The Triton House
This is part of a series that one day may be complete but also may never be complete. As most of you know I’m like a huge #spatial person in my writing, so all my character’s houses/apartments/living spaces are really well mapped out in my brain? And I thought it’d be fun for people to see. (And a good reference for those who may RP in those spaces at some point.) Also, shout out to the mersisters for letting me force my ideas on them, lmao.
@andrina-the-amazingsupergenius, @adella-the-idyllic, @arista-the-musical, @aquata-the-champ, @alana-the-brilliant
The Triton House is a 7 bedroom, 4 bath house in the richest neighborhood in Swynlake. It was built originally in 1909. This chateau sits on a half acre property with an original brick façade and lattice along the front that is covered in sweet-scented wisteria. Even the outside boasts a cheery, warm environment which is only expounded upon by the interior.
*note: click to enlarge floorplans!
**note: pictures in the aesthetic are to give an overall #feel of the house, but don’t necessarily indicate the exact furniture/decorations/floorplan. the floorplan, on the otherhand is not quite to scale but i did the best i could.
1. Living Room
The front part of the Triton household is a spacious, open floor plan, with the kitchen to the immediate left and the seating area on the immediate right. Guests arrive on a dias and descend two steps in either direction, or forwards towards the back of the house and stairs. The living room is decorated in a clean, but homey way, with plenty of seating area, both for the comfort of the large family and the benefit of any guests they may have. There is a chest of blankets that get passed around on colder nights. A large telly can swivel on an axis if someone prefers one seat to another but is large enough and set in a place so as to be viewable from most living room seats. The colours are cream and blues, with other accent colours and many mismatched throw pillows, some with quirky sayings and others that were crocheted by some of the girls.
The Triton kitchen is a large, boisterous room of the house. With a large amount of counter space and a six-top stove set into the island counter, it is ideal for cooking for a significant group of people. The oven sits next to the refrigerator and is state of the art. The cabinets are arranged in a neat, organized way, with each girl having a shelf for her own snacks and goodies. Everything is labeled and diligently upkept. The refrigerator is covered in photos of family/friends as well as cards, certificates of merits, medals, and other familial memorabilia. Once again, the kitchen is decorated in a homey fashion, with plenty of cliche sayings hanging on the walls (think: Live. Laugh. Love. style.) (see: the middle, top image.)
3. Dining Room
The dining room in the Triton household is rather cramped, but a much frequented place for the Tritons to gather. Dinners are frequent and even if missing one or two members, still crowded affairs, usually involving guests as well. There are extra chairs that can be squeezed in to make room if necessary and everyone is used to bumping elbows. Still, it is a lovely little room and has served the Tritons well in the almost thirty years they’ve lived there.
4. Sun Room/Music Room
Down the hallway, making your way towards the back of the house, one comes across a door to the left. One of the most peaceful rooms in the house, the rambunctious, fast-paced nature of the Triton abode is usually left behind when entering this room. Originally a sunroom, it still boasts large floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls, facing northwest, in order to catch the afternoon sunlight. Here is where the Tritons store and practice their various instruments, of which only a few are listed here: a grand piano, a keyboard, a classical harp, a saxaphone, a drumset, and several guitars. The Tritons are an actively musical family, though the music room is not as busy as it was several years ago. Now, it is a peaceful place, still used often for practices, but also for contemplative journal-writing, reading, or other such pastimes, when one needs a moment alone.
5. Guest Bedroom/Office Space
Once the permanent home of the Triton’s nanny, Benjamin, the room was vacated several years ago. Located down the hall at the back of the house on the right, across from the music room, it is now a guest room/office that is used on occasion. Even though it is a guest room, it is still stocked with cozy decorations and family photos.
6. Washing Room
If you venture past the music room and guest room, you will turn right and see a door on the right hand side. Always overflowing with laundry, but somehow usually tidy, the washroom sees a lot of action from the Tritons’ various activities. This room also is decorated with typically cliche saying placards and other cozy, homey touches.
7. Guest Bathroom
“It is down the hall, to the right, to the right, and through the washroom!” is a common phrase during Triton parties, or when someone visits for the first time. Though it is tucked into the back of the house, the guest restroom sees frequent use, both from inhabitants whilst downstairs, as well as the copious guests that flow in and out of the Tritons’ doors. Decorated in an ocean/beach theme, because Athena thought she was very funny and now it is a bit of an inside joke that they won’t change.
8. Underwater Grotto
Instead of entering the washroom, if one looks straight on after turning right down the main hall, they will spot a door with a state-of-the-art lock on it. If asked, a Triton will reply with a laugh and--depending on who it is--you will get any number of responses as to what the room is used for, from a superhero lair to their father being paranoid about storage. The mysteries of what is in the Triton basement are revealed to only a select few. Behind the door is an indoor saltwater pool. Damp and dark, the pool is magically enhanced to be quite large and deep, perfect for mermaids. The floors and walls are made of stone, so the whole place looks more like a cave than a room. It has an inclining entrance to the pool and spreads the length and width, with a few places for sitting around the edges and dotted in the center in large rock croppings. The Tritons can often be found here with each other or the other mermaids/selkies in Swynlake. It is known as a haven for mercreatures of all kinds.
9. Upstairs Hallway
Back at the front of the house, if one does not enter the hallway, they have the option to ascend the plain staircase. (If one looks behind the staircase to the wall, one will see dozens of notches in the wall, labeled with dates, heights, and names of the Triton girls.) Along the wall leading upwards is a collage of family photos that cover the wall in the most typical fashion one can imagine. On the second floor, the stairs float in the middle of a large hallway. Directly in front of the top of the stairs is the master bedroom. Up slightly and to the left is the Adella and Arista’s room, up slightly and to the right is Aquata and Alana’s room. If one turns around, they will see Ariel’s room to their left and Attina and Andrina’s room to the right, as well as another set of stairs that leads upwards once more.
10. Attina and Andrina’s Room
The two eldest Triton girls’ room has been vacant for several years, though is often still used by either or both girls when they are home for holidays or other such events. In their youth, the room was haphazardly decorated on one side--with mostly pink decor; on the other side was a more tidy version--mostly decorated in orange. It has two desks, one for each girl, as well as a spacious closet that was shared (and the site of many battles.) Now, it is mostly barebones but vestiges of Andrina and Attina’s childhood and adolescence remain. Often, Alana commandeers the room as her own, or second room, nowadays.
11. Attina, Andrina, Adella, and Arista’s Restroom
The bathroom is shared between four sisters: Attina, Andrina, Adella, and Arista and was also a site of much contention. The counter was full of products and it was always a battle for getting ready in the morning, especially in the unfortunate years when all four girls were in secondary at the same time. Arista would always somehow manage to use someone else’s hairbrush and it was extremely obvious by the blonde hair left behind. The little racks and shelves are decorated with shells on the outside of them from when they used to go hunting the beach in Bournemouth for the prettiest shell. There’s jars full of them still somewhere in the house. It’s a lot less cluttered now that Arista and Adella mostly use it.
12. Adella and Arista’s Room
Adella’s side of the room is closest to the window. The head of her bed is pushed against the wall, and her nightstand table’s top drawer is where her hearing aids live while she sleeps. Her desk was never used for school work - she’d go elsewhere in the house for that - and instead houses her sewing machine. Her guitar is mounted on the wall when she isn’t using it, the guitar is decorated with political, ideological, and cute stickers. On the nightstand is a cute little touch to turn on lamp with seahorses on it. There are battery-pack powered strings of lights all over the room as decoration, hung neatly around any posters and other wall decor. The main light in the room is barely flicked on -its usually illuminated by the battery pack lights and the nightstand lamps, or natural light from the sun.
Arista’s side of the room is closest to the door because she doesn’t like thunderstorms and the changing weather always used to distract her when she was younger so her desk is next to her bed and turned to face away from the window. She has a rolling spinny chair that she’s frequently seen curled up in and writing on a notebook in her lap. Her desk is filled with sheet music and notebooks and binders full of all sorts of things that Tina helped her make so she could keep track of what music and manuals went with what instrument. She has cases of instruments and spare parts and shoe boxes under her bed from all the Christmases when she didn’t know what to tell people she wanted aside from shoes and cool instrument accessories. Typically Arista tries to keep all of the instruments in the music room because if she starts bringing them into their room, things get very cluttered very fast and it would stress Tina out and distract her from other things growing up so she just learned to keep most instruments in their designated room. (A keyboard or extra guitar still sometimes manages to find its way into their room every now and then though). Arista’s nightstands have several sets of earphones, headphones, earbuds, and a bowl of guitar picks on top of them so she can just grab one and go. On the nightstand is a pull chain lamp covered in shells. Much of Ris’ closet organization was Tina’s doing, it’s the only way the two girls managed to have closet space with her ever growing shoe collection and sentimental keepsakes stash (she doesn’t like throwing a lot of things away because they hold happy memories) in addition to their clothes. Her wall has both a dry erase board of “things she absolutely cannot forget about” for the week and a large cork board filled with all the showcases she’d played in, playbills from the productions she’d worked on, postcards of cities from tour, and photos of her sisters with her making the biggest smile imaginable.
13. Aquata and Alana’s Room
Alana and Aquata's room has light blue walls, a color chosen by Aquata before Ariel was born and neither knew that they'd share a room one day. Alana's side is closer to the window, since Aquata historically got up earlier and had to leave earlier. On Alana's end, there are boho tapestries,fairy lights, and strings of photos and scrapbook style bulletin boards. The bed has purple and turquoise sheets and is full of throw pillows. The desk opposite the bed used to have a pretty fancy video and computer setup (it's now with her in her flat) There's tons of candles and also just a lot of...stuff in general. Even though she doesn't live there anymore, it's not near clean. Clothes, makeup, half completed experiments litter the available surfaces. Aquata’s side is somewhat neater and sparser. She has a shelf full of swimming memorabilia (photos, trophies, medals, etc) above her bed and the rest of her sport memorabilia is on a smaller bookshelf at the foot of her bed. She also has a signed team photo framed at the head of her bed from her last meet at Pride U. Her bedspread is a steely blue color and over it she has a T-shirt quilt made out of old swim camp shirts that date back to primary school. Aquata doesn’t spend much time in her room, so it doesn’t look overly lived-in.
14. Aquata, Alana, and Ariel’s Restroom
It used to be a lot messier when Alana lived here, absolutely chaotic on her side with products and hair curlers and stuff that Aquata always had to yell at her to clean up. Sometimes the sink would be colored with whatever experiment Lana was working on. Ariel’s space is small considering the few beauty products she actually has. Shockingly, it's the most cleaned space she has designated to herself, but only because of her current lack of interest in makeup. Though a couple small pallets for events are stowed away in a drawer, they’ve hardly been put to good use. Really, it’s mostly just the essentials for her. Aquata’s space is mostly clean as well, with one trusty makeup set that she almost always uses (occasionally she’ll borrow something from Alana if it’s a special occasion). She does have an absolute mess of scrunchies, headbands, and hair ties in one of the drawers, and she usually leaves her Tiger Balm out on the counter.
15. Ariel’s Room
With Ariel being the only Triton sister with her own room, she takes full advantage of the space. She’s able to spread her things about (or leave clothes lying around when she’s in a rush), and not argue or worry about someone else’s space or an imaginary divider in the room. The room is decorated in an array of posters from bands she adores to the newest anime she’s binging with Finn and just had to have the poster for. She’s also a big fan of hanging Christmas lights haphazardly around her room and using that as a source of light instead of the actual ceiling lights in her room. When home, she spends most of her time here, so the bed is rarely ever made. Instead, the blankets are in the shape she left them, normally nest like, where she spends hours on her computer from watching drumming videos to just browsing odd forums late into the night. Of course, her trusty shark plush since childhood, Billy, is present on her bed at all times, holding down the fort when she’s gone.
16. Master Bedroom and Bathroom
The master bedroom is the largest bedroom in the Triton household. It is decorated in warm, muted colors. Much has not changed in the years after Athena’s death. Even some of her clothes are still in the closet, which Triton never had the heart to remove. It is only a few items: her favorite sunhat, a dress he had bought her for her birthday she wore all the time, her favorite pair of trainers, well-worn, stuff such as that, that was not removed to the attic.
17. Triton’s Study
A place of mostly mystery to the girls when young, Triton’s study is tucked away on the third floor, and is most often frequented by Triton on restless nights when he cannot sleep. Though, it is also used while he runs his business from home on occasion. The room is one of the more decadent of the house. The rest has a warm, inviting atmosphere, but the study is much more reserved. Decorated in deep blues and greens, it boasts lovely oak bookshelves, of which Triton is very fond. There is a large desk and even a deep brown leather couch, which Triton can often be found napping on before dinner.
18. Athena’s Studio
A room that has been untouched since the death of Athena, the studio was once a bright, lovely space where Athena spent much of her time that was not occupied by caring for her seven daughters or when she was not out volunteering in various charity positions. Athena was not as talented an artist as a musician, but she still enjoyed creating things. Athena’s studio was a charming crafting space, full of yarn, scrapbooking, canvases on easels, and other such projects. Some are still unfinished.
19. Guest Bedroom/Old Playroom
This room used to be where the girls had their playroom so that their parents could keep an eye on them while they were upstairs also. It has only been packed up and converted in the last ten years or so, after ARiel finally grew out of it mostly. Now, it’s just a nice guest space for when people are over.
The attic in the Triton household is less of a storage space and more of a tomb for Athena. After her death, all of her possessions were moved to this space, except for the jewelry, clothing, and knick-knacks which were distributed amongst her family and friends. There is also a large storage of photos from the girls’ childhood. While many litter the house, the extras and all of Athena’s scrapbooks were put away in the attic. The attic is seldom visited, except for when someone is searching for Christmas decorations, or the like.
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Name: Martin Alvaro Ambrosius
Birthday: May 1st, 1994
Mother: Fenella Ambrosius
Father: Marvin Ambrosius
Sibling(s): Miriam “Mim” Ambrosius
Mother’s Occupation: Matron of the Coven of Owls
Father’s Occupation: Politician/Patron of the Coven of Owls
Family Finances: Rich
Other Close Family: Archimedes Owl (Familiar)
Pets: Morgan (Mim’s cat)
Home Life During Childhood:
Martin’s childhood was varied in terms of happiness and sadness. He was always a curious child, flitting from place to place with wide eyes and a thirst for knowledge. He asked every member of the Coven of Owls endless questions, much to his father’s annoyance, and tended to wander off if left to his own devices.
The family kept a watchful eye to seek out when his magic would blossom and bloom but it never did. Unfortunately they had, somehow, produced a mundus offspring which was rather... problematic for the Coven and mostly embarrassing for Martin’s parents.
To cover for Martin’s lack of magic, they taught him as much about each specialty as they could. Tutoring from different members of the Coven came easily and Martin soaked up the knowledge like a sponge, never satisfied with the amount given, always wanting more.
When he was younger and his parents and the other members took their eyes off of him he tended to get into trouble led by his insatiable curiosity. Notably this has led to such instances as nearly wandering directly into fairy rings (his father verbally arguing with a Fae creature for interfering), walking directly into the ocean, toying with reagents he didn’t understand, and many a scraped knee and broken spectacle.
Much of this curiosity got curbed, controlled, and downtrodden as he aged, however, his parents expecting a rather prim and proper young man as the Heir of Merlin.
What Did Their Bedroom Look Like: Martin’s childhood bedroom was much like his adult bedroom; filled to the brim with tomes and texts. He was not allowed posters on his walls so he hung up diagrams and portraits that explained magic and how it worked. He kept his room (mostly) tidy. Everything had a place, even if it still appeared a bit of a haphazard mess.
Any Sports or Clubs: He was on the Debate team in secondary but hasn’t done anything since.
Schooling: Currently seeking a PhD in Magick History
Favorite Subject: Magick History and Literature
Popular or Loner: Loner
Place of Birth: London, England
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Latin, BSL
Accent: British (kind of posh)
Religion & Beliefs: Grew up publicly as a member of the Church of England but the Coven of Owls also has a lot of pagan rituals and holidays as well.
Face Claim: Alberto Rosende
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Height: 5′10″/176.5 cm
Build: Secretly Athletic
Scars: None (childhood injuries were healed with magic)
Common Hairstyle: Basic hairstyle to the side
Clothing Style: A lot of sweaters
Mannerisms: Twitching and fiddling with his hands or with Archimedes’ feathers
Usual Expression: Nervous smile
Do They Get Sick Easily?: Somewhat.
Disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Neurological Conditions: N/A
Magical Abilities: None (Secret)
Grooming Habits: Very little effort is put into his appearance
Sleeping Habits: Not much sleep, usually chugging coffee to stay awake
Eating Habits: Martin is someone where food has become a passion, especially baking. He thinks that it’s important to put good fuel in the body.
Exercise Habits: He jogs in the mornings (a new development).
Emotional Stability: His GAD is pretty intense so it depends.
Body Temperature: Warm
Sociability: Not very.
Drug Use: Caffeine
Alcohol Use: Not often
Bad Habits: Lack of sleep, nervously talking too much
Good Habits: A good listener, organized, punctual
Best Characteristic: Compassionate
Worst Characteristic: Self-Critical
Worst Memory: This is a collection of memories but: Watching the disappointment on his father’s face whenever he was asked to attempt at using magic once more and finding that the magical abilities still hadn’t developed.
Best Memory: This is gonna sound so sappy but when Mim was born. He was so excited to see his new baby sister (even if his parents were sour that their second born was a girl). He has loved her since the moment he learned of the pregnancy.
Proud Of: His studies (and Mim)
Embarrassed By: Almost everything else
Driving Style: Decent, he obeys traffic laws
Fears: Being a failure
Secrets: He doesn’t have magic
Regrets: So Much
Feels Vulnerable When: He is forced to socialize with people he doesn’t have a common denominator with to use as a jumping-off point for conversation
Pet Peeves: People messing with his organization
Conflicts: Ren poking holes in his lies
Motivation: Being the best he could possibly be to impress others.
Short Term Goals & Hopes: Pass his classes, open The Rock Shoppe
Long Term Goals & Hopes: Help Mim grow into her own, help Arthur in general, get his PhD, run the Shoppe well, impress his parents.
Day or Night Person: Night
Introvert or Extrovert: Introvert
Optimist or Pessimist: Pessimist (but he tries to come across as an Optimist)
LIKES & STYLES:
Colors: Greens and blues are Martin’s favorites but he wears a lot of brown. He doesn’t much care for bright and flashy colors so reds and yellows tend to not make it into his wardrobe despite how long he’s been going to Pride U and those are his school colors.
Weather: Martin’s the Cliché college kid in that he likes rainy weather when he’s studying, a cup of coffee beside him and sitting by the window. This also helps his garden which he tends with such love. He hates hot weather, sweltering heat driving him insane. He’s one of the loudest people to complain when summer heat rolls through.
Music: He’s a big fan of LoFi music, anything easy to study to. It’s really the only time he listens to music at all. He hates anything too loud or too crude, especially since Archimedes will rant and rave about it which adds to the noise.
Movies: He’s nerdy and really likes documentaries. He’ll stay up late and watch animal documentaries or How It’s Made ones. Also Marvel movies (DC is fine). He hates horror movies, though, the heart-wrenching fear is not a feeling he enjoys visiting.
Drinks: Coffee. Black coffee is the nectar of the gods. Martin is rarely seen without this. He hates whiskey, though. He doesn’t drink much but whiskey, specifically, is a no from him.
Foods: He really likes to cook and bake, freshly made bread being his favorite thing both to make and to eat but, in regards to snacking, sour gummy worms are a God Tier Treat. He’s not much for chocolates, though, his sweet tooth is not too strong.
Animals: He is contractually obligated to say owls are his favorite animal but the real answer is cats. He loves cats! He hates mice, though, they scare the hell out of him. Little rodents in general make him nervous and queasy given the whole owls eat them thing.
Books: Comic books and full-length novels, the boy will read just about anything.
Magazines: Not a huge fan
Sports: He likes to watch football
Social Issues: Magick Rights & LBGTQ+ Rights
Clothing: So many sweaters, so many corduroy pants, things like that
Jewelry: None at the moment
Games: General board games are fun, though Mim is more of the games person
Websites: Twitter & Instagram (kinda)
TV Shows: Eh, just whatever’s on
WHERE & WHEN THEY LIVE NOW:
Home: Tortuga Place -- 22 Riandale Street
Household Furnishings: Bookcases everywhere, plants all over, crystals and gems and furniture that’s soft with love and use.
