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#until eventually as the corruption grows into the bad situation
darthamidalas · an hour ago
Text
downward slope
pairing: Javier Peña x Fem!Reader
words: 6.0k
warnings: No (Y/N), 18+ PWP unprotected sex - angst and some arguing - breakups and confusing feelings, surprise visits
a/n: posted this for the first time today like last year so :’) repostttt
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Javier’s-
He -
Fuck.
He really shouldn’t be here right now. It’s bad enough that he still feels it - the want, the ache, sinking and swaying in his stomach in a way that makes him clench his jaw because he should have more self control than this - but he’s selfish and greedy and even though the very last thing you want is to see him again he can’t resist the urge to just be here - and it’s even worse when he does things like this.
Javier realized his mistake after he left your apartment three weeks ago. He should have fucking seen it coming because historically the second any kind of emotional bomb drops he goes sprinting for the hills - leaves situations open for bad decisions and misunderstandings and finds that he’ll come up with any excuse to get drunk enough to smash things and ruin everything.
But then it started seeping into his work - had already been slipping and working its way into his foundations long before he made himself consciously aware of it - poisoning every interaction because he can’t fucking hold himself back anymore. Unsettling fury bubbles to the surface of every disagreement, every frustration and bad outcome - every shootout and pursuit fueled by this desire to just get it over with already; to be done with the endless chasing and investigations, the fucking limitations of bureaucracy and the corruption of politics (not that he has much room to wax poetic about any of this because he used these faults more than once to his advantage).
So he goes running across sheet metal roofed buildings, starts needless arguments, orders too much whiskey at a bar he’s growing to loath, works with the goddamn Los Pepes, and gets himself fucking shot because these are the things that make him feel like his life isn’t just some uncontrollable nightmare circus he can’t wake up from.
He goes walking up to the door of your apartment, stands in front of it and wills himself to knock because, just like with everything else, he can’t stop himself.
There’s no reason you’d want to see him again. You had made it pretty clear that after he failed to reciprocate your feelings, whatever things existed between you two should end - if they really existed at all since they obviously weren’t shared - and that it’s best the both of you move on to something different.
Which was - fuck, it was fine, really, because that’s what he wanted all along, right? He isn’t good at these kinds of things and it was doomed from the start and his life just doesn’t allow shit like that, so it worked out - it worked out and he’s finally free from the burden of your love and now he can move on to the next fuck and further his career by sleeping with informants or prostitutes until eventually he’s so valuable because of his ability to make women fall just a little in love with him he can mingle authentically with bigger brass or until Escobar’s dead and then it’s a one way ticket back to Texas, back to a life he had been desperately escaping, except that isn’t how it’s actually going at all.
He’s here, riding the crest of his denial until it subsides from his consciousness.  He’s here and he shouldn’t be, but he is weak and wanting and his fist is rapping against your door anyway and there’s a knot in his throat - feeling more anxious than he has in years with a heart like candle wax, constantly melting.
He hadn’t even brought fucking flowers, not that he thinks you would have accepted them anyway - you’re not that type of person and he isn’t the kind of man to go buying shit that’ll be dead and rotting and thrown out in two weeks - but he’s struck with the horror that he could have at least done something other than shown up empty handed and with no plan other than predicting that maybe he’d be able get your name out before you shut the door in his face.
And like a fucking idiot he begins to search his pockets, as if they harbor some secret gift even he isn’t aware of that’ll be the key to winning you back, but all he pulls out is a fucking piece of mint gum and a crumbled receipt charging him in monospaced sans serif a dollar seventy-one in U.S. currency for a pack of cigarettes. And he’s so caught up in what he’s doing he doesn’t notice that you’re standing there looking at him now, holding the door jamb between your thumb and the rest of the fingers - posed to send it flying shut should the need arise, looking up at him in irritated confusion and infinite sadness.
You had loved him, still love him, and this is what he had done with it. You can’t understand why he’s here.
“What do you want, Javier?” You had just been recovering, life finally returning to some normalcy; you even stopped catching yourself thinking about him, and now he’s here and you’re bitter again, the wound he’d given you just starting to scab over split open and renewed; oozing fresh blood.
Javier anticipated the anger, doesn’t even flinch when it hits him as he looks at you, unable to prevent the way his gaze softens in sympathy, even if it might make things worse. You have every right to be pissed off. It’s the exhaustion in your voice that catches him off guard, makes his heart lurch with guilt. Christ, he never wanted any of this for you.
“Would you believe me if I said I forgot my socks?” He offers, his idea of a joke hanging in the air for a few tense, taut seconds as you just stare at him, unreacting, making him chuckle humorlessly then scrub his face, looking down at the awful carpeting the lines the hallway underneath his feet.
“I wanted to see you, but um - I’m…” he pauses, and his mouth must be going just the slightest bit dry because he clears his throat then sucks in a deep breath and scratches his chin before exhaling, sounding just as tired as you do, “realizing now what a bad fucking idea this is.”
“Yeah,” you scoff softly, past the tight little fist that constricts your vocal cords in your esophagus. “No kidding.”
You like to pretend now that you didn’t need him, haven’t missed him, situated at that numbing threshold right after heartbreak when it becomes easier to just shut yourself off to the pain of it than feel it in its full force - to distance yourself, thicken your skin, and act like no matter what role he had in your life, the gap of his absence can easily be filled. The night he left you deep cleaned your apartment, shoved everything that reminded you of him as far as it would go into the junk drawer right next to your oven where all your other needless items go to be forgotten; buried beneath old recipe cards and take-out menus, some chop-sticks and a few of those bread twist ties. And when you ran out of room, when the drawer was filled to the point of barely opening, the rest went in the trash, and you resolutely promised yourself to forget that these things ever existed.
And for a while it made you feel better, even as you fought the itch to dump its contents and go through them one more time while cooking - hoping foolishly that reminiscing would somehow bring back the happiness they had once harbored, as if any of it would be authentic anymore; as if it were the things that actually mattered and not the fact that he was the one who had given them to you - as if he wasn’t the ones giving them that power.
You want so badly to be annoyed that he’s here and part of you is; a pretty sizable chunk, actually, you just wish it were bigger, able to eclipse that parts of you that long to be near him because seeing him again, hearing his voice, it’s reminding you that nothing is that simple. That getting over this - him - isn’t as easy as forgetting. And you want to go to him, step through your doorway and into his space and be close to him and it’s confusing because it’s not all of you but the parts that he’s hurt, feeling like a confused and wounded animal seeking comfort in the jaws of the very thing that had caused the injuries in the first place.
So when he noticed you answered and had been standing there looking at him, you like to imagine that his exhale was like a punch to the gut, that it must have hurt just a little, even though you could nearly hear and see and feel the way his breath left his body because it’s exactly the kind of reaction you had, too - the relief of an invisible pressure.
“Can I come in?”
“Are you fucking serious, Javi?” You shift your weight, tightening your hold on the door frame, fingernails chipping at some of the dark brown paint flaking away from the wood. You can’t even handle this without feeling like you’re drowning.
“I know that you might hate me and I don’t blame you because if I were you I’d hate me too, but I just wanna have a conversation.” He placates, knowing it probably won’t be enough.
“What is there left to talk about? You made it pretty clear how you felt.”
“Just give me a couple of minutes, okay? And if you don’t want to deal with my bullshit anymore after that I’ll leave you alone. I promise.”
You set your jaw, weigh the pros and cons of letting him inside. He’d taint everything you’ve worked to scrub clean, undo all the hard work you’ve done of erasing him from every inch of your apartment the second his shoes hit the wooden flooring of your entryway and then, just like that, you’d be right back where you started - hurting and alone and surrounded by too many things that he’s touched.
But the piece of you that resists is fragile, delicate and liable to crack under the weight of your belief that maybe, by some miracle, this’ll end in something being fixed - tempting you with progress and love, only fearful that you might not be brave enough to bear it.
“Okay,” you concede, stepping to the side and opening the door wider before turning and walking past your bathroom, past picture frames and a lightswitch, the hallway feeling entirely too narrow than it had before as you head towards your kitchen, not bothering to see if he’ll follow. “10 minutes.”
The low hanging light fixture just above your dining table blankets your bodies in a cold, dim orange glow, casting the shape of your silhouettes along the walls and when you notice them you wonder, briefly, if they’ll be having this conversation too and if it’ll be easier for them - for things that cannot talk, cannot possibly bruise each other the way people are so good at doing.
“I miss you.” He begins, voice shot-through and hoarse.  “And I’ve, uh, I’ve been working on it - on being better.”
You blink.
“What the fuck is that supposed to even mean, Javier?” You bite, looking at him in disbelief.
Javier pauses, slides his palm along the smooth surface of the counter then leans against it and makes a gesture with his hand as if he’s going to explain what he meant, but decides at the last second to only bring his knuckles to his lips and sigh - curbing his frustration. When he first stepped inside, he expected things to be different - look different, at least, for whatever reason, but everything is the same. Your furniture. Your decorations. More distant, yes, less welcoming, but still just as he had remembered. The worst part, though, is that it’s still so familiar that it makes him feel like he’s intruding. This is your space - still smells like lavender and pears and lemon cleaner and grass on a sunny day, and he remembers how warm it can be, how comforting, acutely aware he’s sucking life out of the atmosphere of it now.
So he stops himself, gives a little because he knows you’re just waiting to ask why he keeps taking and taking and taking when you’ve already given so much.
When he doesn’t offer an explanation, you close your eyes and roll your lips together, quietly willing yourself not to ruin whatever potential this has - if it has any at all. Your irritation, although legitimate, is unfounded right now. You let him in to talk, you’re the one allowing him to stand here knowing you could have just as easily told him no. You can’t go changing your mind just because you don’t like what you’re hearing - can’t stand in the fire and complain that it is hot.
“I’m sorry. I’m just trying to hold it together.” You sigh, leaning against the back of one of your kitchen chairs, your hands behind you gripping the top rail. “Seeing you isn’t easy for me.”
“Yeah,” Javier agrees under his breath. “Yeah, I know, uh -”
He nods as he clears his throat again, then looks at you, finding it harder to maintain his train of thought. “Anyway, it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it’d be. I’m still trying to figure shit out and I can’t expect you to trust me, not after what I did, but I’m doin’ my best and I’d like to show you that things would be better. That I can be better.”
You grit your teeth, trying to ignore your anger, instantaneous and burning a searing hole in your chest, and the way his voice makes it feel like there are pockets of air where you thought there had been walls, or cabinets, your microwave and drawers - all of them suddenly becoming vacuums and inversions in space as if his words were black holes, dense and all consuming. Couldn’t he have tried to be better while he was with you? Couldn’t he have tried before he broke your heart?
“I still don’t know what that means. What is better?” You demand, your act of abnegation placing you outside of him for a brief enough moment that you can’t understand what he’s talking about.
Javier stands up straighter, feels as if something is expanding from deep within his chest. You don’t know what it means because he didn’t let you see it. You don’t know how he’s worked to cut back on his drinking, dumped amber bottle after amber bottle down the sink until there wasn’t a case of beer left in his fridge. Or his cigarettes - you haven’t seen those either; how he’s cut down to a pack a day instead of what he’s usually been smoking; two, typically, three on a bad night - leaving his hands trembling from the withdrawal and his eyes a little more exhausted.
You didn’t see it when he was standing in front of his bathroom sink, gripping the porcelain, looking at three versions of himself in the mirror and finally admitting to himself that the unutterable emptiness of his denial will never be better than the comforting opacity of loving you.
Another pause.
“I’m in love with you.”
You feel your blood, like windburn, hot and prickly redden your face.
Say it again, it’ll keep me awake.
“Javier, what?” You cross your arms, growing defensive, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for him to immediately take it back, admit that he didn’t mean it.
“And I couldn’t say it earlier because I’m a fucking idiot who made up excuses to be afraid.”
He steps closer as you suck in a breath, his expression dark and riddled with longing and want and pain coupled with a kind of desperation you had no idea he was even capable of feeling.
“I don’t…but you…?” Your head is fucking spinning, your throat cracked dry, his words knifelike, cutting through your ties to the world and any coherency you might have harbored.
“And I’m not saying it to make you feel guilty or make you take me back, either, and I don’t know, maybe coming here was my shitty idea of getting closure, but I thought that you should know. That I hadn’t meant to hurt you, even though I know that’s what I did.”
Javier closes the last remaining space between you, reaches out a hand to touch you, hesitates like he’s trying to decide if you’ll let him touch your cheek before settling on the soft curve of your shoulder, his palm warm and heavy and familiar and it’s - he’s too much. And now he’s touching you again and it’s like he never left and it’s so overwhelming that you almost miss his apology and the way he sounds so wrecked, like he wasn’t the one to ruin everything.
“I’m sorry honey.”
The syllables draw your thoughts out of your head and hold you down to earth at the same time. One look. One question. An invitation to come inside. Boiling frustrations and semi-conscious affection. And this - this confession, this explanation, whatever it is - is enough to make it hard to breathe. Everything too recklessly intimate to be permitted to say out loud, yet spoken anyway.
You want to ask him so many questions; if he had meant it, if he isn’t just acting on lonely impulse, and there are questions you want to ask yourself, too. Are you so greedy for his love that you would ignore the lessons your history has taught you?
Are you foolish enough to let the frantic ache behind your sternum started by his arrival continue burning a hole through something inside of you, something important that’ll most definitely be missed? Maybe, you don’t know, aren’t even capable enough right now to make a distinction between the good kind of ache and the bad; so you tilt your head and meet his gaze and it’s like some sort of mechanical lock clicks in place as Javier reaches up, brushes some of your hair away from your face, his expression concentrated, open. A moment of delicate equilibrium. And maybe there isn’t an excuse for his behavior, maybe it’s just him, and perhaps you’ll end up regretting this immensely except right now you don’t care - ready and willing to take anything he gives you because you got a taste of what your life is like without him in it and although it is quiet and calm and safe it is far from peaceful.
So this kiss is everything you needed, everything you had pictured in varied shades of emotion when you allowed yourself the reprieve of daydreaming - imagining scenarios not exactly like this in which he came back to your apartment or you came to his or even some in which you accidentally bump into each other at a random outlet store or a farmer’s market, the impression of him against your back with every move that you made in real life, too - waiting for you to look over your shoulders and see him standing there. A piece of pathetic, depressing performance art.
Javier’s lips brush against yours and you make a sound, a gasp or a shaky release of the breath you’ve been holding, turning over control to the coil of warmth that has settled in your stomach as he places both palms on your cheeks, relaxing and kissing you back - again and again and again as if you’re prone to crumble or disappear at any moment beneath his hands.
Your fingers stumble across his chest, catch at his jacket and at the buttons of his shirt like you’re not exactly sure what to do with them and he moves closer in response, sheds it and tosses it onto the table, the zipper hitting against the mahogany with sharp crack.
Then he’s saying your name, rough and low and worshipful, like its a prayer in which no other words exist or something equally as reverent, your slushed brain coasting over the meaning behind it and the way he repeats it until finally he’s pulling himself away, leaving you to follow; confused and indignant and when you open your eyes and see his face - scan it and take in the way it’s pinched with worry and remorse, the beginnings of your righteous constraint begins to build like magma in your breastbone.
“Of course,” you scoff, nearly laughing at yourself - wanting to laugh, almost, because if you can laugh at something it can’t break your heart. “I’m such a fucking idiot.”
You bat at him, smack at his forearms and fight against the way he’s trying to catch your wrists, alarmed with this sudden shift, saying something like stop it or enough, commands you’re only half-paying attention to before you manage to get your palms up against his chest and shove, your anger only growing when he steps back on his own, briefly holding his hands up in surrender as he watches you reach for and rip his coat off the table before they’re flying to field it when you throw it at him as hard as you can.
“I can’t believe I let you back in here. You know, I even believed what you were saying, too. God, you always fucking do this. I can’t understand why that after all the shit you’ve put me through I haven’t learned my lesson.” Your heart twists with anguish, sour disgust setting your solar plexus on fire, the tiny part of you that actually hates him bristling.
“No, no, hey!” He shouts, frustration bursting in his chest, catching the fabric then reaching for your arm as you head towards the door, his fingers catching your elbow. “Would you just wait a minute? I’m not- honey, stop.” Javier tugs you harshly towards him. “Listen to me for a fucking second.”
You round on him again, face flushed, eyes hard and wild and shining. “Why should I do anything you say to me, Javier? I gave you your ten minutes, which was more than you fucking deserved, and you fucked it up. Now you want me to just listen to you? Just like that?”
Javier makes a fist around the collar of his jacket, the leather scrunching. “Goddammit, (y/n).”
He exhales sharply through his nose, casting his gaze momentarily to the floor, then lets go of your arm when he’s sure you’re not about to do anything, his free hand moving to rest on his hip, speaking heavy and serious. “Part of my, uh, ‘doing things better’ is not rushing head first into situations, mostly ones like this, and uh, kissing you - christ, I know where that leads and I can’t bring myself to give you another reason not to trust me.”
You get it, abruptly, why he had pulled away.
It’s always a slippery slope with him; not that he creates the fallacy directly or on purpose, but because he has the ability to make things just escalate. He gets harder to resist and things get messy and convoluted and he doesn’t want that for you tonight - doesn’t want you thinking that he had come here under the pretext of apologizing only to sleep with you one last time.
So you deflate, bring your fingers to your mouth and pinch at your bottom lip with your thumb and forefinger, a habit you picked up to keep yourself from crying - to keep the rising tide of your tears from becoming more than just a gentle crest, trapped in a silence that feels like it stretches across all of time.
“Oh.” You say very, very softly - quiet and dazed and lost.
Oh.
His words aren’t exactly a promise - not at all, actually, because promises are too binding and dangerous and wholly unachievable even with a person’s best efforts, especially with his, but they’re something adjacent, just slightly to the left of one; devotion, perhaps, effort, even. Meaning built like honeycombs within the structure of his intentions, the buzzing of bees straining to be heard over the sound of his regret.
“Yeah,” he agrees.
You had been whispering, but the sound feels oddly too loud, floating in the space between your bodies and interrupting the solidness in your conviction, in your renewed animosity. Mixed with such sadness that you feel hollow, wordless. A beat of silence passes, the quiet not exactly strained, not exactly comfortable, either.
“I don’t know what to say, Javi…”
“You don’t have to say anything. I didn’t come here to make you feel obligated to talk to me. I just wanted you to listen, and you did, so I should, uh-” Javier sniffs, swipes at his nose and grips his jacket a little tighter, the need for a cigarette or a fucking drink - both - getting harder to ignore. “I should go.”
Your first thought is to say that he shouldn’t.
Your second is to keep your mouth shut.
You love him, and he loves you, but you’re still unsure if that’s enough for him to be in your life. If he had said this to you two weeks ago, or seven days ago, or hell, sometime before the last fifteen minutes, you would have told him to stay without question - without hesitation. And it’s stilted and stammered and wrong that you’re suddenly so aware of yourself, the way a sensation can be when it happens too fast to be understood. Where rests the point of your sudden maturity? Had Javier forced its growth?
Your third is you hate that you’re hesitating.
There’s a level of objectivity that’s lacking in your relationship - when you were together and now, in the tattered remains of it. An unspoken closeness and a wordless understanding. Even as something fundamental in you and Javier’s understanding of each other shifts, becomes less murky and more lucent. Which makes it hard to make this decision, to tell him to go or not, because you’re almost certain you’re not going to find it - this, whatever it is - with anyone else.
“I’m not-” You say finally, and you have to swallow to unstick your tongue from the roof of your mouth, your sentence threatening to dry or up just disappear somewhere in your throat. “I won’t,” you try again, voice wavering with dangerous emotion, “be able to handle it if you leave…not a second time.”
He says your name, uncertain and full of pity and so fucking sad that you can’t stand it, and you’re about to say something else - something like he can go if he wants to, you don’t need him to feel guilty about it, except you don’t get the chance because he’s stalking towards you and his coat is gone again, but he misses the table and it hits the floor and neither of you care enough about it to pick it up, or anything material at all right now, really, as he gathers you in his arms and kisses you like he means it; like he can’t bear to see the expression on your face in more detail. And as his hands slide up under your shirt, it feels different. Not because he is or you are but because everything else is; as if the universe had lined up and decided that something good was finally going to come out of heartbreak instead of ending in tragedy.
Javier urges you close in a way that it’s more like a suggestion than anything else, his touch just as you had remembered it - rough and warm and calloused and this time you don’t think about how they got to be that way or what that means for him because he’s kissing you again and the tone of it’s changed; more hungry now, relieved, as his tongue slides along your bottom lip.
You kiss him back harder because it’s easier than crying, it’s easier than words, and he makes a muffled, sort of surprised sound as he backs you towards the bar, the marble cool and solid through your t-shirt.
He threads a steady hand through your hair and you don’t really process how your fingers move automatically to his belt, fumbling with it, the buckle clinking as you work it apart just enough to get to where you’re really after - your hands making quick work with the button of his pants. And he’s moving his free hand down between your legs, flattening the curve of his palm over your underwear and leaning away to pepper kisses careening down the column of your neck, looking at you like you think he’s supposed to, like maybe he always has, the same way you probably look at him.
You grind against him with a needy sigh, braced on his forearms, nails digging into the tanned skin and muscle like he’s the only thing anchoring you to this earth. And he knows without you telling him, the sudden thrum of awareness that shocks through your body, a bright live wire thing that makes it feel like at any moment you might lose yourself completely, so he nudges your panties to the side, works a finger inside of you and curls it, his thumb finding the bundle of nerves just above the entrance of your cunt - then adds another until you’re panting against his jaw, his presence warm and raw and honest, all consuming in a way that has you realizing you had forgiven him long before he ever needed forgiving.
Cell by cell you slip away, then resurrect. And you tell him that you love him, wishing the words would somehow help fix everything, that when this was over things would be okay, just so that you don’t have to hear the undercurrent of self-loathing in his voice anymore. He had hurt you and it was unfair, but it’s fine now. You’re fine, in a way you can’t understand, in a way that makes everything seem small and insignificant in comparison to what you harbor in your heart for him.
Javier pushes into you with one long thrust, watches the way it sinks into you, spreading you open; warm and wet and tight as your muscles clench around the width of it, of him.
He groans as you gasp, your fingers flexing against him like they’ve got nothing to do, nowhere to go, the sensation of being filled and consumed bordering on devastating, tripling exponentially in its ruin as you arch your hips and press down on him, sending bright flickers of pleasure through your belly and up your ribs.
His first real thrust makes your breath catch - hitch, dissolve into something that might have ended up being words, but quickly end up becoming a trembling, high-pitched moan, your eyes fluttering closed and your mouth parting and he’s -
He’s fucking struck dumb by it.
By you.
And he’s pretty sure his fucking soul careens with shame, makes him wonder what the fuck is wrong with him that he ever could have possibly hurt you so bad, ever could have possibly convinced himself that he wasn’t in love with you. And the thought of hurting you again makes something split open in his chest, makes him not even want to think about it, not later and especially not now.
So he finds himself cursing, too undone to think, too undone to even try, fucking - gone pretty much save for the way he says your name, honey-sweet and broken, and the way he focuses on your aborted, little-half movements like you’re trying to get used to him again, used to this, being close and touching each other as the world starts to pin-point with alarming speed down the shuddering muscles where your bodies meet.
You squirm against him, the counter digging into your back, his chest hot and suffocating and all you want - all you need - is for him to move a little faster than he is, his cock stroking into you smooth and dragging as syrup, the rhythm unbearably slow.
“Javi-”
Your voice cracks with a whine, snaps him out of it, and he’s eager to make it better, to ease the grief he had caused, shushing you in a low, calming, gentle voice that makes your throat constrict and your eyes sting and suddenly you’re blinking at him through blurry vision, the weight of your emotion so intense you can hardly stand it.
“Shh, shh. I got you. I’m right here.”
Then he’s kissing your forehead, your eyelids, your cheeks. Deliberately. With purpose. On purpose. Worshiping you the way he should have been from the beginning.
“I love you.”
God, you love him too. Love him so much.
Javier rocks into you, presses his mouth to your temple, the head of his cock brushing that one spot inside you again and again until you’re tensing and crawling your hands up his arms, your delicate fingers gripping at his shirt sleeves, every little gasp and moan and fucking invocation that tumbles from your lips making his next thrusts a little rougher, a little harder and its getting more difficult to hold himself back, to keep himself from drowning in the bruising pressure of his cock deep inside your cunt and the way you flutter around him.
But his palm is moving to the back of your right thigh anyway, gripping, hitching up and maneuvering until the foot you have on the ground is on its tip-toes, until the angle is enough to wrench a helpless, hissing groan from between his clenched teeth, until you’re grinding into him and tightening around his cock, his body catching on fire as sweat makes his hair stick to his forehead and you’re face is flushed a pretty rosy red, your cheeks hot with blood.  
He isn’t going to last much longer and neither are you, but that’s okay because this doesn’t have to be drawn out, it doesn’t have to be tortuously built up. It just has to feel good and fuck this is the best he’s felt in three weeks.
So when you bury your face in his shoulder, so close that you’re shaking with it, he doesn’t try to prolong anything - finds your clit and rubs tight, slick circles over it until every pretty sound that comes out is strained and incoherent, until you’re grabbing at his wrist, overstimulated and tightening around his cock and drawing noises from deep within his chest and then he’s kissing you, but it’s not really a kiss and more like a shared closeness, shared breathing, his nose nudging yours and your mouths brushing against each others, his cock throbbing inside you, your quivering urging him on and fucking christ -
He relaxes, braces himself against the bar to keep himself from crushing you beneath his weight, and lowers his forehead to your shoulder as he tries to catch his breath.
You close your eyes, card your fingers through his hair, then bring them to his back, fingertips gliding up and down as his thumb brushes back and forth against your thigh.
You stay like that for awhile, just breathing, touching, until the feel of him still inside you makes you wince, then he’s pulling away and tucking himself back into his pants, helping you clean up then fixing your shirt, your underwear. Intimate. Still. Before kissing you, lingering and visceral flushed.
“I meant what I said.” He speaks, blending with the calm instead of breaching it, looking into your face, gaze going back and forth between your lips - still red and raw and swollen from kissing you - and your eyes, his own somber, his brow pinched.
“I know.” You reply delicately, reaching up to trace his brow bone with your thumb, trying to relieve the wrinkle between them.
“It won’t be like it was, I won’t let it.” Javier repeats anyway, grabbing your fingers and bringing your wrist to his lips, kissing the inside of it gently.
You smile, crooked and sleepy and cup his cheek. “I know that too.”
“But if I don’t, then what?”
Javier smiles back just a little, chuckles and then sighs as if he’s remembering something, his smile growing, wry and sort of wicked, and you understand once he speaks that he’s grinning that way because he knows it’s true.
“Then Steve will probably kill my ass, saying Connie doesn’t beat him to it.”  
You bark out a laugh like drinking lemonade; sugary sweet and surprised, but mixed with tart mirth, amused with his admission. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
8 notes · View notes
rosexknight · a month ago
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@arceusfan493 Here’s that Dragon Age 2 rant you wanted.
Because I am still not over it.
Under the Read More, I have for you: - Lore Context - How Dragon Age 2 is Amazing - How it Hurt Me Enjoy~!
Oh yeah and major spoiler warning for Dragon Age 2 and minor spoiler warning for Dragon Age Origins and Awakening.
Lore Context ((Note: It is way more in-depth than this, I am simplifying ALOT))
Okay so. In the Dragon Age universe, magic is seen as super dangerous, because mages and those who have magical abilities are connected what is called the Fade, which is like a world that mirrors ours. It is also known as the Dream World, and every race but dwarves dream, but Mages specifically are connected to it in a way that lets them manipulate it for magic. In the Fade there are spirits and demons that can be brought into the real world by a mage or take over a mage’s body to enter our world. When this happens the mage becomes what is called an “Abomination” and loses all semblance of themselves. Demons are dangerous, spirits not so much, and demons are actually just spirits that have been twisted from their original purpose, usually by desire/pride/rage/etc. Spirits are the embodiment of virtues, where as demons are usually the embodiment of sins. There’s also Blood Magic which is hella powerful but corrupting and usually links back to demons.
There is also some religious reasons why magic is so feared, as it’s basically said that mages that got too close to God caused all the bad shit happening in the world (specifically a literal and metaphorical plague called the Blight) and also there are political reasons since there is a country/kingdom that’s all mage-run and it’s not great.
So for the protection of all the non-mages, they lock all mages in these towers called Circles so that they can study, hone their skills, etc. But they're essentially prisons, and the mages are watched over by Templars, which are like anti-magic paladins. And all this is ran by the church called the Chantry (there's a shit ton of lore and all these fears are linked back to that religion I mentioned earlier.) In order to become full mages, you have to pass a test where they put you against a demon in the Fade to prove you can handle your magic. If you fail you become an abomination. If the Circle thinks you will fail this test, they will (literally) brand you Tranquil, which cuts off a mage from the Fade but ALSO makes them 100% emotionless. Also if you get too good, they might also brand you a Blood Mage and kill you anyway.
Also, there is no escape. You can try to escape, but when you come to the Circle, the Chantry takes your blood and puts it in a vial. They then use this blood to track you down if you slip away.
Now, in the games we have seen that SOMETIMES the Circles are not that bad. Mages can get special permission to live outside the Circles as long as they can get jobs. Some mages are perfectly content there, while others aren’t. The mages might be governed by the Chantry and Templars but usually each Circle is kind of given its own freedoms to have its own politics, etc. HOWEVER, whether or not you're put in a good Circle is a toss-up, completely dependent on where you are, who is in charge, etc. And also the Templars can call upon the Right of Annulment if they feel the things in the tower are getting out of control, which essentially nukes the tower and destroys it and all the mages. OH and you are sent to the Circles when your magic starts manifesting (between the ages of 4-14) with no say from you or your family. Just “Oh you got magic? Time to lock you in this tower.” SO needless to say, things between Mages and Templars are fucking tense, and the game is not shy about giving this whole thing a prison feel. The mages are very obviously the oppressed class here (elves are also oppressed but in a different way and I’m not going into that.)
Also you can play as a mage in-game, which makes this all hit especially home if you do since you as the player both see and experience it.
OKAY that should be all the lore context you need.
How Dragon Age 2 is Amazing
DA2 takes place in a town with one of the bad Circles. The Commander of the Templars, Meredith, has basically gone insane. She’s become paranoid, and is turning mages Tranquil (illegally btw because we know that she turns some Tranquil even after they passed that test I mentioned earlier,) or killing them left and right. However, in conjunction to that, there's ALOT of shit that happens that are all mages fault. Blood magic, demons, your mom (basically the only family you have left at that point btw) gets killed by a crazy necromancer, etc.
So it puts you, the player and your PC Hawke, in this situation where you clearly see magic is HELLA DANGEROUS, but you also see that the mages are being pushed too hard by the Templars and are taking drastic measures to escape or fight back. And again, it hits doubly hard if you play as a mage. The game also takes place over the span of 7 years, so you see it all build up and get worse and worse as you play.
So it presents the conundrum: Do all mages suck or is it because of what is happening? It's fucking brilliant. Especially coming from the first game, Origins, where you see a good Tower that's super chill until one crazy mage fucks it up. You see what horrors magic can bring but also see and hear how crazy Templars can be when they face such horrors (this is clear with both Meredith herself AND a recurring character named Cullen but if I talk about him we’ll be here all day.)
