#thank you roland for my life
Can you guess who my bias is
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Once Upon A Time Rewatch: 5x22 Only You
Does that mean Storybrooke’s magic is gone now that Rumple has tethered it to the crystal?
Well, I guess he can’t have taken all of it or Regina wouldn’t have been able to teleport etc.
Henry’s relationship with magic is like a freaking rollercoaster. At first, he thinks it’s the best thing in the world, then he hates it so much he wants to destroy it, then it’s the best thing in the world, then he tries to destroy it, then it’s the best thing in the world! But that’s kids for you, I guess! I’m sure I was like that and still can be. Come to think of it, would putting dynamite in the well in season 2 have destroyed magic?
Is that needle that’s put dozens of people under a sleeping curse the same one Maleficent used on Aurora?
Henry’s literally so powerful. I wish he could use his author powers more.
How is taking the crystal out of SB gonna destroy magic in SB?
Oh, so Rumple tethered the magic but didn’t technically absorb it from the town, so they can still use it.
Why can’t Regina text Henry to say that destroying magic would destroy SB?
Guess they can go over the town line now, for the first time in like forever. But I guess Emma & Regina & Henry could already cross the threshold, possibly Violet too as she didn’t come over with the first curse. And then the others are brought to New York by a portal.
Oh! So that’s why they can use magic in the lwom? Because Henry brought the crystal aka all the magic of Storybrooke there.
Aww. Henry and Violet are cute. I just wouldn’t recommend reading the Henry and Violet book if you appreciate their relationship in the show.
Oh, thank God. Zelena does promise to bring baby Robin to visit her brother Roland! I need them to have known each other growing up! I bet they’re really close. And Roland is just as sweet as ever and has to stop his sister being reckless. The Hufflepuff to her Slytherin (+ Gryffindor tendencies), if you will. And I need fics where Roland doesn’t grow up to be vengeful and angry. Once a Hufflepuff cupcake, always a Hufflepuff cupcake.
Did Regina agree to Roland going back to Sherwood Forest? I’m surprised she didn’t adopt him. It must have been the Merry Men’s decision because no way would they take orders from Zelena.
Aww! Roly kissing his baby sis!! I’m gonna miss you Roly!! Literally the most adorable kid! Aww and Granny kisses him on the head too! I die!!
Look at his little mittens!!
I’m guessing he doesn’t know she killed his mama but maybe he knows that she posed as her and in a strange way enjoyed his time with her? I mean, I guess you can say that as Marian Zelena did, at least, take care of Roland and bond with him. Maybe she always wanted to be a mother? Still doesn’t excuse her killing Marian and posing as her. Just trying to make sense of this hug. Maybe Roland is just super forgiving! And you can say it’s cause he’s a child but let me tell you, I was so much less willing to forgive really terrible things as a child than I am now.
Omg. They all fell so hard through that portal! Ow!
Emma’s genuinely worried Regina’s gonna put a sleeping curse on her.
Baelfire was trying to destroy magic in New York?
Ron used sellotape to try to fix his wand, so why not?
Omg Davis Bloom, love of my life! Well, it’s Hyde but this guy loves to play literal monsters! Listen, before Once Upon a Time, Smallville was my hardcore special interest show. I rewatched it so many times since I was 9! Anyway, Chloe was my favourite character and I’d always been a Chloe x Clark shipper and then Davis came along and Chlavis became my otp. He loved her so much! He gave her the love and attention she deserved! Yes it was messed up but that’s what 12-year-old me was and is here for! My mum and I were so excited when we found out the actor was gonna be in Ouat! I loved Davis to bits and ngl, was highly attracted to him (as was my mama), so excuse me as I continue to be thirsty over Hyde.
Back to the rewatch!
Hyde strangling people is my jam lol.
Snow, my girl, you really can’t keep a secret. She darn told Hyde about the Dark One’s love being pregnant! Oh well, love her anyway. And also, she was 10.
I’ll never forget, I once cut my eye and it legit looked like one of Hyde’s but scarier. It was so frightening to look at and really uncomfortable, but it healed eventually. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it. But it looks cool and sexy on Hyde xD.
Is that the same book Tilly finds at Henry’s place in 7x14?
Regina: “like with Hook, my first impulse was to rip his throat out.” Jesus Regina! You’re saying that to the woman who just went to the Underworld for Hook and thought she’d lost him forever. He’s someone she loves. That’s intense! As someone who’s been told by a loved one, threateningly, that they are (completely seriously) going to violently kill another loved one, several times, that is so not cool. Luckily no one was killed though, it’s okay.
I recently read a really interesting meta about Regina’s motivation for redemption being intellectual. Like she says here, she doesn’t want to do good. She hates doing good but she knows that villainous acts won’t get her her happy ending and so she reasons that in order for things to go less awful for her, she must to good. She doesn’t do it because of empathy, guilt or regret, she does it because she figures it’s what the heroes are doing and things are going right for them and because if she goes back to her evil ways she knows she’ll lose Henry and her new and only support network. I think the same can be said for Zelena’s motivations to do good. No shade, just an analysis.
Well at least she’s using the word “I” to express that she did those things. But, she seems more concerned about those things hanging over her than for what she did to her victims and how they felt and suffered. She even seems more upset at the fact that she has lost a love again than the fact that Robin lost his life and his kids have lost their father.
Hmm. Interesting. She seems to suggest here that before she didn’t know the difference between good and evil. You know what, that could be true because she didn’t really get why people called her the ‘Evil Queen’ and then there’s the fact she was raised by Cora and Henry Sr. Cora probably warped her perception of good and evil and her father positively reinforced a lot of the evil Regina did and didn’t explain to her why the things Cora did and the lessons she taught were wrong.
Why are all those stories in the library? That makes no sense.
There’s a problem. If the grail is the origin of all magic and Merlin found it around 1500 years before the present (apparently Merlin was a runaway slave too. Of course he flipping was!), how comes Gothel and Seraphina had magic thousands of years ago? I mean, I suppose they were from another land (that Gothel killed almost all the inhabitants of), so I guess people just don’t know magic didn’t originate from the grail. I mean, since the God’s had magic before the grail, and nymphs possibly have relations to gods, I suppose it makes sense that Gothel had magic but then, what about Seraphina? How does she have magic and how did she live so long? Did Gothel cast a spell on her that made her practically immortal or was she already immortal?
Well, that was easy for Rumple lol.
Transforming looks really painful.
The thing is. They shouldn’t have separated Jekyll from Hyde. I think it would have been cooler if they hadn’t. Sure, they can make Jekyll the true villain but why not have the heroes try to save Jekyll as Hyde thwarts their plans at every turn to the point where they have to agonize over hurting Jekyll to defeat Hyde. The same can be said for Regina. Don’t split them up! Just have Regina transform into the Evil Queen so you can’t tell when she’s Regina and when she’s the EQ working on her evil plan. That would’ve been really fun to watch and to try to figure out which persona she was and when! Also, they should have just made Jekyll transform when emotionally compromised rather than when taking the potion because without an assistant Jekyll could have easily lived without Hyde ever returning.
I hate the look of that wand.
Hydes theme sounds so awesome!
Also, it would have been really cool to explore the Land of Untold Stories. It looks so rad!