Most Cherished Possessions: All of his plants and his large collection of books
Neighborhood: Tortuga Place
Town or City Name: Swynlake
Relationship with Family: Strained
Career: Employee at Ice Queen Ice Cream & TA at Pride University in the Magick History department
Dream Career: A professor at a college and running his shop
Dream Life: Doing something to help sorcerers and being allowed to relax
Love Life: It’s Complicated
Talents or Skills: Writing, Baking, Cooking
Intelligence Level: Medium-to-High
Finances: Working Class
Past Careers: Ice cream shop in London
Past Lovers: Ren/Slightly (It happened once in a dream)
Martin is rarely ever seen without Archimedes not because he wants to spend time with his familiar but because the familiar will not let him out of his sight. He believes that this is partially a favor to his parents to keep an eye on him and partially because Medes feels pretty useless being the familiar to a mundus. This does cause issues in class when Archimedes pipes up unprompted or when Martin makes a mistake and Archimedes insists on berating him for it.
Martin’s house is a four bedroom, one is dedicated to himself, one now belongs to Mim, and the other two are dedicated to magic libraries. He has tomes upon tomes of books on magic and magical practices both gifted to him by the Coven and ones he’s purchased either for school or his own curiosity. The room Mim currently occupies used to be part of the library so now those books spill out into the living space and clutter up that room as well.
He loves to garden, his back garden looking overgrown and messy but it’s because it is full of various potion ingredients and food items that he prefers to grow for himself. Without having magic, this has been an ordeal to keep up but he loves it and spends a good majority of his time studying out there among the plants if it isn’t raining. His love of gardening has also infiltrated the inside of his home, too, every room having at least one plant.
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Vacation in a Bottle /./ [Simber]
In which Simba and Berlioz spend their anniversary together...[takes place: February 28, 2021]
[tw -- discussion of alcoholism, self loathing, depression]
Things weren’t great at the Bonfamille-Lyons place.
That didn’t mean they weren’t good, or okay, or that Berlioz was miserable all the time. Berlioz was not miserable at all whenever he was home. He liked it there best just like he always had-- liked the company of Ashlee and Kion filling their dinner table with news that distracted Berlioz from the harder stuff, like board problems or Simba’s...er… relatives-- or his own family. If he could just exist in the bubble of his cabin forever, Berlioz thought he’d probably be pretty happy. It was a quiet, lazy, easy happiness, but it’s what Berlioz needed.
Especially since the bloody article had dropped.
He’d gotten the alert from Lou first. Just a heads up that if he googled himself, he’d get the online reports. So naturally Berlioz had not done that, had just turned off his phone entirely and tried to pretend it hadn’t happened. It wouldn’t reach this tiny corner of the world--not odd, quirky Swynlake. Or that’s what he was hoping till he walked into his engineering class and two separate people were asking him if it were true, since apparently people had tagged him in the articles online.
Ber logged onto his accounts just to private them all. Real shitty thing to have happened two weeks before his anniversary. They’d not really made plans but now even the idea of going an hour’s drive to the sea made him all kinds of jumpy and nervous. He wanted to bunker down like it was the apocalypse and that wasn’t fair at all to Simba.
Because they both needed a break. Needed a break from Swynlake, even if they were trapped here.
Which was what inspired Berlioz to go to Lymantria and Vanessa again in the first place. If he couldn’t bring himself to take a train or rent a car or jet off in a plane for a weekend, then why not bring the rest of the world in? It was the perfect way to test out the illusion in the bottle idea anyway before the first Groove Room show.
So anniversary plans were gonna be happening in their bedroom. Nothing wrong with that at all. He texted Simba a very silly invite for “a romantic evening” February 28 (since that was their bloody anniversary thank you) and stood in the middle of the room, the bottle hidden in his pocket, till Simba came in.
Simba definitely looked confused when he walked in and there was--well, nothing to see. Not even a classic Berlioz-style pillow fort.
“Disclaimer,” Berlioz said. “I dunno if what I’m about to do is gonna work. But uh--”
He took out the bottle then and wiggled it around. It felt empty to him, but if you looked into it, it glimmered as if fireflies were trapped inside. He twisted the cap off and the fireflies-- which weren’t fireflies all all--poured out.
It was like pouring paint onto a canvas. Colours swept over the room, first instinct shapes, and then the lines were drawn on top, and then the shadows, and then: Kenya. The fields right outside Simba’s relatives’ house. The ceiling had been washed in the deep purple of nighttime, all those twinkly lights now stars in their proper places. The grass wafted gently in the wind. Their bedroom had expanded so no matter where you looked, it was just-- stretches and stretches of beautiful land. Except for the part behind Berlioz. There was the house, with the lights on, as if Simba’s family could walk out at any moment.
Berlioz sighed out a relieved and happy smile as his eyes darted around over these details. “You’re seeing this, yeah? I hope I got the details right.”
Their anniversary had snuck up on Simba and he felt horrible about it. In his head, three months, six months after their wedding, he had planned some grand...something for their anniversary. A trip somewhere! An experience! Something special for Ber. That want got even more pronounced as Ber’s family started to fall apart. Simba hated all of the drama. He hated how he felt as if he was outside, looking in. None of the Bonfamilles wanted him involved or thought that he should be. And he...didn’t really know what his role was in this situation.
He wanted it to be the same as when Ber had stood up for Simba about InterPride, but the Bonfamilles were always so much more complex than the Lyons.
And then, he had his own issues to deal with. Murderous relatives...again. A board faced with some difficult--perhaps impossible--decisions. His own graduation looming. The pressure had weighed down and down on him until: he’d found solace in the bottom of the bottle. So, yeah, there was that guilt too, the shame a heavy, distracting shawl--
Which made him lose track of time. By February, when Simba realized he needed to make plans, he had haphazardly bought tickets to Japan, planning on surprising Berlioz. It would be a quick trip, seeing as they were both in the middle of school but...also, fuck school. Simba hated it. Now that he was back at it, he was already starting to feel his grades slipping. He knew that Ber felt the same. It was a plan, albeit a shallow, last minute one. Not at all the grand, romantic gesture that Simba had originally dreamed up--maybe even decades ago, when he’d started thinking about his wedding and beyond.
Then, the article had dropped. The news had broken. Lou had texted him a heads up and--Simba hadn’t known what to do.
Well, he did. He had called the airline and canceled their tickets, knowing that his husband wasn’t going to want to go anywhere at all. It just--left him with nothing, Simba groping, panicking (and mostly drunk) for a solution that he didn’t have for something that felt so insignificant (his anniversary) against the backdrop of something so large (Ber’s patronage.)
So...in the end, when Ber had texted him and told him he had it covered, he was grateful. As grateful as a shameful husband could be. He got flowers anyway, stopping by the Grove on the way home. It was a bland gesture, but Simba didn’t want to show up empty handed. And he did care, he cared so much that it almost paralyzed him. Not wanting Ber to be disappointed.
He didn’t know what he was expecting when he walked into the room but...nothing was not it. Simba hesitated just inside the doorframe, roses in hand, unsure what was going on.
“Okay…” he said, stepping further into the room and closing the door behind him.
As soon as the door clicked into place, the room started to change. Simba felt like he was standing in a storybook as the pages fluttered and turned. He spun slowly in a circle, looking up, looking around, jumping slightly when his leg brushed against the savannah grass. He blinked several times, mouth hanging slightly open.
When he stopped, he was looking at the house in the distance. So close, but so far. He felt a burning in his heart, deep and true. Tears filled his eyes and he reached out, his hand brushing along the tall grass before he looked over at Ber.
“Yeah, I--how?” he asked, his voice soft as he crossed the room toward his husband.
“Nevermind, I don’t really wanna know how. It’s perfect.” He ducked his head and kissed him softly.
Years ago, Ber might be sort of nervous about doin’ something like this. He wasn’t a grand gesture kind of person. They made him nervous, all those grand gestures just like delivering a presentation for school, only the topic was his feelings and his audience of one meant way more to him than a classroom full of bored students, so really it was way worse even if it shouldn’t be. But Berlioz had come a long way since that 18-year-old in his first real relationship. Everything he knew about relationships he’d learned from Simba in front of him, and that had to do with grand gestures too.
He didn’t think there was any way for Simba to hate this. Small fluttering nerves did whisper in the back of his brain, stuff about maybe makin’ Simba homesick, but homesickness wasn’t really a bad thing, was it? Homesickness could be a kindness-- bringing your home closer to you, comforting you in its nostalgia. At least that’s how Ber felt, but then again… if he was ever homesick, he was homesick for Simba.
And Simba was standing right in front of him.
And so he pressed his lips together, trying not to get too excited, especially when he could tell it was really working. Brilliant, he thought to himself, and his grin escaped anyway. It wasn’t just for Simba’s amazed face, the way he caressed the beautiful long grass. He was thinkin’ about Vanessa and Ly too and how it had really, seriously, worked.
He was itching to answer Simba’s question, spill his other grand plan right then and there actually, like he couldn’t wait for the reveal just a few weeks away. Actually, this is just a preview...get ready for what I’ve been working on…
Thankfully, Simba kissed him, saving him from himself.
Berlioz chuckled, pleased, against Simba’s lips, kissing him back for two seconds before he pulled away. “I just thought-- why not travel at home, y’know? It’s pretty realistic, right?” His grin got even more gleeful as he glanced around. “It’s uh-- it’s sorta built on my memory of it at least, so anything that’s wrong, that’s on me. But we can stargaze now.” He pointed up at their ceiling, which was now the sky, brighter and bigger than swynlake, no tall trees obscuring it.
He squeezed Simba’s hand. “Oh! And there’s food too! Real food, I uh, put it in the bathroom, which-- wait okay, I can find it.” Ber snorted as he spun around, getting temporarily confused cuz of the strength of the illusion. He groped back and waved a hand around. “Shit, should’ve set this up before.”
It was a brilliant idea. Simba almost couldn’t believe it as the kiss broke and his eyes opened—and they were still in Kenya. Well, it looked like they were in Kenya. And it really looked like it too. Smelled like it. Felt like it, the air dry and cool on his skin. There was a breeze which tickled at the back of his neck as it rustled the grass around them. In the near distance, Lake Nakuru glimmered in the moonlight. If he listened closely, he could hear the lapping of water at its shore.
Magic was amazing. This was the reason he loved Swynlake. Living any where else, you couldn’t find a sorcerer to do this kind of magic. Not unless you were willing to pay a steep, steep price—and travel, usually.
Gosh, what he wouldn’t give for their bedroom to always look like this. A place to escape from all of the bullshit. An oasis.
Except, as Ber mentioned food and the bathroom, Simba glanced around. Their bed wasn’t anywhere in sight either. How did this work? It had to...still exist, right? It had only been a few steps to his right...
Simba chuckled as he watched Berlioz waved his hands about like he had been blindfolded or was pantomiming. “I think it was on your right, babe,” Simba told him, nodding in the direction he was...pretty sure the bathroom was. He took a few steps in that general direction too, his foot catching on something in the grass. There was a flash, as if a curtain had been disturbed.
“Ah, fuck,” Simba snorted, stopping for a second as the shock of slamming his foot into something wore off. “Found the coffee table.”
Which, at least, meant they were headed in the right direction.
Simba took a few more steps, his hands out in front of him and—there. He pressed his palm against the wall. It was weird, because it looked as if he was just touching the open air, but there was definitely something solid beneath his hand.
He laughed again. “This is weird. Is this what animals in zoos feel like?”
“Oh right, er-- course,” said Berlioz as Simba corrected him and he started shuffling in that direction, laughing a little. He laughed even harder as soon as Simba caught something, though as the illusion rippled, Berlioz’s heart skipped a beat in his chest, thinking maybe it would just collapse then and there, ruined by a careless kick of a foot.
But it stayed strong. The ripple settled and it was like he’d imagined the ripple instead of the swaying grass, the sweet-smelling air. If he stayed here too long, he could probably convince himself that the two of them really had gone to Kenya for their anniversary. He wondered about the side effects of somethin’ like this then, though not in a paranoid way. Just in a curious way. He’d have to ask Lymantria more.
After all, this was technically a test run for the Groove Room. And yeah, he was glad he’d done it like this. Note to self, Berlioz thought, make sure the room is practically empty before releasing the illusion in a bottle.
But maybe he’d bring this up to Ly and Vanessa and ask if there was a way to mark some objects as existing outside the illusion. They’d need to find the door to exit, for example. And if they had drinks and shit, they couldn’t have the drinks disappear.
He made notes of all this as he fumbled for the knob. His hand hit it. “Got it! Stay here,” Berlioz commanded his husband, shooting him a glance. One thing he remembered from Ly’s instruction was that the illusion was tied to the room. It wouldn’t spill into the bathroom, so he wanted to uh...keep Simba in his present for as long as he could.
He cracked the door, slipping away from the magic for just a second. There was the tray of stuff he’d prepared. It was all kinda typical stuff, which Berlioz had felt a little guilty about, but he wasn’t a chef and didn’t wanna risk anything getting cold. He tossed the blanket over his shoulder, then picked up the tray and used his foot to once again push the door to the bathroom open.
The illusion embraced him as if he never left it. He breathed out and grinned at Simba. “Here, grab the blanket?”
Simba did so, laying it out across the grass. Berlioz set down the tray, which had several bowls of fruit and crackers, nothin’ too fancy. “Er, we’ll probably still need to eat dinner after this,” said Ber with a tiny snort at himself, ears red as he finally settled down.
There was a flash of their house proper as Ber opened the door. Simba glanced away. He wanted to believe this fantasy. Wanted to get lost in it. Just standing in the open expanse, the geography stretching out around him in an endless line to the horizon, made him feel so small. Perhaps this would be a disconcerting feeling for some people, but not for Simba. It made him feel warm. Being so small meant that he could not carry any weight. It meant that there were things bigger than him. The stars reminded him of this.
They stretched out in every direction, twinkling and large. More than could possibly ever be counted, no matter how long you stayed under them...
Simba tried anyway. 1, 2, 3...the more he counted, the further his worries dropped away.
When the door opened, Simba turned his head, smiling softly at his husband. He gently removed the blanket from his shoulder and laid it out among the grass. Down on their bedroom floor, he thought, right in front of the bed.
He sat down afterwards, one of his hands brushing over the grass and then down into the dirt, digging his hand in and feeling the cool earth. He lifted it and let the grains run out between his fingers before brushing it on his trousers and looking over at Ber.
“It’s perfect. I’m not that hungry anyway,” he said, rather nonchalantly. Thinking only of reassuring Ber, not of what such a comment might expose.
It was perfect anyway. Simba felt lucky to have it. And to have Ber all to himself. Ashlee was at Ashleigh Q’s house for the night, so it was just the two of them. It felt warm and intimate, like a bath. Which would also be nice. Maybe later. Right now, Simba just scooted around a bit so that his side was pressed up against Ber’s. He kissed the side of his head before reaching forward and grabbing a grape to pop in his mouth.
“How long is this gonna last?” he asked, looking up at the stars again as he chewed.
Berlioz liked feelin’ small too.
It was easy for him to find that specific kind of comfort. Usually it was the opposite of something like this though-- this open field and expansive sky. He was small here, but not the same kinda small that came from burrowing like a mole under his cover or shutting himself up in his studio space. He played hide and seek from the world like that, finding the corners where he could become practically invisible or forgotten. Though Simba knew where each one of those corners were--
The only exception, for now, was the Groove Room. He’d taken to goin’ there a couple of times too, when he was really fucking stuck in his own head and couldn’t unblock himself no matter where he was. He wandered from the recording booths at the uni then all the way down to that cold basement space. Sometimes he’d just sit on a couple of cardboard boxes and smoke. Other times he’d put his earbuds in and let music fill him up. He’d look around and imagine what it was gonna be like, or let his mind wander off to other topics that had little to do with the Groove Room or uni at all.
But the best place to feel both small and big at the same time was right by Simba’s side in the middle of wherever. They could be in a foreign country, two strangers dropped like rain in an ocean. Or they could be here in Swynlake, sittin’ out by the lake and watching people pass by on the trails. As long as he had Simba next to him, he was protected from any stares. But he was also important-- the center of Simba’s attention--
Well, most of the time.
Tonight, at least, he didn’t think there was any danger of distraction. They might not be thousands of kilometers away from their lives, but the four walls and a little bit of magic was enough.
“Can last up to twelve hours,” Berlioz answered. Some of these illusions could be longer, but that depended on the type of illusion. Some were easier than others, apparently, and something like this-- the scents and the feel of the wind and even taste, apparently (not that Ber was gonna be sticking dirt into his mouth) was one of the more complicated ones. “Though when we get homesick, I can just open up the bottle again and it’ll just go right back in. Cool, innit?”
He grinned, then bit into a strawberry, feeling pretty proud of himself. “It’s almost better than real travel. Kinda like...transportation or something. We can go anywhere but then sleep in our own bed in the end.” He rubbed Simba’s thigh. “Nice to get away, but nice to come back home, yeah?” Another pause. “Though I-- I’m sorry we couldn’t...y’know. Go somewhere. I know that was sort of my fault…”
Simba didn’t know if he’d ever get homesick when in Kenya. He never spent enough time there. Even the summers of his youth had not been enough. Sometimes, he thought about moving there permanently. He didn’t think that would ever be feasible, especially not as a married queer man, but if he could pick any place in the world that wasn’t Swynlake, it would be Kenya in that cabin out by Lake Nakuru.
And unlike Ber, Simba didn’t really think this could replace the real thing. For instance, just looking up, he knew that Ber had forgotten some of the constellations. The power of seeing the galaxy couldn’t exactly be replicated. It was a damn good illusion, but Simba was aware that it was just that: an illusion. There wasn’t the tiredness in his bones from travel. There wasn’t the laughter of his family.
The only thing that was easily replicated was that feeling of peace, which really had little to do with Kenya and everything to do with Berlioz. Being near him was all he really needed. He meant that.
Which meant that when Ber apologized, Simba turned to him with a little frown. His hand found Ber’s own on his thigh. He covered it, then squeezed it once. Lifting those fingers to his mouth, he kissed the calloused pads, all the while looking at Ber softly.
“It’s not your fault,” Simba told him, folding their hands together and putting them in his lap. “You can’t control what your father decides to do. You don’t have anything to apologize for. Just being here with you is really all I need. That’s what today is about, isn’t it? Being together? I didn’t need to marry you in front of all those people and I don’t need to travel a thousand, two thousand, three thousand miles to celebrate something that I hold in my heart, hm?”
As he said the words, he really believed them. It was just like their wedding, where they had both laughed—unsure how to make it anymore more special than it already was. Simba, of course, loved a good public display of affection, but it wasn’t necessary. What was necessary was Simba knowing that Ber loved him so much that he would pluck the stars from Kenya and bring them to their living room. And that Simba loved Ber so much that nothing else mattered to him: the travel, the big wedding, living in Kenya. He’d give it all up just to be with Ber and never regret it. Just like he didn’t regret leaving InterPride.
“Besides, I don’t mind not traveling anyway,” Simba said with a little shrug. “I’m tired. Traveling would probably just make me grumpy.” He chuckled, raising his eyebrows at Ber.
For a couple seconds there, Berlioz’s old, familiar self-consciousness surged forward. He felt it, knew it was bullshit, and so it stayed an arms length away but...he still heard all the thoughts. He still heard the guilt in his own voice as he voiced his apology out loud. He knew he wasn’t to blame for a ruined anniversary (it wasn’t even really ruined anyway), but those tangled up worries wanted him to think he was. Or wanted to make space for the possibility, just in case Simba didn’t like this illusion after all or if it backfired, made him just miss the real thing more.
Those thoughts hissed, why are you trying so hard, Berlioz? He can hear it, y’know-- that you know you failed.
But he knew better than to listen or to believe that. He hadn’t failed. He thought this was cool and… well, where would they even go? They’d talked about Japan a couple of times over the months. They hadn’t gone to a lot of places in Asia, and so that could be neat, either Tokyo, or maybe Sukhumvit, or Singapore. We should just go to the airport in Singapore and not leave, Ber joked, but that was a real thing that people did. It was a whole theme park of stuff.
None of these ideas materialized in the same way that previous travels had though. Maybe in part because they had those conversations in bits and pieces here and there between their schedules. Like always, life had gotten busy and hard and swept them up in its unstoppable current.
At least when held in an illusion’s bubble, that current couldn’t touch ‘em at all.
So...even though he had a feeling that Simba was only half-joking-- cuz he knew his husband, and travel was often the release from stress, not the cause of it-- he believed that this world, made for just himself and Simba alone, was good enough. It could be their oasis in the middle of Swynlake. They both needed it. They deserved it.