Anyway, point is there's clearly no right answer to which side is right or wrong, and the game builds up on it alot. It gives you all the perspectives with Meredith, the paranoid Templar Commander, Orsino, the leader of the Circle who is just trying to keep the peace and defend the mages, and the Grand Cleric in the Chantry Elthina, who refuses to take a side even though she has the power to basically end it all. Your companions also have opinions on all of it as it unfolds. And it puts you right in the middle of it all. And you experience all of it.
Like I said, fucking brilliant.
How it Hurt Me
One of your companions is Anders, who is a mage that has run away from the Circle you know of from Origins. He's a healer that is helping people from an underground (free) clinic, and has also been helping mages escape the city. He's all about freedom for mages, and has fused with a Justice spirit that he became friends with. The spirit saw the injustice that was happening to the mages and wanted to further help. Both Anders and Justice are from Dragon Age Awakening, which comes after Origins. They are companions in that game and you see how their friendship grows and how they come to be able to help each other.
Now I LOVED Anders and Justice in Awakening. I was ALL FOR seeing them again seeing how the years had changed them, and helping them. I also played as a mage in both games so I was also all for mage freedom. It’s also worth noting that in Awakening you learn the Circle was NOT kind to Anders. He’s a free spirit, a lover not a fighter, and he was suffocated. He tried to escape like 7 times and after the last one they put him IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR A FUCKING YEAR. He was 100% expecting to be killed every time he was caught. “Oh but couldn’t he have used those methods you mentioned earlier to live outside the Circle?” you may ask. And like, yeah maybe. But also...No one should have to do that?
I romanced Anders because I adore him. He’s a bit of a broody boy in DA2 that tries to push you away, but he’s hella sweet and supportive. Funny. Small hint of danger with Justice. He's great. And it was great to romance him in DA2 since I was playing Awakening going “No please why can I not romance YOU?”
Well throughout the game you see that due to the anger Anders has, Justice is getting morphed into something more akin to a spirit of Vengeance as things are pushed more, and that Anders is having trouble controlling him. Depending on what route you take with the romance, he and Justice can either fuse into something like only one being, or Justice can be turned fully into a demon of Vengeance. Both of these are heavily implied more than confirmed, so it’s kind of ambiguous, but the ending is the same. Anders becomes consumed by this, and everything else is drowned out.
Eventually, towards the end of the game, when Meredith has sent off for permission to the Right of Annulment, and Orsino can’t control the many other mages wanting to fight back, and things between mages and Templars are coming to a head, Anders asks you to come with him to get some ingredients that will make a potion to separate he and Justice. Then that turns out to be a lie and he asks you to distract Elthina in the Chantry so he can do...a thing. And he won’t tell you what. And you know he's up to something. BUT in DA2 and Awakening he's ALWAYS said that violence isn't the answer and that we have to show people mages can be good by example, and been against blood magic, etc. So you have the option to help him or not.
I helped him because SURELY he wouldn't do anything crazy. And SURELY he wouldn't ask/trick me, the woman he loves, to do something crazy. He simply asks you to trust him, and I did.
Aaaaaaand then I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
He blew up the Chantry in that town. Confirmed death toll from game lore is 100, but people estimate it could be more. This was the second time I had to walk away from this game due to emotions, the first being when your mom dies.
The Chantry runs the Templars, and the Templars watch the mages. Things were coming to a head. It had been a silent war raging. The Knight-Commander of the Templars was seeing shadows, threatening to basically rip the tower apart to find Blood Mages where there weren't. The leader of the Mages supported the Circle but was doing little to lead the mages against the Templars, and if the mages snapped all hell would break loose. The Cleric in the chantry refused to take sides, even though her word would essentially sway the masses into siding with someone. But she had to stay neutral because she couldn't choose as it wasn't her place, and she agreed there was no right answer both sides had a point. He blew up the Chantry, and forced people to take sides. Change had to come, and he decided he had to take the matter into his own hands to do it. And whether or not it was him or Justice or both is ambiguous and dependant on the route taken.
And I fucking helped him.
The game at this point forces you to choose a side, and I chose to side with the Mages because I WAS one and also Meredith wanted to kill every mage there for what Anders did.
I was betrayed by this character I had loved for two games, who my Hawke fell in love with, who I trusted, etc. And THAT hurt worse than anything else ever. You then had the option to kill him, which was the third point I had to walk away and agonize over a decision. Whether or not Anders was right is a topic still viscerally debated in the Dragon Age community too and it gets ROUGH.
So yeah. That is why I’m not over it and why I love this game so much but also how fucking dare it do this to me.
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sigcy · a month ago
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We dabble in writing fics, as well! Here’s a slowburn sigcy fic (it’s still a WIP, first posted on AO3) that Mod Cricket and I worked on together. (CW for violence.) Part Two.
[ Part One ] | [ Next Part ]
 Sigma had lost track of time while he was working under Talon’s authoritative claw. He would wake, don his armor, and do whatever they asked him to do. They told him that they were freedom fighters, pursuing peace for a better world from corrupt politicians and faulty scientists. Days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and he worked dutifully for his rescuers.
 But he had been confused-- told that he had been falsely accused, that he had been imprisoned due to someone fearing his work. And so a manhunt had commenced over the years, the astrophysicist slowly being melded into something far more sinister than he had ever anticipated he could be.
 A weapon.
 At first, he would hesitate-- a job ending in the death of someone that he had been told had worked against him. Begging for a life cut short by someone else finishing it off for him.
 Over time, it grew easier. Easier to reach out with his mind, thanks to the augmentations that Dr. O’Deorain had fitted him with. Mental augmentations, allowing him to bend gravity as he so chose-- as though he didn’t conform to the laws Isaac Newton had described centuries prior. The one exception. The one variable in the wide universe of mathematics.
 Over time, he would use his harness to strike fear in those who opposed Talon’s Just cause. He realized the world was filled with nonbelievers, those whose heads had been filled with twisted lies. That is, until Moira stopped him, one day.
 “You have become quite brutal in your work, Subject Sigma.” She leaned against the door frame, wiry arms crossed over her chest. “Like a trained killer.”
     That wasn’t his name.     He reminded himself, looking up from his workstation, scattered with datapads and papers. He had been catching up on scientific work that he had missed while he had been under capture-- several years worth of reading.
 The geneticist stepped over, humming to herself. Always, there was an air of aristocracy about her-- yet he couldn’t quite place why. He knew very little of his colleagues, in hindsight. Her spindly, metal-plated fingers graced his shoulders as she rounded his chair. “Mr. Ogundimu almost fears you may be getting      too...     powerful.”
 “I would never harm anyone here.” He insisted, that ringing in his ears making him flinch-- that damned      melody     sparking just under the surface of the sound, almost barely discernible. His eyes jammed shut, and he shook his head, trying to rid himself of the noise, to no avail.
 “Are you sure about that, dear?” She prodded, quirking a brow. One of his hands came up to cup at his forehead, attempting to still the sound.
 He had opened his mouth to speak, but Moira continued, never losing that little knowing smirk. “Perhaps we should give you more sedatives, mm? Pull you off the teams for a while.”
 “No, no, no, I can work--”                  “Nonsense.” She grinned, tapping at his arm and stalking off. “I only wish the best for you, my dear.”
 The ringing grew worse, and he grit his teeth as he watched her walk off. As the door closed behind her, the room fell dark-- and the datapads in front of him also lost their power.
 “What is going on!” He yelled out, standing from his chair and nearly falling from the ringing in his head.
 There was no answer, and as he stumbled to the door, it remained shut--      locked.    
 “What!” he yelled out again, his fist making contact with the door with a loud      thud.     Again, there was no answer. “Let me out! Your humor is lost. Let me work!” He yelled again, growing angrier by the second.
 But in the end, he was left alone.
 This treatment continued for weeks-- anytime he flinched, each time he made mention of the noises he heard or the ringing that drove him insane, he would be locked away-- given ‘time off’ in solitary. It drove him insane, loneliness driving him to improve. To survive out of spite.
 Eventually, he learned to cope, to ignore it, and to grasp it, if only to escape his room for missions-- as though he simply lived for Talon’s gains.
 The noose that Talon had him under grew ever tighter, however-- he soon was not allowed out of his room without armed guard, before he was not allowed out of his room at all, unless they required his abilities. It was as though he were a pet project, losing his freedom with each added layer of ‘security.’ His self worth deteriorated, and he was left to rot.
 Anger. Anger is what he began to feel, bubbling up in his chest, almost making him feel as though he could scream. But he didn’t.
 Sigma sat alone in his room, thinking about everything that had transpired. He was glassy eyed, staring at the wall in front of him. Fury was evident in his sharp eyes, almost like a small flame was burning in them.
 That damn melody rang through his head - he had built somewhat of a tolerance to it at this point, but when he was angry, the sound of it was deafening and unbearable for him.
 He felt a small itch in his arm, and looking down he could see the shape of something inside of it. Stretching out the skin with a pull, he looked closer, the shape resembling that of a pill.
 Sigma’s eyes went wide, running a finger over the bump to make sure it was actually there and he wasn’t hallucinating. How had he never noticed it there before?  
 And then that’s when he realized that this was a chip that was implanted inside of him. His pulse began to race and sweat dotted his forehead. The room felt like it was disappearing all around him, his vision beginning to intensely focus on this foreign object in his arm.
 Sigma began to claw lightly at it, not really realizing what he was doing, his mind racked and blank from panic alone. He applied more pressure, blood now oozing out of the open wound. Had he been a test subject? All those times he’d been given a sedative to calm down, had they put things inside him? What else was there?
 His adrenaline ran high, continuously digging at it and ripping open more of his flesh. Red tainted his vision, the melody in his mind turning into screeching, off-key notes the further he pulled it open. He was far past the first few layers of skin, muscle now visible. Blood poured from his arm and onto his bed - but that didn’t stop him, the adrenaline making him not feel the pain.
 Sigma could see the twinkle of the object in his room’s light, and without a second thought, he gripped it and yanked it out, letting out a yelp. The little device fell out and clattered to the floor, ripped from a nerve with a twitch and a spark of a wire.
 He gasped and panted, looking up to the ceiling in ...      relief.  
 The melody…it’s gone.
...........................
 "Ma'am, there's a situation in Subject Sigma's room." An attendant rushed to her, flashing the security footage of her pet project's room in question. Most of the lights had been busted from the ceiling, one hanging loosely and flickering in the corner of the camera’s vision. Sigma sat idly in the center of the screen, looking up to the ceiling as if lost in thought, turning away from the camera in his room.
 "What is it?" She asked, annoyed.
 "His chip. We're not receiving any more input from it. He dug it out of his arm." We have security on the way, but with the situation right now, we can't afford to lose anyone else--"
 "      Impossible.    " She hissed, before she turned on her heel, a breath leaving her as her body dissolved-- rocketing forward and out of the room. It didn't take her long to rocket through the fulcrum, rushing past and through anyone in her way, like a vengeful ghost rushing to glory. Finally, she rematerialized in front of Siebren's door, just as collected as she had been minutes prior. But an anger seethed under the surface, barely masked behind a cruel smile.
 She didn't knock, and the security outside the door followed her in without a word.
 "      A mhuirnín.     [My Dear.] What on Earth are you doing?" She asked, that same smile crossing her face as she entered. Her tone was light, kind, despite the anger that dwelled underneath. "A little bird told me you've done something very bad. And you know we can't have that, now."
 He remained silent, giving her a deathly, intimidating glare as he turned where he sat.
 The security team surrounded Moira-- unnecessary, she thought, but nevertheless, she seemed unfazed. This wasn't the time for a security breach.      They had to come together, as Akande had put it. Foolish sentiment, but nevertheless one she had to put up with.
 "Stand do--!" One of the security guards ordered, his rifle, along with the others, aimed directly at the subject in question. Though, he'd been stopped by Moira's slender, miscolored hand coming up. Her eyes narrowed-- something about the man had changed. His demeanor was filled with hate. With      distaste    . His intimidation was lost on her, and she stood firm. She still had the power.      She always did.  
 "My, my, A mhuirnín. You certainly seem to have been naughty." She glanced down to his bleeding arm, the trickle of blood following the lines of the musculature of his frame, before dripping down his fingers and to the floor. "And here, I thought we worked so hard to make you such a      good boy.    " What a setback, months of mental conditioning, wasted in a matter of moments. Nevertheless, she was patient-- A few sedatives would make it easy to replace the chip that funneled those delightful noises into his nervous system.
 She smiled again, taking a few steps forward, the security team following close behind. Their anxiety was present in their minute hesitations, one's hands even tightening on his rifle at his shoulder. But she showed no signs of that remorse, no signs of fear. "Come, now. Let's get you bandaged up. Your condition is      fragile.    "
     “Shut up.”  
 Sigma’s voice was stern, the anger evident from his tone. His usual soft, periwinkle eyes gleamed with hatred, looking right through the woman who stood before him. He understood, now. He understood everything that she had done.
 The hatred that bubbled up in his chest came to a boiling point, the feeling no longer ignorable. With swift motions, Subject Sigma threw a fist down, sending the security team slamming to the ground. They panicked, unable to move and felt like an invisible force was keeping them down.
 With Moira still standing before him, knees bent and      fearful     in all but a moment, he wasted no time in grabbing her by the neck with his free hand, his grip vice-like. Teeth bared, her usually stoic face marred by the lines of distaste forming around her mouth. A miscolored hand came up to grasp at his wrist, nails digging ruthlessly into his skin, clawing at him to get free. Her mismatched eyes bore into him, kicking about as he effortlessly lifted her from her feet. That smile she'd worn only moments prior melted away into anger, and into fear above all else. The panicked yells of the security team filled her hearing, along with the pounding of her heart in her ears.
     “I’m sick of you.”    He hissed, his grip tightening.
 Any retort she would have had was drowned by his hand at her throat. Only the choked gasps of her struggling for air could be heard. And within all but a moment, her head already felt fuzzy from the lack of blood flow to her brain.
     Damn. This was bad.  
 She closed her eyes, and in a moment, her form dissipated, the cloud she'd dissolved into twisting around him. She reappeared at his back, a gasp of air letting her return to the moment. "Stand down, pet. I don't want to have to hurt you." She hissed, dark, biotic energy rolling down her arm. It wouldn't kill him, but she could sap his energy enough to at least keep her alive. And       that     was what mattered. She could replicate the data she'd gathered on Subject Sigma's condition. She could do it again.      And do it better.  
 "      Now.    " She added-- it wasn't a request. Where she was used to her assistants cowering at the tone, she knew it would take far more than just that to get his attention, again. And so with a flick of her wrist, the corrupted caduceus technology reached out, latching onto his biometric signature, again and again, zapping at him like a drunken parent’s lash of a belt.
 A pang shot through his body as the red-head used the ability against him, a short wail escaping him. However, he remained unfazed by her attempt to subdue him, his anger and adrenaline coursing through his veins, he turned around to grasp her neck again. This time, he used his gravitational power to pull her in, the pressure around her much worse than before.
 He looked down at her, his usual soft, periwinkle eyes now bewildered and filled with pure hatred. This was a side of Sigma that no one ever saw, even in battle, he never had this same vicious look on his face.
     I want you to look at me as I wring the pathetic life out of you.    The phrase repeated itself in his mind as he looked at her, as though a switch had been flipped.
 His grip tightened, teeth clenched and bared as he put more power into his hold on her.
 She'd tried to dematerialize again, to shift from his grip, but something held her in place. Like a cocoon, a spider wrapping its victim in silk and immobilizing her nomatter how much she struggled. It was fascinating, seeing such a raw display of power take hold. But she was on the wrong side. She shouldn't have been prey. She was better than this. Her hands shook, and she couldn't help but watch the beam of caduceus tech get cut off from its link to him. Pushed away by the power of gravity alone. And while there was a minor surge to her own body's resilience, it wouldn't last.
 She managed to bring her hands up to clasp at his wrist again, shaking against the gravity that seemed to push against her at every angle. Squeezing her, as though she were about to be crushed by stones.
 Teeth bared as she struggled, kicked, eyes wide as she looked to Siebren, looked to the security that were trapped helplessly on the floor behind them. Her hands clenched tightly against his skin, nails clawing for any sort of purchase. But none was to be found-- there was no remorse, no mercy in his fingers.
 Moira let out a choked sob, eyes beginning to water. Pitiful. Desperate. She could do nothing, and even though the security called for backup, she knew that they wouldn't get there in time. She tried again and again to shift away, to dematerialize, but every time she did, the gravitational force that bound her in place only seemed to tighten. Finally, the sound of one of her ribs snapping could be heard, followed by a second, and a third. There was a rumble in her throat as she tried to cry out, but nothing could escape.
     Nothing ever did escape from a black hole, now did it?  
 Tears pricked the corners of his eyes; not necessarily from the intense fury that was ablaze through him, but he was finally getting his revenge after all this time. His revenge for all the times she tested on him, prodding and poking him like he was nothing more than a test animal to her. The flashbacks of her putting him under electroshock therapy during the very few times he did attempt to go against her flashed through his mind, the pain something that he could never forget.
 Sigma had it in his mind that when Talon saved him from that god awful facility, they were his saviors and he should be ever gratuitous for everything they did for him. But as time went on, he learned of how they actually were, and were far from being his angelic saviors, turning into his torturous captors and being treated much the same as he was in the previous facility.
     Moira played with fire, and now she was going to burn.  
 Sigma kept tightening and tightening his grip, her neck feeling as though it was crushing under this pressure alone. Both hands were on her, and he wasn’t letting go. His thumbs were placed over her throat, making sure that he was going to crush her windpipe. Her gasps and struggles were like music to his ears, a sense of peace and tranquility washing over him in that moment.
 His eyes watched hers through all of this, previously unfeeling and serious eyes now filled with fear. How the tables have turned, to now be the one who cowers before me.  
 Her desperate clawing began to dull, with time-- where he put up a fight, and stood as a brick wall for her to scrape away from, she clawed and writhed like a frantic, rabid animal in a too-small cage. She fought for survival, yet it certainly was a losing one. Nevertheless, her metal-reinforced nails gouged into his skin, tearing it open. She kicked at him, her shoes planting hard at his ribs-- But with the adrenaline that most assuredly coursed through him, she doubted he could feel it. Her eyes bulged, mouth frothing and tongue visible as her body began to kick in to the primal instincts of fear.
 She was furious. Furious and desperate. Where she usually wore an arrogant visage, a queen atop her throne, she now felt like a desperate peasant in the hands of a vengeful God. How long had passed? Shit, had she lost count? Precious seconds ticked by as her brain began to slow, consumed by a burning haze.
 Her wide eyes rolled up into her head, tears now spilling over as her pale skin turned a bright red. After a moment or two more, her strength began to wane. And finally, her hands slipped from where they dug into his wrist, the movements clumsy and haphazard as the seconds tick, tick, ticked by. Her thrashing stilled, and for a moment, the scientist almost looked at peace. Though, her lip quivered, and her arms twitched as they fell heavily to her sides, body convulsing. The room was spinning, Moira sputtering as her consciousness faded.
 Without hesitation, Sigma flung her lifeless body to the ground in-between the guards that he kept down. His eyes looked at her like she was nothing but a piece of garbage, a queen who had been removed from her throne and reduced to a nobody. The marks of his fingertips were visible as oval bruises that spotted her neck, in between discolored flesh.
 Sigma’s eyes glanced amongst the group of guardsmen, all of them looking up at him like they were nothing but cornered animals, pleading that he didn’t do the same to them.
 He knew he had to leave, otherwise his only other option will be to be killed. As horrific as a person Moira was, they wouldn’t allow for someone in the inner circle to be killed, and by a subject no less.
 As if on cue, however, gunfire could be heard outside the door-- screaming and the sounds of fighting, before the door slid open. A masked Talon grunt entered, backwards-- firing several more rounds behind him in a burst fire spray, covering them before the door slammed shut behind him. A fist broke the screen covering the hand scanner, effectively locking them in. They would be safe, for a moment.
 The trademark Talon Red helmet turned to the scene before them. Cowering security staff. An unconscious doctor. A lone victor. He didn't hesitate to lift his rifle, dispatching those that were pinned to the floor with ruthless intent before he stripped his helmet off, a flash of palms to show he was no threat. "Dr. de Kuiper?" The man asked, his short hair dreadlocked and brown eyes boring into him. Siebren nodded in alarm, backing up, his hands shaking. "Looks like I came just in time." His Haitian Creole accent was hard on his lips, English  sounding foreign on his tongue. "...Dr. Ziegler sent me. I'm here to get you out of here. Are you hurt?" He huffed, still breathless from the exertion.
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thawilsonmag · 2 months ago
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"As I started seeking God, He started to reveal to me that my purpose was only found in Him and that by fulfilling my purpose in Him, I would find true meaning in this life." -Glory ShalomVisit Official WebsiteMistah Wilson: Greetings, Glory Shalom! We are so honored to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! How ya been?Glory Shalom: I’m doing great and I’m honored to be interviewing with you. Thanks for having me.Mistah Wilson: For our audience reading this, could you give us a quick background on yourself?Glory Shalom: Yes, I am a Gospel artist born and raised in Miami, FL. I am a singer, songwriter, worship leader, and entrepreneur. I currently serve as the worship leader for my church, Glory to God Global Ministries. As a child, I was always really into the Arts. My parents noticed my gift to sing at a young age and placed me in pageants and different competitions. I also attended really great schools with specialized Arts Programs. I studied Spanish and took up chorus and learned to play the violin in Elementary school. In Middle School, High School, and College I studied Dance and also trained at the Alvin Ailey American Theater Dance School for a summer. So, I’ve always been naturally talented, which led me on the journey of becoming the woman that I am today. I’m just a woman that God has blessed with gifts and talents and I use them to glorify Him.Mistah Wilson: You are undoubtedly talented with a vocal range that gives me chills every time. But, before we get into music, I'd like to discuss your Faith a little bit. What is your testimony to becoming a believer in Jesus Christ?Glory Shalom: I was actually raised in the church. My parents, who are both Believers and are now the Pastors of the church I attend, trained my family up in the Word of God and taught us about Jesus Christ. It wasn’t until I went off to college, that I realized I had to develop my own relationship with God because just living off of what my parents had taught me wasn’t enough. It had to become personal for me. When I moved away from home to attend college, it was during this season that I began to stray from some of the things I had been taught and was living a sinful life. It didn’t take me long to realize that these things only led to destruction and that I wasn’t making the right choices. Also, doing things that weren’t pleasing to God, left me feeling empty and pushed me further from God. There was no joy in that life because everything was temporary and lasted only for a moment. I had a void inside, and I knew that something was missing. I knew that I needed to get my life back on track with my Creator. After this, I started to get serious about getting my life right with God. I gradually stopped doing the sinful things that I knew weren’t pleasing to Him and then He began to reveal to me my purpose. I read a book during that season titled, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren, which explained that our purpose in life is to glorify God. As I started seeking God, He started to reveal to me that my purpose was only found in Him and that by fulfilling my purpose in Him, I would find true meaning in this life. From there it’s been a journey of walking with God day by day.Mistah Wilson: What were some situations you went thru in your life that called for you to muster up Faith?Glory Shalom: It takes faith to come to God and to trust Him with your life. The bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God, but whoever comes to God must believe that God exists and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). It took faith for me to trust that God’s plans for me were much better than I could ever imagine and it took faith to pursue the dreams that he had placed in my heart. The more that I trusted Him and stepped out on faith, the more He began to open doors and just do extraordinary things with my life.Mistah Wilson: What are some strategies you use to help eliminate sin in your life?Glory Shalom: For me personally, I have to guard my heart. I don’t watch or listen to certain things because whatever I put into my spirit plants a seed and that seed will eventually grow. I am also careful with the people I hang around and the places that I go because bad company corrupts good character. If I know that listening to certain music will cause me to think about certain things and make me want to do sinful things then I avoid listening to that type of music or song. That also goes for the tv shows and movies that I watch. There was a season in my life when I was doing things that I knew weren’t pleasing to God. I was living a sinful life. But once I recognized that I needed God in my life and that my life was meaningless without Him, I made the decision to stop doing certain things because they were keeping me from being in a close relationship with God. Sin separates us from God; but once I made the decision, God began to show me what things I had to eliminate from my life in order to live a life that was pleasing to Him. We cannot overcome sin in our own strength, but Jesus already overcame sin for us by dying on the cross for our sins. We have to rely on Jesus and the work that He already did for us. People who follow their own natural instincts do not have God’s Spirit in them. But when you give your life to Jesus, God puts His Spirit in you, and His Spirit, also known as the Holy Spirit, will lead you. The Holy Spirit will help you in the battle against sin and when we are tempted, God will always provide a way of escape. God loves us so much and He wants for us to be in close relationship with Him; but living a life full of sin will keep us from that and from all of the blessings He has in store or us. When we do slip and fall into sin, God does not condemn us. We can repent of our sin, turn from our sin, and come back to God.Shop Shalomchic.comMistah Wilson: How important is prayer in our lives and how can we develop good habits of reading the Bible?Glory Shalom: Without prayer, it’s like you don’t have any spiritual power. When Jesus spent his time on the Earth, he spent so much time in prayer because he knew that without communicating with the Father, he wouldn’t have clear direction. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. We are always to pray. I pray all the time. I pray when I wake up in the morning, when I’m driving in the car, when I’m at the grocery store… You can pray at any time of the day because God is always listening. I like to talk to God throughout the day and I ask Him for wisdom and for Him to lead me on the right path. We should never go a day without prayer. If you don’t know what to pray, you can start by praying the Lord’s prayer. In the bible, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and you can find that scripture in Luke 11:1-4. Prayer is simply talking to God. If you think about someone you are in a close relationship with, you always want to talk with them. That’s how prayer is. It is simply just talking to God. To develop good habits of reading the bible you first have to start! I personally like to use the Bible app, formerly the Youversion app, on my phone or tablet. This app is great because there are times when I am on the go, but there is an audio function on the app that allows you to listen to the bible being read to you. They also have awesome “devotionals”, which are reading plans on the app, which are based upon different topics. For example, if you’re dealing with grief, or depression, or anxiety, you can search the specific topics. Each day of the plan offers a reading passage and bible verses to go along with it. There are many plans to choose from. I definitely recommend downloading the Bible app.Mistah Wilson: What are some things you want people to know about Christianity?Glory Shalom: I want people to know that Jesus Christ came to the Earth to die for the sins of the world. After three days he rose from the dead and overcame death, hell, and the grave. God loves you and wants to be in relationship with you. The only way to be made right with God is to accept the free gift of Salvation, repent of your sins, and accept Jesus into your heart. We cannot save ourselves and our good deeds won’t get us into heaven. There is no other way to the Father but through Jesus Christ. And you won’t be able to do it just by being a good person and doing good deeds. We are sinful, fallen creatures, and we need a Saviour, His name is Jesus Christ. We have to confess our sins and believe in our hearts this truth that God raised Jesus from the dead. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and repent of our sins, He makes us new creatures in Christ. All of our sins are cleared and the slate is made clean. We can then begin a new life in him, and each day allow Him to transform our lives as we get closer to Him. The only way to be made right with God and spend eternity in Heaven is to confess your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart. It’s really simple, just say Lord Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart. I believe that you are the Son of God and I accept you as Lord and Savior of my life. Make me new, make me whole, and make me complete. In Jesus Name, Amen.Mistah Wilson: What led you to become a singer? Where and when did it all start?Glory Shalom: Well like I mentioned earlier I’ve always had the gift to sing. But what led me to really pursue music as a career was during a season where I was really seeking God for purpose in my life. I didn’t know what I was really supposed to be doing with my life and I knew that I wanted to live a life of purpose. So I started to get closer to God and he started to reveal to me the dreams that I had in my heart for being a professional singer. It was after reading a devotional about becoming the person God created you to be is when I wrote Altar Ego, which is the first song on the EP. God continued to pour songs into me and showed me how to play the piano and put different chord progressions together. Becoming a singer wasn’t something that I had planned but it happened as I sought God for my purpose.Mistah Wilson: Of course, we have to mention. We came across your song "Eyes of Faith" and it is nothing short of spectacular! I am definitely a fan now! Can you tell us about tha motivation that led to you writing this song?Glory Shalom: Eyes of Faith came to me when I was experiencing a really hard time in my life and I was very discouraged. My Mother approached me one day and she said that I needed to use my situation to write a song. When she said this to me, I was very depressed and didn’t see how I could possibly write a song in my state. That same day, as I went to lay down and get some rest, a thought came to me which was, “Look through the eyes of faith.” I know now that it was God speaking to me. I immediately jotted that phrase down in my phone, “Look through the eyes of faith”. I had been looking at my situation and how bad it was, instead of speaking life into it and I had been allowing the enemy to discourage me. I took the phrase that God spoke to me that day and began to write the song.Mistah Wilson: What inspires your creativity when writing new songs?Glory Shalom: I’m normally inspired by something I may have read in the bible or an idea I may have come across while reading a devotional. Sometimes God speaks a word into me like He did for Eyes of Faith, and then there are times when I may hear the Pastor say something during church service which sparks an idea in my head. There are other times that the ideas come randomly, like when improvising on the piano. Sometimes just dealing with life situations in general. As a songwriter, I am always attentive to ideas I may come across throughout my daily life.Mistah Wilson: Do you have any memorable moments in tha studio? Perhaps anything that may have inspired a song?Glory Shalom: Yes, while working on this project, this was actually my first time recording in a professional manner and I was a little nervous to begin the process. I was blessed to have an amazing producer and we would start every recording session with prayer. It was those moments that allowed me to take the focus off of myself and to put my focus back on God. It allowed me to see the bigger picture of what we were doing and to believe in the gifts that God had placed on the inside of me. Starting the sessions off with prayer created such a vibe and we created some great songs as a result.Mistah Wilson: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and why?Glory Shalom: While growing up we only listened to gospel music in our home. I believe that much of the music I listened to as a child has had a big influence on me. This was music from Gospel artists like Bebe & Cece Winans, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and Out of Eden, just to name a few. When I became older and started to listen to other styles of music, I would sing songs by Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, and Selena, singers with amazing voices. I believe those artists have all had some influence on my sound.Follow @GloryShalom on InstagramMistah Wilson: In your opinion, do you think 'influence' has an effect on our consciousness as individuals? Why or why not?Glory Shalom: Yes, I do believe that influence does have an effect on our consciousness, and that’s why “Influencers” are so popular in today’s society. Whatever we see plants an idea in our minds, either good or bad. I want to always be a positive influence on those who I come into contact with and those that follow me.Mistah Wilson: When I discovered your YouTube channel, I found myself wanting more with tha "shorts" videos. What do you ultimately want to accomplish with music?Glory Shalom: Thank you. I want to spread the love, hope, and message of Jesus Christ through my music. Music can be healing. I hope that when people hear my voice and my songs, that their lives are changed for the better.Mistah Wilson: What are your thoughts on secular music?Glory Shalom: In my opinion, we have to be really careful about what we feed ourselves spiritually. If you are feeding yourself with music with profanity, vulgar, or sexually explicit lyrics, then that is going to plant those seeds in your heart and eventually, those seeds will start to grow. I don’t listen to secular music because I try to feed myself with things that will help me to grow spiritually and bring me closer to God. Music is powerful because music can be used to usher in the presence of God. In the bible, there is a story about King Saul who was troubled by an evil spirit, but when David would play the harp for him, the evil spirit would leave. If you are trying to live for Christ, then there is a constant battle between your spirit and your flesh. The bible says that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I am going to do everything that I can to keep my spirit pure. Music is one of the avenues that the enemy uses to corrupt people’s minds and plant his own evil agendas in them. That being said, secular music is not what I prefer to listen to. I find myself listening mostly to worship music because I like to be in the presence of God.Mistah Wilson: What current and upcoming projects do you have in tha works?Glory Shalom: I am currently writing and recording new music which I am super excited about and planning to release this year. I am also working on releasing some music videos and I have a few features with some dope Christian artists that will be releasing soon. If you would like to keep up with me, definitely follow me on social media so that you can stay updated on upcoming releases.Mistah Wilson: If you can recommend only two songs of yours to a new potential fan, which ones would they be and why?Glory Shalom: The first song that I would recommend would be “Eyes of Faith”. This song means a lot to me because I was at a really low place in my life when I wrote it. I believe that “Eyes of Faith” will touch anyone that hears it. The second song I would recommend would be “Altar Ego”. This song has more of a pop feel and has also been a fan favorite! This song represents the path that led me to becoming an artist. I had to break free from my past in order to become the person that God created me to be. Both of these songs have deep meaning and I believe that any new listener will enjoy them.Mistah Wilson: What positive, encouraging words do you have for aspiring musicians?Glory Shalom: I would like to encourage the aspiring musicians by saying believe in yourself and don’t give up on your dreams. Be true to who you are and be consistent. Don’t let the world dictate to you what you should and should not do. Each one of us is unique and we each have something to offer to this world. Be bold and follow your dreams. With God all things are possible.Mistah Wilson: Where can people find and follow you online?Glory Shalom: You can connect with me @gloryshalom on Instagram, Facebook and check out my YouTube Channel at Glory Shalom. You can also visit my website https://bit.ly/3ltEGT1 to find out more info about me. My EP “Altar Ego” is out now, you can download it on all digital platforms!Mistah Wilson: Hey, Glory Shalom! Thank you so much for coming thru for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! It's been awesome having you! If you'd like to send any shout outs, let's hear it...Glory Shalom: Thank you so much for having me. Well, special shout out to Jesus, because without Him I wouldn’t be here interviewing with you today. Also, special shout out to my parents who are always there to support me, my friends, and my family members. Thank you for all of your support! I would also like to give a special shout-out to one of my partners, Eliseo Torrez of the KS Radio Show. Please check him out at @KSRadioShow on Instagram and Facebook and check out his show which airs every Friday at 8pm ET on Blog Talk Radio. And last but not least, special shoutout to everyone who played a part in putting this EP together- my Producer, Tracksion and Zorenzo who was a songwriter and did BGVs. I love you all! And special shoutout to you, Mistah Wilson and ThaWilsonBlock Magazine, thank you again for having me. God bless!
http://www.mistahwilson.com/2021/03/glory-shalom-talks-faith-music-shares.html
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honey-hippie-harper · 2 months ago
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Warm
MY. SON. LOOK AT MY SOOOOOOON AFSGHJAFGSHJAFSGHJKA
WELL, MY DAUGHTER AFGSHSFGSHJ
@nodrianbcyes HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET DAUGHTER OF MINE AFGSHJASFGSHJK
Geez. You’re a year older :’)))) <3. I hope that, despite the world it’s still going to shit, you have a nice birthday surrounded by your loved ones :’) <3 <3 <3 Thanks for being such a great friend and for having such a great sense of humor acvsbnayjk yo mean a lot, and I hope you know that :’) I wish you the best of birthdays, and remember to eat lots of cake (AND SEND PICTURES OF THE CAKE AHSFSGHJA).