How can Hyde summon the portal? Don’t you have to have enough dark magic?! I guess maybe his strength and durability are enhanced by dark magic?
Rumple, I don’t think Belle can here you in that box.
Can I marry Hyde now? I want to marry Hyde.
Gossips and speaking ill of other members of the community, and generally being surrounded by a group of people acting like the stuck-up hypocrites that they were, was only one of the things Regina had loathed in this life. It was a typical evening where she had to be dragged and suffered through endless hours of empty conversations and forced smiles, and this evening her mother and husband have met with the Wright couple and their son. A pleasant company, at least, who was also being stuck there against his wish if she had to guess, because she heard all about the man who was Robin’s best friend and Roland’s godfather. Everything went pretty much as Regina was used to, until her gossiper of a mother had decided there weren’t enough topics to talk about and she started speaking ill of the Locksleys, and especially their son, who hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Rage filled every bone in her body and Regina might have risked herself with the most severe punishment of her life for confronting her mother around their company, but she couldn’t help but speak up to defend the man! As far as her mother knew, this was Regina’s best friend’s fiance she was talking about, it was only a natural instinct for her to say some good words of the man!
The Locksleys topic was soon dropped in favor of business then, naturally. Leopold Blanchard would take every opportunity to seek a deal. This was how he and Cora ended up resenting the Locksleys for refusing to make business with him. It was Phillip who then suggested to leave the professionals for their engagements and escort Regina out. There seemed to be no objection made by her mother or husband, who were clearly too occupied to care now, and Regina excused herself and headed out of the room before her mother would change her mind, with Phillip right behind.
“Thank you for that smooth rescue,” she finally breathed once they were outside and out of sight. "If I had to hear my mother say another word after this, I would have stabbed myself with a fork. Or her...”
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Untitled Composition # 8647
Found against my face against my face against
the beak, or sing it? You can
call it a fear of Marses hate, who leave
you (as shes freed from home — mothers by tradition.
He that did not to kill. Dishonoured
by his bed of strawberries, those sweetness, Sweet, with
such strangers an almost when
thou art: to wish thy power of willows and
this face with aught of airplanes. For
zeal like a child of one whose spirit,
not admires What I do and who thus had
wrongs her hair. Re, and its orbit ugly;
for instructs me. Seen many corpses, never
grow in our noble conquered nations,
washed with all mysterious success the
lack. But, if her limbs; but then the sea
has turned (since none puts from a cliff of lands
in Jesus side, and she nippit her fathers
art. When life in her least of all
would utterly be conscience as from her
kennel, the Barons feet; on Sunday
morning of my shame, though a poor as
I. He looked like Water, and—sans End! And would, without
asking, hither hurried hence, a short sweets
all obliterated Tongue it murmur ran through thy
body to be besprent a deal of
hers to their looks,) throw hither hand tell her,
thanking him for that once over us
like Carmel, and absence and thunder.
O Geraldine: o well, but knew no more of Further—
there was walking in all divine, with
Roland call, where thou here and thy breast:
her silk-saft faulds to remove, or count him
as a seal upon the high Hall-garden
gay, and fast upon a kind companion stood,)
while commend, whether heaven her tyranny
the scent from above had given
to themselves to accompany
of horses are as a child,
whom her eyes over and to circumcise
my helpless sight, had passed The flowers and lave
Tree. that I hope some descending. europe and
Asia, you being made him seem exceed the
Golden Grain, and becoming up. Excepting on
a chain of thy gifts at least, said Juan, “”t
were alive. turning me, but been waging Passing
once and fourscore concubines, and Across just
such as came of age were spectator. love
withal, as the fruit doth blowe the Veil.
In this second part of my Sascha's S2 E10-12 review, I'd like to briefly talk about Jasper's master, Caius.
Last week, I've discussed about his fancy clothes and his possible - now confirmed - rather high status and how dangerous he is. I've also explained why J. got killed and here we are now:
Demons are ruthless, that's what Sascha has told MC. And she has seen how J. and Caius interacted when she was with Roland. Caius was definitely sounding way more serious than Jasper. And not only he is fast, cold and brutal but...
... he has another element of surprise for himself: he appears and disappears like Enzo. This makes him highly dangerous. Caius mentions at one moment that Sascha is turning his back to his family. That doesn't seem to be in the strict sense of the term. More like the people he used to associate with. This is a clear threat he throws wrapped with some shaming. What a great Big Bad he is!
By deciding to break his deal and keep the horn, Sascha is also pushing his own boundaries very far. His walls are moving further and few bricks have been taken away. I can't help but see how his decision draws another parallel to MC's life. She did the same with J. when she refused to sell the horn and decided to keep it. I really like that there are so many similitudes in their lives and their personalities and how their differences help each other.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the last part! 🌸
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Can you write some about Cedric being a great step-father to Lucinda?
(I ship Cedric with Marla, Lucinda’s mom)
of course!! i'm always weak for dad!cedric so i'll write you some headcanons. i hope you enjoy!
step-father cedric w/ lucinda
• at the start of his and marla's relationship — this man was incredibly nervous. he barely knew how to look after himself, let alone a child
• but you know damn well he'd try his best, he knew that marla adored lucinda and was eager to make them both happy
• the first few weeks would be a little awkward for cedric - he had always been an uncle figure to sofia but being a step-dad was something he would have never imagined
• marla and cedric would be early in their relationship, and so i doubt they'd be moving in with eachother quite yet. despite this, cedric made it his plan to free up his rather busy schedule and go down actively to the village (often accompanied by sofia) and spend time with them
• lucinda would be a bit shy and awkward when cedric paid her attention — she was so used to the family being her and her mother, that she didn't know how having a father figure felt
• despite this, cedric would try so hard with pleasing lucinda (come on, the man is a massive people pleaser and always aims to impress), and would conjure little charms, gifts and dazzling shows that left lucinda in upmost amazement
• perhaps having a magical step-dad would be rather good considering her interests?
• cedric, having noticed her astonishment towards his little tricks, would invite lucinda rather shyly to spend a day with him in his tower to show her and perhaps teach her some new magical charms and potions
• lucinda accepted this offer with a gleaming grin on her face
• cedric was taken back by her excitement and was determined to use this step-father/daughter bonding time to the max
• lucinda would gawk at cedric's workshop, taken back by the sheer amount of cool equipment and spell-books he possessed- hey, is that a flying car?
• she would make it her goal to teach cedric to ride a broomstick one day
• the two would spend the day chatting about witchcraft and sorcerery, practicing spells and whatnot
• cedric was quite enjoying the time he was spending with lucinda
• soon lucinda would accompany cedric as his apprentice for his shows, as sofia is busy being a protector etc etc
• when the two eventually move into the castle further on into the relationship, lucinda would play with sofia, james and amber and ignore the rules about no flying brooms in the castle
• she liked this as she was able to see her friends, be close to her mother and visit her amazing step-dad every day
• my god, cedric would be the most protective step-father you'd ever meet
• you'd think his role as the royal sorcerer was to protect lucinda rather than the king
• this man would MELT if lucinda would ever call him "dad" rather than "mr cedric"
• in fact she did, the first time it happened was during the family's first wassalia together in the castle
• cedric had spend weeks preparing the gifts he would give to marla and lucinda — his family had become the most important thing in his life and he was eager to show that to them through gift-giving
• lucinda was in adoration over the gift she had received from cedric. it was a beautiful new wand delicately crafted. she was in complete awe and dropped everything to envelope her step-father in a hug
• cedric was taken back at the sudden affection, but even more taken back at the words that fell out of her mouth: "it's the best, thank you dad"
• he'd start stammering and gaze over her shoulder to marla, who'd give him an encouraging smile and join the embrace.
