanish speaking adult badass. He is fucking awesome and a great addition to the team and the sheer.. oddity of his birth is wonderful even if the actual birthing was not. Then the climax happens so before that. 
Team Avacato:
Avacato and Co come across a sleeping giant robot cyborg .. thingy. Naturally Fox wakes him up. Little Cato remains not suprised. It occelates between panicking over it’s legs being gone and amenisa and is pretty damn funny. It’s voiced by John Dimagio. But it gets serious as we find out nothing has ever made it out of final space, and things.. change the longer there there. And Quinn’s been there several months if not a year. Whuh oh. This part is much better both due to better jokes and plot advancment.. though again Quanstrano is still fucking amazing. 
Team Bolo: Bolo meanwhile returns and fights a titan, and has mooncake help him rather htan join the others, but looses, hitting the planet with his body.. I mean he might not get back up.. but the impact shatters the caverns and causes an explosion. Everyone but Gary, Quinn, KVN and HUE are MIA, as our remaining party find earth floating overhead. 
TO BE CONTINUED> 
Final Thoughts: A decent start to the season. Like I said the whole birthing sequence can die in a fire and reminds me of the terrible comedy subplots adult swim wanted grafted onto two episodes.. but otherwise it’s a tense stark opener that sets up the bleak tone while still keeping the series rediciulous shenanigans in tact. It’s the perfect welcome back after so long. I mean the gay telepathy alone would make it a winner. 
Next Time on This Blog: We dive into a little history with HIsteria. See you at the next rainbow. 
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summerwritesfics · a month ago
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Song Inspired Shorts - The Siren
Pairing & Characters: Hanzo Hasashi/Kuai Liang Length: 1357 Words Rating: Mature Content/Warnings: Siren/Pirate AU, Non-Sexual Nudity, Implied character death Song:  The Siren - Nightwish
A lady with a violin, Playing to the seals, Hearken to the sound of calling, Who tied my hands to the wheel?, The zodiac turns over me (Come to me), Somewhere there my fate revealed, I hear but how will I see?
The rain lashed down against the wooden decks, and Hanzo had to spit out a mouthful that had managed to get into his mouth while he attempted to gasp for air. His hair was plastered to his face as he shook his head and tried to get his bearings.
What had he been doing again?
He was on his ship, his wrists bound in thick rope to the wheel. Who had tied him to the wheel? He tried to look around, but the thick fog mixed with the heavy rain made vision almost impossible. Where was his crew? Had there been a mutiny?
“Come to me~” a sweet voice sang out from beyond the fog, as eerie was it was beautiful, and Hanzo suddenly remembered why he was tied to the wheel.
Sirens!
He'd tied himself to the wheel, to stop himself from following their enchanting song. The voice kept calling to him, and he felt himself being soothed by the sound. He should go to them, he was compelled.
He was brought back to his senses when a pair of wet hands covered his ears. He went to look over his shoulder, to see which of his crew it was, but the hands instead forced him to continue looking forward. One of the hands moved from his ear, and he felt the ghost of lips against it.
“Keep sailing, Captain. I will protect you from their song.”
He did not recognise that voice as any of this crew. Alarm bells rang in his brain, but the hand retook it's previous position over his ear. This wasn't a member of his crew but it seemed they were intending to help him.
At least for now.
He focused his attention on the wheel and where he was going. It was hard to see, and he the last thing he needed was to run into any rocks. At least he wasn't being distracted by the sound of siren song any longer. He noticed in the distance the fog looked slightly clearer, and he made the decision that was where he needed to head towards.
He wasn't sure how long it took for him to emerge, but it was a lot sooner than he'd expected. He had never been so thankful to be able to see the vast nothingness of the ocean around him before. Even the rain started to let up, slowly to a steady drizzle. It was still night, and so darkness surrounded him, but at least that was easily cured by the lanterns.
He had almost forgotten about his protector, right up until the hands finally trailed away from his ears. He held his breath as whoever it was slowly meandered around to the front of the wheel.