Here’s a little Ruby thing <3
TW: BLOOD
Warm
Warm.
The sensation of blood could be described as warm.
For Ruby, the bigger the wound was, the warmer the blood, until it was boiling hot. It flowed out of you and made you feel like all your limbs were on fire, leaving a trace characterized by the strange, yet distinguishable smell of steel.
The saddest part of it all, was that it was a part of her.
It had become a part of her.
Lucky were the ones who had been born with it.
The others…others like her, had to watch it happen, and then live with it.
It’s not that she wasn’t proud of being a prodigy, or a Renegade, for that matter. The Renegades, especially Blacklight, whose powers he hadn’t been born with, made special emphasis on how important it was to embrace one’s prodigy persona. Perhaps a couple of counseling sessions for prodigies with acquired powers instead of birth powers before allowing them to become a Renegade would’ve been useful, but the majority of them seemed to be doing just fine.
Being a Renegade gave you a sense of importance, which, Ruby sometimes supposed, was similar to the one the Anarchists must’ve felt when Ace Anarchy appeared and decided he would be the one to change everything.
There was a huge difference between the Renegades and the Anarchists, though, for the Renegades, although not perfect, hadn’t become as corrupted as the Anarchists, and they had also managed to overcome the economic crisis they had left behind.
The Renegades often made you feel secure in your own skin, no matter where your powers had come from, and one of their main objective was creating a society where prodigies and non-prodigies could coexist, without putting the other down to defend their own cause.
Despite their flaws, Ruby considered them to be a great organization, and she was proud of being a Renegade.
And, more than that, she was also glad she had managed to get something so fulfilling, exciting and important out something that had been so horrible and gruesome.
“Sometimes you can find light in the darkest things.” Blacklight used to say.
She knew it was only because he like to involve the concept of dark and light in every single one of his speeches, but that specific phrase had been stuck in her head for the longest time, and it refused to go away.
She had found light in the darkest thing that had ever happened to her.
But that didn’t mean she had forgotten the darkness, and how it came in the shape of knives, with the taste of metal and the boiling sensation of blood covering her entire body like a huge blanket, only to be replaced with the itchiness of something solid growing from the fresh wounds.
The memories were rarely there during the daytime, because she had better things to think about.
However, the nighttime was a different story, because in the night everything was more silent and Ruby was calm. Inert. And overall vulnerable, which she wasn’t the biggest fan of.
There were better days than others, and she rarely ever knew she was having a bad day until she saw scary faces in her dreams, holding sharp things and screaming the most soulless words she had ever had the pleasure to hear at her, a tiny dot staring at them from the floor.
It always started with the men, and it usually ended with the rubies. When she was lucky, it ended with the sensation of swallowing a pill, but a hundred times more unpleasant.
That day, she happened to be lucky.
“Hey…hey…” There was a hand shaking her whole body, taking her by the shoulder. “…Ruby?”
Her body bounced upwards upon the falling feeling people sometimes got in their sleep. There was a strong smell of metal and steel, and it broke through her nostrils, invading her entire system. She was used to the smell, but it still made her very nauseous after waking up from a nightmare.
A nightmare. Yes.
That’s all it had been.
A nightmare.
Trying to steady her breath and focus her vision, she found Nova’s eyes staring back at her.
That night, they were standing guard in the old theatre, for no specific reason other than it was going through some renovations. For some time now, it had been used to present low-budgeted musicals or plays, but, legend had it, after the job was done, it would be turned into a party salon, because, after all, it had been used as a party salon during the Age of Anarchy anyway.
They weren’t the only patrol there, either, because it was a big building and they were in charge to prevent or stop break-ins. All of them, however, were scattered through the floors. The floors where they would spend the night were supposed be sorted randomly, but Adrian was given the chance to choose. Hence, they were now in the third floor, in a room that had once been used as a dressing room.
The junk food’s remains were all around them, and, with the nightlight they had brought with them, Ruby could see the rest of the team, very comfortable in their sleeping bags.
Oscar was the closest to her, lying on his side, facing the opposite direction Ruby was. His head was resting on his arm, and his cane was next to him, close to his backpack.
Danna was drooling on Adrian. They both were out of their sleeping bags, and he was laying on his stomach, while she was using his back as her pillow.
Nova, naturally, hadn’t brought a sleeping bag with her, because she didn’t need it, and over the few months they had been around her, something Ruby noticed (although she didn’t tell anyone because she didn’t want to be rude) was that, besides being practical, she didn’t own many things, and she always declined the invitations to go out to eat with them. At first, she didn’t pay much attention to it, because she started acting the most distant after she shot the Detonator in self-defense, but then, even after she looked way less shocked, it didn’t seem like her attitude had changed all that much. She still didn’t appear to own many things, and she always wore the same three or four shirts when she wasn’t wearing her uniform.
One could only hope that, with the paycheck they received from the Renegades’ part, her situation would get better eventually, but, as for now, Ruby highly doubted she even owned a sleeping bag. After all, a sleeping bag wasn’t exactly a top priority item for a prodigy whose power happened to be not having the physical necessity to sleep.
Snapping back into reality once again, Ruby realized she was still here.
Deep down, she was disappointed this wasn’t Oscar, and, when she realized that, she felt guilty. Hence, trying to smile, she said, in a hoarse voice:
“Hi.” Then, Ruby gulped. “…I had a bad dream.”
Nova blinked and nodded, as if agreeing with that statement.
Another thing she had noticed about Nova, was that she always seemed to be emotionless. She rarely took the time to consider whether the thing she was planning to say would offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. She just phrased her sentences in her mind, and then they came out from her mouth like word vomit. She was straight up, and sometimes she said mean or self-deprecating things in a tone so flat, dull and nonchalantly it send shivers down Ruby’s spine. She wasn’t exactly a warm person, while Ruby considered herself to be one, and that’s why, at first, it had been kind of weird to have her around.
Not that she were complaining.
Adrian always said, ever since they became a team, that it was important to have balance. You couldn’t have a team full of people who had the personality of a cinnamon roll, just like you couldn’t have a team full of people who had the personality of an icicle (that’s why everybody hated Team Frostbite so much).
He seemed to like Nova very much.
As in, like-like.
There was a huge difference in the way he liked Danna or Oscar or herself, and the way he liked Nova, which reminded her of the way in which she liked Oscar.
Maybe that’s why she found herself to be kind of disappointed when she saw Nova instead of Oscar.
“You’re bleeding.”
The first thing that popped up in her mind was “Yes, I’m always bleeding”, until she realized that Nova was way too clever to make such an obvious statement. She had to mean something else.
Once she looked around, Ruby’s attention reached her bandages, and also her sleeping bag.
She was covered in blood.
Her forever open wounds were itching as the dense, crimson liquid gushed out of them, though the hemorrhage was starting to settle down already.
Ruby had been stabbed four times. Two in her right arm, one in the chest, and one in the stomach. Ever since the incident, the wounds hadn’t stopped bleeding, so they always had to be wrapped up in bandages. Nevertheless, every now and then, a trigger appeared, and that made altered everything.
Her power was embarrassing and complicated sometimes.
Nova, from her part, didn’t seem to be judging her, nor did she seem to be disgusted by the scene right there, in front of her.
Nova wasn’t the problem.
The problem was that Ruby had been made fun of because of it before, especially when they attended camps or when, for some special circumstances, they had to spend entire nights in the Headquarters. Her team always managed to defend her, and she knew how to defend herself, but that didn’t change the fact there were some things she had had to gone through, because of something that hadn’t, nor would it ever be her fault.
It wasn’t her fault she smelled like blood (It was logical. She was always bleeding), just like it wasn’t her fault she sometimes bled more than the usual.
Nova’s presence made her feel unprotected, and Ruby shrunk, trying to hide herself beneath her sleeping bag, but in the end that only made her feel more ashamed, because the sleeping bag was bloody as well.
She had bled through all of her bandages, through her clothes, and the blood had then reached the fabric of the sleeping bag.
Ruby looked like a crime scene, and for once she noticed there was something different in Nova’s eyes.
They were not as cold.
A little sympathetic, even.
“Do you have any extra bandages with you?”
It then occurred to Ruby that, perhaps, Nova hadn’t come here to laugh, or make comments that came off as lowkey out of place. She had heard all sorts of comments in regards to the issue. She had been asked if she was having an extra heavy period, or if bleeding like this was the equivalent of peeing herself in the middle of the night. Nova wasn’t saying any of those things.
She pretty much was just…there.
Gulping, Ruby lifted her hand up a little, pointing at her backpack, which was next to Adrian’s.
Trying to make as little sound as possible, Nova crawled and reached for it, hanging it from her shoulders, before getting on her feet and offering a hand to Ruby, in order to help her do the same.
Before doing anything, Ruby wrapped herself in her extra blanket, and she didn’t even had to ask where they were going, because she already knew.
The restroom didn’t have showers, but at least it looked relatively clean.
Once they were inside, Nova held the backpack towards her, and Ruby opened it, only to be greeted by her extra change of clothes, which she would have to wear, and her kit.
Normally, she would’ve removed the bandages and clean them herself, but they were too sticky, and she didn’t even know where to start.
When she noticed that, for some reason, Nova proceeded to try to help. Paying little attention to the fact her fingers were a little red by the end, she removed the bandage from her arm, and then helped her clean it with a wet cloth, no signs of disgust to the sight of the open, swollen, bleeding wound. She passed the cloth through it a couple of times, and then wrapped some new bandages around it.
After that, she gave her some privacy to finish the job, and once she was out of the restroom, Ruby cleaned the wounds in her chest and stomach, wrapping new bandages around it.
She put on her extra change of clothes, and came out of the restroom.
-.-
When they came back to the dressing room, Ruby realized her sleeping bag still looked like a crime scene, and if there was one thing she didn’t have, that something was an extra sleeping bag.
She didn’t want to sleep on her own blood, either, so she just grimaced, and then went to sit next to Nova, who was by the window.
She asked no questions, because she never did, especially when she felt that something was none of her business.
Nova was staring at the moon, and her scarred eyebrow was arched. That, Ruby did try to ask why, but maybe, just like the way her wounds worked were none of Nova’s business, the way she was staring at the moon was none of Ruby’s business.
But they were right there, sitting next to the other, while the rest of the team slept behind them, and while the city slept beneath them.
Then, Ruby wondered why was it that she didn’t sleep.
But it occurred to her that, once again, it was none of her business.
Maybe one day, but not today.
They were not that deep.
“Where do you think prodigies come from?” Asked Nova, out of nowhere, avoiding eye contact. “The moon or the stars?”
If she wanted to be brutally honest, she hadn’t seen that coming.
Nova was more of a science person, rather than someone who believed in myths like those.
Good thing Ruby wasn’t exactly a science person herself, and she had been through her myth and legend-obsessed phase.
“Well, most people believe we come from the stars.”
“That’s true.” Nova nodded. “I believe we come from the stars, too.”
For some reason, Ruby didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just stared.
The moon was still there, along with the stars, which looked like freckles.
One time, Oscar had compared her freckles to them.
“It’s a nice concept.” Ruby shrugged. “Stars are beautiful.”
“They are. Until they explode.” Nova scoffed, ruffling her own hair, carelessly. “They are my favorite part of the night.”
“…And you spend too much time awake.”
“…Exactly.”
Then, they didn’t say anything else, but once they were quiet enough, Ruby sighed, and just like she used to do with Danna sometimes, she slowly got into a laying position, resting her head on Nova’s lap.
For a second, she felt Nova’s apparently touch starved body become tense, hard as a rock, but then she took a deep breath and tried to relax her muscles.
She didn’t pull away.
On the contrary, Nova slowly lowered her hand, and placed it on Ruby’s arm, rhythmically tapping on her skin. It wasn’t an aggressive gesture. It was rather stealthy, to the point she could barely feel it.
Some minutes after that…seconds, she dared to say, Ruby fell into a deep, deep sleep, from which she didn’t wake up until the next day.
Fortunately, this time, it was a dreamless sleep.
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annaraebananawriter · 2 months ago
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1: Just a Bad Dream; Dying in LA
PLEASE READ NOTE BEFORE STORY:
Yellow everyone! I just wanted to warn you that I’m still kind of recovering from burning myself out, so don’t expect anything too awesome this week. I think Day 1 is actually the best that I’ve written for it, so far, so...It’s really just for me to stretch my muscles out again and get back into the flow.
With that said, this is Dy 1 of Dark Cream Week by @zu-is-here
Fandom: Undertale, but specifically UTMV
Characters: Shattered Dream (Who belongs to Galacii), Cross (Who belongs to Jakei) and mentioned Nightmare (who belongs to Joku)
Pairings: For now, implied Cream/Dark Cream
Warnings: I can’t remember, so let me know!
Word Count: 2096
~oOo~
The moment you arrived
They built you up
The sun was in your eyes
You couldn't believe it
~oOo~
They say that fate determines how you end up in life.
They say that destiny determines what you do in life.
These two things work in harmony with each other, one influencing the other around and around in a never-ending circle. Everyone was touched by them before they were born, the seed for skills necessary to succeed planted in them, waiting to be grown. No matter what happens, nothing pushes you away from what fate and destiny have determined for you.
It does not matter if your actions are good. If you give everything away and help everyone you come across. If you love your friends and family and strangers unconditionally. If you ignore yourself in favor of others.
It does not matter if your actions are bad. If you spit and sneer at everyone around you. If you yell and hit in anger and hate. If you hold your needs in front of everyone else and ignore those who should have just a little bit of attention too.
It simply does not matter.
Your fate and destiny have been determined already.
Why bother changing it?
~oOo~
Riches all around
You're walking
Stars are on the ground
You start to believe it
~oOo~
Cross was familiar with loss and guilt. When you kill your family and friends, try to delete other worlds, you tend to do so out of pain, driven only by a desperate hope that you can fix what you’ve done. But you can’t. Actions have consequences and the world will not let you go without them. He knows this well, almost too well.
Nothing stops the hurt, though. He’s tried. It was still there, stinging through every bandage and healing balm. If it shrunk, it only grew stronger. Other people tried to help as well, but their efforts were also in vain. Guilt comes from the loss that his actions have caused and that guilt causes this pain that will always be there, no matter how small and weak it eventually becomes.
This was his consequence. He’s learned to accept that now.
He’s learned to walk through the hurt and try and be better.
It was hard, yes. Stumbling and tripping over his feet, hesitant to make any decision lest it be the wrong one and reset his progress. There were many times where he thought that he’d stepped over the line and that they were going to quit on him, leaving him alone again. But they didn’t. They stayed, and the stumbling smoothed out to captiousness, the hesitance smoothed into nervousness. He would not be as confident as he once was, not for a while yet, but it was a start.
He was trying. That’s all that mattered.
And now he can stand on a hill, look into the blue sky and see the colours surrounding him and he can smile. A small, serene smile made of pure content, pride for himself. He can relax his shoulders and just breathe for a moment or two.
Everything was getting better.
Until he looks to his left and see yet another consequence to his newer actions, what his pained words snarled in a patient yet hurt smiling face.
Until Dream takes that step off the edge.
~oOo~
Every face along the boulevard
Is a dreamer just like you
~oOo~
“Don’t touch me! Just…just stop trying to help!”
“I lost my entire family, my home, and he gave me the hope that I could get it back. Why should I believe that you’re not just giving me the exact same false hope?”
“Some guardian you are…”
“You don’t know anything about what I’ve been through!”
But Dream did, Cross realized it now.
Dream had lost his family, his home, too, in the blink of an eye. Not only that, but he was put in a position to fight his brother, whom had changed so much he might as well’ve been a stranger, over and over again. The pressure to do that and still be happy, or at least act like it, must’ve been immense. Cross couldn’t begin to imagine it.
They had both lost their family and been hurt in very similar ways.
Cross just wished he realized this sooner.
~oOo~
You looked at death in a tarot card
And you saw what you had to do
~oOo~
Cross didn’t try to stop Nightmare as he ran away.
He was focused on the skeleton in pain in front of them. The one who was crying, black sludge spilling down and covering his bones, tinted gold as if in reminder of what it used to be. The one who reached a hand up, to try and stop his brother from leaving, but didn’t get far before dropping it to the ground, another pained noise escaping him.
Cross was frozen. He willed his legs to move, instinct in his mind saying to turn and run away too, away from danger, away from him. But he didn’t. He stayed put, legs not listening and just watched.
Underneath the instinct was a different kind of pain. It burned instead of stinging and left his soul aching in a way he had never felt before. He was suddenly all too aware of the ring he kept in his pocket, one the skeleton in front of him had turned down. It made a lump grow in his throat and he swallowed, clenching his hands.
Dream hunched over, arms wrapped around himself.
And all at once, Cross realized something.
If his words had had any part in leading up to this…
His legs finally moved and he rushed forward, reaching for Dream, for the one he held so close to his heart, wrapping his arms around him, even though he could not shield him from something within.
If his actions had this consequence, if his consequence had given up on himself, then he would have to be the one that stayed, that brought him back.
He’ll do it, or die in the process.
~oOo~
But nobody knows you now
When you're dying in LA
And nobody owes you now
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
If fate and destiny have predetermined your story, then what does it matter how you act? If your good or bad, what does it matter? What does it matter if all your actions just bring you back to the path, no matter how far you try and stray from it?
What does anything matter?
~oOo~
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
Good can be bad and bad can be good.
This is a fact.
But does it change anything?
What does it matter?
~oOo~
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
“I’m tired.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Why can’t you see that I’m just like you?”
“Why do we have to be enemies?”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry”
“Please…don’t leave me alone again…”
“I love you.”
~oOo~
The power, the power, the power
Oh the power, the power, the power
Of LA
~oOo~
Good is bad and bad is good.
What will change because of this?
~oOo~
Nights at the chateau
Trapped in your sunset bungalow
You couldn't escape it
~oOo~
Dream is familiar with emptiness and betrayal. He’s watched his home burn, his mother cut in half and his brother metaphorically die. All of these were caused by the villagers, people Dream once believed to be his friend, no matter how harsh they might’ve been at times. When you see everyone you care about die by the hands of someone you also care about, that is what causes the emptiness.
This emptiness did not mean he didn’t feel, no. He felt quite a lot actually. Happiness, grief, calmness, anger…love…he felt them all, some more so than others. They weren’t smothered or dulled in anyway by the emptiness. No, the emptiness was rather just a numbness he’s gained to certain situations. He can’t change it.
It was his consequence. He accepts this.
He hasn’t accepted fighting his brother nonstop until one of them is dead.
It was disorienting when he started, almost like he was trying to wake on quicksand and every step he took only dragged him further down. Everything was new. He had to learn fast how to shoot a bow, how to dodge, how to block, how to run. How to survive. All while his brother watched and laughed in amusement.
That was what hurt most of all. The amusement. Brothers were supposed to care for each other, help each other stay safe and heal from injuries. They weren’t supposed to laugh at you while you barely dodged the tentacle aiming for your soul. They aren’t supposed to be trying to kill you at all.
He hated it.
~oOo~
Yeah
~oOo~
Apples are dangerous. They’re enticing. You want to take a bite of it, regardless of the effects it’ll do to your body and soul, in what ways it’ll warp your mind. They beckon you and lure you in, until all you can think about is what it’ll taste like, that savoury bite.
Nightmare wasn’t able to resist this temptation.
And if the saying goes that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…
Then it should only make sense Dream would follow in his footsteps.
~oOo~
Drink of paradise
They told you put your blood on ice
You're not gonna make it
~oOo~
Nightmare ran away from him.
The coward.
Dream doesn’t understand why. Brothers should support brothers when they decide to become better, to change how the world sees them, to try and prove they can’t be all good. They shouldn’t run, horror etched on their face as if this wasn’t supposed to happen, that he’d made such a terrible mistake.
“You can’t make mistakes, you’re positivity! You have to be perfect all the time.”
He runs his hands over each other, taking in the new coating of sludge while he waits for Cross, his lov—subordinate to wake up. It was just like Nightmare’s, the same consistency and everything, though his had a golden tint to it, rather than turquoise.
Of course.
Even corrupted, he was still positivity.
~oOo~
Every face along the boulevard
Is a dreamer just like you
~oOo~
He felt stronger. But weaker at the same time.
Was that a thing?
He felt like he could bend people to his will, make them listen just like he wants the entire multiverse to. He can’t stop thinking about people crying as he plays out illusion upon illusion in front of them, slowly dwindling their hope and love and any other positivity until it was completely shattered.
And yet, he can’t help but get the feeling that there’s a shakiness within him. Something is unbalanced, wobbling in his soul. It feels poisoned. He has no clue what it could be. He did everything the right way, he’s proven his worth, so everything should be fine now, right?
Everything was fine.
It had to be.
~oOo~
You looked at death in a tarot card
And you saw what you had to do
~oOo~
Cross groaned behind him, making Dream perk up. “…Night…mare?”
Were they really that similar now? Interesting. The thought that his brother and him can never stop being twins makes Dream giggle under his breath as he turns, smiling as Cross’s eyes widen.
“Not quite.”
~oOo~
But nobody knows you now
When you're dying in LA
And nobody owes you now
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
Fate and destiny are predetermined things…but they are not a gift, no.
They are a curse.
Bad gets jealous of good and tries to prove he can be just the same as his counterpart, but only succeeds in cursing himself farther. Good is hurt by this and centuries go by.
Good gets desperate, nothing enough anymore, so he tries to prove tat he can be just the same as his counterpart, both succeeding and failing. He’s cursed himself, too.
Bad runs away, leaving good.
And now they’ve both strayed from their path.
~oOo~
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
Good is bad and bad is good.
Or are they?
How can we tell? Who are we to say?
They will determine that for themselves, who is who.
~oOo~
When you're dying in LA
~oOo~
“…are you crying?”
“Don’t stop.”
“It feels amazing!”
~oOo~
The power, the power, the power
Oh, the power, the power, the power
~oOo~
Fate has bended and destiny is broken.
How will this change things?
~oOo~
Of LA
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meinstarpein · 2 months ago
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So.... could you guys rate my 1st chapter
-----CHAPTER ONE-----                                                                                               
Once upon a time, the world was full of magic and beasts, Wizards, spellcasters, and beast-keepers. Magic was flowing in the air like the wind But not all magic is pure, some used it for terror and power. In Gersin, Italy, in the year 2056. Two Eighteen-year-olds came to a secret event called “Palazzo Magico”. (Magic Palace). It was where the corrupted mayor of Gersin allowed covens to sell illegal items such as “Magic Dust” and ceramics made from Mercury.
 A boy named Zayne Gen Callop, and a girl named Gyles Ron Zen, came from different families. they sought refuge as their parents were beheaded, the reason was accusing the king of Italy of slavery. the two knew they could never fit in in a world like this.
     The two friends enter an empty shop named “Marco’s potions and magic items Until Something captures Zayne’s eyes. It was a gleaming light coming from inside a room where a sign states“SOLO PERSONALE”. Gyles  looked at him who was staring at the door and;
 “what are you looking at Zayne?” She asked, she went to him and she saw the light reflecting from his eyes.
 She looked at what it came from and went beside the door for a closer look. Until the cashier of the store, named Valentina, who was reading a newspaper while her foot was up the counter, stopped her and warned her not to go.
 “Hey!, you there, don’t go in, didn’t you read the sign?” 
She asked sarcastically.
     “Oh, no worries, I was just looking,” 
     “Then go look somewhere else” 
“Va bene” She replied shrugging. 
     She returned to Him and said, 
“Hey, Zay”She whispered.
     “What?”
She grabbed Zay and went outside the store where there was a dark alley.
     "I saw what you were staring at" She Explained "and yes I want to get it too".
     He chuckled and was happy when she agreed. 
 "How did you know I was going to say that, Zen" 
He asked, wondering how she guessed it so well.
 "Let's just say we share the same mind," She said with a confident smirk.
     “Okay, here’s the plan,  intimidate her using your lesbian charm, just make her look the other way, while I go in the counter, behind her back, and grab the keys, which I think are just attached under it, when I open the door to get the object” He asserted, knowingly well something will go bad. 
“ wait did you just say that I use my lesbian charm on her even though I'm straight? nope, nope, nope. Maybe you should charm her, not me, I only agreed to this because you wanted it to you know” 
she complained. 
He scoffed and said  "I did not, okay that was a lie and was obvious," he said the last part with a straight face.“Wait, you can't deny the fact that You  got more girls following you than the most popular guy back in high school right?”
     He tried to make a standard point and won the argument.
     "Oh fine, I still don't know why though,  you're the only one who's not affected by this" 
She complimented herself while pointing her arms from head to toe just to get a good look at her body.
 "Just shut up and do what I said earlier"
     he stated very seriously, she scoffed as a reply.
They went back inside to execute their plan. 
“Oh, it’s you guys” Valentina said with lifelessness in her eyes. 
They ignored her reply and Zen immediately went up to the counter and said “Hey there hot stuff” while winking at her.
     The cashier put down what she was reading to see who disturbed her. 
“What do you want?” she groaned.
     “For some reason, I was feeling a little off today. But when you came along, you turned me on.” 
Gyles said in a teasing manner. 
     Valentina blushed at her pick up line.
     “Oh shut up she replied while covering her cheek. 
When she was busy teasing the cashier, Callop was just about to enter the door until, outside the shop were three royal guards on patrol. He signals his best friend to look outside the shop. She saw His hands waving back and forth and looked behind her, the three guards on patrol, and to not be spotted, she immediately grabbed the cheeks of the cashier and pulled her close for a kiss. Zay quickly grabbed the keys and hid inside the backroom of the shop.
    One of the royal guards looked at the shop and saw the two making out and said “go get a room” under his breath with disgust.
Zay raised his thumb and let out the room to let her know the guards were gone. The guards were finally away and released their lips together, breaking the bridge of saliva in both of their mouths. She wipes off the drool at the edge of her lips while the cashier passes out. Zay sighed with relief and slowly walked to the star-shaped item. 
“Hmm, that’s weird, Why was it not encased in a box or crate,” He thought
“Oh well,” he said while the reflection of light was dancing on his blue bright eyes.
 “Hey Callop, got it yet?” She whispered loud enough for him to hear.
 He hid the midnight colored, star-shaped item in his jacket’s left pocket. He was lucky because it was slightly small for his pocket. He went out the door and grabbed Her with him. Gyles grabbed two pouches of “magic bags of dust” on the way out. They ran out of the store safely until the royal men spotted them. “They went there, I saw them,” said one of the guards pointing in where the two were running. 
Gyles’ notices the guards following them and notifies zay. “Hey zay, they're onto us” She notified.
 “I know, where do you think we’re going?” Said Zay.
 Gyles looked at where they were going because she was only following him. “Wait no that’s a dead end, they cut it off weeks ago,” She Told Zay.
 Zay stopped to think and made ridiculous turns and eventually got a wall made of cloth. “Hey Gyles, Do you trust me?” He asked like he’s about to do something. 
“Yeah” she quickly agreed without any hesitation  “Zay, we got company”  She nervously told Zay that the guards were closing down on them in the alleyway they took.
 Zay took a few steps back while holding Gyles’ right hand. “Zay, if you have an idea, just do it I don’t even care anymore” She lifelessly said, even though she does care about their lives. 
“Get ready to jump,” He excitedly said.
“Wait what do you mean by--” her sentences were cut off as Zay broke the cloth wall and jumped into the deep abyss that was at the other side of the wall.