• roland would be surprisingly supportive of cedric — he knew what it was like to have a new family and was willing to share his experiences and advice
• overall, the family love shared between cedric, marla and lucinda was strong, and he adored being able to be such a fatherly figure towards her.
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30 Questions Tag
Thank you @organabanana for the tag!!
Rules: Answer 30 questions about yourself and tag 20 others you wanna know more about 😊
1. Name/Nickname: Maya
2. Gender: Female
3. Star Sign: Aries.
5. Time: 9:46 PM
6. Birthday: April 17
7. Favorite bands/groups: Long For The Coast, sleeping at last (but is it still a band if it's only one person now?), jane bordeaux, coldplay.
8. Favorite solo artist: Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and I just found out about Roland Faunte, so he is a new favorite of mine.
9. Song stuck in my head: Defying gravity
10. Last Movie: The Phantom Menace.
11. Last Show: Gilmore Girls
12. When did I create this blog: March 2013 🙊
13. What do I post: Right now it's 70% supercorp, 10% poetry, 10% cute animals, 10% random stuff
14. Last thing I Googled: There were some random words I googled to figure out if I'm using the right term in my fic, nothing too interesting. But before that I googled Star wars, because @kakashi-chidori made me watch the first prequel (okay, I volunteered) and I was super confused about what's going on.
15. Other blogs: my poetry blog is @mayainwritingland
16. Do I get asks: Sometimes. Not as much as I'd like 😊
17. Why I chose my URL: Maya is my name and I used to have an old blog with the nickname alice in wonderland, and 18 was 9the age I was about to be when I opened this blog.
18. Following: 2793
19. Followers: 689
20. Average hours of sleep: 8
21. Lucky number: 12
22. Instruments: I know some basic guitar accords, and can play basic beginners songs on piano and I used to play harmonica in 3 grade
23. What am I wearing: jeans and a blue sweater.
24. Dream job: being an Author and a TV writer.
25. Dream trip: Argentina
26. Favorite food: Chocolate
27. Nationality: Israeli
28. Favorite song: I don't really have one. Every song I love reminds me of a different time in my life, I guess?
29. Last book I read: "Good Enough to Eat" by Alison Grey and Jae
30. Top three fictional universes I’d like to live in: Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter (in a happy post war world), and the cool VR world from Supergirl.
Tagging: @kakashi-chidori @isa-help @evilsnowswan @pleasepassthekangaroomate @midnightdreamerposts @i-prefer-the-fictional-world @jjulyingg @refractallize
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9: Favourite flavour of anything? 10: The word that I use all the time to describe something great? 13: Favourite word? 17: Pirates or ninjas 55: Play any sports? 65: What fictional universe would I like to be a part of? 77: What is my current desktop picture? 112: My relationship with my parents? 121: Am I allergic to anything? 145: In a film about my life, who would I cast as myself, friends and family?
Wownwkwo that’s a lot
9.) Favourite flavour of anything: Peanut butter or just peanut in general. Like peanut butter hot chocolate or peanut M&M’s
10.) The word that I use all the time to describe something great: um swell? I dunno I use that quite a bit. Or sometimes I just go yay
13.) Favourite word: Twat. Hands down. Favourite word.
17.) Pirates or ninjas: ummm never really been a big fan of either but I’d as ninjas (sorry Kazoosandfannypacks I know you like pirates)
55.) Play any sports: Does running away from my responsibilities count?
65.) What fictional universe would I like to be in: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I honestly dunno
77.) What is my current desktop picture: I have several because I have different accounts on my laptop (it’s a Chromebook would not recommend) but two of them are Bandstand and the other one is the Brooklyn Boys drawing I did a while back
112.) My relationship with my parents: um questionable to be honest. I don’t speak to my dad a lot and my relationship with my mother is a bit rocky
121.) Am i allergic to anything: why do you wanna know 👀 jokes but please don’t kill me/j. I’m allergic to erythromycin (which is an antibiotic?) and coconut as far as I’m aware
145.) In a film about my life, who would I cast as myself, friends and family: um well not to be a musical fan or anything but...
Me- Tommy Bracco because he’s short (but still taller than me :’) )
My mother- Beth Leavel to play my mother because who wouldn’t want Beth Leavel as a mother?
My father- Bill Pullman. He’s nothing like my father but shush
My little brother- Will Roland
My sister- Kate Rockwell
My older brother- Robert Lenzi
Best friend #1- Stephanie Hsu
Best friend #2- Hayley Atwell
None of these are like my family or friends but shush
Thank you for the ask and I’ll get on to the other one now!
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Hi Pauline!<3 I have fallen in love with how scholars analyze text, and in wanting to learn how to get closer to that level of perfection, I have read your FAQ posts on it! Just wondering if you have any textbooks to recommend (even if they’re too technical/for undergraduates/postgraduates!) or any tips/resources on that ‘solid toolbox of analytic devices’ you mention in your FAQ. I would be immensely grateful for any help you could give! & tySM for being so kind and for your amazing blog<33
Hey there! Thank you, you’re so lovely! Have you also checked out this ask about analysing a book on your own, and the one on critical awareness?
They might come in handy, but I’m sure I referenced them somewhere so—I’m sorry if this is redundant.
The bottom line is that there’s no perfection or correct answer to reach for, and your perceptions are as insightful and interesting as any reader! I know I say that a lot but—sacralising either the author or the critical reader is just... I don’t think it’s warranted, you know? You’re right though, knowing the tools you have at your disposal does sharpen your reading eye immensely.
I’d recommend checking out Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, J. A. Cuddon’s A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, A. M. Howard’s A Glossary of Literary Terms, and if you have a preferred genre, an author or an era, I really enjoy the Oxford Handbooks on given subjects—for example, here my beloved The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry.
If you know French (I don’t know if you can find all of these in translation?) I also warmly recommend Julien Gracq’s En Lisant, En Écrivant (Reading, Writing), Jean Rousset’s Forme et Signification (Form and Meaning), and Roland Barthes’s Le Degré Zéro de l’Écriture (Writing Degree Zero, here in English), and S/Z (in English too!).
And honestly, I’m sure this is subjective but I learned a lot about critical reading and writing with Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic. They explain the devices they’re using clearly, they analyse books that you might know well already, and their writing is so lovely it’s a pleasure in itself. It’s been my bedside book for years, I don’t want to put it on a shelf.
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A King’s Depravity
My citizen’s have never respected me. I worked as a carpenter, sharing my desire to compete for the crown with those who hired me to fix their homes or refurbish their shops. They all scoffed at the possibility of a “mediocre handyman” being intelligent enough to become king. As I climbed the ranks in the competition, they then accused me of cheating, saying that a man who could “barely replace floorboards” shouldn’t have made it out of the preliminary rounds. When my competition began to drop out of the proceedings, my fellow citizens then accused me of bribery, claiming that a man who they barely paid would have the funds to pay off people. Soon after, some of my toughest competitors would mysteriously disappear after facing me and, just as before, the other citizens accused me of foul play. They weren’t wrong, but I made certain that any proof of such accusations would never be found. When I did become king, I made sure that those who accused me of such devious activities had their suspicions confirmed as I left them in the sewers to rot like the others.