Stood there was a young looking man, around his early twenties if Hanzo had to guess. He was, frankly, stunning. Short black hair slicked back, bright blue eyes and a nicely chiselled jawline, a large scar across his right eye. He was beautiful.
Too beautiful.
His breathing hitched.
This beautiful man was completely naked before him, rain water dripping down the defined muscles on his torso. It appeared to barely register to him, like he was accustomed to the water.
“Siren,” Hanzo breathed out as his saviour, most likely for not much longer, took a step towards him.
“You are a clever one, Captain.” The Siren looked at him with wonder in his eyes, like he was looking at some ancient artefact. His hand reached for the rope around Hanzo's wrists. “It is a shame that your crew did not follow your example, they may have survived the encounter with my brothers and sisters.”
“Not clever enough,” Hanzo bit out. God he had been such a fool to trust a strangers voice in the midst of a Siren attack.
The Siren blinked a few times, seeming taken aback, before something occurred to him. “Ah! You mistake my intentions, I wish you no harm.” The Siren started to untie the rope around his wrists. “No, I find humans to be quiet fascinating. It is a waste to rob such interesting being's of life.”
Once his hand was free, Hanzo pulled it away and quickly undid his other hand. This Siren was talking about humans as if they were something to be studied.
I guess that's better than him dragging me to the depths of the ocean and consuming my flesh...
“Why did you save me?” Hanzo questioned, rubbing where the rope had started to cut in. “I doubt it was simply because I'm that alluring to you.”
“Oh but you are~” The Siren almost purred, stepping close and pushing himself up against Hanzo's chest. Hanzo swallowed thickly. The Siren reached up to brush Hanzo's hair from his face. “Your kind are so compelling, I long to be apart of that world.” The Siren gave a lopsided smile, just beyond his lips Hanzo could make out a row of sharp teeth. “Ah, so maybe there was an ulterior motive to your rescue, but can you blame me?”
“I don't...” He paused, every part of his being was telling him to step away from the Siren, and yet he ended up roping his arms around his aquatic saviour, fingers lacing his spine. “I do not understand what you want from me...”
“I wish to see the world beyond the sea. I want to experience humanity in all it's glory, the good and the bad.” The Siren's fingertips traced his throat, delicately, completely non-threatening despite where they were making contact. “I wish for you to show me your world, Captain.”
Hanzo considered it, letting his hands curiously roam the creature's skin, that felt so human to the touch. On one hand, a lone siren would be a massive target on his ship from naval forces, as if the black flag embellished with a skull and crossbones that flew on the mast was not a big enough one itself. This Siren seemed to severely misjudge humanities nature and it's almost compulsive need to destroy anything seen as different or a threat.
On the other hand, he appeared to have completely lost his crew, and even just one other set of hands would provide the needed help before he could make it to shore. Not to mention, Siren's were feared for a reason, even a single one could bring an entire ship to it's knees. The power advantage that would give against his enemies was immense.
Taking a curious siren for a joyride seemed a small price to pay for that amount of leverage above all those that dared to cross him.
“That sounds to be a reasonable request,” Hanzo finally answered, and the Siren's smile widened, showing off those teeth he'd only caught a glimpse at previously. Gods I'm glad he's fairly docile and not wishing to tear my flesh apart with those. “I do not believe we have been properly introduced. I am Captain Hanzo Hasashi, and you are?”
“Kuai Liang,” was the reply he got. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Hanzo Hasashi.” Kuai pulled away slightly, Hanzo's eyes couldn't help but trail down. He'd almost forgotten that the other man wasn't clothed. “Where do we begin, my Captain?”
“I... Think to start...” He stared at Kuai's naked form. He really wouldn't complain if Kuai just spent the entire time in his presence naked, it was hardly a bad view. But should they run into any other ships on the way, the other man's lack of garment would tip them off that there was something unusual about him. “We should maybe get you into some clothes.”
Kuai tilted his head and smirked slightly, seemingly amused by the suggestion. “If that is what you wish, Captain.” Kuai reached forward, looping his arm though Hanzo's and clinging to his biceps. “Lead the way.”