 As They sunk deeper, and deeper into the ground, they were about to die from such a height. Zay’s Jacket’s right part was glowing, it was the hue blue that was illuminating. Its light was so bright, the light even made the jacket see-through, releasing light through the tiniest stitches on the jacket. The light on Zay’s jacket got even brighter.
 As they sink into the abyss, Gyles’ starts to pray aggressively while Zay screams at the top of his lungs “Dio Salvami!!”. He started to regret Jumping from the start.
His screams turned into mumbles because of the air flowing into his mouth. Inside his jacket, the item that was glowing started to spin rapidly. One-touch and your fingers will turn into sliced meat. Zay felt Spinning inside and scratched some of his jackets until a random portal appeared below them when they were about to hit the ground. the illuminating light was so bright, they had to cover their eyes. The portal was like an endless void, ready to crush every piece of your body to dust. When they went inside the portal, it instantly disappeared.
 “How are we going to tell Capo what just happened in a nick of time?” Wondered one of the royal guards. 
“Let’s just go back, I'm tired and hungry,” Groaned one man.
On a land named Xero, A portal randomly appeared above its forest. It was nature-filled, full of life and other living creatures. Unlike earth, its inhabitants are a bizarre mixture of wildlife. They fell into a forest named Remorse, Which means death in Xeroin. Known for its deadly wildlife and rocky guardians entitled as Fade, the forest is also infamously known for its beautiful landscape and how the sunlight makes the bumpy trails and clearings full of colorful flowers and emerald grass. Its mountains consist of iron, gold, copper, and nickel. As the portal spitted them out in the morning sun, They landed on the forest’s bushy glae flowers, a type of flower that makes your scent fragrant as virgin wool. 
Zay then woke up after they both passed out. He stood upright and looked at his skin. 
“Aarrgghh, what happened to my skin!” He screamed as he was looking at himself, he looked at his back and saw a blue, furry tail hanging down. “Aarrgghh, I have a tail!” He exclaimed, “And I have four, long ears?!”. 
His panicking made Gyles wake up from her nap. As she stood up, she immediately saw him and screamed, “Tu chi Sei?” while pointing at him. She straight away saw her long nails. “Aargh, why are my nails so long?” She screamed to herself. 
“Wow, you look like a fucking beast and that’s the first thing you notice?” He sarcastically asked. 
She instantly knew that it was Zay because of how sarcastic he sounded and had a sigh of relief. They have now turned into Kelins. Kelins are humanoid beasts that roam around Xero. There is a difference between beasts and Kelins.
     Kelins are like civilized and more advanced beasts. Beasts on the other hand are uncontrollable, Which means they cannot be tamed or wild. Even though they were strange and almost monster-like, they still stood up and walked like any other ordinary human would do.
 They briefly got caught up in the situation they were in until A voice came from a bush and said, “Hi there” with a small voice, almost like that of a little girl. 
The two screamed and grabbed each other’s arms and slowly backed away from the bush.
 “Did Cespuglio just talk?” He screamed, asking Gyles. 
“What the Fuck is a Cespuglio?” then something came out of the bush, it was a Violet scaled teenager with horns growing from each side. “Hi I'm Abigail, Abigail lensferson,” Said Abigail and as she introduced herself, she asked for their names. 
You don’t expect someone to help you until you know their names. She was amazed and confused at the same time, she circled Gyles to see what kind of creature she was. 
“Woah what are you?” they both said in unison while pointing at each other. 
Abigail gasped and had just thought what kind of beast they were.” ahh” She squealed “You guys are one of those, Aris” She thought, and pointed her finger upwards. 
Zay got up and dusted himself. 
Abigail checked out Gyles by walking around her as her eyes went up and down. she then tilted her head revealing Zay at the back “Oohhh, hey there handsome” She said while biting her lip and checking him.
 “Okay first of all, eww,” He said with disgust on his face “second, do you know where we can wash some clothes?” He asked, scratching the back of his head.
 
“Maybe I could just show you ” She Seductively teased him and winked.
 “Oh? you would?” He believed. 
“Eeww, Zay, no, stay away” Gyles warned. blocking Zayne with her arm. 
"Come, i'll show you to town" Abigail kindly suggested. 
 As our adventurers set sail out of the woods, they watched as strange creatures roamed around the trail they were following. Red and orange trees surround the path, indicating fall is near. Deers eat in the tall grass, but this kind of deer is different from their knowledge. These deers have doubled their antlers and have black and white spots on their sides, eating away the other excess plants like wild berries or fruits that fell off a tree. they now have found themselves out of the forest and into a village.
"Welcome to Iridain" Abigail introduced her home kingdom frantically while raising her arms and pointing at the welcome sign that was located at the top of the walls. 
As they went inside the walls, some townsfolk greeted them and were very friendly. the town itself wasn’t very populated so there were many spaces for living and is perfect for making a brand new start. 
“Wow, the townsfolk are friendly” Zayne concluded from the townspeople that were frantically shaking their hands with them.
“Don't You dare touch me” Gyles fiercely said with a bitter face. 
The townspeople listened and instead of shaking hands, they offered Gyles some food like bread. 
“We Iridains are known for our hospitality and kindness” 
Said one of the villagers that were at the back of the crowd. 
Then a well dressed, yellow scaled, dragon-like being came from above, fluttering his wings as he came down to greet the newcomers. 
“Greetings, my name is William Gerand, people call me Liam for short'' 
Introduced the yellow dragon. “I am one of the kings of amber, I control the south part of this kingdom,” He said gracefully. 
Abigail looked down as she saw her father’s look on his face.
 “Abigail, what did I tell you about talking to strangers'' He said “I am deeply sorry if she caused you any trouble” And he added.
“Wait, is he your dad?” Gyles asked. 
“No worries sir, She even helped us cross the forest” Zay Kindly answered. 
“Do you wish to stay here until your next journey?” Asked Liam. 
“It’s alright sir” Replied Gyles. 
“No, I insist” He added. 
“Okay Then” Callop enthusiastically agreed. 
“Hey, we should keep a low profile before we could do anything, okay?" She told Zay. 
At night, Liam Brought the three back to the manor and each had to pick which room they were going to sleep in.
 “I pick the one with the two-sided bed” Zay frantically said. 
“Wait, if you wish to sleep in the two-sided bed, you have to pick someone to sleep with'' Liam Said “To not waste space”. 
“Really dad?” She complained, “Why do you have to do that to every guest”. 
“I would like to sleep alone please,” She asked “to not hear callop’s snoring” Gyles added and narrowed her eyes at him. 
As she went inside her room, she noticed two things that were off. The closet was too big, and the mattress was too soft that she would sink in.
 "Meh" she groaned, knowing that she couldn't do anything about it
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everygildedstar · 2 months ago
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Bible Study (Optional Male Bias)
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Summary: He wants to know what could be better than God’s love, and you are happy to enlighten him
Pairing: Optional Bias x Reader
Word Count: 1.9k
Warnings: smut, corruption kink, religious corruption, blasphemy, hand jobs, blow jobs, riding, fem dom, male sub, loss of virginity, sex in a church, semi-public sex, quoting scripture during sex
A/N: It’s been a while since i wrote a smut so i’m rusty, so please be nice. Inspired by a discussion with @bigkpopstan and anon about religious corruption and Heeseung. Heeseung was in mind when I wrote this but it’s technically optional bias so have fun. ;)
“Meet me in the confession booth when everyone leaves for the barbeque,” you had messaged him. 
There had been a certain tension between the two of you for a while. He knew you weren’t the innocent “Church Girl” you pretended to be, and you knew he was curious. Curious about what could be so great as to reject what you were taught at church. What could possibly be better than God’s love? 
He had asked you as much one day, while you were waiting for your parents to stop socializing so you could go home.
“Because I like what I can understand,” you answered. “I like what makes me feel alive. I like what I can be certain of. And I am certain that there are a great number of things that are more pleasurable to me than church, and worshipping our so-called God while receiving nothing in return.”
“Like what?” he pushed.
“Maybe I could show you sometime,” you had said before walking out with your family.
He hadn’t brought it up to you again for a long time, but you could tell he thought about it. You could see it in his face every time you caught him looking at you, and every time he would look away blushing, as if he had been caught doing something sinful.
Finally he couldn’t take it anymore. He asked you to show him. And that’s how, today, you ended up pulling him into the confession booth in the empty church.
You shut and locked the door behind you, and then there was silence. The tension was so thick, just the sound of your breaths to fill the space, only a small amount of light leaking into the tiny room.
“Are you sure about this?” you asked. “There is no going back. You will only be pretending to be the good church boy. You will be like me,” You reach out and hold his face in one hand and the nape of his neck with the other, leaning in to whisper in his ear, “a sinner.”
You feel him nod. “Use your words.”
“Yes. I’m sure.”
“And you are not scared?” you ask further.
“No. If it is truly a sin, and should I wish to repent, God is merciful. He will take me back,” he says. 
You let out a breathy laugh. “And if you don’t wish to repent?”
He wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you closer. “Then I suppose hell can’t be that bad if you’ll be there, my own beautiful temptress.”
You laughed again. “So much for the good little church boy.” 
You leaned in and kissed him. It started out slow and sweet, and you tried to pour every ounce of passion and honey as you can into every movement. He seemed to follow your lead leaning into you so much you were leaning back with him. You bit his lip, and then took his gasp to press your tongue into his mouth. He moans a little, surprised at the intrusion and starts sucking on it. 
You slowly move him back until his back hits the wall of the booth, pressing yourself close to his body. You tug his hair while your other hand starts to roam, slowly feeling its way past each dip in his defined chest and abdomen. You hook a finger in his belt loop and use it to pull his hips even further against you, forcing him to break the kiss and let out a moan. You move to kiss his neck, or at least the little bit you could reach with his unbuttoned collar. He moans again, and then again even louder when your hips forward. “What is your favorite scripture?” you ask. “Recite it for me, and don’t stop or I’ll stop.”
“What-” he asks as you unbutton his pants while you attack his neck with your mouth again. He gasps when you pull down his zipper, and then you reach your fingers into the waistband of his boxer briefs, eventually grasping his cock with only the tips of your fingers. He lets out a needy groan, rolling his hips into your touch, but you don’t move any further.
“Recite it, or I’m not going to do anything.”
He takes a second to gather his thoughts enough. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not wa-want.” He stutters when you pull his waistband down and bring his cock out, hissing at the cold air. You give it one stroke, and then stop, waiting for him to continue.
“He maketh me to lie d-down in green pastures-” You start stroking him slowly, rubbing your thumb over his slit once to gather his pre-come. You continue kissing his neck until you find a sweet spot that makes him whimper.
“-he leadeth me be-beside the still waters.” You move faster, pumping lightly with each stroke, while you pull his hair with the hand still resting there. 
“He restoreth my s-soul-” His grip on you tightens, hands grabbing fistfulls of the material of your church dress. “-he leadeth me in the p-paths of righteousness for his -ngh- name's sake.”
“Yea, though I wa-alk through the valley of the sha-hadow of death, I will f-fear no evil-” you move your kisses to the other side of his neck, and he throws his head back against the wood of the booth.
“-for thou art with m-me; thy rod and thy s-staff they co-co-comfort me- ” You then get on your knees in front of him, licking the tip of his cock, hand still stroking his length. “-Shit!”
You snicker, giving a long lick up the underside before looking up at him. “Don’t swear when you are reciting scripture, sinner.” -he moans at the nickname- “Keep going.”
He whines again before he continues, voice considerably higher. 
“Th-thou preparest a ta-able before me in the pre-esence of mine enemies-” You take the head of his cock into your mouth, sucking lightly. He lets out a guttural groan.
“-thou anointest m-my head with o-oil-” your hand that isn’t preoccupied with stroking the part of his cock that is not deep in your mouth is making its way under to cup his balls. 
“-my cup ru-runneth over.” He muffles a whine with one hand while the other makes its way into your hair.
He pulls his hand away from his mouth to recite the next part. “Surely g-goodness and merc-cy shall follow me all the d-days of my life- ngh!” You are bobbing your mouth farther and farther each time, and he has to refrain from thrusting his cock deeper into your mouth. 
“-and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Fuck, I’m so close-” He finishes his scripture, and you take him as far as you can and swallow, the squeezing of your throat around his cock almost sending him over the edge. You lift your mouth off of him with a pop, and he whines like a hurt puppy. “No- Please- Why?”
You stand back up and turn him, making sit on the seat to your left, before you push your skirt up around your hips and straddle him. “You didn’t think I was gonna let you have all the fun, did you?”
You grip his cock again, rubbing the tip over the wet spot on your panties. Both of you let out a moan together, pressing your foreheads together. His hands fly to your hips, gripping them tightly.
“Are you okay with this?” You ask again before you continue. 
He nods, the thin ray of light peeking into the booth in a perfect spot to show the desire in his eyes. “Yes, please. Please let me feel you. I’m not turning back.” He kisses you again, short but passionately. “Ruin me.”
You whine at his words, then you pull your soaked panties to the side and line his cock up with your entrance before you sink down on him, ever so slowly. Deep, long moans come from both of you. You kiss him again when he is fully sheathed inside you.
“Would you like for me to recite my favorite scripture for you?” you ask him, foreheads together while you adjust to his large size. “It was from a woman to her lover, and I feel like it fits the situation nicely.”
He nods, interested. “Enlighten me.”
“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” You start to move agonizingly slowly up and down his length. He buries his face in your neck to muffle his noises and grips your hips even harder, and you were sure you would have bruises in the shape of his hands the next day. 
“His head is as the most fine gold; his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.” You tangle your hands into his own hair and he attaches his lips to the side of your neck like you had done to him.
“His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.” You start to move faster, rolling your hips with each thrust. 
“His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh.” You feel his hips stutter as he struggles to keep from thrusting up into you. 
“His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl-” He loses the fight, and starts jerking his hips up as you sink down, causing him to go way deeper, hitting your sweet spot and making you moan. “-his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.”
“His legs are as pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold; his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.” You take one of his hands from your hips and press it between you against your clit, ripping a whine out of you.
“His mouth is most sweet-“ you move impossibly faster, even with your thighs growing tired. Your combined sounds and heavy breaths resonate within the confined box. 
“I’m close- is it ok if I…” He asked. You nod pulling him close, lips hovering only a hair away from his. 
“-yea, he is altogether lovely.” You kiss him deeply as you reach your high, hands harshly pulling his hair and gripping his shoulder. The squeezing from your release sent him over the edge, and he pulled your hips flush to his, coating your insides. 
As you come down from your orgasms, you finish the scripture. “This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” 
The two of you sit in silence for a minute, catching your breaths.
“Holy shit-” he says, and you let out a breathy laugh as you pull off of him, both of you wincing at the sensitivity. “I see why you do this now.”
“Are you gonna regret this and never talk to me again?” You ask, standing up and fixing yourself up. 
“Hell no.” He puts himself away and zips and buttons his pants. You feel his hands rest on your hips, and you wrap your arms around his neck, leaning in for another kiss.
“What do we tell our parents if they ask where we’ve been?” 
“Tell them we were doing private bible study and shared our favorite verses. And maybe ask if we can see each other more often for “bible study” sessions,” you added before stealing another kiss. 
“Sounds good to me,” he said. “That’s the only kind of bible study I’ll need from now on. If god is real and merciful, he can forgive me when the day comes. I have the only god I want to believe in right here in my arms.”
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iathings · 2 months ago
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Why Nigerians Are More Afraid of Police Than Criminals What does it say about a society when people fear the police more than the criminals? It means that the society is broken and the level of consciousness within the society needs to be risen. Unfortunately, that can only be achieved using a completely new way of thinking that only concepts such as the HERU Interface of Black Consciousness can provide. Police brutality in Nigeria has been a concern among Nigerians for a very long time. The situation has now come to a crisis as anti-police brutality protesting (#ENDSARS) against the country’s special anti-crime unit, better known as SARS, has turned into all out violence. Dozens of protesters have been killed by the police, special forces and the Army and the protesters have returned the favor by burning down numerous police stations, businesses, and government offices.   If you are like me looking in from the outside, you might feel that it’s terrible that the police are killing innocent protestors but how did the situation get so terrible? The truth is that the whole of the society is to blame. The SARS force was created as a result of the senseless violence that permeates Nigerian society. There are several types of feared criminals that people used to dread more than the police. The first type of criminals that are prevalent in Nigerian society are Ritualists. They kidnap people on a regular basis then dismember their victims and sell their body parts to people who then use the body parts in their own rituals. Who are the customers, you might ask? The customers are everyone from preachers and business people to everyday citizens who couldn’t give a damn about their neighbors. This is a real sickness within the society. The second most feared criminals are bandits who kidnap business people, politicians, and anyone they suspect of having family wealth. Kidnappers will kill their victims even after receiving their ransom demands so no one ever wants to encounter them. The third type of feared criminals in Nigeria is the robbers. They mostly prey on businesses and Banks but they will rob anyone for their cars, cell phones, and cash. All three types of criminals usually operate in gangs. SARS was created as a special task force to focus on investigating these criminal gangs while allowing regular police officers to focus on other crimes. Over time, the tactics that SARS used to gather evidence became corrupt. They would detain and torture suspects in order to extract information in their investigations but when the suspects died during the interrogation, their bodies were dumped. When SARS took down gangs, they often extra-judiciously killed all the suspects. Eventually, they began to be perceived as lawless criminals themselves with no accountability to anyone. Women often accused them of rape and men of battery without just cause. So, how did the Police become just as bad as the criminals? We can’t compare them to American Police because we know that most instances of Police brutality in North America is due to racism. The answer is that they lack morals and accountability but that explanation is still too simple isn’t it? The fact is that the whole of Nigerian society is to blame. They are suffering from a deficiency of conscience. Before Nigerians condemn me for sounding self-righteous, I also believe that the whole world is suffering from a deficiency of conscience. I’m also from a country with one of the highest murder rates on the planet. We also had a special force we called ACID that became corrupt and called out by Amnesty International. The force was disbanded but crime and violence only continued. Today there are over 1000 murders in Jamaica every year for the past 20 years. This is in a population of only 3 million people, not even the size of some Nigerian cities. Human cognition only operates in two states; conscience and desire. Conscience is an energy field that connects us to the Great Spirit that is the Universe. The more attention we give it, the more it grows to strengthen our empathy, care, and concern for other people. These are the building blocks of our morals. Desire on the other hand, is an energy field that grounds our Soul to the Earth. It induces us to seek out the pleasures of life which provides us with a false sense of happiness. Everyone, including preachers override their #conscience in order to enjoy the pleasures of life. That is why you see Preachers buying multi-million-dollar Jets, fancy Cars, luxury Houses, and designer clothes. #Nigeria now has some of the richest preachers in the world while the vast percentage of the population is poor. It tells everyone in society that money is king therefore they are doing anything to get rich. If a deceiver comes to them and tells them that the best and fastest way to get money is to kill a woman, boil her vagina and breasts and eat them, they will do it. The ritualists then gets rich from selling deception to hundreds of people. The only problem is that people who go to ritualists don’t see that it’s their money that is making the ritualists rich. They think that it’s because the ritualist is also eating body parts to gain power. The result is that the whole society, from top to bottom, is now spiraling downward into a whirlpool of depravity. Policing will get weaker and the criminals stronger, then after the population cries out another SARS force will be created. This cycle will continue until we begin to learn about then pursue our true purpose as Human beings on this planet. heruinterface.com
Integral Dohgon 
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tinyshe · 3 months ago
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Viewpoints
Opinion: A Mom’s Research (Part 1): Nordic Countries Are Not Socialist Paradises
Jean Chen
February 12, 2021 Updated: February 14, 2021
As the mother of a 17-year-old in a deep blue state, I am often asked questions about socialism and communism. Not always being able to answer them, I have to do extensive research. I guess this is the situation many Epoch Times readers encounter: having to discuss these topics with family and friends.
One comment I received: “Yeah, I know communism is bad. But I want socialism, like the kind in Sweden or other Nordic countries.”
Indeed, Nordic countries are often used as models of “good” socialism by leftists, like Bernie Sanders, the Clintons, and Barack Obama. In 2010, National Public Radio praised Denmark as “a country that seems to violate the laws of the economic universe.” Although having high taxes, it had “one of the lowest poverty rates in the world, low unemployment, a steadily growing economy, and almost no corruption.”
In 2003, Sweden’s social democratic former Prime Minister Göran Persson used a bumblebee as an example to illustrate his country’s economy: “With its overly heavy body and little wings, supposedly it should not be able to fly—but it does.”
Dr. Nima Sanandaji, a Swedish researcher and author, wrote the book “Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism,” which provides a very good explanation of the realities in Nordic countries. Let me summarize the book for you in case you don’t have time to read it.
Culture—Not the Welfare State—Lead to Nordic Countries’ Success
“A Scandinavian economist once said to Milton Friedman (American economist, 1976 Nobel Prize laureate in economics): ‘In Scandinavia, we have no poverty.’ Milton Friedman replied: ‘That’s interesting, because in America, among Scandinavians, we have no poverty, either.’” —Quoted by Joel Kotkin, Chapman University professor
The welfare state is not the reason for the Nordic countries’ success. The Scandinavian societies had achieved low income-inequality, low levels of poverty, and high levels of economic growth before the development of the welfare state.
Before the implementation of welfare state policies, between 1870 and 1936, Sweden’s growth rate was the highest among industrialized nations. However, as the welfare state was gradually adopted between 1936 and 2008, the growth rate of Sweden fell to 13th.
According to Dr. Sanandaji, “High levels of trust, a strong work ethic, civic participation, social cohesion, individual responsibility and family values are long-standing features of Nordic society that predate the welfare state. These deeper social institutions explain why Sweden, Denmark, and Norway could so quickly grow from impoverished nations to wealthy ones as industrialization and the market economy were introduced in the late 19th century. They also played an important role in Finland’s growing prosperity after World War II.” (All quotations in this article are taken from Sanandaji’s book unless otherwise noted.)
The book indicates that religion, climate, and history all seem to have played a role in forming these special cultures. These countries have homogeneous populations with similar religious and cultural backgrounds. Protestants tend to have a very strong work ethic; a very hostile natural environment make Scandinavia a difficult place to survive unless a farmer works exceptionally hard; many farmers own their own land and have complete control over the fruits of their labor, so it has been financially rewarding to work hard.
Culture matters. It is the culture, free-market capitalism, and the rule of law that has made the Nordic countries prosperous, and made it possible to implement welfare policies without serious adverse consequences. It is also the culture that has fostered the success of the descendants of Scandinavian immigrants to America. Most of those migrants came to America in the 19th century before the implementation of welfare state policies. They were not elite groups, but their descendants are more successful than their cousins in Scandinavia, which suggests that the welfare state policies have impeded the growth of economy.
Southern European countries, such as Italy, France, and Greece, have adopted similar welfare state policies as Nordic countries, but have had much less favorable outcomes. Again, this strongly suggests that culture really matters.
Welfare State Policies Weaken the Nordic Cultures and Values
“It took time to build up the exceptionally high levels of social capital in Nordic cultures. And it took time for generous welfare models to begin undermining the countries’ strong work ethic.” —Dr. Nima Sanandaji, Swedish researcher
Policies help to shape the character of a society. As Scandinavians became accustomed to high taxes and generous government benefits, their sense of responsibility and their work ethic gradually deteriorated.
When asked during a 1981–84 survey if “claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled is never justifiable,” 82 percent of Swedes and 80 percent of Norwegians agreed. But in a similar survey in 2005–08, only 56 percent of Norwegians and 61 percent of Swedes agreed with the statement.
Generous welfare benefits reduce the incentives for taking a job or working hard. It also weakens parents’ incentives to teach their children to work hard. More and more people have become dependent on government welfare payments. And the dependency would pass from one generation to the next. This growing population in turn voted to support more welfare and bigger government, and therefore higher taxation, which has pushed the Nordic countries toward more extremes of socialism.
Are Scandinavians More Tolerant of High Taxes? No.
“Fiscal illusion distorts democratic decisions and may result in ‘excessive’ redistribution.” —Jean-Robert Tyran, Swiss economist, and Rupert Sausgruber, Austrian economist
Scandinavians have not been fully aware of the cost for a bigger government. Politicians have created a “fiscal illusion” in which a large portion of taxes is indirect or hidden, like those in effect before wages are paid, in the form of employers’ fees or employers’ social security contributions, and those included in the listed price of goods, like VAT. These taxes eventually fall on all people, but they are not aware of them.
Dr. Sanandaji described a survey conducted in 2003: “The Swedish public was asked to estimate the total amount of taxes they paid. The respondents were reminded to include all forms of direct and indirect taxation. Almost half of the respondents believed that the total taxes amounted to around 30–35% of their income. At the time of the survey, the total tax rate levied on an average income earner, including consumption taxes, was around 60%.”
According to a database of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Dr. Sanandaji’s calculations, from 1965 to 2013, all Nordic nations’ tax burdens have increased significantly, but most of their visible taxes have decreased, except in Denmark.
This has successfully created an illusion that government expansion would not cost much. So why not elect politicians that expand government size and increase welfare?
A Failed Socialist Experiment in Sweden
“Sweden is the world champion in ‘jobless growth’.” —Headline of a 2006 article in the Swedish business daily Dagens Industri
From the beginning of the social democratic era in the 1930s until the 1960s, Nordic countries had remained relatively free-market-oriented, and had similar tax levels as other industrialized nations. It was at the beginning of the 1970s when radical social democratic policies were adopted, and the fiscal burden and government spending reached high levels.
Sweden went the furthest toward socialism among Scandinavian nations since the late 1960s. The basic idea was to replace free markets with a model closer to a socialist planned economy. “Not only did the overall tax burden rise, but the new system also discriminated heavily against individuals who owned businesses. As politics radicalized, the social democratic system began challenging the core of the free-market model: entrepreneurship.”
According to Swedish economist Magnus Henrekson, in 1980, “the effective marginal tax rate (marginal tax plus the effect of inflation) that was levied on Swedish businesses reached more than 100 percent of their profits.” This means that a private entrepreneur would actually lose money if he or she made a profit. Henrekson draws the conclusion that the tax policies were “developed according to the vision of a market economy without individual capitalists and entrepreneurs.”
The result of the policy is obvious: the establishment of new businesses dropped significantly after 1970. In 2004, “38 of the 100 businesses with the highest revenues in Sweden had started as privately owned businesses within the country. Of these firms, just two had been formed after 1970. None of the 100 largest firms ranked by employment were founded within Sweden after 1970. Furthermore, between 1950 and 2000, although the Swedish population grew from 7 million to almost 9 million, net job creation in the private sector was close to zero.”
As for the jobs in the public sector, they increased significantly until the end of the 1970s. At that point, the public sector could not grow larger because taxes had already reached the highest possible level. “When the welfare state could grow no larger, overall job creation came to a halt—neither the private sector nor the public sector expanded.”
At the beginning of the 1980s, “employee funds” were introduced in Sweden. It was to take away a portion of companies’ profits and transfer them to funds controlled by labor unions. The purpose was to achieve socialism moderately by gradually transferring the ownership of private companies to the unions. “Although the system was abolished before it could turn Sweden into a socialist economy, it did manage to drive the founders of IKEA, Tetra Pak, H&M, and other highly successful firms away from the country.”
The dreadful policy of “employee funds” was finally abolished in 1991, which is around the time that Sweden faced its most severe economic crisis since WWII. It took almost two decades for the employment to reach its pre-1990 level. As a comparison, it took only seven years for Sweden to recover, in terms of employment, from the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Finally, Welfare Reform
“Sweden was the more socialist of the Scandinavian countries a few decades ago. It is also the country that has reformed the most.” —Dr. Nima Sanandaji, Swedish researcher
Beginning in the 1990s, almost all Nordic nations realized that welfare reform is inevitable, except Norway. In 1969, one of the largest offshore oil fields in the world was found in Norwegian waters. The oil wealth makes it possible to sustain its generous welfare systems. Since Sweden and Norway are quite comparable in many ways except for welfare reform, it is a great experiment to see the impact of the reform.
The reform in Sweden includes reducing welfare benefits, lowering taxes, liberalizing the labor market, and implementing gate-keeping mechanisms for receiving sickness and disability benefits. After the reform, from 2006 to 2012, the population supported by government benefits decreased from 20 percent to 14 percent in Sweden. In comparison, the population supported by government benefits in Norway decreased by only less than 1 percent in the same period of time.
For young Norwegians, there is very little incentive to work hard. Employers are therefore turning to foreign labor, including from Sweden. Between 1990 and 2010 the number of young Swedes employed in Norway increased by more than 20 times because of higher wages in Norway brought by oil revenues. According to a survey of Norwegian employers, three out of four answered that Swedish youth work harder than Norwegian youth.
After the reform, during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, Sweden showed impressive economic performance. The reforms lead to greater economic freedom, stronger incentives for work, and less reliance on government welfare.
Denmark and Finland also reformed their welfare systems. Even in Norway, some market reforms have been made. More are likely to come.
A Caution to Americans
The Nordic nations are returning to their free market roots. They have learned their lessons through their forays into welfare states or even tentative socialism, and have turned around from a dead end. We Americans should not fall for leftist propaganda and rush into a future that is doomed to failure.
Jean Chen is originally from China, and writes under a pen name in order to protect her family in China.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
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synthsizedproductions · 3 months ago
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Descending Into Power Chapter Three: Revealed
CW: Prisoners being trafficked, manipulation, fire, bees, mild strangling, stereotypes, discrimination of a minority, self-depreciation
“Time to get up.”
My eyes shot open when I heard Dowrin’s voice and sighed. My hope the day before had been a dream shattered. I touched the cloth on my face, mentally grumbling when I couldn’t take it off. I sat up and narrowed glared at the Elf.
“You seem upset. Be glad they sold you to me. I get the best customers from the surrounding territories. Well, at least the ones willing to pay enough.” Dowrin motioned for me to leave my cell.
I sat up and stared at them with defiance burning in my gaze.
Dowrin shook their head with a sigh. “This will be easier for everyone if you play along, child. Get up and come with me.”
I crossed my arms and stared at them with greater intensity. Dowrin was crazy if they thought I was going to play along.
The shopkeeper rolled their eyes and stormed into the cell. “Stand up or I will make you stand up.” Swirling white lines twisted from their hands to their shoulders.
They are much stronger. You don’t stand a chance. Just give up.
I clenched my fists, my eyes lighting up like glow bees. A smoldering patch appeared at the center of the cloth on my face, flames burning away the fabric. “No.” I held my hand up, calling on the heat from my Spark.
Nothing happened. My Spark went cold and my face paled.
They laughed at my efforts. “How unfortunate for you. You should talk to someone about that faulty Spark.” Dowrin closed their hand, an invisible version wrapping around my neck. They lifted me from the cot and forced me out of the room while I kicked at the air between us. “You’re quite petulant, aren’t you? Is this how all your people’s children behave?”
I glared at them and bared my teeth. “I’m not...a child.” It was near impossible to speak with the invisible hand squeezing me so hard.
Dowrin shook their head. “That is of little importance. No one will believe you’re an adult. If it’s any consolation, kids get treated better. If you keep your mouth shut, perhaps you’ll have a new home before the end of the day.”
Dowrin brought me to an area with large communal cages with a dozen people in each. They all looked so defeated, resigned to their eventual fate. I’d never seen so many broken individuals at the same time.