His smile was fond and small and thoughtful as he squeezed Simba’s hand back. He almost lifted his other hand, thought about pressing his thumb between his husband’s brows like he could stamp out the fatigue lines there, make a joke about how old Simba was getting. But he knew better than to do something like that too.
Instead, he said: “You can be grumpy here too if you want, y’know. I know things are-- well. Bad.” He raised his eyebrows, said it like a joke, but it wasn’t a joke-- it was an invitation. If Simba couldn’t leave his problems behind, maybe he could talk about them.
“That’s the understatement of the century,” Simba scoffed.
He almost would’ve preferred for Berlioz to joke about his age. He was really feeling it these days, after all. His knee had mostly healed up again, but now it was even worse than it had been before. Some days, climbing up the stairs hurt. And some days, his runs had it so inflamed that he had to wrap it in ice for a few minutes or sit with the hot water bottle underneath the blankets at night.
Thinking about how, well, bad things were was not something that Simba liked to do. In fact, he avoided it at all costs. Simba hated being the person who thought negatively, who looked at life and only saw the struggle in it. He had been raised to know how blessed he was. To look on the bright side of things and always strive for the light. It did not feel natural for him to think that things were bad. Even though they were.
There was no escaping that fact. Ber’s name splashed across French tabloids so that, right now, if you Googled him, that was all you could find. And what was worse: Ber’s father destroying his relationship with Ber over it. There was a world, somewhere out there, where Hector realized how stupid it was to do this. Where instead, he had hugged his son and told him that nothing else mattered but the fact that he loved him, and that Berlioz belonged. That was not this world.
There was no escaping the knights either. Even if Simba had not risen to the call, he would still be plagued with memories—they infected not only his dreams but his waking moments. No matter how much he tried not to think about it and how his family legacy was falling apart before his very eyes and, considering he was the last Lyons—
It felt like it was all his fault, somehow. Like if it wasn’t just him...like if his father was just here, he would know what to do to save their family from inevitable disgrace. As it stood, Simba just felt as if he was barreling towards it.
And that didn’t even touch on Ashlee, who Simba knew wasn’t adjusting as well as she could be, but he didn’t know how to help her. She wasn’t Kiara, who Simba had always loved and known. He didn’t want to fail her, but, well, that was what it felt like.
Simba hated thinking about these things. He did everything he could not to.
Including drink. Simba was well aware that it was starting to get out of control again. He was hiding drinks from Ber around the house, going to places he didn’t usually frequent so that he could drink away from any judgement. He never got so drunk as to let anyone catch on, but certainly drunk enough to numb the sharp edges of all those bad things.
The problem was...Simba didn’t want to give it up. He knew it was bad, but so was all the rest. Without the cushion of alcohol to break his fall, he felt like he was going to shatter completely.
“I don’t wanna be grumpy, though,” Simba told Ber with a little smile. “We’re supposed to forget about all that bad stuff, hm?” He leaned in to kiss Ber lightly. “Sometimes I feel like that’s all we talk about. The bad things.” Which might come as a surprise to Berlioz, considering both of them definitely preferred the “ignore it until you couldn’t” strategy when it came to bad stuff. He kissed Ber again.
“It’s our anniversary.”
See, Berlioz didn’t think they talked about the bad things that much-- he tried not to, actually. Usually it was Simba who was gently trying to pry Berlioz’s tight lips open. When the headlines hit it was Simba who’d been there first, who had taken Ber into his arms and asked what he needed, if he needed to talk. And it was Ber who refused. Well. That made it sound harsh. He just hadn’t known what to say, and like always, found his comfort in another way.
So he understood wanting to put the bad stuff outside of the room. Leave it on the other side and sit here where they could feign happiness, just like the illusion helped them feign travel and vacation and luxury (but not home-- they didn’t have to feign home, cuz home was wherever they were together).
But he also worried.
He knew Simba was drinking. He didn’t know the extent. To him, it wasn’t getting outta hand-- Simba wasn’t passing out anywhere. He hadn’t found him on the kitchen floor in a sea of glass and wine. And he knew that being completely sober for Simba was never a good goal for his recovery anyway, y’know, like they would have glasses of wine together sometimes, and they got drunk on holidays-- warm and giddy on eggnog at Christmas, wild and mischievous on tequila shots and whiskey during New Year’s. For a long time, this seemed to work. Simba didn’t seek out alcohol as a coping mechanism. It was just special, just every now and then.
Now though…the rumours…
Ber didn’t know when he should worry. But that was a silly thing to wonder wasn’t it, because he already was worried, and so he wanted Simba to say something before it was too late.
They had Ashlee to think about, after all.
But yeah, maybe now… maybe now wasn’t the time. Still, Ber found himself relaxed, unwound. The illusion was working for him. He often talked more on vacation cuz it kinda felt like his reality didn’t exist. Like it didn’t matter what he said when he was a thousand kilos away…
So maybe Ber would go first, and maybe Simba could follow. ‘Sides, his thing...it wasn’t bad stuff. Maybe not.
“Yeah,” he uttered. “Yeah, you’re right. I did wanna talk about...I mean, this isn’t bad stuff,” Ber interrupted himself quickly. “It’s just a thought I’ve been having since the article dropped. I mean, it’s out there now. All of it for everyone. Which means...I mean--I dunno if… if my uh, birth...father knows anything about it but maybe he does now and… I dunno.”
He faltered. He thought it was gonna be easier to say all this but he felt stupid like always. He’d been feelin’ stupid in his own head all week and now was feelin’ stupid saying it out loud.
He decided not to say it, but to ask. “Should I find him, you think?”
Simba was still feeling a bit prickly and defensive. He knew Ber was trying to get him to talk. That Ber probably knew more than he was letting on. That he probably wanted Simba to say it. To confess, the way he had before. Simba didn’t want to do that, though. He needed alcohol. That was the thing that Ber didn’t understand: if Ber wanted a husband who made him laugh and dressed in ridiculous clothes to embarrass him, then Simba needed alcohol.
At least, right now. Give Simba a month, or two—until things had settled. Until the betrayal of his family had settled, until the betrayal of Ber’s family had settled, until things felt manageable. again. Then, he’d stop. Simba really believed that.
So, he didn’t want to fight about it, but he would. If Ber continued his gentle probing. He didn’t like the way it felt. Simba wanted to relax. To pretend like nothing at all was the matter tonight. It was their anniversary, like he said. Shouldn’t that mean something? The word like a magical spell that enclosed them in a bubble of gentleness.
Apparently not. Berlioz was in one of his rare contemplative moods, where he wanted to talk about something that had been scratching like a record needle in his mind. Simba couldn’t be mad at that, though, as long as it was about Berlioz. In fact, it made some of that prickling feeling dissipate as he looked over at Ber as he talked. His gaze softened and he lifted a hand to stroke at the back of Ber’s neck, resting gently on his shoulder.
Simba’s brow furrowed somewhat at Ber’s question. It didn’t surprise him, if only because if Simba was in Ber’s position, he would want to know. (There was a part of Simba that wanted to know, just because this was his husband’s father. Some piece of him that Simba didn’t know.) But he also didn’t want to influence Ber’s decision. This was one of those things that, ultimately, Ber would have to decide for himself. Simba hesitated to say this, though, feeling, perhaps, instinctually that that wasn’t the right answer. This was, however, a rare instance where Simba...didn’t think there was a wrong choice, necessarily. He just wanted his husband to be happy. His heart burned with the thought as he smiled softly at Ber.
“If you want to,” Simba told him. He hesitated for a moment before continuing. “I would want to. If it were me, but, ah, well—my family—” is a bunch of murderers apparently, so maybe you don’t want to know. Simba caught himself before he let too much antagonism for his own family bleed into his voice. “My family is important to me, so I would want to know because of that. If you are curious, that’s—I dunno, maybe a sign? Like...if you didn’t feel any urge, you wouldn’t have asked, hm?” He leaned in and kissed Ber’s temple gently.
“Whatever you wanna do, I’ll be right there with you.”
If you want to.
He knew Simba was gonna say that first thing. It was going to be annoying-- actually, that was the most annoying part of this whole bullshit mess his parents had put on him. He’d gotten used to the idea of being not a ‘real’ Bonfamille. Honest, he’d always felt that way anyway and maybe nature had nothing to do with it, or maybe it did. He hadn’t been really surprised once the shock settled. In a way, it was the final piece of his life clicking into place. So he accepted it, accepted the distance that would always exist between himself and his father, and accepted that for himself and Marie or himself and Lou, nothing really had to change.
But he hated that this thing that wasn’t his fault-- this thing he didn’t ask for-- that it was somehow still his responsibility.
For once, he just wanted someone to tell him exactly what to do. If someone had taken charge in talkin’ to Pere, maybe the tabloids never would have happened. And now, with his birth father… couldn’t someone just tell him if it was a bad or good idea? He’d talk to Lou, who would probably have the most opinions, but he knew his brother would be just as infuriating about it. Up to you, he’d say. God, Berlioz didn’t want it to be.
At least Simba said what he’d do. This was not the direct answer that he wanted from his husband, but it was probably the closest he was gonna get.
And it wasn’t a surprise either. Of course Simba would want to know. If all of this happened to Simba, he wouldn’t have wasted the same kind of time as Berlioz. He would have confronted Sarabi, probably wrestled the name outta the bastard sperm donor, tracked him down…
That was the part that Berlioz wasn’t so sure about. He could admit it to himself: he wanted to know who the bloke was. But...then what?
“I wanna know,” he confessed at least this much. “At first I didn’t really, but now...I dunno. I keep thinking about it.” He sighed a little, reached for a strawberry but didn’t eat it, just fiddled with the top of it like he was one of those kids tearing off flower petal (does he love me, does he not? Should he find his dad, should he not?)
“It’s just, again, with this whole-- I’m scared it will just happen again, y’know? I told Pere and he freaked out and caused this massive mess. The bloke could have a family. I could like..destroy his life.” He glanced up at Simba, his brow wrinkled. “I don’t wanna hurt anyone.”
Simba stroked at Ber’s neck where his hand was resting there as his husband talked. He was frowning a bit, considering what Ber was saying. It was funny, because it was something that Simba hadn’t thought about, wouldn’t have thought about, if he was the one in Ber’s position. For him, it wasn’t about this other man and his maybe family. It’d be about Simba and his family. Only now, as Ber mentioned it, though, did Simba realize how selfish and impulsive that was. That was Simba, though, wasn’t it? Selfish. Impulsive.
Berlioz wasn’t like that. He never had been. It was something that Simba greatly admired about his husband, always had. Of course, he saw the toll that it took on Ber. How he felt so small and afraid sometimes, that he just did nothing at all.
It was how they balanced each other. Simba pushing Ber, just a little bit. And Ber, holding Simba back. So that they were perfect sides of the same coin, the scales perfectly even.
Ber did have a point, after all. Simba hadn’t thought about the fact it had been 23 years for this man too. Whoever he was. He may not know about Ber. He may be married...he may’ve been married at the time. He could have other kids.
Blimey. He could have other kids. Ber could have more siblings! Simba could have more siblings!
Okay, that was not the point, Simba tried to tamp down on that idealistic mindset that had him reaching for a big, happy family at the end of all this. That wasn’t what Ber needed right now. He needed...reassurance. And maybe help with a plan. Those were things that Simba could do. It wasn’t like he’d ever done something like this before, but he’d seen it in the movies.
“I know you don’t, habibah,” Simba said softly, smiling at Ber. He leaned in and kissed his temple again, his fingers carding through his husband’s hair; gentle, hopefully comforting.
“Maybe you could, er, do one of those 23 and me’s and see if anything comes up. Or, uh—you could get his name from your mum and we could hire someone. Like a...private investigator. To see if he has a family or something. And if he had a family ‘round when you were born. ‘Cause, I mean, if he wasn’t married then or anything, I dunno why it’d ruin anyone’s life. If he was havin’ an affair, that might be a bit different but—” Simba shrugged a bit, leaning back on his hands, looking up at the twinkling Kenyan sky.
“—There is not point fretting about all that until we know more. I—know that’s not gonna stop you from doing it.” He looked over at Ber and smiled. “And that’s alright. You can worry with me, if you want. I—can’t imagine what that feels like but...I wanna be there for you.”
Maybe Simba didn’t consider the possible consequences, but Berlioz hadn’t considered other options.
To him, there was only...to tell or not to tell. To find his father, or not. To destroy another life, or just carry this mystery alone for as long as he could. He was more comfortable with the latter of all those options cuz it meant nothing would change (more) and no one would get hurt. Eventually, he had figured, he’d stop caring about it all. He didn’t know what future Bastille Days or birthdays or holidays would look like because of Pere, but maybe they’d get to the point where they’d ignore...everything. They’d pretend to be father and son. Berlioz could bury his own hurt and he could forget his curiosity and ten years from how, he’d even joke about the shitty early years of his twenties, when his name was splashed on the front of tabloids and he nearly blew up his family.
But Simba presented another option. And this was exactly why he needed Simba so much.
He looked up, meeting Simba’s eyes. He looked as surprised as he felt. The things Simba said weren’t actually that genius. They were obvious, things Berlioz should have thought of, but simply...didn’t.
And okay, it kind of felt a bit stalkerish and creepy, to hold all this information and make all the decisions for a stranger he never met. But Berlioz could deal with stalker and creepy much better than he could deal with bastard secret son who threw a grenade into someone else’s life.
Anyway, maybe his bio father would be a creep himself. Maybe he’d be in prison. Maybe he’d be one of those socialites with a drinking problem and a string of affairs and rumours and Berlioz would want nothing to do with him.
And someone who wouldn’t want anything to do with me, thought Berlioz, cuz that was the other piece of all this and what he was, perhaps, even more scared of than destroying a life. Wanting someone who wouldn’t want him.
Once he knew more, he could decide…
“Yeah, I...I think maybe-- we could really do that?” Berlioz asked, though he knew the answer was yes. They had plenty of money. “Like, a private investigator? Cuz yeah, that could...could help. Though I mean, not that they’ll be able to find anything about whether or not the bloke wants a bastard son from twenty-three years ago…” Berlioz snorted.
That last bit of Ber’s comment surprised Simba.
Simba hadn’t really considered the fact that Ber might want a real relationship with this birth father. He had a father in Simba’s mind. Maybe not a perfect one, but no father was perfect. Simba’s own certainly wasn’t. But, Hector was Ber’s father just the same. The man who raised him. In Simba’s mind, that was all Ber needed. Apparently not, though. Simba couldn’t blame him, especially considering how Hector had reacted. Berlioz was probably worried about not having a father at all (even if Simba had a strange faith that Hector might get over himself, perhaps just because Simba had such a faith in family to begin with—despite everything in the world telling him otherwise.) It was a feeling that Simba could understand. He wanted a father too. Of course, it wasn’t the same, but there were similarities. Simba felt that aching wound inside himself too. He felt it now, especially. Talks of fathers would always make him feel this way.
It made him pause, to consider what he might say, when otherwise he may not.
He didn’t know how to comfort Ber and he hated that. Simba strived to always be positive. He strived to believe that there was value in every lesson and every struggle, and the people who came into your life or left it, did so with a reason. That there was a lesson to be learned from all things. It was not an easy mindset, especially when he looked at his husband, and saw how lost he was, his dark eyes full of the wandering stars above, and knew he could not promise him happiness or even contentment.
“No, it won’t,” Simba agreed after a moment. “Only he can decide that. And it will have nothing to do with you.” Simba squeezed Ber’s neck. “If he doesn’t want to know you, that’s his loss. You are a gift and, whoever he is, whatever he is, I thank him for you. Just like I thank Allah.”
Berlioz knew he was asking too much. Simba would disagree. He could hear his husband in his own head, arguing against these thoughts, like obviously this is my job, Berlioz, don’t be silly. Still, as the air impregnated with fresh silence, all of Berlioz’s questions echoing with no easy answers, he felt bad for bringing all this up when Simba said he’d wanted a happy anniversary. Not that Berlioz wasn’t happy. He really was, sitting here in a paradise of his own making, close to the one person in the world he could trust to never betray him. More than his parents (obviously) and even more than his own siblings.
Because at least Simba chose him.
Lately, with all this complicated family drama, Berlioz felt like he was the only one who did. And therefore the only one who ever would. Why would a stranger who lived without Berlioz for twenty-three years want the responsibility of… of knowing him? Caring about him? It was a big thing to ask of someone, y’know. To be a father.
He didn’t want to want that, but he couldn’t ignore the tiny voice in him, still small and scared, digging holes in the backyard, who did.
He couldn’t fool himself. If he met this bloke, he obviously wanted something from him and that would always feel some type of selfish. Berlioz wished he could simply meet him with no expectations, as a way to complete the puzzle of himself. That way, he could leave satisfied no matter the result.
But he would want more. If he decided to go through with it then, one thing was certain: Berlioz couldn’t do it alone. He’d need Simba to help him be brave.
He leaned in then, kissing Simba gently, his mouth lingering longer than the last few, short, fond kisses. He stroked the back of Simba’s neck as he leaned back out.
“Thanks,” said Ber. “I guess then I uh...wanna know more. And we’ll have to probably have this whole conversation again when we do. Sorry ‘bout that in advance.” His lip twitched in a barely-there smile. “But I couldn’t do any of this without you. Y’know that right?”
“I know,” Simba told Ber, his voice quiet. The kiss still lingered inside of him, a warm peach in his heart, but the longer the feeling sat there, the more sour it turned.
He was thinking about the weight of those words. I couldn’t do any of this without you. Simba would usually delight in those words, preen like a peacock. He liked to be helpful, especially to Berlioz. His husband’s anxiety was, perhaps, one of the only monsters that truly scared him and so often, he felt helpless when faced with its shadowed form. When Ber was able to say that Simba helped, in any small way, it made it easier to fight the next time the beast reared its head.
But, Simba was so tired. Simba was already holding so much. He felt like he was juggling fragile glass bottles (empty whiskey bottles probably, eh?) and Berlioz had just tossed him another one. Hold this too. And Simba was terrified he was going to drop something: Ashlee, Berlioz, his family, his legacy, the Board, the knights, the whole bloody town.
The guilt rotted the kiss right through him, until only the pit of it was left, hard and lodged in his throat. Simba wanted to say something else. He wanted to confess to everything—tell Ber how scared he was, how confused. Tell him how much he’d really been drinking. He wanted to hand it all to Berlioz, so that he had to hold the weight of it too. Simba knew that was what he was supposed to do.
He reached forward and plucked another strawberry from the bowl between them and then, he laid back, stretching out beneath the blanket of stars. For a few moments, he just watched them dance, thinking about the past and thinking about his family—and thinking that he really wished they had some champagne too.
Simba took a deep breath, held it, then let it out in a rumbling sigh. His hand moved over Ber’s thigh and he turned his head to look at him.
“I couldn’t do any of this without you either,” he murmured.
Berlioz wanted Simba to say exactly what he said. It was part of the reason he’d said it first-- like he could remind Simba that they were connected now and forever. He wasn’t really much for metaphor, couldn’t really explain it in pretty words, or with the language of Simba’s Allah, but he did believe they were fated. He believed that they had to hold each other to hold their home steady against all the different forces that tried to batter them down. They wouldn’t get knocked down as long as they leaned on each other.
Hadn’t they promised similar things in their vows?
And so Berlioz knew that Simba was struggling. He saw the bits and the pieces even if Simba was good at hiding it-- had always had a beautiful mask that could fool almost the whole town. Some days he fooled Berlioz too. Some days Berlioz only saw the smile and not the cracks that appeared when he put it on. But only some days.
Here was a crack now, finally, long overdue, but Berlioz liked to imagine it as Simba opening the door. It was a small, tiny thing. But Berlioz would take it and maybe inch it further open.
So Berlioz laid down on his side next to Simba and let his hand rest right there over Simba’s chest. For a few moments he kept it there. Tracked Simba’s breathing. Felt his heartbeat in the palm of his hand. It was steady and strong, even as Simba’s face was etched with worry lines, eyes staring up at all those fake stars like they could really hear the two of them.
“I’m here,” Berlioz murmured as yet another reminder. “Y’know, even though I’m uh...going through...things or whatever--” his ears reddened, saying it out loud like that. He always felt like such a fool, talking about his issues, even though he’d been doing it for the past five minutes. “You can go through stuff too. Things have been bad in town, I know.”
An understatement. Bad was the graffiti on the Moon Market, not compulsion spells and nightmare fog and distant relatives from a thousand years ago back for a vengeance.
Berlioz laid down next to him and Simba’s instinct was to turn his body toward his husband, roll into his arms. He would tuck his head beneath Ber’s chin and let him shield him from all the storms that he had to weather.
Of course, he didn’t do that. He didn’t feel as if he deserved it.