Hanzo nodded, and gently guided Kuai off the main deck. He was sure there had to be something left in his crews belongings that would fit the siren.
It wasn't like they needed them any more anyway.
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buckybarnes101 · a month ago
Text
Jam Jar (S.W)
A/N: *This fic contains spoilers for the first episode of TFATWS* as y'all know, I love Sam so I just had to write something for him after seeing that episode, omg he was so amazing! So was Bucky and I will be posting him tomorrow! I hope you all enjoy!
Pairing: Sam Wilson x f!reader
Warnings: light smut (18+), oral (f receiving), swearing, flirting, spoilers, angst if you squint, fluff, alcohol consumption.
~~~~~~~~~
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Rhodey paced around the room as you stared at the television screen in front of you. That man holding the shield was not Sam Wilson. The shield belonged to Sam, that's what Steve wanted.
You finally stood up from the couch and turned the TV off, "can you book me a flight Louisiana? I'm going to start packing."
You were about to head to your room but Rhodey stopped you, "Sam - he's not ready for the shield, he doesn't think he deserves it. Also, what makes you think he'll listen to you? You were at each other's throats all the time."
He wasn't wrong. Ever since you fought on Tony's side, you had been able to make amends with everyone but Sam. You didn't hate each other but there was always a level of tension and plenty of eye rolls.
You shrugged, "well Bucky won't text me back, Steve's gone so you know what? I'm the closest thing Sam has left, well, at least someone who knows the importance of the shield."
Rhodey sighed as he opened his phone and booked you a ticket. Maybe it would be nice getting away from DC for a while, especially with the government breathing down your neck every other day.
--
Packing didn't take too long, you got the next flight possible, and once you actually landed in Louisiana it occurred to you that this would be the first time you were seeing him in a while. He wouldn't ask you to leave, would he?
Rhodey emailed you his current location and you headed there as the nerves kicked in. Fuck. You took a deep breath in and knocked on the door, there was no turning back.
A beautiful woman opened the door, the kindest smile on her face, "can I help you?"
"Uh - Sam Wilson? I'm here to see...Sam? I'm sorry am I at the wrong house?" You questioned when you saw two kids running around behind her. Did he have a secret family like Clint did?
"Sarah, who is it?" You heard Sam yell from inside, footsteps following. Why the fuck were you so nervous? Did your hair look okay?
He finally came at the door as Sarah moved aside. He looked just as handsome as the first day you saw him at the airport, only back then, you were trying to physically hurt each other.
You waved at him, a small smile on your face, "hey Sam. I - can we talk?"
He simply nodded as he moved away, gesturing you to come inside. He let you in his home. He trusts you.
Once you sat down on the couch opposite the kids, Sarah handed you a glass of water,
"I'm Sarah, by the way. Sam's sister and these two troublemakers are my kids."
Oh, she was his sister. The thought of Sam not being married to her made you a little happy. Despite not getting along, you did have a soft spot for the this man, who wouldn't?
Sarah took the kids Inside, leaving Sam and you by yourselves. He sat down next to you, leaning back comfortably, a beer in his hand,
"Can't lie, it is nice to see you again. How have you been?" He questioned, taking a sip of his beer, and boy, you must have looked like an absolute creep but you couldn't take your eyes off him.
You played with the end of your scarf, "I've been worried about you. I saw the news. It should have been you, Sam."
Sam chuckled, as he leaned forward, putting the beer down on the coaster. You remembered back at the Tower, every time you drank something, you never used a coaster and it would always annoy him. After a point you simply started doing it for his attention.
"That shield belonged to Steve -"
"And he handed it to you! He trusted you with it! You're a good man Sam Wilson, and you're the one who needs to be holding that shield." Your voice was a lot louder than it intended to be, as tears prickled your eyes.
He looked at you, "I can never be Steve. I don't think I can even come close."
"You don't have to be like him. You're enough, Sam. You're more than enough." You wiped the tears that had fallen down your cheeks, "don't let them take that away from you."