Dowrin unlocked a cage with a few children within it and tossed me in with them, my back hitting the bars at the far side. The Elf laughed at my attempts to breathe as the white marks faded from their skin. “Welcome to your temporary home. I’ll give you the same deal as everyone else. Behave and you get to go sleep in your holding cell. Misbehave and get left out here all night.” They waved with their fingers before making their way to the front area of the shop again.
“You okay?” A Pantrus girl knelt down in front of me and stared at me with her unblinking yellow eyes.
I pushed myself up with a grimace. “I’ll be okay. This is nothing compared to some injuries I’ve had.” I leaned against the bars and stared at the roof of our enclosure.
She pawed my knee, her tiny razor claws poking me through my pants. “I’m Kira. What’s your name?”
“Leave the newbie alone, Kira. I told you not to get attached to anyone.” A young Ursan boy stood at the front bars and glared over his shoulder. Though he was trying to act tough, I heard the anxiety in his tone.
Kira put her paws in her lap and her whiskers drooped. “I just wanna be nice, Scyka. Nothing wrong with that.”
“It’s okay, Scyka.” I looked down at Kira with as friendly a smile as I could muster. “Nice to meet you, Kira. My name is Kindred. How long have you been here?”
Scyka turned around and crossed his arms. “We’ve been here for almost eight plethora-cycles.”
My eyes widened. “That’s half an ultra-cycle. Is that a normal amount of time to be on the market?” I found it uncomfortable to talk about people like goods waiting for purchase.
Kira shook her head with a small frown, her ears laying back. “No. We’re just a tough sell. Most Owners don’t purchase over one person at a time. It’s also rare that anyone wants both a Pantrus and an Ursan. Mx. Dowrin keeps threatening to sell us separately, but everytime he puts us in different cages, I cry and I guess nobody wishes to buy a crying cat girl.”
Scyka plopped down on the ground next to Kira. “Doesn’t help that I throw a fit until you’re brought back.” He wrapped an arm over her shoulders and she leaned on him. “We came here together, we’ll leave here together.”
Despite our rather dire predicament, I couldn’t help smiling at their affectionate exchange. “Gonna guess you two have been together for a long while?”
Scyka got an embarrassed look. “We’ve been owned by the same households if that’s what you’re asking.” He rubbed the back of his neck but managed a smile when Kira nuzzled his side.
I raised an eyebrow. “It was. What else would I be asking?”
Scyka shrugged with an aggravated grumble. “Nothing. Um, so, where are you from?” His abrupt change of topic was confusing, but I dropped my curious look, which made him relax.
I sighed, rather sick of explaining my situation. “The desert beyond the walls. I came here seeking someone to teach me how to use my Magic or how to get rid of it. I’m hoping for the latter.” Both of them stared at me like I’d grown another head. “What?”
Scyka was the first to recover from their apparent shock. “You want to get rid of your Magic? That’s insane. Why would you want that?”
I shrugged and stared at the ceiling again. “Because it is nothing but trouble for me. It’s made me an Outcast.”
Scyka narrowed his small eyes and studied me before they went wide again. “You’re a Scorpid...with Magic?” He got a suspicious look and held Kira tighter against him.
She looked up at her friend and then at me. “What’s a Scorpid? Why do you feel upset, Scyka?”
I rolled my eyes, pulling my knees to my chest and crossing my arms. “We’re the communities who live on the outskirts of society. Most don’t have a Spark at all. I’m one of the cursed freaks among us.” I pointed to the markings on my face. “All of my people have marks like this, though everyone has a unique pattern determined by what we do in our lives.”
Scyka bared his fangs at me. “You mean the marks that show your Corruption?”
I lowered my glowing green eyes to meet his. “Do not say that again. These are not lines of Corruption and I will fight you if you utter those words once more. Understood?”
The anger in his glare became fear. “U-understood.”
My eyes faded as I got a handle on my rage again. “Thank you. I’m sorry I scared you, but that lie is one reason we are forbidden to live among the rest of society. We aren’t monsters, just people trying to survive against the odds.”
Kira frowned up at him. “Why are you scared? Kindred doesn’t seem that different from us. Just less furry.”
He ran a hand through the fur on his head. “There are a lot of scary stories about Scorpids and why they shouldn't have Sparks. They did a great deal of bad things generations ago.”
She scrunched up her face, and I watched the gears turn in her head. “But…that was the past. People change, Scyka. How could an entire heritage be evil?”
I smiled at the girl and my hope for a better future without discrimination grew a fraction. Scyka’s lack of an answer bolstered that feeling further. Was society at last letting go of the blind hate? I didn’t let my optimism grow further, unwilling to have that spark of joy snuffed out.
Everyone’s attention turned to the door as Dowrin walked in with a bowl full of small packages. “Food time. Remember, if you make trouble for my customers, I won’t give your enclosures the correct amount to feed all of you tonight.” They tossed a package for each prisoner in a cell to have one. They stopped when they reached my cage and smiled at us. “That goes double for you kids. If any of you cause trouble, you will only have enough for half of you to eat.” They stared at me while they spoke and gave me a vindictive grin before tossing our kits on the floor.
Kira was the first to her feet and picked up each of the parcels, handing them out to the other kids before returning with our three bags of rations. “We get little, but it isn’t just hard bread like other merchants hand out.”
I took the satchel of food and untied it to investigate what it held. An orange, a container filled with a clear liquid, dried meat, and a piece of hard bread. I lifted the bread out and scrunched my face. “I thought you said we didn’t get hard bread.”
She shook her head, slicing her orange open with her claws. “I said we don’t just get hard bread. No one wants to waste fresh baked goods on us.”
I shook my head and munched on the bread, taking the bottle out. “What’s in this?” They both gave me puzzled looks.
“Water?” Scyka said the word with hesitation. “Have you never had water?”
I opened the bottle and splashed some liquid in my palm. “If this is water, no, I have never had it before.” I sniffed it to check for toxins and found none, sipping the water from my hand. “It’s quite bland.”
Kira tilted her head with a fascinated expression. “What do you drink, then? Everything needs to drink.”
I turned to reach into my bag before remembering Dowrin had taken it from me. “Kabettle milk. My people hunt kabettles for their resources, though some are raising their own herds.” They both stared at me in horror. “What’s wrong now?”
Scyka looked like he might be ill. “You drink the stuff that comes out of those things? That doesn’t sound good at all.”
I took a sip from my bottle and shrugged. “It’s more flavorful than your water and holds most of the kabettle’s nutrients. Eating the meat is okay, but you have to catch a big one if you’re trying to have a meal of it, much less feeding an entire camp.”
Kira stuck her tongue out and made a disgusted face. “I don’t think I want to try kabettle meat or milk. No offense, Kindred, but it sounds weird.”
I laughed and took my orange out. “I guess it could be if it wasn’t what you’re raised having. If you get the chance, think about trying it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it.” I scratched at the top of the thick-skinned fruit, but my gloves made it difficult to pierce the surface.
She held up her paw. “Do you need any help with your orange skin?”
“Why not just take the gloves off?” Scyka studied me with suspicion in his black eyes, and my nervous shifting didn’t make it better.
I handed my orange to Kira. “My hands are sensitive and taking the gloves off could cause me to get injured.”
She made quick work of my orange and handed me the slices. “Why are they so sensitive?”
I was silent while I thought up an excuse. “It’s a, um, birth defect. I haven’t met a Healer that can help me, so I just wear the gloves.” Kira accepted my answer and returned to her food.
“Must be hard to live in the desert with such a defect. If you let me see them, I might tell you what kind of Healer will help best.” Scyka wasn’t so easily fooled and our eyes locked.
We broke the stare off when Dowrin entered with a few customers, chatting the people up while showing them the available stock. Scyka shot me a last glare before moving in front of Kira, who made herself as small as possible, hiding her face with her paws.
I stood up as the group got closer to our cage, leaning on the bars. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do, but these kids weren’t being sold on my watch.
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writingwithcierra · 4 months ago
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𝒍𝒊𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆 - 𝒂 𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔
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Hello!!
 I’ve had this idea for awhile and decided ‘fuck it’ let’s write it. This is the prologue, so, there’s not much other than the main source and description of what the story is going to be about.  I would post the full story here, however, I just want to make sure people actually like it before I put it out there, haha. Either way - I do hope you like it! If you do, please like, comment and HELL - give me a few suggestions for other stories or what you’d like to see if you find yourself, enjoying this story. Thank you very much for reading :) It means the world to me. Much love, always. - cierra. x 
SIDENOTE: This story will contain both angst and smut. it’ll also feature triggering topics (abuse, both emotional and physical) so please be cautious when reading! also, female reader and features she/her pronouns. 
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                                                PROLOGUE. 
~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Billy Hargrove. Bringing his name up in a conversation always brought one of two different reactions.  For the girls, it'd cause their cheeks to bleed red and they'd chew on their bottom lip and twirl their stray pieces of hair in between their fingers, murmuring how attractive he was and what they'd do if he were to ask them out. (What they'd do if they were alone with him in the back of his car, too. (Y/N) heard plenty of that scenario. Way too many details, if you were to ask her.  She still cringes when she thinks about Margaret Adams going into full story mode of what she'd do to Billy and what she'd like for Billy to do to her. Margaret was the definition of innocent. Went to church every Sunday, prayed without being told to, always carried a bible with her, would blush when a boy - male teachers, included - glanced in her direction. She was one of those girls. So, when she told (Y/N) what she'd love to do to Billy and vice versa, it was shocking, to say the very least. Of course, the moment the sentence (well.... several sentences) leaves her mouth, Margaret turned her head to the side averting  her gaze, but the sudden rosiness of her cheeks gave her away. (Y/N) could tell her  blush was burning  through her cheeks and her face  was feeling like a hot oven. 
She probably felt like a  sinner, saying all those foul words and using such dirty language like that...  
Oh, how she curses herself for not being able to stop herself from the sinful thoughts that corrupted her mind. 
(Y/N) practically felt the embarrassment clouding over from Margaret and hovering above her  as she attempted to hide her rosy cheeks behind her skinny fingers. (Y/N) had to fight back a laugh, even though it wasn't so funny to poor Margaret who was still blushing a beet-red and trying to pull her long, wavy brown hair to hide her burning cheeks. 
(It didn't work out and eventually, with a huff, Margaret gave up and dropped her hands at her sides.) "It's fine," (Y/N) reassured with a gentle smile. "I was just curious as to what people really thought about him. I'm new here too, you know?" She said with a shrug. "And although I may not be as pretty as Hargrove, I do wish I was given some attention he receives." She laughs, thankful Margaret found it funny as well as she had started to giggle.  
"I just wanted to know why people are so star struck over him, that's all." She explained. Margaret, this time, shrugged in reply.  "Not sure myself." She admitted, the red to her cheeks only growing deeper as she admits this statement. "He's something else, though, right?" Margaret continued.  "Sure." (Y/N) grinned, though it was far from a real, genuine smile. "Anyways, I've got to get to class but thank you." As she gets up to leave, Margaret is quick with an, "Oh! Hey... don't tell Pastor  Jason about what I said, okay?" "I promise. Your secret is safe with me.") When his name would be brought up with the same sex as he, there was mixed signals.  "I don't see the big deal of Hargrove." one spat.  "He's a cool dude, I guess." another spoke. "If he comes anywhere near Sabrina, I'm going to fight him, no matter where I am or how much trouble I'll get into, that's my girl and I'm not having Billy try and snatch her away." a jealous boy with the name Tyler said.   (In the end, as one comes to find out, Sabrina broke up with Tyler for Billy.)  (Billy and her didn't last.)  (His relationships never do.)  (It was a lose-lose situation for Tyler and Sabrina.)  Billy Hargrove.  From what I've seen myself, and from all the stories that I overhear in the school cafeteria, he's one Hell of a guy. Good and bad. There's two sides to every story, isn't there?   (There's more bad than good, so I've heard.)   This being said, that's what I've come to do — give a story to those curious about Billy Hargrove.  Who is he? Really? Behind that smirk he wears proudly against his lips — what goes on behind closed doors? (Other than the obvious hook up's.)  Does this man actually have a heart towards other people or does he only give a shit about himself? I have no idea. Nobody does.  I guess what I'm trying to say here is.... if nobody's going to ask questions, I might as well try and seek out the answers myself.  Nothing else interesting has happened in Hawkins, Indiana until Billy and his family have moved in.   It's Indiana, for fuck sake's. Not shit is interesting and the only entertaining thing that was going on was Billy and watching him from afar like he was the main character in a movie.  To Billy, more than likely, it was his world and we were all just his side characters, living in it.  Not anymore.  I've acted before. Won a few awards and ribbons for my acting skills, actually. (Not to brag.)  So, I can gladly pretend to love Billy Hargrove - the most  selfish and mysterious man  there  is in Hawkins, Indiana.  What's the worst that could happen?
Again, nothing else interesting happens in this town. Why not play pretend and see what he’s all about? 
Yes, I’m well aware too; Curiosity killed the cat. But, satisfaction brought it back. 
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devintrinidad · 4 months ago
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Well I’m never going to write this.  But I do enjoy talking about this au. I think this AD au captures the characters in great way.
Oohh, I like that Macrophage Scientist even better. It helps explain why Macrophage took them in and how they even escaped. Macrophage set off the explosion and made it look like they all died in the process. Macrophage then had them all become Akudama and live in the slums of society to hide better. It would fit even more because I had this idea that 3803, as she got older, sometimes experienced biological issues. She’s perfectly healthy, but her body sometimes might stop working or she gets incredibly cold or hot or something. Maybe even goes temporarily blind. Thankfully 3803 always sees the warning signs a few days before happen so she can manage to work around job offers. Macrophage theorizes as 3803 grows, some stuff the older scientists did to her body went unfinished and her body is trying to deal with the changes as it griws and settles. Macrophage has made medicine to help 3803 (that she has to take daily, different doses depending on how she feels). But she still worries because she wasn’t one if the main scientists who experimented on them (because of her age at the time, Macrophage was more if a assistant in some experiments and caretaker of the subjects. She didn’t have access to everything). But it’s still concerning and they wonder if Platelet will experience them too or if she’s sage since she hadn’t been put through the last few experiments like 3803 had. 3803 also wonders if Cancer had gone through the same process and if she’s becoming a monster or something inhuman or she she can even die from this (3803 has a lot of stress behind her smiles). 
Cue 1146 being a overprotective worry wart whenever she gets like this. In fact before he became loyal to her, the one time as a Executioner he almost arrested her after he had had a bad day with a lot of nasty Akudama who had acted nice but deceived a lot of innocent people into their ruin. He even lost a comrade or two in the ruckus. He found her and impulsively grabbed her to ask her why she of all people is a Akudama! Instead of answering, 3803 goes limp and gets a blank look in her eyes like she’s a silent doll. He immediately panics and carries her to his living quarters. He fishes through her clothes until he finds what looks to be medicine. He can’t risk taking her to a doctor because she’s a akudama and he doesn’t know her friends yet. He takes the risk and follows the handwritten directions on the bottle to give her the right amount. Since she’s unresponsive he has to give her the medicine mouth to mouth (he only ever had one lesson so he hopes he doesn’t screw it up. He’s just thankful it’s liquid). After doing this two days, she finally acts responsive and thanks him because she was aware the whole time. She just couldn’t move. He gets down to business and asks her for her story. The implication he’s at a tipping point and he could grant her freedom or be 100% Executioner (being less then before us what got his comrades killed). She understands he’s at the edge and not the normal nice guy she’s been used to so she spills her whole story. She omits Macrophage and Platelet so they’ll stay safe either way but she figures she has no choice but to tell him about Cancer, the corruption and how she had to become a Akudama. He listens and surprises her greatly when he believes her. There are things he’s thought about for a long time and researched that don’t make sense to him. Everything she said fits in line. Plus he has wondered how she can heal so fast. He tucks her in his bed and tells her she can go in the morning. It still takes a few more weeks for 1146 to really leave the Executioners. Despite confirming the truth of the world. He still was attached to his life as a Executioner and all his friends there. He also thought about fighting the corruption inside the system because that’s what a good person would do. It was only when his mentor found out about 3803 from 1146 telling him about her in hopes he get some guidance that things changed. His mentor revealed he was in cahoots with Cancer and was now going to deliver her to him. Before he does though, Mentor makes absolute certainty that it’s her by brutalizing her to the point she should be dead but can’t die. 1146 is horrified by this and kills his Mentor to save 3803 and keep her secret.  With those actions, 1146 fully turns his back on the Executioners and loses all hope in the organization with the one person he looked up to most for guidance betrayed him. 
Luckily for him, he later meets Basophil Senpai who is a Akudama named, Philosopher. He’s a smooth talker who can discover the truth in any situation and can be quietly intimidating. He can also figure out how to disguise any lie if you need a new life. All for a price. He puts up with 1146’s idolization after they end up on the same mission (1146 is protecting a mob goon who’s having Basophil assist him in figuring which mafia gang killed his brother and lied about it. Then needs Basophil to fake his death after he kills them. Which Basophil does by cutting one of his hands off). 
There’s just something funny and tragic about 1146’s friends getting ready apprehend the legendary Deliverer who bewitched the equally legendary 1146 into abandoning them. Only to see she’s this tiny defenseless (normally she has a gun. But it’s gone now) cute woman glaring at them while protecting a sobbing child begging them to leave them alone. They’d be like, we were not trained for this. °_°;;;; After it’s all said and done, 4989 would try the hardest to make up with 3803 and Platelet for scaring them so much and arresting 3803 and 1146. Luckily they forgive him pretty easily after he saved 1146 and 3803. 
I like those pairs! How tragic though if 2001 is the one who stays behind? He believes 1146 and helps him. But he can’t be a Akudama. He stays behind to do what he can from there. Maybe try to make sure no one brainwashed Band Cell. Of course he’ll most likely die later. Maybe he still follows orders to fight 1146 like a good soldier would. But when 1146 delivers a fatal blow, 2001 gives him his blessing to go on and commends him for being a better man then him. 1146is understandably grateful for the blessing, but devastated that 2001 thought of himself as a coward. 
Yeah I think when it comes to Killer T and NK it’s a lot like in canon. They know they have the jurisdiction and duty to kill other cells if they need to. NK even gloating she can kill any cell she wants to without consequence. In AD verse, I can see them both knowing they have to do horrible things for their job. But they accept it because their world view deems it nessecary for order to not fall into anarchy. NK is known to be a lot smarter then the others so she probably figured out how warped the world is long before Killer T and 1146 did. But unlike 1146, both NK and Killer T don’t have the ideals to think they can have another life or do better. This is their mission and they believe 1146 is selfish and weak minded for turning his back on it. 
Yeah I could see Killer T eventually walking away from the Executioners. But again, he doesn’t have 1146’s ideals so he goes down a darker road. One 1146 disapproves of a lot. NK I could see sadly sticking to being a Executioner to the end. Maybe of 1146 doesn’t kill 2001, then she does when she figures out he’s still a little loyal to 1146. 
Boy every time I try to give Cancer and 3803 a platonic relationship you just want to throw Abnormalities spin on it. XD Okay. The way I see them is this. Cancer often visited the lab to check up on the progress. He called the subjects his children and eventually picked his favorites who he showed more affection for. Not coincidently those subjects were always the ones who showed the most potential to be successful candidates. 3803 was one of them. 3803 had spent her whole life in the lab. Her knowledge from the outside world came from stories from Macrophage and older kids and adults who were captured. The stories validated her fear of Cancer because she knows there’s something wrong with him and what he does. It gets worse as as she begins to lose friends along the way, like 4201 and 5100 or other kids who pass away. Cancer began treating her like his actual daughter when it was confirmed she was showing signs of being like him. He called her his princess. Often carried her around by balancing her on his hip with one arm around her while he checked up on everything. Kissed her forehead and cheeks. Took naps with her as told her bedtime stories. When she’s older, Platelet was introduced and thanks to all the successful experiments 3803 had undergone. The scientists performed the exact same ones on Platelet to find out she had the same potential. Cancer, to a lesser extent, also began showing his other ‘daughter’ favor. Despite this affection. Both girls are terrified of him because of how easy it is for him to become indifferent and even violent with those he claims to care for. Also despite claiming he loves them, he easily discards them and shows how indifferent he is when they die. He’s very two faced. 
Years later when Cancer discovers both of them survived. He uploads his consciences into mechanical animals or even hacking into their phones to spy on them. He sees 3803 has become a women and displays more signs of immortality then anyone else (besides him) he’s seen. He’s then like, my princess has become a queen. Then he starts getting both amused and jealous over 1146’s romantic feelings for her. During a actual confrontation between them, Cancer makes it clear he’s going to marry her himself and won’t share. 
I like the idea that, like in canon, Cancer can and will pretend to be a ordinary person just to observe or move things along. He can use technology to alter his voice and appearance. He’ll pretend to be one if his underlings underling, like a secretelary or a driver to get a good read on everything. He even developed a friendship with 1146 before 1146 left. Seeing 1146’s potential, he even recommended his inner circle to monitor and mold 1146 into some one who could be trusted. Maybe he even pretends to be a client to 3803. He, acting like a citizen, requests she bring him a package through a very dangerous area. When she arrives and delivers her package. He opens it to reveal it’s empty. She’s shocked and apologizes, wondering if she got it wrong. But he silences her by giving her a deep kiss on the mouth. He reveals what he wanted was to lock lips with the legendary Deliverer as if they were lovers. Before she recovers from her shock, he hands her a ton of money and dissapears. 1146 is not happy when he hears about this.
 Yes. 1146 is a big flippin deal to the Executioners. He was a prodigy from day one. A role model and well respected by everyone. He was already being groomed to be head Executioner one day. Him leaving the organization was a huge blow to morale and strength that they try to downplay and kept it secret from most lower rank Executioners that he’s a Akudama now for as long as they can. If possibly they do want him back. If they have to force him into it by messing with his brain by inserting control chip or threatening what he holds dear and put a bomb collar on him to keep up appearences. They will. 
Regulatory T would be a great Executioner. I could also see Helper T, Dendretic and many other immune cells being Executioners. Afterall they probably just can’t believe things can be different or think about whether it should be. They just do what they think they should because Cancer keeps everyone in so much darkness. 
3803 is a awesome gun user. It always surprises people because she usually just drives her motorcycle and acts more defensive then offensive. But if it came down to it, don’t think she’s unwilling to protect herself or someone else. She has nerves of steel and she’s seen things most couldn’t imagine.
The Executioners and Akudama they deal with quickly learn messing with 3803 is the fastest way to die by 1146’s brutal hand. He can’t imagine living without her. 
~~~
Geeez, I’m getting so into this, I might as well do it. (Hahahaha, I joke, but who knows?)
OOoofff, so many feels for 3803 here. Macrophage definitely feels guilty and tries to make sure that both Platelet and 3803 have a somewhat normal lifestyle outside of the experimental facilities, but there are times where she feels like she’s not trying hard enough. Even more so because 3803 and Platelet have become Akudamas and are at risk of becoming Executed. 
Macrophage not being one of the main scientists is also a good take on this character. 
Oooooohhhh, love how you put in a little backstory as to how 3803 and 1146 met. Of course 1146 would be reckless and impulsive enough to ask. I bet it was during this interrogation he was starting to have doubts about the Executioner’s role in society and how Akudamas weren’t all what they seemed. Awww, and 3803 does everything that she can to protect her loved ones! It really fits he character and I love it. 
Hmmm, who is 1146’s mentor here? You never quite mentioned here? Could it be U-1117 (if I remember correctly, this is the original white blood cell from the original pilot… or what about the Neutrophil teacher during his childhood in that one chapter from CAW canon?). It would be tragic considering that both of these characters are actually quite kind from the original source material. 
OH MY GOSH. BASOPHIL AS A PHILOSOPHER???? IT FITS SO NICELY!!! Hehehe, the whole time you’re talking about Basophil reminds me of this comedy sketch. 
Yup, the WBC squad are definitely trying to figure out how to deescalate the situation when they realize that 3803 and Platelet are definitely Akudama, but are they truly that bad? 
So many tragedies… 2001, in my opinion, is definitely the type of person who is loyal to their life’s calling to the very end, despite how corrupt or bad it may be. He promised to lay down his life as an Executioner and he’s going to stick to it. I imagine 1146 and 2001’s final confrontation might be similar to that Brawler and Master’s fight, except both are wielding sabers and are more focused on strategy over muscle. 
Totally agree with you on Killer T and NK. NK would definitely commend 2001 for his continued stay on the Executioner’s side. Like 2001, she would definitely try to change things on their side, but at the end of the day, orders are orders. There are definitely things she has done that she regrets doing, but to be honest, it’s the system’s fault, right? She’s cynical, but she understands that the Executioners are somewhat at fault for what’s happening.
Killer T would definitely be an Akudama and he would be called… I don’t know? Brawler has a nice ring to it, but I suppose if you wanted a new name, he could be called the Lone Wolf? Or Loner? After becoming disillusioned with the Executioners, he works on his own terms. Oooohhh, another one, Vigilante. He executes Akudama and Executioners he deems to have crossed the lines into illegal territory. 
Okay, to be fair, I was only suggesting a bit of a twisted relationship, hahaha. I’m not the one writing the creepy stuff in great detail. But, in all seriousness, I love the gradual descent into madness Cancer has with 3803. And his jealousy regarding 1146? He would definitely taunt him and tease him about the whole “Husband” thing that Macrophage has been talking about. 
Ooooh, and that last part with Cancer tricking 3803 into kissing him? That is so twisted and diabolical. 
I approve. XD
Anyways, yeah the entirety of the immune system are definitely Excutioners. XD It’s basically in their character descriptions, hahaha. 
As for 3803 being a great gunman? I was kind of entertaining the idea that she’s a pacifist and that throughout her career as the Deliverer, she has never outright killed someone. Injured, yes, but never killed. She would be the type of person to misaim on purpose so that they have another chance at life. The only reason she missed is because she did it on purpose.
(Have you watched Trigun? I’m kind of modeling her after Vash the Stampede, haha! Love. And. Peace!)
Anyway, at this rate, we might as well be writing season 2 for AD. Seriously, Kodaka where you at?
Thanks for the submission and I hope that you have a wonderful day! :D
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trisscar368 · 4 months ago
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Of Villains and Monsters, and the tragedy of Supernatural
Chuck is a writer.  That’s how we’re introduced to him, the writer of Supernatural the novel series, and writers lie but the thing is, they lie with the truth and the truth is in the lies.  
Fiction is all made up by a writer and put onto the page.  It’s a lie.  But when you create a story world, you pull it from your experiences and life, your traumas, your views on different things.  You put yourself into the story to make it breathe, to make it authentic.  The audience can tell a lot about you as a person based on the choices you make, which lies you use to tell what truths.

The story Chuck keeps telling, keeps retelling, has several themes.  Betrayal, the removal of the feminine, siblings fighting, corrupting the innocent, absent fathers, free will vs destiny.  The themes are present in supernatural from the first season, and they scale up as the story grows — Sam and Dean’s conflict with each other, their anger over an absent father, is mirrored in the archangels Lucifer and Michael.  John telling Dean he might have to kill Sam is mirrored in Michael locking Lucifer away, in Cain killing Abel to save him from the devil.  Mary is mirrored in Jessica, in Eve, and finally in Amara.  John’s absence is turned into loss and finally revealed as Chuck removing himself from the world.
And it all mirrors back, we discover, to an original conflict — Chuck locking away Amara.  He fought with and betrayed his sister, removed the feminine from his life, corrupted the innocent (Lucifer taking on the Mark and “needing” to be put in another Cage), and finally became the absent father by stepping away from his creation in order to watch.  The story Chuck is telling is his own, his family conflict and trauma forced onto the lives of others throughout the millennia until finally it lands on Sam and Dean Winchester.
He wants them to kill each other.  For one of them to be dark and corrupted and a monster, the other heroic and light, but the darkness wins in the end.  The conflict is inevitable, the conclusion forgone.  There’s no forgiveness, no love left, because monsters are not capable of love, and who could ever learn to love a monster?
This is where Chuck loses control of the story.  Every other iteration of this fight, the siblings go through with it having lost their love, despite their love, or because of their love, but this Sam and this Dean say “no” because they love each other.  They try to find another way.  And they have the love of family and friends that supports them and keeps them from despairing, helps them find solutions other than death.
And this is where Chuck is wrong, because Amara came out of the Cage and was furious and saw her brother as a monster; but in the end, she didn’t want revenge, she wanted to be reunited with her other half.  She was willing to try, to forgive, to coexist as separate but equal, but Chuck didn’t know how to move past that story.  He was stuck — Amara said in the text he was still wounded by their original split, by his actions, and he doesn’t know how to be vulnerable in order to let the wound heal.
Sam and Dean, though… they did know how to move past that.  When given back Mary, the feminine influence torn out of their lives, they struggled with learning who she was as a person instead of a myth.  But they found common ground, they had the difficult conversations about what life was like without her, they came to a point of peace where the absence mattered less than having her in the here and now.  When this family fights with each other, they will eventually, always, find a way to forgive and reconcile  And that’s where things go wrong for the story.
Chuck couldn’t have that conversation with Amara.  She was able to voice her pain, and her anger, and how done she was with his attitude and his codependent traits, but Chuck hedges.  He can admit that he wants to spend time with her, that he wants to create something new, that he wants to bridge that divide, but he can’t talk about the trauma his choices caused.
Much like Sam and Dean fighting in season 9 over Gadreel, Chuck leaves and goes back to what he knows best.  Dean went hunting and took on the Mark of Cain, Chuck starts writing Supernatural again and messing with the Winchesters.  He takes away their resolution with the feminine (Mary), and tells them the new life and hope and future they’ve been building (Jack) is an abomination and must die.  He plays out his trauma on their lives, as above so below.  And they do what they’ve always done in the end — they choose love and family and forgiveness.
Chuck is furious, and he runs back to Amara.  And she’s done with him. This is the drive of the season — Chuck wants Amara, wants to be reunited with her and to create new things and a new life, and because he can’t have that -- because he can’t break his own silence and address his own trauma, because he can’t humble himself enough to acknowledge that he caused pain and ask for forgiveness instead of demanding acceptance -- he falls back on his old patterns.  Creating by himself.  Writing.  And the writing is destructive and manipulative and focuses on characters who won’t do what he wants, the way she won’t do what he wants.
This is where the story of Supernatural breaks.  This is where the house of cards begins to collapse.
Chuck reunites with Amara in 15.17 and nothing comes of it. He manipulates her into it, he writes situations she can’t escape, and leaves her hopeless and friendless and broken and her only possible option is to come back to him.  This is not a healthy relationship, but it is the stated goal of the villain, the thing he wants most in the world.  He achieves it three episodes before the end and it doesn’t immediately have any impact on the story. 
Except it ends the story.
The problem isn’t that she was holding herself apart from him, the problem was in Chuck’s behaviors and actions, the traumatized-turned-abuser, the pain he couldn’t voice in order to address his bad behavior and grow.  There are two endings to this story - Chuck is rejected and cast out and new balance is found with his successor; or Chuck discovers humanity, regret and remorse and humility, and… neither actually happens.  Amara keeps him at a distance but she doesn’t reject his final bid for “unity”, she does not remain her own entity.  Chuck and Amara “reunite”, but at the end of the day all this does is remove Amara’s agency from the narrative.  She gives in to her brother’s desires and is locked away, put into a new Cage whose name is Chuck.  She ceases to exist, folded back into an abusive situation, and the consequences are devastating.