Simba wasn’t being a very good husband. A husband would tell his husband what was going on. A husband wouldn’t be so afraid of his husband’s gentle look.
Instead, Simba just kept staring at the stars as they twinkled. He wanted to get lost in them. His hand reached up to hold Ber’s hand, their wedding rings clinking together. Their hands lifted as Simba sighed heavily again. There was a long stretch of silence where Simba wrestled with himself, trying to find what to say—or how to say what he wanted to say. Nothing felt right. The urge to just pour everything out at once, to let it spill from him like some kind of poison was overwhelming. But, Simba was almost afraid that if he did that...it wasn’t going to make anything better.
“I know,” Simba said again, rubbing at Ber’s hand then squeezing it, bringing it up to his lips to kiss the back of.
“I just—don’t know what talking is going to do,” Simba finally admitted. He looked over at Ber, searching his eyes for a moment. “We both know what is going on.” It was a cop out, and he knew it, felt the guilt burn in his stomach but...he knew if he told Ber how much he was drinking, then he would have to stop. And he didn’t want to stop, because stopping meant confronting all the things he was trying to shut out.
“This isn’t supposed to—be about the bad things. It’s supposed to be about the good. About—you and me. And how grateful I am for you. For us. For this life that we have together.”
Berlioz couldn’t push.
He did want to. For a long time it felt like they were both waiting for each other’s dams to break, and so they held their breaths and opened their hands, so they could catch everything when it released. But the dams held. Or-- Simba’s did. Berlioz’s dam had cracks, and his sadness spat out in leaks here and there without warning, just enough to release pressure temporarily before the inevitable build. But maybe there could be no proper break for a situation like his own anyway, because Ber’s situation was never gonna change. (Well. Probably shouldn’t say never. Who knew what other secrets lingered in his family’s vault? Ber didn’t wanna ever know.)
Point was, Simba was patient with him. He didn’t push Berlioz. He took his silence and he took his tears and he patiently listened to Ber’s half-complete thoughts and worries and questions. They inched closer and closer to something resembling peace, but Simba never rushed him. Maybe finding his birth father, for example, would be a huge slide back. If it was, Simba would still be there.
Berlioz wanted to be the same consistent pillar for Simba. He didn’t want to rush him or demand too much. He also wanted to trust Simba that...that he really would tell Berlioz if it all got too bad…
But like always, Ber’s worry hissed in the back of his head. What if he doesn’t ever tell you? What if things get worse to the point they can’t get fixed?
That felt like a bad-husband thought. He should trust Simba, and he’d force himself too, no matter his doubts.
And so Ber nodded and leaned down to kiss Simba lightly again. “I know. We don’t have to,” Ber murmured, reassured, ignored his own gut. “S’not like things will change tomorrow. We can just stay here. For as long as you want.”
“Well, actually think the ah, whole-- illusion thing’s got a twelve-hour limit or somethin’. But we could still sleep under the stars if we want.” Ber tried for a smile.
Maybe Simba wanted the push. He was standing at the end of the cliff and he wanted the relief of the free fall, but he couldn’t get himself to jump. It was frustrating, because Simba was not the kind of person to hesitate. He leapt into action. It was just another thing that his alcoholism took from him. Along with his pride, dignity, and sense of security.
That was the worst part, you know?
It made him feel like shit—it turned him into a liar, someone untrustworthy, someone people couldn’t depend on—and he still couldn’t stop. No matter how bad he knew it was for him, no matter how much he hated keeping it from Ber—he couldn’t control it. Even now, his throat was dry and he wasn’t thinking about their anniversary, he was thinking about how there wasn’t champagne. How he wished there was champagne. How there was a bottle of whiskey stashed downstairs and maybe he could think of an excuse to go downstairs—
And how, above all else, he knew if he told Ber, there wouldn’t be any more alcohol. It wasn’t about the shame (though yes) or the pride (though yes) or Ber’s disappointment (though yes). Simba’s hesitance came from the fact that he didn’t want to stop. Even if he did.
Maybe he wanted a push, but he also didn’t.
Instead, he was just—stuck.
There were worse places than to be stuck under a blanket of stars with your husband. Here, if they stopped talking about all the depressing shit that was driving him to drink in the first place, maybe he could forget and enjoy himself. And maybe, he’d find himself craving something else besides a bottle of whiskey.
He turned on his side, sliding his hand over his husband’s waist, tugging him a little closer and leaning down to nibble on his ear, then his jaw. He could bury his head here in the sweet smell of Ber’s shampoo and aftershave and forget everything else. At least for a little while.
“Twelve hours with you and no one else sounds perfect.” he murmured. He lifted his head so he could smile at him, a soft, apologetic smile. “Thank you, mume.”
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Delivered to the lockers of Swynlake Secondary Students:
Inspired in equal parts by Agatha Christie’s best murder mysteries and the musical vaudeville styles of Chicago, travel back in time to 1926 to a boozy lil jazz club where a murder will be taking place...
You will don a character for this event and will be expected to stay in-character through 95% of the evening. Costumes required (details provided in your character sheet).
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Run Command | Evanescence
It was time to stop waiting around and actually do something. The agents of chaos in Swynlake were laughable, honestly-- a collective dream where everyone was in Texas? What was next, a collective dream where everyone got stranded in Swindon? There was absolutely nothing intimidating about it. People even seemed to be having fun! It made Ev’s blood boil.
Plus, it was quite embarrassing that she had been reduced to a Hallmark movie-style villain.
Ev decided she was not even going to acknowledge it when she called Vanessa into her office on Monday. Moving on. “Good morning, Vanessa,” she said, smiling warmly. “How are your projects going? Are you having enough work to do?”
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Name: Anthony Edward Rydinger
Nicknames: Tony & Tones
Age: 17 (76)
Birthday: August 5th, 1944
Mother: Harriet “Hattie” Rydinger (Deceased)
Father: Roderick Rydinger (Deceased)
Mother’s Occupation: Stay-At-Home Mother
Father’s Occupation: Business Associate
Family Finances: Middle Class
Other Close Family: N/A
Pets: Frito Rydinger (Australian Shepherd)
Home Life During Childhood:
Pre-Curse: Tony was on top of the world, a spoiled son, school athlete, and playboy. Everything was perfect for the most part. His father was stern and his mother coddled him.
Post-Curse: Tony, when still living with his family, was tense and brooding, resentful of his parents for not seeing through things.
What Did Their Bedroom Look Like:
Pre-Curse: Honestly it was a mess. He was your typical teenage boy with his clothes everywhere and a trail of messes behind him everywhere he went. It drove Harriet absolutely insane and was the one thing they really fought over.
Post-Curse: He does a good job of keeping things organized, even if it doesn’t look the most Neat & Tidy. Everything has A Place and he likes to know where things are/where things go. It’s his space.
Any Sports or Clubs: Tony used to play football (soccer), basketball, and he liked baseball. He was on the teams during his initial runs at Swynlake Secondary but he lost the drive and passion when he watched all his teammates leave the team. He is currently swimming with the swim team thanks to Aquata’s encouragement but it’s not the same thing.
Schooling: Repeating his final year of secondary school for 60 years
Favorite Subject: Music & Biology
Popular or Loner: Popular, usually.
Place of Birth: Swynlake, England
Ethnicity: English (some Native American)
Languages: English, Welsh, & BSL
Religion & Beliefs: Formerly Catholic, he has a hard time deciding if he’s religious or not.
Face Claim: Gavin Leatherwood
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Tattoos: Two. A sun on his left arm and the comic panel from Calvin & Hobbes saying I suppose it will all make sense when we grow up on his right
Scars: A few on his hands/legs from childhood and one across his nose from Phineas being compelled to punch him and breaking his nose.
Common Hairstyle: Curled hair (sometimes he uses product but SO RARELY!!)
Clothing Style: Greaser, jokingly.
Mannerisms: Running his fingers through his hair when he’s nervous or embarrassed.
Usual Expression: Smirking or trying very hard to keep a neutral expression
Overall (Do They Get Sick Easily)?: When they leave town, yes. They instantly begin to get sick. When in town it’s rare.
Neurological Conditions: N/A
Magical Abilities: Cursed to repeat his last year of secondary over and over.
How it Happened:
Tony managed to piss off someone who was a Magick given the very anti-Magick climate that was the 1960s. Tony wasn’t necessarily the most anti-Magick person when he was in secondary school then but when he wished aloud to remain in school forever where he wouldn’t need to leave that Magic granted the wish in the worst way possible: he’s trapped.
While he isn’t technically repeating the same year over and over again, Tony is stuck as an upper sixth year student and forever shy of his 18th birthday. He has to go to lessons where everyone believes he’s your average upper sixth year student, despite his pleas and attempts to break the curse via expulsion, telling people, and even just flunking all his classes. None of these have worked.
Anyone who has graduated from Swynlake Secondary or is above the age to go to secondary doesn’t remember him once that graduation ceremony is over. If he were to approach them and try to remind them of his existence before this point they would dismiss him as some child. He’s crazy. Though, sometimes, something will be nagging at the back of your head. Sorta like deja vu. Anyone who is attending Swynlake Secondary finds their memories just adapt to his presence. They’ve heard of Tony Rydinger before? Yeah, sure, he’s that upper sixth form guy! Each year it just makes sense. By the time you reach the same grade as him the memories just adjust to him having attended school with you this entire time. Tony’s always been in your year, what do you mean?
Animals. Tony likes dogs the best for being man’s best friend. They never forget him and he’s just so grateful to have some creatures that won’t give him that blank stare.
Grooming Habits: Tony takes pride in his appearance in so far as he keeps good hygiene and dresses well but he’s not high maintenance.
Sleeping Habits: Tony wakes up at 6am no matter what time he goes to bed. He’s able to sleep after waking up and often will choose to but he’s very regular in waking up at 6am. 60 years of secondary will do that to you.
Eating Habits: Tony loves to cook. He barely has any junk food in his flat, usually spending his Sunday afternoons meal prepping and then eating well throughout the week. He likes junk food and will never say no to really any food but he tries to eat well.
Exercise Habits: He runs, goes to the gym occasionally, but mostly just runs now with Frito in tow.
Emotional Stability: Ehhhh... Depends. He’s good at compartmentalizing but he’s prideful and he probably has PTSD of some form from all the trauma he’s been through so he can get very touchy.
Body Temperature: Warm
Sociability: He’s good with people.
Addictions: Fey’s Gold & Alcohol
Drug Use: Fey’s Gold, weed, has tried many other drugs
Alcohol Use: Often
Bad Habits: Smoking, too much alcohol, drug addiction, skipping school (does he really need to go all the time after this long?), his temper/picking fights
Good Habits: Empathetic, willing to listen, working on music and photography, good eating habits
Best Characteristic: Understanding
Worst Characteristic: Prideful
Worst Memory: His mother’s death
Best Memory: Ian remembering him
Proud Of: Honest answer is not much despite how prideful he is about himself. He is a contradiction.
Embarrassed By: His singing voice
Driving Style: Good! He’s a good driver!
Weakness: His pride/his addictions
Fears: Being forgotten/left behind
Secrets: His curse, his drug addiction, his drug-dealing
Regrets: So Much
Feels Vulnerable When: He’s just gone through the disasters and the memories all pop up
Pet Peeves: So many things...
Conflicts: Phineas fucking Flynn and their conflicting prides
Motivation: Depends on the day
Short Term Goals & Hopes: Enjoy the day-to-day
Long Term Goals & Hopes: Break the curse and live a real life
Exercise Routine: Runs at least twice a day with Frito
Day or Night Person: Night
Introvert or Extrovert: Extrovert but he’s a lot more introverted than he realizes
Optimist or Pessimist: Pessimist
LIKES & STYLES:
Colours: Tony used to bleed blue, yellow, and white, used to wear the school colors all the time and brag about how much of a true Pegasus he was. Those were the glory days. Tony now will wear those colors for School Pride-type events and no more. He has culled a lot of his wardrobe over the decades and hasn’t replaced most of the prideful colors back in.
Weather: Those dreary mornings when the air smells of rain and the sky is gray is when Tony is happiest. The mist in the air as he walks outside makes him feel alive. Sunshine doesn’t quite capture the aesthetic he has cultivated.
Music: Tony is the epitome of “They don’t make music like they used to!” He is nostalgic for the music of the fifties and sixties, though some modern artists will grab his attention. Jazz in general will tug at his heartstrings and, don’t tell Wilbur, but he’s a giant Franny Robinson stan. He is obsessed with her sound.
Movies: Horror movies are what Tony thrives on. Spooky season gives him an excuse to break out the classics. Give him a classic slasher movie and you’ll have yourself a very happy boy. Tony can’t stand mushy chick-flicks. He thinks they are a waste of time.
Drinks: It’s certainly a cliché but Tony is a sucker for a good root beer float. At this point no one, not even Tony, knows if that is for the Aesthetic or if soda shops were just the superior way to go through life. He will drink real alcohol –purchased with his copious amounts of “fake” IDs– as well but it’s funnier to him that he will order a root beer float everywhere.
Foods: He misses his mother’s cooking. It was really hard on him to see his parents grow old like that, thinking that they were just really old parents and, eventually, even needing to be convinced they’d adopted him. He definitely learned how to make her homemade baked potato soup, but it’s just not the same as when his mum made it with all the love in her heart.
Animals: Dogs are Tony’s favorite animals. He used to adopt strays all the time to keep him company but he’s stopped for the last few years because it got too sad and has recently adopted Frito!!! He will pet any dog he sees, though.
Books: Gothic Literature (he likes Southern American Gothic a lot)
Magazines: Not a huge fan
Sports: Football, basketball, swimming, baseball, general running, etc.
Social Issues: LGBTQ+ Rights, general politics, but, like, quietly. SSIC is interesting.
Clothing: His leather jacket
Jewelry: The ring Eilonwy made him with her magic
Websites: Twitter & Instagram
TV Shows: Eh, just whatever’s on
WHERE & WHEN THEY LIVE NOW:
Home: Benbow Apartments
Household Furnishings: A lot of mismashed things he’s gotten throughout the years
Most Cherished Possessions: Record player, records, & photo albums
Neighbourhood: North of the Southern Isles
Town or City Name: Swynlake
Relationship with Family: They’re all deceased
Career: Employee at Chapter Three and being a “bus boy” (actually a drug runner) for Roscoe Sykes at The Court of Miracles
Dream Career: Music Producer
Dream Life: Happy & Real
Love Life: Heartbroken currently
Talents or Skills: Singing, Photography, Athletic
Intelligence Level: Medium-to-High
Finances: Working Class
Past Careers: Too many
Past Lovers: Too many (notably all of the Tritons minus Ariel, Lou Bonfamille, Berlioz Bonfamille, Jessica Rabbit, Winston Deavor, and many more)
Not to get all Tw*light on you all, but Tony definitely has a collection of all of his graduation tassels. The cap and gown are all the same each year just saved for the next time the curse forces him to relive the year but the tassels are stored in a box beneath his bed as a reminder. He hopes someday he will be able to stop collecting.
Tony has everyone at the school and his landlord convinced that he’s an emancipated minor. It was easier than lying that his parents were still around after their death. He doesn’t mind living on his own, though he wishes that he didn’t have to go through this process of being a newly emancipated person every time the school year ended.
Tony is secretly a big reader, making his job at Chapter Three enjoyable for him. It isn’t uncommon for him to purchase books there to read on his lunch breaks, though the only ones who really see this are his bosses. He mostly just reads when he’s alone in his flat. It helps pass the time and it’s not like he has to reread the books they teach in school again.
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Retail Therapy | Babette & Rosetta
Swynlake tended to nudge you around a bit, Babette had found. It had been strange to get used to at first, but the day she was encouraged to go into the florist and treat herself to a bouquet she barely noticed it. Rosetta had been friendly and easy to talk to, and it wasn’t often Babette made female friends without a working relationship coming first, so she was delighted.
The most recent tumble into an alternate reality had not had much of an impact on Babette; she’d remained a nanny, working for rich households and pining after people she had no right to pine after. She was glad to be back to normal, or whatever her normal was now, but it made her crave some of the more modern wonders of their world. Like jeans and shopping centres.
So without much convincing she’d managed to snag Rosetta on one of her days off, for a trip into the Next Town Over for some window shopping and general girl talk. Being surrounded by the steady stream of normal people living normal lives always held a novel sort of amusement for a while after returning, and Babette soaked it in readily as they wandered the streets. “So, you must tell me, what have you been reading lately? This most recent dream of our town has me interested in period romances, you know? They are not usually my style.”
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That Will Be Your Crowning Glory | Elanna
Just cute sister things I wanted on Anna’s blog
Title inspired by this iconic scene in The Princess Diaries 2 which totally feels like a sisters moment (yes Julie Andrews is Elsa)
Elsa had never been to the Pride U dorms before. She'd never had any need to, after all. So she couldn't help but feel horribly awkward as she walked through the halls, following the intstructions a cheerful Devyn had typed into her phone when Anna's texted instructions had turned out to be too vague. They were supposed to meet outside the dorms to go the the Gala together - another chance for Sister Bonding, Anna had said, and Elsa couldn't find it in herself to say no - but Anna was running late and instead asked her to come up to her dorm.
Ducking through her sister's dorm in a full-length gown was not Elsa's desired first impression on Anna's classmates, never mind that she already knew most of them from the shop. Thank goodness it seemed the majority of students were dressed up as well.
Reaching the door with Anna's name on it, Elsa knocked twice. "Sunshine? It's me," she called in.
Anna could not get her hair to cooperate. She had seen the specific hairstyle she wanted to do on Pinterest and it required a lot of maneuvering that just had to require extreme flexibility or very long arms (or maybe just some teamwork) and, as usual, her roommate wasn't around to help.
She smiled when she heard the familiar nickname, then panicked again because her hair looked like a disaster. She was going to hold them up! Ugh, she didn't want to postpone Elsa's rare night out. "One second!" she yelled back, trying one more time to get the braids in line to no avail. Anna cursed loudly as she accidentally stabbed herself in the head with a bobby pin and then finally gave up and went to the door. "Can you help me with something?" she asked, the braids she had been working on already falling out.
Hearing the commotion on the other side of the door, Elsa braced herself for a whirlwind. Sure enough, Anna answered the door looking like she'd just walked through a tornado. Elsa smiled, reaching out to squeeze Anna's covered wrist as had become her usual greeting. "Of course," she reassured, "we've got time." She followed her sister into the dorm, looking around curiously. It was easy to tell which side of the room was Anna's; the other side was practically bare, no ornamentation at all, and Elsa recalled that this must be the roommate that Anna rarely saw.
"Take a seat," Elsa said, setting the box she'd held in one hand on Anna's desk. "What are we trying to do?"
It was exciting how easy it was becoming to fall into the routine of being a younger sister again. They went to parties and had dinner together and, maybe, Anna thought, did each other's hair. If Elsa could help, Anna knew she could pull off the style she wanted. But she had already caught onto how hesitant Elsa seemed to go near her, as though she might hurt her if she got too close. So Anna wasn't sure she should count on anything.
She was sure Elsa had her reasons, even if Anna didn't understand. Maybe one day she would bring it up.
For now, though, she had a hairstyle to attempt. Anna pulled up the Pinterest post on her phone. "This one, apparently it's very medieval. No idea if it's accurate, but I thought it looked cool," she explained, then sat down in her desk chair. "I can get the braids, it's the pinning it all together part that I can't do. I swear, nobody has arms that long."
Leaning down to look at the phone over her sister's shoulder, Elsa nodded. "Yes, that looks a little hard to manuever," she said, stepping back behind Anna to get a look at what she'd already done. Elsa had become adept at doing her own hair out of necessity, able to freeze her hair in place with her chilled hands until she could get bobby pins to hold up her pale hair. Elsa wouldn't be able to use that trick on Anna; she refused to use magic even that benign anywhere near her sister's head.
Even looking at the back of her head, Elsa felt a little nervous. She could see the white streak done up into Anna's braid, the only physical evidence of the accident, and it made her hands tremble. But no, she could do this. This was easy. It was just hair. Elsa had been getting better the more she hung around Anna, better at touching others without feeling like a ticking bomb, she could do this.
"Brush?" she asked, holding out one hand as the other carefully pulled the pins out of Anna's hair, letting the two braids fall back before she gently combed her fingers through the loose hair
Anna opened her desk drawer and pulled out the hairbrush, then handed it to Elsa. She was surprised Elsa actually agreed, but she wasn't going to mention that and scare her off.
But the thought gave her a warm feeling, that maybe Elsa was putting aside whatever nervous hangup she had to help Anna with this all-important hairstyle.