The previous king died the night after I won the crown. I, at least, gave King Sigfried a proper burial. He was, after all, the only person who never questioned my intentions. On the other hand, the queen he left behind would prove herself to be more curious than useful. She joined him in the ground not too long after. Officially, it was due to espionage from visiting officials from another city on the continent. That truth was better for the citizens, anyway.
In Need of Warmth
As king of the City of Tyriok, I’ve spent the past few decades caring for people who would rather see me dead. I believed that they would finally respect me once I had become their ruler, but it didn’t matter. I expanded the city’s control to half of the Verdant Green, including the nearby town of C’Moira, yet the citizens didn’t understand the importance of expansion. I kept Draturi City and its Elven leaders from encroaching on our beliefs, keeping their control out of our walls. They claimed to offer good tidings, such as silk and gems, for our cooperation. I saw through their deceit, though, and made the correct decision for this city, much to the ire of my constituents. Not a single High Elven heel will ever set foot in my city while I’m still alive, even if my new queen works against me.
I had gone nearly a decade before I had a proper queen by my side after the previous one found her way to an early grave. There was one interim queen after King Sigfried’s queen perished, but she proved herself unfit for the job and soon vacated the crown. For the years that followed, a number of women piqued my interest, but none proved themselves a proper ruler. To obtain the crown in Tyriok, one must compete against others vying for the position in many competitions of intelligence. For years after my coming to power, no one attempted to replace the previous queen, undoubtedly discouraged due to the fear caused by rumors about what happened to the previous ones. Out of desperation, I sought future rulers at the local orphanage. It was their that I met my future queen.
The queen I have now, a woman by the name of Beatrice, is the only thing in this entire city that I’ve been able to stomach. She’s intelligent and easy on the eyes. When I first met her years ago, she was the most cunning in the building. She was far too young to actually obtain the crown at that point, but she showed enough promise and prose that I knew she must be my queen when she came of age. I opened my library to her, leaving her with proper teachers far superior to the ones in care of the orphanage. As the years continued, her promise grew but so did my hesitation. She had grown wise beyond her years and, I must admit, swiftly surpassed me in intellect. It worried me even further once I considered the company she kept.
There were two boys she always spent her time with, Sebastian and Freud. They weren’t “born” orphans, like Beatrice was. They had the great misfortune of actually having a relatively happy number of years with loving parents before being left as orphans. Their parents were emissaries for Tyriok City, whom I would often send out to parley with C’Moira and other nearby towns. They were loyal citizens when I first came to power. Well, they were loyal to the city more than they were to me. Many times I would send them to C’Moira to demand tax and recompense for being allowed to operate as a separate entity from my city in our territory. Every time, they would return with compromises and counsel meetings to speak in the town’s favor. They were proper emissaries whom I trusted, but their good hearts clouded their judgement. They served the city well so I saved their children from sharing their fate, but I had to prevent them from poisoning the city any further once I found out that they were trying to find favor with Draturi. It broke their hearts to leave their children at the orphanage. I didn’t pay the children of traitors any mind until it was obvious that the older son, Sebastian, was far too familiar with Beatrice.
They grew up together, so I should have known that they would take a shine to each other. However, what’s an orphan to a king? After all, I could have Sebastian and his slow brother, Freud, fed to a Gelatinous Cube at a moment’s notice if I so desired. The only reason why I never did was because I knew that it would dishearten Beatrice. But once Sebastian showed interest in becoming a knight for the city, I made sure to encourage him towards a life self-sacrifice in the hopes of him dying a “hero’s death”. Unfortunately, he proved more competent in battle than I had anticipated as he joined the ranks. He even showed himself to be a man of the people, reminiscent of his parents. If he wasn’t my queen’s best friend, I would have had him sent on a mission to never return years ago. Sadly, I was lovesick when Beatrice became my queen. It had been nearly a decade and a half until she became my better half but she proved far worth the wait.
Even in my ailing years, she more than proved herself capable without me. My age swiftly deteriorated only a few years after she became my queen, but she took care of the entire city as both ruler and expecting mother. Those first few years were nearly a dream for me, but the child’s birth soon proved it to be a nightmare instead.
I should have known that making the man she grew up with, Sebastian, our most trusted bodyguard was too kind. I, King Garland, the ruler of Tyriok who brought the city to its shining stature that it is today, was proven to be nothing more than a cuckold when their daughter was born. I should have known that the man she truly held affection for, the man who truly had her heart long before she stole mine, was working behind my back since the very beginning. From the moment that child was born, I had a constant reminder of how asinine and foolish I truly was. In retaliation, I sought ways to ensure that Sebastian’s life would be a worse Hell than he was already damned for. It took a number of years until I could send him off. However, as much as I wanted to give him a similar fate to his parents, I knew that Queen Beatrice wouldn’t leave the disappearance of her lover alone.
When his contract was up for renewal, I found the strength to attend the signing myself. My queen pleaded for me to return him to her side, and I looked him in the eyes as I stripped him of his status and pension. I knew that his parents were a deep scar in his heart, having been old enough to remember the pain of them leaving unlike his younger brother. So when my whore queen begged me to leave him something to live off of, I chuckled at the only property I offered him. I told her that I would take him there myself the next day.
Allowing him to keep his armor and possessions, I brought Sebastian on to my favorite cart on the way to his new home. He tried to ask me why he had been fired, but we stayed in silence as we made our way to the bar.
As we approached the lower end of the city, I asked, “Do you remember anything about your parents, Sebastian?”
Caught off guard, the fool took a deep sigh before replying, “No, I was too young when they left me and my brother at the orphanage. The only parent I know is Miss Frau.”
“Come now, Sebastian,” I insisted, knowing he was lying, “We both know that you were plenty old enough to remember the sting of them leaving.”
I hear the wood of his chest carrying his belongings creak as his grip tightens in annoyance before saying, “My king, I can assure you-”
“You can assure me of what? My new status of ‘Cuckold’,” I say, angrily gripping my walking cane, “I believe your daughter is assurance enough, thank you.”
I watch as he fills with rage, like a geyser nearly bursting through the earth, before he calms leans forward to say, “My liege, she is your daughter. You must believe me.”
Laughing aloud, Sebastian slumps back into his seat as I retort, “Really? My daughter? That is what you and my queen would have me believe but we both know the truth. To be frank, the entire city knows the truth. You’re lucky I don’t have her tossed out into the ocean.”
Upon hearing that, I see the geyser burst from stone as he drops his crate and nearly lunges at me. One of my guards pulls his sword and places it against Sebastian’s throat, forcing him to retake his seat.
“Thank you, Roland,” I remark with a grin, as Sebastian forces himself to calm down, “Now, we should be at your new home soon.”
“If you harm Olivia or Bea, I will hang you from the guard towers,” Sebastian spits, trying to intimidate me.
Wiping a drop of spittle from my eye, I reply, “Don’t worry. They’ll be safe in their homes, just as you will be in yours.”