Chuck goes back to his tragedy, torturing the Winchesters, taking away everything from them because there’s nothing left.  He will never heal, he will never move on, he will never grow up.
The only motivation for those that oppose him (Billie) must be the desire for power.  Love is met with silence (Cas and Eileen) and happiness is fleeting, and it’s in loving the things you can never have and the memory of joy instead of the possibility of it being real.  Desire to be loved and reconciled is met with fury (Michael) and dismissal.  The heroes of the story win but it’s an empty victory — they will live out their lives as they were before, with nothing changing but the aching ever-present absence of those who have been lost over the years.
When Sam and Dean stand defiant on the sand, and Jack strips away Chuck’s power, it’s validating his ending.  He is the monster at the end of this book.  He is to be discarded, abandoned, and forgotten.  He was never going to be redeemed, because who could love a monster?  And monsters are not capable of love.
Jack says that he is with Amara, but there is no reconciliation, no acknowledgement of trauma, no power in the narrative.  She’s an afterthought, still held in her new Cage of “unity” and she vanishes with Jack into the ether and the wide world.  She’s happy on the other side, in Heaven, the way Mary was.  The way Dean will be.
They heroes have freedom, they can go anywhere they want.  They can build new lives.  They just… can never have what they hoped for.  The things you lose are lost forever, and the balance you find is with the weight of absence and knowing that some things are final.
This is Chuck’s ending, still.  The story doesn’t collapse at the last minute.  It starts crumbling the second Chuck won.  Because he did win, and winning was never going to give him what he wanted but it damned the rest of the world anyways.  He wrote a tragedy.
This is Swan Song, heroic sacrifice for love defeats the villain and tears up the script and the divine plan, and in name the protagonists have freedom and have the life they asked for.  But there will always be something missing.  One sibling leaves the other — then it was Sam saying “it’s okay I’ve got him” and now it’s Dean being told “it’s okay you can rest.”  One sibling is left to wander the earth, to live with the sense of something torn away (Dean missing Sam, Sam grieving Dean, Chuck without his divinity) while the other travels to the Otherworld (Sam in the Cage, Dean in Heaven, Amara with Jack).  The family they had built is gone (Dean leaves the hunting life and doesn’t speak to Bobby, Jack and Cas and the elements of the supernatural vanish and leave Sam and Dean alone on the earth, Sam leaves the hunting life altogether), and what new they can create for themselves they will do on their own.
I’m reminded of a few quotes on that last one…
“The time of the elves is over. The time has come for the dominion of men.” “When I was a boy, there were dragons.”
This is a standard trope in a certain kind of fantasy, where you journey into the Beyond and then things must end when you come back to Reality.  The fantasy is over.  Magic was never meant to last in this world, but monsters… monsters do.
To which my response is to angrily quote Pratchett (who was misquoting Chesterton, but I like Pratchett’s phrasing better) —
“The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed.”
Supernatural started with "there are monsters under the bed”, “normal” life was a fantasy and dream slapped over the gritty reality.  We learned that in Pilot. Sam was born into that world and he did escape but he carried it with him. Knives in the closet, gun under the pillow, he was never truly out of that world, which means sending him back to it feels more akin to a Djinn dream than a story coming full circle.
But that’s where Chuck and Amara’s story leaves us.  The characters cannot reconcile with what was missing, they cannot move past their trauma into something new without letting go, the potential for a family and a life is lost, and the fantasy world has to be left behind.  Dean has to let go of Mary and the life he dreamed of, the one where things never went wrong, the one where he gets to be happy even in a synthesis of old and new.  Sam has his adventure and gets to grow up and go back to the real world, carrying the lessons he learned along the way.  Dean dies because he belongs in that world, the world we’re leaving behind, but Sam won’t ever leave and have his own life if his brother is alive acting as an anchor to the Otherworld.
The Darkness is locked away inside of the Light.  There’s no happy ending, because that would require a monster to be capable of love, for a monster to discover their humanity and be able to speak their pain out loud, and for someone to love them in return and extend forgiveness instead of walking away.
The story was about balance, about duality, about synthesis, about the monstrosity of humans and the humanity of monsters, and we were given an ending about leaving the world of Gods and Myths for the modern age. 
As if there are no monsters on the back roads of America, no ghosts asking for a ride.
After all, at the end of the day... you can never go home, can you?
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wygolvillage · 5 months ago
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been thinking about how i would make a remake/reimagining of simons quest. long post ahead. might be a little stupid since im no game designer or writer or anything lol
random gameplay stuff
it would be metroidvania style, but not all in the castle. imagine it like ooe but the map is interconnected.
i would keep the day/night cycle but it would be less obnoxious of course... probably there would be a little clock on the HUD showing what time it is and how close you are to nightfall. villagers would go inside during the night, but you can still enter churches. churches are your most reliable healing method since save rooms would be pretty sparse in the rest of the world map, and saving at the churches also allows you to skip straight to morning or nightfall if you so desire. being stuck in the middle of the woods during night can be disastrous if the player is ill-prepared since monsters grow stronger then.
there would still be puzzles to figure out and complete, and it would still be a bit cryptic (not to the degree of the original of course), but there is a supporting character i would put in who you can ask for hints at any time, and hers are a lot more straightforward (more on her later). important items are gained through quests rather than bought with hearts, but drop rates would be VERY forgiving since it’s required. like, a villager promises to give you the red crystal if you can get him some fish meat from a merman, which would have about a 40% drop rate... i kind of wanted to preserve the sense of fighting monsters to forage for materials the original has without making the game a total grindfest :P
additionally, materials dropped from monsters can be used to craft food items after simon teams up with the aforementioned supporting character. like i said before, save rooms wouldn’t be super common so it would be implemented as a way to heal yourself when you’re away from town.
the bosses would be decently difficult to compensate with there being very few of them- a true challenge, but they can be beaten with both playable characters if the player is skilled enough
the plot would be expanded upon as well so lemme give a little summary
it begins in simons house where he wakes up having trouble breathing. he’s been struggling with some physical illness ever since battling dracula years prior, especially a nasty bite on his arm he sustained during the fight, and that arm has been turning a pretty nasty shade of grey, like its wasting away. he goes outside to a graveyard near a local church to try and get some fresh air, but it is largely unhelpful. suddenly, he spots an old woman standing at one of the graves. he looks over at him and says mysteriously “ah... must be a horrible night for a curse.” simon is like “what do you mean?!” the old woman tells him to “resurrect him and destroy what remains, or nothing will remain of you”. she then disappears into thin air, implying she’s a ghost or something equally spooky. simon is like “destroy what remains... dracula’s remains?!”
the game starts properly in the graveyard and surrounding forest as simon heads in a fairly straight path towards the town of jova, where he meets a woman a few years younger than him named agnes. agnes’ parents were killed by dracula’s forces when he was resurrected back then, and she admires simon greatly for defeating the dark lord (shes also implied to be a descendant of grant danasty!). she decides to accompany him on his quest after hearing about his curse. he asks the head priest of the town if he knows about dracula’s remains, and the priest tells him that he heard of some of dracula’s followers placing some of dracula’s body parts in their strongholds to worship, and points him to the direction of the first stronghold and hands him a stake. he also warns them that bringing all of his remains together can resurrect the dark lord and it holds a remarkable corrupting power.
simon and agnes then become a character swapping duo (just like portrait of ruin hehehe). agnes is low on defense but can deal plenty of damage at a close range, and her signature weapon is the golden knife. she’s fast as well, whereas simon is more of a slow, defensive character who is best at keeping distance between himself and the enemy. agnes is smart, but impulsive and stubborn, and doesn’t like being told that she’s wrong. simon is a stoic but kind individual who tends to keep to himself. their personalities occasionally cause conflict between them during the adventure, but they eventually grow to become really good friends.
eventually they reach berkeley mansion, the first of the strongholds, and its aesthetic is very much “dark evil church”. there are the usual skeletons and bats and stuff, but some of the dracula followers are regular enemies as well. the first boss is a human who has dedicated his life to following dracula (specifically to contrast against the priest dude who gave simon the stake and directions) who uses magic attacks and stuff. beating him earns simon dracula’s rib, which functions suprisingly well as a shield (which becomes important later).
the adventure continues on like this, going from town to mansion to town, with simons curse becoming more and more hindering to him (from a story perspective not a gameplay one. simon wont become worse to play as because that would be lame as hell). they go to the other mansions, with the bosses being carmilla (guarding the nail of vlad, in a mansion thats very much a vampires lair), olrox (guarding the eyeball, in a massive dining hall themed mansion) death (guarding vlads ring in a Spooky Clockwork Skeleton Mansion with slogras and gaibons and all the usual death stuff), and in the final mansion... there is no boss. just as simon is about to grab the heart, agnes stops him.
Agnes: You told me you were going to destroy the remains, weren’t you?
Simon: Of... Of course, Agnes. Why do you ask?
Agnes: Why haven’t you?
Simon: ...
Agnes: We have almost all of them. You remember what the priest said, right? That bringing them together can resurrect Dracula.
Simon: Well... I haven’t exactly been truthful, Agnes. The old woman who sent me on this quest didn’t tell me just to destroy his remains...
Agnes: So you’ve been intending to resurrect the Dark Lord this whole time? For your own selfish gain?
Simon: This curse will kill me if I don’t.
Agnes: ...So it’s true, then. You’re willing to risk the lives of thousands just to save your own skin. Lives like my parents’... Lives like mine.
Simon: I...
Agnes: There’s no need to explain yourself, oh great hero, Simon Belmont. (Scoffs) If you care more for yourself than anyone else, strike me down now!
surprise! simon has to fight against his best friend! tbh i would be pissed at him too lmao. and it’s a tough fight, as agnes can deal a ton of damage and is hard to dodge. killing her like any other boss will give you the bad ending, where simon realizes she was right and lets himself succumb to the curse out of guilt for her death. the way to the good ending is to use dracula’s rib as a shield (i told you it would be important!) or dodge/survive her attacks until she tires out (the shield is the best method though), and realizes simon doesn’t want to hurt her. they have a touching emotional moment and simon assures her that he beat dracula before and can do it again, but he will need her help. agnes nods, and they head to the ruins of dracula’s old castle, which is totally empty. there’s no music, while the rest of the game has been filled with catchy tunes, here there’s only ambient noise.
they reach the throne room and place drac’s remains on a pedestal, where they begin to glow with dark energy. blood is dripping down the walls and stuff, and the count is returning to the mortal plane as thunder booms in the background. simon begins to doubt himself. if he loses now, the world will be plunged into darkness, and it will all be his fault. but... agnes has his back, despite everything. they fight dracula together, and though it’s tough with simon’s weakened body, they eventually prevail, as simon drives the stake into his heart, the curse finally lifted.
the game ends with agnes and simon returning to jova. agnes admits that she’s still upset with simon for lying to her, but she would be even more upset if he died slowly because of her. simon sighs, stating that there was no easy solution to the situation they were in, and asks for forgiveness for breaking her trust and risking so much for his own desires. agnes says maybe one day she will forgive him completely, and she still considers him a friend, but she needs some time to herself. simon nods, and they go their separate ways.
SO YEAH idk if this is even good but i hope u at least enjoyed reading it. maybe ill make designs for this version of simon, and for agnes too ofc :D
...yeah, not exactly the happiest ending, but i always found it kind of weird that simon was so willing to resurrect the count to save himself from the curse, so that’s the main conflict i decided to add to the story. its not the sort of conflict that can be easily resolved. theres no easy answer... agnes was right about simon risking other peoples lives being wrong, but she was also wrong to insist that he just give up and let the curse kill him instead. its Complicated idk... Castlevania II: Simon’s Trolley Problem
edit: actually i decided there would be two "true endings" after using the shield in the agnes fight. the one i described, and a second one where they decide against resurrecting dracula and simon lives out the short rest of his days with agnes until he dies of the curse. both endings are considered equally canon and valid
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growlighteco · 5 months ago
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What is different between Male vs Female Plants in cannabis?
When you grow in a marijuana grow tent, you need to consider more. As with most plants, animals, and other life forms, marijuana plants have distinct genders. They can have either male or female reproductive parts. In rare cases, you will find hermaphrodite plants. These are plants with male and female traits. In cannabis, it relates to plants that develop male and female flowers.
The sex of a crop does not always matter, but with marijuana grows, knowing the gender and the sex of your plant is vital to both growers and breeders. The type of weed is crucial to the quality and value of the end product. Seedless buds are worth more than lower-quality cannabis, for example.
Why Sex Cannabis Plants? The Role of Male and Female Plants?
For the most part, the average home grower wants female cannabis plants. The ladies are the ones that produce the fattest, most resinous and most potent flowers – aka buds. Male cannabis plants are only desirable if someone wants to breed cannabis and save seeds (which is a whole other topic for another day). Even then, the grower will want to spot the difference between the male and female plants and separate them early on, unless they want free cross-breeding and pollination between many types of stains.
Not only are the males less desirable, but male cannabis plants interfere with the quality and production of your female plant. Males grow pollen sacks, and produce pollen. When a female cannabis plant becomes pollinated by a nearby male, her energy shifts into producing seeds.
Like most things in nature, female cannabis plants have a biological drive to reproduce. After the deed has been done, she will sit back and relax. While a pollinated female cannabis plant WILL still develop decent size buds, they are usually lower quality and contain less THC and other desirable cannabinoids. Not to mention, they’ll be full of seeds. When left un-pollinated, a female cannabis plant’s flowers (buds) will continue to swell, develop more trichomes and become increasingly resinous. She is trying to get as sticky and large as possible to catch pollen in the wind. That sweet sinsemilla – aka unfertilized, seed-free cannabis.
HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE CANNABIS PLANTS
Both male and female plants look nearly identical, but there are some obvious differences. During the preflowering stage, 4-8 weeks from a seed, the plant’s reproductive organs begin to reveal themselves.
Cannabis plant’s reproductive organs are located in the space where a branch or leaf meets the main bunch or stalk. This location is called the internode.
Even though the plant will start to develop reproductive organs at this stage, it may be hard to determine a plant’s sex with 100% accuracy. If you cannot determine what sex your plant is this early stage, you are not alone. Luckily, you have some time before these organs become active. Wait a few more weeks until you can decide what sex they are.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A MALE CANNABIS PLANT
In males, small round pollen sacs will form. These seed-like balls form in the internode and are where the plants pollen comes from. Since cannabis is pollinated through open air pollination, these sacs will eventually rupture. When they do, they send pollen sailing through the air, hopefully to land on a female plants pistils and start seed production. Male plants typically produce little to no flowers and have a lower content of THC on average.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A FEMALE CANNABIS PLANT
Within the female plants internodes, small bracts or pear shape nodes begin to form. These eventually will produce two hairlike strands called pistils.
Pistils are what catch the male plants pollen and where seed production will begin to form. Female plants produce flower and have higher CBD and THC content on average than males. Female plants are prefered over males in terms of bud and cannabinoid collection.
HOW TO AVOID HERMAPHRODITE PLANTS IN YOUR GROW ROOM?
Hermaphroditism stems from two major driving factors: stress and genetics. In regards to stress, hermaphroditism serves as a survival mechanism. If a plant experiences damage, heat, disease, or nutrient deficiencies, they start to freak out. Essentially, plants get the impression that their time is up. In a last-ditch attempt to reproduce, they decide to stop waiting around for a male and get the job done themselves.
To avoid this issue, try to maintain a stable environment in your grow room. Use a thermo-hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity, keep your light schedule strict, and ensure your plants get all the nutrients they require.
Even if you have all of these bases covered, plants can still pollinate themselves due to poor genetics. Plants with a bad genetic history and too much genetic variation are prone to becoming hermaphrodites. For this reason, it’s important to shop with reputable companies that offer high-quality seeds with stable genetics.
WHAT TYPE OF CANNABIS SEEDS ARE USED FOR BREEDING?
If you want to try breeding, you’re going to need regular cannabis seeds, and Royal Queen Seeds offers a premium range. In contrast to feminized seeds that produce only female specimens, regular seeds offer a 50% chance of the plant being male or female.
These seeds provide breeders with an army of males and females to experiment with. Cross the very best specimens together to create your own unique strains that match your taste. However, if you’re growing for nothing but buds, you can still use them for their stable and trusty genetics. As you may know, regular seeds provide excellent mother plants to produce clones and amazing yields. You’ll have to spot male plants, but the payoff will be more than worth it.
Benefits of the male plant
Males are an essential component in the continuity of the cannabis plant. They provide pollen for pollination and can be used to create new strains.
Disadvantages of the male plant
It can corrupt an entire crop by pollinating all the females. Once a female is fertilized it doesn’t produce THC.
They also don’t produce flowers, only seeds, which accounts for their low THC levels.
Benefits of the female plant
It provides some of the best medical and recreational marijuana because of its high THC levels. This compound is concentrated in the flowers.
Disadvantages of the female plant
They typically come as one feminized strain which makes them susceptible to disease and bugs with time.
Various Growing Stages of the Marijuana Crop
Marijuana has two primary growing stages; the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. The vegetative stage begins when the cannabis seed starts to sprout and grow. It lasts around six weeks. At that point, the plant displays signs of pre-flowering and will enter into the second (flowering) life stage.
Some individuals call the vegetative stage the “childhood” of the plant because the primary purpose of the crop during this time is to grow taller and stronger. It is not yet necessary for the crop to focus on yielding or flowering.
During the vegetative stage, it is incredibly challenging (if not impossible) to determine the gender of each plant. Therefore, a grower needs to wait until the signs of pre-flowering are visible, a sweet spot between the vegetative and flowering stages. Catching the males during this short period and separating them from the female crops could minimize many future problems.
Once the plant has gone through its childhood, it will then enter “adulthood,” otherwise known as the flowering stage. Now, the crop no longer focuses on getting any taller or thicker. Instead, its sole focus is to produce pistils and calyxes, otherwise known as buds. Male plants produce something called pollen sacs, which look like little peas and are easy to identify if you know what to look for. ECO Farm 2ft*2ft Grow Tent Kit can be your great choice.
How Can You Determine a Cannabis Plant’s Gender?
After the first six weeks, you will begin noticing little pre-flowers near the growth tips. They will either appear slightly pointed at the ends or more rounded. With some strains, it is more challenging to see a difference right away. A female plant will have a calyx – which is the slightly more pointed option. A male will have the aforementioned mini pollen sacs that are round or roughly oval.
If you cannot tell the difference yet, wait a few more days. If the green pre-flower grows a white hair, known as a pistil, it is female. Pistils are never green in color, so look for something light-colored and fuzzy.
Females typically take a bit longer to express their gender than the male cannabis plant does. As a result, be patient with your crops and regularly check them so you can manage any males in the bunch accordingly.
The male plant’s “little green balls” will continue to grow larger, filling up with more pollen until they eventually burst and leak pollen everywhere. You need to catch the male before this happens, as the spread of pollen will fertilize the females. At this point, their buds will stop developing.
Male vs. Female Marijuana Plants – A Quick Rundown
Female crops have pointed green calyxes that sprout a white and wispy pistil – a hair-like part of the plant that grows from the calyx.
Male crops have round, green pollen sacs that enlarge and don’t sprout a white, wispy pistil. Catch these sacs before they overfill with pollen, burst, and contaminate your crop!
In adverse situations (i.e., if the plants are stressed or hungry), portions of a crop can become hermaphroditic. This means they develop both male and female characteristics to self-pollinate and reproduce. It is not the end of the world for those that are growing for personal use because you can still produce buds. The downside is that you receive a far lower concentration of resin.
It is a potentially catastrophic situation for commercial growers, however, as hermaphrodites (or “herms,” as some people call them), are full of seeds and not sellable or desired. Just keep in mind that the male cannabis crop is not entirely useless; a fact we discuss in the next section.
What Can You Do with a Male Cannabis Plant?
Despite their reputation, a male crop is not as hopeless as many may think. Sure, these crops are not as potent as female crops in terms of their THC production, but they contain their fair share of cannabinoids. As some of the sugar leaves are slightly resinous, you can potentially enjoy a mild high too.
If you want an all-female crop, remove the male plants from the females once identified. Then, separate them to reduce the risk of contamination.
While some growers want to dump these plants, there are some non-bud related uses for the male cannabis plant. You can use the stems and water leaves for juicing and teas. It is also possible to process male plant parts into material for therapeutic creams and lotions.
If you do not feel inclined to produce anything with the male plants, the easiest option is to compost the remains. This reduces waste production, is more environmentally friendly, and potentially provides nutrition for your future crops.
Conclusion
Cannabis plants reveal their gender in six weeks. The period before those six weeks they all look the same. However, depending on the environment where they are growing, whether indoors in a eco farm grow tent or outdoors, they may show their gender sooner or later.
For more tips on how to grow, cure, and harvest weed visit A Pot for Pot! Looking to grow your own small marijuana plant? Check out our complete marijuana grow tent kits!
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blightarts · 6 months ago
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Blades of Order & Chaos
Chapter Title: 3 - Puppeteer
Previous Chapter: Rage, Scream, Fight
Word Count: 6932
Disclaimer: All rights belong to Pixelberry. This is my version for the upcoming sequel of Blades of Light & Shadow. I am not claiming this to be the canon story of the book. This is only written to increase the hype for the actual sequel.
MC/Pairing: Kite (Blue Elf Male MC) / Kite x Nia
Taglist: @princessstellaris​ @mechaspirit​ @brightningstar​ @cal-north @lxdy-starfury​ @tyrils-star​ @imturaxamara​ @kelseaaa
Under the night sky, clouded by smoke from the burning ruins of Flotilla and its ships, Kite and his companions watch in horror as they just witness Imtura being thrown off the moving island of K’ell Dhana after her encounter with one of the Empire of Ash’s lieutenants, Vulcanis.
Tyril: Did you see that?
Mal: Yeah… You don’t think…
Nia: No… it can’t be…
Kade: Not like this…
Kite: Imtura…
Mal grits his teeth and walks towards the sailor steering the wheel.
Mal: Turn us around!
Orc Sailor: What?!
Mal: Your queen was thrown overboard. We have to get her back!
Tyril grips the rogue’s arm.
Tyril: Volari, no. Let us not waste the time Imtura has bought us.
Mal: To hells with it! We’re not leaving her!
Nia: Guys, the island is gaining on us!
Mal and Tyril turn towards K’ell Dhana sailing fast towards the escaping ships. The Flotillan citizens begin to panic.
Kade: We have to do something!
Threep suddenly gets an idea and turns to Kite.
Threep: Kite, I need you to conjure a combination magic composed of Light and Shadow magic.
Everyone turns to Threep.
Kite: What?
Loola: Threep, that is madness!
Tyril: How can you be sure that Kite can conjure Shadow magic?
Threep: Kite is a child of House Nightbloom, just like Laundsellyn, which means that they are both descendants of the one who can harness the power of Chaos. My theory is that Kite could possibly do the same.
Mal squints at the nesper.
Mal: You’re basing this all in a theory?!
Threep: It is better than nothing!
Kite looks at Threep, unsure.
Kite: Do you think that, even without proper training, I can do it?
Threep nods silently, with a bit of uncertainty. Loola places her paw on his back.
Loola: If Threep believes in Kite’s abilities, then so do I.
Kade grins.
Kade: Me too!
Nia and Tyril turn to Kite with a smile.
Nia: I’ve never once lost faith in you, Kite. You can do it!
Tyril: Because of you, we were able to achieve feats that no one else has.
Mal sighs and smiles along.
Mal: I guess this all falls on you, kit.
Kite stares at his friends, almost getting teary-eyed.
Kite: Guys…
He wipes his eyes and nods at them with a determined smile.
Kite: Okay, I’ll do it.
He turns to face the approaching island and breathes deeply before holding both his hands up in an attempt to harness Chaos magic.
Kite: Here we go.
From his left hand, he easily conjures an Orb of Light, however, his other hand struggles to conjure even a speck of Shadow Magic. Threep floats beside him.
Threep: Try to picture what Shadow Magic is and use your emotions to power it. After our previous adventures, I believe you should be capable in doing such a task.
Kite nods and closes his eyes. He empties his mind and fills it with negative thoughts and emotions, such as hatred towards the Empire of Ash and wanting vengeance against Laundsellyn for starting all of this. Letting his emotions fuel his power, Kite begins to channel a small orb of Shadow from his right hand. His friends stare in awe.
Kade: He did it!
Tyril: It’s such a rare sight seeing beings like Kite and Nia being able to manipulate Shadow Magic, despite their allegiances.
Mal: Come on, Kite. Keep going!
The Shadow orb continues to grow, however, in the meantime, the Orb of Light in Kite’s left hand begins to shrink. Because of the negative thoughts clogging his mind, he is unable to stabilize his control of Light Magic. The others quickly notice this.
Loola: This is bad. Kite must balance his way of thinking before the Shadow magic might corrupt him!
Threep: Kite! Do not flood your mind with too much darkness!
But their words seem quiet to the elf as he is lost in his own thoughts. A dark aura begins to surge around him, causing his friends to back away in fear. His eyes open, with his right eye’s sclera being clad in black. He grits his teeth as he is filled with rage.
Kite: I will destroy… every… single… ONE OF THEM!!
The Orb of Shadow in his right hand begins to swirl sporadically as it continues to grow. However, before it could do any further harm, Nia gently holds Kite’s left arm while glowing with the power of the Light, causing the elf’s dark aura to disappear and the Orb of Shadow to calm. The black in Kite’s right sclera remains but his thoughts are now filled with a balance of positivity and negativity. His Orb of Light grows back in size, equaling to the size of the Orb of Shadow as he turns to beloved.
Kite: Nia…
Nia: Your drive for vengeance is valid, Kite, but do not let that be the only thing that moves you forward. There’s a lot more you can do for the greater good with the power you possess. You taught me that.
The two stare into each other before Nia lets go of Kite’s arm, trusting him to do what must be done. The elf nods at her.
Kite: You’re right.
He turns back to the approaching island before letting out a calming sigh.
Kite: Here goes nothing.
Kite then attempts to fuse the two orbs of opposing magical aspects together. Swirls of Light and Shadow magic burst out of control, trying to push the elf away, but he stands his ground. He grits his teeth as the two orbs finally merge as one with Light and Shadow spiraling in a sphere.
Tyril: He has done it!
Kade: Yeah, Kite!
Loola: Fantastic work!
Nia: I’m relieved.
Threep does a smug smile.
Threep: Never doubted him for a second.
Mal: Suuuuuure.
Kite trembles, trying to keep the magic stable.
Kite: I don’t know how long I can hold it. What should I do?
His friends think.
Kade: Well, aggressive response doesn’t work.
Tyril: We need to lead him away,
Mal: Like some sort of misdirection?
Tyril nods at Mal.
Nia: Well, the aspect of Light magic contributes to our sense of sight. Without the Light, we cannot see.
Loola: So, what you’re suggesting is that with Chaos magic, we should trick Vulcanis and everyone else in that island into what they are seeing?
Nia: Yes.
Threep: An astute suggestion. We should try it.
Kite nods.
Kite: Okay, I’ll see what I can do.
He closes his eyes once more, picturing the spell that he needs to cast. In order to misdirect the enemy and lead them towards a different path, Kite must create illusions that will take their place while they go somewhere else.
Kite: I got it!
The elf turns to the orc sailor.
Kite: Captain, relay this to the rest of the fleet! On my signal, turn towards the south!
Orc Sailor: Aye, aye!
As the orc sailor sends two other orcs to pass on the message to the other ships of the fleet, Kite turns back to K’ell Dhana and exhales from his nose. He raises his hands up in the air and exclaims.
Kite: Combination Magic: Moonlight Circle – Mirror Mirage!!
The Orb of Chaos pulsates, sending a small shockwave that pushes Kite’s friends back.
Kite: NOW!!
The orc sailor yells as he turns the ship to the right, then the other ships follow its lead. Meanwhile, in K’ell Dhana, Vulcanis’s vision begins to blur for a moment.
Vulcanis: Huh? What is this?
He shakes his head and rubs his eyes to focus on the fleet in front of him, noticing that they are still sailing forward. What the obsidian orc is seeing is an illusion, created by Kite, in order to fool him while the real fleet sails towards the south, away from his wrath.
Vulcanis: This is a poor retreat. They would at least prepare a countermeasure against me.
Vulcanis prepares one last batch of rocks before hurling them towards the illusions. He watches as the mirages are ruined by the jagged and molten rocks before they sink in front of him.
Vulcanis: It is done. The orcs are no more. A new, far stronger, race of orcs rises.
Back in the escaping fleet, while Kite struggles to keep his magic working, he and his friends witness his illusions being destroyed by Vulcanis. The group seemed amazed at how Kite is able to fool such a powerful adversary.
Kade: It worked. Threep’s plan worked.
Eventually, the illusionary fleet sinks and the island sails past it, heading towards Morella. Kite waits until the island is far enough before letting go of his magic. This took a toll on his stamina as he nearly collapses on the deck. Nia rushes towards him and catches him in her arms.
Nia: Kite, are you okay?
The elf nods, unable to utter a single word. His friends look towards K’ell Dhana from the horizon.
Tyril: We are safe… for now.
Mal: But at what cost? We lost Imtura.
The group laments over the supposed death of their friend. As Nia helps Kite on his feet, he shakes his head.
Kite: I doubt she’s dead.
His friends turn to him with uncertainty.
Kite: After what we’ve been through, I don’t think she can be killed so easily.
He turns to Mal.
Kite: Remember that serpent scale we found with her, Mal?
The rogue widens his eyes, realizing the situation.
Mal: You gave it to her?
The elf nods.
Kite: I think she was just thrown off the island. She’ll catch up to us at the Gold Coast. We just have to wait for her there for like a day or two.
Having no other choice but to rely on Kite’s optimism, the group nod at each other before guiding him below deck to let him rest. Mal stays with the orc sailor.
Mal: How long until we reach the Gold Coast?
Orc Sailor: We should be able to get there before noon.
The rogue looks east to notice the sunrise.
Mal: I’m sorry for everything your kind has lost.
Despite the overwhelming grief, the sailor stays composed when operating the ship.
Orc Sailor: …We do not intend for history to repeat itself once more. We lost our queen, Ventra, and almost lost our new queen, Imtura. If what your friend says is true and that she is still alive, then we need her to lead us to a brighter future, a future where the orcs shall no longer cower in fear from the Lieutenant of Wrath and Destruction.
At the mention of the word “lieutenant”, Mal thinks back to the other one who had awaken from the dungeon that he once explored.
Mal: I want to ask a favor, Captain.
Orc Sailor: What is it, sir Volari?
The rogue turns to him with sorrowful eyes.
Mal: Once the fleet docks, whatever you do, never travel to the east, towards the Zaradun Wasteland.
The sailor turns to him confused.
Orc Sailor: Any particular reason?
Mal: There is an ancient dungeon that dwells beneath its sands. Inside that dungeon, a second lieutenant is sealed within. Before this, before the Shadow Court, I once explored that dungeon and lost almost everything dear to me. I do not want the same to happen to your kin once more like the previous night.