Sam scooted closer to you as he wrapped an arm around you, pulling you closer. You rested your head on his chest as you broke down, letting the tears fall.
"Tony, Nat and Steve are gone. Bucky won't text back. Rhodey and Pepper treat me like a teenager. I just - I feel so alone and suffocated and now this, seeing another man hold what belongs to you."
He gently rubbed your back, not caring about his t-shirt that was covered in your tears, "we'll fix this. I promise. I - I have some stuff to figure out here first, it's a lot at the moment. Those five years really messed things up for our family. I need to fix that first."
You nodded understandingly as you used your scarf to wipe his t-shirt, "I'm sorry about that. I can take it my hotel's dry cleaner and get it for you tomorrow."
"You're not staying at a hotel. You're staying here and that's my final decision." He stood up and took your suitcase, wheeling it to one of the rooms.
--
While Sam was setting the room up for you, Sarah was making dinner and you were helping her out in any way possible. She told you about the loan and the incident at the bank,
You were chopping some vegetables and looked at her, "you know what? Let me help you out. I can make some calls and we can figure this out."
She shook her head, "oh no, that's very kind of you to offer but I couldn't ask you to do that."
Sam had joined the two of you, rolling his eyes when he saw your bottle of beer without a coaster, immediately fixing it. Oh how you missed this.
"Sarah, let me help you. It's just a few calls and that's all. You've already got so much on your plate, there's nothing wrong with letting someone help you."
Sam nodded from beside you, "that's what I tell her, but she never listens." He turns to look at you, "also, you are the same. When was the last time you let someone help you or take care of you?"
You shrugged as you focused on chopping the vegetables, "the one time I let you open that jar of jam for me during breakfast...years ago."
He chuckled and shook his head, "anyway, the room is set up and I tucked the kids in, they're fast asleep."
"Look at you, I'm sure your girlfriend must feel incredibly lucky..."
You internally cringed at yourself for trying to find out whether or not he was single in this pathetic way.
Sarah looked between the two of you, "he's single. Has been for far too long now, in case you were wondering."
You pursed your lips as you tried to stop yourself from smiling and looked down at the chopping board, "that's good to know."
--
Dinner went by quickly, Sarah soon went to bed and you changed into your PJs. You could hear the television in the living room still in on, Sam was clearly awake.
You bit your lower lip, contemplating whether or not you should go do something. Fuck it. He was single. You are single, so single. He's had a rough time. You've had a rough time. Maybe this was what you both needed. Just some comfort. Some company.
You stepped outside the room as saw him sitting on the couch, wearing some basketball shorts and a t-shirt. You walked a little closer, his attention was on the television screen, so you stood right in front of it and cleared your throat, making him finally look at you,
"You okay there? Is the room alright?"
You nodded as you walked closer to him, gulping nervously, "if at any point you want me to stop, just say the word and I will."
He looked at you confused, but seconds later his eyes went wide as you straddled his lap. His hands immediately held on to your hips, steadying you.
You leaned forward, your lips inches away from his, "do you - do you want me to stop?"
He shook his head as he closed the distance between you two, crashing his lips against yours. You had been kissed before, but never like this. His lips fit perfectly with yours.
You pulled away a little breathless, "bedroom?"
He nodded quickly as he wrapped your legs securely around his waist and stood up with ease. Fucking hell, if you weren't soaked already, this would have done it for you.
He carried you to the bedroom, his lips attached to your skin the whole time - your neck, your jaw, your lips, your cleavage, everywhere he possibly could.
Once you reached the bedroom, you held his face in your hands, "Sam, are you sure about this? I don't want you to regret -"
"I need to feel you. I need to hold you. I need you, Y/N."
You smiled at his as you pressed a kiss on his forehead, "I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere." You gently took your top off and threw it in the corner, pulling him in for another kiss.
Soon enough you felt your back hit the mattress, as Sam knelt between your legs, taking his t-shirt off. Even though you had seen him shirtless before, today felt a lot different. He was sculpted like a Greek god.