The cart comes to a halt as we arrive outside of the only bar in the entire city, the same one his parents ran before they disappeared. I handed him the deed and watched his face go white as he read the names of his deceased parents. I soaked in the sight like warm rays of sunlight after a night of rain.
“If you’re ever seen on castle grounds again, I’ve given the guards orders to kill you on sight,” I tell him, as I step out of the cart with my cane.
As Roland tosses his possessions out of the cart, Sebastian just stares daggers at me as he replies, “You know that none of the guards will listen to that.”
“Oh, I know and I’m betting on it. That means that they’ll capture you, instead,” I spout, a weak smile forming on my face, “Which means further use of the tools under the western guard tower. You remember those, don’t you?”
Sebastian didn’t respond. He simply placed the deed in his cracked chest of belongings and snatched the keys from my hand. I bid him one last farewell before my cart left to return me to my home. Proud with myself, I feel the last bit of warmth from the sun hit my face just before the clouds steal it from me.
In the weeks that followed, I did my best to ensure that my rule would continue in my absence. For the initial years of my queen’s daughter’s life, I was constantly there to take care of her. I tried to teach her as much as possible, but it’s difficult to implant anything useful in a toddler’s mind. I left the child to be dealt with for a different time. Aside from that, I left my control of the city to my Tribunal instead, just before I locked myself away. My health had deteriorated so swiftly that I was no longer fit to be seen by the public so I instead set a plan in motion to ensure that however my health would turn, I wouldn’t be leaving so indefinitely.
As I was helped up the many tower steps to my room, I looked to the new hire who was helping me. He was a dragonborn of black scales, no older than the age of twenty-two. He attempted to tell me his name, but I simply shooed him away as I told him to fetch me my council. I had to specify that I meant my Tribunal so that the idiot wouldn’t bring me the queen. After a few moments, Roland, Yaromir, and Valentia arrived in my room.
“So, do you remember what I need?” I ask, resting on my bed.
Cutting and eating an apple, Roland replies, “Honestly, all I remember is being told to kill Sebastian if we find him close enough to the castle. Everything else fell on deaf ears.”
Valentia pulled out a small piece of parchment as she recited, “The heart of a newt, the eyes of a recently deceased child, poison oak leaves, a large cast iron urn, incense infused with nightshade, and poison derived from the blood of an Elf. Anything else, Garland?”
Smiling as I turn to Valentia, I say, “Well, at least one of you have proven that Doppelgangers are worth keeping around.”
Returning my smile with a wink, Valentia is nudged by Yaromir before he says, “Flirting aside, we need to better know who we’re contacting in Draturi. A name would better help us know who is the actual target.”
“My contact in the city is not a target. They are a contact. Repeat it back to me,” I demand as I turn to stare at them.
Giving a disgruntled sigh, Yaromir corrects himself by saying, “Your ‘contact’ in Draturi would be easier to locate if we had a name to go with the portrait you provided us.”
“The portrait is enough, I assure you.”
“Really? Because they all look the same to me,” Roland mocks, his body transforming into the person from the portrait I provided them, “I mean, honestly, can you at least tell us if it’s a man or a woman?”
Valentia snorts, “He’s clearly a man. Look at the jawline.”
“No, she’s a woman,” Yaromir bickers, motioning with his fingers, “Can you not see the more feminine cheekbones?”
As they continue to bicker amongst each other, I angrily close my eyes before shouting, “It doesn’t fucking matter what gender my contact is. What matters is what I need them for. You do remember what I need them for, correct?”
“Yeah, we do,” they reply in unison.
“And you understand that if you don’t find them soon enough, I won’t be able to pay you what I promised you, correct?”
“Yeah, we understand,” they echo again.
“Good, now, before you all leave, show me the disguises you’ve chosen so that I make sure nothing is too jarring.”
As I say so, the three of them transform before me. There clothes skin and hair all writhing into themselves. Their flesh turning a soft blue and their eyes becoming a pale yellow with no pupils before morphing into proper disguises. Valentia chose a more buxom female form with sharper features and long, dagger-like ear. Yaromir transformed into a shorter male Elven form with a stronger jaw than he usually preferred. Roland, much to my surprise, presented a more Wood Elven form with a gentle smile. I nodded in approval of their disguises as they returned to their normal visage.
“Good,” I sigh, “Very good. Now, as for the last bit of business before you leave, I simply need you to tell some guards to bring my old personal throne into the room.”
With a dumbfounded glare, Roland says, “ ‘Throne’ as in your toilet or...”
Valentia rolls her eyes as she says, “No, you fool. His actual throne.”
They continued to trade insults until I grew too tired to listen, shouting, “Yes, my actual throne! The stone one that I’ve always sat in. Take your bickering out of my tower and get it all done posthaste!”
Stopping their childish bickering for a moment, they all salute and bow to me before leaving my room. As they do, I struggle to my feet and shuffle over to a window. I pry it open as I stare out over my city from the top of a 300 foot tall tower. The rain is heavily falling, washing the streets. Unfortunately, there’s not enough rain to wash the stench of betrayal that covers my home. I look out to the fields and see Queen Beatrice sneaking out with her daughter in tow. They’re dressed in clothes reminiscent of the orphanage. I slam the window shut as I return to my room.
“All I’ve ever been surround by is snakes,” I say to myself, “From the ones I’ve put in the ground to the ones still in the sky, all they’ve ever proven to be are conniving traitors. All they’ve ever done is use me like a rag then tossed me aside like a pitiful copper piece. Soon, however. Soon, they’ll be begging me for mercy again. They’ll all fear me again. As they all should. As everyone should.”
I stare at my hand and feel a familiar warmth coalesce around my hand. I hold my eyes closed and breathe hot air into my hand. As I open them, I see a ghastly blue flame escape my mouth and form in my hand. I let the embers turn red and dance in my fingers before clutching my fist to extinguish it. I toss the window open with a new vigor as I stare out over the city bathed in flame and devils. I smile as the hallucination shows my whore queen and her affair hanging on pikes, burning on pyres as the rest of the citizens are running for their lives.
A soft voice whispers, “And you will find yourself as the ruler of a new kingdom as long as your end of the bargain is kept.”
Twisting around as fast as I can, I nearly twist my ankle only to find no one behind me. I feel a spark of fire in my heart fill me with determination, just before I fall unconscious to the floor.
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part twenty-two of the precanon chronicles (happy life by roland faunte)
want to start from the beginning?
continue to the next part?
fandom: the arcana
word count: 2112
warning: LEMON but only a little, oral, scary magic, is this how you do a relationship...?
Julian only knew he had fallen asleep when he woke back up again to a familiar noise that froze his blood over. That howling wind was back, swirling around his ears without picking a single curl of hair off his head. Instinct tried to pull him up from the couch, but something held him down by the wrists and ankles. His eyes flew open. Candlelight flickered from the main room, mingling with a light that could only be described as… dark. It was a light, yes, and it threw eerie shadows around the walls of shapes that Julian knew were not in the shop before, but the edges were tinged with the same vibrance as the night sky.
“Asra?” he shouted as he struggled against his invisible restraints. “Asra, are you there? This-- this isn’t funny!”
If he strained against the wind, he could just hear Asra’s voice, but it wasn’t addressing him… and not only that, but he wasn’t alone either. Someone else matched the foreign language he was chanting, word for word, breath for breath. It came through distorted like an echo’s response without the call.