Seeing the grief in Mal’s eyes, the sailor nods in understanding.
Orc Sailor: Understood, sir Volari.
There is silence between the two for a while.
Orc Sailor: I believe that you and your friends might try to face this lieutenant.
Mal shrugs and sighs.
Mal: I believe so. This is a huge responsibility bestowed upon us after our efforts in the Shadow Realm.
The sailor smiles.
Orc Sailor: Well, no matter the threat, please know that we, the orcs, are right by your side, ready to aid you in the war against the Empire.
The rogue smiles back.
Mal: Thank you. What’s your name, by the way?
Orc Sailor: Darrenad Marikax, at your service.
The two shake hands before Darrenad continues to lead the fleet towards the Gold Coast.
An hour passes and the Coast can be seen on the horizon.
Darrenad: Land ho!
The group hurries out from below deck, with Kite being supported by Kade. They join Mal and Darrenad by the wheel.
Tyril: The Gold Coast is in sight?
Mal: That’s right. Look.
Mal points to their destination as the ships sail closer. The sands across the coast glisten like gold, captivating everyone.
Tyril: So, it’s true. The shore is as golden as the elven explorers described in the archives.
Kade: Wow… so, this is what beyond Morella looks like.
Nia: It’s beautiful.
Kite points to something else by the coast.
Kite: Look, over there. Houses and a small port.
The group turns to where Kite is pointing to. As the ships draw closer towards the coast, its inhabitants start to become more noticeable. The group eventually realize that the inhabitants are orcs.
Kade: Another civilization of orcs?
Nia: I thought the only one that exists is Flotilla, and the orcs that live outside it usually coexist with humans and elves, and do not belong in their own orcish civilization.
A thought comes to Darrenad’s mind.
Darrenad: They must be a peaceful tribe of orcs who travelled beyond Morella.
The group turns to him, curious.
Mal: What do you mean?
Darrenad: After the orcish tribes were driven from K’ell Dhana, most of them became seafarers, who eventually banded together under Ventra’s rule. Meanwhile, there were few surviving members of endangered tribes who ended up settling in the mainland of Morella. However, there were peaceful tribes who did not settle on the sea nor in Morella. They travelled further, to the south, away from the dangers of Vulcanis and the Empire.
Tyril: So, these orcs must be pacifists.
Kade: I mean, it’s good, right? They won’t see us as hostile and will treat us kindly.
Threep shakes his head and Loola shares his concern.
Threep: But with the looming threat of the Empire, these orcs must eventually learn how to fight in order to protect themselves.
Loola: Agreed.
Darrenad smiles.
Darrenad: You have no need to worry, friends of Queen Imtura. Our kin shall handle in training the tribe. All of you still have a mission to do that spans across the entire realm. It is best we split our tasks and make use of the time we have.
The group nod at Darrenad with determined smiles.
Kite: You’re right.
Tyril: We should send a small group to the coast first, to show the inhabitants that we mean no harm to them before we dock the rest of the ships.
Mal: Good idea. Wouldn’t want them to think that we’re invading them.
A few minutes later, Kite, Mal, and Darrenad take a rowboat towards the Gold Coast to meet and possibly, negotiate with the orc inhabitants. However, as soon as they dock by the beach, they are immediately met by orcs clad in tribal outfits that resemble the clothing of Hawaiian tribes.
Gold Coast Orc: Halt! Who goes there?
As the orcs point their spears towards the three, Mal turns to Darrenad with a sore expression.
Mal: Oh yeah. These guys are peaceful, alright. Must be a new custom to kindly treat your guests with SPEARS RIGHT UP THEIR FACES!!
Darrenad: Hey, I only knew what they were before!
Kite slaps his back palm against Mal’s shoulder.
Kite: Shush, you two! Let me do the talking.
The elf clears his throat and turns to the orcs of the Gold Coast. Using his charisma, Kite reasons with them.
Kite: My apologies. We do not mean to tread in your home nor cause any harm to any of you. We were just transporting refugees after we nearly escaped the one who destroyed their homes.
The leader of the orc warriors raise his fist, signalling his subordinates to lower their spears.
Gold Coast Orc: Who are you? What are your intentions?
Kite: My name is Kite. This is Mal and Darrenad. The orcish city of Flotilla was just attacked and sunk by a Lieutenant of the Empire of Ash, Vulcanis Rukda. Thanks to the efforts of their late queen Ventra, we managed to evacuate the citizens and lead them away from the clutches of Vulcanis.
The orc leader raises his eyebrow at the mention of Vulcanis’s name.
Gold Coast Orc: I see. So, it’s no mere coincidence that we saw the beams of light that signal the liberation of the Lieutenants. Where is the current monarch?
Kite’s face falls upon hearing that question but returns to a stoic expression.
Kite: She is currently lost at sea after trying to buy us time to escape. The fleet is currently under the command of Captain Darrenad.
The orc leader turns to Darrenad.
Gold Coast Orc: I see. You have the permission to dock your ships, captain. We will do our best to provide the needs your citizens need. However, you must pay your debt by building your own homes and farming your own resources.
Darrenad nods.
Darrenad: Understood. We will do our best.
The orc leader then turns to his subordinates.
Gold Coast Orc: Inform our chieftain of the news, and prepare a feast for our guests.
Subordinates: Yes, sir!
The Gold Coast orcs get to work, leaving Kite, Mal and Darrenad to return to the fleet and dock the ships.
Mal: Smooth talk, kit.
Kite: Thanks.
Hours later, the citizens of Flotilla settle in. Their soldiers meet with the tribesmen of the Gold Coast to gather wood in order to build houses. After that, a feast is held to feed their starving bellies, especially after a near-death experience. During the feast, Kite, his friends and Darredan meet with the tribe’s chieftain, Grunbak Razdul.
Grunbak: Greetings, my name is Grunbak Razdul. I am deeply sorry for the lost of Flotilla and queen Ventra.
Darredan: Thank you, chieftain Grunbak. And thank you, as well, for helping my people after losing everything they have.
Grunbak shakes his head.
Grunbak: It’s the least I can do. Our kind had suffered once under Vulcanis’s actions. I do not intend for it to happen again.
Tyril: Is that why your tribe has abandoned your pacifistic beliefs.
The chieftain nods.
Grunbak: If one seeks peace, they must be prepared for war. We knew that the Empire will return, even after the efforts of our ancestors. We had to prepare for the worst and fight with those willing to stand against the “Fateseeker” and his soldiers.
Kade: Speaking of preparations, our party is currently in search of the dwarves that once inhabited the ancient city of Zaradun. We are wondering if you could guide us to the city, or at least, point us to where it is.
Grunbak: Worry not, young lad. We shall prepare you a carriage tomorrow for your journey.
The group smiles.
Nia: Thank you for your hospitality, chieftain.
Grunbak: I do what I must in order to preserve this realm and those willing to protect it.
Tyril: We will not let you down.
After their discussion with the chieftain, the group join the orcs in the feast and let loose, but behind their joy is overwhelming sorrow after the events of the past few days.
The next day follows and the group prepares for the journey ahead. Kite exits his hut with his knapsack and gear with Nia behind him, still worried about him after his collapse.
Nia: How are you feeling?
The elf smiles at her.
Kite: I am feeling better. Thank you.
He gives his beloved a reassuring kiss on her lips before they join their friends at the carriage that Grunbak prepared for them. As they take their seats, they are greeted by the chieftain and Darrenad.
Grunbak: The carriage driver can only bring you as far as the border between the palm forest and the Zaradun Wastelands. Once there, walk east. You’ll find the ruins of the ancient city after a few minutes.
Darrenad: I pray for the best in your travels.
The group nods and waves at the two orcs before the carriage driver signals his horses to move the carriage.
At the clearing of the forest of palm trees, the carriage halts to a stop before the driver turns to the group.
Carriage Driver: We are here.
The group step off the carriage and nod at the driver.
Kite: Thank you.
The carriage driver nods back before returning to the Gold Coast. Kite and his friends turn to the vast and barren land as they begin to trek east, towards the supposed location of Zaradun City.
Kade: How will we know if we’ve reached it?
Tyril: The dwarves were an ancient race that had been here since the beginning so if you start to see old-looking structures, you know we’re close.
Mal rushes ahead, surprising everyone.
Mal: Come on. We’re almost there. It’s over that sand dune.
His friends try to catch up, confused.
Nia: Mal, wait!
Kite: Have you been here before?
The rogue reluctantly nods and hesitates to tell them about his previous travels, but he still does so.
Mal: Two years ago, before I retired from the Thieves Guild, we’ve heard about a treasure buried deep within the ancient city. The guildmaster sent an exploration group to look for this treasure, and I was a part of that group. However, what we found was an underground dungeon and learned that it has kept something big… something dangerous…
Shivers travel across his friends’ spines.
Kade: Was it one of the Lieutenants?
Mal: Yes. We knew that the hard way…
Mal’s pace begins to slow.
Mal: …The dungeon began to crumble… as if that something knew we were there… I was… the only survivor.
He paused in his tracks and his friends follow as silence fills the atmosphere. Tyril approaches Mal, placing a hand on the rogue’s shoulder.
Tyril: It wasn’t your fault, Volari. All of you couldn’t have known.
Mal looks at Tyril, slowly overcoming his grief.
Mal: I retired from the Guild after that, and went on with my life, solo, carrying the guilt of being the only survivor.
He then shakes his head and smacks both of his cheeks.
Mal: Okay, that’s enough about my past! Let’s go find these dwarves and stick a dagger right up that Empire’s asses, so my fellow thieves’ deaths weren’t in vain!
His friends chuckle and nod before they continue on their journey. Eventually, they reach the city ruins.
Kade: Damn, what a mess.
Threep: It was said that the Lieutenant of Greed was the cause of Zaradun City’s destruction. She was a materialistic who wanted nothing more but to create the ultimate machine by stealing anything she can get her hands on and weave it onto her creation.
Kite: “Machine”?
Loola: With their vast knowledge in magic, the dwarves were also pioneers when it comes to technology. They were able to create contraptions, such as artillery far greater than our cannons today.
Nia: How come we do not see that technology today?
Threep: It was all stolen by the Lieutenant of Greed and the blueprints were lost after the demise of Zaradun City. Many dwarves died in order to keep her sealed away while she lashed out, in an attempt to break free.
While the group listens to Threep, Mal spots movement from behind a demolished building and quickly unsheathes a dagger.
Mal: Someone’s here!
He hurls the dagger towards the area where he spotted the movement, but another dagger is thrown from that direction. The two daggers clash before falling to the sand. Kite unsheathes his bow and readies an arrow.
Kite: Who goes there?!
The others follow him, readying themselves for what’s to come.
Voice: Glad you’re still honing your skills, Volari.
Mal’s eyes widen as he recognizes the voice.
Mal: No way. I thought you’re dead!
The source of the voice steps into view, revealing a man with one leg and crutches.
Mal: Dolion?! How are you alive?!
Dolion scoffs.
Dolion: Ha! You think an old crumbling dungeon can take out ol’ me?
Another figure steps out behind Dolion.
Young Man: Mister Volari!
Mal recognizes the young man as his junior thief that he failed to catch during the dungeon incident.
Mal: Evan, you too…?
Evan smiles before he and Dolion approaches Mal and the group.
Nia: Mal, who are these people?
Dolion bows like a gentleman.
Dolion: Allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Dolion Selim, Mal’s mentor and the most talented man in the Thieves Guild.
Dolion looks at his missing leg and chuckles.
Dolion: Well… was. I am also Mal’s partner back in the day.
Evan steps forward, nervously.
Evan: Hello. I am Evan Rufus. I’m still a rookie in the Guild.
Mal approaches the young man and places a hand on his shoulder before turning to Kite.
Mal: New kit, this is old kit.
Kite gives the rogue a sore expression.
Kite: I know wolves who can give better nicknames than you.
Mal: Hey!
Dolion clears his throat.
Dolion: So, Volari. Mind introducing us to these recruits?
Kade: “Recruits”?
Dolion: Oh, are you not part of the Thieves Guild?
Tyril: Don’t you dare compare me to the likes of you!
Mal rubs the back of his head before turning to Dolion.
Mal: Truth is, Dolion… I retired from the Guild after seeing you guys… “die” …
Dolion: Oh… I see. I understand. You couldn’t live with the guilt.
Dolion slowly makes his way to Mal and gives him a reassuring embrace.
Dolion: It must be hard for you…
Mal returns the embrace and clutches Dolion before breaking down into tears.
Mal: You have no idea!
While Mal cries in his former mentor’s arms, his friends join them to comfort him.
Evan: We’re the only ones alive too, Mister Volari. You’re not the only one who carries that same guilt.
Eventually, everyone pulls away from each other. Mal composes himself and wipes his tears.
Mal: I’m just glad that I’m not alone in this and that you two are still alive…
Dolion smiles and ruffles his apprentice’s hair.
Dolion: Come on. No more tears.
Mal sniffs and nods before clearing his throat.
Dolion: What are you lot doing here anyway?
Kite: We’re in search of any surviving dwarves that once lived in these ruins.
Dolion: Well, tough luck for you, buddy. We’ve been doing that for the past two years in order to escape this barren wasteland and go back to Morella. We tried to get help from those Gold Coast orcs but they’re too territorial.
Tyril: I doubt it. They’re quite hospitable, actually. Maybe, seeing that you two are thieves, they wanted to keep you away from their belongings.
Dolion leans over to Mal.
Dolion: Who is this sassy, lost elf?
Mal: Don’t worry about him. You’ll get used to his sass.
Mal and Dolion chuckle.
Tyril: I heard that!
Dolion then clears his throat.
Dolion: As I was saying, we’ve been living in an oasis located just north of here for the past two years while still trying to figure out how to get out of here. Rumors back in the day mention how there are still existing dwarves hiding in these lands, and with their technology, they might’ve developed something for transportation.
Kade: Well, our reasons for seeking the dwarves are to learn about the Empire of Ash.
Dolion: Empire of what now?
Mal: Empire of Ash. Let’s just say that one of them is the reason only the three of us survived the dungeon.
Threep: And they’re now here to unleash havoc upon the realm.
Evan: AAH! Talking flying cat!
Evan readies a knife while Dolion stops him.
Dolion: Easy, rookie.
Threep: Rude!
Loola: We nespers have been missing for centuries, Threep. Calm yourself.
Evan gulps and sheathes his weapon.
Kite: Sorry about that. We were surprised too to learn that nespers aren’t extinct after all. Anyways, where were we?
Dolion deliberates after hearing the information given to him.
Dolion: Well, with a search group this large, I think we can cover more ground and be able to find the dwarves more easily. Let’s regroup at the oasis.
Mal: Gotcha.
The group begins to move, following Dolion and Evan as they lead the way towards the oasis. A thought comes into Kite’s mind.
Kite: By the way, Dolion.
Dolion: What is it?
Kite: Did you happen to see a beam of light somewhere in this wasteland?
Dolion: Ah, that thing. Yes, I did.
Kade: Did you see something or someone big coming from it and heading north?
The master thief shrugs.
Dolion: Don’t think so. If you say it’s big, I would’ve told you about it earlier.
Kade: I see.
Soon, the oasis can be seen from afar and the group begins to pick up the pace.
Dolion: Hey, slow down. Disabled man he—
Suddenly, the earth begins to rumble, causing everyone to stop in their tracks.
Nia: Wha… what’s going on?!
Evan and Mal help Dolion up so he doesn’t stumble.
Mal: We got you.
Tyril: This is no ordinary earthquake…
Kade: Look over there!
Kade points to smoke coming from the other side of a sand dune. Kite runs up to it.
Nia: Kite, wait!
Nia chases after her beloved while the others look at Mal.
Mal: Go! I’ll look after Dolion.
Kade and Tyril nods before running after Kite and Nia. Threep and Loola fly behind them. Upon reaching the peak of the dune, Kite freezes in place and stares in utter shock.
Kite: No way…
Nia: Kite, wait!
Nia and the others catch up to him and eventually stare in awe at what he’s seeing.
Kade: That’s…
Tyril: What kind of monster is that abomination…?
Threep: That is no monster… That is a machine, built by one of the Lieutenants…
Paralyzed in fear, the group watches a giant and rusty machine walk across the wasteland. The contraption is held together by golden weaves so it doesn’t fall apart, and it seems to resemble some sort of quadrupedal animal. It even has cannons and large spears attached to it.
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Mal, Evan and Dolion eventually catch up to the group.
Mal: Hey, what did you se—
The rogue pauses his sentence midway and appallingly stares at the large mechanism.
Mal: It’s…
Dolion: The very thing that killed our comrades.
Evan spots a figure standing atop the head of the mechanical beast.
Evan: Look over there! Who is that?
The group turns their attention to the figure.
Tyril: Is that…?
Kade: No way…
Without saying a word, Kite hurriedly unsheathes the Bow of Gal’dariel and draws an arrow. He channels the power of the Light from his drawing hand, coating the arrow with Light energy.
Kite: Take this, Laundsellyn! Light Magic: Beacon of Hope!!
The arrow burns bright, almost blinding everyone around Kite, before he lets it loose. The Light arrow flies across the air, making its way towards the figure, who Kite believes to be Sir Laundsellyn.
Meanwhile, standing atop the head of the machine, Laundsellyn looks towards the northern horizon.
Sir Laundsellyn: Once all the Lieutenants gather, the “Fateseeker” shall be unleashed.
He then spots a something bright coming towards him from the left. Unfazed, he simply tilted his head behind before the Light arrow zooms past him.
Sir Laundsellyn: Tch, it’s them.
Seeing his arrow miss, Kite grits his teeth and turns to his friends.
Kite: You guys stop that machine. I’ll draw Laundsellyn’s attention.
Nia: But, Kite…
Kade: You’re no match for him.
Kite sheathes his bow and unsheathes the Blade of Sol and the Shield of Castiel.
Kite: I’ll be fine.
Mal sighs and lends Dolion to Evan.
Mal: Watch over him for me.
Evan: Y-Yes, Mister Volari.
As Evan and Dolion walk down the sand dune, away from danger, Mal stands beside Kite.
Mal: I’ll join you.
Kite: Huh?
Mal: We don’t want you losing yourself to anger and doing something stupid, kit.
Kite falls silent for a while and nods.
Kite: Right, sorry.
Nia plants a kiss on Kite’s cheek before she runs with Kade, Tyril and Loola towards the machine. Kite, Mal and Threep stay to face Laundsellyn.
Threep: I know Lucius more than anyone else. I shall prove myself useful in this encounter.
Kite: Thank you, Threep.
The three ready themselves as Laundsellyn floats towards them with the Blade of Shadow hovering beside him.
Sir Laundsellyn: Ready for round two?
While Kite, Mal and Threep face off against Laundsellyn, their friends chase the slow-walking mechanical beast.
Kade: So, how do we take down something this big?
Tyril: You see those weaves keeping it together?
Nia: So, we just need to cut them and the whole machine falls apart?
Loola: We need to immobilize it in order to do that.
Kade points to the machine’s feet.
Kade: I think you and Tyril could use Ice Magic in order to freeze them.
Tyril: A plausible theory. Let’s give it a shot!
Loola: We might need to keep casting our magic. The heat in this wasteland might melt the ice.
Nia: I’ll handle the weaves then.
Tyril hands his blade to Kade and coats it with Fire Magic.
Tyril: Here, Kade. I entrust you with the weaves too.
Kade: Huh? But… I’ve never been in a fight before.
Tyril: It’s okay. You just need to swing the sword at where you’re aiming. A blade of flames will just fly towards your designated target.
Kade nods.
Kade: Okay, I’ll do my best.
Tyril grins at Kade before rushing forward with Loola. The two begin to conjure their Ice Magic spells before hurling it towards the machine’s feet. Tyril fires a continuous beam of Ice Magic to freeze the hind feet while Loola hurls large icicles to nail the front feet on the sand. This momentarily stops the contraption in place.
Loola: Now!
At Loola’s signal, Nia and Kade dashes from behind her and Tyril. Nia sends blades of Light towards the weaves while Kade does the same by swinging Tyril’s sword, sending blades of Fire, but their efforts were futile. After contact with the blades of magical energy, the weaves remain intact, shocking everyone.
Tyril: Damn it!
Kade: We have to keep trying!
Nia: I can’t cast Light Magic as much as I could.
Loola: Nia, save your strength. Kade, destroy as much as you can.
While Nia retreats, Kade tirelessly swings Tyril’s sword, sending more and more blades of Fire, but it has still proven to be useless against the magical weaves keeping the machine together. Suddenly, a voice from within the machine speaks.
Female Voice: Oh, my. If you sweeties want to see me so badly, you could’ve just asked so.
Tyril senses incoming danger thanks to his elven senses. He turns to Kade and Loola.
Tyril: Get back! It’s gonna collapse!
He, Kade and Loola immediately join Nia as the weaves come loose, disassembling the machine and leaving only a golden cocoon.
Kade: Did we do it?
Loola: I do not think so. I heard someone spoke and the mechanism collapsed on its own.
The cocoon then starts to come loose and upon opening, a woman steps out. She has a short stature and is clad in ancient dwarven armor while her veins glow gold across her body.
Nia: Is that… a dwarf…?
Tyril grits his teeth.
Tyril: This is terrific. One of the lieutenants just so happens to be the same race as the people we’re looking for.
The female dwarf turns to the group and flaunts herself.
Female Dwarf: Greetings, realm-dwellers. I am Athala Neset, dwarf of marvelous beauty and talent.
Tyril glances at Kade and nods at him, wordlessly telling him to hand back the elf’s sword.
Athala: As much as I love to stay here and torture all of you, I have a mission to do, so farewell!
Athala spreads her arms and opens her hands as golden threads come out from each tip of her fingers. As soon as Tyril gets his sword back, he immediately rushes towards the dwarf while imbuing flames on his blade.
Tyril: DIE!!
The mage swings his sword at Athala, but she reacts just in time. She effortlessly swings her arm perpendicular to the incoming blade, whipping the weaves connected to her fingers.
Tyril: Your threads won’t hold against my blade, demon!
However, upon contact, Athala’s weaves easily slice the blade of Tyril’s sword into pieces, surprising everyone. Seeing the threads coming towards him, Tyril quickly leaps back. He stares at his broken sword, with only its hilt left in his grasp.
Tyril: How… how strong are those weaves…?
He and his friends look back at Athala, who is sealing herself inside a golden cocoon.
Athala: How cute.
As soon as the cocoon closes, threads shoot out from it and begin to reassemble the machine. Unable to defeat another lieutenant, Tyril runs back to Kite.
Kade: Tyril!
Tyril: It’s no use! We cannot defeat her, just like Vulcanis. The least we can do right now is to assist Kite and Mal!
Hesitant, the rest agreed and follow him.
Nia: Hope we’re not too late.
Loola: Let’s focus on making sure we don’t lose anyone again.
But it’s too late for that. As soon as they return to the sand dune where they left Kite, Mal and Threep, they’re faces fall in despair. Kite is collapsed on the sand, with three arrows plunged onto his body, one on his right shoulder and two on his knees. Threep is on his chest, trying to resuscitate him.
Threep: Kite, wake up! Come on, don’t die on me!
Meanwhile, Mal is still standing, covered in wounds while trying to put a single scratch on Laundsellyn who easily evades his attacks.
Mal: Why! Won’t! You! Just! Die!
Kade and Nia rush to Kite to aid him while Tyril and Loola join Mal. Laundsellyn notices the elf and the nesper, and quickly sends a wave of Shadow Magic at them, knocking them back and sending them rolling down the sand dune.
Sir Laundsellyn: No interruptions, please.
While the shadow knight is distracted, Mal takes this opportunity to leap onto him, raising his dagger before attempting to plunge it onto Laundsellyn’s head. However…
Sir Laundsellyn: Too slow.
Laundsellyn catches Mal by gripping his neck with one hand and grabbing the dagger’s blade with the other. Unfazed by his bleeding hand, the shadow knight sighs and looks disappointed at Mal.
Sir Laundsellyn: You never learn to give up, do you?
Laundsellyn tightens his grip on both Mal and his dagger, before tossing the dagger away. Mal struggles to breathe and get away from the shadow knight’s hold. The rogue smirks and throws one last insult before his possible death.
Mal: You know… Laundry boy… I’ve met contessas… who can choke me… better than you can…
Laundsellyn glares at Mal for that comment but pretends to keep his composure.
Sir Laundsellyn: A fool like you talks a lot like Pompedorfin. Maybe I should silence you the same way I did to him centuries ago.
Mal: What… do you mean…?
Mal suddenly realizes what Laundsellyn was talking about. He remembers how he and his friend found Threep in the first place.
Mal: You… don’t… mean…
Laundsellyn smirks as he casts some sort of magic at Mal. While Nia is healing Kite, Kade notices what the shadow knight is doing to his friend.
Kade: Mal! NO!!
The bard rushes forward but is pushed back by Laundsellyn’s shadow pulse.
Sir Laundsellyn: I said, “No interruptions”!
Mal keeps trying to break free from Laundsellyn’s grasp but it was all for naught, as seconds later, the shadow knight contains him in a crystal similar to the one Threep was contained in at the start of the group’s journey. Every single one of Mal’s friends witnesses this.
Tyril: Volari!!
Tyril hurls a ball of Cleansing Fire at Laundsellyn, but the latter quickly dodges it by flying to the air. The shadow knight scoffs before tossing the crystal containing Mal far away, where no one would ever retrieve him.
Mal has left the party.
Tyril: You will pay for that!
Tyril keeps throwing balls of Cleansing Fire at Laundsellyn while Loola fires icicles at him, but the shadow knight easily evades them all.
Sir Laundsellyn: This is boring me.
No longer interested in fighting, Laundsellyn zooms towards Athala’s machine, which has begun to move once more towards Morella. Tyril attempts to give chase, but doesn’t seeing as how his friends, especially Kite, need him now. He and Loola rush to Kite’s aid, joining Nia in healing him.
Tyril: I’m sorry… I couldn’t save Mal…
Nia: It’s not your fault, Tyril… There’s really nothing we could’ve done…
The group laments over another loss as a sandstorm slowly begins to pick up.
Kade: Where do we go now?
Threep: Where are Dolion and Evan? They know where the oasis is.
Loola: I can’t see a damn thing in this sandstorm!
The group looks around and yells for Dolion and Evan’s names, but is unable to find them.
Meanwhile, in the oasis that the two thieves mentioned, Dolion sits inside a tent. Evan enters while holding something in his hand.
Dolion: Did you find them?
Evan: No, sir…
Dolion: They should be here soon. I’ve told Mal the exact directions of this place.
Evan then reveals what he is holding to Dolion.
Evan: I did find this, however.
Dolion: A crystal?
––––– END OF CHAPTER –––––
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Trouble ~ J.V.
A/n: I see my Jerome peeps are HERE and I’m LOVING IT! Prompt list here so y’all don’t have to scroll ;) Feel free to request as many as you want for commission or when requests are open again. I LOVE using prompts!!
Request: “...6, 8 with Jerome Valeska” by anon
6: “You are actually Satan, oh my god.”
8: “Wow, I am so in love with you… just wow.”
MASTERLIST
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You know how you see someone, and it’s so obvious where they’ll end up that it’s like a scene in your head? It’s never good when this happens, so usually it’s a sad story and you kind of just frown and shake your head and pity the person, but you know that saying anything won’t do you any good so you just sit back and keep your mouth shut and wait for the inevitable end.
That’s how everyone saw Jerome Valeska.
People had never cared about Jerome, though. If they ever had, it was wiped away pretty quickly. Brutally murdering people with no care for who was on what side, who had helped or hurt, or without even a little remorse or pity or hesitation or regret... it was one of those things that most people found to be a bit of a turn off. Those who didn’t were seen to be just as unhinged as Jerome was, so they were dismissed as well.
The thing was, people HAD cared about Y/n. She was one of the most intellectually promising in her entire high school, maybe in all of Gotham. She was the kind of teenager that seemed so very adult. She was respectful and poised and very well controlled. She was pleasant to be around, and even much older people didn’t mind talking to her if they happened to be in the same place. She’d even made some pleasant relationships.
Like the friendship she had with Bruce Wayne.
Through him, she had come to learn about and meet and even get along with everyone Bruce knew. She could get along with anybody she wanted to, without threats or intimidation or groveling. She simply existed, and she had a sort of comforting, approachable presence about her. She wasn’t the least bit threatening, but she was... nice, I guess. Even dangerous people liked her, because she was the only person who didn’t seem to care about power or advantageous interactions or anything like that.
She was just nice to talk to.
This showed most prominently when she talked to people like Edward Nigma, or Oswald Cobblepott, or Silena Kyle. She’d even found herself in situations to talk to Barbara Gordan. Victor Zsasz.
People usually chalked it up to her being quite unlucky.
Because she was so unsuspecting and unproblematic and calm, she turned out to be a really good hostage. She didn’t talk back or lash out, she just sat and behaved and looked at you with a very calm, calculated expression.
Zsasz had run into her when he’d worked for Penguin and had been guarding her so that Oswald could make a deal without worrying about his bargaining chip being compromised. After a while, Y/n had asked how Zsasz’s day was going. They’d had a short, pleasant conversation, leaving the assassin intrigued by the girl when she’d been let go.
Barbara had a similar experience, except it had been when she was in Arkham of all places. Everyone had a weird thing, and very few if any people knew Y/n’s, but even she had one too. Her weird thing was visiting Arkham Asylum every once in a while visiting random people inside it, and then talking to them with the most easy normality. Like they’d been life long friends, or the person she was talking to was completely sane. She never judged or snapped, she just had a neutral expression with a sort of interest in her eyes. She was polite enough that Barbara had entertained the visit, and found herself not totally regretting it afterward.
Oswald had met her when he was mayor. She had dropped by as an errand for Jim Gordon, and had started a casual conversation when Oswald had expected her to leave when thing were handled. At first he’d been suspicious, and he still was if he was honest, but she hadn’t asked any prying questions or tried to get at him from any angle. If he drew a line, she respected it immediately and moved onto something else without missing a beat. When he got uncomfortable, she apologized and wished him a good day before excusing herself. After she’d show up several more times, sometimes sent by Jim, sometimes just to say hello, Oswald eventually relaxed. He didn’t trust her, and she didn’t expect him to, but when she stopped by to say hello he’d have someone bring them tea and they’d have a little chat. He was a little surprised when she didn’t visit him in Arkham, but when they ran into each other a little later, she nodded to him with a little smile and he got the impression she wasn’t angry with him.
As time passed, more and more people who were considered to be Gotham’s worst were coming up with more and more stories of Y/n. The girl who didn’t scream when she walked into a store and saw a dead body, but who’s neutrality wasn’t unsettling as much as it was kind of calming. She had all the makings of a twisted, demented villain, and yet she was the most normal person ever. It was confusing and intriguing, but never distinctly a bad thing. She was well known, and no one had anything bad to say about her. 
It was only a matter of time before Jerome found her.
Not long after he did, he was as taken with her as everyone else. She wasn’t annoying, or unnerved by him. She was in fact endlessly interesting. He thought eventually he would get bored of her complete lack of response to even the most terrible things he told her in an effort to get her going, but found instead that the sort of sparks of interest in her gaze and the small smile that sometimes almost touched her lips was enough to keep him engaged.