"Thanks, sorry to hold us up," she said, laughing nervously. "Your hair looks really nice, by the way. Looks like you got all the cute-hairstyle-skills genes, huh?
Setting the discarded bobby pins down but within easy reach, Elsa began to gently brush out Anna's long hair. It was... odd, doing this again. Elsa used to spend hours doing Anna's hair whenever her little sister asked it of her, giggling as she told the toddler to be still as she pulled her hair back in - what to her thirteen year old mind were - pretty, complex braids. "Don't apologize," Elsa reassured gently, squeezing Anna's shoulder carefully. "The party won't disappear on us if we're late... Probably."
Elsa flushed a little at the compliment, smiling shyly. She'd done her hair back in a latice of smaller braids that led to a low ponytail, a few curled strands left out to frame her face. "Thank you. I had plenty of practice. Remember when you used to ask me to do your hair for you when you were little?"
Honestly... Anna only barely remembered that. She had a few memories of Elsa before the accident, and she held onto them closely, because things had never been the same since. They were random-- playing in the snow together, listening to their mother's stories by the fire, making a tower of waffles one chilly morning while the adults slept in. But she remembered wanting to ask Elsa to help with her hair when she was older. And then thinking better of it.
"Yeah," Anna said, smiling a little uneasily. She probably wasn't being very convincing. "I was so annoying back then, probably. Always barging into your room without warning and stuff. I promise I'm, like, a little more self-aware now." She laughed awkwardly.
Right away, Elsa knew she had said the wrong thing. Of course she didn't remember, she'd barely been four! Not to mention the number Elsa herself had done on Anna's memories from when she was a child. Elsa wanted to open the window and scream into the night. Why couldn't she do this right!? Had the years they'd been forced apart really drained Elsa of her ability to be a half-decent big sister?
The thought alone made her want to cry.
Elsa was pulled from her own self-flagnation by Anna, and she found herself frowning. "You were never annoying, Anna," she promised. "Wiggly, maybe, which made braiding a pain, but never annoying." Had there not been years and years between them, Elsa would have kissed the top of her sister's head. Were she less likely to shatter everything she touched, she'd pull Anna into a tight hug until she was giggling and smiling again.
But there was, and she was, so instead she just set the brush down on the desk and carefully began to pull the two braids Anna had already done back.
Anna just nodded and smiled. She really wanted to believe Elsa. But there was just... a lot there.
Because she knew she could be over-the-top. Overeager. She knew she scared people away with her earnestness sometimes, and Anna wondered if that was why her roommate was never around. Because the thing was, you spent enough years hearing "Why don't you leave your sister alone?" and eventually you get the hint.
But ever since Anna had gotten to Swynlake, she felt like something had been unlocked in her and she needed to squeeze every experience, every milestone, every bit of life out. And sometimes she still wondered if she was being annoying, but she just couldn't stop herself. There was so much to do and so little time, and Anna wanted to throw herself into all of it.
That was why she kept pushing Elsa to spend more time together, to go to every event and work all those shifts together and make up for lost time. She hadn't forgotten about the past. But Elsa seemed genuinely excited to hang out with her, right?
"No, yeah, I know," Anna finally said. "I was kidding. But thanks for the hair stuff, you're a lifesaver."
Maybe the years apart hadn't completely severed the bond between them, because as Anna smiled and nodded and brushed off her concerns, Elsa knew she was still upset. She pursed her lips as she pinned Anna's hair back, making sure not to stab the pins too close to her scalp. It was something they hadn't talked about yet, something Elsa didn't know how to approach even as she felt it looming over them and this tenuous relationship they were building back up together. Thirteen years was a long time to be separated, especially when Anna was so young, and she didn't doubt Anna still didn't know all the details as to why.
Their father had wanted to shield Anna from it, from the truth of what had happened. From her part, however incidental, in the sequence of events that had left their mother a shell of herself. Elsa wondered if maybe they'd done too good of a job. At least while Elsa had been alone on the mountain, miserable and lonely and scared, she'd known exactly why.
Tucking away the last end of her braid, Elsa reached for the hairspray still left out on the desk and gave the hair do a quick mist to set it all in place. She spun Anna around in her chair carefully, giving her a small, timid smile as she reached up and pulled loose two strands of hair to frame her freckled cheeks. "There you go," she murmured, twisting the strands around her cold fingers and, with a careful, frozen breath, set the two loose curls one at a time. "All done. You look beautiful, Anna," she said sincerely, looking into her sister's eyes and hoping that, at least, wasn't too little, too late.
"Thanks," Anna said, smiling and reaching a hand up to touch the braids Elsa had fixed. They were perfect. Of course they were. Elsa always had it together, it seemed. As someone who knew she was a bit of a walking disaster, Anna admired that about her sister.
She could feel the cold air on her face and, briefly, it reminded her of something from long ago... Anna couldn't put her finger on what, though. All she knew was that there had to be some kind of magic at play. She would have to ask about it later.
Anna knew she always did this, pushing more complicated topics aside for later. Later, later, later. But it never seemed like the right time. Anna just wanted to have a fun night with her sister, not get into an argument.
She stood up and checked her phone. People were definitely arriving by now. "We'd better get going, hadn't we? Now that I've delayed us enough." Anna said it jokingly, reaching for her coat.
Anna stood and it felt like something had slipped from Elsa's grasp, like she'd ruined something that could have been a warm memory for the two of them to share one day. Just another beautiful thing left shattered and broken in her wake, it seemed. Elsa sighed softly when Anna looked away, frowning at the thin layer of frost that had begun to creep across the rug from her feet. "It's no trouble," she said, pushing herself upright. "Like I said, the party won't- wait!"
Elsa looked at the box she'd nearly forgotten with wide eyes, spinning towards Anna and flapping her hands at her. "Waitwaitwait! I nearly forgot!" She rushed forward, carefully grabbing Anna's wrist and bringing her back to the chair and motioning for her to sit back down. "I got you something, to go with your dress," she explained, picking up the box and craddling it to her chest. "I-if you want it," Elsa added, suddenly feeling shy. She hadn't given Anna a present in person in ages.
For a second, Anna got scared that something was seriously wrong, or that Elsa was about to remember something urgent that meant she couldn't come to the party. She braced herself, knowing that she couldn't really be too disappointed about it, Elsa had helped her with her hair after all, and...
And then Elsa had a present for her?!
"Oh!" Anna said, expression going from confusion to excitement. "Er, yeah, definitely! That's so nice of you, er, I didn't realize-- I totally would have gotten you something..."
It wasn't that Anna felt guilty about that, more just awkward, because she was still figuring out this "sister" thing and she hadn't realized maybe the situation called for a gift. All these new beginnings meant a lot of weird growing pains.
Elsa felt herself smile at Anna's obvious excitement, her own short heels bouncing up and down off the floor. "Don't worry about it," she reassured, opening the box in a way that meant Anna couldn't get a sneak peek at what was inside. "It's just something I thought of when you sent me the picture of your dress."
Setting the box down on her bed, Elsa pulled out a golden circlet, made of curling wire twisted and formed together. Golden leaves decorated the temples and a single, teardrop-shaped gem hung from the center. Elsa had asked the maker to match the gem to her sister's green dress, and she was delighted to see they matched almost perfectly. She held the circlet out shyly for Anna's inspection. "I hope you like it," she said.
Anna's jaw dropped. She couldn't remember the last time she had gotten a gift from Elsa, and this one was absolutely perfect. Just the right shade of green, and, maybe this was embarrassing but Anna had kind of been going for a princess thing with the dress and it's long, flowing skirt. What? She liked pretending to be the protagonist of a period romance.
"Like it? It's gorgeous, Elsa! I love it!" Anna took it and almost shoved it right into her hair before remembering how much work Elsa had just put into the style. She slowed down and carefully put the circlet on. "I literally don't think I own anything this pretty. I'm like a queen now." Anna said the last part jokingly, doing an exaggerated queenly wave. "Seriously, Elsa, thank you."
Elsa was beaming, her chest filled with warmth at Anna's reaction to her gift. She almost reached out to help Anna put it on, but her sister beat her to it. It looked wonderful on her, but was outshone by her baby sister's smile.
God, it had been ages since Elsa had seen that smile.
"You're very welcome, Sunshine," she said, hands clasped together in front of her chest to keep herself from creating little flurries in her excitement. She almost forgot the second circlet in the box, but remembered herself after a moment and went to grab it. "Here, now we match! Um, sort of." Elsa's circlet was rougher than her sister's, the smooth, curling lines of Anna's circlet replaced instead by natural shapes almost like branches that had been dipped in silver. A few clear crystals decorated the front, almost looking like chips of ice, and the frost that naturally spread from Elsa's fingers only helped the illusion.
"What do you think," she said nervously, holding it above her head, "too much?"
"It's perfect. Definitely wear it," Anna said decisively. She picked up her phone and opened the camera. Anna knew that she was always taking pictures of things, but it was because she wanted to remember them. She didn't have that many pictures of Elsa to start with. There was time to change that, though. "Smile! I have to document this, your royal coronation!" she joked.
Despite the jokes, Anna was glad to see Elsa splurging on things, treating herself. It felt like she could be overly practical sometimes, and Anna thought she deserved more than that.
Elsa chuckled at Anna, just as quick to make decisions as she'd always been. That at least hadn't changed. She moved to stand by the vanity so she could slide the tiara into her hair, fussing with it for a moment before looking up at Anna's request. She giggled, covering her grin with her hand before standing up and ducking into a curtsey, holding out her long skirt and smiling. "Like this?" she asked.
Anna snapped several photos, a few of Elsa giggling and then the ones of her actually posing, too. She didn't necessarily plan on posting them, but she just thought they were important to have. If they got separated again, Anna wanted to have things to look back on, since she hadn't had that the first time.
"Aw, those came out so nice," Anna said, swiping through the pictures before putting her phone in her coat pocket. "Let's go now, we have to make our big entrance!"
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Write your RPer Resolutions for 2021! (What are some goals for yourself as a writer? Improve descriptions? Plot with more members? Etc.) oKAY SO I want to really make sure that I keep on top of replies, namely making sure Tumblr stops fucking eating them, and to try to keep stuff moving along while I balance school stuff. I feel like my style is fine and the plotting is there, but sometimes stuff falls through the cracks, so having something set up to show who I’ve plotted with and what their Discord name was might be helpful too.
Write at least one resolution, or “goal,” that you have as an RPer for your character(s)
Shere: I definitely want to get him more involved with the adults and the Magicks of the town! He needs more friends and his plots have kind of stagnated (though they are getting better!) so I hope to start moving him forward again with personal stuff soon.
Claude: Maybe have a plot where he works for a Magick in play and gets to flex his lawyer muscles?? Or, perhaps, get him involved in the law firm in town.
Both Seamus & Errol have been doing REMARKABLY well this past year, so I would say I would like to continue on their paths a bit: Seamus would be to dive into a bit more stuff with the family and Lachlann and, possibly, even introduce them to the job he used to do back in the day. Errol, in contrast, would definitely have to be looking at Swynlake with more intention, trying to find out what happened to make it so appealing to magicks. I kind of also want him to unleash a bit of his....moral neutrality in circumstances not pertaining to a job, just things that happen to him, and see what that might do for stuff around him.
Write at least one resolution IN CHARACTER for your characters. What do THEY want to accomplish or change in the New Year?
Shere: Take care of Tiegan, get her to talk to me about what happened a few months back and see if we can move from it. Make!! Friends!!
Claude: Focus on using my degree. Now that I’ve begun to acknowledge it as my own, it’s time to start using it in town. Perhaps also continue a bit of “counseling” at the church?
Seamus: Be more involved with the lads. Expand into a bit of artifact hunting again.
Errol: Continue into the investigation of the magick of the town, perhaps more...openly now that I’ve gathered more information. //
List one or more characters you have never interacted with that you would like to do so
Shit this one was hard bc I love all of you guys bUTTTT probably AL, TERENCE 2.0, PANIC, HOWL, BOO, tbh any of the PRINCES (there are definitely more but this is just off my head)
Plotting Exercise! Pick one of the resolutions/goals in #2 and plan a rough guideline to how you could accomplish it. Here’s an example.
MOCK PLOT -- Investigative Services
ERROL has been investigating the strange reasonings behind the concentration of magick in town for the last two years. However, he has not done so publicly. A case he receives from the county office, however, makes him realize that he now needs to find out, and soon! He enlists PERRY’S help to do some reconnaissance, namely something a bit “off the books.” as this case is time and content sensitive (i.e. people, specifically magicks, across the county are dying).
During this investigation, RATIGAN discovers that he needs help of his own from Errol, pertaining to an individual under his employ that may or may not be plotting something deceptive against him. By manipulating the circumstances (mostly without Errol’s knowledge), Ratigan sways the investigation in a manner that befits him, garners the information he needs, and Errol realizes that the case he received was far bigger than what he originally believed it to be.
Meanwhile, ROSE has begun to investigate the sheriff on her own, both intrigued by his methods and wondering at the reason behind the many years or redacted information in his files. She resolves to perhaps shadow him, either learning the information she needs and reporting back to the Order or sticking around to find out what more she can learn.
Fairy Lights || Attendy
Summary: This honestly took place in like September but it’s alright its cool its going well and we post things at a normal time. First dates with Attendy.
It was a pretty nice summer night out. Breeze came in off the lake and everything seemed like a normal Friday night in Swynlake. People were out on dates and looking all coupled up and well, Wendy Corduroy found herself in the same boat as all of those people.
Wendy had a date with a fairy. Like a really cute fairy. A cute fairy who liked woodworking and trees and nature and was just as excited as she was about it all. To be honest, Wendy played it off like dates were totally normal and cool by her. She went on plenty, and even more hookups usually happened at places like Pixie’s. But deep down she was very much not ice cold, she was pretty nervous. And on top of that she’d never went on a date with someone like Atta before (at least not that she knew of and definitely not personality wise either) and Wendy had set herself up to introduce her to a lot of ‘clumsy’ firsts.
But you wouldn’t really be able to tell all of that if you looked at her. Wendy stood there outside Chippamunka, looking a bit more dressed up than usual. Her jeans didn’t have quite as many rips in them and her button down plaid shirt had zero wrinkles in it. She wore boots that were definitely not meant for the workshop. And you know, she even put like a little bit of mascara and eyeliner on just because you know, you gotta highlight the assets and everything. She tucked her hands in her pockets and looked around for the familiar smiley fairy sight that was Atta.
As she spotted the girl, her grin widened and she just gave a wave, before the fairy got close enough for her to give her a bit of a friendly hug, “Hey! Wow, you look like super pretty.” She motioned behind herself to the restaurant, “I reserved us a table inside so you get the whole restaurant experience.”
Atta meant what she said: she did not know the first thing about going on a date.
It wasn’t just a pixie thing, unfortunately. What she had purposefully not mentioned was the reason for her undating-- a once great and rare destiny to become the queen of a Hollow, which unfortunately left little time or space for the pleasures and anxieties of romance. It wasn’t exactly forbidden...not in any of the history books. Many queens and kings did enter into promises in the last stretch of their lives after they gave up their duties. But Atta’s days used to be schedules from one flit to the next, and that schedule took her far away from the world of the other fairies her own age. It never bothered her much, to be honest. She grew up with a certain set of expectations. And whatever free time she did have, Atta much preferred to use having adventures with Dot or bothering Flik down in the tinker tunnels.
But Swynlake was a brand new life and a brand new Atta and that Atta had no grand destiny, so maybe she said yes to a date with Wendy just because she could. It was not the only reason, but it was a very, very big reason. She collapsed back against her cot with her phone pressed over her heart and looked up at the ceiling in wonder. “I’m going on a date,” she said out loud, to hear it and imagine it taking shape in front of her, something solid she could hold in her hands. She read over her texts again and repeated herself, a smile growing on her lips. “I’m going on a date.”
No idea what it meant. No idea what it was like! But here she was anyway, after fussing with her various pixie and clumsy clothes and coming up with a kind of hybrid: her one pair of clumsy jeans, her favourite tinker ankle boots with the pretty bells, and a soft green halter appropriate for these warm summer months. She braided a loose crown around her head and didn’t dare look at her reflection or else she knew she’d fuss with all the pieces and get too self-conscious and just cancel this whole thing. She headed straight for the location instead, trying to outrun her second-guessing (Atta was prone to second-guessing).
When she saw Wendy, her cheeks ripened like strawberries. “Really? Oh, frost, that’s-- very responsible of you. You ehm, you look nice too. I like your shirt, it’s very--stripey.”
Stripey. Atta touched one of her eartips self-consciously. “I mean! We don’t have patterns like that in the Hollow.”
The redhead just grinned a bit at being called responsible. She did count herself as fairly responsible. She had her own apartment (with Dipper) and school and work and she had time to plan dates with pretty fairies too. Plus, she guessed having three younger crazy brothers and dealing with a Dad who was a little out of touch with reality kind of made her a bit responsible earlier on.
“You guys don’t have plaid? Wow, that’s like a clumsy staple. We should look into getting you some stripey plaid, it comes in all kinds of colors. And I’m positive it would look great on you.” She opened the door to the restaurant and held it open for Atta, “Right this way to your first restaurant experience.”
They walked through Chippamunka, the smell of spinach in the air as Wendy led them over to their small table by the window in a diner booth. “So, here’s the deal, you can either go with what you think looks dope on the menu.” She held the piece of plastic coated paper up, “Or, you can ask our waiter what their favorite dishes are and that just kind of makes the whole thing easier if you’ve never been to a place before.”
She felt like a tour guide, honestly this whole restaurant thing was kind of weird sounding when you said it all outloud to another person. “Also do you like, eat meat or are fairies like vegetarians? Because they have plenty of options for whatever.”
Now this part, Atta could do.
That was nothing to brag about. The basics of going to a restaurant simply mirrored going to many of the different food stands and restaurants in the Hollow. There was of course the main kitchens, which many of the kitchen-talents worked in. They prepared food and laid it out buffet-style for fairies to take as much as they pleased (but of course, not too much). But there were a few other little restaurants, usually with different hours than the main meal times. Some were quite casual, meant for a flutter-by and to take the food back home to eat in privacy. But others, a fairy could sit down and enjoy being waited on by the serving-talents.
She didn’t know how to say all this to Wendy, because she didn’t want to come across as rude or make Wendy feel embarrassed. She was right, anyway, to assume that clumsy restaurants were quite different from fairy ones. They probably were--in all kinds of little ways that Atta hadn’t noticed yet.
“Most fairies are vegetarian, though winter fairies usually eat fish. It’s an important part of our diet,” explained Atta first. She reached forward to fiddle with the silverware, unrolling it from the napkin. “It’s different from culture to culture too, I’ve learned. There’s a fairy in my Hollow whose originally from Korea, and they eat more meat and fish as well. I personally don’t eat much though.”
She looked down at the menu. “My, this is...a lot of options.” She blinked. “How do they prepare all of this?”
Wendy nodded and stored that information in her little fairy file she was compiling in her brain. She was learning a whole lot just from talking to Atta and texting her every now and then about the case. (Well, and the odd like meme and reference). “So like, was ice fishing big where you’re from then? Because I mean, you guys basically lived in snow like all the time, right?”
She ran a hand through her hair and leaned back a bit with a smile at Atta’s question, “Lots of storage space and practice, I’d guess. Have everything like at the ready to go. And Kronk is like one of the best chef’s in town. Super dedicated. I’ve talked to him a couple times he’s a real nice dude.”
She smiled at the waiter who brought them their water glasses. He looked like some college freshman in his first job. “Hey there.” He briefly gave them a spiel about the catch of the day and their specials before asking them if they wanted anything else to drink aside from the water.
“Nah, water is good for me.” She smiled over at the waiter and then Atta, “ I think we’re definitely gonna get the spinach puffs to start though. No idea on anything else, Kronk’s always got so much working at the same time so I think we’re gonna need a minute or two. Like honestly, Chippamunka probably has the biggest menu in Swynlake.”
Atta liked listening to Wendy talk.
She had never been especially chatty herself. She left that to the chipmunks and to her constituents, for a royal-talent should above all else listen first. She learned to save her words and polish them...though she waited too long and polished too cleanly, which led to this terrible habit of being caught off-guard when asked an opinion out of nowhere. Then she’d stutter and uhm and ah and er.
Wendy didn’t stutter. She also didn’t talk prettily, but that was part of the reason Atta liked listening to her so much. She said things in a funny way-- and secretly Atta’s heart fluttered in interest at these words, such as her fondness for “like” and also “dope” and now “dude.”
She nodded along then as Wendy conversed with their ‘dope’ dude waiter. “Water for me as well, thank you,” she added before looking back at the menu as the waiter moved away.