“Asra! Can you hear me? I-- I know this is your doing! Let me go! Let me go!”
The chanting grew louder. Asra’s volume was static, but the other voice swelled and boomed. The shadows on the walls distorted and curled into spirals like the chalk on the floor. Julian thrashed worse than ever but no matter how he arched off the cushion he couldn’t escape.
And there was a third voice-- another human voice, not like the echo, high and shrill, and they were screaming a throat-rawing scream that Julian knew, he just knew, meant that they were dying. Someone was dying in the other room and Julian was trapped listening to them! He screwed his eyes closed and fought back an involuntary cry. The shriek shot through his body like a million acid-tipped needles.
Whoever was screaming ran out of breath and collapsed into heaving sobs that shook the building. “P-please! L-et-- let me g-go!” they whined. “Don’t m-make me-- don’t--”
Asra’s voice cracked, but he didn’t stop chanting. The second distorted voice roared over his to carry the rhythm.
“It-- it hurts! Stop it! Stop!” the crying voice wailed.
Julian called Asra’s name again with all the air in his lungs. This time, it seemed to do the trick. Asra’s voice broke completely. The waving shadows retracted, along with the light and the wind and the distorted voice, all with one final agonizing screech. A ripple of sudden terrifying calm passed over Julian’s body. He tried to jump up again, and this time he had no trouble rising (albeit shakily) to his feet and scrambling into the main room.
Asra knelt at the head of the circle, fully dressed again, knife in hand. Blood did not just drip from the cut across his palm, it cascaded in an unnatural steady stream, flowing perfectly along the chalk lines below. Tears and snot shone on his face. When he met Julian’s eyes, Julian shuddered. “It didn’t work,” Julian confirmed.
Asra slowly shook his head.
Now that fear abated, anger took its place. Julian squared his shoulders and squatted down to Asra’s level. “Why did you bind me? Why didn’t you let me help you?”
Asra bowed his head and sniffled.
“Was the sex a ruse too? To get me in a good mood and tire me out so you could curse me to that couch?”
“I-- I d-didn’t mean--”
“What the fuck do I mean to you, anyway? If you hate me so much, you might as well cut me open like you said you wanted to! Y-you admitted it! If I’m nothing to you, why do you-- why--” Julian’s thought petered off as Asra dropped the dagger and hunched over to cry. Julian reached for him, but thought better of it halfway through and took his hand back, muttering something along the lines of “have to clean myself up” before going upstairs to lock himself in the bathroom.
He did clean himself up. It felt a little awkward, knowing that this wasn’t really his bathroom, and the soap he used to clean jizz out of his pants and boxers wasn’t his either, but at least it distracted him from his inner turmoil. The cuts from the ritual dagger were smeared, but already scabbed over.
Asra tricked him. No, worse than that, Asra used him. It wasn’t even the first time. Sure, Asra didn’t use him as a blood bag in a spooky ritual, but somehow this felt just as bad. The realization formed a solid stony pit in his gut.
As he hung his clothes on the shower rod to dry, he shivered, wishing he asked for something to wear while they dried. Now he was stuck here until his clothes dried enough to keep him warm in the cold wet night. He was just about to curse his bad luck when there was a shy knock on the door.
“You can borrow something of mine to wear tonight,” Asra said timidly.
Julian blinked, then opened the door a crack to squint at the cowering magician. “Tonight?” he repeated.
Asra flinched. “I thought-- it’s r-raining, so I thought-- you might want to stay--”
“How considerate,” Julian spat. “What a selfless offer, Asra, I’m just tickled by your generosity.”
“D-do you want something to drink? Or eat?”
Julian opened his mouth to retort, but paused when a drop of blood fell to the floor from Asra’s clenched fist. He furrowed his brow. The wound looked shallow enough downstairs, and it shouldn’t still be bleeding, but as he scrutinized, Asra swayed on the spot, and his heart skipped a beat. “Come here,” Julian demanded.
“You’re bleeding out,” Julian continued, grabbing Asra’s arm and steering him into the bathroom. Asra’s skin was cold under his fingers. “Let’s wash this and bandage it. A cut like that shouldn’t be bleeding so much.”
Asra didn’t protest but kept his gaze fixed on his hand as the blood washed away under the sink’s tap. “I didn’t want you to get hurt,” he whispered. “I thought pushing you away would be better, you see? Would you forgive me?”
Julian tensed up. “Do you-- do you have any dry towels we can get blood on?”
“Th-the hall closet… Ilya, please believe me, I n-never--”
Julian was already out of the bathroom to fetch the towels, which he used to pat Asra’s hand dry. His thin lips pursed in a single terse line.
“I knew it would be safer to keep you out of the room,” Asra tried again. “B-but I knew you’d never agree to it. I wanted to protect you.”
“Where do you keep bandages?”
Asra sighed and bowed his head. “Try... the drawer next to the bed…”
Julian sped out without another word. He shouldn’t even be treating Asra’s wound, he thought, as he rifled through the nightstand. Asra didn’t deserve Julian’s pity, least of all his assistance. Even when he wrapped Asra’s wound, which continued to bleed against the odds, he stewed in his own irritation, and Asra had the common sense to fall quiet except for a few stifled whines of pain when Julian tugged the bandages too tight. There was a sick fog of deja vu around the whole scene.
Almost the moment Julian released him, Asra leapt up and scurried to the kitchen. “You shouldn’t be using your hand,” Julian called after him.
Asra pulled a mug and an unopened bag of coffee from the cabinet. “I’m fine now.”
“No, I said you lost a lot of blood, you shouldn’t be--” Julian paused, eyeing the coffee. “I thought you didn’t keep coffee here. You drink tea.”
“But... you drink coffee. That’s the first thing you do every morning.”
A pang of affection pierced Julian’s hardened heart. “Oh,” he whispered. “You… remembered…?”
“I thought you might be cold-- something to warm you-- um, but if you don’t want it--”
“I want it,” Julian interrupted.
Asra opened the bag and scooped out the grounds into a tea strainer, promptly spilling them everywhere. He hastily tried to clean up the mess while Julian ambled over to help him. “You need a paper filter,” Julian offered. “I’ll make something work with what you already have, okay? Sit back and--”
Asra shook his head. “No! Let me do this for you!”
“Asra, you need to--”
“I’m sorry!” Asra yelped. He clutched Julian’s arm as a lifeline and covered his own face with his bandaged hand. “Don’t be angry again… please… I know that I fucked everything up, but I- I can’t lose you too… you’ve done so much for me, I care about you more than… than...”
“That doesn’t matter,” Julian muttered. “You said you couldn’t return my feelings, and I-- that’s fine, really, I told you it was fine and it- it’s fine. Something like this… it was bound to happen.”
“But you’re hurt,” Asra replied.
Julian winced away. “I hurt myself. That’s how it always happens, I’m afraid. I run headfirst into things I don’t understand and… you know how that ends better than most.”
Asra bit his lip, thinking. He loosened his iron grip so he could shuffle into Julian’s chest and wrap his arms around Julian’s waist. “Then don’t run,” he mumbled.
And Asra was so, so warm. Julian couldn’t help but hold him close. “You’ve got to keep me from flying into danger like some great gangly monster,” he sighed. “Cage me. Tie a noose around my neck.”
“No, not that.”