She was the exact opposite of him, but in a way that didn’t drive him to want her to be gone. He didn’t WANT to kill her. It was weird, and he was living for it.
Slowly, Y/n stopped showing up in public. She stopped visiting Arkham, and the police department. She stopped running into dangerous people who never seemed to mind seeing her around, even if they weren’t supposed to be seen by anyone. She graduated high school but never talked about college. She just... slowly started to disappear.
It wasn’t as suspicious as it was disappointing. No one could tell where she was going or why all the accidental bump ins were being so carefully removed, but it was leaving the idea in everyone’s head that they might not have been accidents to begin with. Not most of them at least. That was the only thing that it could be, after years and years of her being so very unlucky, only for her to quite suddenly not run into a single soul ever. Even when people sought her out, they couldn’t find her unless she wanted to be found.
She appeared rather suddenly at Jerome’s side one day out of the blue.
No one noticed her behind the line of people in chairs. They were distracted by Jerome talking about his terribly sad past, and the people with explosive collars locked around their necks. Most importantly noted: Bruce Wayne and Jerome’s twin brother, Jeremiah.
It wasn’t until Jerome drew attention to her that anyone even registered her at all. She was so still and quiet that behind all the chaos, she might as well have been invisible.
Jerome was only too enthused to rub it in everyone’s faces.
“You know you don’t like me, and that’s fair. I’m not like any of you, am I? I don’t smile right, and I act weird. Then there’s the whole killing people thing.” He giggled, but the crowd in front of him only looked disgusted. “But is that why you really hate me, Gotham? Because I’m a big ol mean bad guy? Do you hate me because I’m a little unhinged? Because I’m a little loud and hysterical and I scare you? Or do I scare you because I have no problem being very honest and very open with all of the things you people LOVE to push under the rug and hide away and pretend no one can see.” He shook his head. “Because I’ve come to realize there is someone who’s exactly like me, but so much better at playing all of you. So much better at playing innocent and harmless and friendly, and with no real intentions other than to prove how easy you all are. How transparent.” His eyes drifted toward Y/n, and he motioned her forward. Without hesitating, she did take a few steps forward, into the light and right behind Bruce Wayne.
Gasps echoed in the crowd. To everyone’s stunned silence, Y/n stood there with the same calm and reservation she always did. She seemed perfectly unbothered by the dead body inches from her, or the people she had always seemed so close to being in danger. She didn’t look around, trying to gauge a way out, and nothing held her in forced obedience. She just looked at Jerome, that same nice, almost-smile and curiosity dancing in her eyes.
“What-” Bruce looked around, mouth dropping open when he saw who was behind him. “Y/n?”
“Ah yes,” Jerome purred. “Gotham’s little angel. Friend to all. Unassuming and nice and calm and wonderful. Aren’t you just a pillar of perfection, Y/n?” He giggled again, and Y/n tilted her head, her smile growing a little,
For the first time ever, Y/n was unnerving. Seeing her of all people look dangerous was so upsetting that the crowd started to step down from their anger towards Jerome and were edging toward true fear. If she could end up being bad, who else could? If even the bets of them could be corrupted, and even the most deranged mind could act completely normal, how could anyone ever tell when people were dangerous anymore?
It could be anyone. Anyone they trusted. Anyone they knew. Anyone they’d talked to long enough to decide they were safe. Because Bruce Wayne had known Y/n best of anyone in Gotham, and even he looked as stunned as everyone felt. He had spent copious amounts of time with her, including for hours straight during school hours, and even he had not on any level or in any way seen anything like this coming.
“Y/n?” Bruce whispered.
Y/n met his gaze. “Yes?”
He wasn’t sure what to ask her. “What’s going on?” is what he settled on.
She shrugged, as if they were catching up after school. During tea time maybe, after having not seen each other recently. “Nothing much. I’m observing and learning. People are so intriguing Bruce, have you ever noticed? I’ve learned so much. All I ever had to do was be polite, and everyone would let me sit there as long as I wanted and observe them. You learn so much by watching people, but even more from talking to them. And they always let me. All I had to do was let them talk. I never lied. I never pushed. I was respectful and curious, and they responded so well. I’ve come to learn that even the most suspicious people feel the loneliness of humanity. They crave to be wanted. To looked at. All I had to do was show interest, and they thrived under that attention. You really have to do so little for people to like you. It’s so interesting.”
Bruce’s eyes had been widening as she spoke. She said it all like she was observing humanity in a way that she wasn’t apart of it. “You’re like us, aren’t you?”
“Oh of course,” she agreed. “That’s the thing. I wanted to understand myself, so I looked at those like me. And those unlike me. To see what was and wasn’t me. To see what was similar and what was so very completely different.” She chuckled softly and Bruce felt sick to his stomach. “I never expected to find someone so very similar to me to be someone seen the eyes of everyone else as exactly opposite. Jerome and I? Very much the same, except I’d rather learn than act. I never really cared about people’s opinions or if they didn’t like me or if they were mean. I was too unassuming for bullying or abuse. I didn’t care if people looked over me like Jerome does, and that’s really the only difference. I just wanted to learn, and people were always willing to let me.” She shrugged. “But people are so simple. So easy to understand. MUCH more straight forward than any of them would like to admit. I think I’m going to be staying with Jerome from now on. He’s interesting. He understands.”
Jeremiah knew who she was only by association, and even he was surprised, despite having known Jerome very close up for so long. He supposed it wasn’t fault, but watching Bruce, he wondered if he’d even been able to tell her true nature. Even now she looked completely normal and safe. Her eyes were full of life, and she was fairly attractive. The way she stood was relaxed and the way she talked was completely normal. What was upsetting about her was not that she was obviously messed up. It was that she was so painfully normal in even a situation that should have been quite upsetting.
“You’re a sociopath,” Jeremiah offered in a sort of leveled voice. Her eyes turned to him and he realized that her calmness was contagious. She had the look of someone you could just... fall into. So easy to trust. Even now he found himself a little lured by her. She was honest about who she was. She didn’t hide anything. She was just quiet, and people forgot to ask. That wasn’t her fault. Maybe she could still be saved from his deranged brother.
“Yes,” Y/n agreed, and her complete acceptance of that didn’t sit well with Jeremiah. “Would you like me to show you? I have come to learn that everyone wants some sort of proof of it. They have a hard time believing me.”
“No that’s okay,” Jeremiah rushed to reassure just as Jerome squealed, “Yes please!”
Between the two opposite reactions from the two very opposite twins, Bruce got the idea of what her kind of proof might mean. “Don’t worry Y/n, we believe you.”
She nodded, and the two boys thought that’d be the end of it. But then she pulled an actual gun out of seemingly nowhere, pointed it at the crowd, and shot without even hesitating. There went up a scream as people scattered, revealing the body of a woman bleeding out on the ground. The bullet had hit someone around her neck and no one could do anything other than give her and themselves plenty of room away from her.
Jerome squealed with excitement.
Bruce looked at Y/n with horror. “I said we believed you! You didn’t have to kill her!”
“But I did,” Y/n decided. “Because they didn’t believe me.” Her lips turned up into a stronger smile. There was no regret or hesitation in her eyes, and Bruce felt dread slowly settle throughout his body. She WAS exactly like Jerome and the only reason this was her first kill is because she’d decided to wait until now to kill someone. They’d all been at her mercy this entire time, like a mouse held down by a mouse trap. Except they’d been perfectly fine just sitting in her trap and letting her watch with mild interest as they died.
She was just like Jerome.
One of the other people in line spat, “You’re actually Satan, oh my god.” His eyes were wide and Bruce got the idea that if he hadn’t been held by the explosive collar, he might have bolted. “You let all of us trust you and welcome you and be around you. You gained our trust, and you don’t even care about us?”
Very calmly, Y/n simply shook her head. “We’re all just meat. Do you care about the animals scientists test on to give you your makeup products and medicine? Do you care about the pig killed for its meat, or the dogs that rip each other apart in the streets for entertainment and money? We’re just animals. You guys have just gotten the idea stuck in your head for some reason that we’re special animals. You won’t admit those animals will eat you just as quickly as you will them. Pigs have high intelligence. You think you’re gods because you have the highest intelligence and then ignore how you so easily ignore what you know and do what you want instead. You give into nature just like any predator. I have simply stopped being either. I’m not villain. I’m not a hero. And you think the people who watch the villain are a different category, but they’re not. They do nothing, and bad thing happen, and that’s it. A woman died, and people didn’t do anything to stop it. There’s a whole crowd of people not held here by anything other than a secret, sick fascination with the terrible things happening here. You are just as bad as Jerome. Just as bad as me. You just refuse to admit it. I don’t. That’s all.”
Grinning, Jerome sat forward in his chair. “Wow I am so in love with you.” He giggled and everyone in the area cringed. The idea of Jerome Valeska being involved like that with Y/n... And the way she seemed to not mind it either. On top of everything else that had happened here, it was so viscerally upsetting. Jerome stood, moving behind the people in chairs to gently grab Y/n’s face, pulling her lips against his. When he pulled away, everyone’s face had gone scaringly pale. “Just, wow,” the red head whispered. 
Y/n seemed to consider that. “You know, I think I have some sort of care for you. Like... like how someone explained a pet to me. Is that how affection feels?” She still looked only curious. It made sense that in a world who didn’t care to learn about people like her, and after a lifetime of holding back her questions and lack of understanding, even after all this time she still would be confused about the different way she experienced relationships with other people.
Jerome shrugged. “I think not, but I can be your pet if you want.”
Y/n smiled. “I think I do want that.”
A victorious smile adorned Jerome’s face. “That’s all I needed!” He turned to face his brother and Bruce Wayne again. “See, I was so stuck on you two. I died wanting to kill Brucie, and I’ve lived my entire life wanting to kill my dear brother, so I lived for nothing else. I thought of nothing else. I existed to end you two. But now, I have a different purpose. There is nothing like looking at someone you find so very interesting and them returning that back to you.” He giggled. “Mom always said I’d never find love. Aren’t you proud of me for proving her wrong?”
“This isn’t love,” Bruce snapped. “It’s demented. You can’t feel love. Neither of you can.”
“Maybe not,” Y/n agreed. “But it will be fun testing that.” She turned and walked off the stage, heading back and disappearing.
Jerome sighed. “And that’s my cue.” There was a gun shot and a sharp pain in his hand as the detonator fell out of his hands. He could no longer explode the necklaces. He made an ‘oopsie’ sort of expression before ducking away as another gunshot run out. “See you around, you two!” His laughter echoed as he disappeared after Y/n, fading away too quickly.
By the time Jim Gordon chased after Jerome, it was far passed too late. Whatever Y/n had done to ensure their escape, it had left no traces. They were gone.
Behind them, they left death and the lingering feeling in the air like this was only the beginning to a very, very terrible love story.
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ricardotomasz · 6 months ago
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Such is life! Behold, a new Post published on Greater And Grander about Modern Superman Pitch
See into my soul, as a new Post has been published on http://greaterandgrander.com/2020/11/modern-superman-pitch/
Modern Superman Pitch
It’s present-day, and Clark Kent has just moved to Metropolis, Delaware to go to University.  Clark is 19, and took a year off from school after helping out around the farm, after his adoptive father passed away. 
He got a sports scholarship and is planning on studying, of course, kinesiology.  You see, because Clark has always been stronger than everyone else, he believes that is the most important thing someone can do.  He’s proud of his strength, even though he has to hide it, but he believes people can find their power and agency through physical strength.  After all, his adoptive father died of a heart attack, and Clark feels if he could teach people the importance of physical health, he’ll be able to protect people from senseless deaths.  He plans on going to school and becoming a personal trainer, but that’s not all Clark has in mind.
Clark idolizes the Batman, and the entire Bat Family in Gotham (Batman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and even that little red one).  His first choice was Gotham University, but he got rejected after they wouldn’t let him defer his admission (also deciding against Notre Dame in Cleveland and NYU).  So, Clark goes to Metropolis with plans of emulating his heroes.  He even has a rough sketch of how he will frighten criminals of Metropolis.  It’s much more of goth cowboy look, with black leather jacket, black cowboy hat, and black mask.
The weekend of student orientation, while the other students are going out to drink beer and party, Clark puts on his new superhero outfit, to go out and find some bad guys.  He hopes to strike fear into the criminal underbelly of Metropolis.  After a couple of hours in Suicide Slums, he finds an older drunk man being harassed, but he’s not being harassed by criminals, he’s being harassed by police.
It turns out that the old man owes money to one of the officers, and the officer has come to collect, either in dollars, or in blood.  Clark is confused, and not sure what to do, until finally, the officer threatens to cut off the old man’s hand.  Clark intervenes, knocking out the officers.  The old man is confused, and thanks the black, leather-clad stranger.  The old man speaks with a thick Irish accent, and introduces himself as Patrick O’Leogain. There's a really funny exchange where the old man asks Clark his name, and Clark responds with, "Call me... Bat Boy," and Patrick doubles over laughing, asking if he's the same Bat Boy from Weekly World News. He invites Clark for a drink at his favorite bar, the Ace o’ Clubs, and while Clark resists at first, Patrick insists. 
When Clark asked what happened, the old man explains things.  You see, Metropolis is a prettier, cleaner city on the outside, due to wealthy people donating parks and cleanup services, but their police department, led by Commissioner "Buck" Sackett, is just as corrupt and abusive as Gotham’s. 
Metropolis is the wealthiest city in the world, and in order to protect the wealthy, the city police department employs a massive surveillance state, mainly organized by the many “unicorn” tech startups that are situated there, and funded by the city’s tax dollars: prevalent cameras; facial recognition software; and data mining and collection everywhere.  You see, in DC’s Universe, there is no Silicon Valley, but instead Silicon Bay, named after all the tech startups that have settled on the Delaware Bay, overlooking/over-looming the Metro-Narrows Bridge 
The crown jewel is Luther Tech, owned and run by Lex Luthor, who started a social media company in his twenties, and is now the richest man in the world, but he uses his power and AI programming to subtly influence the site’s users into being anxious and afraid all the time, and buy as many things as possible.  Clark is disgusted, and doesn’t believe Patrick, this is not at all what he expected.  Patrick was a freedom fighter in Ireland, but eventually convinces the young man of the truth.  He even asks the African-American bartender to confirm it, and the bartender, Bibbo, tells Clark about all the young unarmed black men that the police have killed over the last 5 years.
Over the course of the night, Patrick and Clark become friends, and when getting drunk for the first time, Clark spills the beans to Patrick about his secret past, his real parents, and his superpowers. 
Patrick eventually takes the young boy home to introduce him to his cousins (in the suburb of Bakerline), who changed their name when they moved to the states to the Olsens.  Their youngest, Jimmy, is currently in high school, and wants to be a journalist.
Over the next 5 years, Clark’s preconceptions about good and evil will be challenged, as he learns that fighting evil isn’t always about punching people.  Patrick will mentor him on the strengths of fighting, hiding in plain sight, and navigating an increasingly grey world.  Clark will grow as a person, change his major a couple of times, intern for LexCorp, graduate, take down the richest man in the world, and even fall in love.
This epic story of Superman's origins isn't about punching aliens. In fact, Superman will not be able to punch his way out of any of the dilemmas he finds himself in.
It’s through these interactions, and these people, Clark learns to fight for equality, democracy, truth, social justice, and the American way.
Fun Facts About Metropolis:
Metropolis University’s Mascot is the Fighting Apricot.
Metropolis was originally settled by Greek settlers in 1520, making it the first state settled, even before Spain settled in Florida.  Greece eventually sold the territory to the Dutch, who then sold it to England.  This early settlement is why Delaware and Metropolis license plates have the slogan, “The First State.”
Across the city, MU’s rival, New Troy College, their mascot is the Thinking Apricot, which is a cartoon character of an Apricot dressed as a Greek scholar.
In Metropolis Harbor is the Statue of Justice, provided as one of three gifts to America by France (along with the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, and the Statue of Brotherhood in Millennium City Harbor in Texas).
Parks included in Metropolis are Centennial Park and Metropolis Park, two neighboring parks which appear to be one large park, but are not.  When combined they are roughly the size of new York’s Central Park.
One of the main reasons Metropolis has so many tech companies is because of the influence of the Dupont family, and the incubators that the family launched for local tech, similar to the influence of the Carnegie foundation in Pittsburgh.  Almost all of the incubator’s alumni are evil villains, including Lex Luthor, J. Wilbur Wolfingham, and Colin Thornton. 
One of the main highlights of the Metropolis skyline is the twin-towered LexCorp headquarters.  This is a feature in any city where LexCorp has offices; Lex Luthor insists on twin-towers buildings due to his personal philosophy, related to the twins, Romulus and Remus. 
Joe Biden was the Senator for Metropolis, representing its 10 million inhabitants, as well as greater Delaware.
Future Characters
Clark will fall in love with Lois Lane, a young, mixed-race black woman, who pulls double-duty as a cub reporter at the Daily Planet, while also pursuing her doctorate in Media Psychology at MU. 
Clark will even meet The Batman, but is disappointed, and discovers why you should never meet your heroes.
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#Batmanvsuperman, #Clarkkent, #Comicbooks, #Comics, #Dc, #Dccomics, #Dceu, #Dcuniverse, #Henrycavill, #Justiceleague, #Manofsteel, #NonComicBookSuperhero, #Smallville, #Superhero, #Superman
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ratchetmonstax · 6 months ago
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@rin-bellatrix wrote this one lads~
Got room for one more: a Servitude tale 
My baby’s bad, ya know 
Warnings: some (femme) smut, but not a lot. Gratuitous use of the word “baby” (I blame Kihyun’s “Bad” cover). 
— 
“Stop moving or I’m gonna mess up…!” you tsked, rapping the death witch lightly over his knuckles, before replacing his hands so that they sat braced in your lap. 
Sitting across from you by the small kitchen table, Jooheon squirmed in his seat. “I don’t even like this color…” he pouted, sulking at the petal pink polish drying on his nails. 
“Well like I already told you, this is a new shade and I wanted to see what it would look like after a few coats…” you murmured, a bit distracted as you very carefully brushed a fresh layer over his pinky nail. You capped the brush back inside the bottle and looked over all his nails with a critical eye, satisfied with the lack of mistakes you made. 
Jooheon stomped his feet in a childlike manner. “But you gave Kyunie the black nail polish…! Why didn’t you do the same for me??” 
Rolling your eyes at his little tantrum, you reached over to pinch his cheek playfully. “Because Kyun was nearby when I was picking the colors, so he got to pick the color he wanted. Pink was the only one left. You have to wear it! You wouldn’t want me to be seen in a color that clashes with my overall style, would you?” 
Jooheon twisted his face away from your touch, glaring sullenly at you even though he kept his hands obediently in your lap. “No one is even looking at your hands, who’s coming in here for you? People come in to see me and Kyun, not to see what shade is matching against your skin tone-”
“Yeah, but so what? I’m not allowed to do a little something special for myself every now and then?” you pressed, returning his glower with one of you own. 
“I didn’t say that, just why do I have to be your guinea pig-” 
“OH!” you shouted, the sound of it eventually drawing Changkyun in from the other room to see what the fuss was about. “Like you guys never tested shit on me before – some of it without my knowledge??” Glaring into his suddenly shifty eyes, you crossed your arms over your chest in a show of frustration. 
“Well… That was, uhm… More like a… Surprise? I think…” he mumbled, not quite able to meet your eyes once you called him out on his bullshit. “Er… And, ya know, I think maybe you liked some of those exper- er, surprises! Right?” 
Jooheon looked over your totally unimpressed face, ignoring the sound of the hedge witch chuckling in the background. 
“(Y/N), I’ll let you in on a little secret – Joo doesn’t mind the nail polish. He just likes to rile you up,” Changkyun spoke up from somewhere in the kitchen area, peering inside of the fridge for a snack. 
You scoffed, fighting the urge to roll your eyes again. “Yeah, I know that. That still doesn’t give him the righ- hey!” you called out, slapping at Jooheon’s hands again as they wandered up your thighs. “Stop touching things, the polish hasn’t dried yet and you’re gonna ruin all my hard work before it has the chance to set!”
“I’m trying to distract you from being mad at me,” he said plainly, dark eyes watching you closely. “Is it working?” 
“No, in fact you’re pissing me off even more because you’re gonna fuck up your nails!” you complained, grabbing his wrists and using them to pull his hands down to safer territory over your leggings. 
He complied in keeping his hands where you put them on your legs, but that didn’t stop him from squeezing you where his hands rested above your knees. “You seem tense… I know how to help relieve some of that stress…” 
“You will do nothing that involves your hands. What part of ‘wait ‘til the polish dries’ are you not getting?” 
“Oh baby~” Jooheon purred, leveling you with a heavy lidded stare and a sexy smirk, one of his impossibly deep dimples flashing enticingly at you. “You should know by now that I can do plenty without using my hands…” 
You really wanted to fight the blush that was warming your cheeks, but vivid memories of his mentioned skills invaded your immediate thoughts, and there was nothing you could do but to avert your gaze. When his hands crept further up your thighs, you couldn’t find the voice to scold him this time. 
“Honey, (Y/N) is right, you really shouldn’t be jeopardizing the work that she put in to make your nails look so pretty…” Changkyun murmured, his voice a pleasant, low rumble from directly behind your chair. You felt the light caress of his fingertips grazing over the side of your neck, smoothing over the area where you neck and shoulder met.  
Jooheon’s eyes never left your face, watching your reaction as the hedge witch touched you ever so slightly. When Changkyun continued to stroke along your shoulder, he slowly pushed the open collar of your loose sweater down until he exposed the curve of your shoulder. He curled his fingertips against the flesh here, scratching you lightly with his black painted nails. You shivered at the sensation, goosebumps erupting over your body as you pressed your knees together at the sudden rush of desire that went through you. 
“Ooh, baby likes that…?” the death witch cooed, pulling you closer by your legs, almost pawing at the thin material of your leggings. 
You opened your mouth to halfheartedly reprimand him about his nails again, when Changkyun’s hand trailed from the expanse of your shoulder to crossing over your chest. You looked down to watch as his fingers slipped beneath the edge of your collar, inching further and further down your chest. He kept his touch light over your skin, stopping when he reached the material of your bra. He very gently ran a finger over the edge of a cup, keeping his touch subtle and teasing. 
He leaned down over your chair, placing his mouth near your ear as he whispered loud enough for both you and Jooheon to hear. “It’s a good thing that my nail polish is already dried… Because I get to do things like this…” His large hand closed over your breast, cupping you gently over the flimsy material of your bra. 
He squeezed you firmly in his hand and you nearly whimpered in pleasure, rubbing your thighs together as you squirmed in your seat. “Kyun…” you sighed, but you kept your eyes locked on Jooheon’s darkening gaze. 
When Changkyun’s lips drifted closer, his warm breath over your skin was the only warning you got before he nipped sharply at the curve of your ear. As you gasped out in pleasure, he suckled the delicate flesh into his mouth and you barely had time to enjoy his affections before Jooheon was standing abruptly, causing his chair to fall back against the floorboards. 
“C’mon, up,” the death witch demanded, slapping you on the side of your thigh as he urged you to stand. “Over to the couch.” 
Jooheon took a hold of your wrist while Changkyun placed a supportive hand low on your back, helping you to walk the short distance to the couch in the living room area of the apartment. The older witch dropped himself back onto the middle of the couch, with his legs spread wide and the sight only made you want to park yourself atop his thighs. You moved to climb onto his lap, desperately needing to rub the ache between your legs against the bulge growing under his leather pants, but before you could, he stopped you with a hand against your shoulder. 
“Those, off,” he commanded, gesturing at your leggings. As you straightened up and hooked your thumbs into the waistband, he spoke up again. “Panties too.” 
You felt the need to regain some kind of leverage in this situation, so you smiled coyly and answered as innocently as you could. “What if I’m not wearing any…?” 
You saw the way the lust flashed in his eyes, before he was lighting you on fire with his smoldering gaze. “Oh you bad girl… Was this your plan all along…?” 
You smiled, biting your lip as you eased the thin material of your leggings down, letting him see that indeed, you weren’t wearing any panties underneath. His low groan at the sight of your bare, glistening sex made you shiver in desire, but you fought against the lust wanting to cloud your mind so that you could defend yourself. “No, I didn’t have this planned… But I can’t say that I’m not happy with the outcome…” 
Jooheon threw his head back and laughed, his attractive dimples making an appearance again. “(Y/N)! You are such a naughty thing! When did you get like this, huh? Kyun, I think we’re to blame…” Reaching out for you, he pulled you onto him and sat you directly over his lap. “I think we corrupted our sweet little servant…” 
You heard Changkyun hum lowly in agreement from somewhere behind you, but your mind was solely focused on the way the smooth leather of Jooheon’s pants felt against your bare flesh. Unable to help yourself, you instantly began rocking back and forth over his restrained erection, moaning softly at the feel of him pressed right up against your clit. Your hands reached out to grab at his shoulders, using the added leverage to help you get the right amount of friction where you needed it most. 
Placing his hands over your bare thighs, Jooheon watched you avidly as you used him for your own pleasure, enjoying the way your features shifted when you rolled over him in a certain way. “Look at you baby, soaking these pants with your cum… You bad girl, rubbing your wet pussy all over me in the middle of the living with Kyun watching…” He punctuated his words with a firm slap against your thigh, before grabbing greedily at your flesh. You whimpered helplessly above him, feeling the buildup of your orgasm approaching quickly. “You like this? You like being so bad for us? Huh, baby?” 
“Joo… I’m c-close, please…!” you whimpered, chasing that high that was just barely out of reach. 
The death witch beneath you held up his hands in a show of helplessness. “You’re close? Sorry, I can’t do anything to help you – my nails are still drying!” 
You groaned in frustration as you swiveled your hips wildly over his bulge in an attempt to trigger that elusive orgasm. He bit his lip to hold back his own sounds of pleasure, but he still refused to touch you other than to run his palms up and down your flexing thighs. 
Suddenly, you felt a strong hand push up along your scalp, fisting your roots and pulling your head back against a solid chest. “Does baby need some help…? Poor (Y/N), can’t even cum without us,” Changkyun crooned, sliding his other hand down the front of your body. His searching fingers neared your groin and just as you prepared yourself to feel his deft touch over your swollen bud, his hand slid back up and underneath your sweater instead. You whined loudly in disappointment, your body in desperate need to cum. 
“Kyunie, please…” you begged, groaning as he hastily pushed up your bra and pinched your nipple between his fingers. 
The hedge witch used the grip he had on your hair to move your head to the side, exposing your neck to his mouth. He quickly set upon you with wet, open mouthed kisses along the side of your throat. Jooheon’s grip shifted to your hips, now controlling the way you rolled over his clothed erection just as Changkyun sank his teeth into the tender spot on your shoulder. You couldn’t control the volume of your voice as you moaned out loud, the combined feel of both men nearly overwhelming your senses. 
Jooheon used his strength to rock your dripping pussy over the tent in his pants, his tight grip over your hips leaving bruises in the wake of his possessive grip. Changkyun kept a firm grip on your hair as he bit hotly at your neck and shoulder, his opposite hand busy pinching and twisting your nipples beneath your sweater. You felt your lower abdomen clench suddenly just as your orgasm blindsided you, reaching up to claw blindly at Changkyun’s shoulders as your body trembled over Jooheon’s lap. 
“There she goes… Yeah, just like that (Y/N)…” Jooheon hummed in encouragement, helping you to move back and forth over him, wanting to prolong your orgasm for as long as he could. 
Shuddering helplessly as soon your pleasure turned into overstimulation, you unfurled your fingers from Changkyun’s hoodie to push weakly at Jooheon’s shoulders. “S’too much…” you murmured, your sex too sensitive in the wake of your powerful climax. 
The death witch between your still trembling thighs stopped dragging you over his crotch, spreading his arms open to allow you to settle in his embrace. As you curled onto Jooheon’s chest, you felt Changkyun’s hands begin to slowly leave your body. Quickly reaching back to catch his wrists, you pulled him in behind you. There was a moment of hesitation on his part, before he finally gave in and straddled Jooheon’s lap, snuggling right up against your back. The older witch grunted at the added weight but didn’t otherwise protest to the second person now sitting on his thighs. Instead, he wrapped his arms around the both of you and rested his cheek against your head, locking his hands behind the small of Changkyun’s back. Meanwhile, Changkyun had his arms draped around Jooheon’s neck, resting his own cheek on the other side of your head. 
A few moments passed just like this, and you nearly fell asleep with the combined feel of an afterglow and two warm bodies sandwiching you between them. You were, in fact, dozing very comfortably before Jooheon shook you awake. 
“Mm, huh?” you mumbled, pulling back to look up at the death witch drowsily. 
“(Y/N), aren’t you forgetting something?” he asked pointedly, shifting beneath you and Changkyun so that you could feel his still prominent bulge against your soaked lips. 
“…Oh, that’s right…!” you answered, pushing yourself away to sit up straight in his lap as the hedge witch behind you wrapped his arms around your waist. At this angle, you could also feel Changkyun’s hard-on pressing into you from behind. 
Taking one of Jooheon’s hands in your own, you slowly lifted it up to your face as you peered at him from beneath your lashes. “How could I forget…” Allowing the tips of his calloused fingers to run across your parted lips, you watched as he swallowed in anticipation of your next move. Wetting your lips with your tongue and bringing your mouth just over his fingertips, you pulled back before he could slide his fingers into your mouth. 
“I nearly forgot to punish you for ruining all the nail polish I wasted on you.” Jooheon gaped up at you in shock, his mouth hanging open at your sheer audacity. You scrutinized his nails, frowning at the smudged and rippled pink paint. “Now we’re gonna have to do it all over again!” You made a show of sighing dramatically as you shimmied out of the embrace of both witches. Changkyun shifted to sit beside Jooheon, both of them watching you stand before them in nothing but a crumpled sweater, your climax from earlier making your crotch and inner thighs shine with how wet you were. 
They were peering up at you with lust still evident in their eyes, both men pitching rather large tents in their pants, and you almost felt bad for making them wait. “Now sit tight, I’m gonna go get the acetone okay?” You turned and walked away quickly, trying to hide the wicked smile that wanted to break out. 
“Can’t that wait~?” Joo cried out, and you could hear the pout in his voice. 
“Absolutely not,” you answered from the kitchen, grabbing the bottle of nail polish remover and the plastic bag of cotton balls. 
“What about me? My nails are already done!” Changkyun piped up, and you looked over to see the both of them freely ogling your bare ass as they clung to the back of the couch. 
“No, you need to wait too. It’s not fair otherwise… Right~?” you teased, flashing them a playful wink. 
The younger witch immediately turned toward Jooheon. “I’m gonna go find a spell that can help dry shit quicker, but until then, blow on your nails! After that incubus incident, I don’t wanna go through blue balls again!” He popped up and raced down the hall to his bedroom, presumably to find some kind of beautician-related grimoire. 
As you approached the death witch and gestured for him to sit across from you, he whined and pouted the whole time you spent removing the nail polish from his fingertips. “Next time, behave yourself and we’ll be able to play properly afterwards, you dummy…” You snickered as he squirmed against the couch cushions, grouchy and sulking, and complaining about the strong stink of chemicals in the air. 
(In the end, you ended up wearing a completely different shade from the ones you tested on the boys – much to their chagrin.) 
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