He hovered above you as he kissed you again, "fuck, you're gorgeous." He left kisses down your neck, you shifted up a little as he unhooked your bra with ease, tossing it aside as he latched his mouth to your left nipple and his hand made it's way down to your shorts, "is this okay, baby?"
You quickly nodded, "yes please, fuck - please touch me."
He flicked his tongue on your hard nipple, as his fingers finally touched your wet folds, "all this for me, huh?"
"Only you."
That's all it took for him to finally take your shorts off and latch his mouth to your cunt.
This is what you did for the next few hours, with small breaks, of course. Making each other cum. In every way possible, in every position possible, trying to be as quiet as possible, until you finally tired yourself out.
You laid on his chest, listening to his heart beat while he gently stroked your hair. You looked up at him, "I think I want to stay a little longer, help you out, help Sarah out."
"I think I want you to stay a little longer."
You held the back of his neck as you kissed him, gentler this time, "I'm sorry I didn't come sooner. I'm sorry I spent so much of my time arguing with you. I'm sorry I never use a coaster."
Sam chuckled as he pulled you closer, "we have all the time in the world to make up for everything." He looked at the clock next to him, "I need to be up and about in an hour."
"I'll be up too, we can go for a run - I'll race ya."
He looked at you, pressing a gentle kiss to your nose, "as much as I'd love that. You need to rest today. Just relax, do your thing."
You yawned and nodded, "I am very sore anyway." You blushed as you buried your face in chest, "but I like it."
"Oh you'll get used to the size eventually, don't worry."
Your eyes widened as you smacked his chest, "Sam Wilson!"
He chuckled as he nuzzled his face in your neck, pressing gentle kisses, "be honestly baby, has anyone ever made you feel this good? Hmm?"
You rolled your eyes but you couldn't help the wetness that started to form between your legs, "mhmm I can think of plenty of guys."
"Name one." His traced his fingers from your neck, down to the valley of your breasts, going lower as he reached your cunt, "wet again, just as I thought. Now tell me, has any man ever made you feel this good?"
You shook your head, "only you." You moaned as he slid the finger in, "no else has made feel this good, happy?"
Sam smirked as his fingers left your aching cunt, and he licked them clean, "very happy, so incredibly happy."
You hummed against his chest as he continued to stroke your hair, whispering sweet nothings until you finally fell asleep. He tucked you into bed, pressing one last kiss to your forehead as he left the room to start his daily routine.
--
You groaned into the pillow as you checked the time on your phone - 2 pm. Fuck. You did go to bed around 6 am, but you remembered that this wasn't your house and you couldn't just sleep until forever.
After a quick shower, you got dressed and went outside, immediately stopping in your tracks, "Bucky?"
He turned to look at you as you ran towards him, pulling him into a hug, "it's nice to see you too, doll."
You punched his chest, "nice to see me? You didn't return any of my texts, do you have any idea how worried I was?"
"Well, I'm here now?"
You rolled your eyes and then looked at Sam, immediately feeling shy as the memory of him fucking you senseless clouded your mind, "hello. Sorry I slept so long...I was tired."
Sam smiled at you as he tucked a strand of your hair behind your ear, "I told you, rest as much as you need."
Bucky furrowed his eyebrows together as he looked between the two of you, "when did this happen?"
Sarah chuckled from the couch, "oh it happened all night long yesterday."
Your eyes widened as you felt heat rise to your cheeks. You immediately buried your face in Sam's chest, "we're so sorry."
Sam chuckled as he kissed the top of your head, "baby, she's only pulling your leg. She didn't hear anything, only saw me leave the room in the morning, that's all."
Bucky put his hands on hips, "I'm so confused but if Steve was still here, he'd owe me $20."
You tilted your head, "you bet on us?"
He nodded, "ever since Sam told us he had this crush on you, I just knew. Plus you were always doing stupid things to get his attention. It was bound to happen eventually."
You raised an eyebrow and looked at Sam, "really? You had a crush on me?"
Sam shrugged, "I thought opening that bottle of jam was hint enough, clearly not!"
You rolled your eyes but couldn't help but smile. A genuine smile, for the first time in a very long time.
---
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