“A leash, then?”
Asra giggled. “Oh, with a matching collar, I suppose? I’ll get right on it.” He kissed Julian’s collarbone and peered up through frosted eyelashes. It was probably a trick of the light, but Julian swore he saw a flicker of affection deep in those violet pools. “You’re so good to me, Ilya,” he cooed. “I don’t know how I could ever thank you for everything you’ve done.”
Julian blushed. “I want to-- to be good.”
“I’m sorry that I tricked you, but if it makes you feel any better, I really did enjoy distracting you. You’re wonderful with your hands.”
It did make him feel better, but Julian suddenly couldn’t form any words with his swollen tongue, so he just nodded and planted a bashful kiss in Asra’s hair.
“Did you enjoy it? Would you like to do it again?” Asra’s hand snuck down to grope Julian’s ass, and Julian gasped.
“Eeyah--! Yes! I mean-- yes, if you--”
“Well, I owe you, don’t I? If you want me to spoil you tonight, all you need to do is tell me how, lover.”
Julian licked his lips. He wasn’t very good at directing people-- Crow told him so all the time. Moreover, it was hard to think over that final decadent word echoing in the caverns of his head. Asra never called him lover. Asra had never even acknowledged that they were in some semblance of a relationship.
Asra must have known what he was thinking, of course he did, because he released Julian and continued to clean the coffee from the counter. “Think about it. The night is yours.” He hesitated, adding, “I’m… yours.”
“You are?” Julian wheezed.
“Yes… I think I am. For now.”
Julian tried and failed to think of a clever reply. “Thank you,” he said stupidly.
“Heh. You’re welcome, Ilya.”
Okay, that was dumb. Take two. He cleared his throat and muttered, “uh, can I-- that is to say, may I cum in your mouth please?”
Asra actually laughed this time. “I can’t say no to such a grammatically eloquent request!” He brushed his hands off and got down on his knees without a second of preamble, startling Julian back against the counter.
“Did you mean later?”
Asra had no right to look so innocent between Julian’s legs. His fingers already rested against Julian’s hips, lips already parted to take Julian into the sublime heat of his mouth. Julian managed a minuscule shake of his head. “Now is good,” he squeaked.
He threw his head back and groaned as Asra’s lips fixed around his tip and swallowed him down. If spooky rituals full of tormented screaming meant Julian got this kind of treatment… well, Julian concluded through a throaty moan and a white-knuckled grip of the counter, he’d love to get used to it.
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My Unwritten Letter
Dear 5th Grade Vincent
I am You, about 7 into the future and about to graduate in Highschool. I hope you’re doing fine with the situation you are in. This might be my last letter to you since my current situations has changed so much I can’t stick with the past anymore for it’ll only cause me suffering and regrets that I can’t carry along with my current burdens in school and outside school. But I’ve sent this letter to let you know something that I’ve just came to realized and want to share to you.
As of your situation, you’re in Holy Family Academy and your class is in SB 501. You were looking for a good friend after your friend Genesis finished 4th Grade with you and changed school. Then you found Paolo, Clyde, and Roland and started hanging out with them and did some young boy at school innocent type fun. And started teasing one girl in class named Isabella and it would go on until you with your friends got called in the office to apologize to her. From there, you started handing out with Isabella and doing things behind your other friends just to see if Isabella is doing after the incident. As of the time that you’re reading this, you should be back at home after school. Just being carefree and not doing your assignments and just playing games. But I specifically mentioned that moment that you and I, your future you, both experienced because I really commend you for helping her out by just being a friend. I’ve learn right now that you don’t need many friends to enjoy life but look for good friends that don’t harm others in any form. It’s about the quality of friends, not quantity.
And remember that time back when someone kept berating you on how bad you played volleyball and simply can’t forgive him? And probably had an actual intention to kill back then? Well I’m sorry to break it up to you Grade 5 me but eventually you’ll forgive him. Even though you’ll develop a bad picture about him, you’ll eventually forgive him. And I do hope that while young, please forgive him. Never did what I did of keeping the grudge in your heart as if it happened yesterday. Learn to forgive and life will be smoother. I promise you Grade 5 Vincent that we eventually change and will forget the bad past and move on. From there, you’ll learn one of the means to be happy and thankful.
This moments I’ve mention because this is what your future self still remember fondly and believes that this moments changed you. Can’t wait for you to experience Grade 6 where you almost didn’t graduate due to requirements. And in Grade 7 where Highschool shock starts and you establishing who you really are. But I won’t spoil the rest because in highschool, that’s where the fun begins. And I’ll give you a hint, you’ll eventually fall in love even though you’ll deny it. Remember, it’ll be tougher ahead but stay calm, happy, and ready for what’s ahead. Again, this will be my last letter to you Grade 5 Vincent for the Grade 12 Vincent is about to submit this paper so early that your future you might get a high score. Thank you and good bye.
Grade 12 Vincent
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Last Line Challenge!!!
Post the last line of the last 20 things you’ve written. Then tag 20 people to do the same.
Thanks @smallumbrella369 for the tag!
Twenty, you say?! *laughs self-deprecatingly* That’s optimistic! But here *gestures dramatically* have the last lines of 10 of my fics (three of which were co-written with my friend @schittscreekpants). Also have a mysterious row of question marks in lieu of the last line from the most recent fic I wrote with Pants. I’ve chosen not to list the final words because they kinda ruin a gag/plot point. We’re both super proud of that script/fic so we’d love it if you checked it out.
1. “That sounds nice”. Just Passing Through, Outsider POV, background David/Patrick
2. Oh, Patrick is gonna make him sweat. I've Been Watching You (A La La La La Long), David/Patrick
3. “Agreed,” Patrick grins. Throw It On Top And Make It Finger Lickin', David/Patrick
4. They fall asleep with David’s own gold-ringed finger resting on Patrick’s chest. Underneath Your Clothes, David/Patrick
5. As he handed David Rose his business card, he wondered if he could ask Ray to teach him some cricket idioms because he suspected he was going to enjoy teasing this man, who doesn’t play cricket. Howzat!, Patrick&Ray; David/Patrick
6. It was this thought that filled his head as he drifted off to sleep, a smile on his face. Throw Your Arms Around Me, David/Patrick
7. “That would be the easiest decision of my life.” Another Moment That Could’ve Been Ours, David/Patrick
8. He’ll get the tea. Singles Week, David/Patrick
9. “I don’t know, Patrick, what are we doing?” All the Fellas That I Haven’t Kissed, David/Patrick
10. And then you don’t feel so down. Our Favorite Things, David/Patrick
11. ???????? [Script] “Family Reunion”, David&Alexis; Moira&Jocelyn; Johnny&Roland
And because I’m the place internet challenges go to die, I won’t be tagging anyone. But please join in if you haven’t already participated and think it looks like fun.
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Vanitas and affection: a complicated relationship
In light of recent chapters and waiting for the next to deliver our new dose of pain, I've decided to make a bit of analysis on how Vanitas relates to affection.
Vanitas enters this world, and gets the first of a long series of traumas. A classic: mother dies in childbirth, the baby is blamed for existing. Vanitas had internalized this thinking from his father ... or maybe it was a reasoning he made on his own (he says that his father 'must have hated him', but does not recall the man actually telling him so), and his father did not correct him - either because he subconsciously agreed or because he wasn't the most emotionally attuned man in the world.