And then her curiosity got the best of her.
Atta leaned forward. “May I ask a question? A little while ago you said, um-- dope? What’s that mean?” she asked eagerly.
She could add it to her collection of new words.
The redhead just watched as the waiter went off and took their drink orders before smiling back at Atta. God, she was just so pretty wasn’t she? Just like the perfect cute face and her hair was golden like a bunch of sunflower petals.
Wendy nodded as she asked the question and then just kind of chuckled, one because she didn’t even think about things when she said them and two, because Atta looked like a eager beaver waiting to gnaw through a log and make its home.
“Oh dope? Well…” She scrunched her brows up a bit, trying to not use another slang word to describe it. Like she couldn’t say dope meant like cool or sweet because those meant other things too. She then remembered something from their texts and perked up, “Oh! You know how like, I think one time you said flitterific? Or something like that? It’s like that. It means great but like a little more than that you know?”
She scratched her head a bit, “Wow, I’m trying to think about all the times I said slang words at you and didn’t even realize it. My bad. But hey, just like think of me as your personal clumsy slang translator. Like a clumsy-ary? A dictionclumsy?” She let out a laugh, bit bashful at her terrible attempts. “Well, you know what I mean.”
Great, but a little more than that.
Atta’s mouth opened as the understanding washed right over her. Great, but a little more than that-- like you, Atta thought, but didn’t say. Those two words jumped to the tip of her tongue but before they could fall out, ungraceful and silly and very un-royal-like of her, Wendy was laughing and talking again in her usual Wendy-way. Atta’s lips pressed back together. She’d keep it to herself, though later on, maybe she’d write ‘dope’ in her journal and ‘Wendy’ right beside. How easy that word would be to remember, with such a lovely example right in front of her.
Atta nodded. “I do, though you shouldn’t feel badly because obviously I said fairy slang right back at you and didn’t realize it. So that makes me your--dictionfairy.” Atta punned with a little shoulder shimmy. “I think it’s fun anyway, learning new words. Or new things in general. It was all overwhelming at first, but now I look forward to what I’ll learn in a day. It’s--dope,” Atta tried out the word. “Did I use that right?”
Just looked at Atta with the biggest grin on her face, honestly, this was definitely one of the better dates she’d been on and this was just getting started. I mean, they’d barely ordered an appetizer.
As Wendy laughed in reply to the dictionfiary comment because that was a good one, really. A+ on the pun scale and the + was really for the shoulder shimmy which made the lighting of the restaurant catch the contours of Atta’s face and lips and made her hair and eyes shine just that much more, their waiter came back with their spinach puffs and Wendy’s stomach already felt like it was going to engulf itself with how good they smelled, she leaned over around the arms setting the plate down to reply, “Yeah, for sure. Excellent usage.”
The waiter then interrupted and asked what they’d like to get for their main course, Wendy had to take her focus off of Atta and look up at the guy, “Oh, sure, I’ll get the bacon grilled cheese. I know it’s like the main thing everyone gets but who doesn’t like bacon, cheese and bread.” She then added as an aside, looking to Atta a bit sheepishly, “I mean, unless you’re like vegetarian which is totally cool.”
Yes, Atta was a vegetarian-- well, a pescaterian. Fish was a massive part of winter fairies’ diet as it was good protein that kept them warm. Still, she’d never had bacon before. Part of her was tempted to try it if only because Atta quite liked trying new things. But then she thought way too much about it and her stomach curled at the thought, and she better not after all.
“I am, but I’ll take this comment as one of cultural importance to clumsies,” said Atta, really only half-teasing. “Cheese, bread, and bacon, an important part of your diet. I think my equivalent would...well, mostly be bread. I love bread.”
The clumsy waiter cleared his throat.
“Oh! I forgot you were there,” said Atta, then blushed because she said that out loud. “I mean, um-- I’ll just-- do the stuffed pepper, thank you.”
The waiter gathered their menus and left. Instantly, Atta scrunched her face as she watched him go. “Oh. I was enjoying reading that.”
Wendy chuckled, “I mean you’re not wrong. You’d definitely find like plenty of other people who would agree with me. Of course, unless they’re like lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant or like a vegan/vegetarian.” She leaned forward and whispered as an aside with a teasing grin, “I couldn’t imagine being any of those.”
“I mean, you cannot go wrong with bread. What’s your favorite? Do fairies have like magically baked bread? Is there like a traditional fairyloaf? Is it like nutbread?” She squinted a bit, wondering about it herself before continuing, “Also, fun thing about phones is that you can totally look at menus online and stuff so you can enjoy reading all the different restaurants in Swynlake and take your pick and not be like rushed when you get here to read the whole menu.”
It didn’t take too long for their waiter to return with the spinach puffs and she just sat up a bit and smiled a warm and charming smile before she said, “Could we like keep a menu at the table? Just in case we feel like ordering like dessert or another appetizer or something.” She was handed back a menu before the waiter walked off to check on another table, “Thanks much, dude.”
She turned back to Atta, looking at her over the steam of the spinach puffs, “Your reading material, m’lady, should you want it and get totally bored of my company.” She was teasing and just slid the menu along the side of the table to her before motioning for her to grab a spinach puff, “After you. First pick always goes to the cutest one at the table.”
Atta laughed as Wendy peppered her with bread-related questions, her eyes crinkling up. She liked that about Wendy-- she was quite forward, the opposite of Atta, and she never seemed to be bothered or embarrassed by anything. At this, that’s how she came across. Maybe she was spinning herself in circles on the inside, the way that Atta was doing--
Well, she wasn’t, actually. Not right now. Right now she was relaxed, her eyes bright, happy to be in this very strange place with all the new things to poke at and question. It didn’t make her nervous, not here. If she made a fool of herself (and she was certain she was), Wendy would only laugh with her.
She reached for the spinach puff. “We don’t magically bake our bread by the way. It’s done very similarly to the way that clumsies do it-- with kneading and proofing and all that. I think the difference is very subtle. Kitchen-talents never use clocks for anything, you know, they simply know exactly when the bread is ready to go into the oven, and then when it’s ready to come out again. That’s the best part of a talent. The way it comes so naturally, like-- like taking a breath or fluttering your wings--”
She took a bite out of the spinach puff and her eyes widened. “Mmm, this is great!”
She instantly grabbed two more and put them on her small plate.
Wendy did internally feel a bit nervous whenever she made forward advances. But there was a thrill in it. An adventure in not knowing how it would land (and a bit anxiety as well, if she was honest, she wasn’t immune to anxious feelings despite her cool exterior) or what the person might do or say next.
The redhead’s attention was on all of the information Atta was saying, but also very focused on the way her eyes smiled as she spoke about baking talents and the way she held up a spinach puff to her lips before taking a bite.
Wendy could only laugh and grin happily at Atta’s reaction before joining in the meal herself.
And so that’s how the evening went. The two of them at Chippamunka’s enjoying food and each other’s company while picking each other’s brains on their different cultures.
Wendy paid their bill and they walked out of the restaurant into the brisk air of the night, heading over towards Oaken’s so Wendy could show off her case. “I’m glad we got to do this.” She grinned over at the smaller girl, hands tucking into her pockets. “Happy that you yelled at me the first time we met.”
Atta had never known how a date would go. She had plenty of data, of course. She listened to other fairies talk about their courtships and supported them with smiles and with questions. She liked hearing about such things because she liked to imagine how things would be like, though she knew that it wasn’t meant for her-- and that was alright. She never felt compelled into romance. She never fell for anyone. She was loved by the people who mattered most, her sister, her parents, Flik, her King--
But in this new life, the question of love existed behind a door, just cracked open. Maybe she wanted it only because of that curiosity. Maybe that was half of the reason she said yes.
But now she was here on this date and-- she was glad that she’d said yes. She felt like a different person next to Wendy Corduroy. And she liked that person. She thought that person could be happy.
And so her heart was beating rather quickly as they faced each other, Atta wondering what came next (but knowing...knowing because she’d heard the stories, but didn’t know, didn’t know if her story would go the same way…)
“I didn’t mean to yell at you!” Atta exclaimed now and laughed a bit shyly, red in the face again. “I don’t think it was a -- a yell persay anyway. You’ll know when I yell, trust me.” She was rambling a bit, because of those nerves. “I get a bit puffed up like a hedgehog. My hair gets crazy too. I was simply-- I was reprimanding. I’m very good at that. Being a big sister and all…”
The redhead had like an inkling of this date probably going well. It wasn’t that Wendy didn’t have a good time on dates, because usually she could make a good time out of anything, it was just the question of whether or not that good time would be as like friends or as like seal this date with a kiss kind of good time.
And boy did Wendy want to kiss Atta. Really, half of what her brain had been focusing on was what Atta spoke and then the other half was about how Atta spoke. The ways she talked and her accent inflected with the curve of a lip or tongue. It was a good thing she had food to keep her busy in her moments or she’d just gawk at the fairy.
Wendy just grinned at her, “I hope I’ll never have to find out.” She gave a bit of a wink as she jingled the key to Oaken’s she’d borrowed in her pocket as they got to the storefront. “At least not in that it would be directed at me. You might be a really cute hedgehog when your fury is directed towards someone else.”
They made it up to Oaken’s (it was a pretty short walk from the restaurant) and she quickly unlocked the door and let them in, flipping one light switch on just so they could get to the back. Afterall, she didn’t want people to start coming up and thinking that they were open while Wendy was showing Atta around.
It was so quiet in the shop. No people. Just the smells of different woods around them, like being in a forest at night. “So, this is Oaken’s at night. Very rare sight for most people, but sometimes if I have a pretty big project I’ll spend a few hours at night trying to put some things in order. Oh, and like, gifts to friends. I’ve spent a couple evenings after hours working on your log case.” She was almost a bit bashful about it, it was like really admitting she had feelings or something enough to spend extra time to get something done off the clock.
Atta knew that dates could end with kisses.
She didn’t think that was where this was going to go. In fact, Atta was lost in the date now-- no more thinking about all the shoulds or what ifs or the stories from her friends. It was like she was back in the forest when she first met Wendy, and a silly little conversation about the rules of cutting (or not cutting) trees had become this whole long-winded back-and-forth of names and personal details. Thinking back on the meeting always made Atta laugh. She’d told Dot about it while giggling and blushing, though Dot hadn’t been as amused. But that was what Wendy did for Atta-- she made her laugh. She made her interested in things. She made her ask questions and see the clumsy world as something beautifully odd, instead of scary or dangerous.
No where was more beautifully odd than Wendy’s workshoppe either. She’d already been here once of course. When Atta stepped in now, she took a deep breath, nostrils tickled with all that fresh sawdust. It was night, of course, and the big space chilled easily, but something about the way wood smelled always made Atta feel warm.
Or maybe it was just the bright lights that Wendy flicked on.
Or maybe it was Wendy grinning at her.
Whatever it was, Atta wandered in, let herself move slow and let her eyes linger on the workshoppe, now transformed in its quiet and solitude. She could take her time after all. She had nowhere to be.
“That sounds a lot like me,” commented Atta quietly and she wandered up to Wendy’s side. She looked up and smiled. “I love working in the Tinker workshoppe at night, too. Though I don’t actually do much tinkering...I write out lists. Usually for what I’ll do the next day.” Atta’s eyes dropped. Her hand skimmed over the surface of the table she was standing in front of. “I know that sounds absurdly boring-- my sister, she always calls me boring. But I dunno, it makes me excited to wake up and get started.”
The redhead just stood there and watched Atta take in the workshoppe all over again. Normally, because she was working with tools and saws and all kind of dangerous things, she’d have all the lights on so really it was kind of a reflex that she’d turned them on and not left them like romanctically in the dark or something. The whole thing was kind of a hazard if you were trying to set a mood in here. But that’s what she had her other lights for, she’d get to those.
“Well, you know, I wouldn’t be anything without planning. Measure twice, cut once and all of that ya know?” She reached over for the notebook on the drafting table and pulled it out to show it off to Atta, getting even closer to her to flip through the pages. Schematics and numbers and drawings of wood pieces with the sketch of the case she’d made. There were lists too, of different hardware pieces she needed to order. “You kinda can’t totally wing a piece of furniture. I mean, that’s why I whittle when I need to chill out, that’s just shaping wood, it’s not building or anything. It’s just carving away any which way your hands want to take you.”
She glanced at Atta from looking at her notebook, eyes connecting with hers. And as much as she wanted to kiss her right now, it was not the correct moment, she still had things to do. “So, I’m gonna ask that you close your eyes for just a little bit. Gift giving is a total surprise after all.”
She meandered her way back towards the storage area where she kept pieces that had been nearly finished and almost ready to put out into the store and tugged the cloth she kept over it to make sure she didn’t scratch or get saw dust all over it. She lifted it up, it wasn’t too heavy, she had kind of designed it that way, but it was still big enough to hold the log so it wasn’t exactly the easiest piece to carry, especially with its doors and drawers.
She set the piece down gently in front of Atta and reached over to shut the lights off again, but this time, she leaned down and plugged in the strings of twinkling lights she’d hung around the workshoppe so she’d still be able to see the case but it’d be more like magical.
She looked at the case and smiled at her handiwork, fairly proud of it. Just as she’d said she would make it. It was one solid medium sized piece with a glass door on it and shelves that could be removed so that a stand of some sort could be placed inside it to hold the log. It was made of oak wood that she’d gotten from the forest here (It had a drawer on the bottom as well, just because she couldn’t forsake all functionality and make it just a display case). Oak meant strength and knowledge, things she felt would be good to surround Atta’s white fir with. To protect it with. There were little patterns of leaves and flowers carved into the top surface of it as well, ones Atta had mentioned to her in their texts.
She tucked her hands into her pockets and just stood a bit away from the case, grinning a bit sheepishly, “Okay, you can look now.”
Oh, yes. Closing her eyes.
She did not know why she immediately got nervous. There was no reason for it here. In this shoppe, Atta felt...not just safe but-- closer to home than she had in many weeks. She loved the tinker workshoppe in the Hollow of course, but she knew that she did not belong there. She couldn’t get lost in any of the tiny projects, for there was always a voice in the back of her mind that told Atta she was going to get found out, that she should never have lied, that she was doing everything, all this tinkering, all wrong, just as she’d done her royalty duties all wrong…
But here, she was just Atta. Wendy knew nothing of talents. She did not look at Atta and see all the things that she wasn’t. Atta hoped that Wendy looked at her and saw…
Well, she didn’t know, actually, what she wanted Wendy to think of her. She just wanted Wendy to think of her at all. And that was why she was nervous.
And so as she closed her eyes, she couldn’t help but listen-- to strain her ears for every shuffle of Wendy’s feet, the creaking of doors, anything. She heard as Wendy went away and as she came back again. And she felt her when she was close...as if Wendy really was a wind, a gentle one, fluttering through Atta’s hair.
“Okay you can look now.”
Atta opened her eyes at once.
She didn’t see the case first. The warm hanging lights caught her attention first. Her mouth opened, and she looked around at them. “They’re fairy lights!” she exclaimed in her surprise-- but of course they weren’t. They did not float on their own, but rather hung in strings. “Oh, or not, I thought....”
And then her eyes dropped to what she actually should be looking at and her breath caught in her throat.
She did not say anything at first. Instead, Atta reached out and her hand hovered around the corners, where there were beautifully carved embellishments. She took another step toward it, but still did not dare to touch it, as if it was made out of something fragile. But she knew that it was oak; of course she knew. And so she knew that it was a strong wood that would protect her fir no matter the weather.
She looked up at Wendy, tiny tears shining in her eyes that reflected the lights. “It’s so beautiful,” she whispered. She didn’t know why she whispered when no one else was here but…
This entire night felt like a secret. She wanted to hold it close and share it with no one.
“Thank you,” she said. “Every time I see it, I’ll think of you.”
The redhead chuckled a bit as she commented on the lights, looking up at them and scratching her head a bit, “Well, I guess they’re fairy lights for non-fairies. Kind of the best we’ve got.”
Wendy watched as Atta took in the case, her eyes tracing along what the woodworker had spent hours sanding and carving and staining, nurturing the case from a very heavy slab of oak wood to a piece just enough for the girl next to her.
Atta didn’t really say anything at first to Wendy filled in the space sort of talking half to herself really because Atta was more focused on the piece in front of her as Wendy’s heart like hammered into her rib cage, “Yeah, I mean I know it’s a bit big now that I’m kind of looking at you standing next to it and I’ll probably have to deliver it out to like the edge of the forest. I don’t know if I’m like allowed to do deliveries or anything to the Hollow itself, but maybe that Sled guy who’s helped you at the shoppe that you’ve talked about can help you move it into your place--”
And then Atta spoke and Wendy shut up immediately, biting on her lip and a sheepish sort of grin appearing on her face, “I, um, well, I’m glad you like it.” She didn’t know why the whisper of the words made her heart feel a weird pain or why it sent a kind of chill through her.
She shrugged one shoulder, “I wanted to make something that was strong, but not something that was rough or hard or bulky. Something that would protect but wouldn’t suffocate it. It wasn’t something that I wanted to stand out over the fir either, because the whole point is to show it off. So I figured the oak would do the trick.”
Wendy didn’t really get nervous when she was flirting with someone. It was a game at that point. But this wasn’t a game. There wasn’t a score to keep track of and no one was counting points. Wendy hadn’t done this to earn anything but the smile and, well she guessed, the small tears in Atta’s eyes.
Wendy stepped forward, a small smile on her face as she stood next to Atta, “I just hope you don’t cry every time you think of me.” It was a small joke, but the air between them wasn’t diffused by the humor because the minute Wendy stepped closer, she didn’t want to move away and she wouldn’t. Her hand moved to take Atta’s, squeezing it gently. Her hands seemed so small compared to hers, not as rough or anything like that, her eyes looked down into glistening ones, “You know, if you’re thinking about giving me a case back. I don’t really need one. I think about you plenty without one.”
And then Wendy leaned down and pressed her lips to Atta’s.
Wendy stepped closer.
Wendy took her hand.
And Atta felt-- that she was big and small all at once, both the tree and the flower upon its branch. She had never felt such things before. She was born important, born with a magic so rare that to realize its true beauty one must wait a lifetime to see it flourish. Because of that, she’d always been small to herself, just a seedling, and a shy one. As the princess of the Orkney Hollow, she felt she would never grow. She would stay this tiny thing forever.
But Wendy looked at her like she’d already bloomed.
“Oh,” she murmured, her cheeks blushing, her eyes shining. Her hand clenched a little in Wendy’s and she nearly pulled away as Wendy leaned down--
I shouldn’t, she thought, but didn’t move.
Why shouldn’t she? Why hide herself anymore? Here, she could be herself.
And so Wendy kissed her.
It was Atta’s first kiss. She didn’t really know what to do with it, this strange press of lips, wet and warm against her own. She’d read of great romances and heard stories from her friends, and so she could describe a kiss in perfect, accurate detail. But describing a kiss as if it were a thing to study was not the same thing as experiencing it. All those stories washed away. Oh, she thought again, her eyes wide open so she could see Wendy’s face against her own and count her eyelashes, if she wanted.
This whole time, you know, she had thought of Wendy like a tree-- tall, strong, steady, beautiful. Up close, her eyelashes were the softest things about her. They made Atta wonder about the rest of Wendy. What had she missed, standing just a metre away, that she could now see with fresh eyes up close?
And what could she see if she closed her eyes?
Atta did then. They fluttered closed and she pressed back against Wendy. Her hand went to one of Wendy’s arms. Their lips fluttered against each other, gently, like butterfly wings. It was a simple, soft kiss and it ended in a few seconds. But when it did, Atta thought she would love to do that again.
She was blushing bright red, absolutely. “Was that okay?” she blurted, very embarrassingly. “I’ve never done that before.”
The kiss was good. It wasn’t by any means the most passionate kiss Wendy had been part of. It wasn’t full of want. It was just nice and sort of made Wendy feel a little floaty like she’d grown her own pair of fairy wings by kissing Atta.
It was so soft that Wendy wanted to do it again almost immediately but at Atta’s words she realized that she had to handle this a little more delicately than the last few she’d had. She honestly hadn’t expected this to be Atta’s first, but she was glad she’d gone to all this effort to make it sort of special without really knowing it. She looked at Atta, a small smile on her face as she tucked Atta’s hair behind her ears while looking down at her, her arm tingling where Atta’s hand pressed up against the fabric of her long sleeves.
She was fucking cute when she was all red wasn’t she?