After all, the only thing certain about Vanitas's father is his tendency to self-sacrifice: he abandoned his birth family and respectable profession to follow the woman he loved in her travelling caravan, even if he didn't like the rest of the people there; he gave up his life to save his son.
And this latter part is what furthers Vanitas's trauma, as he will feel an extra dose of guilt for causing his father's sacrifice.
After the death of his family, he is taken by the Chasseurs to be trained and become one of them. His strong hatred for vampires fueled him, and it's likely he was quite good at fighting, given what we see of him now. But alas, he caught the attention of Moreau.
Vanitas's damnation was his high empathy. As Luna will later point out, he would be able to escape; but Moreau had faked his death by killing a kid that looked like him, thus triggering his trauma of 'other people sacrificing for his sake'.
And then, he thought that even if he escaped, someone else would be tortured in his place. The reasoning is actually more based in self-loathing than reality, as attested by the existence of n.70 and 71; so he turned his reason for being there into trying to get more torture and lift it from the other children whenever he could.
Then he gets saved. Well, he likely doesn't perceive it like that, because Luna is a vampire, especially the Vampire of the Blue Moon whose blood Moreau injected him to try and turn him into a vampire. Nevertheless, there appears to have been a somewhat peaceful period between the escape from Moreau and the start of the series: we see Luna take care of him and Misha, giving them shelter, teaching them about malnomens and trying her hand at life lessons; we see little Vanitas do most of the chores, even if with a standoffish attitude; we see little Misha basking in the happiness of a somewhat stable and nice family situation.
Then something terrible happens.
It is revealed that due to Moreau's experiments, the kids are not exactly human anymore, but they aren't vampires either; their body can't substain this state of being, and they will die if they aren't turned into kins of the Blue Moon. Misha accepts, Vanitas refuses, wanting to stay human. Next thing we know, they are both kins of the Blue Moon with Marks of Possession, and Luna is dead.
As of the time of this writing, it is not clear exactly what happened; we know that Luna died, and that Vanitas played some role in it. Misha outright accuses him of killing her, but the framing of the actual events is quite ambiguous.
Vanitas, on his part, seems to have conflicting feelings: he says he wants to take revenge on Luna for drinking his blood, but when he's half-delirious, he mutters that he didn't really hate her; he appearently made Misha some promise that he didn't keep, and he is crushed by guilt as a result.
But whatever happened, his consent on the kin-making was ignored (just like it always happened in Moreau's laboratory) and another person that was close to him died either at his own hand, or because of him. And he gets some other trauma on top of an already long list.
Moreover, he was surprised to find out that Misha was alive. So, for some time, he believed the person who he loved like a brother was dead. Add good old grief to the mix.
So, we get to the Vanitas of the very first chapters of the manga. An outgoing, cocky individual ... a mask. After all, every time he has shown his actual feelings of anger and grief, it didn't turn out very well for him in the end, did it?
It also allows him to annoy and gross out people, specifically Noé and Jeanne. Nobody really likes his arrogance and pushiness, so they won't give him the affection he doesn't deserve.
Then, the aftermath of the Bal Masqué. Vanitas is provoking Ruthven, and Noé goes unexpectedly to protect him. To take risks for his sake. This already scares him, but then Noé has the gall to go and try to understand him! His reaction has to be more extreme: he flat out tries to attack Noé with a knife and tries to get him away, whereas he had been pretty much stalking him up to this point. But Noé refuses; and Vanitas is maybe just a little comforted and moved, enough to stop trying to push him away.
Then there is the Catacomb Arc, where a new character is introduced: Roland. He doesn't show spite to Vanitas, but still sees him with condescension, denying that he is acting out of his own free will. And this, to the former Chasseur who was left by the rest of them in Moreau's clutches, is untolerable. Roland means well, but he's going at it the wrong way.
After the fight with Roland, there is another argument between Vanitas and Noé. Vanitas does exactly what Noé had done before: shields him. This sends Noé on a sermon about how Vanitas, as a human, is weak and shouldn't take such risks, which infuriates the other boy: he bites back by calling Noé overconfident, citing the Ruthven accident as an example. This confuses Noé, because didn't he want him to become his shield?
I suspect that this was both Vanitas tendency to sacrifice himself for others, and a sign of tentative trust towards Noé. He does the same thing the vampire did for him ... and got rebuked, and called weak for his trouble. Noé's attitude is too patronizing to be seen as an actual sign of concern,and his already bad mood sours considerably.
Well, there is to say that after a similar crisis repeats itself a chapter later, complete with anti-vampire slurs on Vanitas part, Noè amends ... by using him as a fake hostage against Roland, which is still better that treating him as if he was weak.
Now, Noé might be naive in a lot of regards, but he is not stupid. From that moment onwards, he gets that Vanitas will be treated as an equal. He won't force him into dangerous situations, but he won't even treat him like he's too frail for it. He will be incouraging, but not condescending. And the result is that he actually snaps Vanitas out from his trauma-induced flashbacks, and gets him to be more open and trusting than he has ever been.
In the Gevaudan arc, Vanitas's emotional connections get shaken on two fronts: Noé 's and Jeanne's.
In this arc, he is the one to encourage and support Noé. He gives him advice on how to handle Astolfo; he gets worried about him when he's captured by Chloé (even if he expresses it in his own way).
He saves Noé from getting lost into Jean-Jacques's memories, listens to what he has to say, and concedes to what he wants, where at the start of the manga he was all 'my way or the highway'. He even almost (almost) admits that he was worried about Noé!
He still receives some actual support: demostrations of Noé's spirit which are good for the soul, and a proclamation that he believes in what Vanitas thinks about the origin of Malnomen, the first time a vampire says something like that. Vani plays grumpy, but he is obviously very shaken, in a positive way.
He finally shows Jeanne some actual support: he is cold to her after he was unwillingly vulnerable in her presence due to his illness, but pushes that aside rather quickly, in order to help her realize what she truly wants (saving Chloé instead of killing her) and that she's right to want it. He reminds her that she's a person, not a tool.
And she's grateful for it, and has definitely no qualms about expressing it. The result is that our hero spends days in blue screen, to then have a complete freakout at the possibility of being actually in love with Jeanne. He's so out of it, he ends up oversharing his feelings of being undeserving of love to a Roland who he doesn't like and a Olivier he has never met before. Still, it's the first time he flat-out says his issues.
This brings us to his rooftop conversation with Noé. I really liked the vampire's behaviour here: he was comforting in a sort of roundabout way, à la Vanitas. He said that he is happy Vanitas is the way he is, even if he still doesn't like him very much. Translation: you're a way better person than you think you are, and you deserve to be loved. This is coming from a totally unbiased place, I'm not a weird person who would like you or something.
And this is the last conversation we see between the two of them: as of the time of this writing, Noé has been compelled to drink Misha's blood, and Vanitas has just arrived on the scene.
Vanitas has seen his self-loathing perspective challenged and has changed a lot in the span of a rather short time, and I really don't know how he'll react to Noé learning the details of his past; he sure won't want any form of compassion. Personally, I suspect he'll be very cold to Noé for quite some time, possibly even trying to drive him away, before a reconciliation.
Thanks to anyone who bothered to read my ramblings!
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