“Yeah, it was good.” Wendy murmured out, hand slipping along the small of Atta’s back. The truth was that Wendy liked the idea of being Atta’s first kiss. And her second and third and whatever beyond that that this could develop into. “I’ll, uh, let you in on a little tip. It gets even better the more you do it.” The corner of her mouth turned up a bit in a smirk as she leaned down and pressed another soft kiss to Atta’s lips, dragging the kiss out slowly, letting their lips move against each other with the only sound of their breaths in between the parting of their mouths. Her hand cupped Atta’s cheek with a very light touch before her fingers found themselves in blonde tresses during the kiss.
As they parted again, Wendy’s grin only widened as her eyes opened once more, “See? You’ll be an expert in no time. Captain of kissing talents.”
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Is it true?! Has Greg truly returned to us or has Ian Lightfoot taken over Ruff to Fluff? Has history repeated itself?
no, fair readers... in the style of the og gossip girl--
SPOTTED: Gregory Eeyore deboarding at the Swynlake Train Station this afternoon, side by side with Mummy Dearest, suitcases in tow. It looks like our little adventurer has returned home...or been dragged back on a leash. And just in time for the board meeting next week!
Looks like Greg’s back in the doghouse, huh?
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH sorry that pun wrote itself
Task: BDRP 2021 Resolutions
BDRP RESOLUTIONS TASK
Write your RPer Resolutions for 2021! (What are some goals for yourself as a writer? Improve descriptions? Plot with more members? Etc.)
My resolutions for 2021:
To write more starters. I need to get more comfortable with writing starters.
I also need to curb my tendency to get distracted by plotting, and actually bring stuff to fruition in threads.
Write at least one resolution, or “goal,” that you have as an RPer for your character(s)
Well, my resolution for Rosetta is the same as her own personal resolution. I want her to get more involved in the community, both in the town and the hollow.
Write at least one resolution IN CHARACTER for your characters. What do THEY want to accomplish or change in the New Year?
Rosetta has a list of things she’d like to accomplish. But they all are connecting to the first step of purchasing the Garden Grove. But she’d love to help foster a close knit community and friendship.
Once she owns the shop, she’ll continue to step two of petitioning the board to establish a horticultural society to oversee and protect decisions regarding Swynlake’s natural beauty. From the town park to the enchanted forest.
List one or more characters you have never interacted with that you would like to do so.
I have so many. I’m just going to say everyone. I’d love to interact without whomever wants to throw a muse at my garden fairy.
Plotting Exercise! Pick one of the resolutions/goals in #2 and plan a rough guideline to how you could accomplish it. Here’s an example.
Gardening Just Not For Garden Fairies.
Rosetta approaches Flower about purchasing the Garden Grove. Once she becomes the new owner, she enlist Rapunzel, Aurora, and Olaf in remodeling/redecorating the shop. She’d love to have the interior covered with floral designs as done by Rapunzel. She’d enlist Aurora with decorating the shop windows and outside flower pots and stands, maybe add the edition of a floral cart. Olaf would be enlisted in thinking up of the interior shop displays and promotional art and ads to convey the most friendly and inviting atmosphere.
All of the employees would be able to give their input on any matter and the wardrobe/apron style for the employees as well as determining what kinds of flowers to offer.
She hires or promotes internally employees to management positions to oversee the shop while she’s busy with her hollow duties.
Rosetta starts hosting gardening classes in the shop twice every month on a Saturday. Great for aspiring gardeners and just anyone that wants to brush up on their skills. Food and beverages will be provided.
Rosetta petitions the board to establish a horticultural society. It could be overseen/headed by a member of the board. The horticultural society is to oversee and protect decisions regarding Swynlake’s natural beauty. From the town park to the enchanted forest. Members are volunteers.
The first act of business of the society is to establish a community garden in the town’s park for all residents of the town to participate in and enjoy. With everything from flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Rosetta establishes a gardening club hosted at the Garden Grove that meets twice a month to tend to the community garden, swap tips, tricks, and stories. It also doubles as a book club for those members interested. Food and beverages are provided, and potlucks and picnics are encouraged.
The final step is to hopefully make a closer community through a new shared passion/project. Therefore creating new connections and long lasting friendships.
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Born Name: Damien Quincy Rodriguez
Birthday: May 26th 1998
Mother: Catalina Rodriguez (39 February 19th, 1981)
Father(s): Michael Rodriguez (41 April 24th, 1979) Richard “Einstein” Jones (50), Fagin Jones (47)
Mother’s Occupation: Unemployed, Student
Father’s Occupation: Fast Food worker, mechanic, Odd-jobs in a diverse field. Warehouse work, delivery, MLM’s, production, etc.
Family Finances: Lower Class, Skirting Poverty
Other Close Family: Francis “Frankie” Corbyn (41) - ‘Uncle’, Ignacio Alonso Julio Federico De Tito (24) - Big Brother, Oliver Saluki-Sykes (20) - Little Brother, Rita Saluki-Sykes (29) - Sister,
Pets: Dorothy - Redish/pink betta Fish, Tiny - Tito’s Rottweiler/Pitbull Mix
Home Life During Childhood: Before he was found and taken in by Fagin? Horrible. Dodger suffered abuse from parents who were far too young and immature to have children. They didn’t want a kid, and they made that very clear to Dodger from the very moment they brought him home. He was never shown love or compassion from his mother or father. He was barely taken care of and owned one toy in his five or so years of living with them. He suffered emotional and physical abuse and spent many nights on the streets, unsupervised. Often, he was locked out of his house for ‘misbehavior’. Eventually Dodger just decided to stay out there and spent his nights under a bridge before eventually Fagin took notice of him and eventually gained his trust and brought him home.
After Fagin, his childhood was still a little troubled. Their family was poor, and often struggled to find money for food, luxuries or heat. Even struggling, Dodger much preferred his found family as he got to learn what it was like to have people that loved him. Even with debt collectors, facing abuse from the Sykes’ and occasionally needing to eat small inconsistent meals, or cuddle up together instead of having heat in the house. He wouldn’t trade it for the world.
What Did His or Her Bedroom Look Like: When Dodger moved in with Fagin he quickly took over the apartment’s storage loft and claimed it as his own. While it was dangerous (there was no barrier to stop anyone from falling back into the living room below) and a little drafty (there was also a nifty hole that gave him access to the roof) - it was home for Dodger. With a mattress tucked up into the corner and the rickety ladder to get up and down (that he himself rarely used), it was perfect for Dodger. Sure - it wasn’t all the spacious or child-friendly but... it was his favorite.
Any Sports or Clubs: Dodger didn’t go to school - and therefore he didn’t participate in any clubs or organized sports. Instead he went with Frankie to his theater group, spent time reading with Einstein & Fagin or scaled buildings and played made up sports with Tito.
Favorite Toy or Game: Dodger’s favorite toy (and something he still cherishes to this day) was a small teddy bear that Fagin got him the first night he came home. It’s over a decade (closer to two) old and is worn beyond relief, but Dodger still keeps it in his bedroom. As a child he carried it everywhere and was incredibly protective of it. It has plenty of tears and stitches that Fagin fixed himself - but Dodger loves it all the same.
Schooling: Again, Dodger didn’t go to school. He left his home before he would have been enrolled and while Fagin and Einstein tried to get him into school, Dodger simply couldn’t handle the hours away from his new family, nor could he deal with how overwhelming the whole concept was. So instead, they all did their part homeschooling himself and Tito over the years. He’s got plenty of street smarts and owes everything else he knows to Fagin, Einstein and Frankie.
Favorite Subject: Reading with Fagin & Einstein. (And reading plays with Frankie since he was so dramatic)
Popular or Loner: Popular (not in school obvs)
Religion and beliefs: None
Face Claim: Tyler Posey
Movie/Era Representation: Alone
Complexion: Smooth, olive skinned, freckled
Hair Colour: Naturally Black / Currently Dyed Blue
Eye Colour: Brown
Tattoos: A very large and ever growing collection --> See here
Piercings: 14mm Gauges in ears, nose piercing, snake-bites (re-pierced), eyebrow piercing (re-pierced)
Common Hairstyle: Typically sweptback, sometimes a mess when he wears a hat or beanie, usually tries to keep it semi-long, swept to the side (x is a common look)
Clothing Style: Casual street wear. Ratty jeans, ripped jeans, dirty jeans. T-shirts, muscle tanks, sweatshirts. Backwards hats or beanies. Worn black and white converse. Nothing fancy. You’ll tend to see a red bandana somewhere on his person. Sometimes he wears it around his head, sometimes around his neck, occasionally tucked into a pocket or around his wrist. But it’s always somewhere.
Mannerisms: Likes to drum his fingers or drum on things in general, also a knuckle cracker. Tends to move a lot because he’s high energy.
Usual Expression: Smiley babe
Overall (do they get sick easily)?: Yes. A combination of terrible care to himself and drugs makes Dodger extremely susceptible to getting sick. He’s a perfect picture of what not to do health-wise and it shows.
Physical Ailments: Mildly Anemic,
Neurological Conditions: None.
Allergies: Latex, mangos, cats,
Grooming Habits: He showers, unlike most #men he is not a 3-in-1 kind of guy, so he knows how to use separate body wash, shampoo and conditioner. He’ll wash his face every morning & every night and brush his hair and shit but he’s not over the top. Shaves if his facial hair gets longer than a mild scruff. Keeps the boys tame.
Sleeping Habits: Inconsistent. Dodger has no real sleep schedule, but he tends to sleep just about anywhere when he needs to. He’s the least picky about how he sleeps and falls asleep easy.
Eating Habits: Uh, he eats. Sometimes. Some days it’s eating for a village, some he skips for a day and is like ‘oh yeah oops.’ It depends. So I’d call this inconsistent as well.
Exercise Habits: He’s always exercising just by association. He walks/runs everywhere and climbs shit and is doing his free running/parkour all over Swynlake.
Emotional Stability: Fair. He tends to stay cool and tries to be the mediator when it comes to trouble. Dodger tends to be the one who keeps it together and stays calm when they’re in a situation. The relief, really. However when he does slip, he can get emotional quickly. Fun-fact: Dodger never yells. He may say things firmly, angrily, etc but he won’t yell.
Body Temperature: Runs warm.
Sociability: A social butterfly.
Addictions: Drugs (weed, alcohol, pills, etc).
Drug Use: Daily, addicted. The hard stuff isn’t daily (weed is... multiple times a day), but more every few days, once a week.
Alcohol Use: Often.
Your Character’s Character:
Bad Habits: Drugs. Drumming on objects or idly, cracking his knuckles, zoning out mid-conversation, scratching the back of his neck, smoking, manipulating people.
Good Habits: Loyalty, offering his help, extending manners, being kind.
Best Characteristic: Openness.
Worst Characteristic: Pride
Worst Memory: Being beaten within an inch of his life & having to leave his family and home behind and flee the country.
Best Memory: Being officially adopted as Fagin & Einstein’s son.
Proud of: Holding his job at the garage. Getting his gig at Pixie’s. Still being in a relationship (new record).
Embarrassed by: His inability to get his music off the ground, how he’s still in the same place in life when everyone else seems to be getting somewhere or doing things.
Driving Style: Does not drive.
Strong Points: His passion and drive. His ability to bring things and people together.
Temperament: Carefree and easy going.
Attitude: Optimistic & outgoing.
Weakness: Coming off as too confident, cocky.
Fears: Being abandoned/being alone again, his family getting hurt or dying.
Phobias: Being abandoned.
Secrets: An open book. Perhaps the one secret he has is knowing that Roscoe abused Oliver.
Regrets: Going to William Sykes and trying to buy them time to pay back their loan.
Feels Vulnerable When: He’s with his parents.
Pet Peeves: People who brag about their money. Charities, but not charity.
Conflicts: Having money in the family. Having Roscoe married to Rita when he fucking hates him but wants Rita to be happy.
Motivation: Support for Fagin & Einstein/to make them proud.
Short Term Goals and Hopes: To start picking up more gigs and getting music off the ground.
Long Term Goals and Hopes: To be able to fully financially support himself and the fam through his music and that he can quit his real job and do what he loves.
Exercise Routine: Running all around Swynlake like a crazy man.
Day or Night Person: Night - that’s when the action is.
Introvert or Extrovert: Extrovert
Optimist or Pessimist: Optimist
Likes and Styles:
Music: Punk Rock, Rock, Alternative,
Books: Any book that Fagin & Einstein used to read him
Magazines: Playboy (lol)
Drinks: Coke, whiskey, vodka, rum, Gatorade,
Animals: Any are cool
Sports: The made up ones he’d play with Tito, Free running,
Social Issues: Domestic Abuse, Child Abuse, Women’s Rights, Magick Rights,
Favorite Saying: Absotively Posilutely
Clothing: Jeans, T-shirts.
Jewelry: Gauges, lip rings, nose ring, eyebrow stud.
Games: Poker, Rummy, Uno,
Websites: Not a huge internet person (because he didn’t grow up into it like most kids his age). He uses Twitter a lot though. Youtube just to watch things. Used to use the ‘Hub’ quite a bit ;)
TV Shows: Doesn’t really watch TV, but when they could pay for cable, anything ridiculous. He was a fan of the Crocodile Hunter if only because Tito and himself would mimic that show and get into so much trouble.
Movies: Again, he’s not really well versed in movies but.. I’m sure he was into shit he wasn’t supposed to watch when he could get ahold of them. Fight Club, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, etc.
Greatest Want: To be happy & with his family.
Greatest Need: Affection.
Where and How Does Your Character Live Now:
Home: Dodger now lives in Benbow (2D) and honestly his biggest complaint is simply being on the second floor. He would much prefer an apartment he has to climb higher to break into (since who uses the door?). However, he doesn’t like the apartment nearly as much as he loved the old rickety apartment they lived in back home. He misses his loft and all the weird things that made it perfect. This apartment isn’t terrible - sure, the door sticks something fierce and it’s a little cramped for five people but... it’s fine. And the neighbors aren’t the worst, it’s just... never felt right. It’s still home, if only because home is determined by the people living there more than the place itself.
Household furnishings: A mish-mash of things. Nothing in the Jones household is a set. It’s all second-hand or used items that they got when they could and when they could afford to. That means everything from the tables and chairs don’t really.. match like they might in a normal household, but none of them really mind. They’re just grateful to have them in the first place.
Favorite Possession: The bear Fagin got him when he first came home.
Most Cherished Possessions: The bear Fagin got him when he first came home (shocker) - though a worn red bandana that he took from Fagin also comes in close second. He’s almost always wearing it somewhere. Also the stuffed Reindeer from his first Christmas. The beat up guitar that the whole gang pulled together to get him.
Town or City Name: Swynlake
Relationship with Family: Great! Dodger is incredibly close with his found family. He would lay his life on the line or do anything for all of them. He’s closest to Fagin, but only because that man gave him everything in life he’s ever needed when no one else would. He loves his family so much though. Even if he annoys the absolute piss out of Frankie & Rita, he couldn’t be happier.
Car: Doesn’t have one
Career: Part-Time Mechanic, Part-Time Musician, Part-Time Con-artist/thief
Dream Career: Musician
Dream Life: Happy & can provide and take care of his family so they don’t have to work so hard anymore.
Love Life: Peri
Talents or Skills: Singing, Guitar, Percussion, Piano - musical talent in mostly all forms, athletic ability/balance, can juggle, sleight of hand, pitch perfect.
Intelligence Level: Street smart, book....slightly smart.
Finances: Poor as fuck
Past Careers: Full time thief, part time street performer, odd jobs,
Past Lovers: ‘Lovers’, none really. The closest he had was a toxic first ‘boyfriend’, Corey but it didn’t last long.
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Teenage Dream: A Tony Rydinger Heartthrob Playlist
Every school has one-- a boy so beautiful and charming that he becomes legend. These are the songs about those boys, and Tony Rydinger, Swynlake Secondary is lucky to call you ours! You never go out of style, kid!
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Vishaka Chakraborty -- Character Sheet
you leave home, you move on and you do the best you can. / i got lost in this old world and forgot who i am.
i thought if i could touch this place or feel it / this brokenness inside me might start healing. / out here it's like i'm someone else, / i thought that maybe i could find myself. / if i could walk around i swear i'll leave. / won't take nothing but a memory / from the house that built me.
Archetype — The Innocent
Birthday — September 08, 1992
Zodiac Sign — Rising Pisces; Sun in Virgo; Moon in Aquarius
MBTI — ISFJ
Enneagram — Type 2; the Helper
Temperament — Phlegmatic
Hogwarts House — Huffleclaw
Moral Alignment — Neutral Good
Primary Vice — Lust
Primary Virtue — Charity
Element — Earth
Mother — Mayra Chakraborty
Father — Pahal Chakraborty
Mother’s Occupation — Farmer
Father’s Occupation — Farmer
Family Finances — they get by, certainly aren’t wealthy
Birth Order — second oldest
Brothers — Farhan (older brother, 1988); Harish (younger brother, 1994); Lance (brother in law, 1994)
Sisters — Shanaya (younger sister, 1997)
Other Close Family — Charles Patel-Chakraborty (husband, deceased: August 03, 2020)
Best Friend — tbd
Other Friends — lots of swynlake natives; people from her hospital in london
Enemies — n/a really
Pets — so many...all the farm animals
Home Life During Childhood — Good! Hard. They moved when she was very young (5, so in 1998) to Swynlake. Her whole family picked up and moved together and it was hard to adjust at first, but she’s been in Swynlake so long that its home. The first few years were rough as the farm got established, but once it was bringing in steady income, then things smoothed out. She loves her family a lot and they mostly all get on really well.
What Did His or Her Bedroom Look Like — She and her littlest sister shared a bedroom from the time Shanaya was like 4, until Vixey moved out. It was very girly and cute.
Any Sports or Clubs — She danced a bit, but wasn’t really into extracurriculars. Also, she had to constantly help on the farm and wrangle her little siblings, so she didn’t have much time.
Favorite Toy or Game — Her sketchbook. Vixey could just happily sit in the corner and draw all day.
Schooling — Swynlake schooling until she went to King’s College for nursing.
Favorite Subject — Science, she likes how organized it is, lol.
Popular or Loner — Relatively popular. She was friendly and had lots of friends.
Nationality — Indian-British
Culture — Indian-British lol
Religion and beliefs — Hindu!
Face Claim — Richa Moorjani
Complexion — She struggled with acne when younger but it’s taken care of now. Has a few really cute moles and freckles.
Hair Colour — Dark brown
Eye Colour — Brown
Height — 5’7
Build — Curvy
Tattoos — None
Piercings — Nose piercing
Common Hairstyle — Wears it braided back most of the time, usually with a headband.
Clothing Style — Casual-chic, lots of jeans and boots, but cute shirts/sweaters.
Mannerisms — Fiddles with the end of her hair a lot or chews on her hair when she’s thinking.
Usual Expression —
Overall (do they get sick easily)? — Living on a farm you are exposed to everything and therefore have a very hardy immune system, lol.
Physical Ailments — None!
Neurological Conditions — Suffering from a bit of depression.
Allergies — None!
Grooming Habits — Pretty good, but not as good as you’d expect. She definitely doesn’t mind being dirty and sometimes forgets to shower before going into town after being out in the barn and such.
Sleeping Habits — Normal, as a nurse she would sleep as soon as she hit the pillow. Has been having a bit more trouble these days.
Eating Habits — Good! Eats a lot of healthy stuff, not a big sweets fan.
Exercise Habits — Good! Girl has excellent upper body strength hauling animals and haystacks and that kind of thing around. Also goes running and does pilates.
Emotional Stability — Good! Yes, she gets sad and will withdraw, but overall she is pretty stable.
Body Temperature — Runs a little cold. Brings a sweater to the grocery store.
Sociability — Very social, though she’s quiet. Friendly, but shy. Etc.
Addictions — None, well--coffee?
Drug Use — N/A
Alcohol Use — Probably more than she should be drinking, rn.
Your Character’s Character:
Bad Habits — not wanting to deviate from her plans at all
Good Habits — planning things meticulously lol
Best Characteristic — responsible and organized
Worst Characteristic — rigid
Worst Memory — losing her husband
Best Memory — her wedding! :(
Proud of — her accomplishments, her family
Embarrassed by — having to come back home after doing so well on her own
Driving Style — a bit wild, honestly. The only time she isn’t extremely meticulous.
Strong Points — organization, empathy, kindness, determination
Weakness — not wanting to deviate from the plan
Fears — not knowing where to go from here
Phobias — none really
Secrets — that part of her is glad to be home
Regrets — not spending more time with her family the last few years
Feels Vulnerable When — people ask her about her life goals lol
Pet Peeves — disorganized people
Conflicts — wanting to move on v not knowing where to go
Motivation — making her family proud
Short Term Goals and Hopes — get back on her feet and return to London
Long Term Goals and Hopes — she’s not sure
Sexuality — bisexual
Day or Night Person — day
Introvert or Extrovert — introvert
Optimist or Pessimist — kind of in the middle? Depends on the situation
Greatest Want — to find a new path in life
Greatest Need — to take a breath and look around
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Aquarius Sun, Gemini Moon, Cancer Ascending. ENFP. Neutral Good
Archetype — The Joker
Birthday — 1/31/2004
Zodiac Sign — Aquarius Sun, Gemini Moon, Cancer Ascending
MBTI — ENFP-A
Enneagram — Type 9
Temperament — Sanguine
Hogwarts House — Slytherin? primary? Slytherin SecondarY?? idk this is very likely to change. I can’t get a good read on him
Moral Alignment — Neutral Good
Primary Vice — Sloth
Primary Virtue — Friendliness
Element — Water
Mother — Eunji Fiske
Father — Bill Fiske
Mother’s Occupation — Astronomer
Father’s Occupation — Physicist
Family Finances — Middle Class
Birth Order — Oldest
Brothers — None
Sisters — Galadriel (Gilly) Fiske
Other Close Family — Two Aunts on his dad’s side, 1 Uncle and Aunt on mom’s side and their kids. Also close with Mom’s parents
Best Friend — Sheldon
Other Friends — TBD
Enemies — None that he knows of
Pets — two cats named Merry and Pippin
Home Life During Childhood — pretty comfortable, shared a room with Gilly when he was younger but finally got his own room about two years before they had to move.
Town or City Name(s) — Swynlake
What Did His or Her Bedroom Look Like — Kind of chaotic. Lots of tie dye with surfing posters and that kind of thing
Any Sports or Clubs — Nah. Unless there’s a 420 club.
Favorite Toy or Game — He absolutely loves his surfboard. Not necessarily a toy so he also really likes skateboard and surfing video games
Schooling — He’s still in high school/secondary
Favorite Subject — lunch
Popular or Loner — Probably somewhere in the middle
Important Experiences or Events — the first time he got high, the first time he failed a test
Nationality — American
Culture — American Korean
Religion and beliefs — Not religious but would probably claim he was “spiritual”
Face Claim — Vernon Hansol Chwe
Complexion — fair
Hair Colour — black originally, dyes it regularly
Eye Colour — brown
Height — 5′10″
Build — thin
Tattoos — wants them but hasn’t had the chance to get any yet tragically
Piercings — ears and is considering others
Common Hairstyle — just whatever works to leave the house. He usually covers it with a beanie anyway
Clothing Style — tie dye shirts, ripped jeans kind of the standard.
Mannerisms — slouches, uses a lot of ums, uhs, dude, bro in his standard vocabulary, gazes off into space a lot
Usual Expression — sort of a happy dazed
Overall (do they get sick easily)? — not usually
Physical Ailments — none
Neurological Conditions — used to get anxious but he helps himself out to not get that way
Allergies — severely lactose intolerant
Grooming Habits — He’s not very disciplined with that stuff. tosses his beanie over his head and calls it a day with his hair. His clothes are often disheveled and he doesn’t care too much if he wears the same pants a few times.
Sleeping Habits — sleeps as often as he’s allowed. sometimes falls asleep in class
Eating Habits — Eats a lot, especially after getting high
Exercise Habits — surfs/surfed regularly, also skateboards around a lot
Emotional Stability — fairly stable
Body Temperature — warm
Sociability — Very social
Addictions — to drugs
Drug Use — Copious amount
Alcohol Use — Occasional, prefers to get high
Your Character’s Character:
Bad Habits — Drugs, spacing out doing something important
Good Habits — is fairly polite
Best Characteristic — Friendly
Worst Characteristic — Dumb
Worst Memory — When Tad had a bad high and he thought everyone was gonna eat him and try to shove milk down his throat.
Best Memory — learning how to do a tube ride and finally being able to do the whole thing
Proud of — his surfing skills
Embarrassed by — his lactose intolerance. If he even gets a bit of something it is an actual shit storm.
Driving Style — Doesn’t drive, not allowed
Strong Points — Confident, Friendly, Chill, goes with the flow
Temperament — Cheerful
Attitude — Positive generally
Weakness — Anything academic, focusing
Fears — not a lot and it’s kind of a problem tbh
Phobias — none
Secrets — none. he can’t really keep any.
Regrets — leaving California
Feels Vulnerable When — he doesn’t have drugs on him. When people ask to get deep.
Pet Peeves — None really. he’s pretty chill
Conflicts — None that he’s aware of
Motivation — to continue to vibe and surf and have a good time
Short Term Goals and Hopes — to find a way to make waves in the lake
Long Term Goals and Hopes — move back to California
Sexuality — Pansexual
Exercise Routine — Surfs when he can, skateboards every day
Day or Night Person — Night person
Introvert or Extrovert — Extrovert
Optimist or Pessimist — Optimist
Greatest Want — to surf regularly
Greatest Need — to surf regularly
Where and How Does Your Character Live Now:
Home — a comfortable house he shares with his parents and little sister
Household furnishings — he doesn’t pay attention to these. But pretty standard tbh. Nothing fancy. Some spacey pictures cause of his mom’s job
Favorite Possession — Surfboard
Most Cherished Possession — his Surfboard probably still
Neighborhood — Southern Isles
Town or City Name — Swynlake
Details of Town or City — You know Swynlakee
Married Before — No
Significant Other Before — No he’s a child
Children — None
Relationship with Family — Pretty good
Car — None, but he wants a hippie van
Career — Student rn
Dream Career — Pro Surfer
Dream Life — living in Hawaii surfing every day and having a good time
Love Life — Nonexistent for now
Talents or Skills — rolling his tongue, skateboarding, surfing
Intelligence Level — Low intelligence
Finances — Middle Class
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Create a beauty/make up/getting ready for the day routine for your character. Must include at least 7 steps!
The first thing that happens in the morning is Felicia whacking him in the face with her paw to feed her! She does have her own bed, she actually probably has about ten in total let’s be honest, but her favorite place to sleep is on the bed and he can’t kick her off so she takes up most of the bed since he just sleeps in the same position all night. Yet she somehow always manages to end up laying on him in some capacity. She wakes up first and starts on her little gremlin adventures in waking up the hand that feeds her. We start with prowling around on the bed. If that doesn’t work she meows. If that doesn’t work she will stand on him and meow. If that doesn’t work, even though it usually does, she will start pawing at his face until he wakes up. :) Then he pets her and gets out of bed.
Then he is going to go wash hands in the bathroom, probably using some disgustingly expensive soap. Next he’ll brush his teeth with some mint toothpaste, and then he will floss. All the while Felicia will be in the doorway, waiting on him to get on with it.
Much to her delight he’ll go to the kitchen to feed her and put on the kettle. While that’s going on and Felicia is eating, he’ll go fetch the newspapers (as he is subscribed to many, not just Swynlakes).
He’ll come back to the kitchen to wait on the water to boil, make breakfast, and then sit down at the table to read the paper with the food and tea. (If he’s feeling it, then this will also be the time that he will pack his lunch.)
Once that’s all done, he will clean everything up and then go take a shower where, again, he probably uses absurdly expensive stuff for no other reason than that he can. And that it smells good.
After showering he’ll shave the beard, which usually just means touching it up and making sure there is no neck beard lmfao. It’s not like lumberjack long but it isn’t just a shadow. He is a very vain person now that he knows looks are, in fact, everything. So then he’ll move on to his hair that will get blow dried and styled with some more expensive product until he’s happy with it.
Then he will go get dressed. Pick out the suit for the day, add a pocket square, tie his tie, put on his watch, and then whatever shoes work with everything.
It’s about this time that the influx of messages to his other phones will start popping off so if there’s some business he needs to take care of, he’ll do that while he gathers his stuff for school into his briefcase. Nothing like some early morning crime to get the day going. And when it’s time to leave for work, which probably varies day to day for classes or meetings or research or whatever, he’ll head out the door for the university!
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EIGHT: A NEW MUSICAL
Book by Emma
Score and Lyrics by Taylor Swift
Divorced, Beheaded, Died Broken up with x8 and then immediately forgotten about
Eight Tritons. Eight Taylor Swift Albums. One Ageless Love Interest. Coming to Broadway November 2020!
**None of this is canon, it’s just for the lulz. (Well, some of the Tritons did date Tony but I’m not basing it off of that and tbh their song choice is barely canon I went based off of vibes and also album release order)**
Lights up on the stage. It is set up like a concert, the lighting neon, with all eight Tritons standing in a line in age order from left to right. Their costumes are based on the era in which they were in upper sixth form (from Attina rocking a 2009-inspired outfit and Ariel in her 2020 best.) They are frozen in time, and slowly the music begins.
ONCE UPON A TIME
A FEW MISTAKES AGO
I WAS IN YOUR SIGHTS
YOU GOT ME ALONE
YOU FOUND ME, YOU FOUND ME, YOU FOUND ME ME ME ME ME
I GUESS YOU DIDN’T CARE
AND I GUESS I LIKED THAT
AND WHEN I FELL HARD
YOU TOOK A STEP BACK
(etc the song continues they all have their individual parts but they sing the chorus together of I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE)
AQUATA explains the concept of the show: by some Swynlake magic, they have all realized that, during their final year of Swynlake Secondary, they all dated TONY RYDINGER. And now they are going to have a competition: who had their heart broken the worst by Swynlake Secondary’s infamous immortal badboy?
ATTINA reflects on her idyllic summer with Tony, hanging out on the beach together and, for a few brief moments, escaping the intense pressure she felt all the time.
WHEN YOU THINK TIM MCGRAW
I HOPE YOU THINK OF MY FAVORITE SONG
THE ONE WE DANCED TO ALL NIGHT LONG
THE MOON LIKE A SPOTLIGHT ON THE LAKE...
She sings TIM MCGRAW and decides that it’s pure nostalgia, really, and maybe she could take herself out of the running. She’s happy with her life now.
ANDRINA appears and makes a snarky comment, instigating a brief bickering match between the two. ARISTA breaks it up and suggests that ANDRINA sing her song. ANDRINA said that she didn’t subscribe to the idea of this contest and she didn’t understand why one guy was getting all this attention, but fine, she would sing her song.
YOU’RE ON THE PHONE WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND
What follows is an extremely sarcastic rendition of YOU BELONG WITH ME remixed with upbeat electronic club tones and featuring a showstopping dance break. ANDRINA remarks that if she can’t prove that Tony broke her heart, she can prove that she had the best performance.
ADELLA remarks that ANDRINA did steal the show, but it’s not over yet. She launches into a sincere and heart-wrenching rendition of...
NEVER THOUGHT WE’D HAVE OUR LAST KISS
I NEVER IMAGINED WE’D END LIKE THIS
YOUR NAME, FOREVER THE NAME ON MY LIPS...
She sings LAST KISS and explains how she fell for TONY hard, and she still wonders why he dumped her and whether he really loved her. There is a solemn silence.
ARISTA agrees that she fell for TONY too, but now, she can look back on the memories fondly. She mentions that red is her favorite color (and her tail color, of course) is...
LOSING HIM WAS BLUE LIKE I’VE NEVER KNOWN
MISSING HIM WAS DARK GRAY ALL ALONE
REGRETTING HIM WAS LIKE TRYING TO KNOW SOMEBODY I NEVER MET
BUT LOVING HIM WAS RED
The curtain rises, and now it’s MELODY’S turn to bring the energy up. She reminisces on TONY’S classic vibe, and reaches the realization that it was probably because he was immortal. But it also meant he was a bit old-fashioned, which she liked for a bit, but eventually... it went out of STYLE.
YOU’VE GOT THAT JAMES DEAN
DAYDREAM LOOK IN YOUR EYE
AND I’VE GOT THAT RED-LIPPED
CLASSIC THING THAT YOU LIKE...
She passes the microphone to AQUATA, expecting her to sing a cruel breakup song. But instead AQUATA admits that she had feelings for TONY-- a lot of feelings. So many that she hated how smitten she was with him, and she’s still embarrassed about it.
YOU’RE SO COOL, IT MAKES ME HATE YOU SO MUCH...
YOU’RE SO GORGEOUS, I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING TO YOUR FACE
‘CAUSE LOOK AT YOUR FACE
AND I’M SO FURIOUS
AT YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL THIS WAY
BUT WHAT CAN I SAY? YOU’RE GORGEOUS
Surprised at herself, AQUATA passes the mic off as quickly as possible to ALANA, who reveals that she actually does not remember TONY at all. Somehow, the curse skipped her.
I FORGOT THAT YOU EXISTED
IT ISN’T LOVE, IT ISN’T HATE
IT’S JUST INDIFFERENCE... SO YEAH
The rest of the Tritons stare at ALANA in confusion-- why didn’t she mention this before? But now there is just one competitor left, Ariel, who also thinks this contest is dumb, and instead takes the moment to address her song to some current relationship drama she’s going through...
BETTY I WON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
ABOUT WHY YOU SWITCHED YOUR HOMEROOM BUT
I THINK IT’S ‘CAUSE OF ME...
Which is such an iconic song that everyone forgets about the contest altogether. They decide to forget all about TONY once again and instead sing a song dedicated to each other...
I’M ONLY UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT DOWN
DON’T WANNA FLY
IF YOU’RE STILL ON THE GROUND
IT’S LIKE NO MATTER WHAT I DO...
WELL, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY
HALF THE TIME
THE OTHER HALF I’M ONLY TRYING
TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WHAT I FEEL IS TRUE
AND I’M ONLY ME WHEN I’M WITH YOU!!
Dancing, confetti cannon, party time, everyone in the audience gets up and joins the party. Epic guitar solo. THE END.
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BDRP Wrimo Task #24:
Time Capsule: your character has dug up a time capsule that they buried ten years ago. What is in it? (One shot/thread format – aesthetic optional.)
Sally was back in Scotland.
Actually, she has been in Scotland for a good several days now. She knew this second trip was not going to be a one day endeavor. There was the task of setting up the funeral and burial for her father, then getting through the legal paper work and transactions to receive all that her father had left her (which was a lot, both of her parents had been very, very well off), and finally the house.
Sally had no intentions of keeping it. In fact, she never wanted to return to it ever again, even as she presently stood right outside of it. The was a for sale sign up with contact information for the realtor the redhead had hired to get this process going. She didn’t care what it was sold for, or who was interested in buying it, she just wanted it sold and notified once all the paper work was finished.
The ginger had only returned for one sole purpose and that purpose was hidden beneath the dirt of the back yard. Her combat boots treaded through grass until they stopped at very specific spot. Kneeling down, Sally began to dig through the earth beneath her until she reached what she was looking for, a decent sized metal box.
No one knew of the existence of such a box and in all honesty, Sally had almost forgotten about it herself if it were not for the realtor mentioning that the house needed to be emptied.
Planting herself comfortably on the grass now, Sally placed the box on her lap and opened it up. The very first item placed widely opened on the top was a piece a paper with a hand written note to herself on it.
For when you need to remember the good memories you have made here.
Sally had been seventeen years old when she put this box together. It was at a very low point in her life, when everything around her felt hopeless and dark and she couldn’t seem to find enough reason to move on. This box pushed her through because everything she placed inside of it was all the good she managed to make in this life-sucking hell of a place. This had been her box of light.
Inside was a small black crochet stuffed cat with orange button eyes and Sally could remember how proud she had been as this lonely eight year old making a stuffed animal all on her own. This cat was what started her love for sewing and grew her imagination to all the things she could create. It came as no surprise then that underneath it laid a folded deep red dress, long and simple in design.
It was the very first piece of clothing Sally had ever made. Her father never allowed her to wear dresses. She had been ten then.
Pulling the dress aside, the ginger found a polaroid picture of her and Danny. She was in high school when that picture was taken. It was the first night Danny had snuck her out of her house and they grabbed themselves some ice-cream. She was smiling so big and bright beside Danny. She was smiling now looking at the picture.
Sally knew that the rest of the items in this box were all also going to tie back to Daniel, but he had been the one who had turned everything around for her. She missed him. There was a hand-made Christmas tree ornament that Sally was currently holding. It was a bright orange jack-o-lantern with black scary features. This was for a Christmas back when she was fourteen that her father had not been home for and so Danny had snuck over and they decorated her tree halloween style.
Her father had thrown out that tree the very same night he had returned home. The ornament in her hand was the only thing left of that tree.
Along side the jack-o-lantern was a small spool of grey sewing thread. This very spool had fallen among other sewing items on her bedroom floor the very first night Daniel had made a surprise sneak in visit to her room. The noise had woken her father and Sally remembered quickly stuffing Danny in the closet until she had convinced her father that she had just been clumsy and dropped her sewing box. Danny and her had laughed all night about it. It was the first time he slept over.
The very last item was a beautiful gold necklace with a skull pendant on it. It had been a birthday gift Danny had bought for Sally, and the first ever piece of jewelry the redhead had ever owned. She loved it so much, but was never able to wear it for fear of her father taking it away from her.
Sally placed the necklace on now.
Slowly she carefully returned all the items into her metal box. There was nothing she wanted to take back with her about her life here in Scotland, absolutely nothing, except for this box of beautiful memories. It was time for these small trinkets of light to return back with her to her new home, Swynlake.
Track List 2020
Track List 2020
Have your character write a sonnet! (click here for explanation/template)
Create a scrapbook/photo album page for your character, include a description. (Bonus points if canon.)
Plot an AU with a partner (or two or three!). Write one thread, write a few threads, however you want to do it! (Can also be done in dialogue style like a script.) (MUST be plotted.)
Plot a thread that takes place in one of Swynlake’s businesses with a mun that you don’t currently have a thread with.
Personality Aesthetic (Hogwarts houses, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, vice/virtue, etc.)
Write ten short-short stories of no more than a paragraph long (can start one or multiple characters.)
5 headcanons for your/your character’s favorite place in Swynlake.
5 in-character Instagram post of another character. (5 different muns, ex: Phil posts one of Tom, Barbie, John, etc…)
Petition Town Board for something! A new business? A new law? Anything!
Write a one-shot about your character’s family, involving 3 family members minimum. (This can include whatever your character’s definition of family is.)
Create your own class for Pride University. Who teaches it? Come up with three assignments
Plot a thread with two characters who do not know each other where they have to solve a problem (stuck in an elevator, attacked by a wild animal, etc!)
Write a crack!ship au for one of your characters. Definition of a crackship: seriously this shit can’t happen but in an alternate universe.
A playlist that your character would actually listen to. (10 songs minimum.)
Write a story using either Tweets or entirely in texts between characters
Jukebox Musical/TV or Movie Soundtrack: come up with a playlist of at least 10 songs, write a scene summary to go with each one.
BDRP Memes: create memes (there are websites where you can do this) about characters, places, or things that happen in Swynlake! (10 minimum)
Create a D&D-style character sheet for your character! Whether it’s for modern day or an AU, get creative. Some templates found here.
Flip The Script: Change one DRASTIC trait about your character and write a one-shot. (A character who is a Magick is now a Mundus or vice versa; a character is suddenly born in an entirely different place; a 15-year-old is a 51-year-old etc etc.)
Create an in character PowerPoint. This is something they could’ve made themselves, for their friends, for a class/homework assignment, etc. It just has to be IN character.
A list of 10+ characters you’d like to see in the RP (for you to play or someone else!)
Get together with your employees/coworkers and create a floorplan for your business! You can use any medium you want: the Sims, floorplan programs (here is a good one), or draw it and take a picture! (Or do it in Microsoft paint, w/e). (If you don’t have a business, do your character’s house, make sure to do it with the people you live with!) (This task only counts if it is collaborative.)
Design a website for one of Swynlake’s businesses, or maybe even your own character’s! You may mock it up in photoshop, use quick site builders such as carrd.co, or anything else!
Time Capsule: your character has dug up a time capsule that they buried ten years ago. What is in it? (One shot/thread format – aesthetic optional.)
10 headcanons about Swynlake in general! (It doesn’t matter if these match up with other people’s views!! It’s fun to hear everyone’s takes!)
Your character’s phone! List ten contacts, the last five messages, four apps, and screensavers!
Write either a flashback or a flashforward thread with another mun! (This could be an existing connection or a connection that could possibly happen 10 years in the future! Should be 10+/- years in the past/future.)
Your character’s closet. Give 15 pieces of clothing with a little description of the “history” of the apparel. Is it a favorite shirt, did they get it traveling, is it their lucky pair of underwear etc etc.
YOUR (the mun’s) favorite thing about Swynlake/your least favorite thing about Swynlake.
Create a beauty/make up/getting ready for the day routine for your character. Must include at least 7 steps!